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Thread: Free range rabbits...? If not - where to buy accommodation?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by HouseOfRabbit View Post
    You might want to read this - http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...hlight=dunster and look elsewhere.

    Have you tried looking at Boyles Pet Housing or local shed/joinery companies that would build to your requirements at all? I'm planning on going the DIY route myself as soon as I can afford it as I've got an awkward spot I want to put the shed and run in.
    Thanks for the replies both... This is, however, somewhat frustrating as we've spent ages looking for an appropriate hutch - 400 is at the upper limits of our accommodation budget, which I think is more than reasonable.

    I could get a 2 storey Chartwell (e.g http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XL-6ft-Cha...v4rGQH2dsXG9nA)

    and add a 6ft run to the bottom level, this would give effectively a 6x2x2 hutch (top floor), and 8x6x2 run which is more than RWAF suggests. I may have to put some strong mesh around the legs to stop the rabbits getting out.

    We also need something that can fit under a windowsill so the 'Bunnery' height is what we're after as opposed to a shed (due to the gardens design).

    Suggestions more than welcome

  2. #12

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    Or... thoughts on this approach:

    Buy a hutch from Boyles (https://boylespethousing.co.uk/produ...abbit-hutches/)
    Modify the hutch to have a ramp down into a large run:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6ft-XL-Cha...YAAOSw-vlVh81M

    Obviously i'd have to reinforce the run to support the hutch on top of it. I think I would be able to work this out (some wooden triangles to support the hutch for example)

    It's really difficult finding suitable accommodation, I went to FOUR pet shops and there wasn't a single 6x2x2 hutch and I refuse to keep rabbits (or any animal) in less than satisfactory conditions.

  3. #13
    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisrules334 View Post
    Thanks for the replies both... This is, however, somewhat frustrating as we've spent ages looking for an appropriate hutch - 400 is at the upper limits of our accommodation budget, which I think is more than reasonable.

    I could get a 2 storey Chartwell (e.g http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/XL-6ft-Cha...v4rGQH2dsXG9nA)

    and add a 6ft run to the bottom level, this would give effectively a 6x2x2 hutch (top floor), and 8x6x2 run which is more than RWAF suggests. I may have to put some strong mesh around the legs to stop the rabbits getting out.

    We also need something that can fit under a windowsill so the 'Bunnery' height is what we're after as opposed to a shed (due to the gardens design).

    Suggestions more than welcome
    Sounds like a hutch and run is your best option then.

    Had a look at the Chartwell and if you decide to go with it I'd ask the company if they could change the doors so that they meet in the middle instead of having that fixed wire mesh piece there. From experience it's a lot easier to clean if you can open the doors to access the hutch all the way across.

    I'd also be tempted to not have any bedroom dividers on either floor so you get more flexibility on how things are arranged; litter trays take up a fair amount of space especially if using underbed storage boxes and rabbits are prone to arrange things how they and not you want. Depending on your diy skills you can always add them later if you find you want them but I've found they are harder to remove if already in place.

    Are you also looking to get a cover for it as well? Looks like there's enough room on the framing of the wire mesh to put some removable wooden/perspex shutters in but you could go for a full plastic cover instead.

    Oh and if you haven't already, have a look around for where you can get cheap lino offcuts for the hutch floor. In combination with a litter tray it was the best decision I made to make cleaning easier.

    PS: You do realise that once you start getting accommodation you'll keep having to improve it?

  4. #14
    Mama Doe
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    Another option may be something like a dog kennel with run:

    https://www.summergardenbuildings.co...FVNuGwodPQMBYA

    Local shed places will often have them listed and may be able to adjust the height to fit your space - it just needs one or 2 fewer slats. They may be more secure and easier to clean out as you have better access.

  5. #15
    Alpha Buck
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    Back to your original question .. I have always let my rabbits free-range during the day (with all day access to base of course).

    Routinely at dusk, which is early in the day in winter and late at night in summer, they would (99 per cent of the time!) happily go back in overnight with the promise of a veggie treat.

    We do have cats in the area but generally this has not been a problem. Obviously, if I lived in a heavily populated fox area, I wouldn't have done it. There may well have been risks attached but, in 25 ish years and having had many rabbits, I would not have done it any differently. It has been very rewarding seeing 'lifestyle' choices ... 'I go out, stay in, sit in the rain, shelter from the rain. ..' etc.

    It is a balancing act, but seeing my rabbits scrabbling in the soil, bunny hopping over the lawn, darting here and there and routinely grazing as dusk approaches, has been a pleasure in my life And I am at home quite a lot so am in and out checking all okay, but could also go out for the day and leave them.

    I know it is contentious and many will be aghast at me, but I have loved giving my rabbits as near a natural lifestyle as I possibly could.

    Hope that helps and not confuses!

  6. #16
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    I keep my four rabbits in a shed with an attached run. I would never go back to a hutch now. The shed is especially great in wet weather when cleaning out is made a lot more pleasant by being sheltered and able to stand up.

    They get a couple of hours of free range time per day. We do have foxes near by but so far so good.

  7. #17

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    Ha - we did the same and it was all good...

    I am not sure the RSPCA would agree with the approach though! My old rabbit chased a cat off once, as cats typically aren't hungry they just want to play. Like you we put them in the hutch overnight to be safe.

  8. #18

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    I would like to do this, but the rabbits will be kept in front of the kitchen window (hutch backed up against the wall with the run in front of it) due to our gardens shape/size, we therefore need a short sized hutch.

    We've found a nice one at Ukrabbithutches (please don't tell me they aren't good we've spent hours looking) which meets the criteria of the RSPCA: http://www.ukrabbithutches.co.uk/hutchandruncombo.html - 6x2x2 hutch, 6x8x3 run.

    We're having a call with a 'rabbit expert' later so will see what they say!

    The rabbits we're looking at are these two https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet/de...066064/rehome/

  9. #19
    Mama Doe
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    Lovely (and lucky) bunnies.

  10. #20
    Warren Scout Compass's Avatar
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    Ours have a large run but we let them out free range in the garden when we are at home and if we nip out for a run/walk etc where we won't be that long, say a hour or so ( I'm not sure there is any logic to this, I just figure in case they did ever do a Shawshank redemption/tunnelling out we'd have time to catch them - I don't think they want to leave and I reckon tunnelling out is near impossible but you never know!) We always padlock the back gate if we do this. We have a 6ft fence although we have seen a cat recently and I have seen a fox in the field behind us (sadly chasing the wild bunnies which are most likely easier pickings) but never in the garden. They tend to sleep from 10 until 4pm anyway so I don't worry about keeping them in their run then. I think you have to weigh up risk vs quality of life.
    If you are letting them out when you are not at home I think so long as it is secure as it can be and there are several places for them to run and hide if they need to then you are significantly reducing the risks and most likely improving their quality of life. Even though ours have a large run it still doesn't compare to the garden where they can binky to their hearts content!
    A collector of Rescue Bunnies 'Brie', 'Biscuit', ''Bagel' and Newbie 'Pumpkin'

    Binky in Peace Pedney, Cheddar and Pickle

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