Spaces

Spaces

Still we worry about our spaces - the size of the rabbit area matters and there is plenty of advice on how big. The truth is, if a bunny were free they wouldn't be concerned, they could bob around exactly where they fancied and their home would change and extend according to the warren needs. They run a complex route, jumping in and out of hedgerows and tend to be near cover constantly. 

At Runaround we like giving our bunnies a fee run. They are older and not so hard to round up now, but even when young we used to allow this. Through doing this we learned when rabbits want to rest they find something to go under or in, for example, under a tree, underneath a shed or bench - often completely out of sight.

While resting we sensed that rabbits prefer a small space. It provides comfort in the form of warmth, security from predators and with less of that to worry about they can truly relax.

Caged pets are something I have never been happy about personally, especially when they can't move out! Linking areas made me feel much happier about keeping rabbits at all. Through watching over the years and to date we have noted how much the small spaces are used.

The answer is - all the time! top boxes, hay hutches, clear digs and look out boxes are greatly favoured as a snug resting zone so long as there are two exits and a covered roof in hot weather. For a long time at Runaround we have debated making our version of the "6ft hutch" - but we find our rabbits don't use these larger spaces to rest in. When we extended the top box to 4ft by 2ft (twice as big) the 4 rabbits all sat together in just half of it. So we gave them two small resting zones instead of one big one - just incase they would ever prefer resting as two bunnies in each area.

The clear dig has surprised us with the rabbits. It was invented so the rabbits could dig at the National Pet Show exhibiting their natural behaviour to the visitors. We were constantly asked to make it available and at the time it was constructed from 10mm thick acrylic so was very heavy and very expensive.

When we did create it finally in 2018 it had to be made from an expensive material 10 times stronger than our perspex doors. Despite the cost of it the clear dig has been really popular both with customers and the rabbits. They clearly know it protects them even though they are not hidden at all which it interesting. It is a bonus in winter as it provides a place to sunbathe. In summer the lookout box would be cooler as it has mesh sides that can be open to the air.

So the result is we are going to continue make a variety of spaces that suit our own rescued rabbits who have lived long, healthy and happy lives with us so far. We will continue to consult them on which item they prefer but the more choice the better - that best represents the free bunny's life!


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