Small Animal and Bird Housing
 
This information is not exhaustive but opens your eyes to species specific needs and requirements. Remember, as you are bustling about your daily duties, your small animals and birds are confined here 24 hours a day. At the end of the day, you go home to other activities.
 
Imagine what it’s like for them…
 

What size housing is best?

Rabbits:
 
 
Bigger is better! A rabbit’s enclosure should be at least 4-6 times the size of the bunny when he’s entirely stretched out–more if he is confined for a large amount of the day. Enclosure sizes also should be decided in conjunction with the amount of exercise time and space the rabbit has access to. A larger area should be provided to allow rabbits to run and play for at least 5 hours of the day. The rabbit’s cage should be seen as its primary habitat and opportunity for enrichment rather than its primary confinement.
 
Rabbits feet were not designed for wire floors, so a plastic floor, padded with substrate or lined with a sheet or blanket, is best, and easier to clean. Rabbits also enjoy having access to an area of ceramic tiles to cool themselves in warmer weather.
 
Two types of water options (dish/bottle) as you won’t know at first which one each individual rabbit is accustomed to. Hay should be the primary food source and pellets only offered as treats. Fresh dark leafy greens, dandelions and clover are all good options but make sure none have been treated with pesticides or herbicides. Litter box… much easier for cleaning, readily used by rabbits (easy to train) and added bonus for adopter. By lining the cage bottom with a sheet and providing a large litter box, the rabbit will usually choose the substrate in the litter box to urinate and defecate in. Rabbits prefer a litter made from recycled paper like Yesterday’s News™.
 
Hiding place – this is essential for a prey animal. It can be accomplished as easily as providing a sturdy cardboard box with an entry cut in one side. The box mimics the rabbits’ burrow and can also provide a perch and jumping opportunity. Since bunnies like to chew, the box can be replaced if the rabbit destroys it. There are commercial options like a bunny igloo that can be used as well.You can build or buy your rabbit a two-story “condo” with the floors connected by a ramp–rabbits enjoy the opportunity to be “vertical” creatures.