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Thread: Advice for making outdoor rabbit run secure from predators

  1. #1

    Default Advice for making outdoor rabbit run secure from predators

    I have a little project on the go while the other half is away. I have a bit of space to the side of my garage that is basically going to waste so I want to make it into an outdoor rabbit area so they can always be out. Currently they are in the back garden and we let them out of their cage for a few hours each day, but then it means we have to keep the dogs locked up.

    So heres the plan. I am going to excavate the area out, put down steel cage/wiring on the ground, cover it with a layer of top soil and then turf over the top of that, so they can't dig their way out. I will also make a few mounds with tunnels etc in the area. The fence to the side I will be attaching wire mesh too so they can't get out there either. The top will also have wire panels, so the whole thing will be pretty secure.

    I have made a hole into the garage and will be constructing a 2 story hutch in there so they have somewhere dry and safe to sleep, and can basically come and go as they please.

    All in all they will be quite spoiled rabbits as far as freedom goes. My concern though is rats. The most obvious thing I can think of is to replace the tubing I currently have going into the garage with a microchip catflap, which in theory should mean that they can quickly get to safety in the event of a rat finding its way into the enclosure. My concern is that they wouldn't get away in time, although rabbits are pretty scatty so i'm guessing they would run to safety at the first sign of movement.

    I can't really think of any better options than this at the moment so thought I would ask you guys.


  2. #2
    Mama Doe
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    I would use some substantial weldmesh on the fence and roof to keep out larger predators (eg foxes) and some much smaller mesh inside it to stop rats getting in (eg 0.5"), maybe on a separate wooden frame to the fence - with a mesh on each side of the wood (small on the inside, strong on the outside).

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    I would use some substantial weldmesh on the fence and roof to keep out larger predators (eg foxes) and some much smaller mesh inside it to stop rats getting in (eg 0.5"), maybe on a separate wooden frame to the fence - with a mesh on each side of the wood (small on the inside, strong on the outside).
    Currently the estate is still a building site and i've done a pretty good job of scrounging most of the stuff I need from the builders for this project. The roof is going to be made from panels the builders cut out of some scrapped heras fencing, so that should be plenty strong enough.

  4. #4
    Warren Veteran Amy104's Avatar
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    Although I have heard of rats attacking rabbits this seems to be rabbits confined to a small hutch, most rats wont deliberately set out to hurt a rabbit but would if trapped/cornered. The best deterrants are keeping everything clean and making sure no food is left lying around. I have runaround tubing through my garage wall and its really secure - road tested by my doberman to check.
    I Suffer From Multiple Rabbit Syndrome
    (Because One Rabbit Is Never Enough!)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy104 View Post
    Although I have heard of rats attacking rabbits this seems to be rabbits confined to a small hutch, most rats wont deliberately set out to hurt a rabbit but would if trapped/cornered. The best deterrants are keeping everything clean and making sure no food is left lying around. I have runaround tubing through my garage wall and its really secure - road tested by my doberman to check.
    Are you suggesting I could skip the £60 on the microchipped catflap and just use the tube?

  6. #6
    Warren Veteran Amy104's Avatar
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    The microchips for those catflaps are really big, I'm not sure how comfortable they'd be for a rabbit? Unless you have a considerable rat problem and are really worried I personally don't think its necessary.
    I Suffer From Multiple Rabbit Syndrome
    (Because One Rabbit Is Never Enough!)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy104 View Post
    The microchips for those catflaps are really big, I'm not sure how comfortable they'd be for a rabbit? Unless you have a considerable rat problem and are really worried I personally don't think its necessary.
    Not 100% sure what you mean by this, but the microchips are in the rabbits, they don't need to wear the collar type

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy104 View Post
    The microchips for those catflaps are really big, I'm not sure how comfortable they'd be for a rabbit? Unless you have a considerable rat problem and are really worried I personally don't think its necessary.
    And we live directly beside a farmers field, and whilst I have yet to see a rat i'm pretty sure there must be plenty about. Coming out one day to find the rabbits eaten wouldn't make me the most popular person in the world

  9. #9
    Warren Veteran Amy104's Avatar
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    Rats wont eat your rabbit - they may bite them in defense if cornered. I realise the microchips are implanted but they are quite big in comparison to a rabbit and may move under the skin more than in a larger cat. If they move they could be uncomfortable or not work at all. You also have the issue of checking batteries etc regularly, I'd be concerned about a rabbit getting stuck outside and unable to shelter from the weather. Personally my preference would be a smaller sized mesh if you wanted to keep rats out. I'd be more worried about larger predators such as foxes so the weld mesh needs to be strong - heras fencing is great but just bear in mind most has quite big gaps which a fox could get a paw through.
    I Suffer From Multiple Rabbit Syndrome
    (Because One Rabbit Is Never Enough!)

  10. #10

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    The herra fencing is going to be on the roof, about a meter up, so that shouldn't be an issue.
    Both the rabbits are already microchipped anyway...I assume they work still!
    The catflap I looked at apparently lasts a year on one set of batteries, and is also linked to a phone app so you can tell if its working or not.

    I'm making a separate small shelter outside and theres also a few tubes for them to go in, so they wouldn't be totally exposed in the case of them being locked out. They will be checked daily anyway.

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