Hello!! I've agreed to become a fosterer for rabbits for a local rescue that I am involved with and would like to be as prepared as possible I own guinnea pigs and just wanted to know how similar I can expect things to be in terms of care/food/living arrangements? Are rabbits known to find foods poisenous that guinnea pigs are fine with etc,that kind of thing? Do they need handling more/less than piggies? Any info/advice would be great
I'm not a rabbit keeper (never had any) but I know their food differs in some ways. Rabbit pellets have a different vit C content (GPs have Vit C supplement). They only have an eggcup full whereas I give the guineas a handful a day (so that they always have some left over) Rabbits main food is grass & hay, they have to be careful with veg.
Fostered animals would be a mixed bag- you might get some that are waiting to be neutered or waiting till they're old enough to neuter. You might get some unsocialised , unfriendly (so would be difficult to cuddle).
Rabbit accomodation is huge compared to GPs and they need more outdoor access. Do you have space for outdoor runs- grass, patio area.It needs to be secure, these are someone else's animals so you definately don't want them making a bid for freedom
You need to be careful WRT keeping the bunnies and guineas apart- alongside the feed difference and the risk of rabbits harming guineas, there's a respiratory bacteria Bordetella Bronchiseptica which can pass from rabbits to GPs.
The rabbit rescue will give you guidelines to the sizes of accomodation and quarentining new animals. Will they lend you cages/hutches/runs or do you need to supply them. Find out how you are to decontaminate between visitors. Who pays for food? Vet Bills (I'm assuming they will pay for neutering and vaccines, claw and dental care. But what if your Foster Furries have an accident or illness?)
What if you get attatched to them? Can you switch off and return them when it's time for their Furever Home?
Why rabbits and not guineas? There are just as many pigs in care. And you already know pigs and are geared up to their needs. I bet the Rescue you are involved with will have people surrendering GPs or asking where they can do so.
Good Luck. I'd imagine alot of Rescues wouldn;'t function without fosters.
Thanks for the reply. at festering rabbits . I didn't actually make a conscious decision to foster rabbits. They put an urgent plea out and being a huuuge soft touch with animals I agreed to do it on the spot(maybe unwise of me to not have thought about it a bit more first) I have fostered different animals before so know what it involves, just have never owned a rabbit!! Where I live there aren't really any rescues that cater for small animals/furries or I would have considered piggies. Its mostly dogs/cats where I live, but this rescue have had lots of plea's to help abandoned rabbits,so it is a new thing They supply hutches,cover vets bills/food etc. This bacteria infection that you mention,is it contagious via grass I wont be mixing them with my piggies,but they would poss be grazing on the same grass? Could that be dangerous? Sorry for the questions I will be heading out on Monday to get some good books,but for now I am just trying to get all the info that I can from people like your good self!!
Shouldn't think there'd be problem with shared grazing - I think it's just through a lot of contact with each other. I have both pigs and a rabbit and mine do have a small amount of contact with each other which is not ideal but the pigs love to play with their big bunny brother.
GP's tend to eat a wider variety of veg than rabbits - there are lots of lists online, but my buns have liked carrots & their leaves, cabbage, broccoli and the occasional celery/cauli leaf. I had one who loved nuts. They eat different dry food to pigs. As for handling - most rabbits don't like to be handled at all, but love to be stroked and will sit for hours whilst you stroke them. Depending upon their coat, they may need regular combing to remove excess fluff - once a week is fine and it doesn't take long. They do need quite a bit of space for exercise, although have a tendency to spend most of the day asleep. When they do decide to have a run, they go mad.
Good luck with the fostering - if I had the space and a DH who would approve I'd fill my house with the little fluffy things.
My rabbit eats everything but is particularly fond of sweet corn, digestive biscuits ,bonios and toast . If you have them during the summer you need to check their bottoms are clean and watch out for fly strike .
Forgot the digestive biscs - I had one bun as a child who would only eat McVities. If we tried to fob her off with cheaper own-brand digestives, she refused to eat them. She also loved tealeaves on toast.