While rabbits make wonderful indoor pets, they also enjoy being in the great outdoors. After all, being outdoors is their natural habitat that their ancestors still roam freely in. However, domesticated rabbits need security when outside from roaming away from home and especially from predators.
A fenced area may seem like a perfect solution however, even a fenced yard will not keep out animals that climb or large birds of prey. Letting a pet rabbit roam outdoors requires complete supervision unless you can provide an outdoor rabbit run which keeps your rabbit relatively safe from predators. Keep in mind though that an outdoor run can keep a domesticated rabbit from immediate dangers but they should never be left in the run for long periods of time without being checked on occasionally. The goal to building a proper run is to have a spacious area that is safe and secure and protects your pet from predators.
An outdoor rabbit run is normally constructed from a wire-type fencing material. Chain-link fencing, rabbit wire or chicken wire will all make for suitable materials to make the sides and ends of the run. Whichever material you choose, it should be sturdy and one that your rabbit cannot chew through. The top of the run can also be made from fencing material or can be a solid material such as thin wood to provide shade. If you decide not to have a solid top, the run should be placed in an area that allows for shade during the heat of the day. It is important to place the run in an area that is free from toxic plants that may harm your rabbit.
The size of the run will be decided upon how much area you have or what space you want to provide for your rabbit. The larger the area, the more exercise your rabbit will be able to get. The run doesn't necessarily need a bottom but will need to be secured to the ground after your rabbit has been placed inside of it. Spikes like those used for tying down tents can be used and should be placed every few inches. Having it secured down will keep your rabbit and predators from lifting it up. Remember that rabbits are diggers, they can dig out of a run that has no bottom. Close supervison will be required if your run isn't fully enclosed.
Key elements of an outdoor run are providing a well-built run with all of the amenities of home. Provide shade, a nesting box, plenty of fresh water and a few chew toys. Even if you feel the run is secure, never leave your rabbit alone for long periods of time as they can still become easily frightened from things in the environment. A rabbit should not be left in a run at night when predators are more likely to try and get to your rabbit.
Never leave your rabbit unattended for long periods of time in a run and provide any needs they usually have when they are indoors. Keep other animals away that can scare your rabbit and provide a box for them to hide in when they do feel threatened. Rabbits enjoy having the space of a rabbit run to exercise and spend some time outdoors. A properly built run can provide this simple pleasure to your pet rabbit.