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View Full Version : Free range options for all those lucky free range bunnies (owners & bunnies opinions



chelle
15-02-2011, 05:17 PM
OK...so was wondering about free ranging rabbits....this is all based on presuming the garden they free range in is bunny safe in terms of they cant dig or jump out. It does not mean fox proof or every plant is ok for them to eat...basically more like it would be in the wild for them...but in a small scale & a normal garden...so no dogs...possible cats...

Some people dont mind their rabbits free ranging 24/7 as long as they have hide outs etc to run to for safety..

Whilst others only let theirs free range when they are being supervised...

I can understand that if there are dogs about....

Is it unfair of us to cage rabbits so to speak because we fear they cant defend themselves like wild buns do?

What measure do people take who let their free range 24/7 for cat & fox proofing?
Or do you have to let rabbits use their instincts and hope they will be ok with the hideouts youve provided?

I keep looking at the garden & wondering they would prefer free range....more than being shut up in enclosures....

Interested to know from folks whos buns do have free range options.....

B3rnie69
15-02-2011, 06:25 PM
I have free range buns, but they are house rabbits. I would never allow free ranging in the garden unsupervised, it only takes a second for a fox to come along :(
As domestic rabbits we can no longer treat them like wild rabbits, they will still have certain instincts but alot is learned behaviour from watching and playing with the other rabbits in the warran.

LilVicky
15-02-2011, 07:44 PM
My bunnies have free range from the morning til it starts getting dark, then i get them in to the garage for dinner and bedtime :)

I wouldnt like to let them free range 24/7 because of foxes and other animals and PEOPLE too :(

They have plenty of places to hide in the garden, so they can hide if they get scared. Theres usually someone always in anyway to keep a check on them :)

If you let your buns free range your garden needs to be as fox proofed as you can and remove ALL plants they cant eat and have plenty of places for them to go to, including their 'home'

But please dont let them fend for themselves against foxes :cry::cry:
Keep your bunnies safe :(

Hanlou
15-02-2011, 08:34 PM
We have bunny-proofed our yard which is right next to the house. The rest of the garden isn't accessible to them - there are tons of plants in our garden that wouldn't really be safe for them even if we could bunny-proof it and a cat sometimes comes to mouse-hunt at the bottom of the garden. (Although I have proofed it to an extent that the cat doesn't come hardly at all these days)

We do hook the aviary door back and give them access to the yard when we are at home - they are supervised via the kitchen window / bedroom window but not necessarily with us standing right next to them if you know what I mean? And if we are going to be in the front room (other side of the house) or doing something that means we will be distracted or busy we do shut the aviary door.

I would never give them access 24/7 to anywhere other than their secure aviary and shed for their own safety.

We've never had foxes on our garden though and if we did next-door's dog would soon let us know! Good old Owen (said dog!) is like our own guard-dog he's that alert lol.

youthnovels
15-02-2011, 08:37 PM
Mine have full access of the garden but totally supervised. Sometimes I will nip off for 10mins or so but only if absolutely required :wave:

abi2047
15-02-2011, 09:51 PM
Riley has free range all day, everyday. Unless the weather is horrible or I wont be home early enough before it gets dark to shut him in his hutch. He has several places to hide, his hutch is always open and I have taken one of the doors off his old hutch (the one with the mesh part, not the 'bedroom' door) so he has a range of places to hide if something spooks him etc. He loves his free range and I would never take it away from him unless really necessary. I remember when I bought him home, he was from a free ad, and the next day I let him free range in the garden and he loved it. He was never let out of his hutch in his old home because their garden wasnt secure or big enough for a run.

RubyGordy
15-02-2011, 09:58 PM
Two people near me have lost their rabbits to foxes in the last few months so I'd never let mine run round when I wasn't there. They do have a huge hutch and run area though.

Rhianna
15-02-2011, 10:16 PM
I sometimes let mine have free range in the garden in the summer when I am home but my garden is extremely overgrown and they are a nightmare to catch. They do love it.

I know I am taking a risk with foxes but my neighbours' gardens adjoin mine and they are always out in their garden in the summer. One side has a dog, the other a cat and I have nine cats of my own, so I am not worried about cats.

I wouldn't let them free range in the dark or when I was at work. They do have runs - but these are small in comparison to them having the run of the whole garden.

I love sunbathing with the buns and cats around me. I take a book outside but always end up just watching the animals play. They run and run and absolutely adore the space and freedom. When the cats get fed up with being chased by the buns they just climb a tree.

bensonlola
15-02-2011, 10:20 PM
Only free range when supervised. To be honest they love their shed and run and usually, even when I'm prepared to stay out for a long time with them, they choose to go in and snuggle in their run or the shed. Sometimes they will come back and forward to me from the shed as if they want their door closed!!! They feel secure in their little 'warren' I think. I think the trick is to give them loads of room in their enclosure.

chelle
16-02-2011, 12:23 PM
Interesting thoughts guys...thanks for replying....I also feel nervous about just letting them run about...so for me personally Id want to be there if they were free ranging...I dont think I could ever forgive myself if something happened to them.....however of course things can still happen even if we are there...its hard to be able to give them so much and their safety too! OH & I will be bunny proofing some more areas for the summer where hopefully we can let them all run about...see how they enjoy it - which Im sure they will...! Im expecting HUGe binkies!:D

Angela lou
16-02-2011, 12:57 PM
I totally understand your dilemma. I think it is about striking a balance between meeting bunnies needs and keeping them safe.

My outdoor bunnies have a large summerhouse and run but it is impossible for them to really run about in this in the same way as they can when they have access to the whole garden.

I've done my very best to bunny proof our garden, My oh thinks I have shares in wire and garden screening :lol:. I let them out when I am at home but I can't stand with them all the time so they could potentially be taken by a predator. I've never see a fox here but know they must be in the area I worry that my luck will run out and I would be devastated to loose a bunny this way but I also know how much they love being out and about.

They destroy my plants, dig holes, chew things and dash about like..well like rabbits and I know they love it.

chelle
16-02-2011, 06:19 PM
I totally understand your dilemma. I think it is about striking a balance between meeting bunnies needs and keeping them safe.

My outdoor bunnies have a large summerhouse and run but it is impossible for them to really run about in this in the same way as they can when they have access to the whole garden.

I've done my very best to bunny proof our garden, My oh thinks I have shares in wire and garden screening :lol:. I let them out when I am at home but I can't stand with them all the time so they could potentially be taken by a predator. I've never see a fox here but know they must be in the area I worry that my luck will run out and I would be devastated to loose a bunny this way but I also know how much they love being out and about.

They destroy my plants, dig holes, chew things and dash about like..well like rabbits and I know they love it.

Yeah this is exactly what I mean...reaching that compromise of giving them actual freedom to run properly & their safety.....

I just think that I need to give them that in a way.....imagine being able to run ish...but not actually race & leap & jump properly...imagine the frustration of not being able to do that your whole life....its so very hard....:cry:

Goes off to measure turning the entire garden into an aviary!:lol:

BB Mommy
16-02-2011, 07:05 PM
My greatest joy each day is to see my rabbits running around the garden.

All 12 of mine get free range time in the garden, and I feel guilty if each pair doesn't get a few hours out of their sheds and enclosures to dash about and dig and chew.

Angela lou has it spot on though - its about getting the balance between their safety and their needs being met.

littleboots
16-02-2011, 07:10 PM
I have a huge garden that is totally bunny proof and my buns get access.. when Im around to supervise!!
They go to bed at night or else I wouldnt sleep for worrying..
Bunny proof does not mean cat proof or fox proof!

Angela lou
16-02-2011, 09:21 PM
Yeah this is exactly what I mean...reaching that compromise of giving them actual freedom to run properly & their safety.....

I just think that I need to give them that in a way.....imagine being able to run ish...but not actually race & leap & jump properly...imagine the frustration of not being able to do that your whole life....its so very hard....:cry:

Goes off to measure turning the entire garden into an aviary!:lol:

Don't joke I looked in to fencing my garden with an anti cat fence (to stop them getting in), it would probably have stopped foxes but gave up as it cost too much and the cats would still have been able to get in via trees and roof tops :roll:

good luck with the garden aviary :lol:

Gem
16-02-2011, 09:27 PM
Harley has free reign of the main garden for approx 15 hours a day, she's shut in her shed over night.

The others are free reign in their sections of the enclosure approx 10-15 hours a day, again they are hutched at night.

They have plenty of places to hide and space to play, dig etc, we do have cats round here plus I have one of my own.

chelle
17-02-2011, 10:58 AM
I think thats the thing - if you own a cat - most other cats stay away...I dont have a cat - but do have lotsa that visit...Im thinking of getting a cat scarer....but of course it worries me it may effect the bunnnies too....:?

It may just have to be supervised play times...Id worry about them being carried off......but so would like to be able to give them 15 hours free range too...we have loads of places they could hide too....:?

dizzyg
17-02-2011, 11:14 AM
I think it depends really on where you are and how safe you feel.

Mine were usually unsupervised, but usually someone was in the house to pop out and check on them, and they were never left out overnight. They'd occasionally be left alone for a short amount of time, but not for hours on end. Hutches were always left open and there were other places to hidey away if they needed to.

Then next door got a dog that could have cleared the wall and gate, so that had to stop!! Eddie was also quite nervy and hated the barking, so we figured it wasn't safe for him AT ALL(we lost a bun to a dog when I was little, horrible:cry:) They'd be watched from the kitchen window.

It does depend on the animals in your area, I'd've felt differently if there were foxes around.

:wave:

KarenM
17-02-2011, 11:23 AM
I think thats the thing - if you own a cat - most other cats stay away...

I haven't found that to be the case tbh - even if Skye is in the garden, other cats will often try to wander through....... and leaving Skye in the garden while the bunnies are out would also be a no no as she'd probably eat them..... either that or Alfie would give her a good seeing to. :lol::lol::lol:

I personally couldn't bring myself to let my two free range without supervision because I know that, if anything awful happened, I would never forgive myself for leaving them in that vulnerable situation.

KarenM
17-02-2011, 11:24 AM
I think thats the thing - if you own a cat - most other cats stay away...

I haven't found that to be the case tbh - even if Skye is in the garden, other cats will often try to wander through....... and leaving Skye in the garden while the bunnies are out would also be a no no as she'd probably eat them..... either that or Alfie would give her a good seeing to. :lol::lol::lol:

I personally couldn't bring myself to let my two free range without supervision because I know that, if anything awful happened, I would never forgive myself for leaving them in that vulnerable situation.

Candiflare
17-02-2011, 01:53 PM
Mine freerange most of the day when my OH's PA is working at our house. She is also a part time vet nurse at the local practice, so it's like having a nanny for my buns!

She works in the dining room which looks out on to the garden so she can see what they're up to. I still worry though.

chelle
18-02-2011, 07:38 PM
I haven't found that to be the case tbh - even if Skye is in the garden, other cats will often try to wander through....... and leaving Skye in the garden while the bunnies are out would also be a no no as she'd probably eat them..... either that or Alfie would give her a good seeing to. :lol::lol::lol:

I personally couldn't bring myself to let my two free range without supervision because I know that, if anything awful happened, I would never forgive myself for leaving them in that vulnerable situation.


You got guard-bunnies! :D
I also feel Id never forgive myself if something happened....thats it then - off to break the news ot OH that he willl have to crawl about the garden as I cant afford a standup aviary over the entire garden!:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

I may be homeless later!:lol::lol::lol:

chelle
18-02-2011, 07:38 PM
Mine freerange most of the day when my OH's PA is working at our house. She is also a part time vet nurse at the local practice, so it's like having a nanny for my buns!

She works in the dining room which looks out on to the garden so she can see what they're up to. I still worry though.


ooooh thats really handy!:D