Most rabbits enjoy playing with toys and the great thing is you can make simple bunny toys yourself for very little cost.
Of course you need to find out what your bunny likes and doesn't like but some toys and treats are so easy to make that if they don't like them then they can be just as easily discarded.
My lop eared rabbit 'Kisses' wasn't interested in rabbit toys at all. She didn't like balls, tubes or bells and she wasn't really fussed about hay or food related toys and treats at all.
But she absolutely
loved digging and rearranging paper. So it was really easy to keep her happy - several dirt patches and a box of shredded paper kept her binky bouncy happy all the time!
If you have some time on your hands and are feeling in the DIY spirit, then why not take a look at some of these ideas at the bottom of this page and make your own rabbit toys - great fun and easy enough to get the kids helping too!
However, most of us are far too busy to make anything these days, even the family dinner is a rush job for most us. So I have listed some toys and treats that most bunnies will appreciate, all you have to do is order and wait for the postman!
Good rabbit toys and treats are ones that allow interaction and give rabbits the opportunity to perform their normal behaviours, such as digging, chewing, chin marking and jumping.
Different rabbits enjoy different types of toys, so try providing different items until you find out which ones your rabbits like best.
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Here's a few ideas for toys and fun treats that your rabbits may enjoy playing with.
You can't get anything more simple and easy to make than a cut out cardboard box. Cut a few holes and some large enough for bunny to fit through and you have a ready made den for bun to explore for hours. They'll happily use it to hide in or behind, they'll jump in it, on it and around it and probably sleep in it!
A cardboard tube such as an empty toilet paper roll or kitchen towel roll, makes an ideal container for a hay & treat filled toy. Rabbits like to forage for their food and these rolling toys with a treaty bonus will provide double the fun!
Any type of scrunchy paper is a winner with rabbits, they love to scrat and dig at it, rearrange it, lay on it and snuffle it all around the place. It's great fun to watch too. You could also use some brown paper to wrap one of their favourite treats in and watch them unwrap it - may take a while too!
Plastic and fabric rabbit tunnels can be purchased commercially but you can also make some great rabbit tunnels from cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes or large ceramic
pipes. You can also get outdoor, weather proof piping from your local plumbing merchants but make sure you get pipes that are at least 8 - 10" in diameter or larger if you have giant rabbits. These are also robust enough for you to bury in the garden and make your own rabbit warren, your outdoor bunnies will love that!
If rabbits are to be kept on their own for any length of time they might appreciate a mirror to look into occasionally and may go some way to offering a source of comfort, particularly for females. However, the effects of a mirror can also be quite short lived so it is only recommended as a temporary measure for alleviating loneliness. If mirrors are provided, ensure they are securely fastened to avoid injury.
rabbits also love things that they can pick up and throw or move around. Items such as untreated
straw/wicker/sea-grass mats and baskets, balls and plastic flower pots make great throw toys. Solid plastic baby toys such as ‘key rings’, rattles
and stacking cups, as well as some robust cat and parrot toys can also
make good rabbit toys, but ensure there are no small parts that could be
swallowed and supervise their use. You can also hide food in them for a double treat.
Like I said, my rabbit Kisses loves to dig and giving her the opportunity to do this is important to her fundamental rights to be a rabbit. Most rabbits will do this when they can and providing some form of ‘digging
box’ is easy to do. Safe places for rabbits to dig include a large plant pot or
litter tray filled with earth, a cardboard box filled with shredded
paper or a sandpit filled with child-friendly sand. They'll spend ages scratting about and getting back to their real bunny-roots!
Territory marking is also important, it's a part of natural bunny rabbit behaviour so providing
your rabbits with places to mark their territory using chin
secretions will keep your buns happy. This is known as
‘chin marking’, ‘chin rubbing’ or ‘chinning’, where they gently rub
their chin on an object or against part of their enclosure, and transfer
secretions from their scent gland onto the item. This is a rabbit’s way
of marking his/her territory and making it smell familiar and
reassuring to them. Wooden structures, things made from twigs and natural objects are best for this performance. You can of course buy many different examples but they are easy to make too if you have a spare DIY moment!
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