My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your pet, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Small pets

rabbit owners come hither please.

14 replies

Mrsantithetic · 28/05/2015 14:46

I'm contemplating a pet mainly for the children to learn about pets although as they are young the responsibility will be mine.
my dog died two years ago and I miss having pets round the house but dogs and cats are a no go.

I'm looking at a small rabbit possibly guinea pig. My questions are

  1. is it realistic for them to live in proper hutches etc in the garden with access to a shed/garage over colder weather or is this cruel. Having only ever had a dog the idea of my pet being outside makes me feel cruel.

  2. How much work and handling time is needed. I would expect to be obviously feeding and watering cleaning out poo every day and a big clean once a week. Would that be accurate?
  3. health wise anything I should know prone to? vet bills expectations
  4. one singular rabbit of a dwarf variety or would two be better. I would assume two guinea pigs and what gender

    obviously I'm researching thoroughly before deciding as once I've committed to a pet its there for life and I don't want to make a bad decision but any help or guidance would be great. Smile
OP posts:
FernieB · 28/05/2015 18:18

How old are your DC? Rabbits are not great for kids as they don't really like being held but guinea pigs are great for sitting on laps and being fed green stuff. Pigs are also quite vocal which kids enjoy. Whichever you decide upon, you will need to get two so they have company of their own kind.

Artandco · 28/05/2015 18:21

Guinea pigs can be kept indoors. My brother keeps his in a large cage without a roof, on just fleece blankets. He just throws the blankets in the washing machine and adds new one so super easy to clean

StrawberrytallCake · 28/05/2015 18:25

We have two rabbits for our dc, only 3 months old at the moment and have proven very popular.

I am hoping I'm doing everything right!! They need two injections a year, worming and flea treatment, hay to chew on, fresh veggies, limited dried food and new water each day. They live together in a large two storey hutch in the garage when it gets much warmer they will live outside. We let then out every day for a few hours into a large pen in the garden with toys in and dcs sit in there with them sometimes and feed them cabbage leaves.

Not sure whether to bring them inside in the winter or keep them in the garage with a thermal cover and I am concerned they won't have enough exercise so will be bringing them into the house to hop around.

Apparently they can be toilet trained so I'm just working out how to do that now.

StrawberrytallCake · 28/05/2015 18:27

The injections cost around £30 for each rabbit per year. Ooh they also need neutering to avoid fighting at around 6 months and I believe that's around £100 per rabbit.

A great advantage of having our little bunnies is the extra vegetables in the house all the time!

Noregretsatall · 28/05/2015 18:33

They are not easy pets! They need:

Somewhere to run around/exercise every day.
Company preferably their own kind so get two. Plenty of cuddles from your dc.
Vaccinations - mine have all theirs in one shot now once a year which makes things cheaper and more convenient.
Food - hay hay hay! Grass and a few fresh veggies are fine but not too much fruit, dried rabbit food or carrots.
Litter tray cleaned once a day, thorough clean of living quarters once a week.
As they're prey animals, they make no
Noise if ill or in pain/suffering so you need to be vigilant and watchful.

Mrsantithetic · 28/05/2015 18:37

I think I would prefer a guinea pig. can they live outside in a big hutch and come inside.

do they need less space. I'm thinking I'm probably going to end up not wanting them outside. dd is 3 so it will be more my pet with her getting some experience until shes older.

OP posts:
Mrsantithetic · 28/05/2015 18:56

I'm reading old threads about guinea pigs and getting excited.

they are for the children. honest. Grin

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 29/05/2015 18:54

Hi Mrsant - we have pigs (I've never kept rabbits, even Fernies Current Bun trying to convince me that buns are superior hasn't takem me down The Rabbit Route Grin )

Pigs - must be 2/2+ piggies , they don't do solo.
2 females are easier, 2 boars are lovely but IMO harder work.
We have 2 sows and a neutered boar which is ideal for us.

They can live indoors all the while but the hay is messy (and smells more than the pigs)
Ours have an enclosed Pighouse (my DC old wooden playhouse that DH customised). In winter they sleep indoors and go out by day but they cannot go from a heated house to a cold hutch (or vice versa).

Some people do keep them outside all the while but you need to make sure they're protected and insulated ( against cold/damp/draughts. Also protect in summer against extreme heat)
And you need to go out in all weather to feed, clean, check.

Be aware of allergies (the commonest cause of pigs being rehomed after "kids got bored" ).
We had GP1 and GP2 (brothers) then GP1 and GP3 (boars) . DD was allergic to GP3.
We got GP4 and GP5 (sows) and neutered GP3.
Then GP3 died, we got GP6 (boar, neutered) she's slightly allergic to him.
GP1 was smooth, GP2 was abby, GP3 was Rex, GP4 is smooth, GP5 is smooth , GP6 is teddy. So I think it's the fur type with her.

But it took years for her allergy to show .

We love our piggies (and GP6 will be the last one though I said that about the ladies Grin )

Mrsantithetic · 29/05/2015 19:26

that's really helpful thanks.

I did wonder about allergies. Although dd has held at a petting farm there wasn't anything immediately obvious and she has no other allergies.

I think they are probably more my pet than theirs really. good to know about the warm house cold outside. do you just make sure your house isn't really warm then.

these will 've outside I think. Maybe inside over winter but last year was quite mild for us. we do have a shed they could go in too.

where's the best place to get the them. breeders ?

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 29/05/2015 19:48

in winter , ours have the small bedroom , no heating on, we put a duvet over the top of the cage (we tell them it;s to insulate them, but it's like putting a cloth over a parrot cage ....... shuts them up Grin )

Then, before they go out, I put fresh dry paper and fresh hay with a Snuggle pad in the haybox and they have a little heater that I put on 30 minutes before to warm it up a bit.
Did I mention my babies are spoiled? Wink

Our pigs are all Rescue (all were adults apart from GP3 who was a tiny piglet to bond with an adult)
All are lovely, some very Sad stories out there with Rescues. None of mine were cruelty cases but all deserving a new home.

GP5 is not a child's pet but we knew she was a feisty one you are (Yoda voice) when we got her.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 29/05/2015 19:50

^^ the heater is only winter BTW.
But they have fresh paper and hay every day because they are manky Grin

Mrsantithetic · 29/05/2015 20:11

Oh great. Haha.

how much time petting them do you give them? I could try a rescue. I suppose they won't 've babies and a bit more robust then?

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 29/05/2015 21:05

one handed typing - got my piggie
rescues often have piglets - unfortunately alot of females go there pg, but they are reserved quickly, so you'd need to let them know you're looking.

adults are gorgeous and they can give you an idea of what they;re like.
summer is a good time to get them, lots of pigs will already ne living out.

we cuddle them for 30-40 minutes until they're bladders need emptied - they learn to give a warning and you learn to read the signs Grin

we check them morning and night when we feed them and if it's nice , they go out, we give them a checkover.

FernieB · 30/05/2015 11:40

Go get young adults from a rescue - they'll be ready bonded and far easier to catch than piglets.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.