Dunster House Ltd.
Incorporated. 1994
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Materials for Rabbit Housing




The materials used to make rabbit housing are extremely important to ensure that the accommodation is safe and fit for purpose. Before purchasing your rabbit’s home, it’s a good idea to check what materials are used by the manufacturer, to make sure they are an adequate quality. Cheaper may not always be better.


One thing to remember is that not all wood is equal; there are different types of timber. Slow grown spruce will generally last longer, as it has a close grained dense texture, making it harder to chew through and destroy than softer fast grown timbers which are not as durable. [77] This means less chance of bunnies escaping or foxes breaking in.


Timber Being Pressure Treated

Rabbits tend to gnaw and chew on everything, so any materials used should be free from harmful substances and toxins, and not present a risk of blocking their gut if swallowed. Some timbers, including Beech, Cedar, Mahogany, Oak and Elm are not suitable for making rabbit housing as they pose a serious health hazard if bunnies ingest them. [75]


Timber will need some form of treatment for protection though, as untreated timber will quickly deteriorate and be structurally weak from weathering or predator attack. Finding a ‘rabbit safe’ preservative to paint on is a tough task. Pressure treated timber is best, as treatment is penetrated deep into the wood, giving it protection against rot and insect infestation for at least 10 years.


MeshThe whole structure of the rabbit housing needs to be strong enough to withstand fox (or other predator) attacks. Foxes climb, jump, gnaw and pull, so it’s not just the timber to consider, but the strength of the mesh, locks and fixings. The mesh also needs to have the correct size apertures to prevent entrapment, escape and any attacks.


Some form of roof is also essential to offer protection from birds of prey and predators that can climb up the walls and jump over into the enclosure. A fox can easily jump over a wall that's 6' high. [23] This roof can be mesh, or a solid material to provide shelter. Glass or clear plastic shouldn’t really be used for this purpose as it would generate a greenhouse effect, potentially causing rabbits to overheat.


Polyurethane InsulationIf you’re intending for your bunnies to live in their outdoor accommodation at all times, adequate insulation will be needed to ensure your bunny is comfortable and at the right temperature, so they don’t get too hot or too cold. The ideal recommended temperature is between 10 – 20 degrees Celsius. [41] One of the best and most efficient insulators is Polyurethane, which has high thermal resistance and low thermal conductivity [76], meaning it will keep generated heat inside whilst reflecting out the sun. (Remember, insulation is not heating, but it will reduce heat loss, so you will need to supply the area with straw to snuggle into and may even need to add a heat source, such as a chew proof heat pad).


Insulation may also help with soundproofing.