Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by keno
Creating a rabbit-friendly backyard is pivotal for the safety and overall well-being of your rabbit. A conducive backyard that enables your bunny to explore and play provides them with both physical and mental enrichment. There are many factors you’ll need to consider when it comes to creating a safe outdoor living environment for your bunny. They include fencing, housing, the plants around their living area, potential hazards, in addition to toys that encourage natural behaviors.
A fence is an essential component when it comes to the overall safety of your rabbits. In other words, not only does it keep predators away, but it also prevents your bunnies from escaping. Below are some of the factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing a backyard rabbit fence.
- Material: Considering that rabbits are natural chewers, you’ll need to ensure that the fencing material is chew-proof to prevent your rabbits from chewing through it. We normally recommend vinyl-coated or welded wire which is usually rabbit chew-proof. Wood or plastic material should be avoided since they’re more prone to damage from chewing.
- Height: Since rabbits are high jumpers, you’ll need to ensure that your fence is tall enough to prevent them from jumping over and escaping. The ideal height should average be at least 3 – 4 feet.
- Durability: Lastly, a rabbit’s backyard fence should be sturdy enough to prevent it from getting damaged in the long run. In other words, a well-constructed fence should have a solid foundation and sturdy supports to enable it to wind stand extreme weather or your rabbit’s playful antics.
Providing your rabbits with a safe and secure outdoor living space is essential if you want to improve their overall quality of life. A good shelter not only protects your rabbits from the elements but also provides them with a place to rest, hide and also escape when they want personal space. Below are some of the factors you need to consider when it comes to setting up a shelter for your rabbit.
- Size: When choosing your rabbit’s shelter, make sure that it’s large enough to allow your bunny to stretch and move around comfortably. The ideal hutch or outdoor cage size should be at least 4 feet long and 3 feet wide.
- Location: When setting up their hutch or living area, make sure that you choose a backyard location that’s protected from direct sunlight or strong winds. In other words, choose a shaded spot that also has access to sunlight.
- Materials: When choosing shelter material, always go for wood for the hutch structure. This is usually a great choice when it comes to providing ventilation as well as preventing your bunny from overheating. For roofing, always ensure that it has a slopping design to allow proper drainage of rain. Lastly, when it comes to the hutch flooring, make sure that it’s slightly raised off the ground to prevent dampness from the ground surface.
- Bedding: For bedding, we recommend placing hay on the hutch surface to give your bunnies a comfortable place to rest. Just make sure that you replace their bedding regularly to maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene.
Another factor you need to consider when it comes to choosing a bunny-friendly backyard is the type of plants around their living area. Make sure that the plants you expose your rabbits to are not harmful or toxic. Below are some of the safe plants to grow and toxic ones to avoid.
- Safe plants: Some of the safe plants rabbits can eat are leafy greens such as kale, lettuce, and spinach. Herbs such as basil, cilantro, and parsley are also edible and lastly, vegetables such as bell peppers, peas are carrots are also safe for consumption.
- Toxic plants: Toxic plants to avoid in your backyard or near your rabbit living space are, daffodils, foxglove, lilies, and oleander.
4. Potential hazards
Also, make sure that all hazards that have the potential to harm your bunny are eliminated or removed to keep your pet safe. Below are some of the common hazards to prevent if you want a bunny-friendly backyard.
- Sharp objects: Rabbits have delicate skin and are prone to sustaining injuries when they come to contact with rough surfaces or sharp objects. To ensure the safety of your bunnies, the best solution is to remove any debris or sharp objects in the backyard.
- Escape routes: Since rabbits are great escape artists, make sure that there are no gaps or weaknesses on your rabbit’s fence. In addition, also make sure that the fence is buried at least 6 inches below the ground to prevent your bunny from digging under and escaping. Lastly, also ensure that the doors, locks, and latches of your bunny’s hutch are secure or made from sturdy material.
- Hot surfaces: Rabbits are sensitive to high temperatures and may suffer from heatstroke when they’re exposed to direct sunlight for too long. As a preventative measure, always ensure that your bunny’s living space is near a shade as well as provide them with 24/7 access to drinking water.
Providing your rabbit with an environment with toys and plenty of opportunities to play and explore provides both mental and physical stimulation. Below are some of the ideas on how to provide your rabbit with an enriching environment to keep them entertained.
- Toys: Since bunnies love to chew and play a lot, getting them toys that encourage their natural behavior is recommended. For instance, chew toys made from wood or non-toxic materials are safe and will also provide your rabbits with enrichment. You can also include willow balls, cardboard boxes, and paper towel rolls.
- Tunnels and hideaways: Another way to provide your bunnies with mental and physical enrichment is to provide them with tunnels and hideaways. For homemade tunnels, you’ll need to assemble PVC pipes and cardboard boxes. Alternatively, you can also purchase commercial tunnels and hideaways online or at your local pet stores.
- Foraging areas: Foraging helps stimulate your rabbit mentally by encouraging their natural behavior. To attain this, create a foraging area in your backyard where you hide small amounts of hay or treats for your rabbits to find.