In the wild, rabbits spend hours grazing on open areas of grass and reaching up to forage along native hedgerows. They naturally live underground, so they will also be busy digging and exploring suitable burrow options. Wild rabbits will always choose to be close to at least two to three boltholes they can escape to if they feel threatened.
When creating your rabbits’ environment, try to choose items that will encourage and support this natural behaviour. This will keep them active and mentally stimulate them so they remain healthy and happy.
Keep your rabbits happy and occupied
A suitable, neutered rabbit companion is very important. A lone rabbit or one with an unsuitable companion will often remain very nervous and reluctant to come out and explore. In some cases, a single rabbit may become aggressive towards you.
Rabbits feel safe when they have plenty of areas to run into or hide. Provide your rabbits with several shelters – plastic tables and chairs, card boxes, card or plastic tunnels and even plastic cat carriers lined with newspaper and hay. Fruit tree or willow logs make great look out towers. Rabbits love to jump on them and survey their territory.
Rabbits love litter trays
Food can be fun too
Choosing the right bedding for your rabbits
The wrong bedding for your rabbits can have a negative effect on their health. Wood shavings, sawdust and straw can often contain fur mites, and can give you an allergic reaction too!
Instead, line your rabbits’ enclosure with a thick layer of newspaper and completely cover it with a good layer of fresh, sweet-smelling green hay.
It’s often more cost-effective to purchase hay from a local farm or equine shop by the bale. You can then pick a nice, green bale and reduce the risk of it being old stock and possibly contaminated or filled with sharp thistles. Using hay as bedding also means your rabbits are free to naturally graze on the most important part of their diet at all times.
How to clean out your rabbits
Your rabbits’ litter trays will need daily cleaning and refreshing with clean paper and hay.
Carry out a full clean at least once a week, although this may need to be done more often throughout the winter when they are choosing to stay indoors for longer. Remove the rabbits, fully sweep out and wipe down the enclosure and all plastic items with pet-friendly disinfectant.
Line hutches and shed floors with vinyl for an easy-to-clean and wipe surface under your rabbits’ bedding.