View Full Version : Bunnies in or out?

02-23-2002, 09:52 AM
Do rabbits seem neglected when they are kept outside in a cage? I keep my rabbits outside in a cage, but when it's cold or too hot I don't go outside except to feed and water them. I feel as if they are not gettin' enough attention. Would it be better to have them inside and litter box trained? I'm trying to convince my mom to let me have them inside. But she won't. My plan is I'm going to save up some money and buy a nice inside cage for them, litter box, litter, toys, etc. I am also planning to show them. Is it better for show rabbits to live outside or inside? Anyway...I have a Californian and her name is Gypsee. Then I have an American Chinchilla and his name is Grey. Would they both be good show rabbits? Please reply to my message. Thanks.

02-23-2002, 10:32 AM
Gosh, I think bunnies that live inside are much better off. My bunny is litterbox trained - which was easier than any dog I've known, and hops around the house. She likes "just being" with us - if we're eating, she comes to the kitchen to eat. When we're sleeping, she goes upstairs with us. There's a lot of info on the House Rabbit Society site - see http://rabbit.org!

Inside, too, they are not exposed to the extremes of temperature, which I bet makes them not only happier, but look bette, too - important for showing! :) I've never shown my rabbit, but everyone who meets her thinks she's beautiful! :)

What color are yours?

02-23-2002, 12:56 PM
My Californian, Gypsee, is white with gray ears, nose, paws, and a gray tail. The American Chinchilla, Grey, is well....gray with black tips on his ears and tail.

02-23-2002, 01:04 PM
P.S. Thanks for the URL to House Bunny Society! A lot of info I didn't know.:)

02-23-2002, 01:40 PM
You're welcome! My bunny, whose picture is under my name, is a caramel color with dark ears, nose and feet - but her tail is white! :)

02-23-2002, 05:10 PM
How did you find a picture to fit under your name? I tried to do it but it said my picture was too big. LOL.
P.S. Gypsee and Grey say "HI!"

Heather Wallace
02-23-2002, 07:55 PM

Welcome to pet talk. I keep my rabbits in at the moment as the weather here is so bad. In the summer the rabbits go outside during the day and inside at night. The UK is a lot colder than the US so that is one thing to consider.
I probably would be a good idea for you to bring in your bunny when it is cold as you can spend more time with it. House training would be a good idea also, although I have had no success yet!
Rabbits need at least two or three hours exercise everyday.

Good Luck!

from heather and the rabbit family.

02-23-2002, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by Bunnicula05
How did you find a picture to fit under your name? I tried to do it but it said my picture was too big. LOL.
P.S. Gypsee and Grey say "HI!"

The picture under one's name is an "avatar" and it has to be 60x60 pixels or less.

02-24-2002, 09:32 AM
So...do I just go to some avatar sites then? LOL. I know what an avatar is b/c I had excite chat virtual places downloaded and it represented u in the chat room. Pretty cool....anyway....I'll try that....most things in my life are trial and error....mostly error. Hehehehe.

02-24-2002, 09:34 AM
Oh geez! How rude of me! Thanks for your post and advice Heather, however I'm still trying to convince my mom to let me bring them inside. It's mainly my step-dad....he hates inside animals. *Sigh*

02-25-2002, 01:48 PM
Bunnies should definitely be kept inside. They live longer, are healthier and develop their little bunny personalities when they are able to bond with their human. Bunnies love to play, love to be with their people, and are quite the comedians. You don't see any of this if they are left outside and you only spend a few minutes a day with them.

However you should also know that they are a lot of work when kept inside. You need to bunny proof the room they will be in. They need litter boxes (yes, several). They get easily bored and will need toys to keep them amused. It can be something as simple as an empty topilet paper roll, an empty margarine tub, an old telephone book for digging up and tearing (they love that sound for some reason). These are good toys for cages too. The most important thing is that the bunnies be trained to use a little box. Personally I have found out that the bunnies do this pretty much for themselves. The trick is putting the litter boxes where THEY, not you, want them. You may need only one litter box, but most bunny owners will tell you you will need several. And you will need to stay on top of the boxes clean or the buns won't use them after a while (plus the room would smell...yuck!) The referral to the House Rabbit Society's web page was a good one and they have all kinds of expert advice in there on health nutrition (almost NO pellets should be given), and things like litter training.

Basically it comes down to how much time you are willing to spend with bunnies and what your stepdad and your mom will allow. Maybe if you build a strong enough case to show that you've researched bunnies living inside vs bunnies living outside, (like checking out the HRS web site and others) that might help you convince them. Just remember they need more care and attention if they live inside. Some of us let our bunnies have their very own room, while some bunny owners keep their buns in cages when they aren't home and then let the bunnies out for play time....there are several diff. ways to keep a bunny in the house.
Good luck with researching and making your decision about where they should live.

02-25-2002, 01:58 PM
I forgot to address your comment which I wanted to make about your bunnies living outside.
Outside bunnies need a different kind of care. Their cage needs to be up off the group so a weasel or other predator (dogs) can't get at them. They need to be protected from the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Water is especially important ALL the time. It gets frozen in winter and it evaporates in sumemr (or the buns knock the bowl over and spill it out). They need to be fed every day, twice a day, absolutely no exceptions.
Their cage should be cleaned every 3 days. You need to remember these bunnies are depending on you to take care of them. When they are caged they cannot take care of themselves.
Neither should domestic bunnies ever been turned loose in the wild to fend for themselves. Since they are used to being taken care of they do not have the survivor skills to live on their own. Sooner or later a predator or car will get them.

it's a very big decision you are trying to make and I wish you all the very best of luck. Bunnies are wonderful companions and you'll enjoy them a lot.

02-25-2002, 04:32 PM
Wow! Thanks a lot! If they don't eat pellets (that's what I feed them now) what can I give them? I'm doing a lot of research. I actually got my bunnies last year at Easter, which I know is a no no. Especially now that I have done some research. I plan to get a job in the next month and save up some money to buy them an inside cage and all the accessories. That way my mom and step-dad won't have to buy it. Then that will show that I am willing to be responsible. My step-dad doesn't want them in the house because of their hair gettin' everywhere. But, I basically have my OWN living room down stairs in our house and my parents hardly ever go down there except to take a shower and do their laundry.
I feel so bad about my bunnies. They are kept in their cage constantly. Yes, I do feed them EVERY day. But, I feel as if they are isolated.
Anyway....thanks for you advice!

02-25-2002, 05:18 PM
Miss Hoppy says - feed 'em PARSLEY! Lots and lots of PARSLEY! And other fresh veggies - there's a whole list on the House Rabbit Society site. Miss Hoppy particularly loves dandelion greens and parsley, among others.

Heather Wallace
02-25-2002, 05:28 PM
I agree with Karen feed them vegetables, especially in the morning time. It is good for their digestion. Feeding rabits commercial rabbit food can rot their teeth.

You are doing well though, keep up the good work.:)

02-25-2002, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the advice you have given me. I'm still working on my step-dad to let me keep them in the house.

02-26-2002, 12:33 PM
I think Karen and Heather have said it all.....buns should eat a lot of veggies...see the House Rabbit Society website for specifics. The amount of pellets they should have depends on their age and weight but it is usually advised to be kept to somewhere between 2 TBL and 1/4 cup/day. (pellets are heavy and can weigh down the gut, which must move constantly in order for the buns to poop...when the gut stops moving the bun develops statis... the bunnies can die quickly, so never ignore a listless acting bun. And as my vet said....pellets don't grow in the wild, are manufactured by companies who THINK they know the nutritional needs of rabbits but don't necessarily. The crude protein should = 18%. Oxbox Products sells a real nice timothy hay based pellet that much better than anything you can get from the pet stores. I think their web address is something like www.oxbow.com.
Very, very important is that they should have all they can eat of timothy hay, not alfalfa hay, which is too high in calcium.
Sorry I get wordy but I'm very concerned for every bunny's welfare since not only do I have 5 of my own (in the house) but have been a volunteer at a rabbit sanctuary for 5 years. Sometimes I think I've seen it all....at any rate it sounds like
you are moving right along with your plans for your buns. Good luck!

02-26-2002, 07:23 PM
I just checked the bag and it says it has 18% crude protein, but NO timothy hay. :( We are going grocery shopping this weekend........I will make sure my mom buys some vegetables and fruits! :)

Heather Wallace
02-26-2002, 08:29 PM
I must say Bunnicula, we have got to give you a pat on the back for all of your hard work, and for taking all our advice. At least you are willing to learn.

God loves a trier!!!;)

02-27-2002, 08:17 AM
Daisy, I have a question for you. You say unlimited Timothy hay and not alfafa. On the Rabbit Society site it says to do that after 7 months. My kids are almost 5 months, is it ok for them to have Timothy hay now? I gave them a little that came in a care package and they loved it. Do you recommend a certain brand? I will look into those healthy pellets. My kids are GROWING so fast. :)

02-27-2002, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by tazz1227
Daisy, I have a question for you. You say unlimited Timothy hay and not alfafa. On the Rabbit Society site it says to do that after 7 months. My kids are almost 5 months, is it ok for them to have Timothy hay now? I gave them a little that came in a care package and they loved it. Do you recommend a certain brand? I will look into those healthy pellets. My kids are GROWING so fast. :)

Soph's always had timmy hay. I once offered alfalfa to her...she wouldn't have it...(threw the manger out of the cage to be exact :o ) lol

02-27-2002, 08:28 AM
Zippy you are so funny. But it is funny you said that because since I gave them the Timothy hay, I mixed it with the Alfafa and they flipped the bowl. So I guess that is their way of saying they didn't want it. hee hee So Timothy is ok at that age? Thanks so much. This is such a good media for sharing information and getting support. People don't realize that when you have bunnies...you need support!! :)

02-27-2002, 09:27 AM
Timothy is a wonderful hay for buns of any age but especially the adults. When bunnies are small alfalfa is ok because they need the calcium while they grow. As adults they don't need the calcium and, it escapes now (probably because you asked and I'm getting half-heimer's)but too much calcium for adults eventually leads to a health problem...either kidney or liver. I'd have to look it up. Just the fact that alfalfa was strongly discouraged by my rabbit specialist vet and that I've read the same thing in other publications is what sticks out in my mind. The vet even discouraged the alfalfa-based treats that are manufactured by pet food manufacturers. As Miz Sophie would say, and Karen our moderator would say...give 'em extra parsley...if you want to give them a treat.

I give my buns Oxbow timothy hay and because I have 5 buns, I buy a bale (50 lbs) and it last 2-3 months. My buns would not eat Kaytee's brand of timothy. The nice thing about Oxbow is that it is organically grown (no pesticides or chemicals) and I really like that reassurance. I know there are other companies out there selling timothy but I have no experience w/their products since my guys like the Oxbow brand. Oxbow does have a website...I think its oxbow.com, but I order mine from my bunny vet (and get out of paying the shipping charge that way).:D :D I understand there are 2 other hays that are good for bunnies, I don't recall the specifics but one was oat-based or an oat grass. I've been meaning to look into that too. Sorry I tend to rattle on....hope this answers your question.

02-27-2002, 09:34 AM
Thank you so much. All information in raising a healty bunny is appreciated. For reference the site is http://www.oxbowhay.com . Keep on rattling on...more rattle, more information. :)