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Topic: House Rabbits Need Crafty Goodness, too! (any ideas?)  (Read 7552 times)
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bookishgrrl
« on: January 14, 2006 01:19:20 PM »

Bunnies make great pets--troublesome, onery ones, but still, great pets.
So why aren't more people making nifty neat crafts for their bunsers and telling the world (or at least, other craftsters) about their innovation and practicality?

I would love to hear about/see projects, crafts, innovations, obstacles you clever crafty folk have done for your beloved bunny rabbits.

I personally haven't made many crafts for my two house rabbits--unless cutting up toilet paper rolls counts--but I would like to try and start. My biggest problem with all things pet related is that while some things (cages, littler boxes, water bottles) are practical, they're really ugly and often gaudy. It's also very difficult to find rabbit products in stores that are actually good for them--and Target hasn't exactly had Isaac Mizrahi designing wooden chew toys yet. and the few suppliers online are pretty expensive.

Things I'm especially curious about:
--cage solutions. has anyone built something a little more aesthetic (and pleasant for the rabbit) than the standard pet store cage?
--litter box solutions
--toys! toys! toys! toys are the toughest.
--partitions/baby gate alternatives.

I haven't made much, but I have cut out gothic arch doorways in cardboard boxes for them to romp in. They also love paper bags full of hay with holes cut in them--and for my own aesthetics, I tie them closed with ribbon and cut diamonds and hearts instead of just boring holes. Erte also enjoys his pellets from a hand-potted dish.

and just because I can, here is a picture of my two houserabbits, Mena and Erte:


for those of you who don't have rabbits, but like to brain storm, here are a few hints:
--bunnies are suprisingly destructive. any toy made for them has a good chance of being demolished quickly.
--they like fun places to hide
--they can like to climb or jump onto high places. shelves, couches, coffee tables. you name it.
--they're very clever at problem solving
--if they're given anything, one has to assume it may be ingested, so materials have to be "safe"--non-toxic dyes, etc.
 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2006 01:31:51 PM by bookishgrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
ERPilly
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006 02:28:20 PM »

I used to have bunnies!  We rescued them from fickle Easter kiddos...

I remember they liked to roll stuff around by pushing with their noses... maybe make them some cardboard balls or huge versions of paper tubes (just roll up a posterboard and tape).

Dangle their treats from string and give them "stairs" to climb-- assorted cracker/cereal boxes stuffed with hay or paper.  Roll up fresh goodies in lettuce leaves and tie those up.  Also a kitty treat thing that doles out the goodies when they roll it.

If you let them go all over your house, give them wide ramps to go up and down.  Like a low version of a kitty house.  Include hiding spots at strategic points.  Shoe boxes work great.

You can close off a door by using a thick stiff fabric strung between hooks, like a vertical trampoline.  You'd have to put hardware in your doorframe, but it wouldn't have to be too high to keep the bunnies in check.  Or wrap up a cardboard box full of heavy books and stick it it the way when you need it.

Give them a baby mirror!  Bunnies will stare at themselves for hours, and maybe think they have playmates staring back at them.  Put pics of yourself and other people they love down where they can see them but not eat them (like the outside of their cage looking in).  Print them out and stick them on cardboard.

I made them bunny tees by using a tube of knit with holes cut for front legs.  I can't say they liked it, but it sure was cute!

Also, a soft horsehair hairbrush attached upside down so they can rub up against it.  They like the top of their heads scratched.

Sorry I can't help with the cage... we had a horrible metal thing, but we put tons of hay down.  What else can you do?  The floor has to be holey.  We used cedar chips in the bottom pull-out thing, because it's absorbant and keeps the smell down.  I did make a lovely darkening cover for the cage out of fabric and ribbon, and cut little windows with flaps and everything.  That was neat, and we just flipped it halfway over during the day. 

Have fun... bunnies are sweet!
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tennisgal86
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006 09:29:07 AM »

my bunny runs around the kitchen and living room at our house and he loves sitting under the piano (like on the floor under the keyboard  where it sticks out) and he stares at his reflection for hours (it's his friend lol) so we got him a  mirror. 

Also while it's not that astectly pleasing we put a piece of clear fiberglass plastic stuff on the outside of his cage in front of his litter box.  He used to love to chew on the metal bars and when his teeth got too long he got stuck a few times and my mom had to get him out, a couple times teeth were broken so my dad thought this would be a good idea and it worked perfectly.

I also made a cute (bunny friendly) cloth cage cover since he likes to sit up on top of his cage too.

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bookishgrrl
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006 07:52:26 AM »

Thanks loads! These are some good suggestions!

Got any more?
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ducktape_diva
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006 08:13:15 AM »

The best toy I have found so far is made from a plastic easter egg. Essentially, all you do is place a small bell inside and drill a small hole on one side and thread some yarn through. Then close it up securely with some electrical tape. Coconut my little bunny loves to play with this for hours. I also made her a toy out of some ties that I braided. Which she loves chewing to bits. She also has a treat basket with a small bell on the end that hangs from the top of the cage. It took her awhile to discover it but she loves to ring the bell when she wants her treats.
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goatgoddess
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006 08:17:42 AM »

http://www.robharvey.com/domestic/rabbit-hutches.htm

While these are wood and wire I have often thought you could put three wire hutches togeather with a wooden facade on the front to look nicer and let them have three levels to run around in.

I'm going to do the second or third one for my bunny (maybe more wire than wood though)-  he loves to snuggle in a blanket so he has a baby blanet that he sleeps with. In the morning he is so covered in his blanket all you can see is his nose.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2006 08:20:04 AM by goatgoddess » THIS ROCKS   Logged

smrfchic
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2006 08:20:02 AM »

I have parrots, not bunnies, but there are loads of resources on the web for DIY parrot toys (who looooooove to destroy their toys). Those little precut wood pieces at craft stores, carefully dyed with non-toxic icing coloring... large pony beads, leather strips, small wreaths, etc.

A quick Google search pulled these up:

http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/care/budgettoys.asp
http://www.fuzzy-rabbit.com/room.htm
http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/rabbits_toys.pdf
http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/rabbits/a/rabbittoys.htm
http://www.mnhouserabbit.org/care/toys.html
http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/toys.shtml

I hope these links can give you some fresh ideas to explore!
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goatgoddess
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2006 08:37:23 AM »

Oh good sites - thanks for posting I had forgotten about that second one
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elevatorlady
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006 09:42:36 PM »

i'm so happy to find this thread!

i saved beatrix from being eaten in the fall.

the thing i have wanted to work on is a harness to take him on walks with me, because the ones i can find in pet stores are a) hideous and made of mesh and tie-dyed elastic and b) are not the right sizes, either small for a ferret or extra large for a giganto bunny or possibly a baby.  as soon as i get it made i'll post it.

ps--your bunnies are beautiful!
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Mikaiyawa
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2006 08:47:41 AM »

When Lance's folks had Butterball (hand raised wild marsh cottontail) they found other than Nessie (the dog) his favorite toys were a hardwood ball about 3 inches in diameter and mason jar sized canning ring and a small metal bowl.  The ball went in the canning ring and he would spin the ball (clockwise only, he'd pounce if you tried to go the other way)  the bowl he'd sling around the kitchen when he wanted anything.  (attention, treats, you to let the dog back in)

I still miss that silly rabbit.

Mieka
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Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. - Will Durant
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