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DD wants a rabbit - where do I start ?? Help neede please

(38 Posts)
scatterbrain Wed 24-Sep-08 11:22:38

So - DD is 8 very soon and has decided that she NEEDS a bunny!

I have been googling away and got myself in a bit of a pickle! So I need sensible bunny owners to sort me out please!

Firstly - can they live outside all year? I am loathe to have an indoor bunny as we have two elderly cats and I cold do without more mess!

Secondly - we are out all day and I was thinking of getting one of those combo hutch/run things so they/it could run about in the run at will during the day - is this a good idea ? We live in t'country near woods so foxes etc likely - but have never seen one in day time.

Thirdly - one bunny or two ?

and finally - I was thinking that bunny could come in for a play in the house in the evenings - when cats out - but I keep feeling it would be mean to put t to bed outside in winter - should I maybe buy an small indor cage for it to sleep in inside in winter ?

God life is too complicated !

Have found a hutch place on ebay that looks pretty good - has anyone got any recommendations of good places to buy hutches/runs etc - and what about the bunny themselvces? Someone said to avoid pet shops as they are mass bred and local breeders better?

Thanks so much for any advice!

scatterbrain Wed 24-Sep-08 11:39:02

Oh and can someone tell me if they are expensive pets to keep - vaccinations and vet trips etc

batters Wed 24-Sep-08 11:42:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mistlethrush Wed 24-Sep-08 11:44:42

Oneliein has one spare... see

AnAngelWithin Wed 24-Sep-08 11:44:42

yes they can live outside all year if you keep them warm and dry. an indoor hutch for in the winter will be great though.

Get a combined hutch and run but one where the ramp locks up at night so they cant be out of the hutch and in the run at night when foxes are more likely. also make sure you have fox proof bots on the hutch.

one bunny. 2 will fight.

they need to be vaccinated. living in the country especially cos of myxi.

AnAngelWithin Wed 24-Sep-08 11:45:28

get a hutch with a coated bases or a removable tray as well or easier cleaning and disinfetcing.

OneLieIn Wed 24-Sep-08 11:46:23

I have 2 spare!

scatterbrain Wed 24-Sep-08 11:48:35

Thanks for that info - am now worried about cost of vets bills having read OneLieIns thread !

Are girls or boys more friendly - DD has visions of cuddling it a lot like a teddy bear I think !

AnAngelWithin Wed 24-Sep-08 11:49:26

girls are more friendly i think. boys can be smelly and territorial. but i had a boy one a while ago and he was fine once he had been neutered.

DaphneMoon Wed 24-Sep-08 11:52:11

We have two rabbits, they are both female and are about 18 months old. They are lovely, but be warned, my DS lost interest very quickly and I now feed and clean them out all the time. I actually consider them to be my rabbits now as I am the only one that cares for them. We have a dwarf lop eared and one which we think is a Polish (quite small but a bit timid). I would definately recommend the dward lop. She is lovely and friendly (neither of them bite) and jumps on my knee when I am bending down to clean them out.

Would def recommend you have two as they get quite lonely. You are fine keeping them outside all year, however, try and get a good hutch which is possibly insulated. We built ours ourself and built it double skinned with house insulation inbetween. They also have a run attached and in the morning I open the door so that they can run in and out of their cage when they want. I also bought a nylon tunnel the other day, they love it. You need to cover the cage at night especially in the winter, by attaching plastics sheeting to the top which you can roll down.

They don't cost too much to keep but are not totally cheap. They eat rabbit pellets and hay in the day with greens at night (these are not essential every day) and obviously water. They have a litter tray which keeps the smell down and I use Cat litter pellets in this. I change this every other day and clean them out once a week.

I had to have them neutered this year as they were constantly trying to hump each other even though they are both female, it's the hormones raging! This cost me £130.00 for both. They also had their jabs in the summer, Mixy and VHD (this is the equivalent to parma (sp) virus in dogs). They cost me about £40.00 althogether.

They are lovely rabbits, but they live about 15 years, my DS only plays with them now and again and it shows as they make a run for it when he approaches, when I go to them in the morning, they cannot wait to get out the cage into the run!

Hamsters are much easier, we have one of those too and he is an absolute joy, so cute and friendly and so very easy to look after.

Hope this helps.

meglet Wed 24-Sep-08 11:52:39

I don't want to depress you but rabbits are really hard work. They need lots of space to run around and are not happy cooped up in a run or hutch. Outside is ok, but the hutch /run will need to be sheltered, big and very cosy. A big rabbit may terrorise your cats too! I'm not sure about one or two rabbits though. The company would be good but I don't know how much a pair would fight (if at all).

I had a wonderful big bunny once, she had a kennel in the garden for the day time, no run or hutch as the local cats were scared of her. She liked playing with a football grin. She was kept in the house at night time and was house trained to go to the toilet on newspaper or her litter tray. Cost a fortune in vets fee's when her teeth started playing up. She liked sitting on the sofa too.

IME Guinea pigs are far easier.

scatterbrain Wed 24-Sep-08 11:57:12

Hmmmmm - thanks for all that! It's not looking great really! But she REALLY REALLY NEEDS a bunny apparently and there is nothing else in the whole world she wants for her birthday!

She wants a white girl bunny and to call her Mopsy!

Thanks for the info and advice.

DaphneMoon Wed 24-Sep-08 11:57:23

If you buy two rabbits together from the same pet shop or supplier, if they have been kept in the same cage they will be fine and you find them quite loving towards each other. Ours which are different breeds, sit and clean each other all day.

I must say that your DD will not be able to cuddle like a teddy bear. Rabbits do not feel natural being picked up and most will scrabble about. My friendliest rabbits does not like being picked up but will jump on my knee at her own decision. The other rabbit is quite timid and again chooses not to be picked up but strangely does not scrabble at all once you do.

They are not like dogs and cats which like to be picked up and cuddled, it is not a natural thing to them.

Nicky1313 Wed 24-Sep-08 12:01:05

Would definetely say go to your local Animal Rescue Centre for Rabbits not a Pet Shop. You willknow exactly what yougetting then.

theultimatethreadkiller Wed 24-Sep-08 12:08:18

An animal rescue centre will be able to give you a bunny with a nice temperament - if you but a baby one, you cannot be sure how it will turn out.

scatterbrain Wed 24-Sep-08 12:11:22

Good idea ! I will find a local one later and call them. Trouble is I am such a soppy cow I will want to rehome all the poor things !

singyswife Wed 24-Sep-08 12:16:47

I have a rabbit and my dd's are 7 and 5. She is kept outside all year. I have a pen which is made into a fence extended around her cage and a little tykes playhouse which is added to the end of the hutch so she has all that room to run around all the time. She also gets into the garden from time to time for a run. She seems to be happy with this set up. I have a shower curtain type thing over the door of the hutch (so she is NEVER locked in) for when it is windy and wet and a big fluffy cushion in her bed. We love our bunny and there are many cats about here but she scares them off cause she is a big fluffy monster lol.

theultimatethreadkiller Wed 24-Sep-08 12:19:17

My rabbit scares my dogs grin
Mind you, she is a bit of a meanie!

allgonebellyup Wed 24-Sep-08 12:26:24

we got our rabbit in April

his teeth grow so quickly that they jut out of his mouth really badly (up to 2inches in length)so we have to get them cut every 3 weeks.. at £20 a go.

Also its a pain in the arse having to clean them out in horrible weather (just done it myself,yuk.)

my dd is very good in that she does feed and water him every day (she's 9), and she has never got bored of him since day 1.
Other kids may get bored after a week or two!!!!!!

I would say wait until you know she is old enough to do it all herself, otherwise you will be left to do it.

theultimatethreadkiller Wed 24-Sep-08 12:27:41

Allgonebellyup, has your vert recommended anything that you could give the bunny to help keep his teeth down?

theultimatethreadkiller Wed 24-Sep-08 12:31:32

vert? I mean vet! blush

allgonebellyup Wed 24-Sep-08 12:33:39

well, she said his teeth dont even meet so its pointless giving him stuff to chew on as his teeth cant even grind together.

DaphneMoon Wed 24-Sep-08 12:50:33

If you feed them pellets and hay, this helps keep their teeth down. Something to chew on in the cage helps as they naturally chew on things to keep their teeth down, they are quite clever! A log or something in the run would help or bits of wood, but I think you are supposed to avoid Pine, as with the hutch too.

Mine have not had to have their teeth cut down yet and they have been checked when I took them to the vet. Also the floor of our run is patio slabs which keeps their nails nice and short.

I must admit in the depths of winter when you are cleaning them out in a gale of icy weather you do wonder why the hell you bothered getting them in the first place!

But as an adult despite my DS losing interest it is my responsibility to ensure they are looked after, this is the important thing to remember, you will almost probably be the one that ends up looking after them.

DaphneMoon Wed 24-Sep-08 12:52:09

Singyswife, ah bless you, your rabbit sounds like she has a wonderful life. I thought mine were spoilt! I call them my little girls and talk to them in a stupid voice blush

allgonebellyup Wed 24-Sep-08 12:53:05

i made it clear to dd that if she did not look after her rabbit then it will go straight back to the pet shop.

I am not looking after something she promised to look after.
Shes doing really well with it, it gives her a sense of responsibility.

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