The Rabitat: A Humane Rabbit Habitat

A Wild Rabbit’s Life. We recently found ourselves in need of a humane rabbit habitat, and we questioned how to design the ideal location to keep our bunnies happy for as long as they were around.

We were sold on homesteading rabbits after visiting two homesteading conferences where we learned a lot about raising them from the ground up. When we got our rabbits, we only had a medium-sized pet cage to keep them in.

As long as they could hop around safely, we wanted our bunnies to have the best of both worlds. Even if you’re raising rabbits for meat or as a pet, you want to ensure that they have the best possible living conditions.

For our rabbits, my husband and I knew we would have to put in a lot of effort to design and create the perfect habitat.

Keep Rabbits in the Modern Age?

People raised many kinds of animals for meat during the Great Depression because they didn’t know when meat would be available in the food supply. People fed their families and neighbors by raising chickens, sheep, pigs, and bunnies because the beef was scarce and rationed.

Rabbits are a great addition to a backyard farm. Prior to World War II, Americans consumed as much rabbit as Europeans. According to National Geographic, a national drive to encourage people to eat more chicken led to the rise of chicken as the most popular meat in American cuisine.

Many people now consider rabbits to be too cute to eat because of Easter bunny cartoons and Bambi’s Thumper, a rabbit seen in the movie. Even though many feel horrible about what happened to Bambi, they nevertheless eat rabbit because of its nutritional value and other benefits.

Rise and Shine Rabbitry is a great resource for information on why individuals think rabbits are a wonderful homesteading animal to raise.

The low cholesterol and lean protein content of rabbit meat make it an excellent choice for a country where heart disease and obesity are on the rise.

Even without composting, their dung is an excellent natural fertilizer that can be applied directly to your garden. You’ll be the talk of the town if you use rabbit feces in your garden soil.

When it comes to rabbits, the gestation period is about 30 days, and they can mate at any moment. They can breed again in as little as two weeks after the birth of their 4-7 kits. The phrase “breed like rabbits” comes from this.

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Brown Rabbits in a Crowd.

Rabbits mature in 10 weeks, compared to hens, which mature in about six months. For five of those weeks, they are still nursing. Therefore their calorie requirements are minimal. It is possible to feed rabbits both pellets and greens. Rabbits are aficionados of garden greens and roots.

Those Beatrix Potter stories about Peter the Rabbit getting into Farmer McGregor’s cabbages will be familiar to you.

We can’t really blame McGregor for defending his garden and feeding his family, and wasting nothing, even though he was painted as the evil guy since he threatened to turn Peter into rabbit stew or pie as a punishment.

It’s possible that you’ve never thought of preparing rabbit pie. That’s OK. Rabbits also make adorable pets. When I was eleven, a family friend rehomed a brown Netherlands lop-ear dwarf rabbit with me, and I adored it.

As pets, rabbits are excellent since they are quiet, gentle to the touch, and take up very little room. You have to be careful how you hold them as they will panic and scratch your arms and chest with their natural defensive mechanism: claws.

Not exactly a cuddly toy. But if you know how to hold them, they’re gentle, lively, and cuddly and may make excellent companions.

Needs of Rabbits

Humane treatment of rabbits is a matter of course, regardless of whether you intend to raise them as pets or as a source of meat for your family.

The following are the three most important components of habitat:

  • Protection and safety
  • Room to move around and stretch
  • Food and water in abundance

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1. The protection of personal and property

From a natural predator, the rabbits are safe.

Keeping the rabbits safe from predators and harsh weather is the most important consideration for any habitat. Using deer fencing and a board or tarp on top to keep out rain and snow is an excellent solution. If you don’t use this heavy wire to cover the bottom, they’ll find a way out!

Getting a rabbit out of the house is quite dangerous. Among the many natural predators of rabbits are dogs and cats, which may be found just about anywhere these days. How many natural predators do rabbits have is mind-boggling

Rabbits are prey to foxes, who are their natural predators.

  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Dingos are canine predators (in Australia)
  • Bears
  • Hawks
  • Falcons
  • Kestrels
  • Crows
  • Owls
  • Eagles
  • Wolverines
  • Raccoons
  • Badgers
  • Minks
  • Stoats
  • Ferrets
  • Bobcats
  • Ocelots
  • Lynxes
  • Cats that live in homes
  • Snakes
  • Iguanas
  • The Komodo Dragons.
  • Humans

Rabbitcaretips.com and rangerplanet.com were used to compile this list.

2. Rabbit playing leapfrog in a stretchy area

There are some rabbit owners that keep their pets in small cages, but my husband and I do not. Rabbits kept in small cages can be kept as pets or for meat by anyone who wants to do so. That’s just sad to us.

There should be at least some natural meals available to animals, whether they are going to die of natural causes or are preyed upon by predators.

Let’s begin by addressing the issue of space. One female breeder and one male breeder were all we purchased. However, in the orchard adjacent to our house not long after, we observed a huge white rabbit.

It was thanks to our nephew that we were able to get it. We returned it to the neighbor, who confirmed that it was his because we had a sneaking suspicion it belonged to him.

It had apparently gone lost for quite some time. We were happy when he said we could keep it. When it comes to backyard breeders, one male and two females are optimum. We had arrived at our goal.But suddenly, we were short on space!

At the hardware store, we purchased six 8-foot-long lengths of wood and 50 feet long wire deer fencing. Using U-shaped nails, we fastened the deer fence to a rectangular cube of wood. Another wooden beam was inserted in the middle of the front panel, and a wood-framed door was created on four hinges with a latch to close it.

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The entire project was completed during the course of four workdays or lunchtimes. On family night, we all pitched in and got it going. Our five sons each had a turn screwing in a corner as my husband, and I kept going.a shady place for rabbits to live

It was strong enough to be moved once we were done with the construction project. Even though it was eight feet long and four feet high and wide, it was light enough for my husband and me to lift it by ourselves, despite its size.

In quest of hollowed logs, the boys combed through our woodpile. After that, it was time for the real test. We put the bunnies in their new habitat one by one.

The weather was lovely in early September. We placed them under the shade of an ash tree and next to the orchard of our next-door neighbor, just next to the fence. I like to assume the bunnies find solace in the soothing sound of the neighbor’s water pipe trickling.

Because they are accustomed to living in cages, the two rabbits we purchased from a breeder took some time to start stretching and hopping around.

However, our neighbor’s newest addition, which had been AWOL for some time and was currently roaming free, adapted quickly to its new surroundings. The rabbit’s innate playfulness and charm were so enjoyable to see.

In time, we hope that the animals that have spent their entire lives in cramped cages would appreciate their new surroundings as much as we do.

If you’re going to be confined, make it a huge one. Several changes will be made to the habitat that we currently use.

In order to keep out the rain and snow, we’ll need to cover it throughout the winter. Even while our woodpile of hollow logs will help keep them warm and provide places to hide from the cold, we will also add wooden sides to keep out chilly draughts.

Not everything, though, will require a revision. During the time when the females are preparing to give birth, they will need their own place, away from the male. When a female rabbit is distressed, she will eat the young. To ensure the safety of our mama rabbits, we’ll be erecting a few barriers and nesting boxes filled with hay.

There is no need for a heat lamp here, as the temperature rarely drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, so dry hay should suffice.

Because rabbits can’t handle high temperatures, they’re a greater danger in the summer. My previous rabbit ownership experience in Arizona had prepared me for this eventuality, fortunately. If you have freezer space, you can easily fix this problem. Put water in a milk jug and put the cover on it, and freeze it. Rotate the thawed water bottles to keep your bunnies cool as they defrost.

We’ve also placed our habitat on a high spot in the yard to ensure that any rainwater runs off and does not flood the habitat. Is everything covered? It’s probably not going to happen. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section.

3. Food and water must be readily available.

Food and water are the final items on my to-do list. If you want your rabbits to eat, make sure they have access to fresh water at all times. A black crock containing a rabbit

In the summer, they may need extra water, but in the winter, if the water freezes where you live, dehydration is a possibility. Using black rubber crocks instead of pet rabbit water bottles is a preferable option for the habitat area. As long as the water doesn’t freeze solid, you can just throw all of the ice out and start over. When rubber crocks are out of stock at your local feed shop, consider this silicone pet bowl from Amazon.

The only way rabbits can survive is if you feed them only pellets. Animals should be fed their species’ native food at least once in a while, according to my own opinion. I’m a firm believer in this and use it with all of my animals, including our cats, dogs, sheep, and chickens.

Obviously, rabbits enjoy munching on garden greens. That lesson came from Peter Rabbit. Hay and grain are also a big hit with them.

If your rabbits have always been fed pellets, gradually transition them to natural meals or alternate between the two. Their sensitive stomachs will be irritated if they change their food too rapidly.

If you have an adult rabbit, steer clear of alfalfa hay, as it might cause gas and diarrhea. They will literally burst into flames, as their tummies will become so bloated that they will burst. Adult rabbits should avoid alfalfa because of the excessive calcium concentration, according to The Rabbit Haven. This is despite the fact that the company sells an alternative product containing a higher calcium content specifically for young rabbits.

Adult rabbits should eat timothy hay and meadow hay. You may also buy timothy hay cubes, which are entertaining for rabbits because they’re hard enough to serve as a chew toy. As a special treat, they should only be given.

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One of our rabbits was observed chewing on the bark of an old hollow log in her habitat, which serves as further confirmation that rabbits enjoy chewing on tough materials. Those formidable teeth seem to seek a little resistance now and then, I suppose. Rabbits are frolicking in our neighbor’s orchard’s trickling pond.

Carrots and other roots, like most garden greens, are safe to eat. Apples, with their high sugar content, should not be fed to rabbits. Apple slices are tolerable in moderation but not as a regular meal or snack.

Some weeds, including mallow, a common herb in the United States, are considered rabbit superfoods. Mallow can also be consumed in moderation by those who wish to do so. Garden Betty and Pliny, the ancient historians, claim that mallow is an aphrodisiac.

A good reason for its popularity among bunnies. Check out this post from Rising and Shine Rabbitry for more ideas on what rabbits eat in the wild, whether it’s summer or winter.

Your habitat is ready to be built now that you’ve considered security, space, and food. Rabbit keeping is a popular hobby among a wide range of people. You’re not alone in this.

If you’re in the mood for some good news about meat rabbits, NPR has a few gems for you: To help feed the starving people of North Korea, this German man bred enormous rabbits.

Giant rabbits are roughly 22 pounds.

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