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How to Keep Outdoor Pet Rabbits Safe

No, I am not the person to be writing on this subject, since all my rabbits (except one) were killed.

Or, maybe I am since all my rabbits were killed (except one).

I can tell you what NOT to do.  That’s for sure.  I know that many of you are expert bunny keepers and have given me so much support, encouragement and advice.  Thanks!

If you haven’t heard about all my bunnies dying – go here to be sad.  
rabbit attack 5

I can tell you what I am going to do different going forward to (try to) keep my bunnies safe.

Yes, we are back to plural bunnies.  A dear friend gave us a doe and we have our Hulk (our buck) and they have been busy making lots of baby bunnies together.  Which we are totally excited about.

I know that there are much bigger, stronger and better “habitats” out there for rabbits than what we are using.  Until we can build a new rabbit home we are going to repair and continue to work with what we have.

rabbit attack 3

I think I speak for everyone (rabbit and ferret included) when I say that Hulk is much happier living outdoors.  He is not an indoor rabbit.  Outside he can see the piggies.  He can see the chickens.  He can see the cows.  He can see the house.  He can see the children.  He has fresh air.

I’m pretty sure Frrt (the ferret) is happy it is no longer raining pee and poo.

5 Bunny Safety Tips

#1 Build fort Knox.

rabbit attack 1

For now, we have reassembled what was left of the rabbit hutches.  We did our best to make sure the cage (holding the rabbits) is sturdy and safe.

When time and finances allow, I would love to erect a beautiful bunny-fortress.  It will be at least 3 feet off the ground, safe, cozy and well-ventilated.  It will have plenty of hopping /living space for all the rabbits and even have a separate domain for the bucks.

#2 Higher is Better   

We are using some generic hutches for our rabbit habitats.  They are not perfect.  In a perfect world, they would be much higher off the ground.

If you’ve ever seen rabbit cages 4 feet off the ground and wondered why on earth someone would want their rabbits on the ceiling – it is for protection.  Dogs can only rip apart a cage they can reach.  If it’s high, the dogs can touch it.

#3  Fenced in Hutches

rabbit safe

We moved our rebuilt, rabbit home to a fenced in area. This will most likely not prevent a raccoon, opossum or other climbing critter from getting to them, but it will discourage most dog, fox, coyote attacks.

#4 Electric 

I suppose an electric wire will keep most critters safe.  Electric fences/ wires can be used for keeping animals in (like cows and goats).  They can be equally nifty for keeping things out (like racoons out of your corn).  Running an electric wire around your rabbits would definitely deter some dogs.

#5 Metal not Wood 

Experience is the mother of all teachers isn’t she?

So, we were in the living room homeschooling on Monday.  I was reading I Dared to Call Him Father aloud to all 4 children when my oldest son shouts, “Natasha’s out!”

Sure enough, we look up in the front yard to see not one, but 2 bunnies going on a little joy-hop around their cage.  Their home is now in a fenced in area, so they didn’t get far, but they were out.  The bunnies ate their home.  Chewed a whole right through the back.  I know that rabbits love (and need) to chew.  We make sure they always have sticks and chew toys for those teeth.  Not sure why, but they ate through the back of their cage.  I suppose the answer is something like:

Why did the rabbit eat his cage?  …. because he could

Why did the rabbit eat his cage? … because it was there

Why did the rabbit eat his cage? … because it was wood

Why did the rabbit eat his cage? … why not?

We installed a layer of chicken wire before leaving for music lessons and are going to beef things up soon.

rabbit attack 8

Hopefully, there is a new rabbit home in our future.  I’m not sure exactly what it will look like or how it will come to life, but I can tell you it will be:

  • High
  • Not Wood
  • Fenced in
  • Sturdy
  • and have separate compartments for boys and girls.

Yes, we are going to continue keeping rabbits.  I never would have guessed that we would enjoy having rabbits so much.

  1. My children play with them all the time.
  2. It is common to find a rabbit in our homeschool room during school.
  3. They are easy to keep.
  4. The manure is fabulous for my garden and is never hot.

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XO,

Candi

 

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