How To Make A Great Rabbit Outdoor Space
To provide your rabbit with a beautiful, varied and species-appropriate outdoor enclosure, you should also plan the planting carefully.
In addition to a base of grass, dandelions and herbs, many other plants are possible.
Now you can find out what these are and which plants do not belong in a rabbit enclosure under any circumstances.
Planting the rabbit outdoor enclosure: The planning
Planting your rabbit enclosure depends on several factors that you should be sure to consider when planning and later designing it.
Size of the base area
Number of animals
Type of feeding
The number of animals will determine how long plants will be maintained. With a base area of 20 square meters and two rabbits, a planting of grass on the ground can be maintained for a very long time. With 10 animals it looks already different.
This means that the less area you have per animal, the larger quantities of other green fodder you should offer. Otherwise, the rabbits will quickly gnaw off the last stalk and the ground will become muddy at the first rainfall.
Even the best grass seed will not help.
The individual components of the feeding also have an influence on how the planting should and can look.
If you additionally provide your animals with a lot of green and fresh food, they will only consume grass and herbs in small quantities in the free run.
The additional feeding of plants, hay, vegetables, twigs and fruit should therefore be abundant.
Plant grass and herbs in the outdoor enclosure
Rabbits happily hopping through grass – this is species-appropriate and beautiful to look at.
However, to ensure that the ground in the outdoor enclosure stays green in the long run, you need to consider a few points.
1: Choose a resilient grass variety
A ready-made seed mixture, such as rabbit meadow or a small animal meadow, is ideal.
Alternatively, you can seed sports turf or play turf and mix in seeds of dandelions, herbs and other plants.
2: Prepare the soil
Loosen the soil well beforehand by digging it up and mix some mature compost into the substrate. In this way, growth will be favored.
3: Respect the closed season
The grass should not be walked on until a stable sod has formed. Otherwise, your rabbits will rip out individual plants and holes will appear.
4: Create paths
Grass plants are heavily stressed on paths that are frequently used, such as to water or food. They die and the ground can quickly become muddy when it rains.
It is therefore better to lay sidewalk slabs or spread bark mulch.
The stones have the advantage that the claws wear better on them. In addition, they are easy to keep clean and allow you to walk on the enclosure without stepping on plants.
If you have not already mixed in various plant seeds when sowing the lawn, you can place them in sturdy flower boxes or planters. A constant change will allow the plants to recover again and again.
Climbing and hanging plants for the rabbit enclosure.
Climbing plants or hanging plants are ideal for greening the walls.
Suitable plants include:
- Strawberries (hanging or climbing)
They can be placed in plant hanging baskets or use the grid of the run as a climbing aid.
Are trees allowed in the rabbit enclosure?
Small fruit trees, nut trees and conifers do not provide much shade initially, but can also be used to green the run.
In order to prevent the young plants from being eaten up immediately, you should delimit and protect the trunk. Wire wrapping or a wooden fence can be used for this purpose.
Falling leaves and branches from pruning can be used directly as food.
In addition, an apple tree grown as a columnar fruit offers vitamin-rich fruit.
Supplement: branches for greening
Greening the outdoor enclosure does not have to be permanent. By adding greenery, leafy twigs and branches, you can also provide variety and contribute to a healthy diet.
Suitable species are:
- Fruit trees
To keep the branches longer, you can put them in a bucket with water.
However, rabbits usually eat foliage and bark so quickly that keeping them fresh longer is only worthwhile if you have a very large amount of greenery.
Poisonous and dangerous plants for rabbits
When planting, you should only use plants that are not poisonous to rabbits.
Also, avoid cereals that form awns on the seeds and herbaceous plants that form burrs.
If you notice such plants in the enclosure, you should remove them as soon as possible.
While poisoning could quickly become fatal, awns can enter the ear canal and cause severe inflammation as well as injury to the eardrum. In addition, your rabbit can get a awn stuck in its paw, for example. Since these travel in the body, this also poses a danger.
Rabbits with longer fur should not be exposed to burrs. These get caught in the fur hairs and are difficult to remove. The resulting knots can be the starting point for inflammation.
Can only the outside enclosure be planted?
If you don’t have a garden available, you can still provide your rabbits with plenty of greenery while they are outdoors in the apartment or on the balcony.
This contributes to a healthy diet and is also visually decorative.
Plus, you can reduce the risk of worm and other parasite infestations and infections by growing your own plants.
Good choices are:
- hanging plants
Pots attached to the wall provide ample space for the plants to grow.
However, rabbits can only eat the lower shoots, so the plants are not weakened too much.
Hanging plants placed in holders or on shelves are also easy to replace and do not take up floor space. Therefore, they are also suitable for smaller enclosures.
- herb pots
Herbs provide a valuable addition to your rabbits’ diet.
Growing your own basil, chamomile and parsley has the added benefit of ensuring that there is always enough of them, even in the event of illness, and that they can be dried and used to make a tea infusion.
In addition, they can stimulate the appetite and can therefore be used to refine hay.
Make sure you have sturdy, stable planters that you can easily remove from the enclosure. This way you can always remove the herbs for regeneration and they can grow again.
- grass boxes
Grass, dandelion, milk thistle, yarrow and chicory are easy to care for, thrive easily in container culture indoors, and are best suited for people without green thumbs.
As with the pots, the containers should also be stable.
In addition, the plants need a corresponding amount of time to recover from feeding damage. Therefore, place them only for a day or a few hours in the free run and then remove them again.
If you want to save space and floor space, you can use hanging boxes. They can be easily positioned at a height that the rabbits cannot reach.
Final note: Attention to fertilization and supply
Since the plants are used to provide food, only organic fertilizers should be used.
Also, refrain from using insecticides and pesticides.
Therefore, remove diseased or parasite-infested plants at an early stage instead of using chemical agents.
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