DIGGING

Digging is a natural instinct in rabbits. They all do it or will do it at some point. In the wild it is usually the females that dig the warrens creating a number of underground rooms. The entrance to a warren is always quite small and goes down at a steep angle but then opens up into passage ways and chambers.
Digging when done by our very lovable domestic rabbits can sometime been seen as bad behaviour especially when they dig a hole in your new carpet!! Rabbits will tend to dig in the most unobvious places like behind the sofa or in a dark corner where you canít see it. There are many things you can do to stop your bunny digging where you donít want it t o dig.

For house rabbits.

1. Provide pieces of hardboard covered in carpet and put them in there favourite digging spot.

2. Fill cardboard boxes with shredded paper or newspaper and cut to holes in it.

3. You can make tunnels for them from old carpet rolls (ask you local carpet retailer).

4. If you bun gets access to the outside give them a dig box, use something like a kids sand box or you could make one. They need to be about 2ft deep x 5ft long (from the book why does my rabbit) fill it with either kiddies play sand or half sand half earth.

5. Plenty of toys are always a good distraction.

6. And finally Cat scratching post and toys work very well indeed.

For outdoor buns.

1. If like me you have large enclosures they will dig it up no matter what you do. Everyday that I check the buns there is a new hole. You can allow them to do this but fill the holes in each day and again provide other things to dig up. I have found that cardboard boxes filled with newspaper and hay works a treat.

2. For buns with runs attached to hutches, you can put chicken wire on the bottom of the run this does not hinder there movement and if and when they do dig they cannot get anywhere. Again provide plenty of toys and other things to dig. You can give them the hardboard covered in carpet just make sure it doesnít get to wet.

3. If you can find waterproof piping, large guttering is ideal, you can put these in with carpet stuck to one end and they will get down the pipe and dig the end.

Digging although it can be very frustrating does have its advantages, it keeps the buns amused, and you may find you do not have to cut the claws as often. I check my buns feet and claws once a week but a rarely have to actually cut claws.
It does have its drawbacks, it can be very frustrating for you and they can get extremely dirty! My white angora Lavender loves to dig and consequently she is now never white but dirt coloured!!!

Just remember digging is natural to them you can not stop it but you can distract them!

Happy Digging


Phillipa Crowson
13.05.05.

All of the above is based on personal experience and the book Why does my rabbit.