Raise Rabbits Outdoors -
Top 10 Outdoor Rabbits

About Rabbits - Breeds ~ Pet Rabbits ~ New Rabbit Checklist ~ Top 10 - Raise Rabbits Outdoors

Rabbits are quite hardy creatures and they can survive outdoors with the proper care.

If you do intend to have outdoor rabbits you must have more than one, in bonded pairs or groups. Rabbits outside, should never be left on their own.

rzise rabbits outdoors

Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons if you wish to raise outdoor rabbits, the main downsides being the obvious danger of predators lurking in the shadows and the lack of human company.

Most rabbit owners have  two  choices  of  where their rabbits live, indoors or outdoors. Outdoor rabbits usually have consistent access to running, playing, fresh air and foraging for food, but they are often overlooked and neglected. Indoor rabbits are less bored but have poor nutrition and hardly enough exercise.

A combination of the two is an ideal scenario.

Indoor or Outdoor?

With the Unique to Just Rabbits Ltd 'Indoor Rabbit Safety Rules Checklist' that all indoor rabbit owners should read before getting your rabbits home.

You won’t find this information condensed in such an easy to understand way, anywhere else, this one report alone will give you amazing insights to your ultimate decision making process – No more guesswork, worry, or indecisiveness

Learn more here...

The Indoor Vs Outdoor
Pet Rabbit Report

The Indoor Vs Outdoor Pet Rabbit Report including the Unique to Just Rabbits Ltd 'Indoor Rabbit Safety Rules Checklist' that all indoor rabbit owners should read before getting your rabbits home.

Find out more with the
iRabbit READY Program.

For a more detailed look at all aspects of bunny health, diet, environment, companionship & longevity check out the revolutionary iRabbit READY System by Kerry Greener of Just Rabbits Limited

Raise Rabbits Outdoors

With the right housing, fencing and interaction, you can successfully raise rabbits outdoors and they will be safe and happy, enjoying the freedom that living outside in the fresh air, offers them.

There are many breeds of rabbit that will happily live outside providing their fundamental needs are met, and some rabbit breeds actually prefer having the freedom and space that an outdoor environment offers.

This page will help you decide if you want to raise rabbits outdoors and which rabbit breeds are better suited to outdoor life.

Here's some more great Top Tens...

Why Outside?

It's ideal to have rabbits as both indoor and outdoor pets just as the setup that is enjoyed by most cats and dogs, but there may be reasons and issues that make it impossible for you to keep your pet rabbits indoors. For instance there may be;

  • a family member with allergies
  • a lack of space
  • no access to a garden or yard
  • a landlord with a 'no pet policy'
  • other aggressive pets indoors
  • sensitive or delicate equipment inside

There are other reasons too, but the fact is that some bunnies just have to stay outside, and that's OK because this page is what that is all about!

If you are thinking of moving your rabbits outside from being indoors or visa-versa read more about the indoor / outdoor transition here.

“A rabbit sneeze
on the morning breeze

sets homesick hearts aglow
sitting with his rumps

in a chicory clump
and longing for
a nice plump doe.”
  Richard Adams, Watership Down

Don't leave rabbits hutched the day long.
Does a cat not nap stretched out on your lap?
Does a dog not yap with delight on a run?
Does a child not enjoy playing with a toy?
Does nature play along when a part is wrong?

Don't leave a rabbit hutched the day long.
Kerry Greener

A Few Quick Reminders

Outdoor Rabbit Weather
Temperature and weather changes are obviously more severe than the environment indoors. This means their home should be secure, dry, clean, ventilated and warm in winter and cool in summer. More on weather here...

Outdoor Rabbit Housing
If you intend on having an outdoor rabbit house or shed, (I refuse to use the word 'hutch' when it comes to rabbit housing, as I don't believe any rabbit should be in one), here are some important guidelines every rabbit house must have...

Outdoor Rabbit Shelter
To successfully raise rabbits outdoors you will need to offer them many sheltering spots and hiding places to take refuge in. There are many things you can do to protect your sensitive bunnies, get some rabbit shelter ideas here...

Outdoor Rabbit Bedding
Outdoor bunnies need much more bedding and warm insulation material than indoor rabbits and studies have shown that the most common bedding being used still is wood chip and wood shavings. These ARE NOT recommended, and have been linked to all kinds of respiratory diseases in rabbits. As bedding material is so important, I have dedicated a page to rabbit bedding here...

The reminders above are only the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to bunnies being kept outside. If you seriously want to raise rabbits outdoors, these pages will also be very helpful:

Old Fashioned Thinking
I've never liked 'hutches' and rabbits don't like them either!

Hutches were originally introduced by the Victorians as an easy, short term solution for keeping their rabbits fat before going in to the pot!

Fortunately, most of us have moved on in our general understanding of rabbits since then, but the habit of keeping rabbits in hutches, has sadly stuck.

Hutches were used to keep
rabbits inactive and fat!

There are alternatives,
let's get modern!

Don't Forget...

Baby rabbit

Attention, Attention!
Just because your rabbits are outside, they still need lots of cuddles, interaction, grooming and bonding time with you and other members of the family. They love company, even if they have the benefit of another rabbit to play with. (Which all rabbits should have!)

Don't stick them out in the garden and forget about them, except to feed them or change the bedding every now and then when you remember. (All too common, sadly). If you think this is going to happen, please don't get a rabbit - not a living one anyway. Buy a nice stuffed toy rabbit that won't mind being neglected!

Ready? Set? Go!
If you are completely prepared to raise rabbits outdoors and you've grasped the basic principles of keeping rabbits outside, there are some breeds, in my opinion, that would actually prefer being outside.

So, here's your Top 10 Outdoor Rabbits in no particular order: (Click the names of the rabbit breed to find out more on each rabbit)

Top 10 Rabbits For Outdoors

1 . Britannia Petite -
They are miniature, fine-boned, slender rabbits, with an arched, hare-like body. They are lively, energetic, intelligent and inquisitive. They love to climb, explore and need plenty of space as they run  fast, jump high and enjoy freedom to race around.

Britannia Petite

2. Belgian Hare -
This is one of the most intelligent and energetic breeds of rabbit so will need plenty of space with large housing & lots of fresh water. They are not best suited to families with children but they are responsive to handling and can learn their own name.

Belgian Hare

3. Netherland Dwarf -
These are the most popular breed and despite their small size they are very active and need a good amount of space to move around and exercise. (Smaller rabbits don't need less space!) They are hardy and, while small, are able to keep up with reasonable play and handling.

Netherland Dwarf

4. Beveren -
One of the oldest and largest breeds, they are also classed as rare. They are well tempered, clean, and smart. Beverens are full of energy, and love to explore the outdoors. They are large too, does can get up to 12lbs, but are typically docile and make good mothers. Great if you can breed this one!


5. Lilac -
A mid-sized rabbit, hardy, slow-maturing and docile. They are recognized by the ARBA & The BRC and are a 'watched' breed, meaning there are less than 2000 globally. They are a popular winner at shows and often win Best in Show, so if you can breed the Lilac, you'll be on to a winner with this one!

Lilac Rabbit

6. Blanc de Hotot -
A compact, thickset white rabbit with spectacle-like black rings around each dark eye. They are an active and hardy breed that was originally bred for meat and fur. However, now they are an officially "threatened" breed, meaning they have a global population of less than 1,000. A beautiful rabbit to have lots of!

Blanc de Hotot

7. English Spot -
Also named The English Butterfly rabbit they are a medium sized breed weighing up to 8lbs. They are active and have a hearty appetite. They have the same body type as the Belgian Hare, a full arch and are actually judged at shows running the length of the table. Needs lots of room to run about!

English Spot

8. American Blue/White
Originally intended as a meat and fur rabbit, a
good American is large and hard to ignore on the show table. They are a hardy breed, and can have large  litters with fast weight gain potential. They have recently shifted from 'Critical' to the the less endangered 'Threatened' category.

American Blue

9. Gotland -
A lively and curious rabbit often being very interested in its environment. They are a hardy breed and rarely affected by disease or genetic defects. They are well adapted to living outdoors all year round, provided they are protected against drafts and harsh sunlight.

Gotland Rabbit

10. Deilenaar -
A thickset and well rounded rabbit. Also very friendly and lively. They are strong and robust, with a short body that is muscular throughout. The coat is the most eye catching feature of the breed, being longer than most. A high-spirited rabbit with a definite twinkle in their big bright eyes!

Deilenaar rabbit

In my research I found some other breeds that would also be suited to you if you choose to raise rabbits outdoors:

  • Fauve de Bourgogne
  • Silver Marten
  • Checkered Giant (Giant Papillon)

Of course there are more but these are just to give you an idea of what's out there!

Rescue Rabbits

  1. Adoption & Re-homing Centres
    Rescuing a rabbit from a shelter or charity is by far the best way to find your perfect rabbit pal.

    There are adoption and rescue centres worldwide, so you should be able to find one near you.

    Here you will find a list of all the rabbit rescue centres in the UK.

    I'm sure you'll find your perfect home companions just waiting for you there.

    And you'll 'just know' when you see them too!

  2. Registered, Reputable Breeders
    If you wish to breed your rabbits to protect the line of a rare breed or you wish to show your rabbits at exhibitions etc, then sourcing from a reputable, recommended breeder is the way to go.

    There are many good breeders listed in the Rabbit Association, Rabbit Council or Rabbit Authority for your country.

    For more information and to select from breeders worldwide go to this page in the first instance.

If you have decided on your perfect pet bunny, these pages will guide you through the next stages and help you raise rabbits outdoors:

Follow the Rabbit!

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