Children love pets and contact with nature, which is a good thing: Both strengthen the immune system, and pets convey empathy and a sense of responsibility. A garden is the best prerequisite for making both accessible to your child, e.g. B. with rabbits as pets. Who no longer languish in a small cage, but “live” in a species-appropriate way – which ends with relaxed parents in a child and rabbit-friendly apartment with rabbits hopping around freely, but at least in a creative rabbit villa with a large rabbit enclosure inside and outside, here is the guide to build it yourself.
Table of Contents
First comes the rabbit hutch
This rabbit hutch has an influence on the rabbit enclosure in terms of design and size. You have several options for both. Frequently, a ready-made stable is bought first, for which the enclosure has to be built to match.
Large enclosure – happy rabbits
How big a rabbit enclosure has to be planned also depends on the rabbit hutch and its size. Actually, a rabbit needs about two square meters of space, but rabbits often have to live in much smaller cages that offer. You will read (also in publications by animal protection organizations) about much smaller areas, from small children in cages, where the cage should offer a rabbit no more than 60 to 80 cm in depth.
Do the math for yourself, a rabbit grows by 40cm when stretching out front and hind legs, twice that length… for happy rabbits (which are always kept in pairs at least) you’ll eventually need a bigger hutch.
Rabbits are pure movement animals – they prefer to hop around all day long, but not alone. Rabbits usually live together in large colonies, where the group animals maintain constant social contact. A single rabbit is lonely, and it does not cope with this loneliness as well as humans, rabbits that are suddenly lonely are said to have even died of “broken hearts”. Incidentally, the requirement for at least four square meters of space for two rabbits also applies to dwarf rabbits, this is not a guarantee that a rabbit will remain small, but was invented by pet shops (dwarf rabbits exist, but they are not closer to those sold under this name breeding forms of domestic rabbits related). It is not uncommon for small
In any case, in practice it is not uncommon for rabbits to/have to live in a cage that is actually much too small for them. These are usually ready-made cages with an integrated mini enclosure. As a garden owner, you should then give your rabbit real exercise by building a fancy rabbit run that can also be placed in the garden, or two runs for inside and outside.
How this enclosure is built and what size it is depends on how much indoor housing you want your rabbits to have and how much outdoor housing you want them to have.
The outdoor enclosure could be sized a little smaller if the rabbits live outside all year round (“outdoor wintering” has special requirements), or if you live in an area with a mild climate where you let your rabbits outdoors for a good part of the year every day can offer in the garden. The rabbit enclosure should be as large as possible, if you plan to keep a larger proportion indoors, then the rabbits should also be able to run and jump inside.
In any case, the larger the rabbit run is built, the more comfortable the rabbits will be and the more fun you will have with them. Rabbits that can just hop back and forth “on their own doorstep” become sluggish, as do people who only move from the sofa to the fridge and back. In case of doubt, both will become ill, exercise is important for a healthy skeletal structure.
Requirements for an indoor enclosure
The following points must be observed:
- The smaller the stable, the larger the enclosure.
- The rabbits should have as free access to the enclosure as possible
- Rabbits want to dig, inside a digging box with play sand helps to relieve this natural urge
- If you do without this sandbox, the toilet bowl usually has to serve as a replacement…
- The enclosure needs a proper “equipment” overall
Construction of the indoor enclosure
There are several ways to give your rabbits the exercise they need:
1. Arranged in front of the rabbit hutch, the classic rabbit enclosure, usually open at the top, is always much larger than the hutch to allow the rabbits to move. He can also wander onto the balcony or terrace, maybe even represent the border for the rabbit run in the garden. In order to build such a rabbit enclosure, there are many different instructions available on the Internet as step-by-step instructions that match the design of the rabbit hutch.
The no-build idea for those in a hurry: you buy a ready-made octagonal enclosure made from lattice elements and use the lattices to create a larger lattice partition. The grid elements can be attached to each other, to one side of the cage and to a wooden strip on the wall, and you have a huge run that is easy to put away.
3. If you are building a stall yourself anyway, you can integrate the enclosure right away, possibly with solid walls and a permanent, well thought-out facility that almost eliminates the separation between stall and run. All areas that rabbits need are coordinated here, from the “toilet” to food and water bowls and sleeping space with a cozy corner, the area for playing and romping and the free run area with a small race track.
Such a rabbit dwelling is adapted exactly to the dimensions of the “rabbit room”, here every builder has to draw up his own plan.
4. Passionate animal lovers think from the outset of a free run in the whole apartment, which requires some considerations/safety measures:
- The rabbit hutch must always be accessible and freely accessible.
- The rabbits are free to decide if and when they leave their stable.
- what must not fall down must not lie on a table or in lower shelves.
- what should definitely never be gnawed at should never be accessible to the rabbits.
- Rabbits will gnaw on wires that need to be routed in wire ducts or under carpet/baseboards if you don’t want the rabbits to ‘pinch’.
- The cables behind the desk, television, etc. must also be concealed in bite-resistant casing.
- Rabbits dig, also in the soil of indoor plants that have to be raised or kept in hanging baskets.
- eat rabbits, all sorts of things; if they are hungry, even the impossible, their own food should always be within reach.
- Rabbits are extremely curious, even about mysteries like the inside of sockets, so child safety devices are due.
- Rabbits can make themselves thin, so tight crevices behind cabinets should be sealed if you don’t want rabbits to get wedged in them.
- Doors should be secured in such a way that they do not fall shut and “halve” rabbits or toss them through the home.
Etc., washing machines, baskets, refrigerators have already had rabbits visit them, rabbits have already climbed somewhere else via household steps or have been disturbed while sleeping comfortably on the sofa by an “ass from above” – if you are mumbling, the idea of free-roaming rabbits in the apartment would be anyway sick, isn’t that right:
Certainly in the 180 square meter city apartment furnished with many antique or non-antique small works of art, but currently young families in particular are returning to a more relaxed approach to their apartment furnishings and animals in the apartment. Because you don’t want your children to be restricted in their mobility by the facility, and above all because you don’t want your children to grow up into allergy sufferers in an apartment that is pregnant with disinfectant chemicals and free of animals and bacteria. Also: Even if small children do not nibble on cables that often (but like to pull on them), all rabbit safety devices help ensure that very small children can move about their home without danger.
The outdoor enclosure
First of all, securing the ground is crucial for the outdoor enclosure, so that lively rabbits do not dig their way “to freedom”. The location should be chosen so that it is well ventilated, never in the blazing sun, but mostly in the shade of trees or houses. It should be as quiet as possible, rabbits are quite sensitive to noise and should have to endure a maximum of 60 decibels.
Depending on the subsoil at the location found, the following digging safeguards are possible:
- Wire mesh on the floor, laid out completely and evenly and fixed to the floor with hooks. The rabbits should have a few stones to wear off their claws anyway, you can use these stones here to evenly weigh down the wire so that it doesn’t curl and form bumps.
- Bury a digging protection under the future outdoor enclosure. On the entire surface of the enclosure, actually only conceivable if your garden has to be completely filled up anyway because your house has just been built. Then you can lay galvanized wire mesh or stone slabs over the entire planned enclosure area at a depth of around 50 cm and lay the floor on top of it. In gardens that have already been cultivated, it is at most conceivable for the owner of a construction company to excavate several square meters of soil. Here one manages with a ditch around the future outdoor enclosure by sinking stone slabs or bars. With the disadvantage that rabbits cannot dig under the boundary, but can dig tunnels within the area, which you then occasionally have to fill up again.
- Concreting the foundation to protect against digging, takes a lot of work, but lasts the longest. However, like option 2, fixes the outdoor enclosure in its place forever.
- One way of making the area of the rabbit enclosure accessible to “purely human” use, at least occasionally (for a large garden party, for example), is to lay grass pavers. Actually the most advantageous solution: As with 1., rainwater can seep away, but grass can be sown in the gaps, which, in contrast to the vegetation on the wire mesh, are interrupted by stones. When the rabbits dig in the gaps, they keep coming back onto the curbs, which also wears down their claws and makes the vegetation last much longer.
- A floor must be applied to the floor protection, which can consist of earth, sand or bark mulch. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, which you would have to deal with before you bring it in.
- The end is an escape-proof fence, which can consist of retractable bars, wooden frames with bars or a small, permanent fence in all possible designs. Depending on the ground protection you have chosen and whether the outdoor enclosure is to be placed permanently in the garden or should also be able to be cleared away.
If you thought a small cage in a corner would do the trick, this article will have left you disillusioned. But it’s not that bad, you’ll quickly find a solution that will make rabbits and children happy… Smartly furnished, of course, your child can express their creativity here: shelters and cork tubes, stone tubes and willow branch tubes, floors and hiding boxes, roots and houses, stones and sand playgrounds can be collected, tinkered and built until an individual rabbit ranch is created…