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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bunny Rabbit?
Last Post by HoppyBunny at 6/28/2006 1:33 PM (35 Replies)
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User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/13/2006 11:09 AM

HI Everyone!

My name is Amie. I'm just finishing school and I've researched pet rabbits for about half the year. But researching isn't going to give me much leeway on acctually HAVING one.

I've always loved rabbits, and I'm getting ready to work two jobs over the summer ((babysitting and dog walking)) it'll be alot of work, but I think a little rabbit will be worth it. I'll be working for a wile since I want the very best stuff out there, I've looked at some pretty nice cages, one I really like ((nice and BIG)). I also want to get the best litter boxes, hygene products, water bottle, littler, food, EVERYTHING. I know its easier said then done but I'm determined!I've been leaning towards the Dutch, and my second favorite is the Neatherland dwarf, but I've only had one rabbit and it was a wile ago so i don't quite remember what it was like. I assume everyone here has a rabbit except me, so if there is anybody who wants to give me WARNING or any information I might not have heard already, I'd LOVE that!!

         Thanks for any help!!!

              ~Amie

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline HoppyBunny
Western U.S.
36 posts Send Private Message
6/13/2006 2:09 PM

You can't really separate behavior by breed, you really have to go by personality. Just like humans they have their own quirks and habits. Although, smaller rabbits do have a tendancy to be a bit jumpier from my experience, but then there have been some great loveable & snuggly dwarfs & dutch's. Have you heard of a Rex? They are sooo cuddly soft, their fur is like velvet. When you do get a bunny are you going to go to a shelter? Do you plan on litter training and keeping them indoors? Where are you going to put the cage? I know it's a lot of questions, but there is a lot involved in bringing a bunny into the home. DO you have any other pets in the house?


User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/13/2006 3:48 PM
Thanks for the tip on breeds! I just heard that Dutch's were a good starter rabbit. I dont know if I will get a rabbit from a shelter because last time our first and only rabbit, Snickers was abused before he came to us. I was alot younger then but he didnt want to be touched at all, after about a month he escaped when we were cleaning his cage, we were never able to catch him and he lived under our shed until winter. We left him food, water, and bedding materials in hope that he'd grow to trust us, but he ended up freezing to death.
I'm thinking of going to a breeder because Im' hoping he/she might have a rabbit who will be easyer to bond with (it sounds shallow, but I want to start off with something like this)
I've heard that when rabbits are indoors they are happier and closer to the family, so yes indoors. I have two rooms I am considering putting a cage in.
Yes I have other pets, a Dog, and two cats, which I have been taking full care of for the past 5 months (to show responcability to my parents)
whats a good enviroment to keep the cage in? is having a dog bad? do rabbits get aalong with cats?
Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/13/2006 11:09 PM

Hello and welcome again!  Though that is quite a sad story for the bunny, it seems like you have been very responsible in researching and really want to get it right.  You sound like a great 13 year old! So since I am not sure what you know and what you don't, I'll try to cover what I can  and you can ask questions from there.  It also might be a good idea to print this out and go over it with your parents.

First - a bunny that is spayed or neutered can live to be 10 years old.  That means you'll be 23, so I just want to make sure you and your folks are aware of the long commitment. 

2nd:  I can understand why you would be cautious of adopting another bunny from a shelter. But let me offer you some things to think about. 

  • If the bunny you got was completely unsociable already, and didn't trust humans because it had been abused, it would have been hard for a bunny learn to trust when part of the time he was outside in hutch away from humans.  (even if part of the time he was inside)
  • I have volunteered at a rabbit rescue group for years, and I must say MOST of the bunnies are loving.   The ones that have been abused, are given extra TLC, and worked with, and are only adopted out by experienced people.   So, maybe what you need to look for is a rabbit rescue group. (unless the shelter is has a lot of knowledge about rabbits)
  • I am bonded to my rescue rabbits and vice versa.   So try and not let one experience determine your whole outlook on rabbits who have been rescued. 
  • The bunnies are usually already spayed or neutered, so that is one big expense you won't have to worry about, and if you want a clean, nice smelling home, with a calmer bunny, you'll want to have your bunny altered. 
  • I'm not sure if you have one in your area, but type in "rabbit rescue", and your city name in google and see what comes up.  You can also see if there is a House Rabbit Society near you.  http://rabbit.org/chapters/index.html

Breeders:

Most likely, you will get a baby bunny? They are cute, but they are VERY messy. It takes longer for them to be litterbox trained.  And their real characteristics/personalities don't fully show until they reach maturity, so it's hard to tell what kind of bunny it will be. Babies don't mind being held, but that is usually temporary, so don't be swooned into that part of it too.  Most bunnies are happiest on the ground.

When they do reach maturity, around 3 - 4 months, they can get a little grumpy, their hormones are going crazy, they begin marking up the place with smelly pee and poo.  This is when most people actually turn their bunny into a shelter or rabbit rescue (no abuse, they just didn't know that neutering the bunny could fix most of the behavioral and litterbox problems.) 

Note on breeds:  Netherland Dwarfs can be skittish.  They are smaller, so it's understandable.  If you have other animals, you want to be careful with a breed that could literally be scared to death.  I agree with HoppyBunny, that a rex is really a wonderful breed to consider. 

Rabbits and other animals can get along, but it really depends on the rabbit, the dog, and the cat.  Some get along, some don't.  Cats can stalk and scare a bunny, or try and scratch it through the cage.  A bunny can intimidate the cat and attack it, or they can get along fine.   A dog always will have to be carefully supervised too.   Sometimes when a rabbit is running around, it brings out the hunting instincts in the dog, while other dogs will just sit there.  So there will be no way I can tell you if your bunny will get along with your other fuzzy crew.  But here are some links to articles about bonding your bunny with other animals (by the House Rabbit Society)

http://rabbit.org/journal/2-11/cats...bbits.html

http://rabbit.org/journal/1/dogs.html

Now for some other basics:

Check out  BUNNYINFO/FAQ/tabid/81/Default.aspx    This will take you to the faqs section on this site, and has breakdown of all the things you will need, not just one time, but ongoing so you can calculate how much it will cost.

Housing:   There are some great housing plans that you can actually make with cube shelving from Neat Idea cubes, Organize it cubes.  Check out the "Cool Habitats" section on this site, as well as at http://www.cavycages.com/rabbits.htm  (scroll down to see the rabbit layout.

The easiest plan is an x-pen.   It' allows the bunny room to stand up, binky, run etc.

Exercise:  A bunny really needs lots of exercise, at least 3 hours.  So that means, he will be part of  your human and animal family too.  How do your folks feel about this? Do they know it won't be able to just be confined to a cage away or pen all day?  

Vet bills:   I know you'll be working two jobs, but will your folks help you out if your new bunny gets sick and needs to go to the vet?  It can really be expensive!  Rabbits definitely are not inexpensive.  

Litter:  Be sure to stay clear of pine and aspen shavings.  Over time they can cause liver damage.  Also no clumping litters, and corn based.   Good options are carefresh, yesterday's news, even woodstove pine PELLETS, not shavings.

Diet: Hay, a good pellet, dark fresh leafy greens, small amount of fruit.  This REALLY changes depending on if your getting a baby or an adult. So I'll wait on this.

You can also check out http://www.rabbit.org" target=_blank>www.rabbit.org.   (House Rabbit Society) It is the most comprehensive site around.  It goes beyond the basics.

Okay, so I know I have thrown a lot of stuff at you.   I think no matter what happens, whether you and your family decide that a bunny is right or not, that you have shown your smarts!  Just continue to research and be open to what is truly best for you and your family.  


User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 8:59 AM

A lot of this stuff sounds familiar!

Actually, almost all the rabbit information I know comes from the House Rabbit Society's website, I nearly read the whole thing! -thank you for the compliments, I enjoy researching rabbits, they're so interesting! Hearing your views on a rescue is making me reconsider, an adult rabbit sounds wonderful! and getting a rabbit already spayed is also good news.

Regarding my other pets, I'm not too worried about my dog (he's an angel) but I'm not sure about my cats, they have a history of being competitive for dominance (spraying and marking territory) I've read the articals, and they sound like good ideas, but my cats will probably mark territory if the rabbit is more dominant or not. I will most definitely try the cage, water bottle idea if my cats do show more dominants, but I'm sure my mom wont be happy if she finds the laundry in the laundry basket soild by an upset cat. Do you have any tips for that stuff?

My parents agree  to pay the vet bills as long as I clean the cage, feed, play (you get the idea) with the rabbit. We have a big family, 7 people, so attention wont be a huge problem.

Our garage is more like a hang-out area, with a rug flooring, and a couch. The garage is still fairly bunny proofed from our last rabbit, and a little spiffing up is all it will need to be a full time rabbit play area (rabbit room) where the rabbit can get most of its exersize, I dont really want to have a house rabbit outside, I'm a little paranoid, and I think its a health risk for an indoor rabbit.

Would the care-fresh recycled paper bedding be good? I feel that the wood chips are uncomfortable and  might be hard on bunny feet, and the fact that most are cedar and pine isn't good either. Some people call me a geek, but I have a feeding chart made up that I created, this website helped alot with that poopybutt story, and other information I found

About how much do rabbits cost at a rescue?

 

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 9:17 AM
http://www.smallanimal-kingdom.com/tommy82t.htm
-this is the cage I was looking at (when I thought I was getting a small dutch rabbit ) would this be a good cage? or do you still recomend the cubicals?
Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 10:39 AM

Care- fresh is great for the litter box especially if you get a rex, as their feet have less fur and so they have less padding.   But if you also use it as bedding as well as in the litterbox,  it could confuse the bunny about where the litterbox is.  It may be better to get a few soft pieces of fabric for bedding - like fleece and just throw them in the wash.

I do prefer yesterday's news for the litterbox because it is great at odor absorption.   I put hay in the box, and that gives them the softness, as well as something to munch on. (since bunnies poop and eat at the same time).  The reason I said pine wood stove pellets (not shavings!) is because the have been dried and processed -  the oils  that cause liver damage have been taken out.  They are  they are about a 1/3rd of the cost.  And I know you will be on a budget with all your hard work. You can still put hay on top to make it soft.  The pine wood stove pellets you can't find in a pet store, they are usually at a home supply store like Orchard Hardware Supply.

Regarding  the adoption fee:    The average I have seen is anywhere from $40 - $80.   It depends on where you live.  Now a breeder and a pet store may be cheaper.  But the neuter surgery from a qualified vet is anywhere from $100 - $300.   Also, most rescues include a free exam credit with a vet.   Otherwise you'd be paying another $40 - $70 dollars for the exam.    So even if you take the lowest of all the estimates, you save $60 dollars right off.

Also, you save TWO bunnies lives.   The one you adopt, AND the one that will take its place at the rabbit rescue - to be adopted by someone else.  

Just get in contact with your local rescue groups and ask questions. Let them know what you are looking for, and what your expectations are in having a rabbit companion, and they can help find you the right match.  Since most rabbits are adults there, their personalities are developed and so you can say..."I want an easy going bunny, one that trust humans already, is affectionate, etc"  

Regarding having a bunny indoors.
I absolutely agree with you. I  am an advocate for having a bunny safely inside, as part of the family.

Regarding the garage
for his living and running area:  I know you said it was more of a hang out area, so that's good that your bunny won't be isolated.  Is it heated?  Are cars parked in there too?  

Regarding more tips regarding cats and rabbits. I know quite a few people who have both, and I do know that you have to be very careful.  Even with a cage, if the cat gets access, he can stick his paw in and scratch a bunny.  One bunny even lost his eye.   I will around regarding cat and rabbits and whole dominance spraying thing and see if I can find any more information.  And maybe some members here can help out too.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 10:51 AM
CAGE:  Depends on how long he will be in the cage?  If s/he will be spending more than three hours outside of it (once he's litter-trained) then it's okay.  My personal preference is an x-pen, but if you have other animals, like cats, that could jump inside, then that wouldn't work. 

I like the cubes because they offer a huge cage at a fraction of the price, plus it's flexible and gives the bunny room to get exercise even while still inside.

The cubes are inexpensive,(check out my condo on cool habitats - cost me $80 dollars (cheaper than most premade cages, and a whole lot bigger) 

I even had tons of cube pieces left over.(I think I bought 4 sets around $16 each), then I put in flooring.  And with one bunny, you wouldn't need one as big as mine was. Check out Reeses basic set-up on the cool habitats page.  And  with a family of seven, I bet you guys could set up an awesome place.


So those are just my preferences, but you have to do what is best for you and your bunny.  


Good questions, great research.  Good job Amie!

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 11:03 AM

so far the only rescue I found near me is about a half an hour to an hour away, and they dont just focus on rabbits, but I'll keep looking, because now I am fixated on getting a rabbit from a shelter

My garage is heated, and we don't put cars in it because it has a rug floor, it has a fridge (which I am planning on blocking off the back) and a big book shelf that we put rollerblades and boxes of games and leggos on, stuff like that, is that not safe? [other then the rabbits desire to chew] is it a hazard for a rabbit?, could a rabbit be strong enough to push it over and get crushed?

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 11:19 AM
Blocking off the back of the fridge is great!   And as long as the book shelf is secure and sturdy it should be fine. If it's just wobbly and flimsy, then that's another story. Even then it would be hard for the rabbit to knock it over, but it could if it's easily knocked over by adults or something else, then of course that's a danger for anyone animal and human alike.

Of course, here in California, we anchor even some our sturdy stuff down due to earthquakes.   Eeek!




User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 11:36 AM

WHOA!!! I'VE NEVER BEEN THROUGH AN EARTH QUAKE!!! I'm far away, on Long Island, so lifes kinda regular

The bookshelf is sturdy so it should be OK. I could nearly die from excitement All this info is GREAT! Thank you sooooo much so far!

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 11:52 AM
No problem!  That's what we're here for!

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
6/14/2006 8:39 PM
hurrah for you wanting to adopt and doing so much research beforehand!

I'd recommend looking on petfinder.com - many shelters and rescues list available bunnies for adoption on there :-)
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 5:44 AM
=O THANKS!
Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 5:52 AM

This little guy almost instantly poped up, he's so perfect! http://search.petfinder.com/petnote...1484 

Such a perfect bunny will probably be gone by the time I have the money and everything set up though 

there are more fish in the sea though right?

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 7:27 AM
I understand that anxious feeling of  "uh oh, I'm going to miss my perfect chance!"   But don't worry! Like you said there will be others. I promise.

Believe me there is definitely not a shortage of nice rabbits, and that means there is another one that will be perfect for someone like you and your family.


Oh, and I forgot to tell you, that when you talk to someone at a rabbit rescue, be sure to let them know that you have dogs and cats, because then they make sure to not pick a rabbit that they already know is terrified of them.

Doesn't mean the rabbit that they choose won't be as they may not know it's full  history, but many times they'll have information if the rabbit has lived with other animals, or is terrified of them.

Just helps you and your folks have a better chance at finding the right match.

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 8:39 AM

what was most convinient about petfinder was that they showed if the rabbit was ok with dogs, kids, and cats -this one was ok with all of them  

I showed my mother and she started going bonkers saying "E-MAIL THEM!! C'MON!! he's a handsome boy, how perfect!" I'm thinking she's excited too, unfortunatly I'll have to wait until I have everything ready and waiting for a hearty welcome

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 9:21 AM
the other thing you might want to look into for adopting a bunny is craigslist.org I know that sounds odd- but that is where I got my bunny. I did have to get him fixed, so it cost a lot, but I have to pay a $20 aption fee and I got the bunny- litter, food, hay, the cage and all of his toys. So in the end it was all the same. You know though, I did all of my research on rabbits, and well, you might get one (like me) who just is crazy. I love him to bits, but even though you bunny proof he'll get into something completely new! I'm very glad I apoted a little bit of an older bunny also. Good luck on your search!! and don't be scared of missing the right rabbit- it's true, you'll find another one that you will fall head over heels in love with.

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/15/2006 1:59 PM

Thank you! your dutch is a beauty, he likes to chew the floorboard right? I read your message, good idea with the ivory soap!

we would be keeping our rabbit it the garage (its more like a den, heat and all) theres lots of room, and its not the most expensive room in the house, if you know what I mean. We found it most suitible for a rabbit because it is spacey, and theres not alot of wires or crud the rabbit could get into and possibly hurt itself; Of course it will be in the rest of the house, but not as much, and he/she would always be watched outside the garage(1 dog 2 cats)

Hope Fujoe gets even better with the floor!

Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.

User is Offline Amie Noakes
19 posts Send Private Message
6/16/2006 1:37 PM
So what is having a rabbit really like, I've heard how to pick one out and how to care for them but I'm yet to fully understand how having a rabbit changes your life (I know it does, I just dont know how) I'll have pretty much a free summer once I've finished my jobs and own a little tyker, so what should I be expecting daily, weekly, and monthly?(I read the health checkup thing your supposed to do every month) but otherwise I'm sort of clueless
Rebel: The sweetest little mutt you'd ever meet. I can hardly express how amazing this old dog is.
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