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buying a rabbit- advice please!

(15 Posts)
doodlebops Mon 20-Oct-14 22:41:23

Ive decided to get my dd a rabbit for her birthday (in december), she has been hounding me for ages and I feel that she is ready to take responsibility for caring for it (I also want one but didnt want to commit until I felt dd was ready).
A few questions-
Where is best to buy one? Not heard great things about pets at home, facebook/gumtree? Unfortunately my local rescue centre doesnt rehome animals where they are going to be presents (which I can understand-just wish I hadnt said when I enquired!)
Should I get a pair? (Neutered obviously) my brother is going to make the hutch so could easily accomodate this.
Any other tips/advice for me?

Leela5 Mon 20-Oct-14 22:45:40

Please get two, they are social animals and will be very lonely otherwise.

Lots of great advice here:

They need large enclosure with indoor section and outdoor run. Hutches are not adequate unless large enough to stand up in.

Find out as much as you can before buying the rabbits, that way you'll be prepared and your rabbits will have everything they need to be happy and healthy smile

There are loads in rescue centres looking for loving homes.

Leela5 Mon 20-Oct-14 22:47:29

Oh and would recommend steering clear of buying online. Find your nearest RSPCA centre or other rabbit rescue.

They will help you also with advice about appropriate pairing, neutering, vaccinations etc

Good luck grin

WeAreGroot Mon 20-Oct-14 22:50:53

There is loads of good information on the Rabbit Welfare site.

There are loads of different rescues and huge numbers of rabbits waiting for homes. Have a look here.

doodlebops Mon 20-Oct-14 22:59:41

Thanks! Yes will def make sure their home is big enough, will look at that link aswell.
I will also look into rescue centres a bit further afield . Theres only one local but totally wouldnt mind going further away.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 20-Oct-14 23:11:44

The rabbits will be yours .
I have no doubt your DD will love them but when push comes to shove, the end responsibilty lies with you.
Also consider how long they live and what you do when you're left with one. You end up in a spiral of new animals.

A Rescue won't entertain rehoming them if you say they are for your DD , they have to be the whole families involvement.

My DD and I have 3 guinea-pigs (a neutered boar and two sows) We started with two boars, they've both gone and the new ones have joined our family. I said to DD that they were 'ours' and I would clean them, she helps to feed and cuddle at night, I give them breakfast. Cleaning is an ongoing task, I really like doing their bed, but we need to do it daily.
Last week I had my gallbladder out, the guinea-pigs don't care grin still need attention.

DD still did her bit and DH did the bending and lifting while I supervised. There's no way she'd manage alone (though knowing my DD she'd have a damn good try)

Wolfiefan Mon 20-Oct-14 23:15:22

Please research health issues like vaccinations, teeth problems and fly strike.
A small hutch really won't cut it! Ours had the run of a shed.
They need handling. A lot.

doodlebops Mon 20-Oct-14 23:34:45

As I said my brother will be constructing accommodation so there is no risk of it being too small and they will have access to a run.
Definitely ruled out a "shop" sale and will look into rescue centres.
Thanks for the links

Wolfiefan Mon 20-Oct-14 23:36:30

Can you tell us what sort or part of the country you are in? People may recommend rescues.
The bespoke accommodation sounds great!

DancingDinosaur Mon 20-Oct-14 23:41:10

It will be you looking after them <bitter>. Although I've actually got quite attached to the rabbits that the children have now neglected. And their babies. shock (Yes I did get the male neutered at 6 months, yes the vet did say it would be fine to not do the female and yes he was wrong!) Want a baby rabbit or three? wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 21-Oct-14 11:22:45

Aside from the size of the accomodation doodle get your DBro to look at several sites for rabbit houses.There are lots of independant carpenters who make rabbit houses, you could poach some of their ideas?

They need to be fox and predator proof (and that includes bolts, the wire mesh, how it's attatched. The run needs to be dig-proof to stop things coming in and your rabbits getting out)

Drainage of the ground.
Will you have the option to move it about or is it fixed?
If you can manage two runs, there are some brilliant ideas on RunAround to make tunnels to connect hutch to run.
Or you could put a moveable pen on the patio to give them runabout space if the grass is a saturated mess? Make sure it's secure though.

Do they need different levels in the hutch?
How to protect it from rain?

Protection from the elements for whoever cleans the hutch.
Where will you keep hay/straw/bedding/newspaper that is dry and cool.

Light (for you) feeding and cleaning for me seems to take place in the dark now.

My DD and I have had a look at some store hutches (and I've noticed in The Range that they have a sign saying they don't recommend the hutches/runs for rabbits) but DD is very scathing at some of the door bolts "A fox would be in there like lightning"

FernieB Tue 21-Oct-14 12:54:36

Also consider vets fees. Rabbits need annual vaccinations and whether male/female they should all be neutered. Go to a rescue and they will advise you. Get the accommodation built as big as possible and do consider making it fox proof and dig proof.

How old is your DD? If she is thinking of a cuddly pet, rabbits may not be the best option. So many are neglected and ignored because the kids get fed up of them not being cuddly. There are always exceptions but on the whole rabbits do not like being picked up and held. They are normally happy to be stroked provided they are able to get away when they want.

Have you considered who will look after them when you go away?

FernieB Tue 21-Oct-14 12:57:45

Dancing - female rabbits should always be neutered to prevent against cancer.

Rabbit savvy vets are not always easy to find. Rabbits are classed as exotics. Ask at a rescue for a recommendation of a rabbit savvy vet. There are still some who give bad advice.

DancingDinosaur Tue 21-Oct-14 14:12:43

Thanks fernie.

bigdonna Sat 01-Nov-14 13:31:25

hi i did get our three rabbits from a man on gumtree we went to his house and got three mini dwarfs they have been handled from day 1 they were very cuddly they would sit on our knees for 20 mins they are still cuddly if we can catch them! my kids were 7 and 9 when we first started having rabbits and yes its me who cleans them out but they are very sweet

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