Is your pet rabbit looking a little lazy these days? Lethargic? Bored? Just lying there all day until food comes?
In the wild rabbits need to stay relatively active as they hunt for their food. They are foragers, hunting for food amongst the forest floors & grassy areas, stretching & reaching for leaves, plants, fruits and herbs from overhanging branches.
But our pet rabbits have got it made for them when it comes to feeding. We place their rations in their bowl, every day, as regular as clockwork. Your bunny doesnâ€™t need to think about, and has every faith, and reliance, on you.
But is it really fair of us to deny them this basic natural behaviour? Itâ€™s very easy to encourage more natural behaviour when feeding your rabbit.
Rather than feeding them just with a bowl, spend an extra minute or so each day hiding their food throughout their hutch & run, or around the house if theyâ€™re an indoor pet. Scatter the food on the floor or in the grass. Pellets, veg, fruit & herbs are all easy to hide and make a delicious reward for your rabbit when they find them.
You can turn feeding into an activity. For example you can buy treat balls that encourage the rabbit to roll the ball to release treats & food. Or why not get a cardboard box with holes cut in to it, fill it with shredded paper, straw or hay and hide a few pellets or nuggets through it. Use an upturned flower pot to hide food under.
Encourage your rabbit to reach and stretch when feeding too, either by hand feeding treats, or using various treat balls or hay mangers suspended from the roof of their hutch or run.
Why not also consider letting your rabbit dig (another natural behaviour) and find little treats as rewards. Using a planting tray, or the base of an indoor cage, you can fill it with dirt or sand and hide toys & treats amongst it. You can even use it to grow grass in.
Have a look in your pet store for ideas of other ways to hide food and encourage foraging. There are now even toys designed to encourage this kind of behaviour. If youâ€™ve not already tried it, give it a go and youâ€™ll discover that your rabbit will soon become much more active around their run, and will rapidly display signs of being a happier bunny!
For further information, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.