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Thread: New and looking for new owner advice

  1. #1

    Default New and looking for new owner advice

    Hello, my daughter has been asking for a rabbit for well over 4 years now she is older (11) I have agreed to this as she has had pets in-between which she has shown she can look after.

    This is not something we are rushing into, I want to ensure we have the best advice and fully research everything which she has done. She has done reading online and also watching videos.

    I will be reading through the threads here but my main questions if anyone is able to advise are:

    1 - I have read so many mixed advice articles about keeping a rabbit indoors/outdoors. We do have a conservatory but my worry with this is in Winter it is cold but also can be quite warm due to there being a radiator in there. Others have said to just put it outside and ensure its weather protected. She also has a friend who has one in her room but I worry about the smell and to me that cage seems small.
    Someone has mentioned to maybe get an a shed outside.

    Ultimately I want the best advice and thought from owners themselves would be best as there is so much online from different websites. I do plan to interact with the rabbit and have him/her out as much as possible roaming around.

    2 - Recommendations on what sex? Breed ?

    3 - We have wooden floors and this maybe a stupid question however I was thinking of getting some sort of x pen for the rabbit to be indoors. I was thinking of having something underneath it so when the rabbit goes to the toilet it doesn't ruin the floors.

    Any top tips or website/book recommendations will be very much appreciated. We don't have friends/family members with rabbits.

    4 - Hutch recommendations.

    5 - 1 or 2 , Ive seen many people only have one. People say 1 will be lonely. People say as long as you interact with the rabbit 1 is fine.

    I hope I haven't offended anyone by asking this and hope you can see we are fully looking into this before we just buy one. I have local breeders near me.

  2. #2
    Warren Veteran InspectorMorse's Avatar
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    It is great that you are doing a lot of research before rushing into obtaining Rabbits for your daughter. You will find a huge amount of advice and information about Rabbits on the RWAF Site, including Housing, the fact that all Rabbits need a companion of her own kind and the importance of neutering and vaccinations.

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    One thing to bear in mind is that if you are obtaining Rabbits for a child then you need to accept overall responsibility for the Rabbits. Rabbits can live for 10+ years. The main reason Rabbits are signed over to Rescues is because they were bought for a child and the child lost interest.

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-c...want-a-rabbit/


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  3. #3
    Alpha Buck
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    Well done for asking the questions first - I second the website InspectorMorse has recommended, I have read every word on that site several times since getting my rabbits and it is a huge resource to have.
    I had 1 rabbit for about 3 weeks before it was blatantly obvious he needed a friend. He was a rescue so came alone. However much time we spent with him we couldn't meet his social needs, and seeing him with his girlfriend now we have no doubts that they are better as a pair, they spend hours and hours grooming each other, caring for each other, socialising. And once they were happy with each other they also became friendlier towards us. The other aspect is that when one has been unwell or recovering from an anaesthetic, the other has nursed them, kept them clean, kept them warm.
    Mine stay outdoors - they are giants, and they have half a 4x4m summerhouse inside with a second floor over half of that, and then a huge run outside again with a second floor, tunnels, houses, grass. They also get free time in the garden when we are around. One of mine isn't a great hay eater so he does much better living outside where he can eat grass instead and forage for himself. But as long as it is consistent they can be happy inside, just don't move them in and out sudenly, they don't cope with changes in temperature. Sheds are better than hutches even for smaller rabbits, but whatever you use outside will need insulating and potentially heating in some way, though if youre insulation is good enough and they have company and a box full of straw to burrow into then they can cope with reasonably cold weather very well depending on breed. They struggle more with excessive heat, so you need adequate ventilation for the summer too.
    X-pens are great, and people use all sorts to protect the floor underneath so I'll leave it to others to tell you what they use. Just watch that they are either covered or have tall enough sides though, they are great escape artists! Most rabbit will litter train to a large degree, poos can go everywhere but urine usually stays in the litter tray once they are mature and trained for it.
    But I'd suggest looking for a rabbit rescue near you, or travellable to, and find a bonded pair already. Babies are very cute but can fall out during adolescence, bonding your own rabbits can be challenging and time consuming, and also with adults you know exactly what you are getting, size wise, coat, nature. You'd be able to see what they were like with your daughter - they will of course change a bit when thy come home, but you can at least choose a naturally friendly rabbit pair rather than rabbits that are terrified of children. Rescues often help you choose the right rabbits for your situation as well.

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Great advice above. I am not a fan of children having Rabbits in their room. Rabbits prefer to be in a quiet environment, fresh air and not too hot. Our homes are not generally suitable for Rabbits with dust, central heating, maybe smoke, air fresheners etc around. A conservatory may be ok if there is a window which can be open a little. Rabbits' respiratory systems can be easily upset making them very ill. Unlike Dogs and Cats. There should be no smell from your Rabbits unless thy are not cleaned out every day as they can produce lots of wees and poohs. Even one small Bunny! You can interact more with House Rabbits especially during the long dark winter nights when outdoor Bunnies are left for long periods. Outdoor Bunnies really do need a friend

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    You've received great advice already. Rather than worry about breed I'd approach the RSPCA & local rabbit rescues to see what rabbits they have available. There are so many rabbits in rescue & more often than not are already in loving pairs, vaccinated & neutered.....it makes life so much simpler & it works out a lot cheaper too. Getting bunnies vaccinated, bonded to another rabbit etc are all necessary for the large part but that doesn't stop them being stressful. They will also have an idea of personality so can match with your family. I don't think its fair to keep bunnies alone outside - but for a pair the shed you spoke of (with attached run) would be great.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Warren Veteran bunny momma's Avatar
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    While it is tempting to get a baby rabbit, their personalities and adult size are not always clearly known; plus all healthy bunnies will benefit from neutering .
    I have indoor bunnies.
    .

  7. #7
    Mama Doe Orenoko's Avatar
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    To add to the advice you've already received, I personally keep my rabbits indoors. They initially started with something similar to an x pen but are now free range, although some rabbits always prefer having their own space to go back to. Of you opt for babies, be prepared to neuter both for the obvious reasons but also it will help them get along better and it's good for health reasons. When hormones kick in sometimes they fight and need to be separated, and rebonding can be tricky. If you go for a rescue pair, they should already be neutered and bonded which removes that worry.

    I insure mine but not everyone does. I think it's worth it when they're younger but mine are now getting to the age where it will soon make sense to cancel the insurance and put the money aside instead.

  8. #8
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    Lots of good advice above.

    If you go for outdoor rabbits, look at a shed or wendy house with an attached secure run or walk-in aviary. A secondhand wendy house may actually be cheaper, better built and give more space than a traditional hutch. Most hutches are far too small. It also gives space for you to sit and interact with the rabbits, and is easier to keep clean.

    The RWAF website gives loads of good advice and information such as minimum size accommodation.

    Don't forget that all rabbits need a single annual vaccination for Myxomatosis and RHD1 & RHD2. Youngsters also need neutering so that they will live peacefully together and be protected from certain cancers (particulary females). If you look at the costs and hassle of neutering and rebonding, it makes sense to look at a pair of rescue bunnies who are already neutered and bonded.

    The RWAF website also gives detais of rabbit-savvy vets.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    I have two outdoor rabbits and four (two pairs) indoor rabbits. It is so much easier and more pleasant looking after the indoor crew. Warmer, safer and more accessible.

    My outdoor pair live in a well insulated shed with an oil fired heater (well out of reach) and a large aviary style run that they can always access.

  10. #10
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    Hello, itís really great you found this forum & doing research. This forum is so helpful & kind for bunny owners especially newbies. Iím a first time bunny owner of a girl whoís 5/6 & a recent boy from sspca. I didnít know a lot about bunnies so learning still. I would say that all bunnies unless for some reason like medics for eg should always have a bunny friend & not be alone. People say itís ok if you interact but itís not the same or anything like a companion of the same species. They love & need company. Iíd say please get from a rescue as so many beautiful buns looking for loving homes. This helps also as you can get bonded pairs who are already bonded. Bonding can be hard & at least then they will be friends already & usually bond for life. Plus they will be neutered & vaccinated. I had my 2 before Bella lost shadow outside in a big shed with enclosure to go out in. I took Bella in & have t looked back. I donít think I could go back to outside lol but will see. If you get from a rescues they should already be litter trained but can always do that at home. A big under bed storage box is great for litter tray. Also we have laminate but my boy doesnít like it do I got second hand rugs to put down. Helps them be able to binky & play so much easier. My 2 like to wreak havoc with digging boxes & hay & poop on floor lol but I donít mind. Outside is ok though also for living but I found I wanted to get the shed insulated for extra warmth. Itís just a bit harder going outside in cold to clean etc lol but you get used to it. I found a great site on fb that sells rabbit castles, hay racks built on to litter boxes & great fun stuff for bunnies I will look up name & post. Another thing Iíd say is a must is insurance as buns can have health issues & dental. I got agria from advice on here for my 2. Canít think of anything else but if I do will post xx


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