We have had a lot of enquiries recently about our minimum space recommendations for rabbits, so we thought it would be helpful to clear up any confusion.
Our minimum recommendations
Our recommended living area for 2 average sized rabbits (and they should be kept at least in pairs) is a footprint of 3m x 2m. By ‘footprint’ we mean the accessible area of the ground, or floor if they’re indoor bunnies. The upper floor of a two-storey hutch does NOT count towards the footprint. Similarly, whilst raised platforms are great for enrichment, they do not count towards the footprint.
The sheltered area
The space should include a sheltered area of 2m x 1m (or 6ft x 2ft), and this is where some confusion can arise:
Our minimum size recommendation for a hutch is 6ft x 2ft. This should be part of a wider space as described above.
RABBITS SHOULD NEVER BE LOCKED IN HUTCHES.
Get the height right
We also recommend a minimum height of 1m. This is to allow rabbits to display their happy behaviours of jumping and binkying!
Access all areas all of the time
This MINIMUM space, a footprint of 3m x 2m and a height of 1m must be available at all times, not just for limited periods.
Indoors or Outdoors
These recommendations apply both to indoor and outdoor accommodation.
Research based evidence
Our recommendations are based on research by the RSPCA and Bristol University.
How much room does one rabbit need?
Rabbits suffer if kept alone and should always be kept in at least friendly pairs. But even if a rabbit was to live alone it would still need the same minimum amount of space as two. So the argument of “I don’t have room for two, so I’ll just have one”, simply does not hold water.
If your rabbits free range then great, they would have space in addition to our minimum recommendations. Remember that free ranging should be supervised.
We do not at present recommend or endorse any hutches or boarding establishments so if you see this claim, please let us know.
Take a look at the Housing section of our website for some ideas and, you can convert a garden shed or use a combination of different enclosures.
We are fans of the Runaround system because it offers so much enrichment for rabbits and because it can be set up in such a variety of ways, it can maximise the available space. The Runaround setup can meet the total footprint in many different combinations, not all of them immediately obvious.
Remember – these are MINIMUM recommendations
It goes without saying that bigger is better in terms of space for rabbits, but we’re saying it anyway!