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Can outdoor bunnies be as happy as indoor ones?

35 replies

CauliflowerBalti · 30/12/2018 21:59

We adopted a rabbit just before Christmas - unspayed (though she came with a voucher to be done), age estimated to be around two years old. The plan was for her to stay inside until spring, then move out into the garden in a 6x4 shed with attached large dog run. The rescue will help us pair bond her with another rabbit. Job done.

Only the bloody thing has turned out to be the most adorable creature EVER. She’s insanely affectionate and hilarious. We are all smitten.

We have two fairly chilled cats and a dog, and at the moment her v large dog crate takes up most of my son’s bedroom. Not a problem on a temporary basis; not ideal permanently. She free roams in his room all day and is litter trained. She has the makings of a gorgeous house rabbit but the logistics hurt my head a bit, with the other animals. This wasn’t the plan. The plan was outdoors!

But she loves us very much. And plans can change. But I just wondered - if she were outdoors, with a friend, in an enriched hilly/tunnelly, totally foxproof house (we would dig down and wire underneath it) - would she be as happy as when I’m scratching her forehead while having my morning tea?

Head says yes. She’d be happier, outside with a pal of her own species.

Heart says she’s my spirit animal.

Oof. Help.

OP posts:
RockingAroundTheChristmasTree1 · 03/01/2019 11:37

Our bunny is an extremely happy bunny thanks! Her permanent house isn't a dog crate! Her permanent home is a 160ft two storey Wendy house. That's without her specially designed garden. She absolutely loves coming in but loves going back to her palace sometimes aswell. If the RSPCA ladies that came around to check out the space and how our bunny lives, to see if we can adopt another one and they are happy (well their exact words were "wow! We had never ever seen a house like this for a rabbit before, it's bigger than some people's flats!" Then I think I will go with the professionals opinions on my bunny's routine and life 🤷‍♀️

birdsdestiny · 03/01/2019 11:48

Ours spent spring summer outside, then came in as it got colder. He now has a condition which means he can't go outside, he loves being inside and has the run of the house. The only problem is his hair everywhere, and there have been issues with the poinsettias this Xmas. We love having him inside even if we moan about him sometimes.

Crazybunnylady123 · 10/01/2019 23:30

You get more out of having pet rabbits if they are indoors. Any advise needed pm me. I’m the crazy bunny lady with nine house rabbits. Grin

LeporidaeDomesticus · 23/01/2019 12:17

What a dilemma! Clearly she makes you very happy living inside, and there are big bonuses to being a house rabbit; not just that you’ll likely get more out of her being closer, as mentioned, but you’ll probably notice if she’s sick or a bit off straight away, and rabbits can go downhill very fast. So I say go with your heart, but there’s enough logic to satisfy the head, too.

I know people feel strongly that all bunnies must have bunny company, and I respect that, but not all bunnies are the same. We got ours in part because on visits before taking him home we we noticed he was keeping himself apart from his brothers, and figured he might be fine on his own. Three years later he shows every indication of being content. Here he is now.

ginghamstarfish · 23/01/2019 12:19

There are about 5000 sodding bunnies living outdoors on my land ... they seem to thrive and multiply at an alarming rate!

LeporidaeDomesticus · 23/01/2019 12:29

Multiplication is rather their strong suit.

Can outdoor bunnies be as happy as indoor ones?
Artesia · 23/01/2019 12:37

Not helpful at all, but I used to have house bunnies who watched tv too!

For some reason they particularly loved Coronation Street, and came barrelling downstairs whenever they heard the theme tune. Except little girl bun was daft as a brush and never remembered that the stairs had carpet but the hall had wooden flooring. She would charge downstairs, then skid across the wood and thump into the skirting board. EVERY TIME!

birdsdestiny · 23/01/2019 13:31

Well they still sound a bit brighter than my rabbit who stares menancingly at any reflective surface at the rabbit that has dared to invade his territory.

pangolina · 23/01/2019 16:54

My bun loves classic fm and wobbles off to sleep in front of the fire listening to it, like a little old granddad.
House bunnies are the best

Hungrypuffin · 23/01/2019 20:52

I would have to leave her indoors....

If you do move her outside, I would get the boy first and install him in the outdoor set-up, so it’s his territory. Males are much less territorial than females and if you do it the other way round, you’ll be putting him in her turf, rather than the other way round, which is a harder way to do things. He will welcome her with open arms; she might be more reluctant to let him into “her” space.

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