• Forum/Server Upgrade If you are reading this you have made it to the upgraded forum. Posts made on the old forum after 26th October 2023 have not been transfered. Everything else should be here. If you find any issues please let us know.

Bed time for outside bunnies

Caza66

New Kit
My 2 rabbits live outside in a playhouse with a covered run attached. Now the nights are lengthening I would like to leave them out so I need to change my habits. So planning on locking them into the playhouse around 8.30pm. I would love to let them stay out over night but nervous about it. There are a couple of areas that are not covered, they are 4 foot off the ground and they can’t get out but I worry about cats getting in. I havent noticed cats getting in as they have a sand digging box in their outdoor area and it is clean. Does anybody leave their rabbits ’out’ overnight?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20230526_145226_036.jpeg
    IMG_20230526_145226_036.jpeg
    572.9 KB · Views: 9
I would me more worried about other predators, like foxes. If cats are not an issue during the day, they usually won't be any more of a risk at night. Foxes will try to break in, especially after dark. The are very persistent when they know there is captive prey. It can also be stressful for the rabbits, which can cause them other health issues. So I would look at the overall security of the rabbit playhouse.

Looking at the photo, I would consider:
- bolting the wood frame onto the concrete slabs to prevent digging in
- cover the remaining gaps in the frame (ie atthe top) with decent thickness and small hole weldmesh.
- maybe double mesh the outer frame with thicker weldmesh, leaving the smaller hole stuff as it is.
- decent bolts and padlocks on any opening door or window - and use them. Bolts and hooks can be rattled open.

Cats, foxes, stoats & similar will all climb / jump in through any openings. Thin wire can also be chewed through or just forced at a weak point. Hence recommending to cover all the frame to make it predator proof. Bolting it down will stop it being forced from ground level. The slabs are really good as it stops anything tunneling through (either in or out). If the holes in the mesh are too big, paws & claws can reach through, and teeth can get a better purchase.

I have thought about doing something similar with a wendy house. It provides a good space for bunnies and good access for their people.
 
My bunnies live outside in a shed and covered runs. I lock them in the shed once it's got dark as we have foxes and whilst I'm confident that no predator can get in, I worry that they would become very scared if say, a fox, or a cat jumped on top of the run and attempted to enter. They even know now, that when I approach them at that time, they immediately both run into the shed.
 
Thanks, I’ve never seen foxes and they can’t get into our garden, but noted and will update

Sadly not ever seeing a Fox is no guarantee that they are not about. Sometimes the first indication you get that Foxes are about is when you lose a Rabbit ☹️ So glad you have heeded the advice 😀
 
I've watched foxes easily scaling a solid 6' fence into my garden, and jump straight over a 5' fence with bushes in front of it. They have got over / through builder's fencing at the allotments and killed many chickens in the past. Never underestimate what they are capable of, and they don't just kill for food. They are much more agile & determined than my lurcher dogs are. I would describe my outside runs as just about 'dog proof', but they are cerainly not fox proof.
 
Better safe than sorry. My rabbits always come into their hutches on a protected porch at night, even though here we definitely do not have foxes. Every area does have its natural predators though, and like Inspector Morse said, not seeing a fox doesn't mean there aren't any. And then there are coyotes, racoons, cats (like you mentioned), snakes, rats (they can sneak in anywhere and carry a boatload of diseases and fleas), etc.
 
Back
Top