Congratulations on choosing a bunny as a pet! Here are a few pointers to help you. These are only helpful tips.
We want to promote ideals of responsible pet ownership. Our primary goal for breeding rabbits is to produce show animals. We do get some animals thru that breeding who do not make show animals. They do make great pets. Retired show rabbits and retired breeding rabbits also make great pets. Breeders sell adult rabbits too! Our adult rabbits also need good homes! Prices from a breeder are usually less than what you would pay at a pet store and the bunnies are purebred, healthy, correctly sexed, and great pets.
Think seriously about choosing a rabbit for a pet. After the newness wears off~the bunny will still need fed, watered, cage cleaned and still be properly cared for. Do you really want your pet~that cute adorable little bunny to end up at the humane society? They may not be able to find him/her another good home. We recommend purchasing rabbits from a breeder, especially if you are interested in getting a purebred rabbit, a certain breed (purebred), would ever be interested in breeding, raising or showing rabbits. We also recommend buying from a breeder who is a member of ARBA or it's breed's club, like the ANDRC or NMRRC. You can also contact these specialty clubs to find a breeder close to you.It is also a good idea to ask about temperament if you choose another breeder. We do not tolerate poor temperament in our bunnies - but some people who show are not concerned with bunnies attitudes if they have show qualities. We care about both, because we need to handle them daily and our daughter handles them and the judge will handle them too! Temperament matters!!!
Bunnies can be comfortably housed in a wooden hutch or a wire cage. Some people house them in their home, litter train and all. A wooden hutch can be placed virtually anywhere on a protected area of your property since they provide a built in roof that allows the bunny to get away from rain, sun and wind.You can use wood, white pine shavings to soak up urine. Cedar shavings can chafe a rabbits genitals and cause what we call hutch burn. You should scrape the hutch out and put new shavings in at least once a week, as sitting in excessively urine soaked shavings will also cause hutch burn. A wire cage should be placed either in a building or somewhere where the bunny can escape from rain and sun in the summer and bitter cold wind and snow in the winter. You may place a piece of wood inside for the bunny to have a more comfortable place to sit.Bunnies thrive with fresh air if they are provided a suitable shelter. Being too confined can cause repiratory health issues that can be fatal.
The best thing to feed your bunny is rabbit pellets. You can give them an occasional treat, such as a small carrot or small slice of apple. They also like timothy hay. NEVER GIVE A RABBIT LETTUCE!!! Small fancy breeds get very sick from lettuce and can die. If their pellets swell from moisture, dispose of them and get fresh ones. You should give them fresh water and fresh feed every day. You can give them fresh water in a ceramic dish or a water bottle. If housed outdoors, in the winter, you will want to use a crock, so that you can knock the ice out in freezing temperatures and give them fresh water. We recommend a high fiber feed (18% is a good fiber content). You can store feed in a large plastic container which will keep it fresh and dry. If you cannot find a convenient place to buy a high fiber feed, you can give the bunny a pinch of rolled oatmeal everyday to supplement their diet. (Quaker Oatmeal is OK) You can also provide a scrap piece of 2 x 4 (do NOT use treated lumber) for your bunny to chew on (if they like to chew). They also like the salt wheels you can purchase at the feed mill. But do not give them alfalfa or clover as this may cause them to become too fat and upset their stomach or cause death. A rabbits basic needs are pellets, water, some timothy hay, and a small pinch of rolled oats. Use care in buying feed. Some feeds may fluctuate in quality and freshness.
We mentioned in “Housing” that if you use certain types of cages - like a wooden hutch or a flat bottomed cage - you should use white pine wood shavings to absorb the urine your bunny will produce.Never use cedar shavings as it can cause hutch burn on your bunnies genitals and feet. Cedar is very irritating to bunnies.If your bunny is outdoors in a hutch - then you should clean your bunnies hutch out a minimum of once a week - we often clean ours at least twice a week - you will be able to see when it is becoming necessary for your bunny to have clean bedding.If you plan to house your bunny indoors - then they will need to be cleaned out DAILY - not only for your comfort - but for the health of the bunny. Since you bunny is not outside - with fresh air - the ammonia smell from their urine can cause respiratory infections if you do not keep the cage cleaned regularly.You should clean their bowls and bottles to keep everything clean and fresh.
The life span of a rabbit is as long as 10+ years. We just talked to someone who had a pet Netherland Dwarf who is allmost 12 years old - so it is a commitment that can be almost as long as a dog.A rabbits basic needs are pellets, water, some timothy hay, and a small pinch of rolled oats and of course, love.Use care in buying feed. Some feeds may fluctuate in quality and freshness. Bunnie's are easy to feed, clean and maintain if you follow all of these simple steps. The best thing you can do for your bunny is follow the directions provided on our site and give it a lot of love and affection. Many of our bunnies are sitting right at the door when they see us coming - so they can get their daily dose of love! The only other piece of advice we can give is to supervise your youngsters when they handle the bunny to be sure that neither the child or the bunny get hurt. Bunnies can scratch and kick. They should not be squeezed hard, handled roughly or dropped on the ground, as this can cause injuries to the bunny. All the above directions may frighten you into believing that bunnies are hard to care for -but they are very easy to care for and make very good pets. If you ever have any questions - call the breeder you purchased your rabbit from. These are just recommendations. They have worked for us and for all of the people who have ever purchased a bunny from us. If you change your mind about choosing a bunny as a pet~call the breeder you purchased the bunny from first. They may be able to find another good home for your bunny. Taking a bunny to the SPCA should be a last resort option.