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Rabbit hutches - where do I start!

(20 Posts)
avmp89 Fri 23-Oct-15 12:04:23

My little one is desperate for a rabbit, so I've finally given in! Does anyone have any recommendations of good websites to buy hutches? And any advice on what I need to look for what be great. Does anyone have any accessories with their hutch? Thanks in advance smile !

FernieB Fri 23-Oct-15 16:16:27

Firstly it's two rabbits not one as they need bunny companionship otherwise will be miserable. Secondly whatever you see in a pet shop is not big enough for rabbits. They need loads of space to run and explore. Check out Rabbit Welfare or the RSPCA a hutch is not enough campaign.

How old is your little one? If he/she is imagining having lots of cuddles with a cute fluffy bunny, then they'll be disappointed. Rabbits rarely like being picked up and can kick and struggle if unhappy.

Have you also thought about what you'll do if you go away? Factored in costs of neutering (essential to avoid cancers and aggressive/antisocial hormonal behaviour? They need annual vaccinations as well.

They need regular cleaning out as well. Don't forget they can live up to 10 years.

Don't want to put you off but there are so many rabbits abandoned every year because the kids lost interest, or it was too aggressive, or the parents were fed up looking after the kids pet. Rabbits can be delightful pets but I would say they are more for adults than young kids. Guinea pigs are a lot more interactive, friendly and chatty (and in the summer, they mow the lawn for you).

Please do some research and whatever you decide, check out some rescues first - they are usually full.

LetThereBeCupcakes Fri 23-Oct-15 16:20:47

I have to agree, rabbits really don't make good pets for children. I have an old converted Wendy house for mine, with an attached run. DH put ramps and dens in it for me.

Check out Manor pet housing, their stuff is amazing.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 23-Oct-15 21:58:20

First of all, read up on care of rabbits (there are loads of leaflets and online)
Go to a Rescue and have a look check out some Rescues first-they are usually full . Yes for a reason. The reason being that people don't research first sad

Make sure your DC isn;t allergic to hay or fur. They need hay and they wear fur. No getting away from it.

(My DD is allergic to certain coat types of guinea-pigs. We didn't realise until we got our 3rd piggie. She was fine with 1&2)

Guinea-pigs are lovely,chatty greedy little rodents but I don't think they would fit the bill for someone who has Rabbits in mind.
What I dislike in Rabbit behaviour (as Fernie listed above) I love about pigs. But a rabbit keeper would maybe find them limiting.

I need something that I can pick up and hug. Wrap in my cardie and go to the fridge.

And gentle as they are, my Rescue sow bites. I wouldn't give her to a child. It's not the pigs fault, we have no clue what happened to her before but I know she was bred from.

I love it that children want pets but don't forget - you'll do 99% of the work. So only get them if YOU want them.

southeastastra Fri 23-Oct-15 22:01:56

i have two and they fight so don't live together, don't be drawn into the whole rabbits debate

mine have a run attached to their hutches so can get out all the time. they also DO make good pets for children who like rabbits

i am rather sick of the rabbit press on mn

MilkyChops Fri 23-Oct-15 22:04:23

I agree.

Rabbits are actually very needy creatures and not like cats etc.

They need space not a hutch, they need a garden shed with a big open safe place or big custom made run. They like the company of other bunnies but need to be neutered and vaccinated. They have a special diet not the crap muesli stuff you get in tesco. They eat as much hay as a Shetland pony (or so it feels like).

They are a very misunderstood pet and that's why thousands are in rescues up and down the country.

I would get a cat instead to be honest unless YOU are prepared to do the looking after because it is too much for a child to think about.

MilkyChops Fri 23-Oct-15 22:07:15

It's not the rabbits that are the problem, they are wonderful little creatures when thier needs are met. It's the owners that are the problem when they expect the rabbit to meet thier needs and they don't.

MrsPiddlewink Fri 23-Oct-15 22:12:54

Eglu make the best hutches.

We have one rabbit and he is delightful. Loves a cuddle, runs over to the side of the hutch to greet us when we go past. He's litter trained too so can roam around the house. Gets on brilliantly with our cat and dog


He is the exception to the rule I feel, as everyone else I know that has a rabbit really regrets it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 23-Oct-15 22:15:35

Hutches were used in Victorian times to contain rabbits before they went in the pot.
There are YouTube videos of guineas in SouthAmerica in holding pens before they too end up as lunch.

To exhibit their natural behaviour they need space and security.

And that hay gets flipping Everywhere hmm

avmp89 Mon 26-Oct-15 10:10:58

Thanks everyone for your advice - I just assumed a hutch would be fine, but will definitely do some more research with all of your comments in mind! I don't have a shed which can be used, so will need to look for a bigger hutch. Really thought they were the ideal pet for children but will think again!!

littlehayleyc Tue 03-Nov-15 23:59:05

Have a look at the welfare hutch company. If you aren't able to have a shed then that sort of hutch/run combination is what you would need. We have recently got 2 rabbits and the children love them. I don't let the children try to pick them up though, and they are my pets. I bring them in for playtime, or let them out in the garden and they have great personalities. They're very mischievous and entertaining if they are given a fun environment. My son is 8 and he is really good with them. He sits calmly in the conservatory with them and they hop on his lap.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Fri 06-Nov-15 11:50:30

they are not cuddly, but they're DELIGHTFUL creatures

I find it helps to think of them as vegan cats

I'm lurking on your thread- hope you don't mind wink - ours are in an eglu and run but they're too soggy at the mo and am thinking of getting another hutch for winter, to put on concrete near the house

(as you might gather from the above- they are £££££s!)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 06-Nov-15 12:02:54

fgrin @ vegan cats

Is the cuddling on their terms at their request and they win you over by not bringing you assorted dead things as A Present?

Lowdoorinthewall Sun 08-Nov-15 20:07:03

With respect to the Eglu I would say it depends how much you are able to invest. My rabbits live at my school during term time weekdays where they have an Eglu Cube (meant for 10 chickens shock ). This is pretty much ideal and everything Eglu claim- easy to clean, spacious, easy to move as it has wheels etc (although even with the Cube we use wire fencing to give the rabbits more space).

I have an Eglu Go for them at home for the weekends and holidays (plus they are let free in the garden when we are home). I was warned against this Eglu on mumsnet, but too late as I had already invested. It is a pain in the arse. It is NOT easy to clean out and the rabbits have quickly learned that if they sit in the very centre we can't catch them, which is a hassle. It is very difficult to detach the run from the hut so moving it to have a good sweep underneath is a military operation. It is also not fully waterproof, I have found the bedding in the hut is getting wet in this driving rain. I have had to turn it into a polytunnel as demonstrated!

AmarettoSour Sun 08-Nov-15 20:13:11

southeast if your rabbits are fighting with one another you need to take more time to bond them, with professional help if necessary. 99.9% of buns are able to be successfully bonded but it's not always a quick or easy process.

Wolfiefan Sun 08-Nov-15 20:24:52

Bunnies can be a lovely pet but they need lots of space and regular handling. Also be aware of fly strike and possible tooth over growing. They can need regular vet trips.

timelytess Sun 08-Nov-15 20:25:31

Go to the Rabbits United forum. Check out the 'housing' and 'bonding' threads.

If you don't have them already, don't get rabbits. They are expensive to keep, expensive to provide vet care for (they are 'exotics' to vets) and they do a great deal of damage if they get chance.

I have four.

LittleMissGreen Mon 09-Nov-15 20:48:51

I have 2 rabbits and they are happily bonded. Been a few ups and downs on that front but fine now. I have a large hutch and then 3 large runs joined together with long flexible tubing so I can lift the runs onto new grass each day. Each run then has a variety of ledges to climb on and off. It probably cost about £750 to set up but the rabbits seem very happy.
They do eat lots of hay but I had budgeted for that. They are happy to be petted at their demand. Hmm yes I like the 'vegan cat' description grin.

bobsalong Mon 09-Nov-15 20:56:54

We had a rabbit and he was an absolute little bugger. He used to sneak up to me while I was lying on the floor watching TV, chomp a chunk out of my leg and then prance away like he was doing a little merry dance.
If DD ever wanted a pet I'd get her guinea pigs. Fat little sausages that you can cuddle and have good hairstyles. Easy to look after too, I had them for years when I was little.

timelytess Mon 09-Nov-15 23:39:08

I recommend large, long haired Syrian hamsters. Brilliant pets.

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