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I do not like watching rabbits in a cage. I always vote for raising cage FREE rabbits.
I am Emiko, and I have always let my rabbit roam freely within the house. But without proper supervision and no litter training your rabbit will be overwhelmed with the free range environment.
In this article, you will exactly know the basics of growing rabbits in a free range environment and can even let you rabbits loose in the garden,
What happens when a rabbit is cage free?
Free-range environment prevents your rabbits from becoming unhealthy and lonely.
Nonetheless, this article is not intended for those who grow rabbits for meat. But bunbun lovers may continue reading.
Raising Cage FREE Rabbits for a Happy BunBun.
I have raised my rabbit and she had access to the full house. But when I brought her home for the first time I had to put her in a cage.
I didn’t like the fact keeping these delicate animals inside a cage. Every time I looked at my rabbit, I felt bad for the small creature.
Every time I was close to the cage I saw her she is hopping and using her front legs to break out from the cage. Which was impossible.
That’s not all
Bunnies tend to hop around, it is only natural for them to hate the enclosure. So I took a suggestion from my friend and learned how to let a rabbit grow in an open environment.
So be patient and I will explain in this post all I have learned from my experience.
Before you let your rabbits lose in your apartment there are some facts you must know first.
Must considerations before keeping rabbits in a free-range environment:
Do you have children in the house?
Having children and rabbits in the same house can be dangerous for the rabbits.
Because children in the house may try to play with your bunnies. They may pick up the rabbits, or try to pet your rabbits.
However, if that is not done sincerely, children may cause harm to the rabbits.
Rabbits can be injured by your children even without any ill intention.
So bunnies require full supervision near children.
Do you have other pets?
The same problem comes into my understanding as having other pets in the house.
If you have other pets in your house like dogs and cats, I would suggest not allowing your rabbits close to these animals at least not unsupervised.
Rabbits are tender animals and can easily be injured.
Dogs and cats are large animals compared to a rabbit. A free rabbit in your house might want to play with your dogs, and your dogs might as well enjoy the rabbits’ companion.
What if your large dog injures your rabbit unintentionally?
Even if the dog is only trying to play with your rabbits, it may harm your rabbit or can result in a broken bone.
Bunny-proofing the house is vital:
Rabbits’ chewing problem is guardian’s nightmare if the rabbits have access to every corner of the house.
Rabbit teeth grow throughout their whole life. As a result of these forever growing teeth, rabbits like to chew on stuff.
They will chew on things they like, and whatever they find unprotected from them.
Want to know the worst part?
Rabbits love chewing on the wire, paper, clothes, woods and what not?
So, when you have a bunny freely roaming around in the house, you have to be aware of where she goes and what she eats.
If it is difficult for you to supervise your rabbits 24/7, then you must consider bunny proofing your house.
You can find so many articles online on bunny proofing your house. Nonetheless, I will just give you a simple idea of bunny proofing your house here:
- You can simply go wireless or use plastic wraps to cover your wires.
- You have to cover up the wooden places of your house. Because rabbits love chewing on woods.
- Buy chew toys and keep them around your house so they get used to playing with their toys and don’t destroy your house.
- Do not keep clothes where your bunnies can easily access them, Because they will not think twice before making holes in your new pair of jeans.
So can you imagine what will you have to go through if you disregard bunny proofing your house?
Finally, you can’t even scold these cute animals once they make a mess in your house. Because they are too cute.
Having carpets can be deadly.
Having carpets is not a problem but having a bunbun near a carpet is the problem.
As I said rabbits love chewing.
AND chewing carpets can be really disastrous for your rabbits.
Biting on carpets will make a mess in your house and if ingested by your rabbits, it can be severe for their digestive system.
Rabbit digestive system is very complicated and unlike other animals, their digestive system can easily break.
But in this case, ingesting carpet furs can create a fur ball inside rabbits’ stomach, as a result, it can become fatal for your rabbits.
Finally letting your rabbits roam the house.
Now that you have taken all the above-mentioned factors into consideration, I can finally say letting your rabbits roam the house freely is not an issue anymore.
But still, they require guidance. You can’t simply allow a bunny free in your apartment or house from the day 1 you bring them home.
They require training and it depends on your rabbit how long they will take to learn.
That’s not all:
Rabbits can be stubborn sometimes and your patience is important for such stubborn rabbits.
They require training because an untrained rabbit will be overwhelmed by having the large area as her territory and will not consider using the litter box.
Not knowing how to use a litter box will result in a rabbit using the full house as a large litter box. There will be poops everywhere and your house will stink of urine. Means more cleaning on your part.
Therefore, teach your bunnies to use the litter box first.
While training them to use the litter box, you will have to slowly increase their territory and they will not be overwhelmed with the free roaming space in your house.
A spayed/neutered rabbit is less likely to make your house dirty because there are less likely to put territorial marks. So maybe considering to spay/neuter your rabbit before allowing them to freely roam in your house is a good idea.
As your rabbits know where to go to use the potty, you must spread some rabbit toys in their free roam territory. Some toys which they can use for jumping and can climb up and down.
Learning about your rabbit’s sleeping behavior will help you to give them a dedicated location for the sleeping time.
As well as spread fresh vegetables and hays in different locations, so that your bunnies can have a feel of being in the wild.
They will think that they have to work to find their own food.
Indoor rabbit pen to train your rabbits.
Indoor rabbit pen is essential in the beginning to train your rabbits. To train your rabbits about the free-range movement you have to slowly comprehend them it is safe to run around in this territory.
To do so, you will require a playpen to limit your rabbit’s running space in the beginning.
Are you planning to give them access to the full house from the beginning?
That is going to be a very bad decision. At least it has been for me when I acted like this.
What happened when I let my rabbit run loose in the house is it found the free large territory overwhelming. Soon my bunny started to mark her territory by dropping her loads.
Eventually, she built up this bad habit of dropping her load anywhere she found fine.
To keep your rabbits away from building up bad habits you must only slowly increase their running space and not at once.
So, to limit my rabbit’s running space and slowly increase her free-range territory, this playpen was the only thing I had to buy to start with.
Letting rabbits lose in a garden.
Now that I have already said enough about keeping rabbits cage-free indoors, let’s take our rabbit to a cage-free outdoor trip.
You might think I am crazy to let my rabbits’ cage-free outdoors.
Well, I am not crazy. There are precautions and techniques you may apply to keep your bunnies safe outdoors even when they’re not in a cage or hutch.
Not everyone likes to keep their rabbits indoors. So for them keeping rabbits indoors and cage-free is out of the question.
So, bunnies that are kept in a hutch outside in your backyard, needs to exercise every once in a while to remain in good shape.
How do you give them that chance?
Rabbits are naturally active animals and wild rabbits love to hop around likewise the domestic rabbits do.
Giving your rabbits to play in your full backyard is a good exercise.
But there are so many dangers outside of a domestic pet rabbit. Rabbits are prey animals. So their first danger is from their predators.
Predators such as:
All are predatory towards bunnies. The last thing you want for your cute bunbuns to be taken away by predators.
That’s why a rabbit hutch is important in this kind of scenario for rabbits’ safety.
Understand this you must not keep your rabbits out in the free-range environment 24/7.
Only during the day you allow your rabbits outside of their hutch/cage and give them access to the full backyard or garden. At night you must put them back in their cage.
However, during the day when your rabbit is out in the open every once in a while, you must go check on them whether they are safe or not.
One more very important thing to have is fences.
A fence that will prevent your rabbits from going out of the backyard. The outside world for a pet rabbit is very dangerous.
- They may get lost,
- They may be taken away by wild predators,
- Any vehicle can run over them
So you have to have fences all around your garden to disallow the bunnies going out of this free-range territory.
Pet rabbits are not at all prepared for the outside world.
The fence must be well constructed and from deep in the ground, or else your rabbit can dig a hole in the ground below the fence line and pass across the fence.
Rabbits tend to do that and I have seen it so many times. They will definitely love their garden freedom but they will also try to dig a tunnel across the fence.
One last thing about having rabbits free in the garden, you must keep an eye on your plants and where does the rabbit go.
Because rabbits will start eating through your garden in no time. So destroying your garden would not take long if you can’t keep your rabbits away from the plants.
Try having a guard for your precious plants.
While raising cage-free rabbits outdoors, you will always have to be well aware of the weather. Do not let your rabbits get wet in the rain as well as keep them safe from exposure to sunlight.
Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?