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View Full Version : Do you let your buns free-range outside?



kaths101
25-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Poll: Question in the title....

Just wondering as Im arranging my set up for outside with a shed and run but would love the buns to free-range as well..where the shed is going to be wont see much direct sunlight and is on concrete so would love to let them out for a run about on the grass because lets face it - no matter how big the run - they can never have a proper sprint / binky session!
(Oreo especially has mega mad dashes! and as some as you may remember is an escape artist!!! :roll: so will have to doubly doubly make sure the garden is bunny proofed!!!)

The only thing that bothers me is I have LOADS of cats in the neighbourhood - can cats do any harm? I know a stupid question - but has anyone had any evidence of a cat injuring a bun? would I be able to stop a cat if it suddenly got in the garden? :? I know there is the threat of foxes as well!!

I guess its a weigh up between the risk of injury from predators etc against the buns having freedom and binky time which they love!!


Thanks

Lib_n_bunny
25-04-2010, 02:01 PM
I haven't got a garden yet but when I do, I will only let Beau be out freeranging with me watching, even if it is bunny-proofed.

dyoung5
25-04-2010, 02:11 PM
If there is a real risk of cats and foxes then I would allow them out supervised only, but have a large run for them when you are not able to supervise them. Cats can be dangerous, more so depending on the size of your bunnies, but even if they don't show interest in eating bunny, they do stress them out.

My two were out in the garden as per normal when a cat unexpectedly jumped over our gate. Never happened before and don't know who's it belonged to as never seen before. Luca and Bunnykin went crazy and took a while to get into their kennel at night which is unusual as they normally go straight in when called. It must have unsettled them but fortunately thats the only time I've had a problem. Because ours have their own burrow in the garden they go out when we are in the house and so are not directly supervised all the time.

Having said that I would definately recommend supervised free range bunnies as definately they are happiest like this!!

Bunny Buddy
25-04-2010, 02:13 PM
They never free range. Mainly because the garden is a tip and too dangerous, even supervised.

I'm hoping to build a 7ft x 16ft aviary type set up this year, it's the next best thing to free ranging. I'd also like to think I'll sort the garden in a way that would be safe in a year or two, it's cat proofed outside-to-in so fairly bunny proof, except not Tink proof :lol::lol:

Snowberry
25-04-2010, 02:14 PM
Strawberry free ranges at my Mums, they are often in and out of the garden though and have the patio doors open to keep an eye on him.

Bungle is out on our yard now and we have the back door open so he can come in if he needs to. He isnt supervised but I am in the house.

I would have them free range on a garden unsupervised for very short periods of time and only when I am in the house with doors/windows open so I can hear.

biscuitblossom
25-04-2010, 02:17 PM
I let mine free range when I'm at home ( obviously not all at once :lol:) so that I can check on them while theyre out and about!

coco1200
25-04-2010, 02:19 PM
yes, my garden is fully secured so they always free range every day, all day. I only own a run for the piggies! :wave:

Lib_n_bunny
25-04-2010, 02:21 PM
yes, my garden is fully secured so they always free range every day, all day. I only own a run for the piggies! :wave:

Yes Janak but I think you big and beautiful buns can handle themselves ;) :lol: I certainly wouldn't want to mess wiv 'em!

kaths101
25-04-2010, 02:23 PM
yes, my garden is fully secured so they always free range every day, all day. I only own a run for the piggies! :wave:

:wave: thanks everyone - when you say fully secured is that so the buns cant get out or cats etc cant get in - or both?

Loosy
25-04-2010, 02:35 PM
Mine free range supervised on the patio. It's bunny-proofed so they can't get out but cats can get in over the fence (and my cats are usually out there as well) so I would never leave them unattended.

steph182
25-04-2010, 02:38 PM
Charlie hates being outside :lol:
When I have tried to take him out I've had him on his harness (I know a lot of people don't like them but he is good on it and it was the only safe way to take him out) but he refuses to do anything anyway so I gave up :lol:

lottielouise
25-04-2010, 02:44 PM
I let them 'free range' ie there is no run involved, but I bought some of those metal runs, and they form a circle around the area I want to keep them in.

they have had times unsupervised, but only for a few seconds when I go to the loo or for the camera etc, and it hasn't happened since the cats came

RubyTed
25-04-2010, 02:48 PM
I let them out unsupervised. The cats in my neighbourhood have no desire to go anywhere near the buns. (But they are all smaller than Ted and Pixie! Haha!) I was a bit apprehensive at first but after some supervised time I decided that the cats posed no threat. They bypass our garden like the plague!

kaths101
25-04-2010, 02:55 PM
I let them out unsupervised. The cats in my neighbourhood have no desire to go anywhere near the buns. (But they are all smaller than Ted and Pixie! Haha!) I was a bit apprehensive at first but after some supervised time I decided that the cats posed no threat. They bypass our garden like the plague!

:lol::lol::lol: Can I borrow Ted and Pixie for a week so the cats round here get the message too!!

RubyTed
25-04-2010, 02:56 PM
:lol::lol::lol: Can I borrow Ted and Pixie for a week so the cats round here get the message too!!

They charge hourly! ;)

kaths101
25-04-2010, 03:01 PM
They charge hourly! ;)

Ok no problem - I think Sooty and Oreo will stand up for themselves but Charlie is a wuss and definetly needs a Teddy sized bodyguard as will Mittens as shes a dainty little thing ...

Who ya wanna call... Tedbusters!!

pigsforlife
25-04-2010, 03:09 PM
Never free range. Charlee is small (900-950g) and the yard is big - too many nooks and crannies for her to hide in. Plus we have a pool and it would only be too easy for her to slip between the bars and accidently fall in. :shock: And then there is the threat of birds, snakes, cats etc. The fencing around this place is very dodgy and we also have two dogs who need to be able to get out to go to the toilet etc. Whats most annoying though is the fact that I can't change anything (like put mesh on the pool gate or fix the fencing) because this is a rental - and the landlords don't even know about Charlee. :oops: So as a result Charlee is one hundred percent an indoor bunny! I would love to get her a pen but to get one big enough (and predator proof) is going to cost money that I don't have at the moment.

coco1200
25-04-2010, 03:10 PM
Yes Janak but I think you big and beautiful buns can handle themselves ;) :lol: I certainly wouldn't want to mess wiv 'em!

:lol::lol: mind you Libby, that is true!


:wave: thanks everyone - when you say fully secured is that so the buns cant get out or cats etc cant get in - or both?

The garden is fully fenced and they can't dig out thankfully, but we have never had a cat problem... we have a staffy who seems to be our natural cat deterrant! :lol: However, my bunnies are bigger than most (probably all!) cats!

FriskyClover
25-04-2010, 03:18 PM
No, never.

They have a large run and they can go out in that from dawn until dusk. I also have another run that can be added on in the evenings for extra space.

I would love to let them free range but we have a large, mature garden and it would be virtually impossible for us to bunny proof. My hope is that when I have my own house, I will be able to let them free range in a bunny proof garden when I am about.

Georgeypudding
25-04-2010, 03:18 PM
i have a dog so nope, and cats and my garden really isnt safe for him to free range :P maybe one day in an ideal world :love:

Leanne
25-04-2010, 03:22 PM
Mine free range unsupervised.

I have 3 cats, my neighbour has 4 cats and there are TONS of cats around here! :shock:

They have all learnt that they don't mess with a rabbit! :lol:

Dallas (average sized bun) will chase off any cats that get playful but will happily sit with cats that just want to watch him/share the sunshine! :love:

happybunny22000
25-04-2010, 03:39 PM
no cats come into my garden....cos of Beau we dont even get birds lol!
Besides...I think whsikey is a match!

karen354
25-04-2010, 03:56 PM
Yes mine do, piggies aswell. :D

coco1200
25-04-2010, 04:14 PM
Yes mine do, piggies aswell. :D

I used to have a free range piggie! I wish I could let my foster piggies out of their run, but I know for certain that I would lose them :oops: at least they have a 5x5ft run :)

Gertie
25-04-2010, 04:27 PM
I voted for "only supervised". I have an approximately 6ft x 11ft run with hinged doors on top for when I am not watching constantly. If I am able to spend time outside while not doing other things, I may let them run free. Otherwise they are out from 7am 'til 7:30pm in their run with our guinea pig too. Then all in for the night (my guys are indoor guys then).
My cats have never seemed to bother them. They're more afraid of the bunnies than the other way around!

VikkiVet
25-04-2010, 04:29 PM
i said "supervised" as they can get through the hedge to next door, but i dont always sit out thre with them. I'm usually in the kitchen that overlooks the garden, or i go and check every half hour or so. i always leave the wendyhouse door open so they can go back in, get a drink etc.

tigerangel
25-04-2010, 04:30 PM
Only when I'm at home, and always supervised. However by 'supervised' I don't mean standing by their side all the time...I can be in the dining room doing ironing or in the kitchen washing up and be able to see them through the patio door windows. Sometimes I even venture into the living room to watch TV but I can always see them through the open doors. Our garden is only 10m x 10m and secured around the edges by a combination of brick walls, wooden fencing and chicken wire, nothing can get over the walls and the fence/mesh is 4ft tall at the sides and 8ft tall at the back.

Used to have a problem with cats, which both my bunnies are scared of after a bad experience with one last year, but that neighbour and her cats moved out and (touchwood) the cats currently around pose a very minimal risk to the bunnies since they dart inside every time they see or hear a cat.

Every time we move to a new rental place it takes me months to determine my safe level of supervision depending on the security of the garden and what might be lurking just beyond the fences :?

LilVicky
25-04-2010, 04:37 PM
my garden is very secure, so my three free range every day until about 8 before it gets dark.

antigone
25-04-2010, 04:53 PM
Mine free-range only supervised. I'm quite sure that the garden is secure, but I don't trust them! Neither do I trust the neighbourhood cats, foxes or birds.

As all of my bunnies are housebunnies, I only let them out when the weather is good.:)

happybun
25-04-2010, 05:15 PM
mine don't free range outside because there are escape routes and because next door have a staffordshire bull terrier who is awaiting his opportunity to eat me, never mind the the buns. he was also growling at the toddler in his own household yesterday. he could easily come straight through the fence if he thought there was a meal on offer!

kaths101
25-04-2010, 05:19 PM
mine don't free range outside because there are escape routes and because next door have a staffordshire bull terrier who is awaiting his opportunity to eat me, never mind the the buns. he was also growling at the toddler in his own household yesterday. he could easily come straight through the fence if he thought there was a meal on offer!

:cry::cry: thats worrying! I wouldnt let my buns out either in those circumstances!

mini lop1
25-04-2010, 05:34 PM
yes but only if someone is out there to watch them :)

angeleyes
25-04-2010, 05:34 PM
No way never, my garden is too big and I am sure has lots of cuby holes they could get stuck in and I would never risk it because of foxes.

Hanlou
25-04-2010, 06:25 PM
I'm undecided about what I will do..... I'm currently working on making the garden more secure and as 'cat-proof' as possible (for the wild birds' sake and for me as I'm fed up of digging the garden and finding very unpleasant surprises! :?).

I think I could make it secure but - this may sound selfish - we've spent a *lot* of time, effort and money on getting our garden looking nice. Not to mention sweat and tears lol! I have a feeling the buns' would trash it. It's more likely that I'll fence the top patio bit off for them which is a pretty good sized space in itself for them to free range in. I'll supervise them though.

I'm hoping to build an outdoor set-up for them to spend the day in - a 4x4 playhouse with a 9x6 run attached - to give them more room to bounce around. I'll have a run for them to graze in as I need that for the piggies as there's no way I'd let them free range - they'd disappear! :shock:

If the patio area was made safe the piggies could certainly free range on there though - supervised though.

Not sure this really helps you though! :oops:

nursecroft
25-04-2010, 06:40 PM
Yep my garden is bunny proof, only when im home do they free range though, my gardens 90ft long and they come in when i call them :D (for food of course!!)

The Duchess
25-04-2010, 06:57 PM
I am saddened that people free range totally unsupervised. I have seen the results of this ending in tragedy too many times. One lady who tried to adopt from us saw a fox climbing up her 6ft fence with one of her free range bunnies in it's mouth. The fox dropped the rabbit - who died from her injuries. The pain and fear it must have suffered.

One of my own rabbits had her sister taken by a fox and ripped apart in front of her - her previous owner couldn't be bothered to protect her so gave her up instead. She won't bond with another bun despite 3 years of trying - possibly due to the trauma - who knows.

Gardens are never predator proofed unless they have a lid on and meshed under. That'd be a lot of roof and a lot of mesh.

6ft or 8ft fences will not stop preditors, in addition to foxes, birds of prey will also take a rabbit.

hurricanhoney
25-04-2010, 07:01 PM
No but I do have a drop pin pen which I can keep adding to so will eventually be the size of the lawn so near enough free range. I never leave them out in it if I am not outside though as we have a lot of cats coming round our garden.

Angie65
25-04-2010, 07:04 PM
Yes -supervised.

The pairs/singles go out in a run during the day while I am at work, & then I alternate free-range time for all the others 4 nights a week & at weekends:D

mia'n'patch
25-04-2010, 07:18 PM
Yes. Homer is allowed to free range, semi supervised.
My house is a*** about face and the living room is at the back of the house so I can see what the little bu**** is up to from my spot on the sofa. And the garden isn't overly large so I can normally hear if he's up to mischief.

janice
25-04-2010, 07:31 PM
Birds of prey are not just found in rural areas, urban gardens are just as at risk as those in rural areas from birds of prey. There is a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on a tower block in a very built up area near where I travel each day, something very few people would expect. I also know someone who had a guinea pig taken by a bird or animal from an allegedly secure garden which had 8 foot fences with brick walls surrounding all the boundaries of the garden.

Sadly people also loose pets from indoors from foxes entering houses. there is no way I would leave animals out in the garden in an unprotected area without total supervision.

Being able to see a much loved pet from indoors does not protect it as a preditor will strike within seconds not giving the owner time to get to them :cry:

hannah C
25-04-2010, 07:32 PM
no never, steve and jas have a 8ft x 6.5ft run with everythin they need, and have 24hr access to the outside. they go on the grass in a puppy pen when i can see then out the window. my garden isnt secure at all, :oops: and we have buzzards, as well as foxes so i darnt let them out!

*Spider*
25-04-2010, 07:43 PM
Mine free range only when I'm with them as they can easily get out the garden :)

kaths101
25-04-2010, 07:57 PM
No but I do have a drop pin pen which I can keep adding to so will eventually be the size of the lawn so near enough free range. I never leave them out in it if I am not outside though as we have a lot of cats coming round our garden.

Yes that was what I was thinking to get a pen with a lid the size of the garden (I havent got a huge garden - some of you have bigger set ups than my whole garden (is about 20ft x 7).. I think I could fit one on the lawn bit??
http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad350/kaths101/GEDC0017.jpg

Where did you get your drop pin pen from??

kaths101
25-04-2010, 09:13 PM
does anyone know where you can get the drop pin pens from?

Hanlou
25-04-2010, 09:23 PM
does anyone know where you can get the drop pin pens from?

There's loads on ((( Ebay )) (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dog-puppy-Rabbit-hutch-play-pen-playpen-metal-cage-Door_W0QQitemZ360200121260QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Pe t_Supplies_Dogs?var=&hash=item92aef4bd0c) - just search for 'Puppy Pen'. :D xx

The one I've linked to says you can use two together or whatever but am sure there are lots more similar to it.

glossta1
25-04-2010, 09:38 PM
I can't answer the poll because our set-up doesn't fit. The buns only go out when someone will be in all day, or most of the day. They aren't directly supervised, but they're in a high-walled garden with a locked gate. They have lots of shelter and our own cat is the dominant cat of the neighbourhood and knows them. There are buzzrds about, but the shelter level is high and we've mever known them to come close to housing, and in any case both are very big rabbits (but not quite giant). They LOVE it, and wait by the hutch door each morning for my OH wearing his 'rabbit coat' ready to be carried round to the 'rabbit garden'. It is bunny bliss.

Ambience
25-04-2010, 09:51 PM
I used to have my rabbits out all day and sometimes all night unsupervised- the walls were to high all around for foxes to jump over i think and i wasn't near any parks, it was a very built up area.

Here i have them in a 6ft pens, although they are unsupervised as i have high walls, they are penned in. Sometimes i let them out of the runs, but they are supervised when i do go outside the run, as one of the back walls is too low for me to feel comfortable letting them be unsupervised- one i get round to building that up, i will have them out free-range no doubt- My bunnys are big enough to fend off cats.

My cats co-exist peacefully and other cats are happy to lay next to the pens without trying to get them etc. The only thing that worrys me is that dogs can jump over the wall where i am now, i do take them in at a night now for this reason until the wall is built up again.