Breaking down the Bunnery

The Bunnery in the garden with bunnies from Dunster House

On Monday, we launched our brand-new range of rabbit accommodation. Thought up by the rabbit mad Alex Murphy, the Bunnery is the first and only rabbit housing designed to comply with the science backed H.E.A.R.T. Standard. It has been prototyped, tested, redesigned and tested again to ensure it gives your bunny everything it needs out of an accommodation – unlike high street retailers who commonly put profit before the needs of rabbits, something consistently proven by the sale of hutches far below the minimum size standard stated (we found one that is just 52 x 83 x 156cm. 52cm is not even the total of two rulers!

So, what makes the Bunnery so great for your rabbits? Let’s break the features down in a bit more detail for you.

Garden Bunnery from Dunster House

Strong framework materials

The materials used in The Bunnery range are designed to be high quality, low maintenance and – most importantly – safe for rabbits. We use slow grown Spruce, rather than a fast-grown weaker timber, as it is harder to chew through. Bunnies, however, will try and chew anything they can get their teeth on which is why ours is treated with a non-toxic treatment. This prevents your rabbits from getting sick if they nibble on the wood but allows us to protect your accommodation against rot and fungal decay. You won’t have to worry about treatment for 10 years – in fact, we guarantee it for just that. Each piece of timber has been cut to size and planed before treatment so we can ensure a deep, even coverage where nothing is left exposed.

In addition to slow grown Spruce, we use Wood Plastic Composite (WPC). WPC is a strong, durable material which requires very, very little maintenance in order to keep its quality look and finish. It is a hard-wearing material which doesn’t corrode, is resistant to rot and fungal decay like our timber so you have nothing to worry about apart from keeping your accommodation clean. Its easily wipeable and not porous so it won’t soak up urine. As per the H.E.A.R.T. Standard, plastics can be toxic if digested, which is why all of our WPC have pressure treated timber trims so they can’t chew on them or cause damage.

Protection from predators

There are a LOT of animals that would love nothing more than having your furry friends for lunch. We want to help you feel secure when leaving your rabbits, so we use heavy duty 25mm x 25mm galvanised weld galvanised weld mesh. This galvanised weld mesh, along with our method of attaching it to the timber (we use divergent point staples to attach the galvanised weld mesh to the framework, then we staple a trim on top of the galvanised weld mesh edge), achieved the highest security rating by the H.E.A.R.T. Standardin keeping your rabbits safe from unwanted predators chewing their way in or your rabbits chewing their way out. We use divergent point staples as they cannot be pulled out without damaging the timber itself.

A rabbit’s head is actually a similar shape to an arrowhead, under all that fur, meaning your rabbits may be able to get their head through the bars but not pull it back. This can result in suffocation (we know, we’ve seen some haunting pictures whilst designing The Bunnery). By using 25mm x 25mm squares, your rabbits are unable to get their paws or head caught in between the bars so they won’t suffocate or become trapped, leaving them exposed to nearby predators who are looking for a snack.

We have looked into all possibilities and, a big one, is your rabbit trying to dig its way out. It’s not because it isn’t happy but simply because they like to dig. We don’t ever want to stop them exhibiting their normal behaviour but – if rabbits can dig their way out – then foxes can dig their way in.  Available as an optional extra, we provide galvanised weld mesh flooring which can be attached (as per our instructions) to the bottom of The Bunnery to prevent your rabbits escaping. This consists with the high-quality galvanised weld mesh as the rest of The Bunnery, and should be placed under soil or turf so it doesn’t hurt your rabbit’s paws, so your rabbits can still dig but without the danger of being eaten.

Garden Bunnery from Dunster House

Fox Guarding

Foxes, cats, dogs and a whole host of other predators pose a threat to your bunnies. Worse still, they don’t actually need to bite them to kill them. Just the stress of their presence can cause enough fear to literally frighten your bunnies to death which is why Fox Guarding is crucial. It gives your rabbits space to hide from predators, feel more secure and make a getaway whilst hidden from view. More importantly, it will prevent them from becoming lunch should a predator approach whilst they are resting against the galvanised weld mesh edge.  The Bunnery features 320mm (12.5”) tall fox guarding around the entirety of the run area. Made from WPC, this solid guarding prevents rabbits from having a limb eaten or being pulled through the galvanised weld mesh.

Bunnery from Dunster House

Hiding spaces

In addition to being able to run away from predators, any rabbit accommodation should have at least as many hiding places as there are rabbits. We say rabbits because no rabbits should be housed alone. It’s not always that your rabbits are scared or are anxious. But sometimes they just need space . The same as you and me. The need can sometimes be caused by a territorial dispute.

The Bunnery has a large enclosed vantage point next to the sleeping area for a rabbit to relax in. With three and a half solid walls and one galvanised weld mesh door. Both the sleeping area and vantage point is accessed via entry holes at the bottom, back corner. Your rabbits simply jump up the steps and into their spaces. To give them even more space, The Bunnery features a large space beneath the sleeping area and vantage point where they can graze while sheltered from rain, wind or excessive sun.

Bunnery from Dunster House with bunnies
Steps

I briefly mentioned the steps in the features above. However I think they need a little bit of a mention themselves. When given the space they need rabbits are very active animals that like to crawl, hop and run about. To help them maintain muscle and bone strength, the Bunnery contains a step for each rabbit. So they can jump on and off it. These are not only to hop on and off of. Although they will do plenty of that. They also give access to the sleeping area and vantage point.

Bunnery

Complies with H.E.A.R.T Standard


All of our Bunnery range complies with the Housing, Enrichment and Amenity for Rabbits: Technical Standard (H.E.A.R.T. Standard). We proudly display our grading system to show how The Bunnery meets the basic needs of rabbits according to the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This grading system judges rabbit accommodation on a multitude of elements including, but not limited to; height, insulation, fox proofing, chew resistance, hygiene, ventilation. Ensure any rabbit accommodation you buy displays the H.E.A.R.T. Standard sticker so you know it is actually suitable for your rabbits because many rabbit hutches, runs and enclosures that claim to be suitable are not.

Bunnery from Dunster House

Sleeping Area


Although crepuscular creatures, mainly active at dusk and dawn, rabbits sleep and rest during the day. Hence, they need a space they can access at all times. The Bunnery features a large sleeping area, easily big enough to house your two rabbits. While they sleep or rest, although you will find they cuddle up in a corner a lot. This is made entirely from WPC, trimmed with pressure treated timber. So there are no gaps to allow food, faeces or urine to seep into. This makes maintaining and cleaning the area easy, minimising the risk of fatal diseases such as flystrike.

Your rabbits can access their sleeping area via the steps mentioned above. As heat rises, this strategic placement of the sleeping area entrance means the heat inside the sleeping area won’t easily dissipate. Thus your rabbits will remain warm and cosy while they are relaxing or sleeping.

This is intended for use with our insulation (available as an optional extra):

Unless you are using your Bunnery as very occasional accommodation. In the case you you have house rabbits. You should insulate your sleeping area. So your rabbits have increased heat and sound insulation.

To look at our three Bunnery’s;

Bunnery W6.0 x D6.0, Bunnery W6.0 x D8.0,

Bunnery Tall W6.0 x D8.0,

visit our website or call our sales team on 01234 272 445. Alternatively, to learn more about the fantastic Bunnery features, visit https://dunsterhouse.co.uk/bunnery/.

February 17, 2017

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