We recommend the same size hutch regardless of what breed or size your rabbit is. However, we do recognise that sometime a smaller hutch may be acceptable – usually only on a temporary basis.
When introducing a new rabbit to an existing rabbit or group, it will be necessary to have a tempoary environment for your new rabbit. As this is a temporary measure only, and understanding that the rabbit will still get daily access to an exercise area, it is generally acceptable to use a smaller hutch for them.
Sometimes a slightly smaller hutch is ok. If your rabbits are a particularly small breed e.g. Netherland Dwarf or Polish you might be ok with a 4 or 5ft hutch. Remember the 3 hops rule though! Just because they are small doesn’t mean they need less freedom of movement. Also be aware that they may in fact be more actiove than larger breeds so access to a large exercise run is also important.
Already have rabbits in a small hutch? There may be ways to make to most of the resources you have available without breaking the bank. A smaller hutch may be acceptable where a run is permanently attached allowing your rabbits to come and go as they please. Make sure that the run area is sheltered and has a cover if possible so that the rabbits don’t feel confined to the small hutch just because it’s windy/raining.
Moving the hutch into a shed or garage where the hutch doors can be left open can provide a cosy home where the rabbits are able to run around a bit more between run time.
We have also often seen the common 4ft hutches available from Pets At Home being joined together to create a cheap 8ft wide hutch!
Create a Warren with plastic tubes and piping leading out and around the hutch for your rabbits to run around and explore. You could attach these to other small houses or nest boxes to provide alternative sleeping quarters. Caution: make sure any adaptations to your hutch are secure, watertight and fox-proof!