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Old 03-24-2017, 04:36 AM
 
Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
1,752 posts, read 3,738,016 times
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We are coming up on Easter, a time when many parents would like to give their children a cute little bunny or perhaps a chick or duckling. Please do not make such a gift lightly - rabbits and birds are living beings that can live many years with the proper care. Please read up on what they need and the maintenance they require. I had rabbits for years and loved them but they take some time to maintain their living quarters and so on. Please don't assume your children will be up to taking care of them. If you are not willing to fill in if your kids don't take care of the animals properly, please do not give them as gifts.


Sorry - I know most posters on here know better but I always feel like I need to shout this out because every year shelters around the country will be facing the annual "Easter Dump" in about six weeks time. If you have coworkers thinking of giving their children a pet for Easter please urge them to consider the commitment.


Getting off my soapbox now.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:42 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,782 posts, read 18,694,469 times
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thank you for posting that because yes maam rabbits are a lot of work I had one for years and he lived to be 15 yrs old as best we could figure but that old man was a lot of work .
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:06 PM
 
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I wanted to add something to this too: Rabbits poop. A LOT. Not a few pellets. Like hundreds a day. That's healthy and normal. They have to eat almost all the time and poop all the time in order to stay healthy. That means $$ for hay, lots and lots of hay plus other proper foods for bunnies. And even after it's litter trained, it still pop out the brownies here and there. It can't be helped.

Oh, and their pee STINKS, almost as bad as cat pee.

If they live indoors, which they should, they live longer, healthier and happier lives. Outside, a cold draft can make them sick. Predators will try to get at them at night. The stress alone can make your bunny very ill and they can die from heart attacks.

And they should be spayed or neutered. Once they reach puberty, they get a little hormonal and may nip or headbutt you.

Lastly, finding an exotic veterinarian that specializes in bunny care is RARE. Many do not practice in exotic animal care. And within that small pool of vets, some specializes in bunnies or have significant experience with bunny care. A vet who can't tell what's what is not good enough, as bunnies are experts in hiding illnesses and pain.

Otherwise, they are great pets for the serious and committed potential adopters!
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Canada
1,401 posts, read 840,441 times
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Absolutely agree.

And to add a bit: My love of rabbits began when I was very young, and I had them off and on throughout my teenage and adult years. When I was in my late teens - early 20s, I used to raise and show rabbits (blue-eyed Polish). This was back in the days when rabbits as pets was quite uncommon; most people didn't have rabbits, and those who did usually kept them confined to a backyard cage. When I think now to all that I didn't know back then, I cringe at the way my 'show' bunnies lived. They were well sheltered from the elements, each rabbit had 'adequate' space in each cage, and I would regularly let them out to explore the yard. But an outdoor rabbit does not live the life that any rabbit should live. It is scary to them, and predators lurking around the cages, such as foxes, stray dogs, cats, raccoons, etc., can stress the bunnies so much that they fail to thrive. And the lack of human interaction - even if they do get limited interaction on a daily basis - is not nearly enough.

Two quick stories that I will relate about keeping rabbits outdoors, as painful as they are to recall...

I came home one day and went to check on my rabbits in the backyard. In one of the cages was a doe with her kits; she'd had them about 2 weeks previous and they were running about the cage, looking rather panicked. And as I got closer to the cage I was stunned to discover that the doe was hanging upside down by her feet, suspended with some sort of string. (I later found out from a neighbour that some little boys had been seen in the yard, lurking around the cages. Even though the cages were locked, they'd managed to rig a loop with a cord and thrust it through the wire onto the cage floor. When the doe stepped into the loop they yanked on it, strung her up and tied it.) Only by the grace of the gods above did she survive without lasting physical harm, but psychologically, she was permanently scarred.

The other event happened a bit before this. Two stray dogs entered the yard while no one was home and, because the upper part of the two-tiered cage had a 'run-off' heavy-duty plastic under it (designed to allow the urine to channel onto the ground and not onto the rabbits in the first level) one of the dogs - a small terrier type (again, my neighbour saw them) was able to find purchase on the plastic by sinking his claws into it. He scrambled up to the second level and - despite the cage floor wiring having 1"x1/4" holes, and despite the fact that there was also solid wood on part of the flooring - he managed to get to two of my rabbits, pulling their hind legs through those small holes and snapping some toes off of one bunny, and severing an entire hind foot of another. The rabbit who lost toes survived; the rabbit who lost his foot did not...he was euthanized. And his death, as well as all of the memories of those beautiful little rabbits of my past, will haunt me forever.

These are just some of the things that outdoor rabbits face. And even if one has a foolproof system set up so a rabbit can never be subjected to predators, just their presence alone can create immeasurable fear and stress in the rabbit. Yet today some people still house their pet rabbits outdoors. Along with the many many threats that these animals face, the loneliness and depression that many face - esp. those who are housed alone - is very real.

As an older adult, I had house rabbits. In my recent past I had the absolute pleasure of being owned by two of the most wonderful, gentle and personable rabbit souls that anyone would ever meet. And I've learned through them, as well as through some other beautiful rabbits, that these gentle creatures absolutely thrive on personal contact and human interaction. Rabbits aren't meant to be caged, any more than cats or dogs. They need exercise. They need to explore. They need companionship.

Rabbits are certainly not for everyone. They take a lot of space, the home needs to be "rabbit-proofed", they require a qualified, rabbit-savvy vet (many vets do not know how to treat their specific problems, and many vets (around here) will even refuse to take them on as clients), their diet is extremely important - and as such, they are extremely delicate creatures - and they are not to be considered as a pet on a whim. Nor are they good pets for young children. (Many pet rabbits have wound up with broken limbs or backs when a youngster dropped them.) As a general rule, rabbits don't like to be held or cuddled, don't do well in stressful or loud environments, and often, other household pets can stress them, or sometimes be the cause of their demise. [I have seen so many online videos people have posted of their dog getting hyper-excited over the pet rabbit in the cage, with the owner saying something like, 'Oh, so sweet! Bowser wants to play with Bunny', when in fact, the dog's predatory instinct is kicking in, and the owner doesn't have a clue.]

So...a bit of a long post, but I think this thread is an important one. It is a great reminder NOT to get a rabbit just because they are being promoted at Easter, or because a child sees one in a pet shop and thinks it is cute. It takes a lot of research and knowledge to know how to keep a rabbit within the family home, sometimes a lot of patience. And not everyone will find a rabbit to be a satisfying pet. Those who do their homework and are willing to put the effort into the proper environment, and not expect the rabbit to be some sort of entertainment for them, will be richly rewarded...but for a great many, rabbits just aren't suitable, and the temptation to get one will hopefully be simply a fleeting thought.
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:21 PM
 
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Agree, no rabbits, no chicks, no ducklings as Easter gifts.
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Old 03-29-2017, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,194 posts, read 4,093,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan123 View Post
Agree, no rabbits, no chicks, no ducklings as Easter gifts.
Certainly not without researching the animal's needs FIRST, and committing to proper care of the new critter for the rest of its life.

Impulse purchase of any pet is a mistake 99.999% of the time. And it's the poor animal which suffers for it.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:08 PM
 
3,312 posts, read 1,868,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassetluv View Post
But an outdoor rabbit does not live the life that any rabbit should live. It is scary to them, and predators lurking around the cages, such as foxes, stray dogs, cats, raccoons, etc., can stress the bunnies so much that they fail to thrive.
I'll tell you one thing I've been perplexed about to this day. I had a bunny growing up that lived in a hutch. One day I found out the neighbor's dog had tipped the cage over. This is the confusing part: she was shaking but after a while she was just fine. She didn't end up passing until a few months later.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bassetluv View Post
As a general rule, rabbits don't like to be held or cuddled don't do well in stressful or loud environments
I guess it depends on the bunny. I've had a few that don't seem to mind being held or cuddled. Sometimes my last one would even lick me. One thing that bunnies never seem to like though is a leash. I got a bunny leash once and she went right out of it.
My bunny also didn't mind when I sang but maybe I wasn't that loud? You never want to have a shouting match though obviously but she wasn't super sensitive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bassetluv View Post
As an older adult, I had house rabbits. In my recent past I had the absolute pleasure of being owned by two of the most wonderful, gentle and personable rabbit souls that anyone would ever meet. And I've learned through them, as well as through some other beautiful rabbits, that these gentle creatures absolutely thrive on personal contact and human interaction. Rabbits aren't meant to be caged, any more than cats or dogs. They need exercise. They need to explore. They need companionship.
I really miss having bunnies. They're different to have and they were a big part of my childhood (I had bad luck with them then so it definitely is easy for something to happen but my two last ones lived until 6 or 8) However I know I can't have one in my home because my dog won't let me. It's pretty stupid I guess. When I have a rabbit I want a dog. When I have a dog I want a rabbit but I had both at one time during my childhood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesenugget View Post
I wanted to add something to this too: Rabbits poop. A LOT. Not a few pellets. Like hundreds a day. That's healthy and normal. They have to eat almost all the time and poop all the time in order to stay healthy. That means $$ for hay, lots and lots of hay plus other proper foods for bunnies. And even after it's litter trained, it still pop out the brownies here and there. It can't be helped
I definitely don't miss that part. If you don't clean once a week the whole room reeks.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Canada
1,401 posts, read 840,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickchick View Post
I definitely don't miss that part. If you don't clean once a week the whole room reeks.
I had two semi-large rabbits in my house for 8+ years (one was an 8-lb rabbit, the other was 12 lbs), and must say, I cleaned their litter boxes every day, without fail. Just as a cat's litter box needs to be cleaned daily, so does a rabbit's. Scooping out the dirty litter (in this case, it was an absorbant, pelleted wood litter) on a daily basis kept odour almost non-existent. Then once a week I'd do a thorough cage/room cleaning.

I think this is true of any animal that uses a litter box or is housed in some sort of cage.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:34 PM
Status: "Harlan Ogilvy was right!" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,273 posts, read 21,775,362 times
Reputation: 33371
also, be sure that your easter eggs are unfertilized and come from chickens, and not bought from some guy in the Wal Mart parking lot. As no one else will want to see the trauma of a fertilized alligator egg cracked open in front of grandma.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Majestic Wyoming
763 posts, read 358,291 times
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In my twenties I decided I wanted a rabbit. I felt like I did my research before picking one up from the pet store. Knowing what I do now, that was my second mistake, buying one from the pet store. First mistake was getting a rabbit at all.

Stewie was a Holland lop. She was a lot of work, destroyed a lot of books, carpet, and a room in our apartment. She didn't like us at all, but we tried to give her a good life. She got sick and died. I will never own another rabbit, they are cute and fluffy, but they require a lot of work and commitment that very few people have.

No real rabbits for Easter. Stuffed bunnies only in this house.
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