Jersey Wooly Housig
Once you’ve decided a bunny buddy is the companion for you, your first consideration will be creating a suitable home.
Whether you choose one of the many sizes and styles of enclosures at your local pet store, build your own, or create a unique hybrid of bought and built, your Wooly must be housed indoors. Despite their thick coats, Woolies are very intolerant of changing weather.
As the Jersey is a dwarf breed, a cage as small as four square feet will provide sufficient space, but bigger is better. You can create a larger enclosure without sacrificing floor space by buying or building in levels connected by ramps.
Make sure your enclosure has an opening large enough for you to lift your bunny out. If bunny is allowed to roam inside your home (rabbit-proofed areas only!), a side opening will let it enter and exit the cage on its own. The opening should either be smooth or framed in plastic to ensure a snag-free passage. If your cage has multiple levels, multiple access points will make for easier cleaning.
Food, hay and water containers should be cage mounted to avoid spilling and contamination. Wire flooring allows droppings to fall into a removable tray, but even narrowly spaced wire can cause sores on bunny’s feet. Fortunately, Woolies are easily litter-box trained, making a wire floor unnecessary. Never use clumping litter or cedar chips, as both can be harmful if ingested.
Your Wooly’s home needn’t be an unsightly box in a corner of your living room. It can be an attractive centerpiece and even decorated appropriate to the season. Never use electric decorations on your rabbit’s cage. Any other decorations which could be harmful if chewed should also be kept well out of bunny’s reach. A good general rule of thumb is: what is safe is the crib is safe on the cage. There are exceptions, however. When in doubt, ask your veterinary doctor or other animal care specialist.
Even the most luxurious cage is still a cage, however, and your bunny will need additional room to romp and roam. Care must be taken to ensure your rabbit’s safety; indoor spaces must be bunny-proofed; outdoor spaces must be properly enclosed.
For additional information, follow these quick links:
Building a better bunny house: www.therabbithouse.com
How to handle your bunny: www.3bunnies.org/handling.html
Basic bunny care: www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-care.html
Out/Indoor hazards to companion rabbits: www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/hazards.html
The National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club: www.njwrc.net
The American Rabbit Breeder’s Association: www.arba.net