Rabbit Cage Location
by Jerry Martens
We want put the cage under our elevated deck,(8' above grade), will there be enough sunshine for the rabbit. Do they require direct sunlight?
Jerry***** Karen Sez *****
Hi Jerry, glad you asked. This is a point of apparently great confusion amongst rabbit owners, especially house rabbit owners. Let's think this through a bit.
Do rabbits require direct sunlight?
Their entire bodies are covered with thick fur, which prohibits any sunlight from reaching their skin. IF they needed direct sunlight, you'd think that evolutionary processes would have conspired against their thick coats. Their lips, eyelids, ears, and toenails are about all that a ray of sunshine can reach on a rabbit's body.
Secondly, rabbits don't do heat at all. An ideal temperature for a rabbit is something like 40F to 60F. Rabbits tolerate temps up to about 88F (outdoors) max, after which they become stressed very quickly. Depending on the ambient temperature, direct sunlight can quickly crank up a rabbit's temperature to the point of heat stroke and death.
The danger is so real, that one should always ensure the rabbit has an escape from sunshine. A rabbit cage needs to always be in the shade. Rabbits given the run of a backyard need shady shrubs under which they can take refuge from the sun and the heat during all points of the sun's travels during the day.
So yes, feel free to put the cages under your deck. Just be sure that direct sunlight cannot reach any part of the cage at any point during the day.