Predator proofing your rabbit hutch is vital, especially if you keep them outdoors.
So, how to predator proof your rabbit hutch? Predator proofing a rabbit’s hutch can be divided into many different phases. However, your focus should be on making their cage’s wiring durable, locking the doors to the hutch, and ensuring that the floor is hard and impenetrable.
This article will walk you through every step of predator proofing your pet bunny’s hutch in quick an easy way.
Before we move on to the steps, you might want to check out our ultimate list of the best outdoor hutches and the exercise pens for rabbits. Browsing through this list, you’ll surely be able to find the best hutch for your rabbits.
If you plan to keep your rabbit outdoors and not just indoors, then there are some precautionary steps that you need to incorporate onto your hutch.
While it is important to predator proof your Rabbit’s hutch, it should be escape-proof, too.
Here is how you can predator proof your pet’s Hutch:
1) Hutch Material
Rabbit Hutches come in three primary materials:
While metallic one sees to be the strongest, it is not very ideal for summers.
Metal frame may protect from predators but might burn your bunny after heating up in the sun.
Thus, it is best to choose a Hutch made of a material that is predator proof and withstands varying weathers.
Your best bet?
We have it all mapped out as to where we want to place our pets!
But experience surely plays a huge role in knowing where a rabbit hutch might be vulnerable to attack and where it won’t. If you’re a newbie rabbit owner, pay close attention and also check out our rabbit checklist to gather all the products that you need for your bunny.
Be sure you put them at an ideal height, not too far off the ground nor on the ground!
It is best to place your rabbits 1 foot off the ground.
Keeping them at a height would invite the raccoons or critters who might push the Hutch over out of curiosity.
3) Change the Wiring
If you plan on keeping your pet rabbits outdoors, then make sure you have strong wiring on the hutches.
Chicken wire would prevent them from escaping but wouldn’t keep the predators away.
Wiring can be a complicated task to do and is highly dependent on the hutch’s material also.
Make sure you use thick wire that can stop big and strong animals like dogs from breaking it.
Additionally, ensure that the wire is fixed thoroughly.
Depending on your Hutch, you will have to ensure proper placement of the wire. Make sure not to miss out any weak spots and fix it perfectly to the Hutch’s surface.
An ideal form of wiring, in this case, is weld mesh and top quality rabbit hutches usually use them.
4) Locks and Bolts
A key aspect of predator proofing is that of placement of the correct locks.
Here is what you need to know:
If your hutch has a latch on it, make sure it is secure!
Latches are the most unsafe form of a lock; the mechanism around it is straightforward.
A toddler can open a latch; the same could be done by a hungry fox or a badger for that matter.
Therefore, if you have a latched Hutch, make sure it is firmly attached and is hard to open.
Additionally, try placing a bolt to the latch too.
Well, let’s say it will add some complexity to your Hutch’s lock system.
5) Check the Surface
Foxes and dogs are excellent diggers, when placing your Hutch, make sure your surface is a strong one.
You might be surprised to know.
Foxes can be extraordinarily sneaky and would dig a tunnel underneath your rabbit’s hutch and eat away your pet.
That being said, rabbits too can dig their way out of the Hutch into the open, prone to predator attack.
This makes grass surfaces a big no!
Make sure that the surface cannot be penetrated to prevent any form of burrowing.
Wood, concrete, and marble work fine as a Hutch’s surface.
6) The base of the Hutch
When making a hutch, make sure you have wiring on the surface too.
Why place net beneath the surface?
This helps sieve the waste onto the tray, which can then be disposed off later.
If you use a wire with big holes, then your Rabbit’s feet might get stuck making them prone to being attacked from beneath the ground.
7) Add some support
Often at times, when predators try to attack, they try and find the weak spots on the prey’s enclosures.
If your Rabbit’s Hutch has a strong support, preferably wood, then it would be hard to scratch the way in.
Only wired caged wouldn’t be a wise idea.
With a wooden frame, the wiring could be nailed in easily. A wooden frame on a wooden stand would work best for your furry friends.
8) A strong Roof
When a wolf fails to get in from beneath the Hutch, its next move would be to climb over it to see if they can get their hands on the rabbits.
Make sure you have a strong roof that is made of a material which is hard to break or rupture.
Ideal materials for roof include weld mesh or wooden slab that is nailed seamlessly to the main structure.
9) Sturdy Structure
Often at times, when placed at a height, the predator may throw the hutch on the ground to see if they can break it.
To prevent this, the best thing to do is to give your Hutch a sturdy structure. This will help prevent all forms of damage to the Hutch.
Metal is the sturdiest of all, pair it up with some wooden borders and make your structure is ready to be placed outside.
10) Electric Fencing
A very recent form of predator proofing, electric fencing can be your best bet.
Why is this effective?
Well once the predator feels the electric shock, the chances of them returning would be extremely low.
If electrical fencing seems complex then make sure to add some spikes onto the tips of your fence to prevent foxes or any other predators from getting inside.
Additionally, make sure your fencing is secure and doesn’t have big gaps or weak spots.
11) Odor Repellents
How do predators find their prey?
Simple, they smell them!
How do you prevent this?
With odor repellents, you can quickly eliminate your Rabbit’s odor, thus preventing the predator from attacking in the first place.
Make this a part of your cleaning regime that you spray odor repellent on and around your bunny’s hutch.
12) Prevent Rabbits from Chewing the Hutch
Rabbits tend to chewing things, especially wood.
This can be because they are hungry or out of boredom.
Make sure you have a metallic rod or frame placed inside the wooden frame to prevent any structural damage to the Hutch.
Additionally, try creating a routine for your rabbits that has the right nutrition and a balance of work and play.
This helps eliminate both the boredom and hunger element that is the primary reason of them chewing off the hutch.
13) Keep an Eye
Supervision is your best bet, but for pet parents who have long working hours, this option is not very feasible.
Predator proofing your rabbit’s hutch is not rocket science. It is a simple concept that includes some fundamental steps. Despite the ease of proofing’s simplicity, this step is extremely vital. Make sure you follow all or some of the steps given in the article.
Additionally, if you plan on keeping a rabbit, make sure you are well researched of their needs and nature. Your first job as a pet parent is bonding with your rabbit and getting to know its personality. Once you are aware of your bunny’s habits and nature, you can adapt the environment accordingly.
Just make sure to add comfort, privacy, and security for your Rabbit’s hutch.
How do you keep rabbits safe from predators? Keeping your rabbit safe from predators is your first job as a pet parent. You can do this by either keeping your rabbit indoors or predator proofing your rabbit’s hutch.
Do rabbits recognize their owners? Just like cat and dog, rabbits too recognize their owners and often at times come to them on their command. However, it is important that the pet parent bonds with them.
Do rabbits like to cuddle? Rabbits like to cuddle and held if done right. Just make sure not to carry them to heights as they feel insecure. Also, do not disturb them when they are sleeping as this may startle them.
Should I cover my rabbit cage at night? There is no need to cover your rabbit’s cage at night. Just make sure you have your Hutch is predator proofed.
What is the best bedding for rabbits? Some of the bedding items for rabbits include newspaper, wood pellets, paper pellets, and shredded cardboard.
How much space does a rabbit need in its cage? As per the House Rabbit Society: “at least 8 square feet of enclosure space combined with at least at least 24 square feet of exercise space, for 1-2 rabbits, in which the rabbit(s) can run and play at least 5 hours per day.”