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Old 01-04-2017, 12:35 AM   #1
LucytheBun
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Default "Caging" a formerly Free Range Bun

Hi All,

I have a five-year-old mini-rex, Lucy. She's recently had a surgery that saved her life and is 100% recovered and healthy. She also has always been free range. We've lived in three places with her, bunny-proofed our places, and had a fully litter trained bun. Never chewed a thing.

She is still litter trained and very good at using her box. However, she has spent her last two months of new health destroying our couch and getting to carpet (not ingesting -- yet -- but the fear is there) despite bunny proofing and putting our rental deposit in jeopardy. We've been putting off caging her because I simply don't want to after all her years of freedom. However, it's getting ridiculous and costing us money and also jeopardizing her health as we never know what she is going to get into lately even when all items are off the floor, couch, etc.

I guess what I am asking is does anyone have any experience with re-introducing a bun to a cage. Of course -- we are going as big as we can. She does have a cage, but the door is always open, and it's more a litter box as it's not suitable to leave her in all day.

Perhaps, I am looking for confirmation that I am doing the right thing for her rather than fearing she's getting into something while we're at work. I still plan to leave her out as much as possible, and my partner and I work alternating shifts, so she'll be out frequently. However, when we sleep, she destroys -- when we both work 8 hrs at the same time -- she destroys.

Just looking for experience in this and or solutions. Currently, I am looking at this: (If purchased -- I plan to update the latches, at comfy spots, the whole deal. She's obviously spoiled.)

http://www.hayneedle.com/product/boo...abbithouse.cfm

Still looking into wood safety and also potentially making a cage out of these cube shelves.

Advice is welcome and wanted! I plan on having my little bun for a full, happy, life -- as evidenced by the $1000+ bill this fall saving her.

Lucy and I thank you!



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Old 01-04-2017, 01:32 AM   #2
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Have you ever used an exercise pen with her? That could be a much simpler way (and less costly) than the cage linked. It would also be roomier if you make use of an existing wall like in the attached photo. Otherwise, two pens could be linked together. (Ignore the netting on the bottom of my pen. That was leftover from bonding.)

You may want to consider getting an appropriate size piece of rolled linoleum to place under whatever cage you ultimately get or make since she has been going after carpet (unless you have a solid floor area already for this).

The cube shelves can also be figured into a larger cage than the one in your link as well. There is a lot more flexibility and ability for expansion with either the x-pen or the shelf grids.


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Old 01-04-2017, 03:27 PM   #3
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I agree with blue eyes. Get an exercise pen. They can be as big and small as you want and it's cheaper and portable.
You are doing the right thing by "caging" her when your at work.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #4
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I think a pen would be a lot less traumatic for your rabbit. I used one when I had to separate two of my rabbits for a few months and it worked well for me - not as good as freedom, but it allows you to keep the misbehaving bunny from the things they destroy while leaving them with some space...
I like the cube shelves thing because you can really assemble them the way you want which is really convenient when your rooms aren't cube like. It's also pretty cheap and easy to do (I suck at DIY and I made a decent pen with minimal cursing ^^)
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:53 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your responses -- I don't know why I didn't think about a pen. I will certainly take into mind covering the area the pen will be in so she isn't on the apartment carpet. I think you're all right -- it would be less traumatic for her to be in a pen and feel like she is part of the room rather than caging her in.

Any suggestions on sturdy pens? Lucy is a good little Houdini.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:35 AM   #6
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Midwest has pens on Amazon. Just be sure it is tall enough. (The taller, the heavier though). Mine have been fine with a 30" height but others recommend the 36."
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:49 PM   #7
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If she ends up being a climber, I suggest using clothes pins and attaching an old bed sheet across the top. Pippi's pen came with a top, but most of them don't. We didn't have trouble with Pippi trying to climb until about a year ago when we saw her hanging on the top of the pen with her front legs. Silly thing... The covering is an amazing deterrent, though, and we haven't had an instance of her climbing like that since.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default thank you!

Great idea with the sheet, I'll keep that in mind if she decides she can jump over the barrier. She only typically jumps on the couch to chew it, all the rest is low level binkies.

So we hemmed and hawed about getting a new cage or eliminating a cage altogether and going with a litter box and play area. She always had a small cage that served as a litter box essentially and was never closed. However, it's always been her safe space. I looked into hutches and we settled on a cage that was shockingly massive when it arrived. I know, it's just a traditional pet store cage, but it's doors won't be closed unless she has a surgery or something and needs to be shortly quarantined. I wanted to go with what she knows since her cage has always been that safe space.

Added with a rug she had for two year when we lived in NYC and didn't chew and an old pen we had to keep distance between her and our now passed Senior Citizen Mini Lop Penny Lane due to unsuccessful bonding, she has a nice little area. I am definitely looking into a new pen that's a tad bigger. Here's the temp set up for now. She settled in immediately and chinned the entire cage. It is hers. However, she has the mobility to leave her cage and hang out on her rug. All her toys and accessories (a prized oxbow bow that she hides away in) aren't in these photos, as I was just getting an idea for the space when I snapped the photos. The pen goes the whole length of the carpet and I feel ok with that space for her plus the cage. She's only in the area about 8-10 hours a day and then out the rest of the time. It's not very elegant, but it's practical and I don't have to worry about her ingesting our couch fibers.

The next project consists of making a ramp/bridge for the cage so that she can easily hope in and out of it.

Enjoy a bonus picture of her initial unimpressed face.

http://i68.tinypic.com/2r3bafb.jpg
http://i65.tinypic.com/wuhrog.jpg
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:48 PM   #9
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I have the same cage it's a good one
The space looks great
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:28 PM   #10
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I have that same cage too. When I have to leave the rabbits for a weekend, I rig up an xpen to it (using twistie ties), and they have a huge area to play, and they use the cage for their litter box and hay. I love that cage, and so do my bunnies. Both of my fat buns (8 pound meat rabbits) tend to hang out in there more often than they do the xpen. Rabbits.. So weird. Lol

During those trips, Pippi stays in her pen with that sheet. My husband,parents and i went to Germany and Austria for two and a half weeks, and the small cage made it super easy for my brother to take care of the buns. _^


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