are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?

  • 13 Replies
  • 3701 Views
*

daisy1990

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Scarborough
  • 673
are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« on: July 03, 2011, 09:26 »
we have four RSPCA rescue rabbits living in two two level hutches.  They are in a 1/4 acre paddock at the bottom of our garden and behind an electric mesh fence.  During the day they free range behind the fence with our chickens.  We back on to fields where there is a barn owl that hunts during the day but to my knowledge she has never come near the animals in my garden.  At night we get the rabbits back in the hutches (which is quite an ordeal for us and them as they dont want to go in!)
Would they be safe to leave out all night?  We can leave the hutch door open as we do all day and they can get in and out as they please.  Would there be any additional danger to them at night?

Thanks Daisy
3 dogs, 8 chickens, 4 rabbits 2 guinea pigs, 10 quail, 2 fish and a demanding daughter who has gone to uni and left me with 29 animals to care for!!=)

*

sunshineband

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • 31999
  • Tallest Sunflower prizewinner 2014
    • A Little Bit of Sunshine
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 09:42 »
If the chickens are safe, then the rabbits should be too  :unsure:

I assume they cannot burrow out?
Wisdom is knowing what to ignore - be comfortable in your own skin.
My Blog
My Diary
My Diary Comments

*

daisy1990

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Scarborough
  • 673
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 09:50 »
we put the chickens in their coops overnight (behind the fence) they are easy to get in as they will go anywhere for mealworms!  two of the rabbits also go in their hutches easily, but have just let the other two free range (they lived with a rescue guinea pig who has to stay in a run. but we got him a new guinea pig friend now so the rabbits can run around)  They dont burrow under the fence (I like to think they are happy with the luxury they live in and have no desire to go!)  Last night it took an hour for three of us to get in her hutch and I dont have time to do this during the week, but it would be  a shame to keep them in a run if they are safe to be out at night (I was wondering whether they would be safe from predators (birds?)

*

arugula

  • Winner - prettiest sunflower 2011
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Coastal Argyll
  • 24904
  • hic svnt leones
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 09:51 »
I think leaving them out at night will give them a longer period of time to burrow without being detected or for a fox to get them.
"They say a snow year's a good year" -- Rutherford.

*

sunshineband

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • 31999
  • Tallest Sunflower prizewinner 2014
    • A Little Bit of Sunshine
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2011, 09:53 »
I agree with argyllie. Foxes and digging out!

There would be little ddanger from predatory birds at night.


Rabiits don't burrow and dig because they are unhappy, but because it is their nature to do so. Also, bear in mind that rabbits are actually more active at night and so might very well dig more than in the daytime.

*

maxyboo

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Downham Market Norfolk
  • 679
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011, 21:40 »
I agree with argyllie and sunshineband I'm afraid. Rabbits can easily dig their way out in a night. Some of them just love to dig, whether they want to escape is irrelevant.  Can you build a large run around the hutches that can contain them at night? Then just leave the door open in the day.  It would be easier to chase them into a larger area.
Do your buns come running for their grub? If so you could take their food out last thing and put it in their hutches/runs. Then they should go in of their own accord. (This works with some of our awkward ones). We have also used lightweight ply boards that we can herd them with.
If there is any way a fox can get in then it will. I wouldn't like to risk it.

*

grinling

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Lincs
  • 3494
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2011, 21:57 »
Thanks for this as I will be putting fudge in with chooks, which are not used to be locked up as my sis found out!! Would it be possible to remove grass layer, dig down 2 spades, lay 2 layers of wire mesh, back fill and lay turf back on top. Also putting in wire sides and roof? Lots of work, but fox proof. That is what I am thinking of doing.

*

arugula

  • Winner - prettiest sunflower 2011
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Coastal Argyll
  • 24904
  • hic svnt leones
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 06:25 »
For our chicken run, we had the wire looped right round underneath rather than just dug down. That way, it is burrow-proof both in the way and out.

*

maxyboo

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Downham Market Norfolk
  • 679
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 10:51 »
That does sound better grinling. Lots of people do bury wire mesh 2 or 3 feet into the ground  to stop rabbits burrowng out. Should stop the foxes too I would have thought.

*

daisy1990

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Scarborough
  • 673
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 20:30 »
Hi All

Thanks for your replies.  My rabbits all free range all day behind the electric mesh fence and have never tried to burrow.  What I was asking is are there any predators that could get over the electric fence (I was thinking of Owls and the like) that would be an extra threat if they are let out at night.  Our two large rabbits will go into their hutch easily, but the two youngest we have to chase (last time for an hour) to get them in and I am afraid that this will stress them more and pose more of a risk to them then a predator.  We have a large hutch and attached run which they have been in for months, but I just prefer to see them running free if they are safe to do so.  If they did burrow under the electric mesh (which they have never tried to do) the rest of the garden is rabbit proof (to keep wild rabbits off my veg) so they wouldn't get far!

*

arugula

  • Winner - prettiest sunflower 2011
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Coastal Argyll
  • 24904
  • hic svnt leones
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 07:15 »
My rabbits all free range all day behind the electric mesh fence and have never tried to burrow.  What I was asking is are there any predators that could get over the electric fence (I was thinking of Owls and the like) that would be an extra threat if they are let out at night.  

I think leaving them out at night will give them a longer period of time to burrow without being detected or for a fox to get them.

My point being, which you may have missed, that I wouldn't rely on electric fencing alone to completely stop a determined fox with all night to work out how to get past it.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 07:20 by argyllie »

*

Thorby Bislam

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: North Yorkshire Coast
  • 7
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 15:01 »
Would they be safe from two-legged predators?

*

daisy1990

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Scarborough
  • 673
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 16:23 »
thanks again for your replies.  I had taken the point about the fox but my thought process was as follows:

The bunnies have been free ranging behind the electric mesh fence all day for a year without incident.  Foxes are around all day (lots of posts on here suggesting they attack as frequently during the day as at night).  We are out all day so the fox would have plenty of time to work out how to get at them if he could.  The fence is 4 feet high and not near anything that the fox could climb up and leap over.  The fence is pegged to the floor at eight inch intervals so he couldn't push under.  Final point is if the rabbits were in their hutch/run the fox could presumably open the run/push it over if determined?

It would of course be easier for us to leave the rabbits in the hutch/runs, but they love being out and having the ability to run 'free'.  My concern really was that there may be air borne predators around at night which made this unsafe

*

sunshineband

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading, Berkshire
  • 31999
  • Tallest Sunflower prizewinner 2014
    • A Little Bit of Sunshine
Re: are pet bunnies safe to free range at night?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 20:32 »
Not native species, no  :)



xx
Free range guinea pigs?

Started by Raven81 on Pets without Feathers

13 Replies
8441 Views
Last post April 07, 2012, 23:10
by Paul Plots
xx
Bunnies !!!!!!!!!!

Started by asd1 on Pets without Feathers

11 Replies
2589 Views
Last post July 06, 2011, 17:48
by asd1
xx
Try to keep cats safe

Started by mumofstig on Pets without Feathers

4 Replies
1857 Views
Last post June 21, 2017, 19:56
by John
xx
you'll never guess what we did last night!

Started by SMD66 on Pets without Feathers

4 Replies
1906 Views
Last post October 22, 2009, 15:04
by Foxy
 

Page created in 0.081 seconds with 35 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |