Rabbits will always need exercise and a large space to stretch, run, hop, binky and play. If you’re not able to let your rabbit free-roam, a Rabbit Run could be perfect to provide constant enrichment whilst you’re busy. A rabbit run can contain plenty of extras like a digging box, toys, tunnels and even hidden treats!
What your rabbit run should utilise:
- Spacious Height – At least 2-3ft in height to allow room to stand and jump.
- Sturdy roof with some shade – To protect your rabbit from predators and the sun.
- A secure base – Rabbits are crafty and will often try and dig out and escape, if you don’t have a concrete floor you can put a mesh flooring down or wood
- A rabbit hide – A hide is a fantastic accessory to any Rabbit Run as it allows your rabbit to hide when it senses danger as well as provide protection from the sun or rain
Your rabbits run should be at least 8ft in length and 3ft in height, if possible definitely go for a bigger run as your rabbit will love running around with all the extra space. These variables will change based on the size of your rabbit, as such, try and make the Rabbit Run as tall as possible for multiple layers of space or purchase a Rabbit Aviary.
What types of Rabbit run are there?
There are typically 5 different types of Rabbit Runs which all have different pros and cons; these are Apex Run, Wire Run, Metal Cage Run, Wooden Mesh Run & an Aviary. The bigger the run you can provide and the more sturdy the better, if you have the funds and space, the Aviary is a perfect option for letting your rabbit ‘free roam’ in a larger space.
This is a small triangular run which provide shelter, whilst this is fine for small periods of exercise or during small periods of downtime. This is perfect for grazing and being outside but not enough for your rabbits exercise needs. If you do have an Apex run for your rabbit but also another larger run, this can be perfect for letting your rabbits hide or shelter from the rain if you don’t have a Rabbit Hide or Cover for the run.
Apex Runs are also known as Ark Runs depending on where you look and are usually quite portable as they can be folded flat. The caveat here is that your rabbit will only be able to access the middle of the run efficiently.
As you can see in our diagram, your rabbit sitting down is more than likely to take up around 40-50% of you Apex Run which is not enough room for your rabbit.
On average a rabbit will be around 25cm (10 inches) tall when they’re sitting down, this means stretching or periscoping is incredibly difficult for a rabbit. If you still wish to use an Apex Rabbit Run, you should go to your local DIY Store and buy some smaller pieces of wood that you can use to lift up the Apex and increase the height.
Note: If you have multiple rabbits, you should not get an Apex Run.
Wire Run (Wire Pen)
Wire runs are great indoors or outdoors, if you have a new rabbits its crucial that you keep them in a safe location whilst you make sure everything is bunny proof. If they’re not litter trained and are new to their environments, the Wire run is perfect for quick mess cleanups, easy training and lots of room to exercise.
You should always leave your rabbit supervised and if possible get a Wire Run which has both a bottom and top to avoid escapes and accidents, If you purchase multiple Wire Pens you should be able to expand the space making them fit round various sizes and shapes.
If you see a second hand Wire Run which is custom made with chicken wire, it is recommended not to buy them as a rabbit can chew through most materials from Chicken Wire, Wood and even Plastic.
Typically you’ll be able to have 2 rabbits, sometimes up to 3 depending on their size in 1 Wire run.
Note: There are stories of rabbits trying to climb under Wire Runs and getting stuck, make sure to supervise your rabbit when using a Wire Pen.
Metal Cage Run
These will typically be a smaller replacement to the Wire Run and not a great choice in comparison. If you are limited on space the Metal Cage runs are fine, but they are only a mid choice between the Apex Run and the Wire run.
One of the issues with a Metal Cage run is that it is easy to dig out of and as your rabbit matures easy to lift. We’ve had various moments where our rabbit will life up a corner and we have to intervene to stop them from being hurt.
In general, we suggest avoiding these runs and going for the Wire Run instead which is typically around the same price and often cheaper.
You can make some changes to improve this cage, using a wooden bottom or hooking the cage into the ground but this will require some DIY and lots of testing/practice!
Wood & Mesh Run
There are plenty of these you can buy but won’t always meet the mark, so it’s generally suggested you do this as part of DIY project. If you do choose to purchase a wooden mesh run you can often use parts of a chicken coup (New of course), alternatively you can use spare Aviary Panels if you have them laying around with some wood glue to stick everything together.
You need to be really careful if you’re using screws or staples as these can be a danger hazard for your rabbit, if you can get a professional carpenter to make the Wood & Mesh run that would be a much safer option.
Chicken Wire is usually made from galvanized wire which is twisted into a shape of a hexagonal grid, if you’re looking for the best option to keep your rabbit in and deter predators you should go with at least a 1.2mm option.
Wire weld mesh is typically the better option as its thicker and harder to get through. If there’s a single break in the weld mesh the structure will stay solid and resist bending.
You should avoid using chicken mesh but instead use Wire Mesh, this is because rabbits can get through chicken mesh easily.
|Mesh Gauge||Thickness (In mm)|
If you have the room in your garden, definitely get an Aviary for your rabbit. It’s got the bigger room in most cases, offers great security, keeps your rabbit safe from predators and is too heavy for them to lift up.
If you can, you should try and make sure there is a solid bottom to avoid them digging out, it only takes one day for a rabbit to dig under and out! If you have concrete slabs, they work just as well for the bottom of your aviary.
You also have the option of having a door to your aviary, however, this does open you up to having your rabbit run off when they see you coming, if you can you should definitely add an ‘airlock’ with an extra door to avoid escapes.
One of the more popular brands you’ll find in the UK is “FeelGoodUK”, whilst expensive they are an all in one solution for keeping an outdoor rabbit safe. FeelGoodUK aviary’s do seem to have mostly chicken wire meshing so if you can look for alternatives with weld mesh that would be better.
Despite the name, you shouldn't be putting rabbits in with birds, keep only your rabbits in this one enclosure.