What Are The Care Requirements for Bunnies? And Are There Any Curious Habits To Be Aware Of?
Even though I have mentioned that rabbits are a great apartment pet, they do require some space to exercise in an indoor pen. You will need bedding that must be cleaned daily and kept dry, and there will be hay spread around the pen by the bunnies. Some type of covered shelter where they feel safe should be within the pen, along with a litter box that is kept clean every day.
Rabbits are famous for their prodigious ability to reproduce, with females able to conceive at 3-4 months of age and can have litters of twelve, even six times per year! So if you get a pair of intact rabbits, spaying and neutering is essential. In single rabbit, or multiple same sex rabbit households, spaying or neutering is strongly recommended because intact male rabbits housed together will fight viciously, and there is much less chance of urine marking by both sexes when spayed or neutered. Spaying will also prevent the development of reproductive tract tumors, which are common in older intact females.
Rabbits produce two types of feces. The regular oblong black pellets like those you see in your yard from wild rabbits, but more interestingly, a slimy, mucousy semi-formed blackish green stool released from the hind gut (caecum) usually once daily that is called a caecotrope, or more commonly “night stool”. This looser night stool is loaded with vitamins and nurtients produced by the microscopic organisms in the caecum that convert cellulose in the diet to fatty acids that provide all the nutritional building blocks required. So nature makes sure the rabbits know to eat the caecotrope. Some owners never see these because their bunny is following nature’s plan.
If you have more than one spayed and neutered bunny, over time they may become bonded. This sometimes takes patience and not all rabbits are compatible and will bond. Some bonded rabbits actively groom each other and interact in what we would consider a “loving” relationship. Other bonded pairs seem to have more of a “platonic” relationship, just enjoying being near each other with little direct interaction.
For much more information to prepare you for a life with bunnies, I recommend you visit the House Rabbit Society of the United States website or talk with the knowledgeable “rabbit wrangler” volunteers at The Animal Rescue League, Animal Friends Shelter, and The Western PA Humane Society who all have many amazing bunnies waiting to be adopted.
Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.
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