Newest Review: ... training and bonding with your rabbit. You have to ensure that they are restricted to a fairly small area, where their food, water and ... more
Member Name: smudge377
Advantages: sweet, kind and cuddly
Disadvantages: NEED A LOT OF TIME AND ATTENTION
Latin name Oryctolagus cuniculus
The average life span is between 5-8 years for a pet
Baby rabbits are kittens, and there are generally bet 4-12 in a litter, and their eyes usually open around 10 days. They are weaned bet 4-7 weeks and can breed themselves from 16-24 weeks.
The wild rabbits we now know as pets, were originally from Spain and northern Africa, but were introduced to the UK in the 11th century, for both food and sport, and of course, their fur.
By the early 19th century they were being kept as pets.
So, are you thinking of having a rabbit as a pet, or is your small child asking for one?
Well here's a few useful bits of info.
Rabbits can be kept as indoor pets, but I do not feel able to comment much on this, as mine are outdoor rabbits, and only come in when there is really horrendous weather, i.e. severe gales. But I do know they chewed through by Sky cable on one such foray!.
1. Really should be kept in pairs. Rabbits get lonely, and are not used to a solitary existence, and to be honest 2 is little more work than one.
However, please get them neutered/spayed. Not only does it prevent unwanted babies, but many rabbits die from tumours of reproductive organs, so by getting them "done", they will hopefully liver longer, fitter lives
2. Please don't keep your rabbits penned up in a tiny hutch. RSPCA say rabbits need as much exercise as a small dog, so must always have access to an outside enclosure, as well as their hutch.
After a lot of research, I decided to purchase Wendy houses. I opted for them instead of a shed, as they have nice big windows and let lots of light it. I have insulated mine, and put wire at the windows, so when the weather is nice I can open then. I have 2 levels in mine, so they have extra living /playing space. If you look around the internet, including "The Rabbit Shed" has some great ideas for outdoor space. Most hutches you can buy are too small. .
My 2 Wendy houses have permanent access to runs which include grassy areas.
3. As my mother always says " Lot of work, those rabbits", and that is certainly true. This is why they often become a problem, when children have rabbits. They need to be fed, and watered daily, then cleaned out at least twice a week. I reckon I spend about 45 mins a day ( on average), by the time I've done all that and played with them and groomed them. When they aren't well it takes a lot longer.
Please consider this carefully, as often kids get bored, and you as parents will end up spending this time daily!. Just on the side of fairness, many kids are great and always do the chores themselves.
4. Rabbits love to play....., give them toys and activities. There are many toys available, but mine love a cardboard box, with a couple of hole cut in it, and this amuses them no end. It is also great for their teeth, to keep chewing. Toilet role tubes, and balls are great too.
5. Feeding: in the wild they eat grass, so the mainstay of any diet should be good quality hay, on a daily basis. Green veg are also very important, but carrots should not be given frequently, as they are fattening, and like with people, the bunny will go for the carrot first and then feel full up. Pellets, and kibble should be given in small amounts. Mine love apple tree branches, they eat the leaves, and chew the bark off. Again, great for their teeth. They also love dandelions, which are in very short supply in this house, as the tortoises love them too.
Rabbits should have annual vaccinations for haemorrhagic fever, and myxamatosis. Both devastating diseases, which kill rabbits horribly, or leave them severely disabled.
Fly strike is also a great killer. Flies land of dirty fur, or small wound. They lay their eggs, and maggots hatch, which literally eat away at the rabbit. A friend of mines rabbit had to be put to sleep because of this. Check your rabbit regularly, and bath it if dirty.. Keep any wound clean, and treat with antiseptic.
There are many great books about rabbits available to help with keeping rabbits. I recommend
" Care for your Rabbits- an RSPCA guide" by Collins.
6. Names: Do not call your rabbit thumper. I know 5 rabbits called thumper.
My rabbits are called Mimsi ( called that long before the film came out) and Smudge ( Animal shelter name). Harry ( after my dad) and Lavender ( husband chose that)
7. Please try and get your rabbit from a rescue centre. Buying them from pet shops isn't ideal, especially as there are so many waiting for homes.
Rabbits are fun-
When you see them chasing around (mainly dust/dawn) playing, or snuggled up together, you really see what lovely pets they are.
I highly recommend them
Summary: Think carefully before you get one
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