Newest Review: ... hurts. My bunny is a female (doe) she is a black and white dutch breed rabbit her picture is in my profile. Female rabbits can become... more
Keeping rabbits!! :-D
Rabbits in general
Member Name: stephbond89
Rabbits in general
Advantages: So rewarding and easy to care for!
Well we have just got ourselves the latest addition to our family in the form of a gorgeous two month old dutch rabbit called Roger.
We are in the process of training him to be a house rabbit, which is actually going a lot easier than I thought it would, and although we have had him less than a week he is already showing his little personality and training very well.
Rabbits come in all shapes and sizes, the type I am reviewing here is the Dutch variety, though all breeds of rabbit are cared for in the same way! :)
I have had rabbits since I was a little girl, I remember the two I had called Snowy and Bonnie, we had them for a long time, and they gave us a good few litters of babies, but I was only young and so the caring part of it wasn't really down to me, but now I have my little Roger, I know alot more about them!
Rabbits are extremelly clever animals and so it makes them very easy, and rewarding as a pet. Before you buy your rabbit, research the different breeds of rabbit, if you are wanting a house rabbit, you can get "Giant" rabbits, which really are HUGE, and although they're not easier to train, they're about the size of a large cat, or small dog, and so they're not as easy to fall over, and they can't get into those small spaces you really don't want them to get! But there are many other breed.
Once you have chosen the kind of rabbit you want, you need to get a house for it, you need to know how big your rabbit will grow, if its a dwarf, you don't need a huge house, wheras if its going to grow to half a metre long, you need to anticipate this when housing it, you need to decide whether he will live inside or outside, if he is to live inside you just need a house (Nero houses from Pets at Home are good, if a little expensive!), a water bottle or bowl (glass or ceramic as they chew plastic!), a food bowl (again glass or ceramic), a little house for it to make its nest in out of the light, and a litter tray if your planning on house training them. If its to live outside, you will need a hutch, a run (so it doesn't eat all your plants or get into the places you don't want it to get!) a water bottle or bowl, a food bowl, as well as a "snug" for the hutch for the winter which is an insulation sheet which fits over the hutch to keep it warm in the winter, and stops the frost getting to the animal! Also a water bottle snug, which stops the water in their bottle from freezing in the cold temperatures. As well as this, you'll need food, hay and sawdust, as well as rabbit/guinea pig litter for the litter tray (cat litter can be harmful to the rabbit as the dust can be inhaled causing breathing problems).
Once you have your little-un, its advisable that you take them to the vet and get him vaccinated against Miximatosis and VHD which are diseases which can kill the rabbit if they contract them, in the past these were kind of unheard of, so you may read this now and think "ohhh my rabbit never had those and they were perfectly fine", which is EXACTLY what I thought, but it turns out both diseases have become much more prominant in the UK, due to many wild rabbits contracting the diseases and insects carryign them around, also droppings carry the disease whcih can be carried on feet etc. So it is best to get your rabbit vaccinated- they say they need this vaccination yearly, but I'm not sure on this one, so your best asking your vet! The vaccination costs around £10-£30 depending on where you go to have it done, and how much your vets want to charge, I have just had it priced up and it will cost us £13.50 for Mixi which isn't too bad! :) This is done between 10 and 14 weeks old of the rabbits age.
When you get your rabbit home, he is more than likely going to be scared and very timid, but a lot of cuddles and attention for the first few days I found made Roger VERY friendly as he gets to know you and your smell and he feels much more comfortable with you, try putting some fresh food in your hand (eg lettuce), and wait for him to come to you, rather than going into his house and pulling him out reluctantly, then soon he will begin to know that when you go near he is going to get cuddles, so will start to come to you :)
After just a day, Roger was coming to us when we opened up his house and he now sits on us and "grooms" me, which I found out means he loves me :-D Which I thought was sooo cute, he will sit there licking away at my nose, face, arms, legs anywhere he can reach! Its adorable!!! And makes you feel so loved!! Lol.
If your tryign to litter train your rabbit, the best way to do it is pop a littr tray in from day one, chances are the rabbit will use it straight away, if not, find where he is wee'ing and move the litter tray there, as he is unlikely to change where he will wee and poo as he will do it where feels comfortable, so your best to move the tray to him. Once you have taught him that, and you find he is using it, try him outside the house. Put the litter tray on the floor (preferably on a hard floor not carpet!!!). If he uses it straight away great, but, your rabbit may find it better under the sofa or somewhere equally as annoying, so move their tray where your finding them doing it, this is normally a corner though so its usually easy!!! If you then catch them wee'ing outside of their tray, DO NOT shout at them and hit them, they are not children and will not respond to been shouted at, they'll just get scared and be less tame and so less easy to train! Just pick them up, firmly say "NO" and put him on his tray, they very soon pick up that what they're doing is naughty, and they'll very soon pick up "Ohhhh I'm meant to do it here am I!". Make their litter tray more rewarding to them, put their food and water bowls in there as the more comfortable they feel in their tray, the more likely they are to use it! So if you see them sleeping in their litter tray and sitting in it alot, this is normal and its a good thing!!!! :-D
Older rabbits are easier to train than babies, as babies tend to want to play whereas older rabbits have a kind of common sense about them.
Feeding your rabbit:
Feeding a rabbit is very simple, along with their daily grass hay, they have a bowl of "dry" food every day, I buy mine loose as its a lot cheaper than buying brand named packaged food, and its alot more economical! As well as this they MUST be fed fresh food most days if not every day, this is simple to do....grow your own!!! thats what I do, I don't have a garden, just a small yard, so I got a tray, some compost and some grass seed, and grew a tray of fresh grass which he sits in in the sun munching on, as well as that, we grow lettuce for him (not ice burg as although it does no harm, it has no nutritional value and so not much use! Although they like the taste so its ok to add it to their salad for their tatse benefit!).
Some veg he may like: carrots, carrot tops, parsley, broccoli, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, endive, romaine lettuce, kale and spinach.
Avoid: Beans, cauliflower, cabbage, rubharb, and potatoes.
Something to remember along with everything else, is a small toy or ball in their house to keep them company, along with something to chew, this not only stops them munching your sofa, but also helps their teeth and relieves boredom!!
Rabbits are VERY rewarding animals, yet very easy to care for. Unlike a dog they don't need walking everyday, they need cleaning out just once a week, watering and feeding once a day, and are very playful and cuddly!!! :-)
Cuddle your rabbit daily for a long term companion!!! He'll become your best friend, unlike many animals of his calibre, rabbits remember who you are and love a cuddle once they've been tamed so please do!!! :-D
Summary: Such lovely rewarding pets!
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