View Full Version : people who supervise their bunnies during free range time outside...

27-03-2010, 08:54 AM
... realistically, what could you do if a dog, or fox came in the garden?? if you have more than one bunny out :?

i let bisc and matt out and i supervise them the whole time. but i still worry.

thing is, i can't put them in a run really, because they have to have the option of coming in and out of the house because of their condition (respiratory) i was hoping to put an aviary over the garden but the garden is so small anyway.

probably being really paranoid but i worry.

27-03-2010, 09:00 AM
You could worry about this until you were blue in the face but realistically you cant protect them from everything. I have my bunnies out on the yard and dont supervise them. I dont leave them out if I go out but I am usually in the house while they are out.

Strawberry is free ranging in the garden at my mums at the minute and no-one sits out with him. Yes a dog or fox could come over into the garden, but at the same time he could have a major heart attack or hurt himself whilst in his cage. I think the tiny risk is worth taking for the happiness of the bunnies.

27-03-2010, 09:09 AM
Well if that should ever happen, I would go towards the dog or the fox as opposed to try to pick up the bunnies.

As I've got two I wouldn't be able to pick up both at the same time and therefore I'd put myself between the predator and bunnies and I hope I scare the **** out of it and it would leave my garden :lol:

Not something I've come across and not something that I think about that much as there's no way into our garden unless it jumped a 6ft fence (which I know is possible)

27-03-2010, 09:23 AM
If you have a very big garden then I guess it's a risk. If you have a fox problem then I would restrict the area of the garden they can go in to something you feel comfortably able to protect them in. If you have a water sprayer to use at the cat/fox/whatever then you can use that to shoo it away. Likely the buns will sense the predator before you do and bolt for shelter/inside. It's unlikely it would suddenly jump over a wall/fence and go straight for your buns.

27-03-2010, 09:36 AM
See the post above for my answer. I'd try and chase a fox back to wherever it had come in, there's no way I could pick up both my rabbits or chase them back into the run as they're too shy of being approached.

If whatever it was was far enough away from the rabbits I'd throw whatever I could lay hands on. Thankfully there's not really any way a dog could get into our garden as it's very enclosed and we only have neighbours on two sides, both of whom have fences up. The close has two gates which have grates on them to stop the rabbits escaping. If there was a strange dog in my garden that I couldn't chase out I'm not sure what I'd do. In all honesty if it was threatening the rabbits my first instinct would probably be to do it a bit of damage from a distance with something heavy.

I've not seen a fox in the garden since we put the big fence up. I imagine a fox would run if I chased it though same goes for a cat and a dog is the least likely to get in to our garden. Should maybe put a big net over the garden to prevent birds of prey swooping in too.:lol:

27-03-2010, 12:10 PM
i really did think of putting a net over the whole garden :oops:

the garden is really small, and i doubt a dog would get in. a cat could, and a fox definitely could if it wanted to.

at my mum and dads, when bisc and matt had a shed and run attached, a fox came in the garden one evening and matt ran inside, but bisc just froze completely. that worried me alot. i thought he would run away. but i had to pick him up and move him.

and foxes don't seem to run away when you approach them. the two i have tried to scare haven't in the past. and with the sight of food, would they be bothered??

i know i can't protect them from everything, but if anything happened, i would be so devastated.

i think if our pets were threatened and in danger, we would react. i would rather get ripped to shreds by a fox or dog than it get near my babies.

think i will try and put those fencing screens up and put another shed or something next to the other one to make the garden a bit smaller. it is small anyway but this would keep them away from the wall. should buy some wooden boxes or something for them to run into to hide. i would hope they would run inside though.

in a paranoid mood today!! :oops:

27-03-2010, 12:28 PM
Mine have an area sectioned off by the shed with a puppy pen, so I'm not sure whether this counts as free ranging.

Anyway, to get at them, a fox, dog or whatever would have to jump the massive wall/fence thing by the shed (which looks about 8ft tall), or jump over the smaller fence at the other end of the garden, run across the grassy bit, jump up the steps to the main patio, run across that, run up the steps to the upper patio by the garage, then run across to the shed. Although it is very unlikely, I always supervise the bunnies when they are in their pen, and if a predator came, the bunnies would probably run into the shed, and if they didn't, then I would (depending on the animal) scare it away, and if it didn't run away (and it was a fox or something similar), then I'd probably hit it with the nearest heavy object.

27-03-2010, 12:59 PM
and foxes don't seem to run away when you approach them. the two i have tried to scare haven't in the past. and with the sight of food, would they be bothered??

All foxes I've ever met have run away :D When I was about 6 I went outside as I heard squeaking and a fox had our rabbit in its mouth, and I ran at it and it dropped the rabbit and leaped over the fence. Obviously times have changed and when I was 6 I didn't know about rabbit care and the rabbit wasn't allowed to freerange overnight ever again :oops:.

Ours used to free-range at our last house how Snowberry mentions, and sadly foxes/cats/birds would be able to get the animals but there's only so much we can worry otherwise our buns would never leave the house :). Our last garden had plenty of bushes, had the kitchen and living room doors open so the rabbits could come into the house whenever they wanted and only once did I see a cat and I would have no second thoughts into screaming/chasing/throwing things at anything that came near my rabbits!

Similarly when the neighbours staffs got through the fence yesterday to my puppy i ran over and put myself between them so they couldn't hurt Benny (turns out they were more scared of my dog and were very friendly staffs :love: luckily).

I have thought of the net idea for this house as it is a smaller garden :oops: imagine the neighbours faces :lol: were going for the building a run option now we have neighbouring dogs :( Our rabbits are not going to be happy after being used to two/three gardens to themselves :lol:

27-03-2010, 01:28 PM
I agree better to scare the fox or dog away. I know you may scare your bunnys too but they will get over it.:wave:

27-03-2010, 01:47 PM
... realistically, what could you do if a dog, or fox came in the garden?? if you have more than one bunny out :?

As others have said, run towards the fox/dog in the hope of scaring it away, rather than trying to pick up the bunnies as I'd have no chance.

I know some people let their bunnies free range unsupervised, but imo it's not a risk I'm willing to take no matter how small. I know we can't protect against everything, but I personally don't think that's an excuse to not bother trying.

27-03-2010, 07:35 PM
Ours free-range when we're at home, but in a 5' walled section of garden with strong gates. It isn't cat-proof, but I've only ever seen our own cat in there, who has known our buns since he was a kitten, and he is King Cat around here. There are buzzards about in the area, and I would be wary of having little buns out, but our two are HUGE so as someone else has said, we take the limited rish because they LOVE their freedom and look longingly at us in the morning until my OH dons his 'rabbit coat' and carries them out to 'the rabbit garden'. It is lovely to see how happy they are there, and their lawn run is nowhere near as nice for them.

27-03-2010, 11:03 PM
i could never leave them unsupervised. i could never forgive myself if anything happened. and knowing how scared they would be and how it would happen... i just couldn't handle that. :(

i think i just need to keep them away from the back of the garden, behind the shed. might get another shed aswell, some fencing screens and some wooden boxes for them to hide in if they need to.

and i will be with them all the time. might buy a water gun aswell!

i want my own massive mansion with private gardens so i can build a massive aviary for them! then they can free range in a massive area!! :lol: i WILL win the lottery!! (not at the moment though as i can't afford to buy tickets! :oops::lol:)

28-03-2010, 12:52 AM
When Ralph was a baby and freeranging in the garden while I was out there, a big predatory cat leapt down from the (high) fence and started chasing him. The first thing I heard was a rush of paws on the gravel and Ralphy straight away went to his "safety" place (behind the shed) but it was no good because the cat could fit behind there too. So Ralphy came out the other side and the cat was running after him. I panicked, picked up a handful of gravel and throw it hard at the cat. That slowed the cat down and I kept throwing gravel at it until the pursuit of ralphy bun didn't seem worth getting stung by gravel every two seconds.

I picked Ralph up and he was very panicked, breathing very fast and his heart was going like the clappers. It took him a while to get over it on my lap indoors. :cry:

I think it's good to have a plan though, and throwing gravel was my first instinct.

If it was a dog or a fox depending on how close it was or whether it had actually picked up one of the buns I would run at it and grab it and if it hadn't picked them up I would throw stuff hard at it until it became distracted.

28-03-2010, 12:57 AM
if a fox came into the garden... id probably try and scare the fox off. and hope the bunnies would hide or something. :?

28-03-2010, 07:03 AM
Would a super-soaker help? It'd give you more range.

28-03-2010, 11:25 AM
i think aslong as i keep them away from the back of the garden, then they would be closer to the door and hopefully run inside.

and ches and maisie would be in their run with hidey holes in so hopefully they would hide and be ok.

i have a plan of action for the garden now. i always feel better when dan is sat outside with me though. he just doesn't like to sit out as long as i do. in nice weather i sit out all day with them.

i'll sort it out anyway. :wave: