Pet rabbits are fun to have and they have wonderful personalities and are very playful. They love to be held. They are easy to take care of and can be inside or outside pets. Females are called Does and males are called Bucks’. Rabbits can live from 5-15 years of age so keep this in mind when considering them as a pet. There are various breeds to choose from short haired and long haired rabbits.
It is a good idea to get a cage that has a bottom that will slide out making it easier to clean. Rabbits are very clean animals and they only use one part of the cage to go potty in. If you put down newspaper or some sort of paper on the bottom pull out drawer it will be easy to just dump the waste into the trash and rinse the bottom off. If the cage is large enough you can put a litter box in there for your rabbit.
Most people keep their rabbits in a cage and if that is what you decide to do you will need the following items for it. Cages need to be 4 times the size of your rabbit or the biggest one you can get. Avoid wire mesh cages they can cause injury to your rabbit. There are special cages just for rabbits.
1. A water bottle that hangs on the side of the cage.
2. Bedding that you can get from any pet store.
3. Two food bowls.
4. Rabbit food pellets and hay to eat.
5. Food Treats and chew toys.
6. Hair brush for long-haired rabbits.
Open Yard or Back Yard Hutch
Our rabbits had the freedom of the backyard to run around in and eat the grass and whatever else they found they liked to eat. The only thing is that being rabbits they will naturally dig a den to live in. They might also dig under your fence and go visit your neighbors to eat something that smells good to them.
Try and make an enclosure that will be safe for them and they will not be able to dig out of and get lost or hurt.
I have seen enclosures that were mounds of dirt inside a wooden pen with large tubes into it so it reminds them of natural dirt tunnels that they would dig. Not everyone agrees with having a rabbit run around in the backyard, but we enjoyed it.
Rabbits love to be indoors with their owners and can be kept indoors in a cage or loose to run around. Rabbits like cats can be trained to use a litter box. A litter box for rabbits will need to have a paper based litter and not the clumping type.
Rabbit pellets can be bought at any pet stores as a main source of food for them. But give them at least 2 cups of veggies to eat a day. Some veggies are carrots, lettuce, they will eat most veggies. They love dandelion weeds at least mine did. They also need to eat hay and fruit can be a wonderful treat.
Pet stores sell special rabbit treats that you can buy and our rabbits loved them.
If you are thinking of breeding or have a male and female rabbit the important thing to remember is that the gestation period is 28-32 days. They can have between 7-8 babies at a time. Our doe had a dozen in one of her litters. Rabbits can start breeding at 4-8 months of age.
One day we woke up to find baby rabbits all over the back yard and they were at least a month old and we never knew our doe had them and she was expecting more at the same time.
So it is a good idea if you know your doe is expecting to put her into a cage with a box to have her babies in. That is what we tried to do if we knew she was expecting. The doe will pull out her fur to make a nest for her babies’ right before delivery time.
If you do not want baby bunnies galore you can take your buck or doe into the vet to be neutered. You might have to call several vets to find one that has experience in neutering rabbits.
Our rabbits loved our cats and our small dog. The cats and our dog never did bother our rabbits everyone got along great.
Summer Heat and Weather
Rabbits can get over heated really fast and cannot cool down so they will need a frozen water bottle to keep them cool. A soda bottle can be filled with water and frozen and placed into the cage with them and they will lie next to it to keep cool.
If your rabbit is in an outdoor hutch be sure to have it where it is out of the elements of rain, cold weather, sun and has access to cool breezes during the summertime. During the cold winter months cover your hutch or keep it in out of the cold.
We loved having rabbits and will one day have them again. They are great pets and so easy to take care of!
Rabbit Care Information: http://petrabbitcare.org/
Rabbit Care Guide: http://exoticpets.about.com/od/rabbitcare/tp/rabbitcareguide.htm
Indoor Rabbit Care: http://www.myhouserabbit.com/care.php