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getting a rabbit. 1st timer

(30 Posts)
smegley Sun 07-Apr-13 20:21:43

My Dd wants a rabbit, what do i need to know? any hints or tips?
what do i need other than a Hutch, water and food bowls and straw?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 07-Apr-13 21:19:27

Hi smegley

Have you had a browse through the rabbit threads on here? There are loads of them, it'll keep you busy for hours (and might even make you reconsider when you see what you are letting yourself in for as a First Time Bunny Owner)

I'm not a fan of the Long Eared CottonWoolTailed ones but I can pretty much guarentee someone will make you consider:

^My DD wants a rabbit^- how old is your daughter. How responsible? Rabbits are hard work and many do not consider them to be childrens pets. They are not 'Pick Up and Cuddle' in many cases.

a rabbit - bunnies thrive in pairs not as a solo

hutch - read "A hutch is not enough" .It's a link IIRC to the RSPCA or Rabbit Rescue. It's definately on one of these threads.

They need neutered regardless of gender (for health as well as to stop breeding)
They need vaccines

They need alot more room than you think
They will most likely outlive your daughters interest. Unless your DD is a responsible teenager, you will be doing all the work.
And if your DD is older, your rabbits will be with you after she's left home.

I've got 2 male guineas. They belong IRL to my DC. But truth be known my DD has her boasr and the DS boar is mine. (Long story but when we adopted them it was for DD and I. DS said he wanted one of them, but he does nothing for them. The pigs don't suffer because I said I would feed and clean them. It's a time commitment that I knew from the start. But I'd have been peeved if I'd bought them for the DC and got landed with it)

Browse and enjoy.

Madratlady Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:56

Please get a pair, rabbits are much happier with friends. I wish I'd known that sooner as I currently have a lonely rabbit.

Keep an eye out for local rescues. They usually have an adoption fee but it usually works out cheaper than paying for neutering and vaccines yourself, as any good rescue will have already had that done.

As much space as possible, guidelines are 6'x2'x2' hutch and a run. Unlimited hay to keep their teeth and gut healthy. Rabbits don't like being handled. They also live up to 10 years and can be very costly in vet bills if they get ill.

Hope that helps. It's all stuff I wish I knew before I got Misty the bunny.

Madratlady Sun 07-Apr-13 21:27:23

Also worth saying that although bunnies aren't handling pets, they can be very affectionate if you gain their trust. Misty loves strokes, licks me and will eat from my hand smile

rabbitonthemoon Sun 07-Apr-13 21:37:54

Hello. I decided I would get a rabbit after seeing my friends rabbit who was a lop and oh so cute. So I got a baby boy lop the next month (indoor bunny) with a cage thinking he'd be some company for a couple of years, if that. 6 years later we are still together! I love him to bits, no different to a dog or cat. He's sociable, house trained, clever and just really lovely.

BUT. He hates being picked up. He can be a grumpy fuck and has bitten my mum and a friend who looked after him as they didn't know his little ways blush. He has cost me A LOT of money in vet bills for neutering, jabs and a hell of a lot of dental care not covered by insurance, without which he would have died. He's also gone into gastric shock twice. When I say a lot of money I mean a lot, over a grand and a half. I can't comment on outside hutches as he's always just pretty much had run of the house when I'm home. He no longer has many teeth so can't chew cables which brings me to..

Cable and furniture destruction! If rabbits are allowed inside boy can they chew. I lost headphones, chargers, ghd straighteners you name it.

I have never noticed him being lonely as we often work at home and he's by our feet most of the time wit lots of strokes. Maybe he pines for a bunny friend. I hope not though.

Lovely pets but think carefully. They are a long term commitment and not as docile as I had expected!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 07-Apr-13 21:48:51

Also : factor in boarding costs or make sure you have someone who will look after them in holidays.
Annual vaccine costs
Get the details of a rabbit savvy vet (if you buy a rescue animal they will have a vet that does all their neutering and check ups)

Also- are you looking at indoor/outdoor or both.
If it's outdoor, they need enough protection against the elements and very regular checks.Summer, they can overheat (and flystrike). Winter they need draught/damp protection.
Indoor- enough space and they are destructive without a doubt
If you do both (which we do with our guineas in winter, they need to go to same temperature. No hot house- cold cage. We keep ours in a Pigshed with a heater -and thermometer on the wall- and in our small bedroom at night, away from the radiator)

And all animals ,no matter how well they get along, need a space to escape from each other, especially if one is a bit more bolshy, which is usually the case.

Somewhere to store hay. You can buy bales from a farm.Or Petshop hay is £4 -£5 a bag )about 4kg)
And it gets everywhere

Has your DD looked after rabbits? Has a friend got any she could volunteer to help with.
My DD used to help with the school rabbits. Not as nice as the guinea-pigs she reckoned. grin

andrea315 Mon 08-Apr-13 01:06:29

I love my bunnys I have one beautiful rescue rabbit who lives in the house she loves being picked up and cuddled she hasn't been neutered as the vet said she was to old for it to be safe but we also have a grumpy garden rabbit who hates coming in will let you stroke her if she feels like it and will go back in her house when she wants to they don't live together or even see each other !!! I love them both for very different reasons smile

andrea315 Mon 08-Apr-13 01:07:08

Hay lots of hay not straw smile

SatsukiKusukabe Mon 08-Apr-13 01:07:22

snurk grin

<leaves thread>

fortifiedwithtea Mon 08-Apr-13 11:20:35

Nail clippers. I believe buns are more of a challenge than guinea pigs confused

smegley Mon 08-Apr-13 19:46:58

Thanks everyone.
You have given me some real food for thought, I worded my OP badly I think, my child is only 6 so i know in reality it would be me looking after it-which is fine.

Im going to compile a list of all the practical things we need, rabbit will live indoors (but also have room outside for a play area) and then plenty of research before going and getting one.

rabbitonthemoon Mon 08-Apr-13 20:08:57

Yay! Good luck. I wouldn't be without mine and all his little ways.

dottygamekeeper Wed 10-Apr-13 00:05:48

We have one bunny who was rehomed with us, then we got him a friend from a rabbit rescue. They bonded really well, and live in a large wooden playhouse (with smaller houses inside it for sleeping in and sitting in/on) and go outside in an outdoor run every day when the weather is good. The rehomed bunny is very friendly, licks us and jumps into your lap if you sit down, the rescue is more timid but will now come up to us and be stroked (when she first came she would run away and stamp), although she is still not keen on being picked up. They are great fun to watch, I love the way they wash their faces and groom each other, but incredibly destructive - they chew everything in their playhouse (including the walls), despite us giving them twigs etc to chew, so if you are planning on an indoor bunny you need to plan very carefully to make wherever it will live as chew-proof as possible.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 10-Apr-13 00:12:53

smegley I bought a rabbit run for my guineas.It folds up flat for storage.
I got the largest one I could find (IIRC its 84" long) and high enough that a rabbit can stand upright (not an issue for piggies)
We anchor it down with metal tent pegs, mainly to prevent predators.
It has a 'roof' but no base.
Guineas don't dig but rabbits do.
I think you have to sink it below ground level if you want to make it dig proof, or have some sort of base, but I wouldn't want a soft pawed animal walking on wire mesh.

FernieB Wed 10-Apr-13 11:35:00

Female buns are more likely to dig than males, but if you get them neutered this behaviour should be reduced. Even so I would never leave them in a run if I wasn't around to keep checking on them (same with the pigs) but then I'm an over-protective animal mum (not too worried about my kids though grin).

If you're having an outside bun, definitely get 2 for company - one would be so lonely on its own.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 11:40:52

And bear in mind (sorry to bring the mood down) that the mixy vaccination is only 75% effective- our lovely, vaccinated bunny died last year and it was horrible.

And (sorry to be a downer again) but my ds was 10 and an experienced guinea pig owner wnd we got her, and he found her quite difficult to handle- she was very tame and friendly, but she scrabbled and her claws really hurt.

I haven't read the thread all the way through, but have you consered guinea pigs instead?

Madratlady Wed 10-Apr-13 13:35:21

If they are indoor bunnies they should need less picking up as they will be near you all the time and can come to you for attention, and sit on the sofa with you etc.

Please look into rescues, they are always overflowing after the novelty of easter bunnies has worn off, as loads get handed in after only a few months. If you look around I'm sure a rescue near you will have some young bunnies.

ReluctantBeing Wed 10-Apr-13 13:40:37

I've had lots of rabbits over the years - all ones that people have lost interest in. They are not interesting pets for a child.
Bouncer is currently sitting in his run, guarding a cardboard box and growling at the wind. Bless him.

smegley Wed 10-Apr-13 14:33:15

we are looking into getting a rescue rabbit, i don't want to go down the pets at home route,
My daughter probably will lose her enthusiasm after a while and I am more than prepared to take over, after doing a lot of reading im actually starting to think we would be more suited to guinea pigs, my DP and his family kept them when he was young so he has some experience with them.
The very last thing I would want to do is take on an animal that I can't care for properly.
Thanks everyone for all of your advice x

hedgefund Wed 10-Apr-13 14:38:09

I hate these threads! to some children rabbits ARE interesting and i looked after mine all the time when i was younger. also g pigs smells wink

fortifiedwithtea Wed 10-Apr-13 15:47:41

Guinea pigs and rabbits only stink when their hutches are not cleaned out regularly wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 10-Apr-13 16:10:19

Though my DD will testify that the school buns smelled whiffier than her aromatic cavies (might be a touch of bias there) wink

hedgefund Wed 10-Apr-13 17:36:08

nope gpigs have an aroma all of their own clean or not fact

FernieB Wed 10-Apr-13 18:12:52

Rabbits don't smell so much themselves, but their wee is pungent. GP's can get a bit whiffy but that's because, like dogs (and people), they are hairy, not fluffy. Hairy creatures do need washing (some more often than others) whereas fluffy things tend to take care of themselves.

seeker Wed 10-Apr-13 20:41:35

Properly kept indoor guineas don't smell. And they are easier and <whispers> more interesting than rabbits.

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