Cost involved in getting a rabbit?

(23 Posts)
UnbridledPositivity Wed 23-Jan-13 21:45:41

Hi all,

My friend's relatives are selling some baby rabbits, and I suddenly had the mad idea to get one for DD. I had a rabbit when I was a teenager and loved him. (Cleaning up after him not so much.) But I'm on quite a restricted budget, so I was wondering how much it would cost to get all the stuff associated with bunnies. Is it ok to keep it in the garden rather than indoors?

This is what I think I would need, one-offs and regular purchases:

Insurance
Vaccinations
A rabbit hutch plus waterbottle, plus some sort of fence to let it run around in the garden
All the padding - straw, hay, wood shavings
food

How much is this likely to cost, and have I forgotten anything?

zumo Wed 23-Jan-13 22:42:39

We we had them we got loads of mice so budget for a couple of traps and place them under the hutch, what about a run?
The thing we found is the kids soon lost interest and it became Dads rabbit!
Dio you have any Foxes loally as they will have ago at the rabbit, why not keep it inside, as I believe they make good indoor pets?

UnbridledPositivity Wed 23-Jan-13 22:46:07

Oh no, I didn't know they might attract mice and foxes...
Can't keep it inside (although would like to) as I'm not allowed pets (renting), so I thought keeping it outside might be ok.

I did lose interest when I had mine as a teenager, but as DD is only 3, I would do all the cleaning etc anyway and she would play with it (under supervision).

zumo Thu 24-Jan-13 05:26:11

The mice can be managed foxes its pot luck, we only had mice problems.
Every child should have a pet, we have had birds, fish, hamsters, rabbit guinie pig, now we have two dogs and about 25 fish

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Jan-13 05:50:34

You've not included neutering to your costs - a male will get violent, a female will tear herself apart with phantom pregnancies if you don't. Male neutering is cheaper.

Last week my vet said to me "Rabbits aren't really good pets for kids" ...and I think she's right.

Unless they are handled daily, pretty much from birth, they get harder and harder to love, more and more skittish, and so to a child, more and more boring.

We've got 3 (was four), we've had them since Sep and I'd say they've already cost us the best part of £1000, not including food. I'm doing all the work (I expected to) but DD has lost interest and hardly ever plays with them. We've got 2 outdoor (in a heated playhouse - god knows what my electric bill will be) and one indoor following injury that we now cannot put back outside until the weather is better and we can re-introduce her to her mates.

I'm loving them, but DD certainly isn't. Oh, and cleaning a hutch in the rain? Oh god, dismal....and then there are the rats <<shudder>>.

Nope. I'll never get rid of them, never stop spoiling them, but boy do I regret them.

Jayne266 Thu 24-Jan-13 05:55:36

Don't forget their vaccinations

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:03:39

You can't have ONE rabbit living outside - s/he would be miserable.

Your three year old will be bored within a week, and your rabbit will be bored of your dd long before them.

Rabbits are not good pets for children. They are a prey animal, they have totally different instincts. Unlike a dog, they are not remotely interested in pleasing you, their sole focus is usually where the next tasty treat is coming from! They are absolutely beautiful, fun to watch with each other. They hate being picked up, at the best they might like nose rubs.

I had three, the dts got bored very quickly and they became my rabbits, I loved them. I didn't care that they hated being picked up - they had the run of the garden, and would charge down as soon as I opened the door to see what food I had for them! They ate pretty much everything in the garden - my veg patch, the roses, the evergreen bushes, the lawn down to it's roots. They dug a big burrow at the back of the garden. I loved seeing them do normal, rabbity things. They were not for cuddling.

They are expensive. Insurance £6-7 a rabbit, vet plan was around £6 a rabbit to cover vaccinations, check ups, worming. Feed on top of that - £11 for a big sack of pellets, about £6 on hay a week for my trio. Neutering I think is around £60 ish. If a rabbit gets ill (which can happen very quickly) you can be looking of bills of hundreds. Boarding fees are about £9 a day for two rabbits for when you are away.

Cleaning up never bothered me that much, they can be trained to use a litter tray lined with newspaper and filled with hay. The smell isn't half as bad as that of a dog or cat. You will get mice, and slugs galore in winter, and traps or poison can be hard with rabbits bouncing around.

They need a large hutch - ideally a 6 footer, tall enough to periscope, and then access to a large run. Free ranging should only be done with supervision.

Sadly I lost two of mine to a fox, after one of the children left the hutch unlocked at night (I should have checked). I had to rehome the third as it would have been cruel to keep her alone. After having them and realising how much work it was, I really didn't want to take on, and fall in love with more rabbits.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:04:46

slugs in SUMMER even!

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:05:12

And a playhouse like Eve says is absolutely ideal for rabbits.

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Jan-13 06:15:45

Most bloody expensive rabbit hutch in the world Chops grin. It's got two floors - who knew rabbits could climb ladders? hmm Nearly wet myself the first time I realised grin.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:21:35

grin It sounds brillant!

Mine loved climbing. Would find them perched on top of the rabbit hutch, or the run - that had an apexed roof! I was really looking forward to the summer, as they had sussed out climbing on top of the patio tablet too. I LOVE rabbits, just not for children.

BTW why are you heating the playhouse? With three snuggling together, they should be fine with a nice bed of hay and windproof shelter.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:23:51

Check this out mad rabbit lady It should be public, came across it this morning! Amazing place - an island where dogs and cats are banned, and rabbits are tame.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:25:44

that reminds me of another negative too, the droppings attract a lot of flies in summer too. I'm really not trying to put you off, OP, but I think it's a pet is often missold that people should be aware of the realities of what they are really getting into.

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Jan-13 06:31:54

It's only two in there at the moment and mid december the weather went down to minus 5 for a full week. It was bitter, so we put an electric radiator in there (behind a fire guard) to bring up the ambient temp. Most mornings I go out to open the stable door and the two of them are side by side against the fire guard! Quite sweet.

We had 2 brothers but one died sad so we rescued another two, mum and daughter. They've normally got a huge hutch and pen they all play in but mum got an injury and had to be inside on towels for a week, then she got an infection, so another week, and now we can't put her back out. She plays with the dog every day. I reckon MuttDog thinks she is a puppy confused

Typically she came into season the day she was supposed to be spayed - she has spent the week trying to hump MuttDog and tearing her fur out. She goes in on Sat, then a week later we can try slowly introducing them again.

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:33:25

aww good luck rebonding them. Sounds though, if the bonding doesn't work she'd be perfectly happy as a house rabbit!

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Jan-13 06:51:25

Oh I'm sure she would, and I wouldn't mind terribly but I'm getting fed up of having to block the gaps to get to the TV wires (she seems fascinated) and the hutch (it's an outdoor one we had to move inside) takes up a lot of space.

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case though. She's perfectly clean and the dog seems to love her!

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 06:56:24

If she has the run of the house she doesn't need a huge hutch, you could get a dog crate instead. The wires are a worry. I would have let my surviving bun be a house rabbit, but all the wires would have been a nightmare. She used to come in and out in summer, and dive behind the sofas - electric reclining jobbies with more wires! Apparently they think they are vines. hmm One of mine loved chewing on the walls too, for some odd reason.

UnbridledPositivity Thu 24-Jan-13 14:53:41

Oh goodness, mice, foxes, slugs AND rats... I'm rethinking this already!

£1000 in 5 months - is it really that expensive? I could never afford that.

LtEveDallas Thu 24-Jan-13 15:57:34

Oh Unbridled, I'm sorry, didn't mean to freak you out. I was unlucky - but you have to remember it could happen to anyone. The £1000 (and actually its more than that) went something like this:

Rescue 2 male rabbits. Free
Large hutch and pen area £200
Vaccinations £120 (2 vaccs each at £30 ea)
Neutering *£120 (£60 each)

One died - natural causes

Rescue 2 more rabbits (Mum and baby) Free
Buy a pen to allow slow bonding £50
Remaining male bites mum (mum trying to hump him!)
Mum's wound gets infected requiring an op £320 (bloody christmas eve angry)
Mum splits stiches requiring another op £200
Baby gets spayed £70

Mum being spayed this weekend £70

Oh and we have had to have mum indoors now since Xmas Eve, luckily a friend gave us another hutch, but that would have been another expense (and you are supposed to keep them inside for 48 hrs after neutering, so you'd need to be prepared in any case).

They are not cheap pets - especially for us as the injury happened before the insurance kicked in.

Sorry!

Chopstheduck Thu 24-Jan-13 16:29:16

Guinea pigs are actually a lot easier to look after, might be worth considering?

UnbridledPositivity Thu 24-Jan-13 19:42:40

Thanks for that overview of costs - quite scary, but I suppose that's what you have to do when you want a happy, healthy, comfortable pet.

Can't get guinea pigs as I'm allergic.

Hmm... will have to think this over a bit more.

Empress77 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:46:28

hey,
Yes rabbits can get very expensive vet bills as often get teeth problems - if they stop eating they die quite quickly, so need to get in and have anaesthetic to get their teeth filled down. Im a vet nurse and we definitely advise that guinea pigs can be better pets than rabbits for children because of this - and they do need a lot of love and attention - guinea pigs do too of course! I have 2 rabbits (previous one died a few weeks ago and the vets bills trying to save her were well over £200) and they are a lot of work. Defintely only a good pet if you have a lot of time and can afford any medical treatment they might need - and would need 2 of them aswell really. Id say if you do get one get one from an animal rescue centre as they would be able to advise which one is child friendly (they do bite & kick etc) and if you end up being unable to care for it they will take it back and re home it.
smile

Empress77 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:47:59

Ps - one from a rescue centre will most likely already be neutered and vaccinated and wormed too (although they have to have vaccinations every year and can live to like 10 years).
smile

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