Rabbit Awareness Week 2022 has arrived, and here at Runaround, we are excited! Not only is the annual welfare campaign now in its 16th year, the theme is “Room for Rabbits”. For those of you who are familiar with Runaround, you’ll know that is exactly what Runaround does best and for any newcomers… stick around!
Where the rabbit welfare journey started…
I founded Runaround 12 years ago after adopting an ‘unwanted’ rabbit and when realising the limitations of a rabbit hutch, we were inspired to think of better ways of keeping rabbits! We have been running as a family business in the North West of England ever since.
While our product range has somewhat grown, in 2010 the original ‘Connection Kit’ was developed to help permanently connect rabbits’ housing space to a larger enclosure or run. Aiming to enrich their lives and allow them to hop, jump, binky, hide forage and run, all of which rabbits love to do. In their wild environment, rabbits run around 5 miles a day which means quite simply a rabbit hutch is not enough!
Do your rabbits have enough room?
As a minimum the PDSA advises the space that 2 rabbits need is 3mx2mx1m, which can be in an interconnected and fun overland warren. Of course rabbits are sociable animals and should be kept in pairs or small groups and although we can’t give our rabbits the freedom they have in the wild, the more secure space you can give them, the better. Rabbits are prey animals, so ensuring they have 2 exits for safety, means they are never cornered and can feel secure to run and hide if needed.
As a rule, whether indoors or outdoors, rabbits should have enough space to hop 3 times, without their ears touching the top of their housing. They should also have space to lie down in all directions. You can enrich your rabbits’ environment by providing variation and interlinking your areas! Tunnels, burrow pipes and hay hutches that can connect to their existing housing give your rabbits different areas to explore. At this time of year, the clear dig is a great way to extend your rabbits’ environment and to put their digging skills to good use! Plus, it’s a great way for them to keep cool with the addition of a summer roof and when kept under a tree as they love to nap in compost or soil!
Remember, as we enter into summer areas to hide in the shade are especially important. You can simply move the housing in a shaded ventilated area or consider using purpose built shades.
Rabbit housing top tips:
- Rabbits can never have enough space!
- Outdoor runs needs to be protected from the elements and secure from predators
- Rabbits can live happily indoors and outdoors - the main thing is they have enough safe space to roam.
- In the warm summer temperatures, you can create cool zones by covering burrow pipe in turf or burying them. This replicates your rabbits’ burrowing instincts!
- Even if your rabbits are mostly indoors, access to the outdoors is important so your rabbits can take in natural sounds and smells.
- As hay makes up 85-90% of your rabbits’ diet, access to good quality feeding hay. Hay racks or hay tubes are ideal for stuffing with hay and encouraging your rabbits to forage.
- If your rabbits are indoors, make sure it’s been rabbit proofed!
- As rabbits are at their most active at dawn and dusk, having access to their large spaces at all times is important.
Enjoy the RAW 2022 activity and as always, if you need support on how you can create room for your rabbits, please get in touch and we can help!
Caroline - Runaround Founder
Rabbit Awareness Week 2022, get involved!
Would you like to get involved with RAW 2022? Make sure you follow the RAW Facebook and Instagram pages which will be jam-packed with competitions, videos and is the place to get involved in all things “Room for Rabbits”!
Plus, you can get involved by downloading a Rabbit Awareness Week pack! Click here to download your rabbit owner pack on the Rabbit Awareness Week website where you can print your own bunting, download our colouring sheet and access useful guides to help you keep your bunnies happy and healthy.