Taylor Tries to free roam bunnies: A journey

We have had our two bunnies, Lola (the fluffy lionhead) and Sasha (brown and white) for just over 6 months now, and I love them more than anything else in this world. They may be small, but these little bunnies make up for their size with their sass and their silly antics. They have been a test to say the least, but they bring so much more to our lives that I wouldn’t change a thing about them.

MVIMG_20200111_222523Do not be alarmed…Sasha is flopped and asleep. Lola is leaning on her. My heart cannot take how cute they can be.

When we first got them, they obviously had a big old cage to sleep in and to get used to us. After a few weeks, we started to leave the cage open while we were home so that we could let them come in and out as they please, and start to explore their new home. It did not take them long to get very used to the area and to start binky-ing around the flat.

We still kept them closed in the cage at night, but as they got bigger and started to spend more time out of the cage, we bought a fold-able puppy crate to put around the cage and a small area to let them have a bit more space at night without having to worry about them getting into any small spaces that they shouldn’t be in. It also meant that they could have more of their toys around them to keep them busy, while still having constant access to their hay and water.

Now, we have graduated to being totally free roam through our flat. They are not allowed in our bedroom (they like to run around under the bed…at full speed…at half 2 in the morning.) or our bathroom (they chew all of our toilet paper and try to get behind our sink) but other than that they have full access to our living room/kitchen area and the hallway. They definitely seem calmer having more space to run around in. They do, however, scratch at our bedroom door if we are not awake at a time that suits them for their breakfast pellets – so lie ins are now out of the question! Honestly, we were woken up today at 7.30am and we opened the door to two very impatient bunnies staring up at us with their best ‘puppy dog eyes’. You’d think they’d never been fed!

Free roaming a bunny is definitely a learning experience: what worked for me, is not necessarily going to work for you and your bunnies. But as basics, you need to be sure that your bunny has access to the basics:

  1. Constant access to hay – their diet is mostly made up of hay, with pellets and fresh greens once a day in small portions. They therefore need constant access to fresh hay.
  2. A litter box – bunnies can be house trained, and to be honest our girls learnt after about a day where they were to go to do their business. You will also need to keep the little box filled with hay because they need to eat while they go to the toilet. Because rabbits.
  3. Water – despite what pet stores will say, bunnies do not drink well when they have one of the drip bottles. We bought our girls a fairly big bowl (similar to the one a cat may use) and fill it with fresh room temperature water twice a day – once in the morning and just before we go to bed.
  4. Toys and chews – bunnies chew. A LOT. Again, this is very much trial and error, as some toys will be super fun for about 5 minutes, while others will be their most beloved thing in the world. Our girls for example, will chew on no other toy than the carrot chews from Pets at Home. No other toys will do. But you can also try some sticks or twigs (provided you check which are rabbit friendly), some maze toys or even some treat hiding toys to make your bunnies work for their treats.
  5. Cover all cables – even if you think your rabbit cannot reach them, cover them with cord protector. Because bunnies have a special power of being able to find the ONE cable that makes your TV or playstation work, and chew through it. This is bad, not only for your electronics but also for your bunnies safety. So cover every single cable in your house…just to be safe.

While this is a very basic list, it should be enough to at least get you started, so that you can then see what works for you and your bunnies in your home. It has taken us 6 months to finally find a set up that seems to work for everyone and trust me…it was not without casualties.

IMG-20191104-WA0002My bag strap…a moment for our fallen cords, bag straps, shoe laces and skirting boards.

 

T xx

 

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