Rabbits/Rabbits

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Question
Hi...

Im thinking of keeping rabbit and would appreciate it if you could help answer a few of my questions.

1) Approximately in kilograms, how much do rabbits eat a week?

2)how easily are they potty trained?

3)How much destruction will a rabbit do around the house?

4)We are a family with four children, so would one rabbit be OK on its own or do we still need two?

5)What is the minimum size enclosure a rabbit needs?

6)Do rabbits get along with pet ferrets?

Thanks

Answer
Dear Helana,

I'm so glad you're doing some "homework" before deciding to bring a rabbit (or two) into your home.  They are actually high maintenance pets, more akin to a horse than to a dog or cat.  They have complex dietary requirements, and need a veterinarian who knows the special medical needs of a rabbit.  A good place to start is here:

http://rabbit.org/frequently-asked-questions/

In answer to your specific questions:

1) Approximately in kilograms, how much do rabbits eat a week?

It is really not possible to answer this in kg, since this depends on the type of food.  But you can get an overview of proper rabbit diet here:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/diet.html


2)how easily are they potty trained?

Once spayed/neutered, rabbits have a natural tendency to use a litterbox and do their "business" in one spot.  For tips on litter training, please see:

http://rabbit.org/faq-litter-training-2/


3)How much destruction will a rabbit do around the house?

It depends on the rabbit and his/her personality.  They like to chew and dig, and this natural tendency does not always go away upon spay/neuter.  To live with a rabbit is to compromise.  If you have problems with damage to furniture, then a bunny might not be the ideal pet for you.  Not all rabbits are destructive, but they often are when young (as many animals are!).  

4)We are a family with four children, so would one rabbit be OK on its own or do we still need two?

How old are the children?  Rabbits, despite what you might hear from breeders or pet shop owners, are NOT good pets for rambunctious children.  They are better suited for adults, and--even in a household with children--the adult must always be the primary caregiver.  Before you decide on a rabbit (and two is always better than one, as long as they are carefully bonded), please read:

http://rabbit.org/faq-children-and-rabbits/

and

https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/other-pet-adoption/are-rabbits-good-pets/

5)What is the minimum size enclosure a rabbit needs?

Rabbits should live indoors, and I never house a rabbit (even a small one!) in anything smaller than 36" x 36" x 24"(tall).  The bunnies should have toys, cardboard boxes, and lots of enrichment when they are in the pen. But they need several hours of free running time per day to stay happy and healthy.

You can view some rabbit set-ups here:

http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?304613-Indoor-Housing-Tips-amp-


6)Do rabbits get along with pet ferrets?

This could be a deal-breaker.  Rabbits absolutely do NOT get along with ferrets, which have a natural instinct to kill rabbits.  It can take only a second for a ferret to deliver a lethal bite to the neck.

If you have pet ferrets, please do not consider getting any rabbits if they will be anywhere naer the ferrets.  I wish I could un-know some of the horror stories I know about this bad combination.

I hope this information will help you make the right decision.

Happy New Year!

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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