Rabbits are small in size and are, thus, easy to prey. Being a pet parent to rabbits, its protection should be your biggest concern. While letting your rabbit outdoors, you must be aware of predators.
Foxes are not limited to rural areas but also in urban localities. Birds like hawks and eagles look forward to their daily meal. Rabbits are prey animals and easy to attack. Thus, its supervision must be your utmost priority.
How to protect rabbits from predators?
A sturdy wooden predator-proof hutch is the best option if your rabbit stays outdoor. For others, a protected playing and running area will keep rabbits safe from birds and dogs. Along with safety training, one can also use sprinklers and mesh coverings to keep their bunnies safe.
Protective measures to keep rabbits safe from predators:
If you have a pet rabbit at home, never leave him outdoors, unsupervised. They are prey animals. The most common predators are foxes and raccoons.
If your neighbors have dogs, they too are dangerous for your rabbit. The following solutions will help you keep your bunny secured from sudden attacks.
A sturdy hutch or cage
Invest in a wooden hutch with a sturdy and robust foundation. Foxes can easily break into hutches made of plywood or chicken wires. Easy-to-open locks and latches do not provide the necessary security to your bunny.
For maximum protection, use a hutch with a wooden floor, roof, and walls. It must have mesh wires along with chain links. Even if foxes and raccoons attack the hutch, it will restrain them from entering. Your rabbit, residing outdoors, will be safe and secure in such enclosures.
Ensure that the door or gate has tricky latches. You can also use healthy locks that will not break after applying pressure. It is better if the hutch is on a raised platform for further prevention.
A clean and visible surrounding
Rabbits often die of shock or cardiac arrest. They get frightened with loud noise or an approaching predator. Keeping your backyard clean will ensure that predators cannot attack from far either. Keeping grasses to minimal height will not allow other animals to hide in plain sight.
Do not stock water outdoors. It might attract other animals and birds while thirsty. Animals drinking water may attack your bunny while playing out.
A lot of pet parents also secure their compound with motion-detecting lights. These lights glow on sensing heat waves. Animals approaching a rabbit emits heat waves too.
The sensor turns on the light radiating from predators. Thus, making you and your rabbit aware that there is danger in the vicinity.
Rabbits might not want to stay in a hutch 24-hour long. They, too, desire some outdoor playtime and running. A hawk attacks its prey all of a sudden.
An outdoor grazing rabbit may not have sufficient time to save its life. If you often let your bunny in the open, make sure to cover your yard. It will protect the rabbit from aerial predators.
Many parents also invest in enclosed rabbit runs. It provides an exercising area for physical development. Furthermore, also protects from prey catching animals. They can comfortably run and hop in it, without the fear of attack.
Since the floor of the runs is not covered, it allows the rabbit to feel the soil. Thus, promoting enriching activities like digging tunnels. Rabbit runs are ideal for outdoor activities while providing a secured enclosure.
Pet rabbits who know how to burrow can save themselves from predators. Although it might harm the natural beauty of your garden, but will save its life. Burrowing allows a rabbit to hide from larger animals.
Rabbits are highly alert by nature and can feel approaching danger from a distance. Burrowing will help them to hide in proper time, before a predator attack.
For better results, one can also train their pet bunnies to borrow. Dedicate a space within your garden or yard that will provide them privacy. Make sure to cover the roof to keep hawks and other birds away.
Apart from foxes, raccoons, hawks, etc., cats too hunt rabbits. So, pet parents need to beware of cats, as they mostly kill smaller rabbits. Garden fencing will prevent cats from entering the compound.
Rabbits can freely graze outdoors without any threat from nearby cats. But keeping a check at frequent intervals is also crucial, even if there is fencing.
A highly constructed fence will keep dogs away from attacking your rabbit. Hunting dogs keep a watch on neighbor’s pets that are smaller in size and easy to catch. Rabbits are one among them.
If there are such dogs in the neighborhood, protecting the compound with fencing is a better idea. It prevents them from entering in your absence or while the rabbits are not under supervision.
Many people have multiple varieties of pets within a compound. Since rabbits are smaller in size, they gain undue attention from other larger animals. Dogs are always eager to learn. One must ensure training a dog from an early age, to prevent from attacking others.
Instead of keeping all of them together, provide each one of them their privacy. Make sure that the rabbits are either within a wooden hutch or under runs.
Even though you provide all amenities to protect your rabbit, self-monitoring is necessary. Being a pet parent, one should always keep a close watch on the pet. Keeping him indoors most of the time will ensure his safety.
Supervision is a must when you live in an area that has chances of an attack from predators. They will stay away from the rabbit, in your presence.
Pet parents of rabbits need to take the utmost care of their security. The above-mentioned precautionary measures will help you to do the same.
You may either opt for one or a combination of a few. The protection will depend on the type of predators available in your area.
Rabbits can stay healthy and happy, even indoors. In case there is no convenience of extra protection outdoors, keep your bunny inside the house.
A spacious hutch, sufficient water, and food and toys will keep them happy and content.