All you want to know about raising rabbits for meat

What you need to know about rabbit cages

Rabbit cages should be constructed of one-inch, 12-gauge galvanized-after-welding mesh or “hardware cloth.” Poultry mesh isn’t going to cut it.

To keep your rabbits as safe as possible, you should suspend cages from the ceiling or rafters with 14-gauge wire or mount them on the wall.  If you can’t, use metal legs to support the cages. Wooden posts and benches will give rats, snakes and other small predators access to your rabbits. They’ll also rot out quickly and need lots of scrubbing to keep odors at bay.

Adult rabbits need individual cages. Having more than one in a cage will result in fights and two does in one cage can induce labor in each other. Kits can be left in with the mother until 8 weeks old if adequate space is provided. They’ll also prefer the extra warmth that a full cage offers in colder weather. Fryers can also be packed into cages during colder temps. But if it’s warm, make sure at least 25% of the floor space is cleared for them to stretch out.

Bucks can be housed in slightly smaller cages but will benefit from some extra exercise in a decent sized cage. You will also want an isolation cage for any sick animals or to quarantine rabbits which are being introduced to the herd or have been away from the others for a period of time (such as at a show.) These extra cages will also be useful when you are cleaning the rabbit cages so you have a safe place to temporarily house the rabbits.

A good rule to follow for rabbit cage sizing is one square foot for each pound of rabbit. Examples: Small breeds —2 1/2 x 2 1/2 ft. = 6 1/4 sq. ft.  Medium breeds—2 1/2 x 3 ft. = 71/2 sq. ft.  Large breeds—2 1/2 x 4 ft. = 10 sq. ft. with at least 18 inches of head room. Don’t crowd your doe into a small cage that will be overflowing when 8-10 bunnies join her.  Also ensure that you can get your hands on the rabbit wherever it may try to hide in the cage. If it is too deep, the rabbit will run to the far corner out of your reach! Making the cage longer, not wider, will allow you easier access.

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4 Responses to “What you need to know about rabbit cages”

  1. Carl Hames says:

    Fantastic article, thanks very much!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it and hope it was helpful. It IS one of the most important components of the rabbitry.

  3. Lauren Doerr says:

    I really do not like to use hardware cloth on my rabbi cages. It tends to tear up their feet. I raise Mini Rex and Californians. My rabbits with litters live in cages that are 24 x 36 and that generally gives them enough room although I have raised Mini Rex litters in 18 x 24 cages. My adult Californians live in cages that are either 18 x 30 or 24 x 24.

  4. Tiffany says:

    What sort of wire do you use, Lauren? Or are you using something like sheet metal instead for the bottoms of their cages?

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