Lesson 561 – The bunny under the fence

This is Vivian. The bunny that Addy just HAD to have last year (and which as you might recall, made me the Best. Mom. Ever.)

I don’t know the breed but I do know that she is a dwarf and at this point is full grown. She’s a sweet and loving little thing who gets first shot at the left over salad greens each night.

Our plan for this summer was to incorporate her into the hen house with the rest of the flock. Keeping a bunny in a cage has never really sat well with me. Sure we take her out to play and we have her hutch up against the house so that she can join us in watching “Cold Case” each night (we only have basic-basic cable and it’s either that or Law and Order)  but a bunny needs room to hop and grow.

A few weeks back though, we put her in a small fenced in area (we used a puppy playpen fence) and within a few hours Vivian had dug a deep hole that went completely under the fence and was threatening to pop up on the other side.

If she had done this in the hen house, not only would she have escaped but she would have literally left the front door open for night time predators to visit the flock.

I know that many people have rabbits in their hen houses and around chickens (the woman we bought Vivian from keeps rabbits with her chickens) and I’d like to do this but how does it work?

Those who mix rabbits and chickens together, do you use special fencing? Do you take any precautions or are you just vigilant in searching for daily burrows and filling them in. Or, is this just not a problem with your bunnies?

As much as I don’t like having a rabbit in a cage, I’d rather our bunny be in a cage than lost in the backyard woods.

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4 Comments

Filed under Backyard Chickens, Rabbits, The Family

4 responses to “Lesson 561 – The bunny under the fence

  1. Super cute! We cannot keep rabbits here as they are an environmental pest. We have millions of feral rabbits that have results from introduced animals. It’s a shame. They make gorgeous pets. A lot of people around here keep guinea pigs with their chickens and they seem to get along very well.

  2. You could always get another bunny to keep Vivian company :)

  3. Hello Wendy and Vivian! I am a volunteer (writer and transporter) for the House Rabbit Network. HRN is a fabulous organization that is so generous with time and information. Here is their website: http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/ and you will find them on FaceBook as well. There are some very caring and bunny savvy people there. You can also check out the House Rabbit SOCIETYon facebook, it is a more national organization than HRN, but just as forthcoming with helpful hints.

    As a house rabbit mom to two ten pounders (possibly a third, soon) and a foster mom who socializes guinea pigs, I have a couple of suggestions.
    *Rabbits are social, curious creatures and if they get bored, they get destructive. A friend may be in order, but it does not have to be the same species. I have bonded a guinea pig to a rabbit successfully.
    *Make sure the rabbit is fixed regardless of what animal you bond her with. This will extend her life and help her settle down.
    *A good rabbit vet is also in order and that may be harder to find. Check with HRN for a recommendation on where to find a good vet.
    ***And most importantly – you can easily teach a rabbit to be litter box and clicker trained and Vivian could live inside in a designated area of your house. You will never know how interesting, intelligent, fun, funny, and loving this creature can be until she starts interacting with you more regularly on her home turf. My critters provide endless stories and photo ops for my blog, so you may find that Vivian will worm her way into a new special feature “Lessons Learned from the Warren” to help pay for her keep. Good luck!

  4. Where we live, we have wild bunnies who sneak into our garden. I am not sure it falls into the category of Memorial Day and defending the country, but you do not want to know what happens to these wild rabbits.

    I am “chicken” and ignorant, I confess. Even thought I am not a vegetarian, I do not clean and eat the bunnies who fall afoul of our defense system. But then, watching our chickens gobble bugs, beetles, worms, and on at least two occasions, mice, I know if our sizes were reversed, I would be nothing more than a snack. We see coyotes around our property from time to time. I don’t say, “Nice dog, nice dog. Let me pet you.”

    Nature is nice, and we try to preserve the ecology of our land, but there is such a thing as sentimentalizing it too much.

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