If you have a garden shed and would like to keep a rabbit or two as family pets, converting it into a great environment for them to live in is not as complicated as it first sounds. Rabbit hutches tend to be a little on the small side and should only be used as a shelter rather than sole area for a rabbit to live in. However, a garden shed or even a Wendy House, can be turned into a superb living area for pet rabbits and the space they offer ensures your pets never get bored.
There are many advantages to converting a larger shed into a rabbit house, one of which is your pets environment is that much easier to clean out and therefore keep clean. The other being that when the weather is cold or wet, rabbits are inside where it's dry, warm and well away from any drafts.
A shed also provides a good environment to keep hay, straw and feed but you would still need to use metal bins to avoid attracting any rodents which could end up being a real problem.
To avoid getting the floor wet and therefore causing it to rot, it's a good idea to place a good quality lino on it which will protect the wooden floor from any water spills and urine. You could use rubber matting but by far the cheapest material to use is lino which can be found in various thicknesses and qualities so there's something to suit most people's budget.
You still need to place a hutch in the shed, somewhere your bunnies can sleep which is very important because when the weather turns cold, tucked away in a hutch means your pets will stay warmer when they are snuggled up in their bedding.
Keeping pet bunnies in a well insulated shed, means you can place their litter trays away from the hutch, somewhere that's easier to access which means cleaning them out frequently is never a problem.
It's also a good idea to fit an inner wire door on the shed so that when the weather is fine enough, you can leave the outer door open which provides lots of ventilation for your pets. However, you have to make sure the wire door is secure so that your bunnies don't escape and unwanted visitors can't get in.
Even when the weather is very cold, you still need to provide enough ventilation in the shed. Ventilation holes need to be drilled high up on the walls so that air circulates well inside. Most sheds have windows which allows enough light to get in during the day which is also very important for your bunnies well being.
It's also a good idea to insulate the shed's walls and there are several ways this can be done. You can choose to wallpaper them using the type that's used in bathrooms or you might want double panel the walls using good quality wood. The thing you need to bear in mind, is that rabbits like nothing better than chewing on wood and they will do just this if you don't provide them with enough toys or wooden sticks specifically made for rabbits to chew on which you can buy from most pet stores.
You can also insulate the roof to ensure that heat doesn't escape through it during the colder winter months and again, you can either double panel it or use a good quality bathroom wallpaper.
The next thing you need to do is build a run onto the shed so that when the weather is fine, your bunnies can play outside. The run needs to be very secure so that unwanted visitors can't get in to harm your pets and they can't escape out of it. Rabbits like cats, can learn how to use a cat flap so fitting one on the side of the shed is the perfect solution for them to get in and out of their run. The best type of cat flap is a secure lockable design which means you know nothing can get in or out when the flap is locked.
Not only is a shed a great place for rabbits to live in, but it can also become a real feature in a garden. Placing plant pots around the run provides a little shade for your bunnies and they look very attractive. However, you need to make sure any plants you place around the run are not toxic to rabbits.
Creating a lovely environment for pet rabbits to live in can be a lot of fun and something the whole family can be involved in. A converted garden shed provides the perfect foundation to build on and as long as it's well insulated, your pets will be nice and warm during the colder winter months. However, with a run added on to the side of the shed, when the weather is fine, your rabbits can be outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine which helps ensure they stay happier and healthier reducing the risk of them developing any diseases.