Minimum Rabbit Cage Size.

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avdpas77

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I see all the time people trying to raise meat rabbits in a 24"x 24" cage. When I ask why the cage is so small they say that is what the ARBA recommends. There are two big fallacies with this. First of all this is a MINIMUM size, not a suggested size. Secondly, and by far the most important, is that this is the size for a SINGLE rabbit, a buck for instance, or a show rabbit. It is Not, Not, Not the size for a breeding doe. The absolute MINIMUM size for a meat doe that will be or is raising kits is 6 square feet (that means if your cage is 24" deep, they need to be THREE FEET wide.

If your does are over 11.5 pounds, that increases to 7.5 square feet.

From the ARBA PDF:
 

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phillinley

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avdpas77":2d2kfxcd said:
If your does are over 11.5 pounds, that increases to 7.5 square feet.


More than that for big flemmies. I know that chart is an approximation, but the needs of an 11.5 pound rabbit are different than a 20 pound rabbit. With me being absolutely terrible at handiwork of any kind and multiple escapes from my lame attempts at bigger brood cages, I'm just going to bite the bullet this fall and pay $400 for a Flemmie sized double stack.
 

Zab

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I find it fascinating that a dwarf rabbit and a NZ or flemsh ''needs'' the same height... My checkered giants would not be able to sit up in 35cm height even if they fold their ears back.. I'm not sure they could lie down with their ears up, even.. and the largest is just 5kg this far.

I know I'm more for large spaces than most, but I do think the rabbit should at least be able to stand up on its hindfeet and stretch the back. Well, actually I think they should be able to hop a few large hops lengthwise, at least, as well.
When people say they can't reach the rabbit in the 3x3ft cage because it's too large, I usually don't say anything because I have no interest in bringing it up every single time cages are mentioned... but I don't think it's a good reason. With decent doors, you can reach. Around here most hobby people have cages that's maybe.. 80cm by 120-140cm for a general pet sized rabbit (this is not unusual for show either although the legal size for a dwarf currently is 0.5m2) and I don't hear anything about not reaching. Because they also have some height, as well as doors all the length down.. I've seen their rabbits, it's not about the rabbits just being nice and friendly at all times.
 

OneAcreFarm

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Zab":evaxrgbc said:
I find it fascinating that a dwarf rabbit and a NZ or flemsh ''needs'' the same height... My checkered giants would not be able to sit up in 35cm height even if they fold their ears back.. I'm not sure they could lie down with their ears up, even.. and the largest is just 5kg this far.

Keep in mind, this is the MINIMUM and the table was designed with commercial rabbit breeders in mind. These are not the maximum or even the recommended sizes...and no one keeps Flemish OR ND as a commercial meat rabbit.
 

Secuono

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Height is for walking/hoping around, not for sitting up or standing on their back feet. They can stretch like you see 4 legged animals do all the time in 14in, don't need to stretch upwards.
 

akane

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There's no way my arm reaches a 3x3' cage. I have 3x3 hedgehog breeding cages and I had a 6x3' rabbit cage. I have to step in the cage or climb on a ladder and hang half my body over the cage (the hedgehog cages have no tops) to reach the back. I can't even reach the back of some of the 30" rabbit cages. Only the ones on a certain level I can reach without laying down or getting a ladder and I have doors the go the entire length of the cage. Usually I ask my husband to help catch rabbits or replace the fleece and items in the hedgehog cages. So it is definitely a problem and something to consider if you are stacking cages instead of putting them all on your ideal reaching level. I'm leaning towards my next cages being 24" deep and I'll just go 35 or 48" long. It would save me a lot of trouble.
 

OneAcreFarm

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akane":2fz2lwpn said:
There's no way my arm reaches a 3x3' cage. I have 3x3 hedgehog breeding cages and I had a 6x3' rabbit cage. I have to step in the cage or climb on a ladder and hang half my body over the cage (the hedgehog cages have no tops) to reach the back. I can't even reach the back of some of the 30" rabbit cages. Only the ones on a certain level I can reach without laying down or getting a ladder and I have doors the go the entire length of the cage. Usually I ask my husband to help catch rabbits or replace the fleece and items in the hedgehog cages. So it is definitely a problem and something to consider if you are stacking cages instead of putting them all on your ideal reaching level. I'm leaning towards my next cages being 24" deep and I'll just go 35 or 48" long. It would save me a lot of trouble.

My cages are all 30" deep and I had the doors made as large as possible since at times, I have to stick head and shoulders into the cages to reach little ones in the back corners...:)
 

akane

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That's fine if it's the middle cage in a stack but if you've got a triple stack you have 1 cage down low where you have to lay flat to stick your shoulder in and 1 up high that you can't stick your shoulder in without a ladder. Our cage stack is like 6' high.
 

OneAcreFarm

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akane":1ryrzat3 said:
That's fine if it's the middle cage in a stack but if you've got a triple stack you have 1 cage down low where you have to lay flat to stick your shoulder in and 1 up high that you can't stick your shoulder in without a ladder. Our cage stack is like 6' high.

Yup...that is why we don't stack ours.... ;) Too much work for me!
 

akane

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I'd have to take over the whole stable to not stack cages and right now 3 stalls are storage, 4 stalls are in use in the winter, 2 stalls are rabbit colonies, the tack room is full, the wash area has become rabbit hay and bookcase storage... I've got one stack taking up half the width of the aisle and we've had 2 bottles broken from horses hitting it on their way in to stalls.
 

OneAcreFarm

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akane":37ei1n8h said:
I'd have to take over the whole stable to not stack cages and right now 3 stalls are storage, 4 stalls are in use in the winter, 2 stalls are rabbit colonies, the tack room is full, the wash area has become rabbit hay and bookcase storage... I've got one stack taking up half the width of the aisle and we've had 2 bottles broken from horses hitting it on their way in to stalls.

Oh, I don't have anything against stacking, I just don't do it personally because it is easier for me and I do have the space...plus I am lazy and don't like to dump trays or scrape slant boards! :lol:
 

Bad Habit

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I absolutely could not reach the back of a 3ft cage. I have issues reaching the back of a 24" deep cage! Short arms, just like the rest of me... But I have wider cages because of it. The doors are nice and big so I can reach the back corners. But I just have little buns anyway, so 24x24 is usually big enough for a 3lb lionhead and her 2-3 kits.
 

skysthelimit

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I have to stack too. And even the smaller 30 deep JW cages are a pain to reach back into, on the second or third tier I have to get the ladder. Cutting the door open wide enough to fit in shoulder wise, well, I'd rather not cut that much away from the cage.
To combat that, I've doing 24x30 lengthwise, but then that limits the length wise space inside the barn.
As the setup progresses, the average cage size is 30 x 30, so I can fit any bunny in any cage for any reason.
 

ckcs

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I breed lionheads and recently a Mini Lop. My triple stacks are 28" deep. I have 28" x 14" doors (basically the whole front is a door). On the 3rd tiers I keep my calmer does as I can barely reach them in the back. I could never imagine putting a large breed rabbit in a 24" x 24" to breed. I have 2 8lb rabbits that I don't breed in 5.25 square foot cages. I guess by their standard I barely make it on cage size.
 

Secuono

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Anything more than 24in deep is far too big. Make it long, not deep! Easy to make two doors or one wide door than try to fit into a regular door when the cage is 30in or more back!
I wiggle into my 30x30 and 30x36in cages to clean out the hair, rabbits like to nibble on you when you're all in their cage like that, lol.
 

Demamma

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I will be starting my hutches tomarrow. I am planning on 2 ft deep and 3ft wide with door centered. I am planning to build hay racks between each hole. I have Cremes, and NZs. I might build nestboxs in the back but not sure yet. It's something I can add later. I am a tall women but I hate reaching into 30" deep cages.
 

skysthelimit

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The 30x30 stackers have doors that pretty much take up the whole front, and I've had kits launch themselves out of the cages when I open them. I started raising the lip on my other cages after that, so 3 week olds can't fall out.
 

avdpas77

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I understand that many people have trouble with cages that are deeper than 24" (I stretch back to 30 in mine and sometimes it is a pain, but I am only removing the does for breeding so it is not that often)

The bottom line is, that if you have to make your cages 18" deep then you need to make them 4"feet long. The minimum of 6 square feet is what is necessary for the well being of the rabbit doe and litter. (and may be the legal minimum in your area) It wasn't set for our convenience, or our pocket book, it was set because that is what the does need. I am not a big proponent of all the animal rights nonsense, but if one is going to put an animal in a cage, they need to provide for them appropriately. It will pay off in the long run.

I agree that a cage height of 14" is inadequate for meat rabbits. My own opinion is that it should be at least 18. It needs to be higher than that if you wish for your (NZW size) rabbits to be able to stand up.
 

skysthelimit

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14" is tiny. I couldn't get my head in a 14" cage. I think even the carries are 16" minimum, mine are 18".

I am thinking of putting the Angoras on the floor in the dog crates. The big male is in a 30X30, and he's from a line of big ones, and he makes that cage look small. At 9 1/2lbs in a full show coat, 36x36x24 would make more since. The himi doe is only 7lbs.
 

tailwagging

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ARBA is going by USDA.
I am glad to see the regurgitation size is small. not that i would use that size but that they can't say that my 30 X 24 or 30 x 30 for single rabbit nor my 30x36 for breed size/working does are too small.

kinda like a car payment. even though you COULD and most likely will pay more each month, it is good to know the min is smaller.
 
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