Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bunny Care: Battling Bunny Boredom

A recent message to the RR Facebook page about a pooky bunny generated the idea for this topic. There may be several reasons for a pooky (unhappy) bunny, including:
Illness (Here's a post about monitoring your bunny's mood as a hint to illness)
Improper diet (Here's a post that about diet and treats)
Too small cage or pen
Insufficient exercise time
Insufficient socialization
and
Bunny Boredom

Bored bunnies can be destructive bunnies (bunny proof their area). Some different types of toys that your bunny may find entertaining...

Here are some big, crawl-inside type toys. Both are all natural and completely chewable. We have had these toys or ones like them before. Eventually, they will chew them into almost nothing - you throw away the scraps and get a new one.

As you can see, just by arranging them to take a picture, the bunnies got interested in them. Everyone had to come over to chin it, chew it or run through it. We have a couple of others not as new as these that the bunnies also chew; one is in the shape of an A-frame and the other is a little stick house.


Lucy - chin, chew and through


























    By the way, touching on the socialization issue, playing with your bunny - every day - is one was to make them happy. Bunnies are very social little animals, which is why a bonded pair can be great. Just by my showing interest in their toys, they had to come over and engage.

They live in a 7'x7' pen but free range a much larger area when a human is home. Another way to combat bunny boredom is to have some toys, boxes, tubes and habitats inside their living quarters and others in their free-range area. Every once in a while, switch some of those things, so their environment evolves a little and gives them something different to explore. Of course, they may have core favorites (in our case, their elevated bed from The Blissful Bunny) that are always in their pen for them.

Here are a selection of their different wooden chew toys. Many of them have little bells. A baby's teething key ring (hard plastic) is another toy a bunny may like. Many of these toys were purchased from the GHRS Hop Shop, so your bunnies get toys and you help support the rescue of other bunnies. (And here's a link to The Blissful Bunny's Etsy store).


(This post is about the bunnies' Einstein toy.)

The bunnies will roll these or pick them up, rear up like Silver (from The Lone Ranger) and toss them around. One of these is simply the ring to a mason jar; they love it.
 
The old stand-by, a paper towel tube (the "ABC" one is on the left, Already Been Chewed). Save the cardboard from toilet paper rolls, too. (Here's a post about stuffing the TP tube with hay.)

Give your bunny things to entertain and to play with. Engage your bunny. Rabbits are crepuscular, primarily active during twilight (dawn and dusk), so be sure they have time to play and run around every morning and evening (in total, at least 3-4 hours every day during these times).

P.S. Kat, in the comments, reminded me of another tool to battle boredom, a digging box. A post about our first one is here. Their funhouse also has a digging room (see Ethel in it here).

9 comments:

  1. Neither of my bunnehs have ever shown interest in toys of any kind. They do enjoy their time outdoors each day where they alternately graze, run, binky and rest. The rest of the time is spent disapproving and angling for treats.

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  2. I must confess though that a recently added crinkle tunnel with a portal has been very much appreciated.

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  3. Your post was really informative! We had the greatest little Holland lop rabbit who was a joy. We loved him so much I actually included him in one of my recent historical romantic adventures I pen. I would love to drop by your blog and share the book and the amazing bunny rabbit that inspired it. Feel free to contact me at killarneysheffield@gmail.com my site: http://www.killarneysheffieldromanceauthor.com/ The book is called Love's Magic and releases March 17th. It is my 14th published romance.

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  4. I found out by accident that my lop loves the paper that is used in shipping boxes. So now I buy the rolls of Kraft paper and rip off several yards worth, crumple it up and toss it in the corner of her room. She spends out digging, shredding, pushing and pulling it around. I leave her with a tall pile in the morning and find it spread out everywhere when I get home. I pick up the smaller pieces every couple of days and replace with long strips.

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    1. YES! I am going to add a link to the post. Ethel especially loves to dig. See http://bunyaboy.blogspot.com/2011/08/rabbit-ramblings-retraction-important.html

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    2. I tried the SCUBA version, but Callie doesn't like it. She likes the long, wide strips that she can shred as she wishes, pull them under the table, into her castle, through the maze, etc. When they start getting thin and smallish, I use them at the bottom of her litter box and then tear off several more yards from the roll, crumble up and toss in corner. :-)

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  5. My bun's favorite turned out to be very simple. I took a copy paper box, removed the lid [so Taffy couldn't jump on top and try to escape], cut a small hole in each end of the box with an exacto knife [barely big enough for bunny to crawl through]. I laid an open phone book at the bottom of the box [it fit perfectly] and dumped the contents of the family paper shredder in on top of it. He can rip and tear and burrow at the phone book without making a huge mess [it's contained in the box] and he even curls up and sleeps in there. On multiple occasions I've walked into his area, didn't see him, called his name and saw two ears pop up from the pile of shredded paper in the copy paper box. He's also "remodeled" the original holes I cut to make them slightly bigger

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    1. Absolutely love this wonderful idea!

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  6. its a challenge to get them from getting bored but you got to keep at it,xx Rachel

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