RABBIT FACTS & FAQS
- Always keep a close eye on your bunny's health. Rabbits are sensitive creatures and can go downhill quickly if they feel under the weather. As they are prey animals, they are very good at hiding their ailments because, in a natural environment, a sick bunny would be the easiest target for a predator. The minute your bunny shows signs of discomfort, pain or loss of appetite, seek a vet's advice as soon as possible.
- Myxomatosis, VHD and the new strain RHDV2 are serious threats to your bunnies and they really should be vaccinated annually. In areas where diseases are particularly prevalent, some vets recommend six-monthly boosters.
- Rabbits have a very complicated digestion system which is very easily upset. They need to eat very regularly. If things get clogged up, it can be very serious indeed. If your rabbit is not eating, get him to a vet immediately.
- Bunnies need space and enough height to jump [binky]. For a standard sized breed, a hutch should be at least 6' x 2' x 2' with, ideally a good sized, secure run to so they can run, play and binky safely. Larger bunnies and giant breeds will require more space.
- Many hutches on the market are simply not big enough and some are very insecure with just a little wooden heart to 'lock' it which is easy pickings for foxes and other predators. Chicken wire will not keep your bunnies safe either. You will need barrel bolts and steel mesh. Runs with no bottom are not safe as foxes can dig under. A fox can leap over a six foot fence so any rabbit running free should be closely supervised.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I feed my rabbit? A bunny's diet should consist of mainly good quality hay, about 80-85%, 10% fresh vegetables and 5% dry pellets. Rabbits do enjoy carrots but carrots have high sugar content so should only be given as treats; i.e. a small piece a couple of times per week. Carrots to a rabbit are like to sweets to a child and should be limited.
How long does a rabbit live? A well-looked after rabbit can live for up to 12 years so you need to budget and prepare to look after him or her for that long. Dennis came to us as a rescue bunny aged "about two" and that was almost ten years ago!
What is the best place to buy a rabbit? We advise against buying rabbits from pet shops or breeders before first checking your local animal shelter....because the rescue centres are full of wonderful bunnies of all ages and breeds that are in desperate need of a loving, forever home. To find your local bunny rescue, try the RSPCA or Blue Cross.
Are rabbits good "starter" pets for children? The decision to get pet rabbits for children is one that needs careful thought. Rabbits require constant care, secure housing, regular exercise and stimulation and annual vaccinations - so they need a responsible adult to love and care for them and ensure that the child is not going to lose interest.
Can rabbits live in the house? Oh yes! Rabbits make fantastic house companions and are very easy to litter train. Allowing bunnies to share your home will show you just how interesting they are and what fun things they do when they are not shut up in a hutch all day. Please make sure your home is bunny proof first though. They will chew furniture, carpets and especially electric cables as they think they are vines - so you have to make them safe before allowing your bunnies to run free without supervision.
Do rabbits need to live in pairs? Yes, the Rabbit Welfare Association advocate bunnies living in bonded pairs or small groups otherwise they will get lonely and bored.
More facts will follow soon! Please feel free to contact us with your questions.