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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Confused! About bunny play space

Hello! So, I have a question ... I got my Hoddy Toddy from a breeder. I was told to never let him out of his cage or else he will revert to wild bunny status and will never let me pick him up or pet him again. The breeder told me he would start to bite me and stuff if I allowed him freedoms like that but then still expected him to act like a cute little pet. But reading all of the posts here, it seems many of you allow your bunnies to run around. What's the verdict? I got him a fairly roomy cage for his size, and he has a few toys and there's always hay. He runs and hops around the inside of his cage sometimes, and I take him out lots and hold him. But should I let him free in a room? Will he turn into a wild bunny and try to escape me when I hold him in my lap? Because if he stopped letting me pick him up and pet him I would be so upset! (I hope that doesn't sound too selfish or wrong...) I want him to be a healthy, happy bunny - but I also don't want to lose my cuddly little baby boy ... I'm so torn! Advice, please!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 08:44 PM
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I've never heard of anyone saying that rabbits shouldn't be allowed out of their cage like that. The House Rabbit Society recommends that you allow you rabbit to exercise and play outside of the cage at least 3 hours a day.

I let my rabbits play out of their cage everyday, for hours and hours a day, and while they run around like crazy, they never 'revert to wild bunny status' and love climbing up on my lap for attention.

Have you ever seen your bunny binkie? If not, boy are you missing out!! When you let them out to play they get so happy they run around and do crazy jumps that makes them look like they're dancing, and they only do it when they're really happy. It's the funniest thing ever!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 10:31 PM
can't think of one, help
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yes, outside cage playing is fine, but you should supervise them when they are out, my bunny likes to rearrange things that are at his height, he can clear a shelf in pretty short order. Make sure you have removed any things that could be dangerous for a bunny and give him toys to play with
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2007, 11:33 PM
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Oh, wow, that doesn't sound like a very good breeder.

As others have said you really should be letting the rabbit out to run around every day. About half of my rabbits have been mostly free-range...rarely being confined to cages. They were some of the friendliest rabbits I've ever had. I've found that rabbits often become more friendly and outgoing with lots of out-of-cage time.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ha! I had know idea what a binkie was ... but yes, my bunny does binkie and it is hilarious. He looks like he's doing ballet or something. Figure skating stunts, perhaps. So, nobody has ever experienced their bunny refusing to be picked up after running around outside of his/her cage? And nobody has a bunny that no longer likes his/her cage after experiencing the world outside of it? I feel much better ... I just need a bit more reassurance. I have no idea why the breeder told me that. The rabbitry was run by a husband and wife and they seemed pretty capable. But they bred to show, not as pets, so maybe their priorities are different? The only reason they had my Hoddy Toddy for sale was because he has a little white spot to the left of his nose and so he can't be shown. Thank goodness for it!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 12:47 PM
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Oh my gosh! Thats mad!! An exercised bunny makes a happy bunny! I love to watch my bunnies running around and playing and as Michelle said it's hilarious to watch them binkie!! You are seriously missing out by not having your bun roam free! He wont love you any less.....i sit on the floor with my buns and they come to me when they want to play with me or be petted and cuddled and i have 2 very happy and contented boys that are super friendly and love to groom me aswell as eachother lol!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 11:51 AM
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As a breeder I have never heard of that!!!! I don't know any other breeders that suggest that either. Let your baby out as much as you like,make sure to bunny-proof the rooms however. Breeders like that give all us bad names!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 10:10 PM
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We give our bunnies out of cage time. We specifically chose Molly because she was a snuggle bun. In the last few days...let me tell you she needs her out of cage time ...she is so determined to get out even if it means getting out herself. For such a small bunny...she can jump pretty high. We absolutely have to monitor her every move. So far she will still accept our snuggling. I think if you keep handling them they will continue to snuggle. I know what you mean about being selfish in this regard.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 05:44 AM
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dragonrain is right! You haven't really lived(my opion)untill you see that first liltttle donkey kick thing, Some show bunnies live in my house they are out alot(yes even around my 6month old twin sons)they are always donkey kicking. The breeders have a rabbit run(which I planted all kinds of different herbs and dandelions) they are always kicking about I always feel abit like snow white w/ babies dancing around my do call me nuts)!!!!!!!!!!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 10:42 PM
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I never ever heard of any rabbit owner or breeder say that! That would be cruel to keep them caged all the time and NOT let out!

Definatly take your bun out for free range time! He'll be super happy!! And he will not become "wild".

* Lisa *

* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 05:47 PM
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also, if you can make sure he can run back into his cage if he needs too, my bunny will run back to his cage if he gets spooked has to go to bathroom, or if he has found something he wants to keep and doesn't want to give it up.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 08:42 PM
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first post yay -=)

the breeder that i got Opus from told me to bond with him for the first two weeks, don't let him out and have too much freedom at first. then little by little, give him more freedom.

we've developed a neat little relationship, and Opus is quite the happy bunny.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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WELL! I've let little Hoddy Toddy out, bit by bit. We started with a small area around his cage and he seemed to love it. Now I let him have run of the whole room and he still seems great. I'm so relieved! Whenever he gets to acting a little funny I chase him around a bit until he lets me scoop him up, and then I return him to his cage. He normally goes to the bathroom immediately. So, that's what I attribute any funny behavior - the need to go to the bathroom. My only problem has been his desire to chew on the carpet. Any suggestions on how to stop that? What I'm trying so far is to clap. It normally startles him enough that he stops. Then if he does it again I clap and say NO! and he normally stops. If he does it again and again and again, after that I return him to his cage. I've heard of spray bottles? Anybody else use those? I've heard if you squirt a bunny in the face with water they don't like it so they'll learn to stop doing whatever they were doing when it happened. Except that I can't just chase him around the room with a spray bottle ... you know? It'd probably scare him half to death. I just sit on one side of the room and he runs all around it and through table and chair legs and returns to me on occasion for petting and sniffing. It's been such fun! Thanks so much for the encouragement! I haven't quite gotten up to 3 hours a day ... but hopefully once he's litter trained and has stopped eating the carpet we can get there. Hurray!
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