Following on from our earlier blog on space, today we’re talking about exercise. Harking back to the “old days” it was believed that a rabbit just needed a hutch and that was enough. But we now know that this isn’t the end of the story, and even providing an adequate hutch of a minimum of 6ft isn’t enough for our pet rabbits, and they absolutely shouldn’t be left in that space all day every day.
The RSPCA & RWAF recommend an additional exercise area of at least 8ft x 4ft (that’s 2.44m x 1.22m), which is designed to give the rabbits a better opportunity to stretch and exercise properly. It is also recommended that your rabbits get an absolute minimum of 2 hours access per day to their exercise area. We encourage you to give them as much access as possible, and the ideal solution is to have an environment that allows the rabbit to choose, by providing a connected exercise run to their hutch or living area.
It’s also important to encourage your rabbits to exercise properly. Some of our domesticated rabbits have become “couch potatoes” and need to be reminded to exercise (just the same as we humans do). The best way to do this is through Stimulation (a topic for another day), but a simple example in the meantime would be to scatter food and treats throughout their exercise area. This will encourage your rabbit to forage for their food, and ensures they keep on the move to do so.
If you would like any further advice on exercise runs or how to encourage your rabbit to keep moving, please don’t hesitate to contact us.