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Are Rabbits really that expensive?

(50 Posts)
lljkk Sun 10-Apr-11 10:26:12

I'm not keen on one, but DD is asking.
Are these costs realistic?

Looking like way too much commitment. What do you find? TIA.

GypsyMoth Sun 10-Apr-11 10:31:03

you can get cheaper hutches.

the food bill is about right

i pais £35 for our two from a rescue place

Eowyn Sun 10-Apr-11 10:32:05

Hi, we got a bunny 18 months ago, the hutch cost about £60 - display model so reduced, we made a run. Food costs about £9 every few months & hay etc is v cheap. Haven't vaccinated or neutered, she's still well & happy.

I'm glad I didn't do everything suggested, I did worry but everything has worked out fine.

GypsyMoth Sun 10-Apr-11 10:35:02

i have no pet insurance either....and no neutering,but i find they dont need it yet

lljkk Sun 10-Apr-11 10:43:10

The medical bills is what really got to me. And the lifespan, I don't want a pet that will outlive DD's interest in it (but that's why I was looking at Rescues, too). It's very hard to ask on a rabbit-fan site because people usually come out with accusing you of being negligent & selfish if you even mention cost as a consideration.

haggis01 Sun 10-Apr-11 11:21:30

Look on Gumtree etc - we were able to get a secondhand fairly new top spec hutch for £15 and bought a large run online for about £25. Food is fairly cheap from Pets at home or with your supermarket shop and a bag of hay for extra feed lasts a long time, we supplemented food with herbs and veg and corn husks etc once the rabbit was old enough. We started off buying sawdust and straw for bedding but it was really messy and were advised by an old hand just to use old newspapers to line the hutch and shredded paper in the bed area - this worked much better (so easy to wrap it all up to clean)and was cheaper too.
We didn't vaccinate/neuter as we only had the 1 rabbit and never neede to cut claws as the rabbit got plenty of exercise.

they are cheap to own but they are not as much fun as a cat or a dog and my child lost interest fairly quickly as our rabbit tended to scratch and bite. My DD had to be cajoled into helping clean the hutch and put the rabbit out for its daily exercise etc. often it fell to me. Some breeds live a lot longer than others so that might be something to consider - it was also a pain to find a carer when we needed to go on holiday.My DD forgot to put the rabbit in the hutch one afternoon when we went out and we came back to find that foxes had managed to dig right under the run and get inside and carry the rabbit away. After 2 years TBH we were quite relieved.

haggis01 Sun 10-Apr-11 11:50:05

Oh and we sold the run and hutch on Gumtree so recouped some of the cost

GypsyMoth Sun 10-Apr-11 11:55:16

you were relieved!!shock that poor rabbit!

didnt know you could use shredded paper as bedding either. i agree that straw is bloody messy tho!

TheMonster Sun 10-Apr-11 11:57:27

We get our hutches and runs handmade by a chap near to us. A hutch is £43 and a run £30. It's worth looking around. At this time of year there are often retired workmen at boot sales selling handmade planters, and they are sometimes happy to make hutches for people.

Rabbits can be found cheaper than £20 if you look around rather than buy from a pet shop.

As for running costs, we have two rabbits I reckon it costs us, per week:
Sawdust £2
Rabbits food £3
Greens £4

TheMonster Sun 10-Apr-11 11:58:16

And I second the use of newspaper and shredded paper, but I also use sawdust as it's much more absorbent.

GypsyMoth Sun 10-Apr-11 12:00:24

i had no idea shredded paper was ok!!

LaWeasel Sun 10-Apr-11 12:00:38

I would say that the medical bills are the killer.

It is worth spending money on a big hutch and run as most labelled as suitable for rabbits in pet shops are much too small.

If you have a digger (females worse for this) you may have to build a permanent run also which would cost more.

There are a lot of rescue rabbits out there, as rabbits are the most neglected pet, so you may be able to get one for a smaller donation if you can show them you will be a commited owner.

KatharineClifton Sun 10-Apr-11 12:01:40

'I don't want a pet that will outlive DD's interest in it'

They all will. Choose a pet that YOU want. I say this through bitter experience.

I didn't get on with the rabbits at all. I was very relieved when I found them a new home (note - I didn't let them be killed shock )

You might find guinea pigs easier. They can live in the house without much fuss. It's better for them in winter anyway. And they are a million times nicer than rabbits, which can break a childs arm with their back legs. Lifespan is 4-8 years.

KatharineClifton Sun 10-Apr-11 12:02:14

Goldfish are even better grin

jetgirl Sun 10-Apr-11 12:07:33

I wasn't keen on getting our bunnies, so made it clear that i was having nothing to do with their maintenance, I love them though! our running costs are about the same as bodyofeyeore. We were glad of the insurance when our bunnies fought and one needed his eyelid gluing. Cost over £100 shock but insurance covered it. They're friends now too, so no more fighting, but then we did neuter them.

TheMonster Sun 10-Apr-11 12:44:26

At risk of sounding like a bad owner, I don't pay vet fees for my rabbits (which were given to us by seperate people who had lost interest).
A rabbit is not a good pet for a child, IMO.
If you do want one, Pets At Home stores now have rehoming parts, and these have rats, hamsters and rabbits in that you can get for a donation of about a fiver.

KnickersOnOnesHead Sun 10-Apr-11 18:38:15

Check out preloved. There's always someone giving a rabbit for free.

I have built my own run, cost was £5 for the wire....wood was free!

KatharineClifton Sun 10-Apr-11 18:39:21

Knickers - is there a type of wire that really is fox proof?

KnickersOnOnesHead Sun 10-Apr-11 18:40:27

I dunno. Tbh, the rabbit is only in it during the day, so that doesn't really bother me. I've dug the wire about 7in into the ground.

KnickersOnOnesHead Sun 10-Apr-11 18:42:15

Go to farms...or stables and ask if they would sell a bale of hay. Would work out cheaper probably than getting it from PAH.

I use straw though, then it can go straight into the compost when hutch has been cleared out.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 10-Apr-11 18:50:56

Message withdrawn

TheMonster Sun 10-Apr-11 19:01:04

One of ours died recently from flystrike. It was not nice. sad

KnickersOnOnesHead Sun 10-Apr-11 19:11:26

Never heard of that. Will google now.

lljkk Sun 10-Apr-11 20:36:38

HAMSTERS: you guys are brilliant. I will definitely steer her in that direction, instead.

Lots of good tips there, I'm sure, for people who still want a bunny. I was thinking maybe a pair of dwarves if anything at all.

southeastastra Sun 10-Apr-11 20:38:44

i think rabbits are dead easy to care for and prefer them to any other pet.

hardly expensive to keep! they're rabbits fgs and eat grass in the wild

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