Pet Rabbits - General Info, Experience & Opinions requested

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by DawnSuiter, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've started my research on rabbits because the whole family has expressed an interest. [​IMG]

    Thing is, like with everything else, I'm getting conflicting information. On one hand some never leave their crates and eat pellets their whole lives.... the other hand says they need a run for hopping & jumping a few hours a day, grass is preferred and that they should eat little pelleted food and instead mostly fresh greens.

    Then there is the thought that they should live inside the house because temperature swings disturb them, but the ones at my daughters school live outside like the chickens year round in cages...? Plus most of the people on here that i've read post about their rabbits living in cages outside.

    We just want a rabbit for the cute cuddly factor, none of us really think the mini rabbits are cute and we definitely like the LOP (floppy) eared rabbits. And if we should get two for company for eachother we definitely would want the same gender.

    What's the scoop?
     
  2. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have 3 mini-rex's that each have their own 24" square cage.

    The first couple years we use to bring them in the basement for the winter but eventually we got sick of the smells. (Cleanup chores don't seem to get done as often in winter for some reason... oh, ya. It's cold outside!)

    During the spring and summer the rabbits go into a "rabbit tractor". We still give them their 1/4 cup of pellets twice a day (I was told that you shouldn't keep their feeders full.) but they get to enjoy the grass and clover that grows on our lawn (no weed and feed etc). The best part of the tractor is that the kids can sit in the tractor with the rabbits!

    We found out the hard way a couple years ago that rabbits, especially young ones, can't stand the heat/sun. We lost an entire litter when we put them in the tractor for the afternoon while we went to a ball game. Came back in 4 hours and [​IMG] Very sad.

    When we started looking at rabbits we read a few books. Some books go into every detail, some just give you enough info to keep them alive.

    During the winter I keep heat lamps over their water bottles to help them stay thawed. Of course when it's -30 it can't keep up but from 0 to 32 it works.

    I'll post again if I think of anything else.
     
  3. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Our Mini Rex liked playing with our cat. One thing I just wanted to say is that if it is indoors, it will chew on anythign it thinks is tasty or just needs chewing!
     
  4. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh ya, Don't feed rabbits a head of lettuce from the store. Garden fresh is fine but they must put something on commercially grown lettuce that will harm bunnies.

    Who knows, it may be a wives tail but I'm not going to try it myself!
     
  5. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I meant indoors in a crate... or cage of sorts...

    we could NOT let a bunny run loose in this house... 1000 sf.. 3 humans 2 full time dogs 2 part time dogs, 2 cats, and way too much furniture thanks to my mom who brings me furniture I do not want but can't possibly throw away because she GAVE IT TO ME [​IMG] [​IMG] !!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2009
  6. L*A*G*

    L*A*G* Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    planet chicken
    here's what i have to say about rabbits, they love my chickens and well not so much to cats but i have my albino bunnys for sell now.
     
  7. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    3,837
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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Quote:I meant indoors in a crate... or cage of sorts...

    we could NOT let a bunny run loose in this house... 1000 sf.. 3 humans 2 full time dogs 2 part time dogs, 2 cats, and way too much furniture thanks to my mom who brings me furniture I do not want but can't possibly throw away because she GAVE IT TO ME [​IMG] [​IMG] !!

    We would let him out of his cage for exercise in the basement but he would always sneak upstairs. Then everything became a chew toy. [​IMG] I just wanted to warn you about that, just in case! [​IMG]
     
  8. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I think you have to pick a "side": Housebunny or yard bunny. [​IMG]

    DD just got a mini rex. She is in the garage and gets to run around our entry area/porch. DD & I lost on the housebunny vote. [​IMG] We recently purchased The Rabbit Handbook by Karen Gendron. Got it off of Amazon for less than $10. It is a slim book, but a solid resource. I liked it better than Storey's rabbit book, as we are in this for a pet and 4-H, rather than raising meat. We have only had our little gal for a month. She is so easy to care for. Her hay & pellets are her main diet. Romaine lettuce, carrots, apples and parsley make nice treats.
     
  9. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    Lop bunnies come in 4 breeds, Holland Lops are the smallest and are supposed to be 4 pounds or less. Mini Lops are in the 5-6 pound range, then come French and English Lops. French Lops and similar looking to Hollands and Mini's just bigger and beefy'er (is that a word? [​IMG]) and English have those SUPER LONG EARS that they drag around. Both French and English are in the 10-12+ range. Don't quote me on exact weight, but they are close. You can check out the American Rabbit Breeders Association website, it will show all the different breeds and lead you to each breeds own website.

    Bunnies can usually be house trained fairly easily, like a cat, however, they should also have a cage to go in when not being supervised as they will, as other have mentioned, chew lots of things, the most dangerous being electrical cords. If litter trained, do not use kitty litter, use the paper litter, or shavings (pine,aspen, etc, NOT CEDAR).

    Pellets and hay are perfect for feeding, with occasional treats, careful with the greens, start slow, as bunnies get diarrhea easily and it can be deadly to them. I don't give fresh greens until they are at least 4 months old, because a bout of diarrhea and they can be dead in hours.

    If kept outside, they can withstand cold easier than heat, as long as they are dry and have a wind break. We bought heated water bottles this year, awesome investment!! Family Farm and Home had them for $20 and no more frozen water!! Fresh water is the best way for them to keep warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, so very important. In the summer, we used frozen water bottles in their cage to help cool them down and mist them (especially their ears) if it is too hot.

    Hmmmm, what else ...................
     
  10. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some of the mini lops are cute.... .and they have those at my DD's high school I could get them from there.

    Are there "friendly" bunnies? Are they all cuddly?
     

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