Deciding where to place you pet's pen is very important because rabbits prefer cooler temperatures with plenty of fresh air. Many professional rabbitries use indoor facilities to house all their rabbits under one roof, but the amonia produced by the rabbit's waste often builds to such high levels that it creates health problems for the rabbits having to constantly breath these toxic fumes.
Here at Pet Rabbit Ridge, we prefer a more natural environment with plenty of fresh air, and roofing our pens individually or grouped together to help protect our rabbits from the rain in an outdoor setting... But finding a location that offers cooler temperatures in the summer as well as warmer temperatures in the winter months is just as important.
Try to find a location on your property with hardwoods to help with this problem if at all possible... Hardwoods provide shade in the warmer months, and shed their leaves in the fall to allow the sun to warm your pet in colder temperatures. If hardwoods are not an option, I suggest placing your Pet's Pen on the eastern side of your house... This will allow the morning sun to shine on your Pet's Pen, and your house will offer much needed shade from the hot summer sun in the afternoons. Choosing the right location to place your Pet Rabbit's housing will increase the degree of your pet's overall comfort.
Proper housing for your "New Pet Rabbit" is very important to help insure your pet's health as well as it's safty. Depending on whether you plan on keeping your pet rabbit indoors or outdoors may have a large influence on the type of Pet Pen or Rabbit Hutch you decide to build or purchase. You will need to provide plenty of space for your New Pet Rabbit, and depending on the breed, will often determin just how large or small your pen should be.
Smaller breeds of rabbits such as The "Dwarf" and "Mini" rabbits will require approximatly four square feet of floor space, or ( 2' x 2' ) floor space in their pen to allow room for the drinkers and feeders you will provide and still give your pet plenty of room to live in, while Giant Breeds will require 16 square feet or ( 4' x 4' ) floor space to live comfortably.
Here at Pet Rabbit Ridge, I have spent the past two years developing a "Portable Pet and Breeder Pen System" that allows you to house your pet rabbit or breeders in a relatively small area in your back yard. The smallest of these " Pet Pens" measures 2' x 3' x 12" tall, and sits on a stand that allows your rabbits waste to fall through the wire mesh to the ground to help keep your rabbit healthy and away from harmful bacteria that can cause illness and even death when left untreated.
The largest of these "Pet Pens" measures 2' x 8' , allowing my customers to house even the largest breeds of rabbits. The sturdy construction of these pens not only provide your pet with plenty of room, but the 1/2 inch hardware cloth that surrounds your pet insures it's safty when you are away from home. Many Rabbit Hutches on the market today use chicken wire because of the cheap construction costs, but it can't withstand a dog trying to get to your Pet Rabbit while you are away. Keeping your Pet Rabbit safe from predators should also be a concern when you are choosing which type of Pet Pen is right for you.
Many of you may decide to turn your hobby of owning a Pet Rabbit into a small business by breeding pet rabbits to sell, but having the right housing for breeding is essential to the success of breeding rabbits.
A "Breeder Hutch" is basically a two compartment Pet Pen... One section is closed in and protected from the elements with only a small access hole for the Mother Rabbit to enter and exit at will. Keeping this section darkened will help the mother feel safe while giving birth as well as when she is feeding her young kits. This section should measure at least 16" x 24" for small to standard sized rabbits, while larger breeds will need a minimum of 24" x 24" .
The adjoining section will be the living quarters where the mother is fed and watered. Keeping this section open and airy will allow the mother rabbit the opportunity to stretch out and relax between nursing times. As the kits grow older ( 3 to 4 weeks old ), they will venture out to the living quarters following their mother. Soon they will start to eat the food the mother rabbit is eating, and you will need to provide a bowl drinker so the kits can learn to drink water as well as eat. Once the kits are properly weened you will need to seperate them from the mother and place them in a seperate pen.