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The Fence Post

A Cage for Your Rabbit

March 27, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Cage Ideas to Keep Your Bunny Healthy3 bunnies in welded wire cage

Creating a Space with Wire Mesh

Your bunny's health depends on sturdy galvanized wire mesh. The right gauge and openings are critical for airflow, hygiene, and the safety of bunny's paws and more. To begin, the cage should be at least 4 times the size of your bunny. Two feet by three feet for a bunny that weighs up to eight pounds; for larger bunnies, cages should be two and a half feet by three feet at least.  The height of the cage should be ample enough so that your pet can stand up on its hind legs and stretch out. 

Recommended for sides and top of cage: 14 gauge, 2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

An Unappealing Truth

A big drawback for your pet's health is the flooring materials. Waste and urine contamination of flooring materials, particularly a pen using straw, is a poisonous combination for your bunny. Prolonged interaction with pellets and urine can bring difficulties such as parasites and the resulting ammonia and contact with puddling urine is toxic. 

Flooring: A Good Option

It seems that a mix of flooring is the best option, though studies show that bunnies seem to prefer clean and dry wire, spending most of their time on the wire mesh part of the cage. Therefore, a section of the cage's floor should be plexiglas (or another surface that can't be chewed) and the other half wire mesh so waste pellets can drop through. Do not be misled to think that these docile creatures are easy to keep and can simply stay in their cages. Your rabbit needs out-of-cage time or its muscles will atrophy. The best times to target outside or house play is when bunny is most naturally active--in the early morning and at dusk.  

Bunnies that stay in their cages too long suffer from:
  • their feet becoming inflamed
  • thinning of bones which means they are broken more easily
  • a weakened heart, and as a result, poor muscle tone
  • difficulties with urination and difficulty defecating
  • troubling behaviors--chewing the cage, lethargy, chewing its own fur, becoming aggressive

Recommended for flooring: 14 gauge (or 16 gauge for smaller breeds), 1/2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

A Very Practical Concern

It is very important to consider the wider needs of your pet rabbit. In a natural habitat, much of a bunny's day is spent in retreat in a burrow underground. Hence, for a domesticated rabbit, security is a priority and quite rightly, this is something that is up to you to provide consistently. During out-of-cage time, if you let your bunny roam in an enclosed space outside, make sure that there is protection from predators as just the approach of a strange animal can overwhelm a bunny that has no means of escape, with the ensuing panic possibly causing a heart attack. 

Rabbits on grass with wire cage surround 

 

Topics: welded wire mesh, galvanized after, rabbit wire

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