Saturday, 25 July 2015

Caring For Rabbits

Well hello loves,

I am by no means a rabbit expert. There are probably things i do with my rabbits that some people won't agree with. I simply just wanted to give a sort of guid line here. If you are thinking of getting rabbits. Please do as much research as possible. The more information you have the better you will be prepared.

The first thing I would advise for caring for any animal is that you think of the expense. Not only do you need to buy this animal and its home,  you also need to buy it food 2 or 3 times a month depending how much it eats, vet expenses, insurance expenses and the amount of time it take to care for it. 

I have had rabbits all my life and I will admit when I was younger, not all my rabbits were well cared for, as information on caring for them wasn't as ready available as it is now. 

When I first get my rabbits I always get 2. Rabbits live in groups and a single rabbit, if it doesn't have the correct environment,  can be a very lonely rabbit. Specially if you work all day and it's left on its own most of the time, they need company. 

Once they arrive I always insure them. I use pet plan. They are easy to use and easy to claim back from. Let's face it! Nothing that happens to a rabbit is ever small. Even getting their teeth blurred can cost £100 upwards. So it's best to have them insured!

Hutch
You need to consider the size of cage. The bigger the better. Think of yourself, you need space to move. I would only recommend double story huts. Single story's just don't have enough space for rabbits. Basically the bigger the better.

This one was a home made one. My grandad built this for my rabbit Missy a few years back. But similar ones can be bought from pet stores. 

Their bed is also important. Rabbits like to sleep and hide in dark places as it makes them feel safe. Their bed area should be totally enclosed. In the summer months I fill it with hay. In the winter months it's filled with straw to keep them warm. It's important that in the winter it's straw as the it traps air and keeps them warm!! Hay won't do that!

Exercise
They also need access to a run. Now my garden is fully in closed. So when I am in the house and I'm not going back out that day, I open up the cage and let them run the garden. If your garden isn't enclosed there is a lot of good runs like this BUNNY BUSINESS Rabbit/Guinea Enclosure  (see below for others). Again this is all money, you need to be prepared to spend a lot!

Cleaning
Cleaning out their beds is super important. You wouldn't want to sleep in a dirty bed and neither does your rabbit. Rabbits are clean animals and dirty bedding like with any animal can cause some major health issues. The most sever being fly strike!!

In the cold months I clean them out once a week. I clean the bits they pee in every day (even though they are litter trained, they have accidents). Litter trays are cleaned every 2 days. 

In the warm months when they are most likely to get fly strike they are cleaned fully twice a week and litter trays are cleaned every day! 

Feeding
I feed my rabbits once a day. You should weigh your rabbits and figure out how much to feed them from that. I'm going to be honest I have never done that. I half full their bowl with pellets and fill the rest with veg, like celery, carrots and cabbage. Hay is also readily available for them 24/7. 

I use the pellets from Asda or Natures Touch from pets at home. I don't like muesli as they tend to just pick the bits out that they like, then they end up with deficiencies. Then I add hay to the bottom of the cage. Rabbits need continuous supply of hay. It helps keep their tummies moving and also helps keep there teeth short.

Grooming
Grooming your rabbit is important even if it's not long haired. Rabbits constantly groom themselves and can easily get hair balls in their tummy from excess hair. It's important to remove as much as you can. When it's moulding time for my rabbits I brush them every day till I see a reduction in hair on the brush. After that I brush them once a week. 

VETS
This takes me to vet trips and vaccinations. It's important to have them vaccinated, then keep up with their yearly boosters. 6 month check ups is also important. This keeps on top of their teeth and weight. Your vet will clip their claws when every you think it's needed. You need to be prepared for to pay for any vet treatment needed. It's not fair to have your rabbit in pain. That's why it's important to have them insured! 

Handeling
You need to remember rabbits don't like to be handled there for they aren't good pets for kids to be honest. Rabbits don't like to be up off the ground and struggle if not handled correctly. This can lead to injuries if they jump and fall, it can lead to spine damage. It's best to keep picking them up to a minimum. 

I think that's it. If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to try answer them for you!! 

Here are photos of my rabbits 

The brown one is Crockett and the grey and white one is Thumper. 

Crockett is the male and Thumper is a female. I got Crockett neutered the min he was old enough with his brother at the time. Thumper was already spayed when I got her. It's important to have them spayed and neutered. One reason is it can stop fighting, spraying (trust me it's not nice to be sprayed by a rabbit) and it also stops aggression and possessiveness to an extent. An let's face it. There are enough unwanted rabbits with out us making more. 

Here are some useful site!
Speak soon 
L x

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