Rabbits need a hutch to live in for shelter and protection. The hutch should be raised of the ground and protected from the wind and rain. Direct sunlight should be avoided as heat stress and heatstroke occur easily in rabbits as they cannot sweat and do not increase their water intake when hot. Good ventilation is essential to prevent respiratory disease.
The hutch floor, roof and sides must be made of wood and weatherproofed and the front of the hutch should be made of smooth wire netting. The doors of the hutch should be lockable to protect your rabbit from foxes and one third of the hutch should be enclosed to form a cosy sleeping compartment.
Hutches available from pet shops are usually too small. The recommended size of a hutch for one rabbit is at least 120cm x 60cm x 60cm. Rabbits must have enough room to stretch to their full height and length and be able to run and jump about inside the hutch.
Straw, newspaper and fresh hay make ideal bedding. The hutch needs to be cleaned out daily, any soiled bedding should be removed and replaced with fresh bedding.
Whenever possible your rabbit should have access to an outdoor run to allow him to stretch his legs. The bigger the run the better, but it will need to be escape proof! As rabbits are naturally prey animals they should always be provided with appropriate hiding areas such as empty cardboard boxes to hide under if alarmed.