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So , against my better judgement, we now have 2 rabbits as pets in our garden and I need some help please.....

(13 Posts)
lisalisa Mon 03-Sep-07 11:58:52

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mamazon Mon 03-Sep-07 12:03:14

the rabbits will be fine, you are obviously a very caring owner.

you can buy plastic hutch covers to protect from rain and keep them warm, plus they also help with fox problems.

lisalisa Mon 03-Sep-07 13:55:02

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lisalisa Mon 03-Sep-07 17:10:28

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harleyd Mon 03-Sep-07 17:18:48

hi, we have one rabbit in the garden. its in a hutch and we have an heaxgonal shaped wire enclosure that goes round it. the top of it is closed of with chickenwire.
the hutch is raised off the ground because we keep the doors closed at all times (the left hand side of the hutch has an opening underneath so the rabbit can get in and out)
you can buy thermal covering which goes round the top & sides of the hutch for the winter, our rabbit stays out all year round, and when its icy we just put extra straw on the ground

lucyellensmum Mon 03-Sep-07 17:47:55

lisalisa, i had two giant rabbits which had the run of the garden all year, i only bought them in for one night when we had a particularly bad frost. I never had a fox problem as we had a big dog at the time.

Rabbits really should have a hutch though, if they can run free in the garden during the day all the better but for most people this is unacceptable as they decimate your garden. I would be inclined to keep the hutches raised with drainage holes as this will prevent them getting sodden.

As far as feeding goes, the school of thought is the moment is plenty of hay, green vegetables (NOT lettuce, this is actually extremely bad for rabbits and of no nutritional value as they cannot digest it). Be very careful which rabbit food you buy, if you can get them used to something like super rabbit which is all one constitution then this is better as many of the ordinary rabbit foods are full of those green squashed peas that the bunnies love, but they are high in fat and fill them up, they then dont tend to get the other vits and minerals they need.

Some rabbits do have teeth problems, their teeth actually dont stop growing and they are kept down by chewing. Due to poor breeding many of them have mal aligned jaws and the teeth do not mix resulting in them over growing, this requires visits to the vets to keep them in check.

Very important that you consider vaccinating against myximatosis and HVD and most practices offer this on a yearly basis (it used to be every six months). Unfortunately both of these diseases are present in the domestic bunnies these days.

Another important thing to do is keep an eye on thier bottoms, if they get a dirty bottom it could be an idication of an upset tummy or teeth issues. The problem with this is fly strike, very dangerous and can kill within hours, basically flies lay their eggs in the poo which then hatch out and the maggots burrow under the rabbits skin, its nasty and particularly a problem in summer.

So, now ive told you all those horrible things, you can pack them back off to the farm You sound like a good owner though so i cant see you having any problems.

Hope this is of use x

lisalisa Tue 04-Sep-07 11:32:30

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Blu Tue 04-Sep-07 11:48:32

lisalisa - I don't know if this will be of any relevance to you, but I have pegged our run into the ground with tent pegs as an extra tactic to stop foxes tipping it over. Our rabbits live loose in a shed and have a hatch out into the run. I do close the hatch at night because I am worried about rats running into the shed and scaring the rabbits, giving them diseases and eating their something else for anxious first time rabbit owners (like me!) to worry about!!..I don't know about drinking - maybe they are eating enough 'wet' food at, Rabbits are v curious, so I am sure they have worked out how to use the gravity-feed bottle. And they don't eat if they are thirsty, apparantly.

Our rabbits eat Excel pellets, hay and a bit of grass and dandelion leaves - they have completely annhialated the grass in their run by digging and scrabbling. If you know anyone with an apple tree, saw off a bit of branch - apparantly they love to gnaw wood from fruit trees. Does anyone know whether plum tree wood is ok for rabbits?

lucyellensmum Tue 04-Sep-07 13:52:59

lisalisa, what else are you feeding your bunnies on? That may affect what they are drinking. As long as you leave water available to them it should be fine, the trouble with leaving it in a bowl is it gets all shitty.

Blu, i THINK all fruit trees should be ok but im not 100%, i know trees like yew and privet should be avoided, so best to stick to fruit trees. Very envythat you have a plum tree

lisalisa Tue 04-Sep-07 15:47:28

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lucyellensmum Tue 04-Sep-07 16:35:50

if they were not getting enough fluid they would become dehydrated yes. A good way to check this is grab some skin and if it pops back quickly they are fine, if it stays put or goes back really slowly and feels "puddingy" they are dehydrated

lucyellensmum Tue 04-Sep-07 16:36:25

i suspect however that they are fine

southeastastra Tue 04-Sep-07 16:52:34

i had one rabbit that didn't know what to do with the water bottle. when it was near it i squirted it a bit so they got the hang of it

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