Categories | Small Animal Breeder | Rabbit Breeders
If you are after a pet that is relatively low maintenance, that won’t cost the earth, and that is also cute and cuddly, a rabbit may be perfect for you. Here’s what you need to know.
There are many different varieties of rabbits that can be kept as pets including the dwarf lop, the mini lop, the angora, the dwarf cashmere lop, the French lop, and the Rex. However, you can say that common characteristics amongst rabbits include their soft coats, and their ears (which are either upright or drooping, depending on the breed). Rabbits come in many different colours and patterns including white, grey, brown, and sable.
Lop rabbits, or those with droopy ears, are generally quite docile rabbits and as such, they are a great choice for kids. As a general rule, though, the larger the rabbit, the gentler it is likely to be. Rabbits are pets that can be cuddled (if they are supported properly and feel secure!) and they can even be housetrained if you want an indoor bunny. The good news is that their poop can be used to fertilise your lawn and they are not expensive to keep!
To house your rabbit, you will need a rabbit hutch that is either made from timber or metal. Make sure that the hutch is enclosed using a wire mesh on all sides and that at least one side is fully enclosed so that the rabbit has shelter from the weather. Wire mesh on the sides and the floor is extremely important, not just to keep the rabbit in but to keep potential predators out. It is also a good idea to use an insect screen over the open areas of the hutch to keep mosquitoes out. Place the hutch in an area of your garden that does not get too much sun but that still gets good light and ventilation.
Even though your rabbit will spend most of its time in the hutch, you will need to let it out in order to give it the exercise that it needs. You can let the rabbit explore around the house or even in the backyard but if you let it hop around outside, you need to keep a careful eye on it so that you don’t lose it.
Feeding and Caring for Rabbits
The main component of your pet rabbit’s diet should be rabbit pellets, which are readily available and have all the vitamins and minerals that your rabbit needs. Be careful not to feed too many pellets however or else your rabbit may become fat. You can supplement the rabbit pellets with fresh grass (make sure that there are no chemicals on it) and fresh veggies (but not lettuce). You will also need to give your rabbit fresh straw and hay every day. Of course, fresh and clean water should always be available.
There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to handle rabbits. To handle a rabbit, you should pick up by putting one hand under the front legs and use your other hand to support the rabbit’s bottom so that it feels secure. Hold the rabbit close to your body. You should never, ever lift a rabbit by the ears as this will hurt them. Teach children the correct way to handle a rabbit and always supervise them (especially if they are quite young) so that they don’t accidentally hurt them.
One thing that you will have to do is vaccinate your rabbits against the more common diseases that can affect them such as the calicivirus. Grooming may also be required and how much will depend on the breed. Longer haired breeds such as the angora rabbit will need to be brushed daily while the shorter haired breeds such as the dwarf lop should only need weekly brushing.
A Quick Note about Rabbits
Some states require you to have a permit before you can own a rabbit so you should check with your state’s National Parks and Wildlife Authority to see exactly what the rules are. It is illegal to keep rabbits in Queensland unless you are a magician!
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