Rabbits won't go back in...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by GD91, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2013

    We recently moved to a new home with 3 sheds lined up at the bottom of the garden. The chickens live in the right shed, the cat in the middle & the rabbits are supposed to be in the last shed.

    But the meat rabbits have discovered that they can go under the sheds.

    We have tried blocking it up, but the 2 does have dug under the blockages. They are also gnawing the wood away to make gaps.

    These are big rabbits & one of the does is a bit nasty. The other day myself & a friend managed to catch them & get them in the shed & I kid you not that doe span on the spot the moment I put her down & raced for the door.
    I shut it in her face & she physically shoved the other side of the door.
    I put the latch on as my friend said "Oh my god, you'd think you had a bull mastiff or something in there!" because the doe was trying to force the bottom of a shed door open & actually was succeeding in pushing it about 2 1/2 inches out before the pressure forced her head back.

    It made a lot of noise & unbelievably she was moving the whole side of the shed by banging against the door. This went on for about 2 minutes.

    Its a mutt lop, brown & white & she's the biggest of the 2 does.

    How can I make their new shed better & more inviting for them?

    Currently it is just a shed, no bedding down etc just food & water. I would like to try & stop them going under the sheds & go more into their own shed.

    Also I noticed when they are locked in there, they are holding themselves. As in, not going the toilet. These rabbits were rehomed, so if anyone can share any light on this it would be appreciated. I did put a cardboard box with hay in it in the corner & they both were using it as a litter tray. That's gone now though, so they are just holding themselves. I'm talking about holding themselves for 12 hours. Not one poo or wee until they get let out, then they hop on the grass & start relieving themselves.

    Never had this with rabbits before.
  2. I'd fix any holes, and build them a large run. We free ranged rabbits for a while, but if you plan on breeding these, free ranging wont work. So I'm not sure on your space, but a 10x10 run should be enough to make them happy. Cement floors ideal, but dirt & snow is fine. Just try and make sure they can dig out - Install fencing ~1' down, or cement. If your on a budget, you can always skip that and just see IF they dig out.

    Best of luck!
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Rabbits digging under/out is probably the most common problem people have when they try to free range rabbits. You need something they can't chew through (like sturdy wire or brick) to contain them, and you need to go down a couple of feet so they can't dig under.

    I'm thinking that these rabbits feel more secure in the closeness of the space under the sheds, and that's why they go under there. Rabbits are low on the food chain, and they instinctively fear being caught in the open by a predator. While they may be perfectly safe in your yard, they won't know that, so they want some cover.

    Is there any kind of cover in the shed, or is it just one big space that (presumably) is high enough that you can stand up in it? You might try putting some boxes or other things in there that are just a little bigger than the rabbits are that the rabbits can sit on and in. That may make them a bit more comfortable in the space.

    The fact that the rabbits aren't eliminating in the shed may be significant. Dogs don't eliminate in the "den," but rabbits don't seem to have a problem with it. Rabbits do use their body waste to mark their territory. People who keep rabbits in cages often notice that there is one "dirty corner" where the rabbit usually poops and pees. Siting a litter box there creates a rabbit that is very easily litter trained. It sounds like these rabbits may have been litter trained, so putting a litter box in the shed may actually help it feel more like home to them.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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