What you need to know before you pick a Bunny
Rabbits appeared in the north almost a million years ago and migrated to the Mediterranean region to escape the cold and find food.
All the breeds of rabbits come from the rabbit of Garenne but the men spread them a little everywhere on earth, sorry to tell you but for a simple reason which was the consumption of meat because the rabbits are known for their fast growth, but nowadays, thank God, the rabbits are more and more raised and adopted as pets and I am going to tell you everything on how to choose his rabbit and take care of him and all that you have to know to have one or several rabbits as pets.
The characteristics of a rabbit
- The rabbit is generally calm
- The rabbit loves children
- The rabbit is a great player and therefore ideal for children.
- The rabbit likes to be cuddled and does not tolerate too much the absence of its master.
- Rabbits are not too fond of cats but get along well with other rodents.
- The rabbit has a good life expectancy , 10 years some times
- The rabbit is a little fragile and needs a lot of attention if you adopt it.
- The rabbit loves to live in the company of other rabbits, so think about choosing and bringing home at least two, a couple for example.
- Adopting and having a rabbit or two as pets won’t cost you too much money and having a pet is a great way to work on your own well being too ..
The most popular breeds and varieties of rabbits
Which breed of rabbit to choose?
I have chosen some in this article, which I advise you to read right after, the three breeds of rabbits ideal for a beginner.
It’s not an easy question to answer, just listen to your heart because there are several breeds of rabbits, here is the list of the most popular, especially in the United States:
- American rabbit.
- The Belgian Hare Rabbit
- Californian Rabbits
- The Checkered Giant Rabbit
- The Dutch Rabbit
- The English Lop
- English Spot
- Flemish Giant Rabbit
- The French Angora Rabbit
- Harlequin Rabbit
- The Polish rabbit
- The dwarf Britannia
- Dwarf Aries
- The colored dwarf
- The Angora Rabbit
- The dwarf Hotot
- The dwarf Rex
- The English Angora rabbit; Jersey Wooly)
- The Fuzzy Lop
All Rabbit breeds are generally classified in one of the following four varieties:
- Single-colored rabbits, a single color for the entire coat of the rabbit.
- Rabbits with markings, the tips of the legs, ears, … are of a different color or shade than the rest of the coat.
- Varieties of patterned rabbits, which have spots and patterns on the body.
- Agouti rabbits whose chin, nostrils, eye rims…etc. are of a different color than their entire coat.
How to choose the right rabbit to adopt?
When you are going to choose a pet rabbit , here are the elements you have to pay attention to while observing the rabbit cage and before choosing your pet bunny :
- The rabbit’s cage should be clean, spacious and stocked with lots of hay.
- The rabbits’ water must be clean and the feed must be ideally fresh vegetables and pellets of good quality and in sufficient quantity.
- Look for signs of disease in rabbits, runny nose or eyes, signs of diarrhea, choose a rabbit from a healthy, lively group that contains active, agile and curious rabbits.
- The rabbit you choose should not run away when you try to take it in your hands, it should remain docile and calm which is a good sign of sociability and which augurs well for a rather easy domestication and taming when it will arrive at your home and especially it will be more playful and calm with your children if you have any.
Physical characteristics of a good rabbit to adopt
- The ideal rabbit should have a smooth, healthy, shiny coat that covers its entire body without hairless areas.
- Nostrils and eyes that don’t run and show no signs of infection.
- Healthy, white and healthy teeth and incisors
- Healthy, clean ears and paws, free of infections and sores.
- Well-developed muscles and when you feel her abdomen you should not feel any swelling or bones sticking out.
- The lower part of his body must also be covered with hair and the inside of his legs must be clean, as well as his private parts.
Which breed of rabbit to choose for adoption?
When it comes to choosing a rabbit, know that it’s not like choosing a cat or picking the all other pets where you have breeds with very specific characteristics of each breed, choosing a rabbit must be done without prejudices for its breed because it’s not very important when you choose a rabbit to opt for this or that breed, each rabbit is different from the others and has its own character all breeds combined.
The dwarf rabbits are very appreciated by children, they are more playful and affectionate than the giant rabbits, but it is necessary to let children know that dwarf rabbits do not like to be manipulated and they are rather fragile and prone to accidents because of the fragility of their bones.
On the other hand, dwarf rabbits need less space than other larger breeds of rabbits, long-haired breeds of rabbits like the Angora rabbit need more attention and brushing and fur care to prevent the hair from becoming matted and the rabbit’s fur from breaking down.
You can also choose a mixed breed rabbits, generally of medium size, they are also rabbits just like the other breeds and also become very adorable pets.
You can’t judge the character of a rabbit by its breed, because each rabbit acquires its character with the time and attention you give it, so you can make your rabbit an excellent pet without it having to be of a specific breed.
Is adopting a rabbit a good choice for my children ?
Yes, if your children ask you to adopt a rabbit as a pet, say yes as long as you make them aware of the fact that rabbits are fragile and fearful by nature. You must therefore teach your children how to handle a rabbit, how to play with it, how to take care of it, etc. Don’t be afraid, after reading this article you will know everything about rabbits and how to take care of them.
Here are a few requirements to be able to properly care for a rabbit after you have chosen a :
- Your rabbit will need an average of one hour a day to provide for itself, feeding, cleaning, etc…
- Rabbit hates loneliness, think about adopting and choose at least two, a couple for example, think about the costs.
- The rabbit needs its own corner, a quiet place without too much noise and without too much comings and goings.
- The rabbit likes to go outside and gallop and smile when the weather is nice outside, a terrace or a garden and a backyard will be essential if you want your rabbit to be happy and do physical exercise too, the rabbit needs to walk at least one hour a day, so think about it.
- The rabbit if you adopt it will not hesitate to put its droppings everywhere in the house, would you agree with this ?
- The rabbit is a furry animal, so before adopting one, you must make sure that no member of the family is allergic to fur.
- Be aware that rabbits are very sensitive to heat, which causes heart problems.
- A malnourished rabbit will suffer from diarrhea, stick to the same diet to avoid this.
- The ideal temperature to raise a rabbit is 18 degrees.
- A rabbit needs the myxomatosis vaccine after about 3 months of age.
Choosing a male or female rabbit?
You won’t notice any significant difference between a male and female rabbit, even if the females are a bit more attentive and quiet, they can nevertheless become a bit aggressive when they are in heat, and even likely to develop uterine tumors after the age of 5 years.
The male rabbit will tend to spray the walls and mark his territory with urine jets, once he becomes an adult rabbit, he will become more agitated after the age of 6 months because he will want to mate and will become very frustrated if he doesn’t manage to satisfy his sexual needs.
You can’t do anything because it’s the animal instinct, and it must be said that rabbit urine is a strong smell, and he’s going to redo this marking of territory every time you clean the old smells he would have left on your furniture, you just have to accept him as he is.
If you want the male rabbit to remain docile once he becomes an adult, think about having him neutered after the age of 6 months, so he won’t urinate everywhere because he will lose his sexual appetite and therefore the need to mark his territory with urine as well.
How many rabbits should we adopt?
You have surely noticed it in animal documentaries, when you are shown a rabbit, it is never alone because in the wild rabbits live in groups of several individuals.
If you don’t want your rabbit to suffer from loneliness you should be with him most of the day but if you can’t stay with him all the time, you’d better adopt two rabbits of the same age, two female rabbits, two sisters preferably to keep them company when nobody is at home.
If you adopt a couple of rabbits, male and female, know that they reproduce very quickly and you will find yourself with dozens of rabbits in your home before you know it.
So choose two female rabbits, I mean, if you’re not ready to start breeding rabbits.
What is the ideal age of the rabbit when you adopt it?
You can adopt bunnies as soon as they are 7 or 8 weeks old, but you have to teach them how to urinate in their crate and especially how to put up with their nonsense when you let them out in the house to please the children for example or for their daily walk …etc…
Better to adopt an adult rabbit
I would rather advise you to adopt an adult pet rabbit, who already knows how to do his business in his crate, and be quiet on the other hand and if you are ready to make more efforts, adopting two small rabbits is also good, they will grow up very quickly if you know how to be patient of course, but bunnies as I said before are more fragile than adult rabbits, remember to educate children on this point also if you opt for rabbits of 8 weeks.
Know the rabbit’s habits before adopting it
The rabbit is an animal that is very active during the day, therefore a daytime animal, he likes to leave his cage at least once a day, loves to have food always close to him, it must be said that eating is the best occupation of the rabbit.
It is a sociable animal that is easy to tame, it can live with a dog or a guinea pig, but not with a ferret because it is one of its natural predators.
If you adopt a male and female couple, you should know that rabbits reach their sexual maturity at the age of 6 months and they tend to have young rabbits, up to 6 per litter or even more, 3 or 4 times a year after a gestation period of about one month.
If you decide to adopt one or more rabbits, here’s what they like to eat
The rabbit is a rodent, which means it needs to gnaw its food, fresh grass, carrots, seeds, lettuce leaves and all kinds, hay, healthy, pesticide-free vegetable peelings of course.
Rabbits get their energy from the fibers and when I raised them, I remember that they spent all their time either running, trying to make burrows and especially eating.
Rabbits can also have their ration of pellets, which must be exclusively composed of hay and compressed vegetables as well as mineral salts. These pellets for rabbits are very high in calories, but the rabbit must also eat raw vegetables to keep its teeth in perfect health.
On the other hand, you should avoid feeding your rabbit with fruits, especially those that are too sweet, a rabbit that feeds exclusively on fruits will have problems of overweight and obesity which will lead to other health concerns in the future, so avoid giving fruits to your rabbit.
The rules to respect concerning rabbit feeding
Two meals a day, a light meal early in the morning and another one later in the evening, this is how a rabbit feeds in the wild and if you leave him food available all day long, he will tend to eat too much, get fat and become obese and hello health problems.
The amount of food for a rabbit is relative to its weight, a 1 kg rabbit needs 50 grams of food per day and this amount is proportional to its weight, 70 to 100 grams of food for a 2 kg rabbit...etc….
The amount of food you give your rabbit when it is not active should be reduced and increased if it spends more time outside its cage, a minimum of one hour per day.
Never abruptly change the diet and the quality of the food you give your rabbit, make gentle changes and consult a veterinarian when you want to change your rabbit’s diet.
Your rabbit must always have fresh and clear water at his disposal; water and hay are essential for your rabbit and they must be of very good quality.
What to do before you take the pet Rabbit home
Finally, here are some recommendations and advice for you before you go to bring or buy a rabbit and bring it home :
- Before taking your rabbit home, make an appointment with the veterinarian the same day so that he can consult him and give you some advices concerning the vaccines for rabbits, the food adapted for him as well as the quantities …etc…
- To let children know that the rabbit is not a toy but a part of the fault line that they must treat with tenderness and respect and take care of as well.
- Think about buying the ideal cage for your rabbit, as well as hay, and all other utensils and special products for rabbits and especially install the cage in a quiet area of the house.
- Bring with you a plastic basket for rabbits to avoid bringing your pet back in a cardboard box, you will need this basket later think about buying a better quality basket.
How much will it cost you to buy and take care of a pet rabbit?
It is necessary to count between 300$ and 600$ to be able to buy a rabbit and all the material necessary to take good care of it at home.
The Rabbit will cost between 20$ and 40$, rare breeds cost much more, but you can get a rabbit for free by adopting it directly from the shelter.
- Vaccination against RHD1 , then RHD2 about $50 each.
- The rabbit insurance will cost you $8 to $10 a month.
- Sterilization about $100…etc
The annual cost to have a rabbit is about $700 a year, you have to think about
- Insurance and vaccinations.
- Hay and litter
- Treats and food
- Toys …etc
You can save money of course, it must be said that with 700$ per year, your rabbit will live the good life.