Rabbits are very popular pets that are great with children when handled from an early age. Tame rabbits are docile creatures, with tons of personality. Peter Rabbit’s Mr McGregor didn’t know what he was missing out on.
Here are some healthy bunny tips!
Food and Drink
Rabbits need a variety of food. In the wild they eat grass, hay and dark leafy greens, so this is what should be reproduced in your home. Avoid lettuce, as it can cause diahorrea, and carrots should only be given as a treat because of the high sugar content. Some garden plants are poisonous, and must be kept away from Thumper’s run. These include rhubarb, plant bulbs such as daffodils, foxglove, laburnum and oak leaves.
On top of grass and hay, a measured amount of extruded rabbit pellets ensure all nutrients are offered. Don’t go overboard no matter how much they like it though, because it can lead to obesity.
It goes without saying that fresh water must always be available. Use a hanging drip drinker and change it every day.
Hutches should be draft and rain proof, and they are best raised to prevent damp seeping in. Ensure that you clean them out regularly, and when it’s cold cover the front to prevent wind chill.
The run should be large enough for your rabbit to stretch out and enjoy comfortable living.
Move the run around your garden to source fresh grass. If you have an indoor bunny, ensure that its tray is frequently cleaned, and that any wires are boxed in. Bored bunnies will chew anything! To prevent boredom, bunnies are best kept in pairs, but they also live alongside guinea pigs quite happily. Neutering is essential if you plan to keep mixed sex bunnies or you will overrun within months! Females can be neutered from 4 months of age and males from around 3 months of age.
Pet rabbits should be vaccinated and neutered. Vaccinations cover the dreaded myxomatosis, which can spread to captive bunnies. In summer check under your bunny’s tail for maggot infestations which can lead to fly strike – a fatal condition. It’s a good idea to regularly comb your bunny. Not only does this make them easy to handle, but it keeps their coats in good condition and allows you to check for any injuries.
Rabbits are prone to tooth problems, but lots of grass and hay will help keep their teeth healthy. Give them at least their own body size in hay each day.
Bunnies are a rewarding, family-friendly pet when looked after well. If you are thinking about keeping a pet for your children, then you won’t go wrong with a bunny.