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Outdoor habitat ideas?

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Glazcia

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My rabbits are indoor pets. I want to build an outdoor habitat for my bunnies this spring. They are always happiest when I let them roam the backyard, and get in a huff when we catch them to bring them back inside. I also have a few cats that never go outside. My rabbits are as big as the cats and they usually ignore each other. The most they ever do is go up and have a smell.

My idea is to use the same concept as a "catio" and make a caged area that's attached to the house so that they can go in and out through a window as they please. But modified in a way that can keep the rabbits from escaping. I want to turn the basement guest room into a rabbit room and give them outdoor access through the window.

My house has two guest rooms that we don't use other than for storage. One in the basement and one upstairs. The windows to these two rooms are lined up perfectly in the backyard. The basement window sits right at ground level. I thought I could make the lower room a rabbit room. With the caged area outside accessible from the window. And eventually, the upper room a cat room, also accessible through the window. So that we can put all the pets away without the animals feeling super confined whenever we have company over. Particularly company with children. My pets don't like kids.

My main concern is that the rabbits like to dig when they are outside. We've had to ruin several of their attempts to dig a burrow in the yard. I don't want them digging their way under the house or into the neighbor's yards. There are dogs on both sides. I want to figure out a way for them to be able to dig without actually being able to escape.

Funny story:
They were quite clever with their last burrow attempt. I have a hutch attached to a covered play pen outside, so they can be in the yard without being closely watched. I went back outside to check on the rabbits. They were all gone! I thought maybe the kid next door hopped the fence and let them out. After panicking for a while searching for them, I spotted a bunny back inside their hutch. I discovered that they had dug the entrance of the burrow in the corner of the hutch where I couldn't see and carved out a rather large burrow under the middle of the yard. I think they worked on it through most of the season right under my nose!

Anyway, I would love to hear other people's thoughts on how to go about an outdoor habitat project like this.

Sorry for the lengthy post.
 

Cookiemonster

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If I were you I would buy special rabbit fencing and put it down on the ground so that they dont dig... for the fencing i would recommend the same thing. you can get some off amazon and other online shopping places..
 

ibala7

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A strip of fencing or mesh at least 12 inches wide on the ground and attached to the perimeter fence. Since they typically dig at their perimeter fence, they will be discouraged by the mesh.

One of my bunnies has dug burrows 7 feet long!
 

Bribble

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I had an area where I dug about a foot or two down and lined that hole with rabbit guard wire and it works well for me. Not exactly a "drop and go" solution but hey it worked
 

Riverhouse Rabbits

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We’ve had great success with our outdoor enclosure.

First we dug down about 6” and laid galvanized chicken wire.

We put landscape felt on top, and replaced the dirt. The perimeter sits on concrete paver stones.

No escapees or unwanted intruders.

With regards to your basement window thoughts, our shelves come up level with the house window and the bunnies will often approach if they want our attention. Highly recommend.

 

Mariam+Theo

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I would use 1/2 inch welded wire or hardware cloth. Are the rabbits going to be outside the whole time? I would lay down chicken wire around the outside of the run or on the ground inside the run.
 

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