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Rabbits/Safe Woods For Rabbits


Hello! I am about to get my first rabbit and I'm in the process of building a hutch.  I am getting a French Angora Junior Doe.  The thing is, I read so many conflicting things about safe woods online.  I've read several places that plywood is safe if you give them something to chew on, but is that true?  And I need some sort of hard wood as well.  I was wondering if non-treated oak wood was alright?  I'm on a budget but I want to make sure everything is safe for my new furry friend.  

Thank you so much for your time and effort in answering this question!


Dear Emily,

You might be asking the wrong person about hutches.  I can tell you that untreated wood of almost any type (avoid walnut) is safe.  Fir, pine, oak, maple, etc. all can be used, as long as they are not pressure-treated or have any chemical additives or preservatives.

But we don't use hutches.  We keep our bunnies inside where they are safe from the elements and predators (there is no such thing as a predator-proof hutch!).  If you need to enclose the bunny for a time, then an exercise pen is ideal.  Just supply it with litter box, fun boxes (glued into shape with two "doors" cut in the sides), toys, and other enrichment, and bun will be fine.

For everything you need to know about living with a house rabbit, please go to:

Note that angoras are pretty high maintenance:  they require regular, gentle grooming to prevent matting.  And you'll likely have to trim around the face to keep fur from irritating her eyes.

Hope you have many years of love and fun with your new pal!



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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