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We're likely "adopting" a rabbit as a neighbor moved overseas. It's about 1 month old and they don't know what kind it is. They have a small cage for it, we just found a large outdoor hutch for free. I have 3 & 6 yo ds. We have decent enough allergies. I am not an animal person and am still wondering if we really should take this rabbit.

 

Some questions:

1) Is your housebroken? Any advice? If so, does their urine still smell as much or is it better? Do they use a litter box or just typically go in one spot? How well do rabbits do with this?

2) Do you keep your rabbit inside or out? I've been told if I kept them outside I would need to bring him in in winter. (We live in Southern OH.) How do they tolerate the heat? If it's an outside rabbit is it less friendly w/ the kids?

3) How do allergies and rabbits mix?

4) How do kids and rabbits mix?

 

Any other advice and thanks for letting me ramble!

KB

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My grandparents raised rabbits and I had them every summer growing up, then I'd have to return them. My dd had one for 3 years. Here are my experiences:

 

1) some rabbits can be trained to go in a small shallow dish. Mine never got the hang of it. If my dd wanted to take hers out to play with, we withheld food and water for about an hour prior. This decreased the little raisinettes. ;) Their urine does smell, just like other litter animals (cats, hamsters, etc.)

 

2) I'm in Canada, so bunnies do come in for winter. If outside in the summer, you'd be sure to have a house in the hutch and plenty of water. Some folks keep their bunnies in their garages or sheds in the summer to get away from the heat. As long as they have shade and water, they should be fine. Use your own comfort as a good indicator.

 

3) bunnies do bother people with allergies. They shed a lot too.

 

4) bunnies are fun, but they can run away really quick, they can startle and die really easily, and their bites hurt like heck and bleed even more. They are quite skittish and my 9yr old had a hard time learning how to hold it without her arms being all scratched. (think putting a cat in the bath)

 

My humble two cents? Guinnea pigs make better pets for kids as young as yours.

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We have 3indoor rabbits. All 3 are litterbox trained but their urine is still strong. We clean litterboxes every day. It only takes 5 minutes.

 

Rabbits are heat intolerant. They cannot handle heat well and will overheat easily so you need to be careful with that. Our rabbits stay inside so I will not give advice on keeping them outside but I have many friends who do with their only concerns are predators(cats/dogs/coyotes/hawks mainly) and external parasites.

 

Almost any animal can cause allergic reactions and it depends on your families allergens.

 

Rabbits have very strong back muscles and if mishandled can break their backs easily, it is a problem because they are prey animals and can be startled easily. Some children can cause rabbits to be nervous and jump wrong and get hurt, plus because they are so strong they can scratch very badly.

 

The other important thing that I wanted to mention is if that rabbit is ony 1 month old that is way too young. Where are the rabbits parents?

 

If your children want an animal to hold and cuddle rabbits normally are not the ones for that but if they want an animal to give treats to and watch then it would be fine.

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The other important thing that I wanted to mention is if that rabbit is ony 1 month old that is way too young. Where are the rabbits parents?

 

Lots of great advice. And sorry, they've had it for a month. It is older than a month.

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Our rabbit stays outside in his hutch. In the winter, we keep one of his boxes full of hay and he burrows in it. In the summer, we put a frozen 2 liter bottle of water in with him. He eats veggies, pellets, and hay.

 

Healthy rabbits can live a long time! Our rabbit is going on 9 years old. I think they can live up to 15 years old!

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We have a 3-year-old male Mini-Rex rabbit and are crazy about him. He has the run of our screened porch. He does have a cage with a litter box, food, hay, water, etc., but we just leave the door of the cage open and he hops in and out at will. He's pretty good about using the litterbox, but not so good that I'd let him have the run of the house for hours on end.

 

And actually, the biggest problem with letting him have the run of the house is that he can't resist chewing electrical cords - it's like a bunny addiction, seriously - and he's so small that he can get behind pretty much any piece of furniture or whatever we thought might keep him from getting to the cords. I don't know if all bunnies are like this, but after I had to throw out a telephone and two lamps, we quit letting ours hop around the den. :glare: The weird thing is that he doesn't chew anything else - not the porch furniture or his cage or the screens or the toys we buy him specifically for that purpose - just cords.

 

Anyway, as vettechmom said, rabbits are heat sensitive, so sometimes when the summer temps get high here in SC, we do have to bring him inside, even though he has plenty of shade on the porch. Our winters are mild enough that we seldom have to bring him in out of the cold.

 

I also agree that he's not cuddly, exactly. He clearly likes being around us (and even likes teasing the dogs :)) and he's tolerant of being held and petted for a while, but then he wants to get down and do his own thing. He's so deliciously soft that you just want to keep him in your pocket all day long, but he'd never go for that. He's never bitten anyone and only scratched us once or twice, but he's smaller than a lot of pet rabbits (about 4 pounds) and maybe easier to hold for that reason. We do really enjoy him, and he has oodles more personality than the guinea pig we tried before him.

 

HTH!

 

SBP

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My children raise rabbits for show, pets and meat. We have Lionheads and Californians. I have owned rabbits all my life.

 

Feed: Comercial rabbit pellets, grass hay, not alfalfa or timothy, - free choice, hay keeps everything passing through the system, helps prevent wool block, eases stress and boredom.

 

Treats: cheerios! Oats - like from your kitchen are fine, best not to give fresh food such as lettus, some people do, but I don't recommend it. Rabbits like to chew on pinecones and sticks

 

Housing: Just be sure it is out of the rain and wind, frozen soda bottles ARE good for heat, we live in Arkansas and have very hot summers. It is hard on them, but as long as they are not in direct sunlight, they are usually okay. Cold will not bother a rabbit at all, give hay/ straw in a nest box for bedding in winder. Wire cages are best so pellets drop below.

 

Clip toe nails every week or two. Then your kids won't get scratched. It is very easy and one person can do it alone - no problem. You can even use a human nail clippers.

 

Learn the proper way to pick up a rabbit. They do NOT like hanging in the air and will kick if they feel insecure.

 

Some rabbits will take to litter training, others will not. And very few actually do all their poops in the box. We have had a couple indoor rabbits and always found pellets around the house and even once found a big pile of them under the couch! Ewwww. ( That was when I was a kid! We don't have indoor rabbits now.)

 

Be calm, quiet and relaxed around your rabbit. Stroke it rhythmcally. They do startle easily and don't like quick movement or loud noises but can vary much get used to people and activity if they are aclimated.

 

I have had rabbits my whole life. My children have enjoyed their rabbits from a very young age. But you have to love them for what they are. They are not dogs.

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We're likely "adopting" a rabbit as a neighbor moved overseas. It's about 1 month old and they don't know what kind it is. They have a small cage for it, we just found a large outdoor hutch for free. I have 3 & 6 yo ds. We have decent enough allergies. I am not an animal person and am still wondering if we really should take this rabbit.

 

Some questions:

1) Is your housebroken? Any advice? If so, does their urine still smell as much or is it better? Do they use a litter box or just typically go in one spot? How well do rabbits do with this?

2) Do you keep your rabbit inside or out? I've been told if I kept them outside I would need to bring him in in winter. (We live in Southern OH.) How do they tolerate the heat? If it's an outside rabbit is it less friendly w/ the kids?

3) How do allergies and rabbits mix?

4) How do kids and rabbits mix?

 

Any other advice and thanks for letting me ramble!

KB

 

Actually, many people are surprised to find that rabbits can live inside. Like other animals, they live longer, safer, and healthier lives if they're in the house instead of in a hutch. (Rabbits live 10+ years.) This is also good for them socially; I'd feel very sorry for a lonely bunny outside in a hutch. Most likely, an outside bunny will be nervous around humans.

 

Our bunnies have a two-story cage (with a ramp, not a tiny staircase:001_smile:) The cage is open for several hours a day, when we're around to supervise and the non-bunny-proofed rooms are shut off. They lay around snuggling, sniff around and look for stuff to chew on, and they love to hang out in ds's room while he's playing with Legos. (He has begun making Lego hats and headgear for them; they actually lay there with these things on their heads!) One of them is super snuggly, and will sit next to me in a chair forever while I pet him. The other one isn't quite as enamored with humans, but she's warming up to us (she's only been here a year or so).

 

They use a litter box, although one of them is very neat and fastidious in her litter box habits, and the other one is pretty lazy, and will go right in front of the box sometimes, and leave little round poops around when he's out of the cage. So it really depends on the bunny. They typically will choose one corner of the cage to "go" in; you put the litter box there, and hopefully they take over from there. (Some bunnies have trouble with this concept, though, or just think litter boxes are silly.)

 

As far as allergies, you'd have to talk to a doctor. I'm not allergic to dogs or cats, according to testing, and I don't seem to have any trouble with bunnies, either. Bunnies do need grooming; they shed like a cat or dog would. It's important to keep them groomed, as they will groom (lick) themselves, and they can't cough up a hairball like a cat. So too much swallowed hair can cause digestive problems and blockages.

 

Bunnies generally are not the best pet for little kids. They have a more fragile skeleton than a dog or cat, and being dropped or falling from a height of several feet can actually result in a broken back (doesn't always, I don't want to freak you out, but you do need to be very careful). Also, being prey animals, a lot of rabbits don't like being picked up and carried. Some will react with squirming and kicking. You can get some scratches. They may also bite. So, a kid can be carrying a bunny, the bunny squirms and scratches, and the kid drops the bunny, and this can be very bad for the bunny. Also because they're prey animals, they tend to be more skittish and take awhile to get used to handling (not always; some are snugglebuns from the get-go).

 

There's a lot of helpful info online; the shelter I used to work at has a great site.

 

Is that a lot more info than you wanted? :D Being a person experienced with rabbit rescue and finding homes for rabbits, I could go on forever.

 

Wendi

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If you are asking, you shouldn't get one. JMO.

 

I have never seen a rabbit bite (I worked in a pet store once upon a time even). The scratches are something else though.

 

Someone brought in a 5month old rex to the store and so I took him home.

 

He got along fine with the pit bull, ferrets, etc. The cat just looked at him like, "what is with the ears, dude?" LOL

 

We set up a cat cage for him with a litter box. We let him run around the house. But no matter how much we cleaned, his pee just STUNK. We couldn't stand it and gave him away. Yes, we had FERRETS and gave away the rabbit because of smell!

 

Anyway, I wouldn't get him in your situation. I don't think they should be left outside. I don't think your kids are old enough (btw, our rescue would not give y'all guinea pigs either). They aren't going to want to play with it after being scratched once or twice.

 

I'd wait.

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We're likely "adopting" a rabbit as a neighbor moved overseas. It's about 1 month old and they don't know what kind it is. They have a small cage for it, we just found a large outdoor hutch for free. I have 3 & 6 yo ds. We have decent enough allergies. I am not an animal person and am still wondering if we really should take this rabbit.

 

Some questions:

1) Is your housebroken? Any advice? If so, does their urine still smell as much or is it better? Do they use a litter box or just typically go in one spot? How well do rabbits do with this?

2) Do you keep your rabbit inside or out? I've been told if I kept them outside I would need to bring him in in winter. (We live in Southern OH.) How do they tolerate the heat? If it's an outside rabbit is it less friendly w/ the kids?

3) How do allergies and rabbits mix?

4) How do kids and rabbits mix?

 

Any other advice and thanks for letting me ramble!

KB

We just gave our two rabbits away. They were the nicest I have ever seen as they were VERY tame. The kids took them out of their hutch and played with them often(My kids are a bit older though.) Bunnies need to be handled from the time they are babies if they are going to be tame. My oldest son had one many years ago and he handled it alot but it never did tame down.

We had ours in the house but they never did seem to get the p@# in one spot and I couldn't stand the odor. I also got very tired of finding little bunny trails in all the corners so they went outside. We live in SD and it was a could winter here but they stayed outside. There was twice that we moved them into the garage as it was going to be in the sub 20-30's other wise they were outside. They were outside last summer for the hottest part of the summer also. They need to be provided with good shade and always have plenty of water.

As young as your two are unless the bunny is very tame I personally would pass. We have just given ours away to a lady is in the country and has raised rabbits in the past. I couldn't stand the smell any longer. Even outside unless you really keep on top of keeping the cage and under cleaned up it gets pretty stinky. My two didn't do this and I simply didn't have the time.

By the way I have heard that they can live for up to 12-15 yrs so this could be a not short commitment. I had my escape route of our friend before we got them.

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If you want to know what life with rabbits (and parrots and ducks) can be like then "Enslaved by Ducks" is a good read.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Enslaved-Ducks-Bob-Tarte/dp/1565124502/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242419571&sr=8-1

 

My sister got a rabbit for her kids (6 and 8) and he lasted 2 weeks before they got rid of him (I found him a home at a school). In that time he chewed through numerous cords including the refrigerator cord. He was interesting to watch but neither affectionate nor cuddly. They went on to get a guinea pig which lived a happy 8 years in their home (but was still a daily chore due to large quantities of pee-soaked bedding that needed daily changing).

 

Susan

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Diva begged for months for a bunny, Wolf (dh) gave a firm resounding "NO". He'd had a bunny as a child, dropped it when it scratched him, breaking its back. He was only about 5 or 6 at the time, but it was horrid for him, plus his parents handled it terribly, and he refuses to even consider a bunny as pets for our children, saying they're far too delicate. Dogs, cats, horses, ponies, sheep (once we're on an acreage) even an elephant he'd consider, but no bunnies, ever.

 

And I refuse anything remotely rodent like :D

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He ate dog food, and ran out to the back fence whenever the dogs would bark at passersby.

 

I think both the rabbits we had were outdoor rabbits. I can't imagine we'd have had the room at my mom's to keep them indoors.

 

I also know a family of former hsers whose eldest dd raised them in her backyard and sold them. She had quite a business set up.

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I have not read all the responses...However we had rabbits and lemme tell ya, all they did was eat and poop, eat and poop...then eat and poop some more.....

 

UGH..NO more rabbits ever again!

 

:iagree:We had them as kids and dad set cage up outside our bedroom window, that thing kept us up all night scratchin and movin and the mess was horrible.

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I have not read all the responses...However we had rabbits and lemme tell ya, all they did was eat and poop, eat and poop...then eat and poop some more.....

 

UGH..NO more rabbits ever again!

 

After we got our first bunny, my son observed, "He EATS pellets, and then he MAKES pellets! He's like a factory!"

 

Wendi

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Our rabbit stays outside in his hutch. In the winter, we keep one of his boxes full of hay and he burrows in it. In the summer, we put a frozen 2 liter bottle of water in with him. He eats veggies, pellets, and hay.

 

Healthy rabbits can live a long time! Our rabbit is going on 9 years old. I think they can live up to 15 years old!

We have 4 bunnies right now. They live outside in their crates. Similiar to this http://www.cagesdirect.com/ware-rabbitat-hutch-deluxe-p-1099.html?zenid=9a5a04216ebf85f9362856302bdd40f5

 

In the winter we stuff their indoor box with hay and they make a comfy next. I have never used the frozen bottle, but I will this year! I always make sure their crates are under a tree or getting the shade of the house.

We buy rabbit food from Target & Walmart. Target's is a deluxe food with dried carrots, cracked corn, seeds and pellets. Walmarts is just the alphalfa pellets. Timothy Hay is available there too.

 

I also got a playyard that I can set up for the kids and the rabbits to be together in. My oldest loves to sit in there with her rabbit and pet it, sing to it, share her secrets with it. http://www.amazon.com/Panel-GoGo-Black-Epoxy-Exercise/dp/B000GBMWTK/ref=sr_1_9/176-5940382-9172551?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1242478400&sr=8-9

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I'm thinking this right now! We have a Netherland Dwarf. We got him about 2 months ago and I'm already starting to buckle under the pressure! He's very sweet, mostly potty trained and loves my boys. He's beautiful and has added a wonderful dimension to our family. With that said, I don't like him much. LOL He chews on our new baseboards. He poops all over. I don't like cleaning the litter box. I've had to buy a baby gate. My dh thinks he's the greatest----because he doesn't have to clean up after him. If you're at all OCD, pass on the rabbit. Get a gerbil or hamster. I've had them. They're much easier to care for.

Okay, I'm off to clean up more poop. :o

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