Hutch Fasteners Catches, Bolts, Padlocks
The doors of hutches and other outdoor accommodation like sheds and playhouses need to be fitted with sliding bolts or other suitable locks. The standard fittings, such as twist latches are not secure enough. There is no point to sturdy construction and secure mesh if a predator can simply open the door.
Here are the options, with some pro's and con's.
Twist Thumb Latch
Wooden Twist Latch
Many hutches come with twist latches as standard - these are short pieces of wood or metal that twist horizontally across the door to 'secure' it and vertically to open it. Unfortunately, they don't a good job of securing a hutch at all. If they get a little loose then a knock to the hutch door by a rabbit or accidental elbow means gravity will automatically send them into to open position. A cat or fox scratching at the door can likewise twist them open in seconds. If your hutch is fitted with them it needs an urgent upgrade.
However, the fact they are easy to open can make them useful within an already secure area, for example keeping a hutch door closed within a locked shed. They are also handy to fit to the inside of aviary or shed doors to keep the door closed whilst you are inside it cleaning or cuddling bunnies.
A barrel bolt has a bar that slides across into a socket. A larger/heavier duty version is some sometimes labelled as a 'tower bolt'. These are easy for humans to open, but not common predators. They are available in a wide range of sizes to fit different sizes of rabbit accommodation. Ensure you purchase bolts suitable for outdoor use so they do not rust.
A brenton bolt is like a barrel bolt but has a hook to fit a padlock through, stopping the bolt from being opened.
If you'd like the extra security but not the hassle of undoing a padlock, you can use a carabineer hook to secure them instead. This won't prevent humans opening it but provides extra protection against determined animals - or small children.
Hasp & Staple
A hasp & staple is fastened with a padlock. These are great for extra security from human intruders. It won't hold the door closed unless the padlock is on though, so you might want a secondary bolt or catch to use if you are poping in and out and want to close the door briefly.
Padlocks are only necessary if you need to keep out humans, either intruders or children. You can have them with keys or combination locks (with dials you rotate to show the correct numbers). Which you prefer will depend on if you are better at remembering a number code or where you left your keys. If you do use a padlock with keys then keep the spare key somewhere safe, and clearly labelled. Don't leave the duplicate key on the same ring as the main one!
You can also use carabineer style snap hooks on fasteners designed for padlocks - they are easier to remove and don't require you to remember codes or keys. These won't stop humans but will prevent access to predators.
Keep in mind both padlocks and carabineers come in different sizes, so pick one that fits the loop on the lock you want to put it through.