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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum HABITATS AND TOYS Moving, broke, and trying to create a good habitat

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    • Hellen’s Caretaker
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        Play pen angle 2 Play pen angle 1

        The playpen shown above is my current solution (All of 10 minutes old) for my rabbit Hellen.

        Hellen is a gorgeous lionhead that is about 2 1/2 years old. I got her 1 1/2 years ago.

        She was a flea market bunny, and spent the first year of her life in a cage. When I first got her, she was very timid and reserved.

        When I began to let her start free roaming my old bedroom, she turned into a new creature.

        She is now incredibly sassy and wants a lot of attention. I am blessed to have met this new creature. I just took a better paying job to help finish school. It’s 1200 miles away from my home and it’s been tough moving away from family.

        I’m currently living in an Airbnb. I will be moving to a more permanent apartment shortly.

        At my last apartment, Despite my best effort with all the toys, Hellen did about $1300 worth of damage I had to pay out-of-pocket.

        I refuse to cage her, but I just can’t let her roam the bedroom anymore. Between the damage and being woken up at three in the morning, it was getting a little stressful.

        Most of the toys are in storage, I will get more as soon as I can, or free the old ones.

        I’m not a good pet owner, until a year ago, I understood almost nothing about animals. But because of Hellen  I suddenly have a reason to get up in the morning. So, I try my best and she gets away with a lot that she shouldn’t.

        I am worried that this new playspace is not sufficient room, also that she will get bored with its basic configuration currently.

        Someone with actual experience, please tell me what to do?


      • Bam
        Moderator
        16892 posts Send Private Message

          First of all, thank you for saving a flea market bun!

          Unfortunately many buns cant be trusted with total free roaming. This can change as the bun gets older. Most creatures incl humans get less wild when they start hitting middle age.  I’m sorry Hellen has caused you financial loss with her (totally normal but still very inconvenient) bunstructo habits.

          A smallish enclosure is fine as long as the bun gets playtime outside it. For Hellen, it would need to be supervised playtime for the time being. A bun’s living area should preferably be 5 sq meters (about 54 sq ft). Outside playtime is still recommended.

          Your enclosure is a bit bare in its current state. A bun will want a litterbox with hay either in it, or within reach from it. Some sort of house and or tunnel will make her feel safer. A partial roof made of a blanket attached with clothes pins could make her feel protected from threats from above – its an instinct for buns to fear threats from above even if there aren’t any. A low-ish “platform” made of f ex a cardboard or wooden box is as a rule very popular-rabbits love to have a slightly elevated spot to lounge in. They like to lie where they have a good overview of their realm 🙂 Cheap fleece blankets can be dug in and chewed (chewing is fine, but if she ingests fabric she should not be allowed them).

          Rabbits like to “bunstruct” things that are firmly attached, maybe because they don’t have hands so they cant hold stuff firmly in place. Attaching cardboard or a piece of (non-toxic) wood to the enclosure grids could entice her to have a go (if you can stabilize the grid somehow so the whole enclosure doesn’t collapse, of course.

          This time of year some enriching stuff could perhaps be foraged outdoors, depending on where you live. Willow is rarely ever treated with pesticides and it’s very good for rabbits. Apple twigs and small apple branches are super-delicious for buns, but pesticides might be an issue with those. Pesticide-free clean fresh grass is just as good as hay for the teeth, but a lot yummier. You need to start with small amounts though, to not cause tummy upset. Some common weeds like dandelion, goutweed, yarrow, wild strawberry leaves etc are just as good (if not better) as store bought veggies like romaine lettuce.

          (There is rather a large amount of pellets in your picture. A medium sized healthy 2.5 year old bun only needs about 2 tablespoons of pellets per day. The rest of the daily food (80-85%) should be grass hay and about a cup of fresh greens. Hay keeps the teeth and the tummy in good working order).


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          8960 posts Send Private Message

            I’ve been in your situation before, it’s awful. I had a landlord flip out on us because of some chewed baseboards (even though all of our bunnies were in the lease and we were going to pay for the repairs) and I had to put them into temporary foster care while we found a new place to live. It was incredibly stressful but bunnies are very resilient and they all did fine, even though 2 of them were basically confined to an x-pen for a few months. Of course it’s not ideal, but it’s temporary.

            I totally agree with Bam that many rabbits are not good candidates for full free roam, and that’s totally OK. My buns are all penned when I am not supervising them because they will chew on things, no matter how well I bunny-proof.

            It is also totally acceptable to keep her penned while  you are in your temporary housing, the worst would be to get kicked out of the AirBnb or have her do more damage there.

            Things I would do:

            Add a fleece blanket or similar to the flooring. Even an old comforter from a thrift store would be great, just to give her some traction.

            I think you are using the carrier as the litter box? If not, def add a litter box with hay.

            A hide or a tunnel out of a cardboard box would be great too. You can make a triangle shaped one out of cardboard so she doesn’t use it to jump out.

            Homemade toys include toilet paper tubes stuffed with hay, safe twigs and branches that you forage (willow, apple, palm, pear, etc)., phone books for shredding. My favorite cheap toy to buy are organic palm plates (google them) online.

            As Bam mentioned, I can’t tell if that pile on the cardboard is pellet food or bedding, but if it’s food that’s way too many pellets. An adult bun only needs about a tablespoon-1/4 cup, depending on the bun’s size and brand of food. Hay eating is also very important for preventing boredom, so encouraging lots of hay consumption will keep her physically and mentally healthy.

             

            . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


          • Hellen’s Caretaker
            Participant
            3 posts Send Private Message

              I just bought more hay.

              What I have been doing in the past, I would buy clumps of hay and let her tear it up because she loves doing that. I would then have the pellets in a large gravity feeder and let herself regulate.

               

              I have an image, but it won’t attach for some reason.


              • DanaNM
                Moderator
                8960 posts Send Private Message

                  Unless you are feeding a pellet that’s specifically meant to be free-fed, like Sherwood Forest, that way of feeding pellets will likely lead to obesity and not enough hay consumption, which then leads to other issues like dental problems.

                  I recommend starting to scale back her pellets to a measured amount each day. May sure she is also eating hay and then you can really start cutting back on pellets. I don’t know her exact weight but between 1-2 tablespoons is likely a good amount for her. 75-85% of her diet should be grass hay.

                  . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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            Forum HABITATS AND TOYS Moving, broke, and trying to create a good habitat