Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I was incredibly impressed by Red Door's rabbit setup the first time I visited (and I still am). The photo shows a typical area for a solo rabbit or a bonded pair. Sometimes you'll find young siblings who aren't old enough to be adopted sharing space there, too. The long row of happy rabbits with plenty of space and hay is both sad and uplifting. Sad, because they don't have homes of their own yet, but uplifting because they've all been rescued!
That's Avery, my old foster rabbit, in the corner, warily regarding the camera. The metal pen has hinged panels so it can be shaped to fit your space. You'll notice that I have an extra board and also the white plastic bottom of a smaller cage down to protect the floor and my landlady's nerves. (The cage was used if I had guests and had to move him away, or if he showed a disposition to grab and shake the pen at night for attention.) The blue box is the litterbox, which also contains a hefty supply of hay for him to chew on constantly, and pine pellet litter. There's also a small water bowl, which I've always preferred to a bottle.
I left Avery's carrier in the pen so he would have a place to hide, though he never used it. The towel is for him to "dig" in, but he didn't do that much either. Elenor, on the other hand, would just nose her way under it completely and then very confusedly poke one paw or a nose out on each side, wondering how to get out. It was hilarious. You can also give them wicker toys, castles, little soft beds... a busy rabbit is a happy rabbit. I've seen some really impressive multi-story towers built out of those self-create shelves made out of coated wire square panels that you connect with little plastic gadgets.
Though this is a great setup, the rabbits still love to get out and run around a properly bunny-proofed space -- so really, you can never have too much space! But I think it's amazing what great temporary homes Red Door is able to give its rescues.