Caring For Your Hutch Or Run
As with most outdoor products the lifespan of your hutch can be dramatically prolonged by taking a few of the following recommended steps.
Below are recommendations that should take to ensure the longevity of your hutch or run as well as the safety of your pets.
Your hutch and or run has been treated with a base coat of wood preservative and while the wood we use for the majority of our products is highly durable and resistant to decay and rot, we recommend that you treat your hutch/run with a high-quality varnish or wood preservative.
Ideally, this would be before exposing it to the elements. We also recommend that you consider retreating it once a year (preferably before the winter season) to maintain the applied preservative and water repellent properties.
If you choose not to do so then over time the base coat we have applied will fade and your product may not look as good!
It would be beneficial to occasionally spray the locks and stays with products like WD-40 to keep the metal lubricated. (If you choose not to do so then you may find that the stays seize and can result in you damaging the hutch roof when you try to open it.)
We recommend applying a small amount on the stays (if your hutch has them), locks and hinges once a month to ensure that these metal on metal parts continue to work smoothly.
We highly recommend that you position your hutch in a protected area which is not overly exposed to the elements and protected at all times from high winds (or gust).
Every year in the UK we have a few strong storms that bring high winds which can result in your hutch being blown over or even the roof being blown off. Apart from the damage that these high winds can cause to your hutch don't forget that your pet may be inside at the time!
During stormy weather make sure your hutch is well protected from the elements and bring your rabbit or guinea pig inside until it passes. Remember, you are responsible for the welfare of your pets and we urge you to make sure that your pets are safe and the hutch is secure at all times.
When positioning your hutch try and position it so the doors are not facing into driving rain as it is possible with the 'right conditions' that rainwater is blow in under the doors. You may also wish to consider using the cover that comes with the hutch.
Click here to find out more about our range of heavy duty: Hutch Covers
We recommend that you clean your hutch out regularly (once a week) making sure to thoroughly wipe down and disinfect the insides of it. This includes the undersides of the roof and the back of the hutch if it's close to a fence.
Always use a good disinfectant when cleaning your hutch or run. There are also some natural cleaning products that may be worth considering too.
Make sure that there is adequate air circulation at all times around the entire hutch otherwise, there will be an increase in the likelihood of mould build-up.
Water bottles and toys and replace any wet or soiled bedding and hay. In addition, you should aim to remove droppings every day if there is a build up.
Over the colder, damper months, mould can form on the insides of your hutch if there is not adequate ventilation. This can be exacerbated by keeping the hutch covered or preventing good air circulation.
Mould can spread quickly if it's not treated immediately. By regularly cleaning and disinfecting your hutch or run as well as making sure there is adequate ventilation inside and out you greatly reduce any chance of the naturally occurring air bourne mould spores from taking hold and growing.
If you have a cover for your hutch then you must allow both your cover and hutch to air out regularly, especially after long periods of wet or damp weather. Failure to do so will result in a build-up of mould on the cover and on the hutch!
There is always the possibility that some rabbits and other rodents may chew parts of their hutch and prolonged chewing can weaken your hutch and decrease the protection they offer against foxes.
We recommend that if your rabbit starts to chew that you immediately take the necessary precautions to prevent or lessen the chance of them damaging your hutch. Rabbits have sharp teeth and can cause serious damage to your hutch and run in a very short period of time.
Here are some helpful tips and products that we recommend.
We suggest you don't wait until your rabbit starts to chew before taking precautions. Rather invest in some of our new anti-chew strips straight away.
Please also note that if you are going to keep your rabbit or guinea pig outside then we highly recommend that you read our recommendations on how to safeguard their welfare against foxes and other animals (dogs, badgers, cats).
Full details can be found here: Fox proofing a rabbit hutch.
We would like to think that our products are made to a higher standard than most other suppliers in our price range and while we have purposely used thicker, sturdier wood, wire and locks with the aim to make it as safe and secure as possible for your pets we cannot absolutely guarantee that foxes, badgers, dogs and even cats won't try and forcefully gain access.
We don't pretend that our products are 100% predator proof and we don't make false claims (like some of our competitors) that they are.
Preditors like foxes/dogs/badgers are by far the biggest threat that your pet will face so if you are going to keep your rabbits or guinea pigs outside then we also urge you to take these added precautions