Exercise Pen For Rabbits

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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

By an exercise pen, I assume you mean the portable style generally sold for use with dogs. I also assume that mean to use it inside, as John points out in his answer, using an exercise pen outside for a rabbit (unsupervised) is essentially a death sentence for the rabbit. In some cases it is not practical to bunny proof all of your house, or if you need to keep the bunny separated from other animals or any number other reasons, a X-Pen (exerciser pen) is a common solution. The standard pen is made of 8 panels 2 feet long. As a square this gives a space of 4 x 4 feet, which is too small for long term, but ok if the bun gets out to have run of the house for at least an hour everyday (two hours twice a day is better). One X-pen used in conjunction with a wall or corner will give you a much larger space, optimally a space of 8 X 8 feet can be used for long term housing. If the bunny is NOT able to run and jump in the space it is NOT big enough. See related question How much space does a rabbit need to live comfortably? As for height, in most cases a 2 foot high X-pen is tall enough, but I have known rabbits to jump over a 4 foot high pen. Leave at least a couple feet of space between the x-pen and anything about the same height (like furniture) on either side of the pen. Though many people I know, feel more comfortable using a 3 foot high pen. Why is 2 feet tall enough? A rabbit will stretch up and look at something like a couch and see “Hey that looks comfy” and then jump up on it, but if there is not a good place to land on a place that can not see, they tend not to jump there. If there is nothing to land on at the top, they don’t go. EXCEPT for the rare bunny that been trained to jump over something, where they can see a good landing place on the other side. A rabbit will see an X-pen as an obstacle and they will pull and tug, and move it around trying to get past it. If using a X-pen with a wall fasten it to the wall, we use small round eye hooks fastened to the wall and clip the pen to the hooks.

Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Rabbits vary in size, so actual breed would probably be helpful. However, I think you should consider a few factors: Rabbits can jump, some of them as much as a meter. So any fencing should consider this as a factor. You didn’t say if this pen is inside or outside, but if I assume outside, consider that rabbits can dig. In that event, you want the pen fence to go into the ground a ways. Still assuming outside, bear in mind that there are rabbit predators that strike from the air. If you cannot entirely cover the pen, you should shelter it and should have a place for the rabbit to escape to. Rabbits need some running space and are known for engaging in bursts of manic running known as the Bunny 500. You want to give them some decent space to pull this off, so I would be looking at least 10 x 10 foot, but that’s hard to find pre-built. If the bun is intended to be indoors, then consider not penning them. Do some room proofing, and provide a litterbox for them (they can be litter trained easily). You just need to take some precautions with chewable things like wires and cords. Doing this will allow much more interaction with a very social animal and your relationship will be more rewarding as a result.

Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Permanent Outdoor Exercise Pen Step 1 Place stakes in the ground to mark the corners of your desired exercise pen. Choose a location which has shaded areas so your bunny can escape the sun. Tie string from stake to stake to establish the pen perimeter. Following the string as a guide,use the shovel to dig a 1-inch-wide, 4-inch-deep trench around the perimeter. Step 2 Pound the T-posts into the four corners, just inside the trench, with the T-post driver. Four T-posts in the corners will create a 6 by 6 foot exercise pen. T-posts should be no farther apart than 6 feet. For larger pens, place additional T-posts at intervals of 6 feet or less. Step 3 Unroll the roll of chicken wire and line the end up against the first T-post. Set the bottom of the chicken wire into the trench. Attach the end of the wire to the T-post with zip ties from top to bottom. Continue to unroll the chicken wire, setting it into the trench, until you reach the next T-post. Repeat until you return to the starting T-post. Pull the wire tight as you attach from post to post, ensuring it does not sag. Fill the trench back in with dirt. Placing the chicken wire into a trench, then filling in the trench and packing it well, keeps digging rabbits from escaping. Place your rabbit’s food and water bowls in the pen, then let your rabbit enjoy his new space for a little bit each temperate day.
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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Indoor/Outdoor X-Pen Step 1 Choose the location of your indoor rabbit exercise pen. Place a plastic tarp on the floor to protect against accidents, spills and scratches. Cover the tarp with a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet. Step 2 Set up the X-pen panels to create a barrier wall. X-pens are eight 2-foot metal fencing pieces, attached together with hinges, that can be easily set up or collapsed and stored flat. Raise the panels and place in the shape and position you desire. Step 3 Place your rabbit’s litter box, food bowl and water bowl inside the exercise pen. Rabbits should have access to clean water at all times and need food for energy. Step 4 Add toys to encourage exercise and free play. Using the utility knife, cut holes and doors in a old cardboard box. Place the box inside for the rabbit to climb through and explore. Place treats inside crumbled-up newspaper or old toilet paper rolls with the ends folded closed. Your rabbit will play and chew on the paper or cardboard while working to get his treats.
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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

As for height, in most cases a 2 foot high X-pen is tall enough, but I have known rabbits to jump over a 4 foot high pen. Leave at least a couple feet of space between the x-pen and anything about the same height (like furniture) on either side of the pen. Though many people I know, feel more comfortable using a 3 foot high pen.
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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Be sure to get an X-pen that is tall enough that your rabbit cannot hop out of the enclosure. Some rabbits will not jump out of a short 24 inch pen, while others will easily clear a 36 inch pen. 30-36 inches is good for most rabbits but as you know, they are known for their ability to jump very well and so do not underestimate your little rabbit’s jumping skills.
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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Even if your rabbit resides in multilevel rabbit condo, complete with all the bells and whistles, he still needs room to hop and explore on a daily basis. Without regular exercise, a rabbit is at risk of medical conditions such as obesity, pododermatitis, poor bone density and poor muscle tone. Building a rabbit pen creates a “rabbit gym” that offers a safe location for your rabbit to exercise and explore. If you’re not a DIYer, consider a simple “X-pen” or exercise pen puppy enclosure available from pet stores.
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Exercise Pen For Rabbits

Housing your rabbit in an exercise pen (commonly known as an x-pen) can be a big improvement over the idea of a cage. With a cage your rabbit’s space can be limited and he can become frustrated at being in a smaller space when you are away or asleep at night. X-pen living gives bunny more space, while still keeping him safely contained, during those times when you are not at home or need to keep bunny enclosed. Even for “jumpers” x-pens can be a good choice, simply by attaching some shade cloth (found in garden centers) or special-made wire tops made by pen manufacturers.
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Exercise pens are a good solution for blocking off areas in your home where you don’t want bunny to go. To make the pen area smaller, overlap two or three panels and clip together. There is no need to take the panels apart. Need a bigger pen? Buy two and overlap panels as necessary. Is your bunny a jumper? Do you want to keep the cats out? Make a “lid” for the top by placing two 48-inch high panels horizontally over the top of the pen. Clips: Secure the lid to side panels with large clips, so that one panel opens on a hinge, while the other stays in place. The pen companies also make lids but only in rectangular shapes. We use a sheet to cover tops and clothespins to secure.

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