But when I became a breeder, and after a big hutch failure, I realized the only way I could expand my rabbitry without moving it into a barn/shed, was to buy stackable, all-wire cages. I did more research, but this time asked the breeders, who had had wire cages for years. Knowledgeable breeders that have been raising rabbits for YEARS, are often the best people to go to with any questions whatsoever. Most of us have been there, done that, and can relate to your experience!
Many pet owners think it's cruel to house a rabbit in a wire cage. The House Rabbit Society (site is HERE), is a big advocate of NO wire floors. But after my experience, I believe that is mostly a myth. And the people that made up the myth think the idea of wire cages is scary and harmful to the rabbits. Maybe they never even had an all-wire cage in their life.
My rabbits have wire floors. I give my bunnies big pieces of cardboard so they have the option of getting off the wire if they want. They don't use the cardboard! They do everything with it except sit on it. They chew it, eat it, and play with it, but I have yet to see one of them actually using it for sitting or "getting off" the wire. They don't mind the wire.
Holland Lops have VERY thick fur on their feet. This protects their feet from the harshness of the wire.
Everyone that says rabbits shouldn't have wire floors thinks this because rabbits can get sore hocks, which are painful sores on the rabbits' feet. Some breeds are more prone to sore hocks then others. Rex or Satin breeds, for example, have very thin and satiny fur on their feet, so they are not well protected. Larger breeds that support more weight with their back feet are also prone to sore hocks. Holland Lops just aren't.
TOP 2 PROS OF WIRE CAGES
- The rabbits are kept cleaner. The trays are usually kept farther from the cage, so there is no way they can be sitting in their droppings or urine (unless you go months without normal upkeep).
- For breeders, we can easily stack the cages and have more room for more bunnies in a limited amount of space. More bunnies are very useful and actually required to even attempt to win at shows or produce rabbits that are of good enough quality to win at shows (that's not what it is all about, but it's a pretty good reason).
TOP 2 CONS OF WIRE CAGES
- Sometimes, when breeding especially, rabbits can rip toenails or break toes on the wire.
- Sore hocks are not common on wire cages, but they are possible. Take the necessary precautions against this and be aware of the dangers. Check your rabbit's hocks for sores whenever you give them their health checks.