Learning to love rabbits(11 Posts)
Today 21:01 Fruitflylady
I have two rabbits, male and female. They are nearly 3 years old, and I've had them since they were little. The problem is I feel like they are just prisoners in the garden. I really regret having got them but the children would be devastated if I let them go, so how can I learn to love them instead of resenting all the time I have to spend cleaning and feeding them?
I think I only got them because my DH refuses to get a cat or dog, which is what I'd prefer, but having pets just living in the garden rather than in the house isn't what I had in mind and I don't feel any bond with them.
We have had loads of rabbits because I wanted them!! They smell lovely!! How about spending some time in the kitchen with them? Easy to litter train!! And stress relievers too!! We have had a few house rabbits - big breeds, and a couple of dwarf ones! Ah glad we have unsuitable- for -
bunny dogs now or I would be tempted!! They can learn their names and follow you about!! Canny!!
Increase the space they have available. Offer them interesting things to do. Caring for them will make you love them. Read Rabbits United Forum. Check their diet - a few nuggets and hay, plenty of water available. Some herbs or forage. Thereafter save 'treats' (tiny amounts) for when you want rabbits to approach you. Spend time watching them every day - they are quite interesting.
They are quite sociable, happy to hop around my feet when I'm feeding and cleaning, but they don't like being picked up so taking them into the house is tricky.
They have a lot of space; there is a large extension to their hutch that they can go in during the day.
Rabbit show jumping!
Bunnies are prey animals. They are content in a burrow/hutch as long as they have each other.
I don't have rabbits, I never have . I have guinea-pigs.
I love feeding them in the morning hearing them wheek when they recognise the sound of my footsteps.
Cleaning the Pighouse and giving them soft clean bedding every night,
I have room for rabbits and I sometimes wish for some rabbits in my garden (but then I get a reality check)
OK, your rabbits are a bonded pair so that's a good start.
Hutches were inented to keep rabbits handy before they were killed for meat, not really intented for them to live in.
They can run 5 miles a day in the wild.
They are crespuscular (active at dawn/dusk)
Have ypu made them tunnels into big runs? They need things to hide under. Things to climb on.
Freedom to put themselves to bed if they want.
Protection from predators.
I always say to people don't get guinea-pigs if you really want rabbits, they're not a substitute. Your rabbits are your cat/dog substitue, its not the same.
My DH wants cats but he'll do loads for the pigs, just doesn't love them like DD and I do.
Have a look on Runaround and A Hutch is Not Enough for ideas.
There are some really good set ups with sheds or playhouses (my Pigs have a remodelled playhouse, DD and I go in to feed clean and chat , no standing in the rain)
I love watching them in their runs in the garden.
Indoor rabbits need to have everything rabbit proofed so that might not be an option.
I don't see why your DC can't get involved , they can help you design play areas- a plastic stool, a tree stump, cardboard boxes.
Hang up veg to nibble, get them stretching on their hind legs.
Give them space to binky (leap about like March hares )
Care, protect,nurture, enable a varied and safe enriched lifestyle for them.
Rabbits are the most neglected small pet in the UK, they'd probably be glad of half the chances your bunnies have
Thank you Target for all your advice. I really do want to give these buns a good life, I'm aware they need lots of space and try to give it to them. Rabbits wouldn't choose to live in a box in our back gardens given the alternative, but since I can't let them roam free it would be nice to make them as happy as they can be
We converted part of our shed into a rabbit home with a pipe (runaround) to a run outside - it works really well. It means you can go in and sit down and have a cup of tea with the buns, read the paper with them, so you spend more time with them. It's also way easier to clean than a hutch despite being so much bigger - I just sweep/wipe up poos and wees every day or two and no awkward bending over like when we had a hutch. If you sit in there with them for a bit they get much more relaxed and confident with you.
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