View Full Version : Need to give cousin's cousin sister advice on rabbits

09-12-2011, 06:12 PM
That she's gonna get for her son.
Advice please to discourage her.

And advice to a new owner about buns if she still goes ahead with it.

mini lop1
09-12-2011, 06:16 PM
that they need vaccinations and maybe vetbills if they are dental buns which can cost alot, the size of accomation, where they plan to keep it, anad if get one now, do they know it can;t go out in a hutch until spring, if young rabbit, and that if in hutch the size recommendations plus an added run

what they should be fed and not cheap mixes, possible insurance

that it can;t just be left out in a garden and forgotten about, can you get hold of some rspca or rwaf leaflets with info on them, from care through to the
hutch is not enough campaign etc

09-12-2011, 06:25 PM
They're going to wait a bit as they're making their house right now.
Thanks for replying and viewing though :)

09-12-2011, 06:26 PM
What age is her son? Why would you want to discourage her? Just give her some info to help her make an informed decision on whether she really wants bunnies or not. Give her a list of all the things she'll have to buy/pay for (vaccs, big hutch, possibly thousands of pounds in vet bills etc.) Recommend she goes to a rescue and adopts a pair, because its best if bunnies live in pairs & thousands are looking for a home. You could recommend she joins here, too :)

09-12-2011, 06:28 PM
Decent hutch, toys, neuters/spays and vaccs and any added vet bills = very expensive

Rabbits as Pets...
Often don't like being handled, can bite and scratch, novelty soon wears off for adults as well as children

Rabbits need care all year round, that includes when it's freezing and chucking it down and your hands are so cold it hurts to undo the latches and hurts to pull hay out of a bag/bale, includes when you fancy a new pet or have a baby

09-12-2011, 06:34 PM
Thinking of getting rabbits?

Anyone planning on getting a furry bundle or two, perhaps for their little one’s Christmas present? Please read on…

They’re a family commitment

Rabbits make absolutely delightful pets, but there are many things to consider before taking the plunge and committing to them. First of all, despite popular belief, they are definitely not "children’s" pets. That’s not to say children can’t enjoy them and learn a lot from them, but they need to be the primary responsibility of the adult who buys them. It must also be appreciated that this responsibility applies for the rabbits' whole lives, which could be 8 years or more.


You will need to be financially stable, as they’re expensive critters to keep! A good quality setup (it will be far more cost effective to pay for a hutch that will last, rather than keep replacing it) will cost around £150 - £200 for a hutch or shed, and a further £50 - £150 for an attached run. Litter trays, toys, a hutch cover, and other basic necessities will come to between £20 and £50. Overall, it will cost around £350 to set up the rabbits’ living area. ‘Running costs’ are a big factor in deciding whether buns are the right pet for your family. A pair of healthy rabbits will cost a good £400 a year.

A companion

The most important thing a rabbit needs to keep it happy is another rabbit! In the wild, rabbits naturally live in large groups, so it's really only fair to keep them in pairs or groups. I strongly recommend adopting a pair that have already been neutered, vaccinated and bonded (most rescues do this before rehoming) as this will work out cheaper and far less stressful in the long run. Guinea pigs do not make appropriate companions, and in fact keeping the two species together can lead to horrific injuries and a great deal of misery.

Space to play

Buns also need plenty of space as they're incredibly active. The hutch will need to be at least 6ft long, 2ft high and 2ft wide and ideally two or two storeys high. A shed makes an ideal rabbit playground, as it's suitable for use in all weathers and is predator-proof. You can also add different levels to a shed (a storage chest, chair and low, wide shelves for example) to add space and interest to their environment.

The hutch and/or shed will need a large run attached, so your rabbits can have fun and exercise outside even without supervision. This will need to be predator-proof, including having a secure lid and strong mesh buried beneath the grass to prevent anything digging in, or them digging out. Alternatively, the run can be placed on a patio which cannot be dug up


Buns need some good quality toys - tunnels and boxes for hiding in are ideal, and smaller toys they can pick up and throw are important too. Wooden and other natural toys are preferable to plastic as they're less likely to cause harm when chewed, although it's best to buy specially made bunny toys, or build your own, to ensure they're made from rabbit-safe materials. A shallow box filled with sand, soil or compost is a nice addition, as this allows them to dig and roll as they would in the wild.


It is vitally important that, if you have bought unneutered rabbits from a breeder or pet shop, their sex be checked again by an experienced vet. Neutering should take place at around 4 months for a male and 6 months for a female. An unspayed female will almost certainly develop uterine cancer, while unneutered bucks have an unpleasant odour. ‘Entire’ rabbits are also likely to spray, mount, fight each other and become aggressive towards humans. A male/female pair will also mate, which will of course produce unwanted and often unhealthy offspring. Rabbits of opposite gender will need to be kept separate from the age of 10 weeks, and until 6 weeks after they’ve been neutered. Same sex pairs will also need to be separated at the first sign of aggression towards each other. They can be rebonded 6 weeks post-op too, on neutral ground. Bonding is a very delicate process which must be researched well before being attempted. Some rescue centres will bond your rabbits for you, for a small donation.

Other healthcare requirements

Rabbits need vaccinating to keep them healthy, and preferably worming and protecting against fly-strike as well. Their claws will also need clipping, and their teeth checking (unfortunately rabbits are prone to dental problems) every few weeks. A knowledgeable rabbit vet is a must, so ask them plenty of questions before signing up with a practice! Unfortunately, buns are very good at hiding illness, so you'll need to keep a close eye on them and give them a thorough check every day to ensure all is well. If a rabbit stops eating, drinking, peeing or pooing it's seriously ill and will need emergency vet treatment. The phrase, "I'll see how they are in the morning" does not apply to rabbits - they could die in this time. It's actually a good idea to get a 'rabbit first aid kit' together, just in case. A small feeding syringe and a packet or two of nutritionally complete liquid feed for sick or convalescent small animals are must-haves.

To prevent illness, you'll need to keep the hutch scrupulously clean. It's best to 'skip out' any dirty bedding and droppings at least twice a day, then scrub the hutch out with rabbit-safe disinfectant once a week to kill any 'nasties'. Rabbits produce a lot of waste so it's best to litter-train them. Do a search for 'litter training' on a rabbit forum for hints and tips.


A limitless supply of fresh hay is essential. Hay should make up around 80-90% of a rabbit's diet, as it's vitally important in keeping their teeth and gut healthy. Pet shop hay doesn't tend to be very good quality, so check out www.thehayexperts.co.uk (or similar websites) for a decent selection. Pellets aren't vital, but most rabbit owners feed them (about an eggcupful a day for a medium-sized rabbit) to help cover dietary requirements. Pellets are preferable to muesli-style feed, as buns tend to pick out their favourite bits and leave the rest. It's best to scatter these in the hutch to provide enrichment by encouraging natural 'foraging' behaviour. It goes without saying that they need constant access to clean, fresh drinking water. In my experience buns actually prefer a bowl, but a drinking bottle will do. This needs changing at least once a day - after all, we wouldn't like to drink stale water! Raw vegetables are important too, but please research how safe they are before feeding them to your rabbits.


Although rabbit ownership can be physically and emotionally demanding, and expensive, if you enter into it responsibly and with your eyes open it can also bring you years of companionship and fun. For a full list of rescues with available buns, and rabbits up for adoption on a private basis, visit: http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/centres.asp

09-12-2011, 06:52 PM
What age is her son? Why would you want to discourage her? Just give her some info to help her make an informed decision on whether she really wants bunnies or not. Give her a list of all the things she'll have to buy/pay for (vaccs, big hutch, possibly thousands of pounds in vet bills etc.) Recommend she goes to a rescue and adopts a pair, because its best if bunnies live in pairs & thousands are looking for a home. You could recommend she joins here, too :)

I agree, I wouldnt want to discourage her at all, bunnies make wonderful pets! :love: I got poppy and daisy for my daughter who is 5 and she adores them :D I was just well aware that although she thinks they are 'her' buns actually all the responsibility, cleaning out, nutrition, research, vets bills, day to day care etc is all MY responsibility...really she just looks at them, strokes them and like to feed them :)

As long as your cousin is aware that they are HER responsibility and is aware of what actually goes into bunny ownership then I wouldnt discourage them at all :)