Introducing the New Birds on the Block: Raising Chickens 101

Raising chickens is a tradition that was brought to North America by the Europeans during the 1600s. In this blog post, we look at introducing new birds on the block: raising chickens 101!

Introducing the New Birds on the Block: Raising Chickens 101

The introduction of new chickens to an established group can be a tricky process. Introducing the “new” birds requires some attention and care, just like merging two restaurants into one when you have Italian food on one side and Chinese cuisine on the other – it’s bound to cause stress!

Introducing the New Chickens to Your Flock

With new chickens entering the flock, there is often tension between old and young hens. The newcomer to the chicken coop may not be accustomed to its surroundings or have a strong social bond within that group of birds. These tensions can lead to bullying behaviors among both newcomers as well as older members in more established groups which can cause injury for individual animals and damage long-term relations amongst flocks.

Many poultry owners who are ready to expand their chicken farm make preparations by importing birds from outside sources (such as other farms), while others take time waiting for eggs they purchased at auction sites like eBay, Craig’s list, etc., after being hatched by laying hens on one property -or even neighbors’ homes! Adding new breeds into your

I always thought that hens and roosters were only territorial in regards to certain areas of the coop. I never realized they could get so worked up over who was entering their home until now!

I have had many new chickens come into my flock over time, but it wasn’t until one newcomer would not let an old chicken take her water pan for a drink before things got intense. The newcomers are naturally trying to establish themselves by taking control or what they believe is theirs; meanwhile, the older ones will fight back as best as possible with whatever strategy will keep them on top like kicking out another bird from its nest space or splashing any perceived threat off-balance with feathers and water.

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Fret not, for this kind of attitude and feud lasts for only a couple of days. Adaptation can now take place. You can’t avoid this kind of predicament from rising but you can do certain adjustments that can make all of you happy and stress-free.

There are numerous peace-making strategies to help both parties adjust to each other. Isn’t it nice to see your new and old birds in one space without having to stop them from pecking one another?

Keep them close, but separate

One very good strategy is to let them see each other without having any physical contact. How? If you have a run (which is basically attached to the coop), you could put your old chickens there and then put a border (chicken wire) between the run and the coop. Put your new chickens inside the coop. This way, they are able to see each other minus the harm. Be sure that both parties have access to sufficient food and water. You can do this for about a week.

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Another strategy is introducing the new chickens to a separate pen for about two weeks. This will give them time to get used to their surroundings and allow themselves some energy-saving at night without having so many eyes on them 24/hours a day in the coop area.

As transition day comes, that will be a week after the slight introduction, you can now “join” them in one area. You can transfer the newcomers to the resident flock’s territory during the night when all the birds are sleeping. Upon waking up, the old chickens will notice the new ones and they will, at any point, try to start a fight but will not because they are too groggy to initiate it.

One at a time

Introducing new chickens to a flock of old birds involves introducing one at a time. They are introduced by leaving them inside the coop with an older chicken for about two hours, so they get acquainted and comfortable enough that you can leave both together overnight.

The next day, introduce another one in between feeding times and repeat until all your newcomers meet up with each other before introducing them outdoors!

If this sounds like too much work, remember that introducing newly acquired chickens to an established group is very important to prevent any possible pecking order problems or territorial disputes. It’s best if done gradually but it may need some “dealing with” on certain occasions when everyone isn’t getting along as well as it should be.

raising chickens

Try distracting them

There are a number of distraction techniques that can be effective. This includes things like getting the older chickens out of their coop for some free time, or feeding them nearby to give the new birds a chance to settle in without being harassed by the old hens.

Some of the best distracting techniques are:

a. Cabbage heads can do the trick. By hanging a piece of whole cabbage just above their head, chickens will reach it until everything is finished. That is if they don’t get exhausted by jumping to it and reaching it.

b. Make the pursuit an obstacle for the pursuing party. Add large branches inside the run and coop. How does this help? It will make it more difficult for the old birds to get at the new ones.

c. Let them run around at a wider and freer range. The oldies will be so thrilled to dig for grubs and insects they wouldn’t even notice that there are newcomers roaming around.

In conclusion:

There is no 100% foolproof way on how to avoid territorial disputes among your flock but there are strategies that will make it easier for everyone involved in settling down with each other. The best thing would be if all parties transitioned smoothly into their new surroundings without any problems or injuries but this doesn’t always happen (despite our efforts).

raising chickens

If it happened every single time, then we wouldn’t have had anything worth reading about! It’s best if done gradually but it may need some “dealing with” on certain occasions when everyone isn’t getting along as well as it should be.

Introducing newly acquired chickens into an established group of older birds requires patience (especially when introducing one bird at a time) but is worth the wait considering it offers less tension between hens as they adjust themselves to each other’s presence.

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How to Prevent Bird Flu in Chickens

Several years ago, the bird flu spread quickly and infected birds all over the world. Every chicken keeper in the world was aware of the deadly effects of avian influenza. 

How to Prevent Bird Flu in Chickens

The bird flu became the number one cause of death for chickens in Asia and around the world.  The bird flu is thought to have originated in China.  It killed millions of chickens and basically halted their chicken industry.  

How to Prevent Bird Flu in Chickens

Although this is a strain of flu that spreads quickly among chickens, it can also infect humans.  The virus can be passed from chicken to chicken, from chicken to human, from human to human, and from human to chicken.  For this reason, health officials all over are taking this disease seriously to stop the spread.

Bird Flu in Chickens Symptoms

The bird flu in chickens is much more serious than a common cold.  If just one bird gets infected, it can kill the entire flock within a week.  If it is passed from a chicken to a human, that person can infect hundreds of people before they even realize that they are sick.  Avian flu affects people of all ages, including children and the elderly.

If a human being gets infected, it can take about three to five days from the time of exposure to experience symptoms.  The first symptoms or signs of bird flu in people are similar to the cold symptoms.  The person may have a fever, sore throat, cough, or muscle aches.  Some people will have conjunctivitis.  

bird flu symptoms

If the person doesn’t get treatment, the disease can quickly progress and get more severe.  The bird flu can lead to viral pneumonia and even acute respiratory distress.  These respiratory problems are the leading cause of death for people who get the bird flu.

How to Prevent Bird Flu

Raising chickens has several benefits, including fresh eggs and meat if you choose to use your birds for meat.  However, raising a flock of backyard chickens also takes a lot of work.  There are several problems that can arise, including avian flu.

One way chicken keepers can prevent the bird flu is by keeping the coop and their chicken area very clean.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has studied diseases around the world, and they have guidelines for keeping you and your flock safe. 

They are also in charge of tracking chickens and people who are afflicted with bird flu and studying how it travels.  They keep records of confirmed cases and deaths from diseases.  If there are a lot of cases in an area, WHO will put that area under quarantine.

How to Prevent Bird Flu

When an area is in quarantine, people who are in that area will not be allowed to leave.  Those outside of that area can not enter the area.  It’s important for agencies, including WHO, to have accurate information otherwise more people and chickens will be affected, which can save lives.

Since avian flu can quickly spread around the world, governments also have strict rules if the virus enters their country.  People in that area are asked to report signs or symptoms of this and other diseases and to be on the watch for potential bird flu cases.  This helps protect both humans and chickens, and it can save many lives if those affected are quarantined quickly.

How Do Birds Get Bird Flu?

Avian Influenza can be caused by dirty conditions and exacerbated by cold weather.  It’s important to determine what causes the bird flu so you can take prevention measures to stop the spread.  As a chicken keeper, it’s less expensive to prevent bird flu than to treat it and to risk losing your flock or being infected yourself.

Although you can’t change the weather, it’s still important to recognize that cold weather can increase the risk of bird flu in your flock.  Like human influenza, the bird flu is passed around quicker in cold weather.  The birds tend to be closer together in their coop, and the virus quickly jumps from bird to bird.  

How Do Birds Get Bird Flu?

To protect your flock, you can keep them healthy by supporting their immune systems.  Feed them healthy food so they get plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies healthy.  You can also immunize your chickens to protect them from some diseases.

A dirty coop can also help avian flu spread.  Your coop and the area in their pen and around it should be kept very clean.  Whether you use wood shavings or straw, clean it regularly to prevent contamination from fecal matter.  

When you clean the coop, protect yourself by wearing rubber boots, gloves, and a face mask with a respirator so you don’t breathe in the dust particles from the litter.  By keeping your coop and the area around it clean, you can stop the virus from spreading as fast.  

What To Do If Your Birds Have Bird Flu

If you suspect that your chickens have avian flu, the disease can spread through a coop quickly.  You should take precautions immediately to stop the spread.  Wash your hands with soap and water every time you are near your chickens or in the coop.  Even if you don’t handle your chickens or touch anything in the coop, wash your hands when you are done.

In addition to keeping your chickens healthy, it’s important to keep yourself healthy.  Get exercise and eat a healthy diet to support your immune system.

If you suspect that one of your chickens has avian flu, call your vet right away.  Your chicken can be treated with an antiviral medication to reduce the symptoms and the severity of the disease.  However, these medications can not always prevent death.

What To Do If Your Birds Have Bird Flu

Practice good hygiene when handling raw chicken in the house.  Disinfect cutting boards with chlorine bleach to kill germs.  To effectively kill germs, dilute 4 to 6 teaspoons of bleach in a gallon of water.

The bird flu isn’t a common condition for chickens, but it can decimate an entire flock in a matter of days.  It’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of the bird flu so that you can isolate sick chickens and take precautions to protect the rest of your birds and your family.  Keep your coop clean and practice good hygiene when you are around your flock to prevent the spread of this disease.

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Top Chicken Raising Tips: Give Your Chickens Treats!

Give your chickens treats? Like people, chickens like treats.  If you have a backyard flock of chickens, it’s fun to spoil your chickens and offer them treats.  

Chicken Raising Tips: Give Your Chickens Treats!

While humans like chocolate, candy, and sweet things as treats, chicken treats are usually mealworms, vegetables, or fruits.  In addition to being tasty, offering your chickens treats alleviates boredom.  When chickens get bored, they can start pecking each other and some breeds can get aggressive.

Some chicken keepers even train their chickens to come when they hear the treats so they can quickly call in their birds if one wanders too far or there’s a predator or inclement weather.

Chicken Treats

There are special chicken treats and mealworms available in pet stores.  These treats are great options for your birds, but they can get expensive.  Most chicken keepers turn to kitchen scraps for treats.  Your birds will love most kitchen scraps, and they can be a good supplement for their diet and help combat boredom.  

However, it’s important to watch what you give your chickens for treats.  Although they can have several different kinds of foods, there are some foods that they can not eat because they can be harmful.  

Best Treats for Chickens

Even though chickens aren’t the most intelligent animals, they do have their own preferences for treats.  You might notice that some of your flock won’t eat certain things.  Like people, chickens have their own tastes and preferences.

Yogurt 

Chickens like yogurt, and it’s good for their gut health.  Yogurt also has calcium that the chickens use for eggshells.  In the summer, spread yogurt on a pan and freeze it.  Then offer your chickens yogurt bark for a cool treat.

Give your chickens treats: Apples

Most chickens will happily eat apples.  They like both applesauce and raw apples.  Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, so be sure to core the apples before serving to your chickens.

give your chickens treats

Banana

Chickens love bananas, but they won’t eat the peel.  Bananas are a good source of potassium, so it’s good for their muscles.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Although your kids won’t think broccoli and cauliflower are treats, your chickens will.  You can toss the whole head in the coop or hang it so they can peck at it.  These are great boredom busters for winter.

Cabbage

Like heads of broccoli, heads of cabbage are great for hanging.  The birds will peck at it and have fun chasing it as it moves around.

Give your chickens treats: Carrots

Chickens love carrots cooked or raw.  They will even eat the leaves off of carrots if you grow them in your garden.

Crickets

Chickens eat small bugs in the wild.  If they get outside in the nice weather, they will often look for bugs in the soil.  In the winter or if you just want to have fun watching them, get some crickets from the pet store and watch your chickens chase them.

Cucumbers

If you give your chickens cucumbers, give them mature cucumbers because the seeds and flesh are softer.

Give your chickens treats: Eggs

I know, this just seems all kinds of wrong. You can also feed your chickens their own eggs.  Avoid feeding them raw eggs because it could encourage them to eat their own eggs after they lay them.  Instead, scramble them and offer them scrambled eggs.

give your chickens treats

Fish or Seafood

Give chickens fish or seafood sparingly because it can alter the taste of their eggs.

Flowers

Chickens like marigolds, pansies, and nasturtiums.  Make sure the flowers haven’t been treated with pesticides.  

Fruit

Chickens like most fruits like cherries, pears, and peaches.  They also like grapes, but cut them into pieces because they can get stuck in their throat.

Give your chickens treats: Herbs

Chickens like fresh herbs.  They will eat lavender, cilantro, mint, basil, parsley, and oregano.

Corn

Chickens love corn on the cob.  You can simply put the cobs in the coop for them to peck at or hang them.  They will get every bit of corn off the cob and leave a clean cob for you to clean up.  

Watermelon

Chickens love watermelon.  Buy it when it’s cheap in the summer and freeze it.  Then give your chickens frozen watermelon to help them cool off.  They also love fresh watermelon, but they won’t eat the rind.

Give your chickens treats: Oatmeal

Chickens really like cooked oatmeal.  Simply prepare it with water or milk and serve warm to your chickens on cold days.  You should feed them steel cut or old fashioned oats because they are less processed.  You can also add fruits for more flavor and nutrition.

give your chickens treats

Pumpkins

Chickens love pumpkins.  Cut one in half and let them peck at it.  They will eat the stringy part, the seeds, and the flesh.  They will leave just the shell for you to pick up later.

Cottage Cheese

If your girls are laying eggs, you can offer them more calcium by giving them cottage cheese.  They will eat it plain, or you can add vegetables or fruit.

Eggshells

Eggshells are high in calcium, and chickens need to replenish their calcium to make more eggs.  When you use eggs, let the eggshells dry.  Then crush them by hand into about ¼ inch pieces.  Then sprinkle in the run or offer with their food.  Only give your chickens their own eggshells because other eggs can have bacteria that can harm your flock.

Leftovers

You can compost your leftover food through your chickens.  Be careful giving chickens people food though.  Don’t give them food that’s high in salt, sugar. or fat.  Also, do not give them anything that is spoiled or moldy. 

–>Chicken Treats to Avoid

There are some treats that you should not give your chickens.  Some of these can change the taste of their eggs, and other foods can be harmful for your chickens.

give your chickens treats

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions can change the taste of your eggs, so avoid giving them to your chickens.

Avocado 

Avocado pits and skins contain persin, which is toxic to chickens.  The flesh of the avocado is fine, however.

Beans

Avoid giving your chickens dried beans or undercooked beans.  They have hemagglutinin, which can affect the bird’s digestion and cause it to get sick.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb can act like a laxative.  Rhubarb that has been damaged by cold temperatures can be high in oxalic acid, which can kill a chicken.

Offering your chickens treats is a great way to dispose of food scraps, and your chickens will enjoy a special treat.  Chickens will quickly learn to come running when they see the scrap bucket heading towards the coop.   With this guide, you’ll be able to offer your chickens safe treats to keep them healthy and happy.

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Look at Our Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021

If you’re not sure whether you should raise chickens on your land or not, these are some of the reasons to give it a try. These birds have a lot more to offer than most people realize before bringing them on their land.

Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021

It’s not as challenging or complicated as some people make it seem. Raising chickens is fun, enjoyable, and rewarding in many ways. Check out these top 5 reasons to choose the right chickens, bring them on your property, and raise them on the land with the rest of your family.

Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021

There are tons of reasons why raising chickens can be a great idea – but we have narrowed it down to our top 5 for you.

Reason #1 – Chickens Love Leftovers

Chickens can eat! Sure, you can give them food explicitly made for chickens, but you can also expect them to enjoy leftovers that would’ve otherwise been thrown out. These birds can eat just about anything, including cooked chicken scraps, believe it or not.

How many times a week do you end up with rotten leftovers that nobody finished? If it happens more often than you’d like to admit, now you don’t have to feel bad. Instead of leaving that food in the fridge to get old, you can serve it to your chickens to leave their bellies full.

top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021

Feeding your chickens your leftovers helps you save money on chicken feed because you’re going to keep them full with some of the meats and veggies that you usually prepare at home. Make sure anything that you’re planning to give your chickens is good for them. Try not to overdo it with garlic or onions, both of which can cause irritation. You want to keep them happy and fed, not uncomfortable.

Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021: #2- Eggs

Why wouldn’t you want to have chickens living on your property when you know they can produce eggs? Most chickens will produce at least a minimum of 100 eggs per year, so you can imagine how many you’ll end up with if you have multiple chickens living on your land.

In addition, you can do so much with the fresh eggs that come from chickens. For example, you might want to fry them, scramble them, boil them, and even use them in different recipes when preparing baked goods, such as cupcakes, pies, and sweet bread.

The animals living inside the home, such as your cats and dogs, are adorable. However, one thing they can’t do is provide you with food to eat! Chickens are superior because they lay eggs that you can put to good use. Even if you end up with more eggs than you need, you can sell them or give them to your loved ones. 

top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021

Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh eggs compared to those found in grocery stores. The ones sold at stores aren’t nearly as fresh! With fresh eggs always available, you won’t run out of things to make. You’ll have an essential ingredient at home with you all the time.

Reason #3- Source of Natural Fertilizers

Did you know that chickens can potentially improve the way that your lawn looks? It’s common for chickens to roam around on the land where they live. They enjoy roaming, so you’ll see them walking, standing, and even running around with one another. One thing you’ll notice your chickens doing is pecking at the ground. It’s what they love to do. If they think it’s edible, they’ll nibble at it. 

What that means is that you can end up with chickens on pest control duty. They’ll pick at and eat insects, beetles, and other things they can find on the lawn. Once they’ve consumed it and digested it, they’ll poop it out into the grass. It turns into the perfect fertilizer for your garden. It might sound strange, but it’s true.

Reason #4- Low Maintenance Pets

Some pets require a lot of maintenance. For example, if you have a dog with long hair, you know how much time and effort it takes to deal with all the upkeep. However, chickens are the opposite.

top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021

They’re low-maintenance pets that are easy to handle, especially if you choose the right breed. If you select chickens known for being gentle and docile birds, you won’t have a problem. The only thing you need to do is provide your chickens with food, water, and enough space to roam around freely.

If you provide the right environment and what they need to survive, you can expect happy chickens that will thrive on your land.

Reason #5- Grass and Weed Clippers

Save time and still get your lawn to look its best when you have chickens. These birds nibble at the grass and weeds that grow on the land. They love eating these things because it tastes like treats to them, so you won’t have to worry about your grass overgrowing or to deal with tons of annoying weeds that take away from the overall appearance of your land. 

Chickens can dig through a lot of things to get to the weeds, too, making them remarkable creatures that are worth having on your land. If you’re tired of doing the mowing and clipping of the grass all the time, imagine what it would be like to have chickens roaming around. You wouldn’t have to do half of the work you’re currently doing!

top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021

Top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021 – raising chickens

Raising chickens is a rewarding experience. If you’ve never had these animals on your land before, you might not know what to expect. However, you can expect to have a lot of fun with chickens living on your property, especially when selecting a friendly breed. These birds can lay dozens of eggs each month, providing you and your family with plenty of eggs to eat throughout the year. 

Besides laying eggs, chickens are low-maintenance pets that can help you keep the grass looking its best, provide you with natural fertilizer for your garden, and eat leftover scraps that you have so that they won’t have to go to waste. What other animals do you know that can do all these wonderful things without requiring so much maintenance? None! So, what are you waiting for?

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Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed

Before you start raising backyard chickens, the first decision that you’ll have to make is which breed to buy.  There are dozens of chicken breeds to choose from, and each one has its own pros and cons.  There’s no single answer to which breed is best for you because it depends on your needs.  Most backyard chicken keepers will have a few different breeds in their flocks. 

Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed

When choosing a breed of backyard chickens, take into account what your goal is.  Do you want to have a lot of eggs?  Are your kids raising chickens for 4-H?  Do you want meat birds?  

Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed

Some chickens are friendly and become pets, while others aren’t as friendly towards humans.  Some breeds are ornamental and lay fewer eggs but are pretty to look at in the backyard.  

Here are some tips to help you choose the right birds for your new or expanding flock.  

Choosing a Chicken Breed to Raise

Generally, you’ll want to take into account your climate and coop area first and then choose what’s most important to you: eggs, meat, or temperament.  From there, look for the breeds that will be suited to your climate and fit your first criteria. 

Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed: Climate 

Before we get into egg layers or meat birds, the first thing that you need to look at is your climate and how much room your backyard chickens will have.  Some breeds are more heat tolerant or cold tolerant than others.  If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter and choose a cold hardy breed, then you may not have to heat your coop in the winter.

If you live in a cold climate, look for breeds that are well adapted to cold weather.  They will have smaller combs, more feathers to keep warm, and don’t have feathers on their legs that can freeze and cause frostbite in the winter.

guide to choosing a chicken breed

Good ones to try are:

  • Buckeye
  • Ameraucanas
  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Australorps

If you live in a hot climate, look for breeds that do not have a lot of feathers or heavy plumage.  Smaller birds also tend to do better in warm climates.

Good breeds for hot weather are:

  • Leghorn
  • Golden Buff
  • Barred Plymouth Rock

Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed: Backyard Pens

Another thing to consider is whether your flock will be free-range or in a coop.  Will they have a pen to roam in during the day?

Bantams like to fly around a lot, so they are hard to contain in a pen.  Leghorns also like to fly out of their coops, so you may need to clip their wings.  

Smaller breeds like Silkies are good for small spaces.  However, these birds lay small eggs.  

Best Egg Laying Chickens

If your main goal is to get a steady supply of eggs, some breeds are better egg layers than others.  These breeds will lay nearly every day for about 5 to 6 eggs per week during the spring and summer.  However, winter egg laying always decreases for any breed.

guide to choosing a chicken breed

For the Best Chickens For Eggs, try one of the following breeds:

  • Ancona
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Barnevelder
  • Buff Orpington
  • Leghorn
  • Hamburg

Egg Colors

Chickens can lay different colored eggs based on their breed.  They can lay brown, white, blue, green, pink, or olive eggs.  Although the eggs taste the same, it’s fun to have blue eggs in your fridge or to give to friends and family.

  • Brahmas, Cochins, Delawares, and New Hampshire Reds lay brown eggs.  
  • Light Sussex and Australorps lay pink eggs.

Chickens that lay blue eggs?

  • Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Cream Legbars lay blue eggs.

You’ll also get some variation between the same breed of chickens.  Some will lay darker or lighter eggs, so you’ll have a nice assortment of colors if you get these breeds.

Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed: Meat Chickens

Some people raise chickens for eggs and then butcher the chicken for meat.  Others raise chickens just for meat.  If you are raising chickens for meat and not for egg production, look for Broilers.  These chickens grow fast: up to 10 pounds in 5 weeks!  

You don’t have to worry about the birds being cold hardy or able to handle the heat because you can simply buy them when the weather is nice and will be nice for the next five weeks.

guide to choosing a chicken breed

The following breeds make good meat birds:

  • Jersey Giant
  • Cornish Cross
  • Freedom Rangers
  • Breese

If you want your chickens to lay eggs and then be used for meat, then you want a dual-purpose breed.  These breeds lay a lot of eggs, and they grow to a decent size for meat.

  • Sussex
  • Marans
  • Wyandotte
  • Turken
  • Chantecler

Our Guide to Choosing a Chicken Breed: Exhibition Breeds

There are several ornamental chicken breeds that are fine birds, but they aren’t exceptional for eggs or meat.  However, they are fun to have in your flock.  Cochins, Marans, and Frizzles are all fun chickens to have.  These birds are fun to watch in your backyard, and they will give you a steady supply of eggs, although they usually lay fewer eggs than other birds.

If your kids are using backyard chickens for 4-H or another club, check with the regulations before placing your order.  Rules and regulations may vary by state or county.

Temperament

If you have children or want your backyard chickens to be pets, then you may want to try breeds that are friendlier.  Buff Orpingtons, Brahmas, and Australorps are all friendly and will become part of the family.  

guide to choosing a chicken breed

Leghorns are good for eggs, but they can be noisy and sometimes aggressive.  Delawares can also get aggressive.  Rhode Island Red roosters also tend to be aggressive.  If you have young children, then you may want to avoid these breeds.  

Choosing the right backyard chicken breed can be difficult.  If you have a large coop, you can get more than one breed to have more variety.  Some backyard chicken keepers get a new kind of breed every few years so they have several different kinds.  

No matter which breed or breeds you end up with, get your eggs or baby chicks from a reputable hatchery.  These chickens will be stronger and healthier, so they are more likely to survive.  If you can only have hens due to zoning restrictions, then a reputable hatchery is less likely to make a mistake during sexing young chicks.

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The Complete Guide To Your Next Rabbit Hutch

The two most important words for any bunny are safety and comfort – and a premium rabbit hutch provides both. Hutches have come a long way since the early 1900s when they were made of a lot of chicken wire and whatever old boards could be scrounged up.

The Complete Guide To Your Next Rabbit Hutch article cover image with a bunny

What’s the big deal about a premium rabbit hutch over what hutches used to be from hundreds of years ago? When you buy a premium hutch, you get a bonus that makes a difference to the rabbit and to you as well. Your rabbit will be able to have a great place to eat and sleep while you’ll get the peace of mind in knowing that you’ve provided the very best home for your pet.

A Premium Rabbit Hutch Delivers Safety and Comfort with Aesthetic Appeal

Some hutches tout safety appeal but aren’t that safe at all. They’re poorly constructed, and at the first test of bad weather or someone pushing on them, they collapse. Or they don’t keep the bunny safely inside the hutch, and you come home to a trail of droppings and chewed up legs on the furniture.

Still, other hutches claim to be safe and usually do stand up to that claim. But when they arrive, and you put them together, they’re such an eyesore, you feel like you have to keep it covered because it’s so hideous! You might have seen a few of them, and they were so ugly, you wondered what the designer was thinking.

There is a solution. You don’t have to trade looks for safety. A premium rabbit hutch can be both safe and appealing – you don’t have to settle for one over the other. The good news about this hutch is that you can use it outdoor because it’s sturdy and offers protection from outside elements and attackers, but it’s pretty enough to use inside as well. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to have your friends or family see it sitting inside your home.

Some really cute hutches resemble coffee tables. They’re made with top-quality lumber, and if not for the door letting the rabbit in and out, it’s hard to recognize as a rabbit hutch. Then some look like decorative little barns that can keep your bunny happy for as long as he lives.

You can settle for a hutch that won’t meet the lasting requirements you want it to meet. You can settle for a hutch that won’t meet be very attractive either. Or you can let both needs meet in one hutch. A premium rabbit hutch does the job it was designed to do but looks good while doing it.

Is a Wooden Rabbit Hutch Better Than a Rabbit Cage?

You’re about to get a pet rabbit and wondering if a wooden rabbit hutch is a better buy than a rabbit cage. Let’s make some comparisons, and you can see what each one will do for your bunny.

You can find several styles in both kinds of homes for the bunny. You’ll see that they range from the very simple to almost bunny mansions. When the word cage is used in conjunction with bunnies, there’s a tendency to picture a tiny wire cage with a bunny cramped up inside it. But you can buy sprawling two-story pens that even have a detachable run available as a separate accessory.

Cages are made of small wire, and though they are easy to clean, most of them don’t have a bottom to them that’s best for the rabbit. However, a few of them do have flooring. You can find some two-story cages that have solid flooring on the upper half of them.

There are simple cages that come with hard bottoms and are made of metal. Regardless of whether you get a wire-bottomed cage or a metal-bottomed cage, you’d still need to cover it to protect your rabbit’s feet and to give him something comfortable to lie on.

On the plus side, cages are easy to clean, and the bottom can separate from the rest of the cage. They’re easy to take down, fold and transport if you need to travel with your pet or if you’re moving.

A wooden rabbit hutch can offer the same shelter as a rabbit cage. You can have two-story ones with plenty of space, easy access to the bunny, and easy to clean with pull out trays below the hutch.

They’re not as easy to take apart if you plan to take them elsewhere. However, they offer excellent care for the bunny. You can find wooden luxury models that look like little homes, complete with a bunny walkway and raised sleeping quarters over a big run.

Both a cage and a hutch can be situated to open out into a run where your bunny can have space outside. Understand that any hutch or cage can be too small if you keep multiple rabbits in both.

Is a Wooden Rabbit Hutch Better Than a Rabbit Cage?

Other than that, a hutch or a cage can offer adequate room to sleep and eat in. It used to be that cages were the most unattractive way to house a rabbit, but with all the models and styles now, it’s not true.

So when you’re figuring out if a wooden rabbit hutch or a rabbit cage is the best choice for your pet, you’ll find that there will be things you’ll appreciate about either one. If you plan to keep your rabbit for the duration, you might want to think about getting a cage for the inside of your house and a hutch for the outside.

How Much Room Does a Rabbit’s Hutch Need to Have?

A rabbit’s hutch should be roomy enough to meet his territorial needs if he’s male and his physical need to move about freely. If your pet is female and you intend for her to have little bunnies in the future, then the hutch’s size should also be able to handle the extra bunnies.

At a minimum, a home for a bunny should be at least 36 inches. Anything with less space than that is just too small to give your pet a comfortable home. The most miserable looking bunnies you’ll ever see are those that are packed into cages that are too small for them.

Though hutches can be made of only wire or other materials, you can find good quality, nice looking hutches made out of a mixture of wire and wood. These style hutches provide a nesting area that gives the rabbit a sense of comfort and security. Plus, they allow room for the rabbit to rise on his rear legs – an action that bunnies like to do to explore their space as well as sniff the air.

The rabbit’s hutch should have two areas—one area for the pet to sleep in and the other for him to move around in. There should be room for the bunny to have a part away from where he eats and sleeps to eliminate waste.

Pet bunnies don’t like to loll around on their waste any more than a human being would enjoy it. Hutches with removable litter trays are more sanitary for the bunny and make daily cleaning go a lot faster.

To have the right kind of room for your pet to stretch and roam in, the hutch should be no less than three times the size of the fully-grown bunny. Don’t measure by a baby rabbit because obviously, he’s not going to stay that size.

Rabbits have powerful back legs that are designed to give them speed. Without the room he needs to move around, the muscles in those legs will grow weak and unable to provide him with the skills he needs to survive outside if he ever accidentally gets loose from his home. Remember that a lethargic rabbit doesn’t mean he’s a lazy rabbit. It means he’s not getting enough exercise because he doesn’t have the space he requires.

You might see a custom-built rabbit’s hutch that stands very tall. While rabbits do like to hop and rear up sometimes on their back legs, most of the space in the hutch should be horizontal and not vertical.

What Kind of Rabbit Hutch Plans Do You Need for Your Pet?

Being handy with woodworking means that you can choose your rabbit hutch plans if you’re a bunny owner. An excellent project for owners and a happy haven for bunnies is the custom-built bunny home.

The Complete Guide To Your Next Rabbit Hutch

You’ll be able to pamper your pet and give him a home fit for a furry little king. Building a bunny home shouldn’t take more than a weekend of your time and even less than that if you’ve ever made a similar type of construction.

Even if you’re not great with making things, you can find easy beginner books that walk you through the project step by step with easy to understand instructions. To get an idea of what kind of hutch you’d like to build, you can take a trip to the local pet store or browse around online to see what kind of bunny homes are already available. You can then buy a book that offers the same style, or you can go with a plan plus a few modifications to suit your specific needs.

Not all rabbit hutch plans are elaborate works of art. Some aren’t attractive and seem designed to leave you frustrated when the home turns out to look like a plain square box.

You should be able to preview some of the contents of whatever plan book you find before you buy it. If you are a novice builder, you might want to enlist other small pet owners’ advice to see if there is anything they’d do differently with their hutches. Or if there have ideas for improvements on the plans.

The main purpose of a hutch is to give the bunny a place to eat, sleep, and have a spot where he can go to the bathroom. Regardless of what the plans say about the kind of flooring to put down, you want to be sure that you use a material that can easily be washed and disinfected.

Now, if you know for a fact that the bunny will have plenty of opportunities to roam free of the hutch, and he’ll have ample time outdoors, you don’t have to build the most gigantic hutch out there. You can make do with a smaller one, but don’t build it based on a baby rabbit’s size. Construct it with an adult bunny in mind.

Once you know what type of rabbit hutch plans you’ll be using, go ahead and make a list of the items you have to buy before heading out to the store. Don’t forget to get bedding for the bunny and a litter box made specifically for rabbits.

You’ll also need other supplies such as a food dish and water bottle for him. If you plan to use wood and set the hutch in the house on wooden floors, think about getting a rug to put under the hutch so it won’t scratch the floors.
How an Indoor Rabbit Hutch Differs From an Outdoor Rabbit Hutch

The discussion between an indoor rabbit hutch and an outdoor rabbit hutch is often debated among bunny owners. You have to decide on the pros and cons of each type of hutch before you make a decision. But for starters, you can learn about the differences between the two, so you can make an informed choice.

Some pet enthusiasts feel that having any enclosure for bunnies is wrong and that the animals should be allowed to roam freely from room to room. Not only is this dangerous for both you and the rabbit, it’s not how they live in their natural habitat either.

By having free run all over the house, bunnies can chew on electrical cords and cause a fire – not because they’re mischievous but because chewing on things is just what they do. They can hop up things they shouldn’t be on, fall, and get hurt.

They can also eat things they shouldn’t eat and become very ill. By running freely all the time, there’s a good chance you could either trip over the rabbit and hurt yourself or step on him and hurt the bunny.

The bunny needs a hutch so he can have a place to sleep where he feels secure. In the wild, rabbits burrow out a hole in the ground where they can be free from their enemies. They need a place where they can burrow in the hay or other bedding, no matter where the hutch is located.

What Kind of Rabbit Hutch Plans Do You Need for Your Pet?

An indoor hutch is often smaller and more portable than an outdoor rabbit hutch. You’ll have the ability to change it from one room to another if you need to relocate the rabbit. They’re not intended to keep the rabbit caged in for hours upon end. They’re mainly for the bunny to have a safe hideaway and an area for him to relieve himself.

A lot of hutches that are built to set up outside the home are not as portable. They tend to be heavier and take a lot more effort to move them. Most of them are either built with or come with wooden legs attached to keep the hutch off the ground and thus out of reach of predators. Hutches that go outside are made more comprehensive and taller, and some come with a run attached, or you can get one separately.

Some rabbit owners did settle the indoor rabbit hutch versus the outdoor rabbit hutch debate to get one of each. They keep a small hutch inside the home for when they want to keep the bunny in and have a larger one outside for the rabbit to bask in the warm sunshine and get some exercise.

How to Buy the Right Pet Rabbit Hutch

Not everyone likes to build their hutch – they need to buy it. Selecting a rabbit hutch for the pet, you have now or intend to get in the future should be based on several steps. Most experts say to choose a home for the bunny that gives him room enough to hop around without feeling caged in. That would mean choosing housing for the pet between three and four times the adult size of the bunny.

The best option for any rabbit owner is to buy the largest and the best hutch available. Small cages that are barely as big as the bunny don’t allow the pet enough room to move about or get enough exercise. If you’re concerned about your pet getting the exercise he needs, then think about getting a hutch that also has a run with it.

You’ll want to have a place for him that’s adequate to meet his needs regardless of how warm or cool the area is where the bunny will reside. When you are looking to get a hutch, you should consider the lifespan of the pet.

Most rabbits have longevity with an average lifespan of ten years, although some have been known to live as long as fifteen years or more. You’ll want to get a hutch that’s solidly built and can stand up to the rigors of time, especially if you plan to use the hutch outside.

Because rabbits do gnaw, you want to make sure that the type of rabbit hutch you purchase doesn’t contain dangerous materials for the bunny to ingest. Certain types of wood are toxic to bunnies, as are some kinds of sealant that the wood is coated with.

Since rabbits can tend to be messy critters, you’ll want a cage that doesn’t make you dread cleaning up after the pet. Most cages have slide-out bottoms or litter trays that can be removed and easily cleaned and disinfected. Also, know that rabbits tend to kick their droppings out of the cage if it’s not kept clean enough to suit them.

If the bunny home is put outside, make sure it offers enough protection from the elements. Hutches that have wire on the bottom can damage the bunnies’ feet, so if you happen to choose one with a wire floor, you’ll need to cover it to protect the pet. Since most predators are nocturnal, if your bunny is left outside after dark, he could be a target, so you’ll want to ensure that he’s protected from other animals.

How to Buy the Right Pet Rabbit Hutch

When you’re trying to decide which rabbit hutch is the right one, consider how many rabbits you intend to house in the hutch. If you plan to keep a male and female together, since they are fast and hardy breeders, you could end up with more bunnies than you want.

The Best Large Rabbit Hutch You Can Buy

When buying a large rabbit hutch, you want the best for your lovable pet. Some hutches that are manufactured to be big enough to have the space the bunny needs tend to be unwieldy and unsightly in appearance.

They’re awkward to get into because they tend to be longer than regular-sized hutches. A few have been made with materials that can be hazardous to small pets. Regular size hutches don’t offer as much legroom for rabbits.

Plus, in regular-sized hutches, rabbit poop tends to build up in mounds where you can see it. In larger hutches, there’s a deeper bottom to the cage, and the mess is out of sight, which is a bonus since you can use this kind of hutch indoors as well as outdoors.

You can get larger hutches that have wire surrounding the enclosure that’s safe for your bunny rabbits. That’s something you want to check out on any hutch you buy. You don’t want to get a product that’s been treated with a coating that can make your bunny sick with the fumes or if he chews on it.

A good thing about a large rabbit hutch is that you can put it together with ease, and some of the better ones on the market will have a raised area or shelf where your pet can sit and view his home. Cages that are this big are built with easy access to the pet and usually have more than one way for you to reach the pet – whether through a side opening or a top entrance.

Some, not all of the bigger hutches built for rabbits can cost a lot more than the smaller, not as well built cages, but you can find many that are well priced as well as durable. You might see some advertisements on popular sites selling used hutches at a steep discount, but you want to beware of second-hand homes when you’re looking for housing for your pet.

The reason for this is because used hutches can still carry germs or bacteria from the previous rabbit, and you don’t want to put your bunny into a cage where the first thing he’ll do is become sick.

With a large rabbit hutch, you have the option of letting the rabbit be an indoor or an outdoor pet. But consider that if you plan to use a hutch outdoor, it has to have a protective covering over the top of it, so that would be an added accessory you’d need to purchase before you can put the rabbit out.

Beware of Cheap Rabbit Hutches That Leave Your Pet Vulnerable

Cheap rabbit hutches save you money, but only at the beginning of your investment. In the end, they cost you more because you’ll have to replace it – and your rabbit. Your bunny can be vulnerable to a host of different factors – from not having enough space to being caged in the wrong kind of environment to being an easy target to a wily predator.

A hutch for the rabbit isn’t just a house for him. It’s what will save his life when the animals higher up on the food chain come calling. All you have to do to see how many hutches are available for sale is to do a quick search.

One browser brought up over half a million search results. You can bet that many of those results contain homes that aren’t suitable for any pet, much less a rabbit. As a pet owner who wants to look out for your pet’s safety, you want to provide him with the best quality home you can afford.

The Complete Guide To Your Next Rabbit Hutch

What is meant by cheap rabbit hutches? Any hutch meant to be temporary housing for a baby bunny is considered inferior. It wasn’t built to last. The materials aren’t sturdy enough for a full-grown rabbit, and the amount of space isn’t large enough for an adult rabbit either.

These kinds of hutches usually don’t take into consideration the health needs of the bunny. This is how rabbits end up with sore hocks and other painful areas on their body. So the first clue you’ll get if a hutch is cheap will be if it’s too small for a full-grown bunny rabbit.

Don’t think that buying a hutch means you have to shell out a ton of money to get one that suits your rabbit and keeps him safe. Many safe choices are reasonably priced.

Look up some background information on the housing you’re thinking of getting. Check out the manufacturer of the hutch. Do they have a money-back guarantee? Will they stand behind their product and offer any safety updates or changes if need be? Are other buyers happy with the product?

Cheap rabbit hutches can masquerade as a decent hutch by having many showy pieces to it, but don’t be fooled. Look for quality wood, workmanship, and parts that make up the hutch. Also, see if the hutch has one area for sleeping for the rabbit and one for a litter box.

A decent hutch will offer these spaces apart from one another. To make buying a home for your bunny easier, have a list of the features you want in a hutch and features your pet rabbit needs before you go shopping.

Buy a Your Hutch Online and Get Free Shipping!

You can get a rabbit hutch for sale on a ton of sites online, but have you checked out the cost of getting it shipped to your house? Talk about expensive! Some of the shipping costs are almost as much as the price of the hutch. With the economy going on the way it’s been lately, who wants (or needs) to hand over money just for shipping and handling?

There are companies online that appreciate your business so much that if your order reaches a certain amount of spending, they’ll eat the cost of shipping the product to you. Now that’s what you can call smart business sense.

They want your business badly enough to want to get the product to you! Some things you can order online you don’t really think about the shipping because the item is small and it’s only a few bucks at the most, and who doesn’t have a dollar or two to hand over for a wanted item?

But take a rabbit hutch for sale online, and that’s a different story. First of all, the hutch’s materials can make them a little heavier than the normal side. That’s not a problem if you happen to live right next door to the place selling the hutch.

You can just zip over in your car or truck and pick it up. It’s a problem when you order one online and then go to checkout, and the shipping is so costly it makes you not want to buy the item. But you need it, so you feel like you’re kind of over a barrel.

Perhaps you’ve always done business with the same gardening or pet shop online, and you know them, and they know you. But they’ll still charge you to get their product. Sometimes, there’s no loyalty or discounts when it comes to making a profit at any expense.

If that’s the case, forget loyalty to the company that won’t look out for you, you need to do a little shopping around. You can go to a company online that will pay to ship you the product and will even pay for shipping back to them if you don’t like the item!

Now you can find some companies that have a rabbit hutch for sale, and they’ll offer you free shipping up to a certain amount. For example, you see a hutch that you’d like to buy. The hutch costs about $140. You see that they offer free shipping.

The Complete Guide To Your Next Rabbit Hutch bunny in a hutch

But when you read the fine print, you see that it reads, ‘up to x amount of dollars’ or ‘up to x amount of weight’ and of course, that x is usually for something costlier and heavier than what you bought. Go with a company that will give you free shipping and a great price. You and your pet bunny will both be happier.

Give Your Pet More Space With a Rabbit Hutch Run

Any responsible pet owner will tell you that your bunny needs a rabbit hutch run. If you take home a starter kit when you buy your rabbit, it’ll consist of a small cage and some supplies intended for you to be able to care for your rabbit right away. But those should only be considered a temporary measure.

A rabbit needs to have a regular exercise routine to maintain good health and those that lead a caged, sedentary life fall into poor health. Bunnies that don’t have the freedom they need to hop and move about can develop an apathy toward doing anything at all, and due to their declining mental and physical health, they don’t live as long as rabbits that are cared for correctly.

Like people, rabbits that lie around most of the day and don’t have the space to move about tend to get fat. Not just a small spare tire, rabbits that don’t have the room to move can get quite obese.

You only have to look at the sides of the rabbit to tell he’s packing on the pounds. When a pet lies around all day with nothing to do, it’ll naturally eat more. Sometimes out of boredom – also like people do – and sometimes because the food is there and gives it something to do.

Without the benefit of a rabbit hutch run, your bunny can develop problems like heart failure, brittle bones, skin infections, and foot malformations. Their quality of life is greatly diminished.

New rabbit owners often think that the cute little wire cages they see bunnies in are suitable environments to keep the bunnies in. They might even believe that rabbits are easy to care for and low maintenance animals ideal for a small environment, but rabbits need a higher level of care than a simple cage can provide.

Rabbits that get daily exercise are happier and not as likely to be aggressive. Bunnies are not by nature aggressive but can develop the trait due to their frustration by having to remain so long in such cramped quarters.

Not only does the ability to run and hop help give your pet a good disposition and a healthier life, but the opportunity to be outside and eat grass can also improve digestion and keep his bowels moving regularly.

When you set up the run, don’t place it on an area of the yard that’s been treated by any chemicals, or you can make the bunny get sick. Double-check to make sure all the latches are adequately secure once you put your pet into the new home. A rabbit hutch run gives your pet a safe environment from the weather and predators where he can enjoy his days.

The Best Rabbit Home Is a Hutch With a Rabbit Run

What is the best rabbit home you can get? It’s the one that gives your precious pet the comfort you want him to have. There’s a belief circulating that bunnies can be perfectly happy in a cage, that all they need to find joy out of life is some food, a little place to sleep, and an hour or two of attention from a pet owner. Nothing could be more off base. Rabbits are not happy locked away in a cage where they can’t get the exercise they crave.

To a rabbit, being able to run and hop around in the sunshine, being able to sniff the air, and rise on his hind legs is part of his natural lifestyle. To take that away from him causes him stress and agitation.

Rabbits don’t need exercise ‘now and then’ or ‘when the weather permits.’ They need to be free to roam around every day for several hours a day. They need a run along with their hutch so that they can come and go at will.

You have to know about the best rabbit home for your bunny because while he does need to have one with a run, you have to understand the best place to set the run up. It’s a misconception that a run can be put over any patch of grass, and everything will be fine.

Some plants are toxic to rabbits, and if you’ve treated your lawn, that can be dangerous to the bunny, too. Taking care of weed control on a lawn is good lawn care sense, but the chemicals used to kill the weeds can also kill the bunny if he eats it.

Rabbits are very lovable, very curious animals that will explore everything they can see and touch. It’s the pet owner’s job to provide an area where the rabbit can freely sniff around and enjoy being outdoors.

The number one danger for a rabbit being outside in a run is a possible encounter with a predator. So you’ll want a run that’s sturdy enough to keep the dangers away from your pet. Never underestimate the craftiness of a predator. That’s one reason a hutch door with an easy to swing open latch is a bad idea. If you can open it with a twist of your fingers, so can a cat by swiping it with a paw.

Always know what’s going on in the run. When left alone outside for too long, rabbits will begin to dig in the soil, and they’ll create holes in the yard. This is done because the rabbit instinctively tries to burrow. The best rabbit home is the one that gives your bunny protection and freedom at the same time. You can get both in a hutch that has a run as well.

Buy a Rabbit Hutch and Run Together to Save Money

Your pet bunny will need a rabbit hutch and run to have both the comfort and the exercise he needs. If you buy both together, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.

Even though many hutches are quite large, for their physical and emotional, rabbits need to move freely about. They need to have that freedom yet at the same time because they are small animals that can be targeted by other animals such as cats or foxes, so they must be protected. They also need that fresh air and sunshine.

Give Your Pet More Space With a Rabbit Hutch Run

It’s never a good idea to let a bunny alone in a yard. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can take your pet out of a hutch and turn him loose in a fenced-in backyard, and he’d be fine.

Predators can get over or under a fence to get to a rabbit. The purpose of a rabbit run is to keep him safe from harm. The run is usually made of wire mesh or chain link fence material. The spaces between the wire are made so that the rabbit can’t get a foot caught up in the wire.

When you get a rabbit hutch and run, check with the manufacturer details on the kind of lumber or other materials used to make the run. Know ahead of time what’s safe for your bunny to be around and not since some wood is toxic to a rabbit.

An excellent wood to use in a run is fir wood that’s not been treated with any sealant that has a noxious fume to it. You’ll want the run you purchase to have an access door for you to be able to get to the bunny easily, but you’ll want that door to be sturdy enough so that if he pushes against it, the latch won’t spring open.

A run that’s too small defeats the purpose. A good rule of thumb to follow when considering what size run to get is to make sure it’s at least twice the size of a medium hutch, which would be about 36 inches in width.

Some runs come with flooring, but most do not, which allows the owner to move the hutch to a new area in the yard if the ground becomes muddy or is no longer suitable for the pet.

Having flooring on the run is a matter of personal preference but being able to nibble on untreated grass and be on a natural setting is more of a treat for the bunny than synthetic means.

Your pet needs both a rabbit hutch and run already in place before you bring him home. He’ll want to familiarize himself with his surroundings, and the sooner he learns he’s home, the more secure he’ll feel. Buying a hutch and run that you can just assembly can give you that convenience factor and save you money.

Include a Rabbit Hutch Cover to Shield Your Pet from the Elements and Attackers

You need to have some essentials when you own bunnies, and a rabbit hutch cover is one of those essentials. It’s not merely an accessory to go over the hutch and make it look good.

It’s made to give your pet a shield of protection from the biting wind in the wintertime, along with the lower temperatures. With fur all over their small bodies, you’d think they’d be well equipped to withstand the colder months, but rabbits go underground and find shelter from the elements that way. Kept in a hutch, they don’t have the option of burrowing, so it’s up to the owner to provide a way out of the wind.

The cover goes over the hutch on all four sides like an insulator to keep out the cold. It also acts as an umbrella to shelter the rabbit from the driving rain. Not only will it keep your pet warm and dry, but it also keeps the bedding and the food supply from getting wet as well – this is important to keep your pet healthy since moisture can cause fungus and bacteria to grow and spread.

A rabbit hutch cover should be one that’s easily removable. You don’t want a cover that stays on 24/7 because the rabbit won’t get enough fresh air flowing inside the hutch. That means that an odor can build up, which won’t be pleasant for you or your pet.

You can find many portable covers that slip right on and off the hutch with minimal effort. You’ll want to cover the bunny hutch when you hear reports that bad weather is on the way. If it gets too hot outside, you do not want to cover the hutch because you can make the bunny’s temperature too high.

But another reason you want to use a cover is to keep attackers out-especially after the sun goes down. It’s not only because what attackers can’t see they can’t get to, but most predators like to swoop down on rabbits can’t get past the cover. Predators that run along the ground to hunt for rabbits can’t lift the cover to get to the rabbit either.

In the evening, when you put a rabbit hutch cover over your bunny’s home, he gains a sense of security and feels protected. If a rabbit spots an enemy and can’t flee from that enemy, his heart rate can increase to a dangerous level, and he can have a heart attack – this is where the term ‘scared to death’ comes from when talking about rabbits. However, under the cover, he can’t see the enemy or be seen, which enables him to sleep in peace.

What Kind of Rabbit Hutch Accessories Are Worth Buying?

When you have a bunny and a hutch, rabbit hutch accessories are also necessary. But if you’ve done any shopping around at all after you got your pet, you’ll see that there are so many items out there for sale touting themselves as ‘must-haves’ for your rabbit.

You have to know what a rabbit needs to have and what the stores want you to have to get some of your money. You don’t need every little accessory on the market. Some shops advertise cute little booties and sweaters for bunnies as you’d see on those little yap-yap dogs on cold winter mornings.

Bunny rabbits do not have to have booties, sweaters, or clothes of any kind. Sure, they’d look adorable, and you’d probably get some great photos of your pet dressed up, but that’s a personal preference, a want, and not a need for the bunny. His needs are quite simple – food, shelter, treats, toys, and love – lots and lots of love. Rabbits like to be social, and they like interaction with their owners.

The rabbit hutch accessories your rabbit does need to have in his home begin with a bed. He’s got to have a place to sleep and sleep comfortably. A few newbies in raising pets think you can just stick some straw in the corner of the hutch, and the rabbit will be happy and fine.

The problem is that with a loose straw bed like that, the bunny will kick it out of the hutch, eventually-at least the parts of the straw he doesn’t chew on and the part he doesn’t eat. So a bed is a necessity. You can find grass mats that are better than just loose straw, but you can also do better than that and buy him a rabbit bed.

If you’d checked them out, you’ll see that most hutches have sliding trays that you can pull out, clean up the droppings, disinfect and then slide them back in – pretty convenient for pet owners.

But instead of having those droppings roll all over the tray, you can invest in a dropping pan that will be more sanitary for you and your pet. Once he’s accustomed to going to the bathroom in a specific area (and yes, rabbits can be potty trained to a litter box), a dropping pan is a must-have.

While toys for the bunny don’t come standard even in some starter kits, they are essential rabbit hutch accessories. Without toys to play with and gnaw on, your bunny can get bored, and he can have problems with his teeth.

Make Sure You Have These Supplies Before Buying Your Bunny

Don’t think that you can toss in the regular dog or cat toys; rabbit toys are made specifically to stand up to the constant gnawing of a rabbit, and they’re made of safe materials. Of course, you don’t want to forget the basics either – the food and water dishes.

Make Sure You Have These Supplies Before Buying Your Bunny

Getting a rabbit can be an exciting time, but you have to think about his comfort and get the correct rabbit hutch supplies before bringing him home. Since you already know that all animals have to have food to eat and water to drink, start by choosing the tools to meet that need.

Rabbits are rambunctious pets and enjoy hopping around the cage. Because of their energy, it’s best not to put food in the kind of dish that can be easily toppled. Plastic bowls can seem like a tasty treat or a toy to chew on for a bunny so avoid getting any of those. Metal bowls can tip over too quickly and startle the rabbit by the loud noise it’ll make. The top choice for a food dish is to get a ceramic bowl.

While rabbits can drink water from a bowl, it’s not the best idea to put their water in a bowl because not only can those be tipped as well and make a soggy mess in the cage but because he can dip his ears in the water. Gravity-fed water bottles are better.

If water is always spilling out, his housing environment can get moist, leading to the growth of bacteria or skin problems with the pet. Water for a bunny is best served through a drip-style water bottle.

The bottle attaches to the side of the hutch, and he can drink whenever he’s thirsty. No matter how much or how little water he drinks, though, make sure you change the water daily.

Other rabbit hutch supplies include bedding for the four-legged bundle. Some owners provide a plain grass mat for the bunny to lie on. While that will work, it’s not the softest material available for the pet.

You can find some bedding for bunnies that look like those little beds you can buy for small cats or dogs. Those are plush and warm, and rabbits like to cuddle up in them and sleep.

Because rabbits like to chew and need to chew to help their teeth, chew toys are not an optional buy. Rabbits that aren’t provided with the supplies that meet their need to chew will chew on furniture or other objects when they’re outside their cages.

Rabbits need to have hay in their diet, and a hayrack is one way you can supply that need. You can make a hayrack on your own, but it’s easier and less expensive to buy one when you get or order the other supplies.

Whether or not rabbits can be litter trained is a topic of much discussion among owners. Some rabbits have learned to use litter boxes, and you can find these online. The best thing about using one is that it eliminates messy trays in the hutch.

Many other rabbit hutch supplies you can buy to keep your bunny healthy and happy – supplies such as rabbit treats, specialty foods, and more. One important asset that doesn’t necessarily go into the cage that some owners forget about until they need it is a rabbit carrier. This is a required item for well-check visits to the veterinarian.

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