Tips For Enrichment

Did you know

At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, grass and dried grass, as a guideline as much as the size of the rabbit’s body! They also need a small amount of nuggets – 20-25g per kg ideal bodyweight is all that is needed. You also need to make sure they have some green leafy salad as part of their diet and water should always be made available.

Paper and paper bags

Some rabbits love to dig in and chew at old phone directories, especially if you hide treats in between some of the pages.

Some rabbits also like to go right inside large paper sacks - they can be encouraged to dig about in these by putting in shredded paper with vegetables mixed in. Food can be placed inside smaller paper bags that are scrunched up.

Try rolling

Long stranded hay in a sheet of brown paper and tying the ends with a strand of hay to look like a Christmas cracker. Your rabbit will love throwing it around and then ripping it open to get to the hay.

Cardboard boxes

Some rabbits seem to like nothing better than a good chew on a cardboard box. Boxes can have a variety of uses, for example, large strong boxes can provide platforms and cutting holes in the sides can turn them into good bolt-holes (if you have more than one rabbit, always make sure there's more than one hole). Cutting the holes too small for your rabbit to get in will make them chew round the hole to get in - especially if you put food inside. If you're especially good at making things, make an obstacle course of cardboard boxes and plastic tubing.

Plastic tubing

This is ideal for tunnels and you might be able to source unwanted off-cuts from a builder's yard. If so, make sure that all the edges are completely smooth and that you clean them very thoroughly before giving them to your rabbit. You might need to use a knife to scratch the surface

Toilet Rolls

Rolls can provide hours of amusement for rabbits, as they are very light and easy to throw around. Some rabbits will use them just as they are, or you can encourage their use by stuffing them with hay or vegetables. These can be hung up so that it takes longer for the rabbits to get to the food. Another good source of large strong cardboard tubes is your local carpet warehouse. They will often be happy to give you the larget tubes which carpets are rolled onto - but you'll need a saw to cut them! If you have a house rabbit that is destructive and likes to chew the back of your sofa, get a large cardboard tube from your local carpet warehouse and place it along the back of the sofa. This will help prevent the rabbit from chewing the upholstery and your pet will love running through the tube and popping out the other end.


Flower pots

If you are a gardener, you probably have lots of plastic flower pots lying around. Large ones on their sides can provide resting areas (put bricks at either side to stop them rolling over) and small ones can simply be provided empty for throwing around or can be stuffed with ay or paper, and vegetables.

As with cardboard tubes, these can be hung up so the rabbit has to tip them up to get the food out.

If your rabbit is one that tends to chew everything, it would be best to supervise their time with plastic items such as flower pots.


Digging box

A digging box can be provided very simply and cheaply, by putting something like soil or soil mixed with straw inside a box. If your rabbit isn't used to digging, start off with just a shallow layer with food 'planted' in the soil. If you use soil from your garden, make sure it doesn't contain anything that could be harmful to the rabbit, such as slug pellets.


Gnawing branches

Branches can occupy hours of a rabbit's time and are also very good for wearing down their teeth. The branches of some trees are toxic to rabbits, so make sure you know the type of tree they are from and that they are safe for rabbits. Also make sure they haven't been sprayed with any pesticides.


Cat or parrot toys

Some rabbits will use toys meant for cats or parrots, especially ones that make noises, and these can often be inexpensive. Some of these, however, may be made from plastic that rabbits will be able to chew through, so be careful about the ones you choose.


Training

Rabbits love to sit on or under things so if you have an old low stool or table pop it into your rabbit's run.