Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rabbits Hate Hutches!

     We have had rabbits for six years. I always felt badly that they were in hutches with no room to run or dig. When I talked to the experts in the area I was surprised to find out that they felt it was just fine. To me it seemed cruel, but what other option did I have? I bought a little fence and let them hop around in, but that only seemed to happen in the summer. Also, they would dig under the fence and get out so I couldn't leave them there very long. They LOVE to dig. It is their favorite thing to do. Also, they are social creatures. They need companionship! Look at rabbits in the wild. Do they live alone at the far end of a field? No, they live in large groups. They love to burrow underground with each other. It's what rabbits DO. Besides, the novelty always wears off, and they sit neglected. Instead of feeling guilty and giving your rabbit away, just let them entertain themselves on their own! They are good at it.

     So, if they love to dig and it is what they were created to do...why do people keep them on wire their whole lives? It is mental cruelty to force these sweet creatures to just sit there 24/7. I asked someone give me an estimate on building a habitat. He told me for $2,000 he could build a nice enclosure. Well, with five kids and braces, college, and shoes to pay for, it wasn't at the top of the priority list. That is why I was SO HAPPY when Scott's parents told me they wanted to build a habitat for the rabbits. They got a lot of the materials from the Re-Store.

      We have two does and one buck. Starbuck is a Jersey Wooley and the other two are Lion Heads. We didn't want baby bunnies so we had Starbuck neutered. Now, all three live together in their new home. They have their hutches there in case they want to be inside but I rarely see them in there. They promptly went underground.
        They love their underground  little tunnels. Digging, scratching to their hearts content. This is what they do all day. Look how busy they like to be! I am sure they have big plans to dig for miles, but we have chicken wire under the dirt to keep them safely inside.

     Rabbits can't talk, so how are they supposed to tell you they hate their hutch? Take my word for it...they do. They might be sitting there, looking content. Really they are just bored.

     I know not everyone has the room for a full on habitat. So I looked into some backyard options that would work. In the UK they love their rabbits. They are their third most popular pet. I found an article that shows a good way for the rabbit to have the shelter from shade, grass to eat, and room to hop around. It involves connecting a tube from the hutch to a play yard with wire underneath.


    I think it's worth the little effort it takes to give your rabbit a nicer, more enjoyable life. Allowing them to follow the instincts God gave them. Just sayin.....


  1. So I'm thinking you won't be eating these.

  2. No, we won't. They are pets. :) But even if we were, I'd want happy rabbit meat. :)

  3. Can our rabbit come over to play?

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