Other Rabbit Stuff
Rabbits may be kept inside or outside.
Outside your rabbit will require a secure hutch and run. Accommodation must be secure from predators, escapees and the weather. Animals including dogs, cats and foxes may kill a rabbit if they have the opportunity. Rabbits need a warm, dry area to shelter from rain and snow, and shade on hot days. Many commercial hutches are too small, and to provide your rabbit with suitable accommodation you may need to build you own, join several together or have one custom made. Rabbits will need both a sheltered hutch or sleeping area and a run for exercise. The size of the accommodation needed will also depend on the size of rabbit you are getting, large breeds will need very large accommodation. The larger your bunny's home the better. You rabbit should be able to stand up on his/her back legs without banging the top of the hutch/run and have room to run and play. The Rabbit Charity Recommends a run should be at least 4' X 10' X 2½' high (120cm X 300cm X 75cm high).
If your rabbit is going to live inside it will need a litter tray and a hutch or sleeping area. The house will also need to be 'bunny proofed'. Electrical wires, poisonous plants, book etc will all need to be out of reach. You will also need to be prepared for possible teeth marks in furniture and holes in carpets.
Rabbits need a constant supply of hay. In addition they will also eat rabbit pellet food and vegetables (greens).
Information about diet can be food on the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund site.
Rabbits are social animals and like to have other rabbit company, unless you are going to be with your rabbit most of the day, and even then, it will still appreciate having the companionship of another bunny. Rabbits should be neutered to prevent baby rabbits before being introduced to a friend.
These are approximate costs, obviously they will vary slightly depending on where a rabbit is kept and unforeseen vets bills.
- Yearly vaccinations £30
- Food (pellets, vegetables, treats) £3/week
- Hay £2.50/week
- Bedding (Straw) £2.50/week
- Hutch/Run £120+
- Vet care From £10 for teeth trimming to £200 for setting a broken leg
In short, excluding vet care, a rabbit will cost an average of £8/week which means £416 a year.
Between 4-6 months rabbits become 'teenagers', their hormones kick in which can turn your previously sweet little cuddle bun into a fluffy tailed monster. Spraying urine, forgetting litter training, false pregnancy and aggression can all follow.
Neutering your bunny has several positive effects, eliminating unwanted litters and preventing uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer. It will also remove the hormones that are behind many behavioural problems.
You should bare in mind that neutering won't have an immediate effect, it will take several weeks for the hormones to disappear, and your bunny may still need to unlearn some problem behaviour.
Why spay and neuter rabbits?
It is Last Chance Animal Rescue’s policy to Spay/neuter all the rabbits that come into our care. Below are our reasons why we have a strict neutering policy for all our animals.
Spayed/Neutered rabbits are healthier and live longer than unsprayed/neutered rabbits. The risk of reproductive cancers (ovarian, uterine, mammarian) for a spayed female rabbit these will be virtually be eliminated. Your neutered male rabbit will live longer as well, given that he won't be tempted to fight with other animals (rabbits, cats, etc.) due to his sexual aggression.
Spayed/Neutered rabbits make better companions. They are calmer, more loving, and not frustrated due to being unable to mate. Also, rabbits are less prone to being destructive (chewing, digging) and aggressive (biting, lunging, circling, growling) behaviour after they have been spayed/neutered.
Avoidance of bad behaviour. Un-neutered male rabbits will spray, it is also much easier to litter train rabbits if they have been spayed/neutered.
Overpopulation of rabbits. Many unwanted rabbits are often abandoned in fields, parks, or on streets to fend for themselves, where they suffer from starvation, sickness, and are easy prey to other animals or traffic accidents. Also, those rabbits who are sold to pet stores don't necessarily fare any better, as pet stores sell pets to anyone with the money to buy, and don't check on what kind of home they will go to. Many of these rabbits will be sold as snake food, or as a pet for a small child who will soon "lose the novelty" of the rabbit. Last Chance Animal Rescue, require intensive pre-home checks and post home checks, please look at our adoption procedure for more info.
Spayed/neutered rabbits can safely have a friend to play with. Rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of other rabbits. But unless your rabbit is Spayed/neutered, he or she cannot have a friend, either of the opposite sex, or the same sex, due to sexual and aggressive behaviour triggered by hormones.
Is surgery safe on rabbits?
Surgery can be as safe on rabbits as on any animal.
At what age should rabbits be spayed or neutered?
Females can be spayed as soon as they sexually mature, usually around 4 months of age.
Males can be neutered as soon as the testicles descend, usually around 4 months of age.