Rabbit Housing for Outdoors

One of the most common questions related to rabbit raising is what type of enclosure will house your rabbits. For now we will discuss the needs of the rabbit raiser who keeps their rabbits outdoors or in a barn, shed or similar structure.

Pet rabbits that are kept indoors will have different requirements than those kept outdoors and will be discussed separately.

There are many types of outdoor enclosures for rabbits. Some people prefer the hutch type cages while others prefer an enclosure with indoor and outdoor elements. Though both of these are acceptable for one or two rabbits, anyone raising a number of rabbits can see the benefits of an all wire cage. For now let’s focus on the wire cages.

All wire cages are by far the easiest to keep clean. They are made of galvanized metal wire and do not provide areas for manure and waste to accumulate.

A clean cage is necessary for the health of your rabbits.

Wire cages come in two basic styles. The first is intended to be hung from a

structure and allows the manure and other waste to fall to the ground, where it can be easily collected for composting.

With a suspended cage setup you are limited to a single row of cages unless you make accommodations between the rows for managing the waste. This is the most popular setup when rabbits are kept outdoors.

Be sure that the cage you select allows for adequate space for the rabbit. In the case of doe rabbits make sure that there is enough space for her and her litter of kits from birth to 8 weeks. You do not want to be moving a pregnant doe from her cage to another as this can cause stress and potential problems with the pregnancy. We do have a simple solution for this that has proven to work well for us.

If the rabbits are kept in a barn, shed, carport or other structure all wire cages with a drop tray are favored. These cages are designed to be stacked with a removable tray under each cage making for easy cleanup.

This eliminates the pile of waste on the ground, but does require more work to maintain a clean environment as you need to remove and clean the drop trays daily.

Keep in mind these cages are stackable, but only with like sized cages. Although the 30 x 30 is the same on one side as the 30 x 36, they cannot be stacked together.

By using stacking wire cages you save space, but it can make it more difficult to reach each cage. The bottom cage will be very close to the floor so you may want to build a structure to raise the stack to a more comfortable working level.

Stackable wire cages are available from many sources. Make sure you choose a source that you feel confident will be around when you need more cages or replacement parts. Each manufacturer makes their cages a little different and there is no guarantee that one brands cage will stack with another brands cage.