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getting house bunny to exercise

1901 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Purple-Hops
Noodle is our bunny (1 y,o.) and she is a total sweetheart. She is a house bunny and has supervised freedom in our house. She does run around a bit and definitely jumps up on the sofa (a no-no) about 50 times a day. We are wondering if we should get her outside now that the weather is milder for supervised running around. Has anyone figured a way to have their bunny run loose in a supervised capacity? We keep a long-handled fishing net nearby just in case of danger or an emergency!
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A long-handled fishing net a scared bunny could easily jump over. Better to have a run available.
I use a large dog pen, you'll want one with tall sides. Another option is a harness and leash but even if you use a leash, it might be a good idea to have some sort of barrier set up anyway.
I've "yard trained" my rabbit before, but it won't always work for every rabbit. Smudge is pretty good at respecting boundaries and he knows my yard pretty well (He figured out how to escape his pen a few times, so he did some exploring LOL), so he did fine with it. Since your rabbit is so young though, it would be a better idea to start off with an exercise pen or a harness.
If you have the funds and the know-how, it's fairly simple to bunny proof a fenced yard. Just dig a foot or two into the ground at the base of your fence posts and put chicken wire down there so that they don't dig themselves out. As long as you have a chain link fence that is, or slats that don't have very much room between them. My yard is bunny-proof. I still don't let them outside without me (we have a lot of cats in the neighborhood) but when we ARE out, I don't need to keep a constant eye on them because I know they can't escape.
I haven't taken my rabbits outside since I moved into the city, but before when I did take them out I built them a gaaint NIC pen with a roof and let them run around outside in that.

I always stayed out and supervised them while they where outside, but the roof on the pen was because there were a ton of hawks in the area I use to live and they where infamous for taking small pets even right in front of people sometimes. With the NIC pens, you can either not put on a bottom, or use the panels to make a floor. The floor would keep them from being able to dig out of the pen, but they can still access the grass to eat it (make sure you don't use any pesticides or anything on the lawn if you're going to allow them to eat the grass).

That always worked well for me. I didn't trust my bunnies enough to let them run free in the yard (Plus I was paranoid about the hawks) and I couldn't use a harness for one of my rabbits - so the pen was a good alternative. Just make sure your rabbit always has access to a nice cool shady area and fresh water, in case they get hot/thirsty running around outside.
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If I did not want to harness my bunnies I out them on the deck while out in the summer in my old house. I would just put up a baby gate at the top of the stairs. When I felt they wanted some grass I harnessed them. I just had no patience to build anoter NIC pen outside bc it would get rusty with the rain here and the shed under the deck was a scary place o_O I tied their harnesses to Coco's field rope and let them go. They never went far anyway. But I left Akina for 2 minutes last summer and the crows started to come around. The crows in my old neighborhood were big fat bullies. (they spent a week in a Murder up in a neighbors backyard squaking day and night. The street cats got involved and they were killing little birds out of the sky etc. . .)

Anyway, just watch them. An enclosed NIC is a good idea, as is a dog run. Something to bunny proof completely should be guarded from scary birds.
We are in the wetlands and do not have a fenced yard. There are a lot of feral cats that roam around killing birds and small animals. We also have hawks and even eagles that are often in evidence.

We do use a chicken wire (oops pc "poultry mesh") round enclosure to get "Noodle" some outside air and fun. We are always nearby and closely supervise. She has gotten out and is lightning quick but we usually can keep her in sight.

I suppose there are no new insights into this issue. Thanks for your postings.
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