(17 Posts)
BrianTheMole Sun 13-Apr-14 22:40:36

So my six yr old has finally persuaded me to get her and her brother a rabbit. I know I'll be cleaning it out, she's promised to feed and water it, thats all fine.

So the practicalities. Should I get two to keep each other company? Boys or girls? Does it make a difference if they are sharing? Any particular breed? Are some breeds known for being friendlier than others? What size hut? I guess it needs a run attached to it. Anything else I need to think of? Its been a while since I kept rabbits.

Interested to see replies here.
We have been talking about getting Rabbits but have no experience, were thinking of maybe going to local shelter in May as they annually advertise as looking for homes for ill thought out 'Easter presents'
Our biggest worry is the foxes. Hoping keeping the hutch inside the playhouse would be enough to keep them safe

BrianTheMole Sun 13-Apr-14 23:03:10

Thats a good idea, re the shelters. I don't really want to buy from a pet shop, or pets at home, or whatever they are called.

dottygamekeeper Sun 13-Apr-14 23:03:52

Defintely get a pair, one male one female, but both neutered. Make sure they are bonded when you get them, or get a rabbit shelter to help you bond them. They like company - ours groom each other and spend a lot of time just sitting next to each other, following each other round etc. As big a hutch as you can manage, ditto for the run. Lots of hay plus some nuggets (ideally mono pellets rather than the mixed muesli). Ours get fresh greens/dandelions/small amounts of carrot or apple, plus sticks to chew on (raspberry canes v popular). Make their habitat interesting with boxes and tunnels to hide in, logs to climb on etc. Get them used to being stroked, having teeth, bottoms and nails checked but they don't tend to like being picked up. Injections - against mixymatosis (?spelling) and viral haemorrhagic disease. Great fun to watch them playing and grooming.

BrianTheMole Sun 13-Apr-14 23:07:44

Thanks dotty. Is the getting them nurtured to stop unwanted litters, (not that I want babies obviously) or is there another reason? So ideally I need to find a neutered pair that already know each other.

libertytrainers Sun 13-Apr-14 23:13:50

i have rabbits and they have a run attached to their hutches so are always out, we also have a fox but he can't get them as the runs are so secure. my rabbits love to be outside - don't keep them in a playhouse they need fresh air and outside areas

BrianTheMole Sun 13-Apr-14 23:16:37

How have you kept your run secure? Do you have chicken wire or something underneath? Or have you dug it into the ground? As I sit here typing I can hear the foxes outside howling in the fields. I must make it extra secure!!!

libertytrainers Sun 13-Apr-14 23:26:18

i put the run on paving slabs and the run doesn't sit on them but around the slabs iykwim, the fox can't move the run as the slabs keep it secure. the hutch is open so they can run inside if they want to but they tend to stay in the runs all the time.

BrianTheMole Sun 13-Apr-14 23:31:14

That is a great idea. Thank you!

tammytwigg Sun 13-Apr-14 23:46:16

I've got my hutch in a play house with a run attached it too is on concrete slabs we can shut the door if weather bad ,it's lovely watching them chase in and out .definetly go to a rescue they are so grateful and lovely, when my last one passed we took snowy and found her a new mate Percy they love each to bits ,rabbits are great .

BrianTheMole Mon 14-Apr-14 00:19:08

Ahh, excited. Looking up rescue places near me now, but theres only one, and it doesn't seem to have any rabbits.

tammytwigg Mon 14-Apr-14 14:18:08

Contact your nearest RSPCA they should be able to help not all the rabbit fosterers are on the net,they will put you in touch good luck x

psychicpaper Mon 14-Apr-14 14:40:35

Definitely get them from a rescue,

Not quite as good as a proper rescue, but Pets at Home often have rescue rabbits, though you will need to bond them yourself.

Do not however buy a hutch from them, the one they sent me home for my first was seriously not big enough for a small guinea pig, let alone two rabbbits.

It needs to be a minimum of 6ft by 3ft by 3ft

So at least 2 hops, and they can stand up on back legs, plus a run of at least equal size attached.

Mine now have their own shed (slightly spoiled smile ) and it is so lovely to see them binkying in it

slackcabbage Mon 14-Apr-14 14:43:47

Loads of helpful info & advice here

ParkingFred Mon 14-Apr-14 14:51:45

Agree with others who have said get a pair. I feel so sorry for single pet rabbits. They are very sociable animals. We had a bonded pair and they did absolutely everything together, it was lovely.

Also, they need a really big run with lots of interesting things. Ours had a big tunnel built underground, a couple of tree stumps and plastic tubes. They were always running around and jumping, which made me realise how important space is to them.

FernieB Tue 15-Apr-14 08:03:44

Contact the RSPCA. A lot of small animals are fostered out so there may well be a bonded pair not too far away from you (you can do a search via their website). A rescue will also be able to tell you about the rabbits characters. If you go via a rescue the rabbits are normally already bonded or they will bond them for you. Quite often they are already neutered but if not, you will have to agree to get them neutered. Neutering is not just to prevent litters, it also prevents cancer in females and aggressive/unsociable behaviour in both sexes. After neutering they can also be a lot tidier in their toilet habits which makes them easier to clean out. Find a rabbit savvy vet (they aren't all great with small animals). Rabbits also need vaccinations once a year against Mixy and VHD but there is a combined injection now. I usually combine this annual visit with a health check.

slackcabbage Tue 15-Apr-14 11:31:19

Lots of good advice on here. The other advantage of going down the shelter route is that it is difficult to tell the sex of a rabbit until they are at least 3 months old (mistakes are often made) so difficult to safely bond pairs before that time without risk of reproduction as rabbits reach sexual maturity (depending on breed) around 3-5 months of age.

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