A rabbit hutch acts as your pet’s home, providing an area for them to eat, sleep and play safely. One of the most important factors of a hutch is to protect your pet rabbit from potential harsh weather and predators. If you are keeping rabbits, an important question to ask is whether or not to cover their hutch at night, whether you are concerned about potential bad weather or dangerous predators. Choosing a high quality rabbit hutch can make all the difference for your cute little pet!
Although Australia is not known for its extremely cold weather, there can be certain areas and particular times of the year where the frosty weather comes out to play. If you keep rabbits and live in an area that is prone to colder weather, you may be wondering if it is too cold outside for your pet. If your pets are living in an outside hutch, there are a few measures you can take to keep them warm and dry. Firstly, pick out a spot to keep your hutch where your pets are not directly facing harsh weather. This may be in an area that is slightly undercover or on a verandah.
If you choose a hutch with a sloped roof, it will efficiently drain away any rainwater, which will keep the roof from getting severely damaged or damp. A weatherproof cover should also be used to protect the hutch at night time to protect your rabbits from cold winds and rain. When using a weatherproof cover, make sure you leave a small section uncovered to keep the hutch ventilated. During colder months, also make sure you give your pets plenty of extra bedding, such as straw or hay, to keep them warm.
It is no secret that rabbits can be seen as easy prey for a lot of predators, even in a domestic setting. If you are concerned about predators in your area, it is important to make sure that your chosen cover is strong and sturdy, in case any animals try their chances at attacking your pets. As predators can chew through flimsier materials, pick out something that is both tough and secure, like hardware cloth and Perspex. By choosing a waterproof material, you are also adding security to protect your rabbits from cold and wet weather. Similarly to using a cover to protect your rabbits from the weather, it is important to remember to keep a small section of the hutch uncovered to ensure appropriate ventilation.
When it comes to predator-proofing your rabbit hutch, there are a few additional steps you can take to keep your fur babies safe. If you are looking at buying or making a hutch, keep an eye out for a setup with a solid wood foundation, sturdy bolts for its door (as some predators can work out how to open a simple latch) and flooring to prevent predators from digging to get inside the hutch. If you are genuinely concerned about your pet’s safety from predators in your area, you may need to consider housing them inside to keep them safe from potential attacks.