Bunnies

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mother o' chicks72, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi! I'm looking into getting bunnies, maybe one or two. Not for breeding purposes, just for pets. My family and I so far think that the cutest breeds are Netherland Dwarfs, Mini Rex, and Lionheads. Do any of you rabbit people have experience with any of these breeds? Which of them are the friendliest or most child tolerable? Thanks!
     
  2. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,953
    118
    213
    Apr 15, 2011
    I had a netherland dwarf as a kid, and it was the best little bunny. But, he was an English bred dwarf (bit different from the US ones), and was very docile where as some I've seen in the States have been pretty high strung and nippy. I'm sure it depends what the breeder you buy from is breeding for specifically. Rexes I love. They are docile and have SOFT fur, as they weren't exactly bred to be pets but for their fur and meat. They have mini-rexes too, but I'm not sure the general temperament of those. Angoras are high maintenance, but the English or Germans make excellent pets especially. Lionheads have angora bred into them, but they seem to generally be more plucky than the angoras. But, I've only seen a few lionheads. Some prefer to get giant breeds such as a Flemish giant, since kids aren't so tempted to pick them up, and some buy small bunnies so that kids can cuddle them. I know lops are pretty popular. I've definitely enjoyed the angoras most myself though.
     
  3. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    Well my mom had a bad experience with one of the large breeds (I think it was a flemish giant) so she doesn't care for those. I like lops but she doesn't like those either. Angoras are high maintenance because you have to groom them really often. We are looking for one that a four year old boy can hold under close supervision without it biting him or something. I've only really met one lionhead and he is really nice but hates being held which is why i'm asking about those. We really like Netherland Dwarfs because they look like babies forever and I like the mini rexes because I know a nice rex but think a smaller one would be more ideal as they can be more easily held.
     
  4. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    2
    121
    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Any of those rabbit breeds make an excellent pet. I would suggest contacting the ARBA website @


    www.arba.net

    From there you can navigate to the individual breed club's websites and find yourself a reputable breeder of the animals you're interested in. Any rabbit breed can make a great pet. Handling when young and proper breeding will facilitate this. With the exception of some of the full arch type breeds. They can be quite active and an inexperienced or small handler may find themselves overwhelmed.

    I have raised Jersey woolies for 7 years and for the last three I've been focusing on Mini Rex. I have also been an official ARBA registrar for 5 years. I'm also studying for my judges' examination in September.

    If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer them, please feel free to PM me.
     
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    One thing you need to ask any breeder is "Have the kits been handled often from birth?" Because if not, they can be nippy and mean. Rabbits have a natural instinct to protect themselves and constant handling of babies is key.
     
  6. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    2
    121
    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Quote:I'd say as long as from 6-8 weeks on they'd be fine. Most kits aren't inherently nippy. They have more of a freeze or run (flight) response.
     
  7. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    oh, another thing. should we get 1 or 2? if we got two they would probably be littermates of the same sex.
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,459
    283
    246
    Jun 4, 2011
    here are some good links to "rabbits and children"

    http://www.rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=32928&forum_id=17

    this forum section has some awesome resources in their "rabbits 101" section
    http://www.rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=12080&forum_id=17

    things you should know off the bats:
    - more than a few breeders won't sell a rabbit to a home with a small child. esp not if the bunny is to be cared for by the child

    - rabbits need daily care and interaction. even non-angora rabbits should be groomed on a regular basis.

    - rabbits eat A LOT. they need more than pellets, they need daily veggies/fruits/vitamins

    - rabbits can live a long time. A mini-rex lives 10+ years (my SIL had one that lived 15!)

    - most breeders will want their bunny to live in the house, but rabbits can easily be litter-box trained

    - rabbits should be spayed/neutered for the same reason as dogs. un-neutered male rabbits can spray urine like a cat

    - even littermates raised together will sometimes no longer get along once puberty hits

    - rabbits need a lot of space - Both the RSPCA and RWA (UK) recommend a minimum hutch size of 6' x 2' x 2' to meet the duty of care requirements under the animal welfare act. With the addition of an exercise run. The ASPCA (US) recommends rabbits should be housed indoors only in a cage a minimum of 4' x 2' x 2', again with access to a large exercise area.
     
  9. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    2
    121
    Apr 27, 2011
    Capital District, NY
    Quote:This is some great information. I'd say (as a breeder and shower) that 4' is a good bit of over kill. I keep my rabbits in a 24x24 cage and does with litters go into 24 x 36 cage. They get to hang out in my newly built chicken tractor once a week now [​IMG]

    All the other info is excellent!
     
  10. mother o' chicks72

    mother o' chicks72 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm not looking to breed, I don't even need it to be purebred or high quality, just a sweet little bunny or two who would be good with kids. Would two female rabbits get along okay together? or two males?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by