RABBITS

 

Things you might need

  • Rabbit Hutch
  • Straw bedding
  • Food dish
  • Water dispenser bottle
  • Rabbit feed pellets

Kids love bunny rabbits, they come in many different varieties, from small short-hair breeds to the large fluffy ones. Not all types suit small children, a good rule is ‘the bigger the better’, they are usually less flighty and have a better temperament for children. For children aged from 5 up to 12 years the Cashmere Lop, Dwarf Lop, Satin and Dutch are most suitable.

The smaller breeds such as the Netherlands Dwarf, Mini Lop, Mini Rex and the larger Rex are not recommended as pets for young children. The German Angora is also a high maintenance rabbit best suited to those enthusiasts with time to groom the coat regularly.

Looking After Rabbits

The type and size of the housing will largely depend on the breed. Ideally, the rabbit should be able to stand up on its hind legs inside the hutch. This allows it to stretch its legs whilst confined. Bedding and ground cover like straw or saw dust should be provided at one end of the hutch. Solid floor cages will help maintain a rabbit’s nail length as the hard surface is more abrasive, however mesh floors will allow the rabbit to pick at grass growing through the hutch floor. Ensure that the hutch will guard sufficiently against predators such as cats, dogs and foxes.

Rabbits are susceptible to extremes of heat and cold. Keep cool in summer by freezing water in soft drink bottles and placing in the hutch. Alternatively lay wet towels over the hutch. Position the hutch making use of breeze and shade areas. Ensure that the hutch has an enclosed area which allows the rabbit protection from heat and cold and ensure the hutch is in a draft free area in the cooler months.

The staple diet should be rabbit pellets high in protein. Feeding rabbits too much watery vegetables like cabbage and lettuce, may cause them to bloat and can cause gastric disorders. Treats should be given every 2-3 days, these include apples, carrots, banana, strawberries, corn, and small amounts of cauliflower. Breakfast wheat biscuits and muesli bars may also be given as a treat. Fresh grass clippings are ok as long as no pesticide or herbicide has been used.