Rabbit Runs & Pens

Rabbit Care ~ Diet ~ Health ~ Handling ~ Living & Sleeping ~ Rabbit Shelter ~ Rabbit Runs

happy binky rabbit

Rabbits are quick. They love to run about. It's a natural part of their behaviour. They jump and twist in the air when they are happy and feeling playful.

Wild rabbits run about, on average, 3 miles each day. Pet rabbits, outdoor and indoor rabbits, would love this amount of freedom too, but that much space is not always possible to give.

However, we can follow some proven guidelines on space and exercise, without putting them in danger.

rabbit run
For a more detailed look at all aspects of bunny health, diet, environment, companionship & longevity check out the revolutionary iRabbit READY System by Kerry Greener of Just Rabbits Limited

The rabbit house should provide shelter and a place to sleep, but the house should not be the only living space. A rabbit's run space is a vital part of a rabbit's fundamental right to be 'a rabbit' and good shelter and run space is a requirement by law, under the animal welfare act of 2006.

Rabbits need regular and frequent opportunities to exercise. Make sure your rabbits have opportunities to exercise every day to stay fit and healthy.

Here are some more pages showing the importance of space when raising happy, healthy bunny rabbits...

happy healthy bunny
  • Rabbit House Guidelines - There are some fundamental guidelines on rabbit housing we all have to follow as responsible rabbit owners...
  • Rabbit Hutch Alternatives - There are some great alternatives to a hutch and manufacturers are cottoning on to the real issues of proper rabbit housing.
  • Indoor Rabbit Exercise - Regular exercise not only keeps the skeletal muscles strong, it also keeps the smooth muscles of the intestines well-toned and active, vital to a house rabbit diet.

Rabbit Run Space

rabbit run fence

How much space do rabbits need?

Rabbits are active animals. They need to run, jump and play, it's part of their nature. They need the opportunity to hop, run, jump, dig, stand fully upright on their back legs and stretch out fully when lying down.

  • Provide your rabbits with a secure environment that is large enough for them to exercise in and stand up fully on their back legs without their ears touching the roof/ceiling or top of the rabbit run.
  • Your rabbit run should provide a covered run that is permanently accessible to from their rabbit house.
  • You should provide your rabbits with the biggest run you can, as a guide the minimum size is 8ft x 4ft x 4ft and high enough to accommodate a rabbit doing binkys!

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Rabbit Runs for Binky Buns

What is a Binky?

Binkys are high in the air, twisty jumps that a rabbit does to show excitement and happiness.

This short clip captures the essence of a binky and highlights the importance of lots of space to a happy, healthy bunny...

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Rabbit Runs for Huge Hopping

How long is a rabbit hop?

It is commonly accepted that a rabbit should have space for 3 hops in their home and exercise areas, but it is also greatly underestimated just how far 3 hops is. Tests show that 3 hops from an average sized rabbit covers 6-7 feet!

The official world record for a rabbit long jump (one single jump/hop) is 3 metres (just less than 10 foot). Wild rabbits are commonly seen jumping and covering a ground space of at least 15 feet in open fields.

If you want to see just how much space a happy rabbit would really like, check out this video of rabbits doing the long jump at a show competition.

This gives you and idea of how long only one bunny hop really is!

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Rabbit Run Time Out

How much exercise time do rabbits need?

Rabbits need a minimum of 3 hours 'free-range' time each day for them to run about, stretch their legs and interact with other rabbits socially. Social interaction also includes the rabbit owner and family members.

wild rabbits running and jumping

Rabbits are crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.  This is because, in the wild, rabbits have learned that these times are the safest to a graze, socialize and play, as predators are easier to spot when the sun is low. 

Domestic rabbits follow a similar pattern. They usually wake up with the dawn and stay active until about mid morning.  When they are active they are eating, foraging, digging, playing and grooming. They also like to investigate new things, follow you around or charge about burning off energy. Very much like a young, boisterous child!

Mid to late morning, they will go back to their sleeping area to rest. They may go to the toilet or munch on some hay but often they just sleep for hours, sometimes stretched out on their side but often just in a 'bun loaf' position, ears flat against their back, feet tucked in and eyes half closed. Some rabbits sleep like this with their eyes open, so you may not even realize they are actually asleep. Again, an anti-predatory trait picked up from their wild cousins.

In the early evening, they wake and emerge to go to the toilet, groom, forage for food and socialize. Evenings tend to be their most sociable time. They are more likely to want strokes and cuddles at this time. But even after you are fast asleep in bed, your rabbits will still be active, making the access to free run space all the more important.

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In - Out, In - Out, Shake It All About

indoor rabbit run space

Do indoor rabbits need time outdoors?

Most rabbit owners know that rabbits make great indoor house pets because of their natural body clocks. Being most active in the mornings and evenings mean they are asleep all day when you are at work etc and are ready for fun when you are around.

Of course, keeping your bunnies as 'house rabbits' makes it easier to provide space as lucky indoor rabbits usually get complete run of your house. Some rabbit owners like to designated certain rooms to their rabbits, but as long as they have access to lots of run space, they will be healthy and happy.

Keeping them inside also keeps them safe from predators but rabbits prefer being outside and given the choice they would naturally choose to live outside.

poisonous rabbit plants

Ideally a house rabbit should be given access to an outside exercise area, preferably with grass and plants for them to forage and nibble at.

However, if you are going to let them exercise loose in the garden you must make sure your garden is bunny-proofed, meaning it is safe from predators, no escape routes and they are prevented from eating any poisonous plants.

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Rabbit Run Examples

What examples can I follow for good rabbit runs?

Here are some great examples of good sized, well made rabbit runs for outdoor and indoor bunnies...

Outdoor Runs

robust rabbit run
trendy rabbit run
Just Rabbits Shed & Run
aviary style rabbit run
natural landscaped rabbit run
chicken run to rabbit run
rabbit run with pipes

Indoor Runs

indoor rabbit exercise
indoor rabbit bun fun
Indoor rabbit room

For more images of unique rabbit housing and run spaces have a look at my Pinterest board.

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The Surprising 7 Fundamentals of Rabbit Health

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