The cageThe cages are for the most of our rabbits 60 cm X 60 cm X 120 cm (2 feet x 2 feet X 4 feet). One rabbit has for the time a smaller cage. We think, that the cage should be that big to let the rabbits be able to move around. Our rabbits also get their exercise in the fence, but though they have to be able to move in the cage. The cage is put up at trestle about 60 cm. (23.6 inch.) high to avoid draught. If you take care of that your rabbit gets its exercise every day, the cage can be smaller; especially if you have your rabbit indoor and you have it out of the cage very often.
Our rabbits are standing outside. That is, in the beginning they stood free in the garden in a sheltered place. The cages were in the best way protected against weather and wind with strong tarpau-lin of the kind used for truck trailers. Now my husband has built a little stable for the rabbits, so that they can stand under cover.
Before a new rabbit is coming in its cage, we put shavings in the corners. Over this we put straw. Of course the rabbit gets a cup for water and a cup for food pellets. A hayrack has to be there too, so that the rabbit doesnīt make a mess with the hay, before it is going to eat it. Then the rabbit is put into the cage, and it gets peace the firsts days, so that it can get used to the new surroundings. At least once a week shavings and straw have to be changed. If it is very warm, you have to change twice a week. The most rabbits quickly begin to pee and mostly to pooh in one corner. If you have the luck, that your rabbit does, and you are sure, in which corner your rabbit wants its toi-let, you can put a toilet box there.
All our rabbits have a toilet box. All are peeing in it, and the most make their pooh in it too, but some pooh go outside. The toilet box is a plastic box (without handles). It is 30 cm (11.8 inch.) X 38 cm (15 inch.) X 19 cm (7.5 inch.). You can get them in many colors and it is not expensive. Jakob, my husband, saws with a com-pass saw some of one of the long sides away about 5 cm (2 inch.) from the corners and 5 cm (2 inch.) from the bot-tom. (see photo.) We put shavings and straw in the box and put it in the corner. If you have luck, the rabbit will do its duty in the box, and itīs easy to clean. If your rabbit canīt find out, you can take some of its pooh and some shavings it has peed on up into the box. It can help it top find out. When we are going to take the wet shavings and straw out of the toilet box, we scrape with a little hoe with a short handle. We also use this together with a little 20 cm (7.9 inch.) broad, flat shovel when we clean the rest of the cage.
Sometimes we just clean the toilet box and sometimes the whole cage after how much mess they have made.
If you have your rabbit indoor, you must expect to change every 2nd or every 3nd day; else it will begin to smell bad from the cage.
Now and then we have our rabbits indoor. We always take along a transport box with straw, and the rabbits hop up into it when they will do its duty. We have heard of others, who have a catīs pan, and the rabbit does its duty there. You have to find out, what is best for your rabbit. If it is very cold outside (frost), we do not bring our rabbits inside, because the change of temperature will be too big.
Remember, each rabbit has to have its own cage. In the beginning we meant, that our two female rabbits could go together, but quickly we got cleverer, because the one female the whole time dominated the other, and it never got tame till it had its own cage. You can only have two males together till they are sexually matured, and then they will fight. A male and a female together for just some seconds, and 31 days later there are small rabbits in the nest.
In the winter we put a guinea pigīs cage with an opening in the long side into the rabbits cage and we put a lot of straw upon it. The rabbits love to lie in the small cage when it is cold, and if it is not so cold, they lie upon the small cages.
CONTAINERSSome rabbits prefer a drinking bottle, and some do not like them and prefer a container. Take care, that the container are so big, that it can get its head into it. Both things you have to keep clean. At the drinking bottle you have to take care of cleaning the tip. Keep an eye that the rabbit is drinking.
The container for food pellets has to have the same size. Do not place the containers just next to each other, or the water will be dirty and the pellet will get wet.
If you choose, that your rabbit is going to have a drinking bottle, you have to take cake that it can find out how to drink. You can help it by putting a container with a little water under the tip of the bottle. Then it might get a drop of water on its head or face every time it drinks of the container and in this way learn, that there can come water out of the bottle.
TOYSYour rabbit will look the whole cage through and bite in all, what it finds, so take care of what you give it. A piece of hard, undressed wood will satisfy its need for gnawing. You may give it apple branches, pear branches, hazel branches, beech beeches and what you else have of branches, which are not poisonous. Remember, that the branches must not be sprayed. . You can buy plastic toy for your rabbit. If you buy such things, you have to look after the whole time, that the rabbit doesnīt bite small pieces of it.
INSTALLING THE RABBIT
SHAVINGS AND STRAWIt is a matter of opinion which kind of shavings, that is best. You have to feel your way, what you think absorbs best. Just remember, that it must not come of dressed wood. The straw, that you use to put over the shavings, has to be dry.
If it starts smelling from your rabbit, you have to change the shavings and straw and clean the cage. Donīt use a fresh air spray in the rabbitīs cage, it smells too strong for it.
There are people, who prefer to have catīs gravel in the toilet box instead of shavings. Then it has to be gravel without perfume.