Thursday, June 27, 2013

(Not quite) Free-range Rabbits!

All the other images I posted of the rabbits show them caged, so I made an effort today to take a few photos while the were hopping around! It was pretty tough avoiding motion blur, as they're constantly moving. In this first photo, you can see a little bit of the large, white wire corral that we borrowed (permanently?) from our neighbor. Her daughter used to have a a bunny and she was happy to lend it to us. She used to set it up in the yard outside to let the rabbit get fresh air and grass under its paws, but we're not quite that adventurous — yet.

Mary Potter, in the corraled area

After I set up the corral in a doorway that had access to the bedroom where their cages are, I learned that they won't "spray" or excessively "pill" to mark their new "territory." Whew. They really made some messes when we unknowingly separated them from their "home base." I learned from an article about litter box training (h/t Kellygo), I'm apparently doing the right thing (now, not at first!) by introducing them to other rooms in stages, so they get used to their location in relation to where their home base is.

Bugs Bunny, grooming Mary Potter in the kitchen
We first let them roam around Dash's room, their home base, then moved them to the bathroom. Bad idea — much territory marking. We tried corralling them in the dining room, first in one area, then around the dining table, also bad ideas with lots of sanitizing afterward. Earlier this week, I let them roam from Dash's room (home base) through to the kitchen, which worked out great until Bugs Bunny got too curious and hopped over a solid, 24-inch barrier. Yesterday, I had the brilliant idea of using the corral as the barrier, letting them wander from the kitchen and a short way into the living room, and be able to view the surrounding areas. That worked very well! Only one little "pill" at the end of the corral, to mark their new "territory." They still have a very clear path back to home base.

Bugs Bunny, lounging in the kitchen
Maybe soon, after we introduce more new areas, we can get some bunny-proofing going and let them have more range through the house!

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