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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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free roaming?

hello

i'm curious- how long do you all let your rabbits free roam each day? mine were free raoming all the time (except for during night when i'm asleep) but have both recently been in the vets and pumped up with meds for carpet bockages and such plus they keep chewing EVERYTHING!

so.... now i've got to keep them in their cages much more for thie rown safety and was curious how long everyone here had their rabbits out of their cages each day? i feel bad for them in there. i let them each out a couple hours each day still.

their cages are 4 feet long by 2 and a half feet wide by almost 4 feet high. plus i'm working on making them each a second story. does this sound okay for size? they are both under 4 pounds.

thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 06:04 PM
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My rabbits live outside in a hutch that is 8 feet long with an upper level. Every morning I let them out at 9am and put them back in at 1pm. Most of the time they spend one hour in their yard running and grazing on nice days, and then they go back in their hutch all by themselves for the rest of the time. If I am home all day, they will spend another hour towards evening in their yard, even if I offer them four extra hours. In the winter, they spend about 20 minutes out of their cage. This is their choice.

I think you can stop feeling guilty by looking for things to entertain them in their cage. Hide food in different places and make them look for it. I have a ferret wobble toy I can put their pellets in. It has little holes in it and they grab that toy ferret by the ear and shake it to get their pellets out. Chew stick also give them something to do. I cut lilac branches because that is what we have in our yard, and they spend a lot of time on stripping the bark, and it also gives them extra fiber and is good for their teeth. I have filled the upper level with hay and they don't poop up there. I often sprinkle their pellets in the hay and then fluff their hay so the pellets end up on the bottom. Then they spend a good deal of time digging for pellets. I also have a bird toy called a kabob that I sometimes put vedgies on and hang it from the ceiling of their cage. Wild rabbits spend a good deal of time foraging for food, but when food is put in bowls, it gets eaten quickly and then bunny has nothing to do. Anything you can do to give your rabbits mental stimulation in their cage will keep them happy.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 06:39 PM
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The House Rabbit Society recommends at least four hours each day which is what I go by. But only one of my rabbits has to be caged alot (Sparkie). He marks, leaves droppings everywhere, and doesn't like the other rabbits.




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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 07:10 PM
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My 4 live in a shed outside in the garden, their hutches are open so they are free to run around inside.. They have between 1 - 8 hours a day free run of the garden, depending on my work schedule..

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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wow! you are all so wonderful with your bunnies i want to do as well by mine as you all do for yours.

i am going to try and have them out as much as possible- its just that my two don't get along so i have to keep alternating who's out when. they used to each have their own room, but now my roommate won't allow them in her room anymore so they're both qurantined to just my room cause of the chewing! hopefully this arrangement won't last long. but i do worry about them chewing carpet.

i wish i had a nice outside arrangment for them to be in, but i live in an apartment so i don't have many options hopefully someday i will have much more room for them, as they are both only about 1 year old now.

anyway- thanks for all the replies! and i will start giving them more fun things to do in thier cages, you've given me some very good ideas for them. digging for food in hay sounds real exciting for them! plus i'm going to build that second level for them this week. that'll give them sometihing to explore until things settle down around here and my roomamtes aren't so mad about the chewing...

they're really very good little bunnies, they are litterbox trained and really just love to binky around all over the place but the darn chewing gets them into mischief! they are pretty upset about being in their cages much more than usual. i feel so bad!!!!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2005, 08:15 PM
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What I do, since my two live in a shed outside, it attach a playpen to the cage, which gives them confined "roaming space." If you've seen pics of my cage set up, you'll know what I mean. Since Harry and Charlie don't get along, I think the way I have it works nicely.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 11:05 AM
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If anyone knows why the House Rabbit Society recommends 4 hours out of cage time, please post. I am curious to know how they arrived at 4 hours, and what they base their recommedation on. I am wondering if my rabbits are abnormal for choosing so little out of cage time when more is offered, and why?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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i think all rabbits are just different. some love their cages so much that they prefer tp be in them. mine are just silly and want to know they have the freedom to go anywhere they want to, and also they love to chase my cats all around and eveywhere. hehe. i think that's the real reaosn they hate being locked in the cage...

millimi- yes i've seen your set up! i like the outside setups they are so nice. i know my youngest rabbit would especially LOVE to be able to smell fresh air every day. she loves it so much. in the spring and summer i hold her out on the balcony. she just gulps the air.. if it's possible to gulp air that is. hehe

anyway- i've been trying to have them out as much as possible. i have blocked off under the beds - thats where they were chewing carpet fibers

i'm going to try and expand their cages as well- so they are like 8 feet long instead of only 4. but i have to get the money for that first... ah, all in good time i suppose.

thanks again for the replies
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 10:35 PM
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i have a 3mtr by 3mtre playpen outside only reason they are in a playpen, i live on a huge block so i'd loose them if i didn't have it. but they are out there nearly all day and at night they are under ithe patio outside in there hutches but the boys are inside at night.
 
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 11:59 AM
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Chewing carpet is grazing behavior. I wonder if a rabbit can be trained not to chew carpeting by offering a grazing area in the house? If a person were to put down a large washable mat, and sprinkle the mat with pellets and hay, would the rabbit go to the mat for chewing and leave the carpeting alone? This idea would sort of duplicat grazing, but I have know idea if it would work.

Millimi, I love your shed set up. I have a shed that I am thinking of fixing up and I might be coming to you for advice in the future!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 05:11 PM
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I'll be glad to answer any and all questions.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 07:26 PM
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Ryo is a house rabbit and doesnt graze the carpet anymore.
she has a large box of hay and grass with a few veggies in it. it keeps here grazing in there. she knows thats where the good stuff is.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 08:16 PM
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my bunny Nana used to chew the coffee table, i asked for some advise and i was told to get out the water sprayer and give her a little squirt everytime she started to nibble after about 2 weeks she would go to have a nibble and than turn around see the water spray bottle and stop. After 4 weeks she does not even consider it anymore. that might work with the carpet chewing too.
 
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:23 AM
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Rabbits are sensitive to smells. Maybe there is something that can be sprayed in certain areas, like under beds that would keep a rabbit out of that area. Perfumes have oils in them that might stain, but a room freshener might work. I have never tried it.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanks

wow- those are all really great suggestions thanks so mcuh.

i've kind of taken a little bit of all your ideas and merged them together.. hehe... and what i have come up with is putting little hey areas in all the spots they tend to graze the carpet in. it has worked like a charm so far. it seems that when they sleep they like to wake up from their naps and nibble or graze at the hey for a bit and then fall back to sleep again. they have been eating all the hay i put out, but i replenish it daily. this seems to be working. but also, from this fiasco, they both seem to like their cages a lot better now. they actually go in them on their own sometimes to eat and nap.
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