If you’ve ever seen your rabbit jumping around in the garden in a meadow, you will know that the free-range attitude is a lot of fun for your rabbit and offers a high degree of joy in living.
Like an outdoor cat, this type of pose is much closer to your rabbit’s natural habits and provides a wide variety of activities and exercises. However, with farming, there are few basic things to minimize dangers to rabbits in the wild as much as possible.
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Overnight in a secure, closed enclosure
First of all, the basics. Not all freewheels are the same. Letting a rabbit jump freely in the garden without a demarcated enclosure requires a much higher level of discipline and patience on your part.
If your rabbit can move around freely all day, it may not be pleased to be caught again in the evening. A sufficiently secured, fenced free-range enclosure offers more comfort for the owner, and a connected transition to the night stable makes it easier to retreat to safety.
It is essential for a free run: The rabbit belongs back in the barn at night. Because then the rabbits’ predators can strike unobserved.
Wild animals and predators
The wild rabbit knows some predators but knows how to camouflage itself and flee in an emergency by quickly hitting the hook.
Unfortunately, domesticated rabbits forgot some of these characteristics and will expose to some wild animals’ access. At night these are mainly the fox and other medium-sized predators.
But also during the day, other animals can be dangerous to your rabbit. A stray hound quickly picks up the scent of your rabbit, and a fence that is too small and insufficiently secured can be knocked over soon by a giant dog.
An outdoor cat can also be dangerous for young rabbits, and an additional net over the fence secures your little rabbit. The net also effectively protects against birds of prey such as the hawk. Even if a grown-up,
Not even a direct attack is dangerous for your rabbit. If the outdoor enclosure is too small and the predator comes too close, the triggered panic often leads to sudden death in shock.
Protection, therefore, offers not only secure fastening and securing of the fence but also correct positioning. Opportunities to avoid and hide offer your additional rabbit security and help if an unwanted visitor should turn up.
Skip and dig through
Along with other pets and wildlife, the next danger to your rabbit is breaking out. A domesticated rabbit has little chance of survival in the wild but may still attempt to go for a long walk.
It is therefore essential to prevent the rabbit from running away. Since even tamed rabbits can jump well, a fence with a minimum height of 110 cm is recommended.
You should also pay attention to whether houses or other objects are too close to the wall to climb. Otherwise, your rabbit will use this as a jump aid.
If the way up is secured, only the way under the fence remains. Rabbits tend not to dig on a solid lawn. The turf is too tight, and it is not in the rabbit’s temperament to start searching there.
Loose ground or an area that has already been excavated is more dangerous. Just pay attention to digging spots regularly, and if your rabbit tends to do so – then fill up the holes that have already been drilled and cover them with a stone plate.
Heat and drought
As lovely as a mild summer day may be for you, your rabbit is extremely sensitive to heat due to its warm fur and small circulation.
Long, direct sunlight and a lack of places of retreat are fatal for your rabbit, and when positioning a free-range enclosure, you must pay attention to shade. A weatherproof shelter or a canopy helps by providing sufficient shade and can also be very useful in sudden weather changes.
Please always remember: The sun is moving, and even if it looks like there is enough shade when you set it up, you should check the location now and then during the day. If there are continuously shaded areas within the open space, there is nothing against a hot summer day for your rabbit.
In addition, an adequate supply of fresh water and fresh food containing water is, of course, important in the warm summer months and must not neglect. A secure attachment of drinking bottles and feeding bowls guarantees that your rabbit always has access to all necessary feeding stations, even in your absence.
Conclusion on the free-running attitude
As you have now read, there are many dangers in free-running that await your rabbit. Of course, a rabbit kept in a cage does not have these dangers.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to say about taking this risk and not locking your rabbit away in a high-security area. A rabbit kept in the apartment can also endanger itself. Because of boredom and a lack of variety, it gnaws at plastic or crawls into too narrow gaps, from which it can no longer free itself.
The quality of life gained and the more species-appropriate animal husbandry favor free-range farming. So when you have enough space to make your rabbit’s dream come true, this is something you should think about.
With careful construction and a good selection of the free-running area, you can minimize many dangers and even eliminate some. The quality and size of the enclosure should be in the foreground when making the decision, and then nothing stands in the way of your rabbit’s free-running fun.
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