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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Free roam, tips and such?
Last Post by bam at 6/08/2016 12:33 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline Nicolene
60 posts Send Private Message
3/19/2012 6:24 PM

Quick background: We've had Carmela for 6 weeks now, she is 9 months and spayed 2 weeks ago. Her attitude has already changed a lot and she's been a good bunny since her spay.

She lives in a 3x4 NIC pen and we finally let her out for the first time yesterday. Our living room has laminate and a rug in our seating area. She has found her footing pretty quickly. She loves running up and down next to the guinea pigs' cage, I think she wants their veggies... So far she hasn't found her way in, but I suspect that'll change.

We haven't had any chewing, digging or even litter habit issues. She will "feel" the corners of things with her teeth, but she doesn't actually chew. She LOVES being out! The first night we put her back in she rammed the cage until one of the plastic holder things gave up and she got out, so we ziptied all the grids together. It was pretty funny actually, what a brat!

So far our only "issue" has been her crawling under the couch. The first night we lifted the couch and got her out, but tonight we let her squirm a bit. She couldn't move around freely and started to get anxious, so once we finally lifted the couch and let her out she has seemingly decided against going back under.

I've been trying to treat her like a 2 year old. No means no, and if you don't behave you go home. We're trying not to feed her when she's out, trying to avoid starting bad habits. We ring a bell when we try to get her to go back to her pen, and then we give her dinner or a treat once she's gone inside.

So far she likes to run Bunny 500's around our ottomans, hide behind the curtains and stealing the scoop out of her bag of pellets. She also like to lay on the bottom shelf of our bookcase ( I removed the frame and put down a blankie).

I don't forsee ever doing 100% unsupervised all day free roam. I like knowing she's in her pen and safe when we're not around. Our house is very bunny proof, we have hidden, covered and moved our cords, closed the doors on the fireplace and we have no plants. She goes in her pen to pee and poop and to drag out her "throw about" toys.

Any other advice? I'm shocked that she hasn't rubbed her chin on a single thing since the spay... She'll be getting a neutered friend next month.

User is Offline emkvet
373 posts Send Private Message
3/19/2012 8:09 PM
It sounds like she's doing wonderfully!

Make sure she has some toys to play with in her favorite areas of the house, like a large cardboard box to hide in and chew, a tunnel, some willow toys, etc. That way she'll be more content playing with them and not get any ideas into her head about chewing your stuff!

My bun is free range all the time, and she's adapted well. She still has an accident once in a while, but overall she is doing better free range than inside her cage. She loves it, and we've bonded a lot more because of it. I still have her xpen, which she goes in if we're at my parents' house, but otherwise she's out. As I type this she's up on the couch with me, grooming her tiny little ears =)

I'm glad your bun gets so much time out; if you wanted to slowly increase her time out while you're gone, leave her out in one bunny-proofed area for an hour or two while you run errands. You might be surprised how well it goes! Of course, this will all change once you bond her, since you usually have to start the process all over due to poop wars and territorial issues. Are you taking her bunny dating? That's so exciting!

Good luck!

User is Offline KytKattin
1195 posts Send Private Message
3/19/2012 8:27 PM
My only recommendation is to maybe get some plexiglass to tuck under the couch so she can't get under. Otherwise, things sound really great so far! I go back and forth on how I feel about my girl being free 24/7. As of late she has only been locked up if she chews the carpet or pees. However, I have to actually catch her peeing. I believe she has peed because the fire alarm has gone off when I wasn't in the building, so I don't blame her for that. It makes me want to pee too! Of course right now we are on vacation and she is back to about 10-15 sqft of living space at my parent's house, or in a crate overnight if I sleep somewhere else because she is crazy...

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
3/20/2012 3:00 AM
She sounds like she's adjusting so well! Question tho, why are you getting her a friend so soon? You haven't had her very long and she's still so young. You could potentially wait several months or a year to allow you guys time to fully bond before you introduce another rabbit. She does not need to have a second rabbit around right away...
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Nicolene
60 posts Send Private Message
3/20/2012 7:34 AM
Thanks guys, we love her, she's pretty amazing. She hasn't figured out jumping yet, so she hasn't gotten on the couch. She comes over and stands up against our legs for head rubs. She looks like she's trying to figure out how to get on our laps, but she hasn't yet.

My issue with 24/7 free roam is that I would worry so much! On M,W,F (the only days I work) we are gone for at least 10 hours. God only know the things she could get into in that time. Plus, if something happened and we couldn't come home straight away she'd be out longer. Accidents happen, and I'd rather be here if they do. My other, BIG, issue is fire. I actually emailed my fire dept and asked if they pay attention to those "save my pet" stickers on the door and they said they did and it is important to write down where the pet likely would be, so being able to quickly locate them matters to me. I know the other side of the coin is that if the fire starts there they have no where to go, but it's pretty unlikely.

We are going to build a huge 2 story cage (Bunnies on the bottom, guinea pigs on top) this summer. Something with storage that looks nice, like a big piece of furniture, so she would have even more space. We'll also put steps in for them to hop onto and lay around on.

We're getting her a friend because we thinks she would love having one. We've had guinea pigs for a few years now and they THRIVE in pairs. We'd like for her to have a "same" friend. I had bunnies years ago and we had a whole herd. Is there any reason to wait? We have taken her to a bunny rescue (it didn't work out because she hadn't been spayed) and no one made it sound like it was too early to bond her. She will be staying there for a couple of days once they find a bun she likes to make sure they bond.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
3/20/2012 8:14 AM
Rabbits need a lot of living space, recommends 4x4 sq feet with enough room to stand all the way up, 2 bunnies would need a minimum of double that. That said, it really doesn't seem like a good ideas to stack your animals.

User is Offline mia_lola_willow
1 posts Send Private Message
6/07/2016 8:35 PM
How do i keep my buns our from under my bed?

User is Offline bam
Forum Leader
11285 posts Send Private Message
6/08/2016 12:33 AM
mia_lola, this is a very old thread and we ask members not to revive old threads. Here's a link so you can start a new thread of your own: new thread

As for keeping the buns out from under your bed, you'll have to block them from accessing it. Buns will naturally seek out places like that because it is like being in a rabbit warren underground - safe and secure, you can look out but they can't see you. 

I will lock this thread now, but please start a new one about this or if you have other bunny-questions! 

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Free roam, tips and such?

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