Reviews

Snugglesafe Heatpad – in-depth user review

Snugglesafe Heatpad – in-depth user review

It’s not often you come across a product that just works really well, reliably and simply. When they crop up, they grab your attention. 

The Snugglesafe heatpad grabbed my attention. 

The short version? This is a pad you can heat up in the microwave in a few minutes, that will keep your bunnies warm in their hutch for hours. It’s safe, easy and there’s no wires or charging required. We like it so much that we bought a second.

You can get it from Pets at Home, or if you prefer, Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Keep reading to see why we like it so much.

What is the Snugglesafe heatpad?

The heatpad is a solid feeling, plastic, pink disc. To warm it up, you stick it in your microwave. How long depends upon your microwave’s power. In ours, it takes about five minutes.

Here are the dimensions:

DiameterAbout 9 inches (23cm)
ThicknessAbout 1 inch (2.5cm)
WeightAbout 2lb 2oz (just under 1kg)

The pad has a fleece cover (you can microwave it in the cover if you want). 

You then simply place the pad in the rabbit hutch. It will give off heat for hours (up to ten hours, depending upon conditions).

How does it work?

Pink disc of Snugglesafe heatpad
The pink plastic disc, with the cover to the side

The hard plastic contains a different polymer inside called Thermapol (registered trademark). Thermapol is a solid plastic at temperatures of up to 65 deg C (149 deg F). 

In the microwave, the Thermapol warms up. The outer case (made of a different plastic) remains cooler, and stops the heat from conducting quickly away.

The heat is transferred from the Thermapol to the outer case, and from there to the environment.

In other words, the heat moves from the Thermapol to your bunny’s hutch, but really slowly, over a period of many hours. 

How robust is it?

The Snugglesafe feels robust and solid. I have no worries about whether or not our bunnies might decide to try to chew it.

Many people report using these for years.

How easy to use is it?

Snugglesafe heatpad in microwave
Just put it in the microwave for the right time…

If you can use a microwave, you can use the Snugglesafe. That’s literally all you have to do. 

The timings for different microwaves (eg 700w, 800w, 900w etc) are printed on the Snugglesafe, so you don’t have to remember how long it goes in your microwave for, or try to find the instructions you filed away in a drawer somewhere.

Can you use it without a microwave?

No. Trying to heat the pad up in other ways won’t work properly. You need a microwave.

How easy to clean is it?

It’s easy to clean.

The cover slips off easily (it is held on by velcro) and is machine washable. 

The disc is easy to clean as it is solid plastic.

We do find that bits of straw sticks to the cover, but this doesn’t seem to bother our bunnies, so we don’t worry about this.

How safe is the Snugglesafe heatpad?

Used properly, the Snugglesafe should be safe. 

The following are ways in which it could be misused:

  • Don’t heat it for longer than it says in the microwave. If you overheat it too much (say for three or four times as long as you should do) the Thermapol will become so hot that it turns to liquid. It may then distort the heatpad, or even leak out.
  • If you accidentally do this, don’t touch the heatpad until it has entirely cooled down. The Thermapol will turn solid again once it is cool.
  • Snugglesafe warn to leave it in the microwave for a minute before handling it after heating. If you take it straight away, it is slightly uncomfortably hot to hold. Other people report the temperature of the surface being around 45-50 deg C (113-122 deg F) after warming.
  • Don’t reheat the pad while it is still warm. You may accidentally overheat it, leading to it distorting as above.
  • Don’t try to heat more than one pad at a time. You may just end up overheating one of the pads.
  • You also shouldn’t use this with an anaesthetised pet – as with any heat source, if an animal is lying against it and doesn’t move, this could cause problems. 

Could you use it in the summer to keep cool?

You may be wondering if you can stick one of these in the freezer and then use it to cool down a hutch in summer. Short answer, no.

These are not designed to be frozen.

If you want something to keep your rabbits cool in the summer, have a look at the Snugglesafe cool pad, available on Amazon UK and Amazon US. 

Where can you buy the Snugglesafe heatpad?

You can buy the Snugglesafe heatpad from:

Pets at Home

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What alternatives are there?

You can get electric heaters that work on a low voltage and come with chew-proof cables. A thin metal plate covered with a cloth provides steady heat.

They are designed to work with pets.

I have no personal experience with these, but one that is popular is the Petnap Flexiguard 33, which you can get from Amazon UK or a simlar device by K&H at Amazon US

They are usually more expensive than the Snugglesafe heatpad. 

Personally, I prefer just sticking a Snugglesafe heatpad in the microwave and not having to worry about cables and electricity.

Conclusion

Snugglesafe heatpad in the hutch.

If you have a rabbit, and worry that they might be too cold at night, invest in a Snugglesafe Heatpad. We did.

Highly recommended.

Other posts

If you’re thinking about a heatpad, check out our article on whether bunnies feel the cold at night.

We also look at whether rabbits can safely go out when it’s raining.

And, if you’re like us, you want to keep your rabbit(s) amused and interested. Here’s our selection of toys that our bunnies have enjoyed.

Posted by Jonathan in Reviews
Compare pet rabbit insurance UK [2020]

Compare pet rabbit insurance UK [2020]

In this post, I compare the five main insurers for pet rabbits in the UK, so you can make a better informed choice, and see what is the best pet rabbit insurance for you.

If our bunny is poorly, we want to make sure they get the best veterinary help. But medical costs can be high – hundreds or thousands of pounds. That’s why pet insurance is a good idea.

But when I looked into pet insurance for our rabbits, I was surprised.

I wanted to know how much pet rabbit insurance costs, but the comparison websites didn’t give any choice or comparisons. They just directed you to one company. I had to dig around to find what options and what differences there were between the providers.

You can see here the five main UK pet rabbit insurers: what they offer, how much they cost, and which to get quotes from. It should make your search for rabbit insurance easier.

But here’s my quick summary:

Best budget option for pet rabbit insurance:

Agriapets.co.uk – Get a quote here

Best all-round option for pet rabbit insurance:

4Paws.co.uk – Get a quote here

What the article covers:

Comparison of pet rabbit insurance providers

ProviderSample quote
1 yr old
Cost per month
Sample quote
4 yr old; (4 yr old with
KT18 postcode)
Vet coverExcessMultipet discount?
Agria
(Lifetime with 10% excess)
£10.10£10.10
(£9.42 for KT18)
£1,500£65 + 10% of claim5% discount
Agria
(Lifetime no 10% excess)
£12.20£12.20£1,500£655%
Agria
(Lifetime Plus with 10%)
£15.12£15.12
(£14.06 for KT18)
£2,500£65 + 10% of claim5%
Agria
(Lifetime Plus no 10% excess)
£18.19£18.19£2,500£655%
4Paws
(NCI & Insureandgo)
£12.79£12.79
(same for KT18)
£2,000£55?
Petplan£12.86£15.57
(£19.47 for KT18)
£2,000£55
(20% of claim once rabbit over 7 yrs old)
Yes
Exotic Direct£12.80£12.80
(same for KT18)
£2,00065Yes
Helpucover£13.71£17.41
(£18.85 for KT18)
200050
(25% of claim once rabbit over 5 yrs old
8.33%

How I carried out the comparison

I carried out the searches on 26th February 2020, asking for cover from 1st March 2020 for a 1 year old mini-lop, a 4 year old mini-lop, and a 7 year old mini-lop, for a Manchester (M14) postcode. For the 4 year old mini-lop, I also asked for a quote for a different postcode (KT18) located in Surrey, to see if being in the South East would give a more expensive quote.

I also checked whether a different breed would give a different quote. None of the insurers gave different premiums for the different breeds I checked (mini-lop, Netherland Dwarf, mixed, Angora), but if you have an uncommon one, that may make a difference.

No insurer would give an online quote for a rabbit over 5 years old.

In the individual reviews, all sample quotes are for a 1 year old female, mini-lop rabbit based on an M14 postcode.

Agria – best budget choice

Agria are my best budget choice. But they offer a range of cover options.

They are also the company that we chose to insure our rabbits.

Agria are an award-winning specialist pet insurance company that are Swedish in origin. They have been operating in the UK since 2009, and have a UK based team.

All their insurance is offered on a lifetime basis – if your pet develops a condition, the insurer will continue to pay out each year for treatment so long as you keep paying the premiums.

They have two different options: lifetime; and lifetime plus.

Lifetime

Sample quote£10.10 per month
(includes 10% excess)
Vet fee cover£1,500 per annum
Excess£65

Lifetime Plus

Sample quote£18.19 per month
Vet fee cover£2,500 per annum
Excess£65
Advertising£250
Travel or accommodation£300
Death from illness/injury£50
Boarding fees£250

Agria are also the only insurance company to offer a variable excess. You can choose to pay a fixed amount (£65), or this fixed amount plus 10% of what you claim (eg vet fees) for that year. 

So if your rabbit has an operation which costs £800, you would pay £145 excess (£65 + £80). 

Choosing this variable excess means lower premiums, but potentially higher bills.

Agria’s quotes didn’t change either with age of rabbit (under five years). 

But Agria did change with postcode – the quote for Surrey was slightly lower than that for Manchester (the opposite to Petplan). 

Agria also offer a discount for insuring more than one rabbit at a time.

Agria’s website was easy to use and navigate. 

Overall, Agria has an easy to use website, choice about what cover to take, and the cheapest quotes. Recommended.

Click here for a quote from Agriapets.co.uk

4Paws – best all-round choice (also NCI online, and Insureandgo)

4Paws and Insureandgo are different brands of NCI, so all offer the same insurance package. I used the 4Paws website, as that is tailored for pet owners.

4Paws are a good, solid choice for reasonable premiums and good cover. For about the same level of cover, they are cheaper than Agria (though Agria offer cheaper options with less cover).

Sample quote£12.79 per month
Vet fee cover£2,000 per annum
Excess£55
Advertising£250
Boarding fees£250

4Paws seem to offer the same quote regardless of age (under five), postcode or breed. 

Their website is easy to use. 

Overall, 4Paws is a good all-round choice. Recommended.

Click here for a quote from 4Paws.co.uk

Petplan

Petplan is a popular insurance option, and recommended by Pets At Home. It is a solid, safe choice, with the greatest cover for boarding fees or advertising costs if your bunny goes missing.

Sample quote£12.86 per month
Vet fee cover£2,000 per annum
Excess£55
Advertising£2,000
Boarding fees£2,000
Complementary treatment£750 per annum

Once your bunny reaches the age of 7 years, the excess typically increases to 20% of the vet fees.

Petplan’s premiums changed with both the age of the rabbit and also the postcode.

Their website is easy to use and navigate.

Overall, Petplan is a good choice, but may cost more for older rabbits or depending upon where you live.

Click here for a quote from Petplan.co.uk

Exotic Direct

Exotic Direct offer good value insurance, similar in price and cover to 4Paws. 

Sample quote£12.80 per month
Vet fee cover£2,000 per annum
Excess£65

Exotic Direct premiums did not vary with age or postcode. Exotic Direct also offer a separate deal where you can insure up to 3 rabbits either by sharing the total vet fee cover over all three (which can lower individual monthly cost to below £10) or by keeping £2,000 per animal, but still with slightly lower costs. 

The website was the hardest to use. It requires you to register with them to get a quote (which the other insurers don’t require), and if you need to go back to change any information you have to start over again from scratch.

Their payment plan is actually spread over 10 monthly payments, not 12, but I have adjusted the cost to make the comparison fair (ie divided their yearly cost by 12). 

Overall, not a bad choice, but with a difficult to use website. Check them out if you are insuring more than one rabbit.

Click here for a quote from Exoticdirect.co.uk

Helpucover

Helpucover are the pet insurance brand of Pinnacle Insurance. They have the lowest excess of any insurer, but the highest premiums (but not by a lot).

Sample quote£13.71 per month
Vet fee cover£2,000 per annum
Excess£50
Advertising£250
Boarding fees£250
Involuntary unemployment or loss of incomeUp to 6 months of premiums waived

Their premiums vary with the age of your rabbit, and with your postcode. The cost for Surrey was slightly more than that for Manchester. 

Once your rabbit reaches 5 years, the excess becomes the higher of £50 or 25% of the vet fees.

They are the only provider who offers any protection against losing your job, through offering a premium waiver for up to six months.

They have a straightforward website, which seemed easy to navigate. 

Overall, Helpucover is an option if you want the lowest excess.

Click here to get a quote from helpucover.co.uk

What is covered in pet insurance

All the rabbit insurance above is offered on a lifetime basis – if your rabbit develops a condition which needs treatment year after year, you are still covered so long as you continue to pay your premiums. 

Vet fees

The amount paid towards veterinary fees each year.

Excess

The amount you will have to pay towards any vet fees for treating a condition.

Complementary therapy

Acupuncture, aromatherapy etc (only if recommended by vet).

Advertising

Help towards finding a lost or stolen rabbit, including advertising and reward cost.

Travel & accommodation

Travel and accommodation expenses if a vet refers your bunny for treatment to a different vet.

Death from illness or injury

Covers the purchase price of your rabbit if it dies or has to be put to sleep as a result of illness or injury.

Boarding fees

Covers boarding fees for your rabbit if you or a close family member unexpectedly needs to go into hospital.

What isn’t covered?

Always check with the provider. But generally, vaccinations, neutering and spraying, and pre-existing conditions aren’t covered.

Do I need to insure my rabbit?

You aren’t required by law to have insurance, and many people don’t. But vet fees can be large. Investigating weight loss might rack up over £500 in vet fees. And if your rabbit develops an ongoing condition, you might be looking at substantial amounts each year.

Here’s an example. One of our rabbits suddenly stopped eating, and wouldn’t move much. We needed to take him to the emergency vet that night to be checked over – this cost nearly £200. If he had needed to stay the night, that would have pushed the cost close to £1,000.

Fortunately, we could take our bunny home, and he recovered rapidly.

But it shows how rabbit insurance could end up saving you from shelling out a large amount of money at once.

The alternative is putting aside some money each month, and hoping that that will cover any costs. But this won’t be enough if you and your bunny are unfortunate enough to land a large vet bill. 

Getting insurance while your rabbit is young and healthy may save you from expensive surprises later on.

Other posts

If you are looking into the cost of buying a rabbit, take a look at our post at how much it all adds up to.

Wondering what happens if you get your rabbit spayed? This post gives our experience from the owner’s perspective.

Trying to keep your bunny entertained? Here’s an article on the toys we found worked best.

I’m not an insurance specialist, and this shouldn’t be considered legal advice. I’m just trying to give helpful information. Always check details and quotes with a provider directly – terms and conditions can change.

This comparison page is free to use. Getting a quote from links on this page helps to support this site.

Posted by Jonathan in General, Reviews
10 of the best rabbit toys (our bunnies loved them all!)

10 of the best rabbit toys (our bunnies loved them all!)

If you have a bunny (or more than one!) as a pet, you will know how inquisitive, sociable and active they are. Our mini-lops Fish and Chips love zooming around, poking their noses everywhere, and chewing whatever they can find. 

The flipside is that rabbits can become bored without things to prod or gnaw. So here are ten great inexpensive rabbit toys and treats for bunnies that keep ours active and happy.

1. Ancol small animal treat ball

  • Long-lasting
  • Entertaining
  • Pretty cheap

This is my favourite gift on this list – that’s why it’s the first one. 

This entertains our bunnies Fish and Chips and keeps them active pushing it around the garden with their nose and paws. 

The Ancol ball is slightly larger than a tennis ball, hollow, and made out of thick yellow plastic. You can drop nuggets or other treats into the ball through a sliding panel, and then leave it slightly open. 

As your rabbit pushes the ball around, a nugget or two will drop out. As your bunny learns that pushing the ball means treats, they will play with it more and more.

It’s a toy that lasts (some of the others are meant to be chewed) and entertains, and it’s not even expensive.

The only drawback we found is that the lid can be a little hard to slide.

You can buy the Ancol small animal treat ball from Amazon UK here; the closest equivalent I could find in the States comes under the Wheeky brand, available from Amazon US here.

2. Ancol rabbit play tunnel

Rabbit in tunnel
Fish exploring the Ancol play tunnel
  • Long lasting
  • Great fun
  • Folds away

Rabbits love being able to hide and run, and this tunnel gives them a chance to do both. Our bunnies also have fun sprinting through the tunnel at pace (bunnies are fast!).

The tunnel is longer than some others also on the market (it’s just over 4 feet / 1.28cm). 

It is also wider than some others (the diameter is 10in / 25cm), so if you have a larger pet rabbit like a French lop or similar they can still fit through. 

The tunnel is made out of nylon, and seems quite robust. We leave ours out in the garden (and young children have played with/in it as well) and it is still fine. 

The tunnel also collapses down easily if you need to put it away. 

We have even put ours through the washing machine (don’t know if this is recommended or not) and it came out clean and unscathed.

We bought ours from a local pet store (Jollyes), but you can also check it out on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

3. Rosewood hay forage cube

hay cube
Fish starting on a hay cube – yum yum
  • Our bunnies love to chew these
  • But they don’t last more than a few days

All our bunnies, adore these cubes. Rabbits love to chew and they love to eat. These clever cubes allow your rabbit to do both. 

The cubes are made of cardboard with hay stuck all over them, and then stuffed inside with more hay (sometimes with added marigold). Our rabbits begin by attacking the inside, eating the hay. You can then refill it.

However, our bunnies soon move onto the box itself (which is designed to be chewed and eaten). This means it’s a great treat, but don’t expect it to last for too long. 

You can buy the cubes in different sizes – we usually get medium. 

hay cube
Chips starting work on the hay cube itself

One thing to watch for is some people found their pet getting their head stuck in the cube. We have never had this problem, but it might be worth making sure that the size of cube is suitable for your bunny.

You can get them from Amazon UK here. It’s also available on Amazon US. We actually have buy this cube on a repeat order from Amazon.

4. Woodlands wooden playstick large

Rabbit under wooden playsticks
Fish finding some shade under the wooden playsticks
  • Lets your rabbit hide or climb
  • Long lasting

Climbing and hiding, climbing and hiding… Our rabbits spend a lot of time doing one or the other, and the Woodland playstick gives them both. The sticks can be bent into different shapes (some use them as ramps) but we bent ours into a tunnel. Your bunny can be safe and secure inside, or climbing on top for a better view of the world. 

As it is made out of wood, it wouldn’t matter if our rabbits chewed this – but ours never have. 

The playstick seems robust, and lives in our rabbits’ run all the time. 

You can get similar products in many pet stores, but we got ours from Pets at Home. You can get similar wooden tunnels on Amazon UK [Trixie natural living willow bridge] and one for small or medium rabbits from Amazon US, but we haven’t tried these ourselves. 

5. Happy Pet Willow Tube

  • Gives your rabbit somewhere to hide if they are small
  • Bunnies like to push it around and move it
  • Rabbits love to chew on willow
  • But it doesn’t last forever

Rabbits seem to love tunnels (at least ours do). Perhaps it’s because they are similar to warrens. Whatever the reason, ours loved playing with this tunnel made out of willow. 

They also loved chewing it. Don’t expect the tunnel to last too long – our bunnies destroyed it over a few days, but had a great time while they were doing it.

Also, even the large size is not that large. Your rabbit may love chewing it, but if your bunny is on the big size, may struggle to fit through.

You can get tubes like this from many pet stores, including Jollyes, but we got ours from Amazon UK.  It’s also available from the Amazon US store. 

6. Rosewood boredom breaker woodroll carrot

  • Bunnies love to try to get the treat
  • Gnawing on the wood is good for their teeth
  • But only give occasionally – seeds should only be an occasional treat

This is another treat that kept our bunnies happy for a while. The small log has holes filled with a carrot mixture. Your rabbit can explore and excavate the log.

This is a treat – the carrot and seed mixture isn’t what a bunny’s normal diet should consist of (rabbits should be mainly eating hay – see our article on Timothy hay here to find out more).

Get this from Amazon UK.

7. Rosewood trio of fun balls

  • Bunnies love to push these wooden balls around
  • Rabbits also like chewing on these
  • But these toys won’t last forever

Our bunnies love playing with new toys, pushing them around, sniffing them and gnawing on them. These wooden balls were another hit.

Like the willow tube, don’t expect these balls to last forever. Enthusiastic chewing means that the balls end up as smaller and smaller bits. But while they lasted, our bunnies had a great time with them.

They’re also usually cheap to buy. You can check the current price at Amazon UK, or an equivalent from Amazon US.

8. Toss and Treat Loofah

  • Rabbits like to gnaw on these
  • Bunnies can also toss them around their play areaf
  • You can add treats to it

This is another toy that enables your rabbit to gnaw, chew and have fun. Basically, it’s a loofah tube with some holes. You can stuff the holes with treats (or shove hay into the middle of the tube). Your bunnies can play and chew to their hearts’ content.

We got ours from Pets at Home. I haven’t seen anything identical on Amazon, but you could try other pet stores for similar products. You can get loofahs safe for rabbits to chew here at Amazon US.

9. Apple and Apricot treat sticks

  • Our bunnies love these
  • But the treats don’t last long
  • And they’re not terribly healthy for your bunny – only give occasionally

The main thing a rabbit should be eating is hay (see our article on why Timothy hay is so good for rabbits, and if you want to follow it up we also have one on which herbs are safe to give your bunny and what fruit you can give your bunny as a treat). 

But every now and then, it’s nice to have a treat. So once in a while we buy these apple and apricot treat sticks for our rabbits. 

Our bunnies love to chew on these (so don’t expect them to last too long).

The ingredients include wheat and oats, which shouldn’t be part of an everyday diet, but are fine on occasion (just like you shouldn’t have ice cream for every meal, but enjoy some at a party or day out). 

We got ours from Pets at Home. Most pet stores will have something similar – just make sure that the package confirms that it is safe for rabbits to eat.

10. Bunnies Make it Better

Life is good but bunnies make it better sign
This hangs on our back door

OK, a confession. 

This isn’t really for our bunnies, it’s for us. We have this hanging on a door near the hutch. 

Because it rings true, doesn’t it? They are little bundles of furry joy.

This small but sweet sign is sold on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Bonus – Beware of the rabbits sign

Watch out for bunnies!

OK, I can’t count. This is number eleven, and again, it’s more for me (and visitors) than my bunnies. Are your buns feisty? Tell the world with this cute little (and cheap) sign.

Although the sign looks metallic in the picture, it’s actually plastic (thick and tough plastic). You could use cable ties to attach it to your rabbit hutch. The sign is about 4″ (10cm) wide.

You can get it from the Omlet company, who also make a fantastic range of rabbit tunnels and runs.

Conclusion

Here’s hoping you find something in this list that appeals, and that keeps your bun amused, entertained and happy!

If you like keeping your rabbit entertained, have you also thought of teaching them some tricks? Find out here how to teach your rabbit to give you a high five, or to spin around.

Posted by Jonathan in General, Reviews
Large Coach House Rabbit Hutch (in-depth user review)

Large Coach House Rabbit Hutch (in-depth user review)

If you’re going to buy a rabbit, you also need somewhere for the rabbit to live. And for most of us, that means buying a rabbit hutch or cage.

Not everyone: some people – about 1 in 20 owners – let their bunnies roam entirely freely indoors, and a recent survey of English pet bunny owners found one owner who used a Wendy house as a makeshift hutch. Source.

When we decided to become rabbit owners, we did some research on the internet, asked friends for advice, and eventually settled on the Large Coach House rabbit hutch, with its optional extras – a run and cover.

Large Coach House rabbit hutch
A view from the front – the doors provide easy access everywhere in the hutch

The Large Coach House hutch is a two storey hutch designed to be used outdoors.

Fish and Chips, our rabbits, have been happily living in it since we brought them home. 

Overall, we are pleased with our choice, but there have been one or two niggles along the way. Here’s our experience of using this hutch, and why we chose it.

How much does it cost and where can I buy it?

You can buy it (if you’re in the UK) from the Pet House Company here.

If you’re based in the US, have a look at this alternative (available from Amazon) – more details on this hutch lower down the page.

How big is the hutch?

We have to think about two different factors when considering size. First, how much area do the rabbits have to move around in? Will there be space for them to hop, to stretch, to run a little? Secondly, how high is the hutch? Will there be space for them to rear up on their hind legs?

How much floor space does the hutch and run have?

The hutch dimensions are as follows:

Overall height (to lowest point – the top slopes)3.3 ft1m
Width6 ft1.8m
Depth2 ft60cm

Overall area for rabbits         24 ft2  2.16m2

How does this area compare to recommendations from animal welfare groups?

The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) recommend a minimum size of hutch of 6ftx2ft, which equates to 12 ft2 (1.08m2) (info here).

So the hutch has double the recommended floor space.

BUT the RWAF also recommend that rabbits should have access to a run of 8ft x 6ft (2.44m x 1.8m x 0.91m). Added together, this means a total floor space of 60 ft2 (12 ft2 for the hutch, 48 ft2 for the run).

The run that you can buy with the Large Coach House is 6 ft x 4 ft (1.8m x 1.22m), for a floor space of 24 ft2 (2.16m2). 

So, the Large Coach House hutch and run together give a combined floor space of 48 ft2 (4.32m2).

The combined total is therefore a little less than the recommendation of the RWAF. Clearly this isn’t ideal, but it’s remarkably difficult to find a larger floor space from hutch and run that are designed to work together. The Large Coach House hutch and run is one of the largest floor spaces available commercially.

Our rabbits also have regular access to a large garden, so we felt comfortable with this space for our buns.

How high is the hutch and run?

The internal height of the upper floor is about 14 inches (36cm). The ground floor is taller – 15.5 inches (39cm). 

Fish by run door
Fish waits for the run door to be opened. This gives an idea of how high the run is.

If you buy the run, it is a little taller – 21 inches (53cm). I went and measured this myself, as I couldn’t find it on the supplier’s website.

Again, this isn’t as high as the RWAF would prefer – they suggest 36 inches (91cm). The run needs to be high enough for a rabbit to be able to rear on their hind legs – for an average rabbit this means 52.6cm or just under 21 inches. Our rabbits are on the smaller side, so the run is tall enough for them. If you have larger rabbits, this may be something worth checking.  

The hutch and run are big enough (space and height) for our rabbits, but that might not be true for everyone’s buns.

How does it arrive?

The hutch arrived in two large, heavy flatpack parcels. Because the hutch is 6 foot long, so too are the parcels. 

We had a problem when we opened the parcels. Two pieces of the hutch had been damaged in transit. We needed to speak with the supplier to sort out replacement pieces. At first this wasn’t straightforward – there was going to be a significant delay (something about new hutches and replacement parts being separate departments).

However, when we pressed them on this a little (we needed a hutch!), they agreed to send out replacement parts the next day (and were true to their word). 

How easy is it to build?

I should start this section by saying that I am not a DIY expert or handyman. I have built a few IKEA bookcases over the years, but that is about the limit of my skills. 

You might be pleasantly surprised by how straightforward building the hutch is. The instructions were generally clear enough that I was able to work out which pieces were being referred to, and how to fit them together. No special tools were required beyond a screwdriver.

Here’s a short timelapse video of me building the hutch, so you can see I made relatively steady progress.

What do we like about the hutch?

The hutch has a number of different features that we appreciate. Here are seven things we like about the Large Coach House hutch and run.

Lid up on hutch
Chips checking what’s going on while the top is open
  1. It feels pretty solid. This is subjective, but the hutch when assembled doesn’t feel rickety. We’ve moved the hutch a couple of times, and there hasn’t been movement or loosening of screws.
  2. We like the fact that the roof lifts up (and stays open). This makes it much easier to refill the hay manger we added to the upper level, and their water bowl. And when it comes to cleaning the hutch, again, this gives easy access.
    The upper level has two doors that open outwards. We haven’t really used those except when cleaning the hutch.
  3. You can slide out the floors for better cleaning. The floors slide in or out, so you can remove them, clean them, and then slide them back.
  4. The floors are zinc-coated so they are more likely to withstand damp/urine/rust.
  5. The hutch is raised a little bit above the ground. For an outside hutch, this means that the bottom level isn’t getting as cold or wet on rainy days. It makes a big difference to the temperature. The legs have rubber protection on the bottom to keep them from rotting. 
  6. The bolts on all the doors are also zinc coated to prevent rusting. Also, this design is safer. Some hutches use wooden swing fastenings, which would be easier for a predator to open.
  7. The hutch comes with a 10 year anti-rot guarantee. This gave us some peace of mind that the hutch is likely to last.

What don’t we like about the hutch?

Although the floors do slide in and out, one or two of ours (there are four altogether) stuck a little rather than being smooth. I resorted to sanding part of one to enable it to move in and out a little better.

If you have bigger rabbits, it is not very tall. You may want to make sure that they have access as well to an area where they can rear up if they want to.

How well does the cover fit?

The cover is quite a snug fit around the hutch (it does not cover the top, which already has a rubbery waterproof coating). 

What do we like about the cover?

First of all, we appreciate that there is a cover for the hutch. It means that when the wintry seasons come, we have something to make sure that the hutch is comfortable for our bunnies. 

We also like the way that you can still access all areas of the hutch, thanks to zipped sections everywhere.

What don’t we like about the cover?

The sections that cross the front of the hutch seem to hang a little loosely rather than being neat. There are bits of Velcro to hold parts of the cover together neatly, but sometimes they seemed to be lacking where we would expect them. The windows seemed designed to be rolled up, but this was quite tricky in practice. 

We are not sure how to fit both the cover and the run without screwing through the cover. This is what we did in the end.

The run is harder to close with the cover in place.

How easy is the run to build?

The run was similar to build to the hutch. I managed it, despite my limited DIY skills.

What do we like about the run?

Run with top flipped open
The top flips open so you can get to the hutch easily

The run can either be free standing, or attached to the run. When attached, if done properly, you can still access all the doors/floors of the hutch. Opening one of the lower doors allows your bunnies easy access to the run. The run itself has two large doors, which you can open to allow the rabbits access to a garden.

Half of the top flips back, which means it is still easy for you to stand in front of the hutch inside the run when you need to top up hay or clean the hutch.

What don’t we like about the run?

As I indicated above, it would be nice if it was a bit taller. 

Also, (though this may be a mistake on my part), I couldn’t easily see how you have the run attached to the hutch and put on the winter cover. I’m not sure if you are meant to screw through the cover if necessary. 

What alternatives are there?

If you are looking for more height for your bunnies, then the same company also make the Manor 6ft extra large rabbit hutch

It is 4 ft tall, so has a bit more headspace. It also has as an optional extra a custom cover for the winter season. However, there is no custom run you can add on.

The company is British, so if you’re coming to this site from America, you could consider the PawHut Rabbit Hutch. The reviews on Amazon seem generally positive. It is high enough, but not as long as would be ideal. I haven’t tried the hutch myself. You can find out more about in on Amazon (and check out the price) here. You would need to buy a run separately.

Conclusion and recommendation

We are happy with our decision. Our bunnies Fish and Chips enjoy their home, and it seems to give them enough space to hop and stretch. The hutch is sturdy, and the design means that we have easy access to both levels (in particular because the roof flips up and stays up). The run fits the hutch well, and gives more space. The cover fits neatly, and will help in winter.

If you’re reading reviews on rabbit hutches, you might be in the process of buying your first rabbit (or rabbits – they like company!). We have an article if you’re wondering how much it might cost you in total.

Posted by Jonathan in Reviews