Warning: Long post for what is essentially a non issue.
I have a pair of rabbits. Lovely healthy, bonded, friendly lops. They've been brought up as house rabbits which we've had for about four years. We moved and ever since DH has become allergic to them. Not sure what the precise mechanisms of this are but they just seem to moult more and it sticks around.
So, not wanting to rehome them but not able to continue the situation we <sob> moved them out to the garden at the beginning of the summer (big hutch, attached run for the day). Initially they seemed fine (not happy but ok) but over the past few weeks they've seemed a bit off. Signs of stress, whites of eyes showing, not as friendly, bit growley (which they've never been) etc. I thought it might be the heat, or perhaps that through being outside they were losing their bond with us a bit, but then started seeing signs that foxes have been trying to get in to their hutch. Started keeping an ear out at night and caught a couple in the act.
We put in as many precautionary measures as we could but they're still not my happy buns. It just feels like a matter of time before they get in. It's been impacting on my sleep as I'm keeping an ear out and worrying over the slightest sounds. I have a traumatising experience of mauled bunnies from childhood which is possibly why I'm being very a bit neurotic about this. Anyway, neighbour came today and said he'd seen a fox attacking the run during the day today, and that previously he's seen rats actually manage to get in the run which he's obviously not too happy about and has given me another thing to stress about.
Today I've brought them back inside (which I appreciate is probably not helpful for them either). They seem happier inside and are already binkying and flopping all over the place which I'd never seen them do outside. One flopped on the sofa between us as if to say "I love you, please don't send me out there again".
Not sure what I'm asking really. Am I over-stressing because of massacred childhood bunnies or am I right to be concerned. The hutch purports to be fox proof. Are there some bunnies owners that won't cope well with the transition outside?
Either way, I'm off to have my first good nights sleep in ages. (Husband not sneezing yet but is looking a bit mutinous.)
Ah bless you. What a lovely post. I have no advice am afraid except that I think you are doing the right thing in bringing them into the house (sorry OP's DH). I opened as my DCs are desperate to have a pair of bunnies and am seriously thinking about it.
I think bunnies can get really stressed and having foxes trying to kill you is likely to be terrifying for them - even if the fox doesn't get them. I think you can't leave them outside and so need to either find a way to manage the fluff/allergy or rehome them. They sound lovely