Just had a rabbit delivered 1 hour ago! My DH wanted to make stew, but it was alive, so now we have a pet.... Help!

(23 Posts)
somuchtosortout Wed 06-Nov-13 17:54:42

Greige that link was bizarre and put me off going to check on the bunnies at night!

somuchtosortout Wed 06-Nov-13 17:52:35

Dear all
Thank you very much for your advice - bunny has also realised that the whole cute hopping towards me and sniffing me while going up on his hind legs act will ensure his life is spared!
I will post a separate thread as I want advice on hutches and general daily routine.
Ta!

Millie2013 Fri 01-Nov-13 17:01:59

Just to add to the fab advice that if you decide to go down the hutch route, please get the biggest you can find/build, the RWAF have measurements for min sizes for hutches smile

LoveSewingBee Thu 31-Oct-13 20:12:01

Well, yes, it is likely that the rabbit will destroy (eat) your most precious plants and dig holes absolutely everywhere.

Rabbits eat grass, hay, mix of grains, odd carrot etc. but probably prefers to eat your plants. If you have any veg growing in your garden than the rabbit will know one day before you when it is ready for harvesting (eating).

Make sure he always has access to clean water.

He will need flea treatment suitable for rabbits, as cat products may be poisonous. Ideally he should be vaccinated. If he gets snuffles (hopefully not) and you see a white discharge coming from his nose, then be extremely careful. If you or anybody in your family touches the rabbit/discharge and has a small wound so it can get in their bloodstream then it could be fatal (this is quite rare but it has happened, most recently a hunter in Scotland died as a result).

It may be good to have him checked out by a vet as rabbits tend to harbour lots of diseases due to intensive breeding (not sure whether this applies to Africa as well though, maybe only Europe).

Good luck.

Greige Wed 30-Oct-13 12:15:57

Just eat the bunny, lady.

grin

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 09:26:03

Thank you!

Bakingtins Wed 30-Oct-13 09:23:16
Bakingtins Wed 30-Oct-13 09:21:47

If his friend is also male you will need to get them neutered or they will fight. If friend is female, you need to neuter at least one of them or you'll be over-run with rabbits!

Bakingtins Wed 30-Oct-13 09:20:25

If he has access to plenty of grass in the garden that's fine. Not sure about the cut stuff, would worry a bit about it fermenting.

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 09:18:29

Thank you Bakingtins! Lots of good advice in a nutshell. I didn't realise rabbits had enough 'intelligence' to get used to being petted and stroked, I thought they had really short term memories like a hamster or something <ignorant>

He does look very cute and loveable.

So roaming around and eating the garden grass is not enough then.

He will definitely have a friend because my dh ordered two rabbits and the other one is being delivered later (hopefully alive!!).

I really wasn't keen on taking on more pets but luckily the climate and the big garden should make it easier. Just not sure what hay or grass to give it, it's not as if there is a pet shop here in Malawi!!!

Bakingtins we mowed our grass last week and have a small mountain of cut grass that is pretty dry... could we give him that for now?

foofooyeah Wed 30-Oct-13 08:23:42

As a child my rabbit used to try and mate with my cats - much to our amusement and the cats disdain. Cat never retaliated though.

Bakingtins Wed 30-Oct-13 08:22:02

Some but not all, flea products are suitable to use on rabbits. We recommend advantage, but available products may be different over there so check with a local vet.
Is it male? You don't have to neuter if you are going to keep him as a single bunny, but they are social and like to live in pairs or groups. Females should be spayed as otherwise they tend to get uterine cancer.
He will need a hutch to be shut in overnight.
The most important thing with bunnies is how you feed them. At least 90% of the diet needs to be hay or grass, a loose handful the same size as the rabbit each day. He needs to eat a big volume of fibrous material to keep his teeth worn down and his gut healthy. Then a small amount (eggcup) of a pelleted rabbit food, not muesli type, and some fresh greens/veg. The rabbit welfare foundation site is a good place to look for more advice.
In the UK rabbits should be vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhaging disease, but again you need to seek local advice.
We'd also treat a new rabbit with panacur (wormer) for E cunuculi.
Also get advice on safe handling, if he's been bred for the pot he probably hasn't been socialised and you need to start gently. He probably won't bite, more likely to injure himself kicking out or trying to get away. I'd start by stroking him with him on the floor and move on to picking him up when you've been shown how to hold him safely.

CelticPromise Wed 30-Oct-13 08:20:29

I'm afraid I would eat it if someone had the skill to kill it humanely... Rabbits are quite easy to prepare wink

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 30-Oct-13 08:13:48

I don't get it. Why don't you want to eat the rabbit?

Twunk Wed 30-Oct-13 08:09:45

I have no idea but I'm just chortling at the name "Lucky" grin

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 08:05:58

Really? I was quite relaxed after seeing the cat and rabbit interacting, she is just lying down next to it now. The other cat stared at it for half an hour and wondered off. And the rabbit is almost as big as them (they are small cats.)

However, being cats I supposed they are not to be trusted!

MaureensWhites Wed 30-Oct-13 08:01:59

My cats kill and eat rabbits so I'd keep and eye on them...

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 07:55:40

Yes, it will make a good anecdote... but I need some advice!

Also does it need to be neutered? And is it ok for the children to handle it or can they bite?

Bear in mind this did not come from a pet shop in the UK, we are in Malawi, I doubt it's ever even seen a vet.

Anyway, there is a society for protection of animals, so will call their vet soon.

heather1 Wed 30-Oct-13 07:53:16

Take him to the local vet for the fleas?

AnyWetCuntweaselsInTheFuckerGr Wed 30-Oct-13 07:52:03

Ha ha! Great story!

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 07:52:01

bump bump

somuchtosortout Wed 30-Oct-13 07:50:11

So, background - We live in Africa and someone mentioned to my DH that they reared rabbits. So DH reminiscing of his half-French childhood decided it would be nice to have a rabbit stew and ordered some rabbit meat... urgh.

Anyway, so rabbit got delivered this morning alive and kicking - and very cute. Gardener offered to, ahem, you know.

Obviously could not go ahead with it so now we have a new pet rabbit!

So:
We are lucky to have an enormous garden, walled in, with a very high wall.

We have two cats, who have just been staring at the rabbit but don't seem to be threatening it.

It appears to have fleas.

What do I do with this rabbit? Can it roam around? Will it need a hutch tonight? Does it need injections could it be carrying some weird disease?

Can I put flea powder on it? What does it eat?

And is it going to destroy all the lovely plants I have in my garden?

Thanks!

(I have named him Lucky, by the way!)

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