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Author Topic: Pet Rabbit  (Read 4802 times)

Declan

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Rathfriland, Co.Down
Pet Rabbit
« on: November 11, 2011, 06:54:52 pm »
I usually post in the sheep and poultry sections but i've a question about getting my wee girl a pet rabbit(s). Shes mad for one- has been promised one. She looks after her hens well. Only problem i have is with the other half. She doesn't want it in the garage- shes adamant- no use talking to her anymore. 

I had rabbits before i was married but kept them in an outhouse in the winter- where the window of the bathroom opened into the store outside. I often kept the window open to allow some of the heat out into the store.

I am looking to know is can i keep them out all year. Im thinking even a garden shed can get very cold in the hard winter- thinking about last year. If you feedback suggests that a gardne shed would be okay is it not the case that the larger the shed the colder it might get.

Any sugggestions/advice- am i being too fussy?

Declan

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 07:34:19 pm »
I don't see an issue with being outdoors as long as the sleeping area is nice and snug, you can get all kinds of insulated hutch covers etc. Pick a fluffy breed!  ;D
But please get a pair, one bunny is a lonely bunny  :bunny:

cuckoo

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 08:51:06 pm »
Please consider getting a bonded pair from the local animal welfare society - they are usually neutered and vaccinated for myxomatosis and VHD - our local (Hull) RSPCA rehome them for only £5 each.

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 09:04:33 pm »
ours stay out all year. and the guinea pigs.
some in a hutch & I have to carry them out to the run (so they get to stay in when its cold & wet!)
and the others in a huge run with an open-door hutch inside - they choose when to go out and in.
I cover the hutch roof with a piece of old carpet or blanket, and a waterproof eg tarpulin, these get pulled over the front during autumn and winter.

please dont keep a lone bunny.  Most people will say that guinea pigs are unsuitable companions, although we've never had any trouble at all with any of ours (at the most, 12 guinea pigs and 7 rabbits, split by sex....  and one buck just with gps as his dad & brother sexually abused him!)

ideally, I'd recommend giving bunny the option of choosing when to go in and out... though the human interaction can be less.
 rabbits are not really very keen on being picked up and cuddled, being prey animals.
but will come to you if "trained" (spoilt!) by food :D
Little Blue

Hopewell

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 11:05:18 pm »
Our rabbits are in hutches in an old brick cowshed or in the barn. We have had them in outside hutches as well. When we lived in the Highlands we kept some of the rabbits in outside hutches and the rest in hutches in a large wooden shed. They grow some thick fur jackets. If they are used to being outside and can get out of the rain, wind etc and have plenty of bedding I can't any problem with keeping them outside. After all what do wild rabbits do?
Pick a fluffy breed!  ;D
I appreciate that Yorkshire lass wrote this tongue in cheek, but I would just like to say I wouldn't recommend it especially for a child. They can take a lot of grooming (depending on breed and how well bred they are), as well as having other issues such as being more prone to flystrike.
My little girl takes care of her Siberian rabbits - smallish breed, short but dense fur and placid temperaments.

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 11:16:37 pm »

Pick a fluffy breed!  ;D
I appreciate that Yorkshire lass wrote this tongue in cheek, but I would just like to say I wouldn't recommend it especially for a child. They can take a lot of grooming (depending on breed and how well bred they are), as well as having other issues such as being more prone to flystrike.
My little girl takes care of her Siberian rabbits - smallish breed, short but dense fur and placid temperaments.

You're right of course; I meant a more "weatherproof" coat as opposed to a fancy, pretty, but pretty useless one  :)
The animal rescue idea is of course a good one toov :thumbsup:

Roxy

  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
    • festivalcarriages.co.uk
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2011, 11:31:16 pm »
I used to keep my rabbits out in the summer, and carry the hutches into the hay barn over winter.  Although it was not much warmer there.  My last two rabbits have lived out all year.  I do cover the hutch front at night in winter - using a cut down piece of sheet off a lorry, so its thick and insulated.  One rabbit recently died of old age, so only got Toad left now - he must be 9 years old, so don't want to get another rabbit as obviously he will not be here much longer, and be left with a lone rabbit.

Toad and Bessie lived out in some harsh conditions with minus 17 temps, and heavy snow an frosts.  So long as they have plenty hay to snuggle down in (they made brilliant beds in it!) and plenty of food, they cope.  I would face the hutch away from the wind, and make sure the rain does not come that way too.

I am sure your daughter will enjoy keeping rabbits.  Unfortunately, kids do seem to go off their rabbits, and its poor Mum who ends up feeding and cleaning them out :)

Hopewell

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2011, 10:19:27 am »
Unfortunately, kids do seem to go off their rabbits, and its poor Mum who ends up feeding and cleaning them out :)
About the time the novelty of having a rabbit starts to wear off, is about the same time that the rabbit's hormones start to kick in (assuming you started with a baby rabbit). Your rabbit then changes from being a sweet little bunny to a delinquent teenage rabbit, and this of course just makes matters worse from the owner's point of view. So usually a good idea to have the rabbit castrated/spayed. (Also prevents uterine cancer that rabbits are very prone to getting especially if they don't breed.) Many of the rescue centre rabbits will be done already but not all of them.
Also a good idea to think about vaccinations - I recently saw a rabbit that someone had abandoned that had myxomatosis.

Declan

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Rathfriland, Co.Down
Re: Pet Rabbit
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 12:10:24 pm »
Thanks all- i'm now of the opinion that its pretty much okay to keep them out but a little added protection in the worst weather helps.
With regard to getting a rabbit at all- i know how fickle kids can be with something new but my wee girl- Eimear- is coming on well with looking after her hens and i want to encourage her with these animals as much as i can.

 

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