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View Full Version : What to expect as a first time rabbit owner?



CrazyGal330
20-08-2011, 10:32 PM
I don't have a/pair of bunnies at all yet but keep thinking about it. One of my friends(current bunny count 14) keeps offering me darling rescue buns! And I hate saying no, but I'm not sure I'm ready for them.

I know there are things I won't have thought of, that will happen to me! (I have had rats for 2 years and know just about everything that could possibly happen, and seems to on a regular basis :roll: )
I am aware of both vaccines twice a year, aware of the basic diet they require and have ordered the rabbit nutrition book from RWAF website :D I am aware of space(6x2 hutch plus 6x4 or newly RWAF suggested 8x4 run) Or similar indoor free-roam space.
But all this only seems like the basics, really. What is likely to happen that I won't have anticipated? I will almost definately get insurance as I not really be able to cover any emergency vet bills that come up. Could probably do so at a push but would be more comfortable paying insurance(about 8-10 a month?).

So! I suppose what I am asking is, what should I expect from the average house rabbit? I believe I could make a house bun very happy but I worry, and I know its a big commitment! Also how much destruction am I looking at and can I rabbit proof a sofa? :lol: (rabbit+rented(furnished) accomodation don't exactly mix I don't think!)

ETA: photos of rabbit destruction welcome :lol:

shell1805
20-08-2011, 10:35 PM
:wave: i have 2 house buns and dont regret it in the slightest :)

rabbitdan
20-08-2011, 10:36 PM
You will need a pair and they will need to be neutered. Thats all i know about inside rabbits, sorry :)

esupi
20-08-2011, 10:38 PM
Well, you already know a lot more than I did when I got mine!

I think the level of destruction depends on the rabbit! Ours went through a phase where they were pretty destructive, but they've settled down now. We get the occasional hole in a cushion and a little chipping away at the bottoms of any wood furniture, but nothing major. It also depends on how much you are able to supervise them - you quickly get in tune with the sound of chewing and are able to stop them if you're there.

shell1805
20-08-2011, 10:42 PM
Well, you already know a lot more than I did when I got mine!

I think the level of destruction depends on the rabbit! Ours went through a phase where they were pretty destructive, but they've settled down now. We get the occasional hole in a cushion and a little chipping away at the bottoms of any wood furniture, but nothing major. It also depends on how much you are able to supervise them - you quickly get in tune with the sound of chewing and are able to stop them if you're there.

:thumb: i can actually sense when bella is doing something. i was in the kitchen the other day and called to the OH 'are you watching bella?' he replied yes but i knew he wasnt as he was playing on the x box :roll: she had got a sock off of the airer and was binkying about with it :lol:

esupi
20-08-2011, 10:43 PM
:thumb: i can actually sense when bella is doing something. i was in the kitchen the other day and called to the OH 'are you watching bella?' he replied yes but i knew he wasnt as he was playing on the x box :roll: she had got a sock off of the airer and was binkying about with it :lol:

haha - sounds exactly like my OH! If the TV is on, nothing else penetrates....

shell1805
20-08-2011, 10:45 PM
haha - sounds exactly like my OH! If the TV is on, nothing else penetrates....

tell me about it :roll: match of the day on right now= no point even trying to talk to him :roll::lol:

esupi
20-08-2011, 10:47 PM
Mine isn't here tonight - I'm on chewing/digging duty - they don't stand a chance! :)

shell1805
20-08-2011, 10:49 PM
Mine isn't here tonight - I'm on chewing/digging duty - they don't stand a chance! :)

bella is snuggled up under my arm and jasper has taken himself off to bed ;) got both of them covered :lol:

Elena
20-08-2011, 11:20 PM
Indoor rabbits can be really rewarding but expect to have to do some proofing (some are better than others in this regard!) and expect to have days where you feel like tearing your hair out until you get it all sorted!

You know lots already which is great, certainly you know a lot more than I did when I got Mischa! If you have any questions on house bunnies or proofing drop me a PM, have about four years experience with indoor bunnies now.

Check out the thread in housing for ideas for indoor housing. I personally found the easiest thing was bunny proofing, sofas do tend to be a tough area though. Some will destroy, some will pee. All my four are upstairs so I don't have the 'sofa problem' I have the 'bed problem'!

CrazyGal330
20-08-2011, 11:53 PM
Haha, My OH is the same! Really into his games today. Takes him several minutes to even acknowledge anything at the moment. Have to say things several times then its the huffy "I know, i did hear you! " :roll:

I should hope I have learned a thing or two from lurking here so long! This combined with having several good bunny friends(including twigs from here :D ) Means I've had prety good insight just never had the chance to delve into being owned by buns :lol:
I was thinking that IF i do get buns I will invest in some mesh squares(can't remember what they are called) C&C type things, to bunny proof key areas.
I think its probably all still wishful thinking at this stage, but you can never do too much research! I'm quite exciting to have joined the RWAF, look forward to getting my first "Rabbiting on" :D

LionheadLuver
21-08-2011, 07:41 AM
I certainly didn't anticipate how delicate rabbits are. they are generally not tough creatures. They suffer from many health problems, such as GI stasis, dental spurs, abscesses (in jaw or hocks), sore hocks, and heart problems.

Some breeds are suspectible to certain health problems, for example rexes and giants are prone to sore hocks, GI stasis and heart problems. Giants are prone to spinal problems. Lops are prone to dental issues (due to their short jaws to make their ears lop). Netherland dwarfs are also prone to dental problems.

If you want to avoid such health problems, go for a dutch or a mixed up-eared breed of rabbit which looks as similar to wild rabbits as possible. :) Of course this doesn't guarantee health, but it is wise to think about different breeds and their problems.

Beau Belle
21-08-2011, 10:22 PM
Hello :wave:

Excellent question ~ one I should probably have asked before I got my two terrors..!:lol:

There were furniture issues before they were spayed (I have two does), but since their hormones settled, we haven't really had any issues with furniture chewing (touch wood!). I do provide an indoor digging box tho - I fill it with straw, hay, treats, toys to throw around... Great fun for bun-buns! They also have a scratch pole if the urge to get destructive overcomes them. :D

Electrical cables are very tempting (must be covered by some sort of roll-tube - I get mine from IKEA) and plants must be bunny-safe as they won't be able to say no to a nibble or two.

They are both very independent, and whilst Poppet luuurves a brush and a cuddle on the floor, Cookie prefers to sniff my feet and would rather not be handled at all.

They beg for treats, but one must be strict with what they eat as bun-tummies are very sensitive. You may find ourself having to clean mucky bums before work. They have foods they like - and foods they refuse (much like children). One must provide bun-approved hay at all times, and any diligent bun-parent soon develops a healthy obsession with bunny poops...

Whilst they like to keep clean, they don't mind making a mess of the human's space - lots of sweeping and hoovering goes on, twice a day is a minimum in our home.

They get ill - they are delicate creatures and they rely on you to ensure they stay halthy and safe. Bunnies sleep a lot, but on their own scedule. My two wake me up by jumping on the bed until I get up and open the door to the terrace so they can get their early-morning excercise. :roll:

They watch tv (!) and whilst they are spoilt rotten, they know that mummy is the Boss and when she say's No, it really does mean No. They learn to associate words ('yum-yum' for treats in our house) and can perform minor tricks if it lies in their interest to do so (clever buns!). :D

Whilst they do my head in at times, I wouldn't be without them ~ they are loving and funny and clever - and just a li'l bit naughty..! :love: