No matter how many rabbits it is intended to keep, a few fundamental laws apply to all rabbits.  Firstly, a rabbitry (rabbit hutch and production system) must be kept clean and well managed. Secondly, the animals must be kept happy’, comfortable and well protected. Thirdly, the hutches must be arranged in such a manner that they can be controlled at a glance. They must be light and easily cleaned so that the animals can be fed and watered with minimum labour and time. Strict tidiness is essential at all times. From the outset good planning and room for expansion and development must be considered.

Cleanliness and management are the key to success or failure. A minimum floor area for a doe and her litter is 0,85m². Wooden hutches are warmer, but metal hutches or wire cages are durable and more hygienic. Wire floors allow faeces and urine to escape immediately – thereby reducing the possibility of disease and infection. Hutches must be rat and dog proof. Hutches can be built from a variety of materials, such as brickwork, timber, galvanised iron, or from a combination of two or more of these materials. It is important for good management to have the bottom of the hutch at least 1 metre above the ground; this enables air to circulate and the floor beneath the hutches to be cleaned, whilst avoiding having to crawl around on the floor.

Figure 1: Shows a Hutch

Whichever type of cage is decided upon, it must fulfill the following requirements:

  •     It must be of the correct size to suit the breed of rabbit;
  •     It must protect the animal from weather and direct sunshine;
  •     It must be of stout construction to avoid maintenance and stand up to attacks from predators;
  •     It must be made as economically as possible, and be sited so that the attendant can handle the rabbits, and feeding and cleaning can be carried out easily; and
  •     Lastly, it should be in a position where thieves cannot gain access.

All solid floors must be covered with suitable bedding material. Sawdust, peat moss, straw, leaves, wood shavings and dry grass can be used for this purpose. The depth of bedding and the frequency of changing will depend on weather conditions, type of bedding, type of stock, ventilation etc. Bedding should be changed as it becomes damp.

Food, pellet and water tins must be fastened to the hutch to avoid spilling and should be removable for cleaning. For the breeding hutch, the pellet tin should be 5cm wide, 60cm long and 5cm high to make room for the whole family to eat together, but too narrow for the littleones to get into the feeder and foul the food. In addition, there should be a green food rack.

Figure 2: A Scraper used as a Cleaning Tool


This is a. building or shed with indoor hutches, and is especially preferable for large units. Any building which is well-ventilated, dry and free from direct draughts is suitable.

The best temperature for a rabbitry is 16°C but may vary 5°C either way.

Figure 3: Shows a different type of Hutch with a Floor Plan of a Rabbitry.