For hobby farmers venturing into the world of rabbit raising, providing a comfortable and clean living environment for your rabbits is essential.
One crucial aspect of rabbit habitat is the flooring of their cage or hutch. The right choice not only ensures their well-being but also simplifies your cleaning routine.
Which is why in this post, we will explore the various options available, and touch on what we use at the bottom of our rabbit hutches, to help you make an informed decision on what to put on the bottom of your rabbits’ hutches.
Do Rabbits Need Bedding Material
First off, is bedding material even necessary for bunnies?
Yes, rabbits do need bedding material in their cages. Bedding serves several purposes, including:
- Providing insulation
- Absorbing moisture
- Offering a soft surface
It also helps in controlling odors and maintaining a hygienic environment; bedding material is pretty crucial for your rabbits’ overall comfort and health.
Bedding For Indoor Hutches vs. Outdoor Hutches
Whether you have indoor hutches or outdoor cages, the choice of flooring material remains vital.
Outdoor hutches need to withstand weather conditions and provide proper drainage to prevent water accumulation.
Indoor hutches require different considerations, focusing more on comfort and cleanliness for your rabbits.
Remember that your rabbits tend to relieve themselves in one location of their hutch, so it is essential to focus on keeping that area clean and free of feces buildup. We never use a wood hutch floor for this reason; a small wire mesh seems to work the best for overall cleanliness.
Regardless of the location, a suitable flooring material is necessary to ensure your rabbits’ well-being, as walking on bare wire mesh can hurt their feet because bunnies do not have paw pads!
What To Put On The Floor Of Indoor Hutches
For indoor hutches, options like straw, hay, or wood shavings work well.
These materials are comfortable for rabbits, provide insulation, absorb moisture effectively, and are pretty easy to clean.
We suggest avoiding cedar or pine shavings, as the aromatic oils can be harmful to rabbits. In addition, you must regularly check and change the bedding, no matter what it is, to maintain cleanliness and prevent odors.
What Is The Best Bedding For Rabbit Cages
The best bedding for rabbit cages is soft, absorbent, and safe.
We like to use paper-based bedding made from recycled newspapers. It’s dust-free, absorbent, and eco-friendly. For example, we shred up our local newspaper and use it, mixed with wood shavings, to line our rabbits’ outdoor hutches in winter time.
Alternatively, as mentioned earlier, straw, hay, or aspen wood shavings are good options. We’ve used straw when we ran out of wood shavings and it worked well, although it isn’t our preferred material as we feed our rabbits unlimited amounts of hay (placed in their hutches) and it can be easy to get the two mixed up!
Keeping Your Rabbit Hutches Clean
One of the best preventative measures against pests and harmful bacteria growth in your rabbit hutches is regular cleaning.
Removing soiled bedding and replacing it with fresh material should happen weekly!
We also deep clean our hutches once every two weeks with vinegar water to prevent the buildup of bacteria and fungi.
Frequently Asked Questions Related To What To Put In The Bottom Of Your Rabbits Hutch
Where Do You Put Hay In A Rabbit Hutch?
Hay should NOT be used as a bedding material as it is a primary and important part of your rabbit’s diet. Lining their hutch with food can be confusing and lead to accidental ingestion of soiled bedding!
Instead, use straw for bedding and offer your rabbits unlimited amounts of high quality hay throughout the day, placed in a clean bowl or feeder.
Can I Use Newspapers As Bedding For My Rabbit’s Cage?
While newspapers can be used, they are not as absorbent as specialized bedding materials.
If you choose to use newspapers, layer them thickly and change them frequently, or shred them and mix them with other bedding material as we do, to maintain cleanliness and absorbency.
How Often Should I Change The Bedding In My Rabbit’s Cage?
The frequency of changing bedding depends on the type of material used and your rabbit’s habits. We’ve found wood shavings to last a bit longer than newspaper or straw. In general, check the bedding daily and change it entirely every few days or when it becomes soiled.
Final Thoughts On What To Put On The Bottom Of Rabbit Cages
Creating a comfortable and hygienic living space for your rabbits is a fundamental responsibility of any hobby farmer.
By choosing appropriate bedding materials and keeping their hutches clean, you ensure the well-being and happiness of your furry friends.
And don’t hesitate to experiment with different bedding materials either! Rabbits are particular animals and may prefer one type over another.
A clean and cozy environment will not only promote long term health of your rabbits but also strengthen the bond between you and them making your hobby farming experience even more rewarding!
A Great Hobby Farming Tip: soiled newspapers, old bedding, and rabbit feces in general make great compost for your home gardens. Check out the video below for some great info on gardening with rabbit manure!