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Three-quarters of UK pet rabbits are mistreated

(14 Posts)
Wordwork Sat 21-May-11 21:57:39

Just thought I'd mention this news story, saying that most UK rabbit owners know too little about how to care for rabbits adequately. Thought it might be useful info for anyone thinking of buying a rabbit.

Meglet Sat 21-May-11 22:04:52

sad. They need so much space, they aren't like guinea pigs.

My rabbit was spoilt rotten. She managed to blag the whole garden to herself for day times (no run, she had a kennel), the sofa in the evenings hmm and the dining room at night time. The local cats were scared of her, never saw one in the garden all the time we had her.

She was a wonderful pet, but very hard work. We used to play 'football' together. I still miss her 10 years on blush.

Blu Sat 21-May-11 22:13:18

I don't know why traditional hutches are still on sale. They should only be sold as a hutch and run.

ChishAndFips Sat 21-May-11 22:19:21

I have always thought it very cruel to keep a rabbit in a hutch alone yet many people do it, so that figure doesn't surprise me unfortunately. Our rabbit has totally free run of the garden and a hutch for sleeping in and her food, and it is lovely seeing the way she runs about, which would be completely impossible in a closed hutch and difficult in a run. It makes my heart break to think of the poor bunnies who can't even do 3 big skips sad. My DD1 says it must be like trying to swim proper strokes in a hot tub.

ChishAndFips Sat 21-May-11 22:20:49

Though depends on the size of run obviously, I am thinking of the ones attached to hutches available from Pets at Home etc, which aren't usually very big.

purplepidjin Sat 21-May-11 22:25:15

I read this because I was worried I'm mistreating my new bunny...

He has a small dog crate to sleep in overnight then the run of the house from around 7am to 11pm

He eats dried food, vegetable trimmings, hay, the cat food when he can get hold of it, and any paper or cardboard lying around. He also likes socks but only when they contain feet.

He loves to go for walks in the park on his lead (as long as Mummy is looking out for dogs)

He wees in his (sawdust) litter tray but poos all over the upstairs landing...

He loves cuddles and sitting on my knee being stroked by kids in the park

He "binkies" most evenings for no apparent reason (thank you for the link that taught me that word)

He is normally to be found either within 6' of the cat, Mummy or Daddy or in the kitchen sprawled out along the larder door

Is he a happy bunny? He's 12 weeks and booked in for neutering next Friday...

bidibidi Sun 22-May-11 11:08:54

I would bet money that 3/4 of all small pets (so not cats and dogs) are mistreated by any standard, and that you could argue a lot over how well the other 25% are taken care of. Sorry, but it's really easy to happen. I have done things with my pets that some would label cruelty (but I would label pragmatic and even truly the kindest option).

Blu Mon 23-May-11 10:23:24

Chishandfips - I would think that the hutch and run hutches, with the hutch on top and run under should also have the extension run that sticks out of the front.

Wordwork Mon 23-May-11 10:34:46

Very lovely to hear of all your happy rabbits.

(I don't have a rabbit myself and don't know anything about keeping them. I just thought the news story I linked to in the OP was a valuable one to have in the small animals topic, because I think a lot of people look on here when they are thinking of buying a pet.)

CherryMonster Tue 24-May-11 21:46:03

i have two bunnies. one i have had for 4 years, he is now 7 years old and a miserable old bugger. and the second one i have only just got (literally 1/2 hour ago) he is 8 weeks old. i have a 4ft double tier hutch, and my run is a huge 4 foot by 3 foot dog crate (had it lying around and couldnt afford a proper run) midnight (old bunny) loves it, he has room to run around, but doesnt do much as he is an old man. little 'bluey' hasnt been in it yet, might be a week or 2 before i try him as he is only tiny. they have nugget food, veggies and plenty of greens. i think they are quite happy to be fair.

triballeader Thu 09-Jun-11 22:33:23

Cherry- in honesty you do need to size up- could be the lack of space to move thats left you with a miserable rabbit. A dog crate [3x4] is teeny and its not a run [min 6x4'] My eldest arthritic bun is over 9 and still bombs around the 8x3x4' hutch I have. Could you scab some kids fireguards and wire them together to make a much larger run?
BTW hay- LOTS of hay as it keeps buns happy and healthy.

smartyparts Thu 09-Jun-11 22:39:26

We have 2 lovely buns who have a big run which they customise on a regular basis. It's a big mess of burrows & hillocks & dust baths. Half the time we have no idea where they are!

I love to hear of other happy rabbits - so many seem to have miserable lives.

BabyDubsEverywhere Fri 10-Jun-11 23:03:07

I have pamered bunnies too, lots of other pampered animals as well actually. My Bunnies are in love, (but neutered) and spend their days cuddling and cleaning each other.

They are easy pets for me, they dont use there house for toileting so all i have to do with that is a sweep out once a week and ram it full of hay, that take two of the biggest bags of hay from pets at home as its 1.5 meter long by a meter wide. The run is under that and extends out, that 2.5 meters by a meter wide. They have tunnels and balls and hanging veggies to add interest, plus loads of fresh veggies every day, then nuggets on top of that.

At the moment they cant have a run about in the garden as we move in 6 months ago to a wreck of a house, we need to bunny proof the edges as both are diggers. But that will be done this month so not much longer. They arent fussed with us though, they dont mind being handled, but are happier being left to it with lots of supplies so i play spectator and watch them loads, funny little things.

My 'big 'ard staffy' is scared of them too bless him smile

Not shocked that they are so miss treated though, poor things, both mine came from unhappy homes sad

Dolcegusto Fri 10-Jun-11 23:14:29

Our bunny has free run of the garden and a large hutch that he never goes in, preferring to shit in the middle of the garden. Bloody thing hates me, lives dd2 though and comes out from wherever he's hiding when she's in the garden to be stroked and generally fussed over. If I go within 10foot of him he legs it.

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