Of course, there
that have lived as long as a house
rabbit or longer. However, the difference is the rabbit's quality of life.
If the rabbit caretaker visits at least twice daily, locates
the hutch in a protected area, takes rabbit out for exercise daily and gives them
of social time with people, other rabbits or both, then I have no issue with a
e-mail me to say their child has tired of their "Easter Rabbit" who is in a hutch
out in the backyard and acting very aggressively during a once daily feeding.
My advice to them is to spay or neuter the rabbit and while it is recuperating
bring it inside the house. Give the bunny all the care and attention given
pet cat or dog. Amazing things happen! All of a sudden the rabbit is
"intelligent," "affectionate," "entertaining" and
has a "personality."
a Rabbit in a Hutch!
Rabbits can freeze especially if they are solitary and can't snuggle up
together. Temperate climates work better for hutches. Rabbits can
suffer frostbite especially on their ears.
2. Summer Heat
rabbits can overheat and die
in temperatures over 85
in the Sun.
It explains how to help a rabbit keep its cool.
Even if the
predator can't get to the rabbit, a rabbit can still die from shock.
I get e-mails from distressed people telling me they found their
hutch bunny has passed away overnight without a scratch on it.
Their vet can't find a reason. Also, there are plenty of documented
cases where a predator manages to get into the hutch including
bears, raccoons, feral dogs or cats (or the neighbor's pets), foxes,
coyotes and humans.
4. Wire floors
Most hutches have
mesh wire floors with trays under them. Wire floors make
it easy for someone in the rabbit production business to clean up after
them. A condition known as "sore hocks" is aggravated by the
wires that cut into the rabbit's feet. Rabbit feet are not padded like
cat or dog feet! They at least require a resting board or a
litter box at the very minimum.
If the rabbit is
confined to a hutch and doesn't get proper exercise, it can become
overweight. This causes a lot of health problems. Further, an
obese rabbit has problems eating cecotrophs (the soft mucus
covered waste) resulting in poor
nutrition. The cecotrophs can fall through the wires and the rabbit
doesn't have a chance to eat them. Cecotrophs are essential to the
health of a rabbit since they contain important nutrients that need
to be redigested.
6. Bone and Muscle Problems
Without exercise and confined to a small place a rabbit
may develop bone and muscle deficiencies. Their bones will break
easier when handled.
7. Boredom and
are very gregarious, social animals!
Oryctolagus cuniculus (domesticated rabbits) in the wild naturally
live in warrens with many other rabbits.
They need social
interaction. A rabbit in a hutch may be forgotten outside
except for feeding. Rabbits kept like this can become
aggressive because they are not socialized to people, other pets or
even other rabbits.
8. Toxic Building
Hutches are sometimes made with redwood (toxic to rabbits)
or other treated wood materials that a rabbit will naturally gnaw.
9. Poor Construction
Most hutches and cages are not large enough for
a rabbit to really stretch
out completely and stand on it's hind legs without hitting the
ceiling. Some rabbits can even escape hutches with simple latches.
10. Out of sight - Out
How can anyone notice when the rabbit is sluggish or
listless or any other sign the rabbit is sick if they do not observe the
rabbit except for a few minutes to check on the
food and water.
The Best Reason:
can live an average of 8 to 13 years while a Hutch rabbit has an
average lifespan of 2 years!