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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Why am I scared of free roam?

This topic contains 21sd replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mahogany1 1 year, 2 months ago.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
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  • #1320401

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Hi,

    I would like to make our rabbit free roam. I am very reluctant because I live in a rental with carpet, lots of wood furniture (some antiques) and the obvious concerns of wires.  

    Do you x pen them at night or is it personal? I also have read about urination on mattresses. Any time he’s allowed out to roam it’s so obvious his desire to not be in a cage is real.  Takes awhile to get. Him back in the cage. 

    Do I need litter boxes in every room? They tend to not have much body control. 

    Any legitimate suggestions?

    Thank you in advance. 

    PS

    This is another concern. Why do people post pictures of their rabbits/bunnies in first person? Is there some real psychic connection with rabbits or its something people do because they think it’s funny? (honestly not being an ass I see from most bunny owners on social media) 


    #1879856

    sarahthegemini
    Participant

    You simply need to bun proof. Block/cover Anything that’s dangerous and anything you don’t want ruined.

    You can use a pen at night. Some do, some don’t. It’s not really necessary if you sufficiently bun proof tho.

    A lot of bunnies pee on beds. It’s quite common. You could just block access to it.

    Not really sure why you think they don’t have much bodily control :-/ If you have a large place, I’d recommend a few litter trays as it’s more convenient for them. I just have trays in one room. They absolutely do have control of their bodily functions (obvious exceptions being babies and those with health issues)

    As for your last query…I mean, there’s no psychic connection LOL it’s just fun.


    #1879860

    Q8bunny
    Participant

    Is your bunny neutered? If not, it may explain why you think buns have poor bodily control. Most buns can learn to use a litter box quite quickly once hormones are no longer raging and making them constantly mark their territory and property.

    My rabbit has never had a cage or pen. He is litter trained (with a box in every big room) and has access to everything (so all I did was put wires in those neat and tidy cable wrapping tubes, just to be on the safe side, even though he’s not a big wire lover). He doesn’t destroy. He doesn’t make a big mess. It might just be that he’s awesome. But I like to think that rabbits are naturally clean animals capable of gradually becoming accustomed to living in a space without completely wrecking it. I know of plenty of other buns just like mine.

    As for people who write on behalf of their bunny – why not? It’s just another form of bunny fun. Unless you actually believe in psychics, in which case, whatever floats your boat.


    #1879888

    Many people are a bit sceptical about free roaming, but there are of course several degrees of freedom. It doesn’t have to mean giving them full freedom of the house: most bunnies would be more than happy with a part of the living room as a playground. They love to be a part of your family and join you on the couch for a snuggle.

    The most important things about free roaming are litter training and addressing natural behaviours. Rabbits have a natural tendency to dig, chew and tear things. They are very inquisitive, love to play and they will find ways of keeping themselves amused if not provided with enough stimuli. Opinions tend to differ between owner and rabbit about what’s “amusing” or not, so best keep them busy. Activity levels differ with age, personality and general health, so you can’t really tell how active a bunny will be.

    You’ll find that each rabbit has a favourite activity and a favourite material. Our NL dwarf bun Breintje loves chewing and tearing paper, while my BF’s previous rabbit Waffie was all about digging in sand and throwing items around. If you see such behaviours, make a toy which satisfies their needs to keep the rabbit out of your things. We rotate the toys every 3 weeks or so, to give him a new experience every time. Practically all of our toys are self-made, you’ll find that rabbits will likely ignore the expensive toy and spend weeks playing with the box it came in.

    Our set-up looks like this:

    I live in a small apartment with an open kitchen, and it wouldn’t be safe to let our bun roam there. Too many wires, small spaces to hide behind appliances, and I don’t want to trip over an overexcited fluff while I’m carrying a hot pan. (Yup, former cat owner spotted!)
    There’s a large carpet covering the sitting area of the living room, which is his domain. He knows that he has to stay on the carpet, and like many other buns he dislikes wooden floors because they’re too slippery. You can work with carpets or mats to make certain parts of your house more or less interesting to bunnies. Some breeds like Nethies love to climb, so check if your house plants aren’t toxic to rabbits. Don’t be surprised to find your bun on the window sill. Besides climbing you also have crawling behaviour. Rabbits love to hide underneath things We put sheets of alu foil underneath our couches because he hates stepping on it. This prevents situations like the “A hole in the sofa?? semi-surprised bunny face” meme.

    Breintje is out of the hutch for the largest part of the day, and he has his litter box there because his roaming area is small enough. He can enter or leave his hutch at will during the day, and he’s in the hutch when both my BF and I are asleep.
    What I like about this semi-free roaming is that he can have a natural daily rhythm, and that he can choose to seek me out whenever HE wants attention. Rabbits like things to go their way because they’re creatures of habit. They love their routine and value their privacy, so hiding boxes will be much appreciated as nap-spots. I love to watch him spend the whole afternoon in his hiding box underneath the coffee table, yawning and toothpurring contently.

    Some areas are blocked off because I don’t want him to chew my expensive study books. I use parts of an X-pen to block off the bookcases, and wires are covered with alu foil. I must admit that he’s not much of a cable chewer, so I’d recommend proper cable protectors for other bunnies. You’ll discover that each bunny has a favourite thing to chew on. Breintje is a paper chewer/shredder, so I have to protect my bookcases. Oh, and forget about doing my finances on the couch with a cup of tea… Whee, tax returns! *nibble* {binky away like mad and hide your prize}

    Luckily he makes up for it by joining me on the couch for late-night snuggles! And let’s admit it: those happy binkies make up for many things ^_^


    #1879900

    mimimomo
    Participant

    Personally, I let my bunnies roam “free” when I’m around to supervise, but they go in the cage at night or whenever I leave the house. I say “free” because I have a few rooms they’re never allowed in, just because I can’t be bothered to bunny-proof them.

    In my experience, bunnies can be pretty destructive even when you do your best to bunny proof. For example, at my old apartment my bunnies tore up the carpeting in several places. Also, I used some plastic tubing to cover wires like this: http://bunnyproof.com/wp-content/uploads/hiding-wires-split-length-tubing-HD.jpg but my bunnies took it as a challenge and chewed through the stuff! They also chewed on drywall corners, trim, etc…

    Some of those things could’ve been prevented with better bunny proofing (I think they make plastic covers for wall corners, for example), but some stuff is just inevitable. I couldn’t cover all the carpeting, for example.

    I’m definitely not trying to scare you away from letting your bunny roam free – I love having my bunnies underfoot and I can tell they love having so much space  But there’s a lot to be said for supervision – like if I weren’t so lazy, I could’ve interrupted them whenever I heard them chewing on the carpet 

    So I guess my suggestions are:

    1. Keep bunnies in the cage when you aren’t around to supervise. I don’t think there’s any reason to let them run free at night, for example – even dogs are happy sleeping in crates at night.

    2. Do your best to bunny proof (and accept that it’s probably going to be a little ugly!). And if something isn’t working, try a different strategy!

    3. Try to give bunnies alternatives – they’re going to dig and chew, so I make sure they always have cardboard boxes to have fun destroying

    4. Be flexible – every bunny is different. For example, mine almost never chew on wooden furniture, but they definitely had other bad habits (see above). Probably there are angel bunnies out there who never chew on anything except toys! Fingers crossed for you…haha


    #1879918

    sarahthegemini
    Participant

    ^ ^ bunnies are pretty active at night so actually it’s not good to put them in a cage overnight. A pen could work tho if you don’t feel comfortable free roaming them whilst you sleep


    #1879934

    mimimomo
    Participant

    Oh that’s interesting, Sarah, I didn’t know that! My bunnies are definitely most active during the day – I used to work night shifts so on my nights off I let them out of the cage, but they only wanted to sleep. Then again, they probably adjusted their schedule because they were used to being stuck in a cage at night. Hmm…


    #1879936

    sarahthegemini
    Participant

    Posted By mimimomo on 9/02/2018 10:37 AM
    Oh that’s interesting, Sarah, I didn’t know that! My bunnies are definitely most active during the day – I used to work night shifts so on my nights off I let them out of the cage, but they only wanted to sleep. Then again, they probably adjusted their schedule because they were used to being stuck in a cage at night. Hmm…

    I do think bunnies can adjust to our human routine But naturally, they are quite active. My rabbits tend to relax/rest for a couple hours, play for a bit (digging or chewing at something usually!), rest for a couple hours, play etc. And quite often I’ll hear them sprinting around early hours


    #1879941

    LittlePuffyTail
    Moderator

    Personally, I let my bunnies roam “free” when I’m around to supervise, but they go in the cage at night or whenever I leave the house.

    Ditto. Elara is extremely destructive and is intent on completely destroying our couch, loveseat and rug. She doesn’t have a cage, though. She has a small room all to herself. Spoiled brat.


    #1879948

    Breintje is most active in the morning between 6 and 10, and between 7 and 11 in the evening. Around midnight he becomes super clingy, he loves to cuddle up next to me when I’m reading a book before bedtime. Lately I’ve been on new pain meds which make me quite drowsy.
    I’ve fallen asleep on the couch too many times to count, only to wake up at dawn with an enthousiastic bunny nudging my hand and doing mad full speed zoomies around the room. Breakfast! Gimme pellets, my supplier! Gimme that which I desire!

    Luckily he hasn’t destroyed anything while I dozed off…yet…


    #1879950

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Omg you guys are so literal. There’s always little poppies (strays) around the cage.


    #1879951

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Thank you. 


    #1879952

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Poor body control is reference to the little poops. Thanks for your advice. 


    #1879953

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Thank you. 


    #1879954

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Thank you. He tands to be a thrower especially if he is throwing a tantrum.  I will continue to play to his talents. Thank you for your response and suggestions. 


    #1879955

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.  You have hit on several of my concerns. 


    #1879957

    Posted By Mahogany1 on 9/02/2018 12:32 PM

    Omg you guys are so literal. There’s always little poppies (strays) around the cage.

    Sounds like territorial poops, unfixed rabbits will do that. It’ll stop within 6 weeks of their surgery, and it helps to pick all of them up and put them in the litter box. If a rabbit goes in a certain spot, consider putting an extra litter box there.

    And yes, bunny owners talk about poop a lot! They are a good indicator of a rabbit’s health. There are many topics where everybody is cheering for poops if a rabbit is ill 


    #1879967

    sarahthegemini
    Participant

    Posted By Mahogany1 on 9/02/2018 12:32 PM
    Omg you guys are so literal. There’s always little poppies (strays) around the cage.

    Is this in reference to my post? I don’t really understand


    #1879999

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    No


    #1880018

    On the right side above a post there’s a quote button. If you want to reply to a specific post this will make it easier for others to see which post you’re referring to, like the reply I sent.

    You can also start a message with @username if you want to reply to multiple people. To keep a thread short and legible it’s common to reply to multiple people in one post, which you could write like this:

    @user1: that’s a good idea!

    @user2: I love those ears

    @user3: we all loved your recipe.

    Hope this helps!


    #1880050

    Its normal he doesnt like going in his cage if you shut it when he gets in.

    So you should always use your best treats, so he gets rewarded when he goes in. Or simply give him his pellet feed in there. He will start to understand his cage is a GREAT place to be, and will probably run in there waiting for you at a shake of his feed tin or with a code word like “bed time” !!!

    Dry poops are easily cleaned up (eaten up if you have a dog!). Smelly gunky poops usually done in litter tray…

    Gorgeous bunny !!!!


    #1880266

    Mahogany1
    Participant

    He’s been going in on his on kind of. I feed him his last vegetables then, he seems to think of them as a treat. 


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