About the bunnies
We have 4 rescue rabbits. Hershey (almost 4 yrs) and Pixie (approx 3 yrs) are our bonded pair and we have 2 singles: Buttercup (approx 5 yrs) is our deaf lop girl and Flash (age unknown) is our black and white rex rescued from outside in June 2018.
Hershey (male) and Pixie (female) are both lionhead mixes. Hershey is just over 8 pounds and Pixie is 5 pounds. Hershey was born at my local Humane Society after his pregnant mom was dumped. Pixie was dumped outside in Canada. We adopted Hershey in May 2015 and Pixie in October 2016.
They are both curious and love their toys, especially cardboard cat houses, willow balls, tunnels, and grass mats. They can be a bit destructive- baseboards and furniture legs are delicious! but with all our bunny-proofing, they do well around the house. They like to run bunny 500's around the family room and hop onto my lap for treats while I'm reading my book or watching TV. They know their names and [mostly] come when they are called. They are expert foot flickers when I have disappointed them in some way, especially if I'm late with their meals or dare to clip their nails.
Buttercup is our deaf lop girl. We adopted her from a wonderful shelter to be a companion to Hershey, but they decided they are mortal enemies. The shelter would take her back, but we were in love with her and knew that she'd be difficult to adopt out being deaf and skittish. We didn't know that shes deaf when we adopted her, but she became much happier when we figured it out and learned to communicate with her. She knows 4 signs and we know to make sure she sees us before approaching or touching her.n
Buttercup is our best-behaved bunny and our most dramatic flopper. She can be trusted to have free roam of our family room at all times, but she has to be in her pen for Hershey and Pixie to have run time and while we are away from home. She loves to be petted and melts next to you on the floor. Shes pathologically terrified of being picked up. She always keeps all 4 feet on the floor - no jumping onto furniture or climbing steps for this girl.
Flash is the most recent addition to our family. About 10 weeks after we moved into our house, we found out there was a wild black and white rabbit running around the neighborhood. It took us 3 weeks (and lots of running through peoples yards looking like crazy people with fences) to catch him in June of 2018. He screamed when I managed to crawl under a bush and pull him out- it was a sound I hope to never hear again. He was skinny, tick-infested, filthy, and had neck wounds. My husband dubbed him since he was so fast and had us on the chase for weeks.
We set him up in our garage with an ex-pen, litter box, water, hay, greens, pellets, a blanket and a box and left him for the night to calm down and adjust. We had no intention of keeping him and had just wanted to save him and fix him up and find him a home. The first full day with us, he crawled onto my lap, settled in, and gave me kisses. He let me tend all his wounds without a fuss (even when he developed abscesses he sat still for me to drain them), we got him neutered and bug-free and had to move him into the house as the temperature heated up. He greets us everyday and expects his dinner if we are at the table eating ours.
One day my husband said, We need to make his pen bigger since he's going to stay with us. And that was its now part of our family. We hope that eventually hell bond with Buttercup and we can move him into our family room with the other bunnies.
Where they live
When we moved last April, we had custom pens built in our family room. I drew up designs and pulled inspiration pictures for our builder. We designed the entire layout of our lower level to fit our human needs and the need of our bunnies.
We have a bunny kitchen where we keep their greens and supplies and the sink is oversized to accommodate washing litter boxes. The flooring is luxury vinyl tile which is waterproof and reasonably soft. I then covered the flooring in the pens with indoor/outdoor carpet and fleece blankets. I use tiles around their litter box/bowls area and in a few strategic places to keep the carpet in place and prevent chewing/digging.
The space under the stairs was reframed to use all available space for Hershey and Pixies pen. The wire for pens was purchased at Lowes and the wood frames are just boards that I painted. The wire is sandwiched between the boards so there are no sharp or exposed wire edges.
To keep the buns from chewing the wood, I covered the edges with metal drywall strips attached with command strips and metal tacks. The doors are hinged and have simple latches. The wall between the two pens is solid so Hershey and Buttercup cannot fight.
Hershey and Pixie enclosure version 1
I regularly change things up in their pens. The first version of H and P’s pen still had their old hutch in it. Although it took up too much space, we wanted them to have something familiar while they transitioned to our new home. The hutch didn’t have a door- it was their safe place and Hershey loved to be on the top level to better survey his domain.
Hershey had free roam, but hopped up to look pathetic (and beg for treats) while I took pictures - there’s not even a door on that hutch!
Hershey and Pixie enclosure version 2
It took me awhile to find something that I would be happy with to replace their old hutch. I didnt want to crawl into the hutch to reach litter boxes any more (Im not getting any younger!) and I wanted them to have more floor space, but still have a raised area to perch and places to hide. When The Bunny Barn (bunnybarnmi.com) came out with this new design, I was thrilled! Having previously purchased a Hotel from them, I knew wed be happy with the quality. This is the medium Lookout Point which is comfortable for 2 medium-sized bunnies (8 and 5 pounds). I have since made fleece pads to fit both the and inside the cabin. Hershey showed his gratitude by immediately digging the pads to move them so he could lay on the hardwood.
Since we have multiple rabbits that are not all bonded, weve tried to give them as much space as possible in their enclosures with lots of enrichment. We rotate the buns for run time in our large, bunny-proofed family room.
Hershey and Pixie love to sleep on or under their Lookout Point cabin. Hershey loves to lay on the cool tiles (even when its well below freezing outside!) and Pixie prefers the cozier blankets. They can often be found destroying a box or shredding packing paper in their tunnel system.
Buttercups favorite place in her enclosure is the top level of her Camp;C structure where she can see everything or flop dramatically for a nap. (We dont call it a hutch because its never had a door; shes never been locked in it. It has steps, hiding areas, and sleeping spots for her.) We hope to bond Flash with Buttercup this summer and eventually have them share her space.
I found an inspiration picture of a double-litter box. Once again, drawing my rough designs, The Bunny Barn was able to build this awesome fully-contained litter box system. I used the hay racks, litter boxes, and water bottle that I already had to save money and resources. They have a water bowl so the bottle just serves as a backup in case some bun gets the bright idea to kick the bowl over!