Preparing To Own A Rabbit
Before getting a rabbit please consider the following
Can you afford the time it will take to give a rabbit all the proper love and attention it will need and deserve.
If you go on holiday do you know someone reliable and capable who you can ask to look after your bunny whilst you are away.
We do offer a rabbit holiday boarding service & love having bunnies we bred back to stay with us.
Rabbits live from between 5 - 10 years, are you prepared to look after them for this period of time.
A lot of rabbits end up in rescue centres due to people getting fed up or their children growing up and losing interest.
Where to Keep Your Rabbit
If you are keeping your rabbit outside you need to buy a hutch of an appropriate size and position it in a sheltered spot out of direct sunlight and protected from the wind and rain. Keeping it on a hard surface eg. paving slabs will help prevent it from rotting.
For Mini Lops you will need a hutch that is at least 5-6 ft wide and the double storey hutches are fantastic as they give your rabbit double the amount of space to run about in, but it won't take up any more ground space. Make sure it has fox proof wire and strong bolts on the doors.
It is better to get a hutch in a similar style to the one in the photo above, which has legs and is off the ground. It is safer for the rabbits and is difficult for foxes to get into.
Having a separate garden run is best and the metal ones with roofs are good as they are strong, don't mark your grass and can be flat packed away for the winter.
During the winter you must keep your rabbit protected from the frost and other ailments by covering the hutch with a warm/waterproof cover or buy a made to measure hutch cover.
It is becoming very popular to have a house rabbit instead of, or as well as a cat or dog. Rabbits are easily litter trained and adapt well to being indoors and part of the family.
If you plan to keep your rabbit indoors you will need to buy an indoor cage with a litter tray and a run enclosure . There are lots of ideas for indoor bunny set ups on the internet so its worth having a browse and finding something that fits suitably in your household.
It is not a good idea to keep them on shavings and straw as this will end up all over your house, but instead use a 'Vet bed' for their bedding which is washable and use litter in their litter tray.
A rabbit must feel safe and if you give them too much freedom, especially to begin with, they may become a bit scatty.
You must make your house 'rabbit proof' as rabbits will chew anything. You must cover your electric wires or move them out of reach along with any furniture you wouldn't want nibbled.
You can purchase books to give you advice on keeping rabbits and house rabbits. The Fur & Feather Magazine Bookshop sell a variety of books: http://www.furandfeather.co.uk/shop.htm or online, Amazon is a good place to look.
There are also alot of house rabbit websites and forums on the internet which you may also find helpful.
Supplies & Equipment You Will Need
It is important to have all the correct supplies. Click below to see details of what you will need.
All supplies are available from us and can be collected at the same time as your rabbit.
We also have Indoor and Outdoor Starter Packs
Having One or a Pair of Rabbits
I often get asked will my rabbit get lonely and should I get a pair?
Rabbits like human interaction so if you are able to give your rabbit lots of love and attention then they should not get too lonely. If they are kept as a house rabbit this is good as they are always be around you.
However rabbits are happier when they have the company of another rabbit and a lot of people choose to have a pair to live together. I definitely prefer my rabbits to go to new homes in pairs where possible.
Keeping Two Does Together
Two does get on perfectly well together but you will probably find that when they are between 6-9 mths they will go through a maturing stage where they will become fidgity, be mounting each other to show dominance, they may nest build and sometimes be aggresive.
To stop this happening you will need to get them both spayed at around 6 months old. I strongly suggest that you do this as there are also serious health issues to consider. An extremely high percentage of does from the age of 1 year, if not neutered, have a high chance of getting uterine infections and other problems associated with their uterus, including cancer, which can often lead to death.
Keeping a Buck & Doe Together
A buck and doe will live very happily together. You will obviously need to get the buck neutered, this must be done when he is 15 weeks old to prevent him mating the doe.
The doe will be fully mature from about 5-6 months and she will probably start to feel broody and may then pester the buck for a mating. She should definately be spayed at this point, which as I say above should be done anyway to prevent any health issues occurring.
Keeping Two Bucks Together
Two bucks are fine together as long as they have been with each other since a young age and are both neutered at 15-16 weeks and no later.