Useful Information

 

Are Rabbits a good pet for a young child?

Short answer is No!

A lot of people view rabbits as a pet that a young child can have and mind by themselves. Rabbits need a lot of care. They do not like to be picked up. They can bite and scratch. They are prey animals so will frighten easily. If an adult in the family is not willing to be the sole carer of the rabbit - Do not get one!

If an adult in the family is happy to take full responsibility for the rabbit, then they can make a great pet to have with children. I have a young son. He is not allowed into the rabbit enclosure on his own. He is never allowed to pick up the rabbit. And when he tries to rub one or follow it around, he is told ‘gently!’ and any sign of potential roughness with the rabbits and he is taken away from them. Hyper children are frightening for rabbits and can cause them injury. Ideally, with young children, you should adopt rabbits that are well socialised and used to children if at all possible.

What sex rabbit should I get?

Rabbits love company but another problem when buying rabbits from a pet shop is that they generally advise buying two rabbits of the same sex to avoid breeding. Firstly, it is very difficult to sex a rabbit so they often get this wrong. Secondly a male-male or female-female pairing is not generally advised. When they mature they will get territorial. If you want to have two rabbits it is best to have a neutered male and spayed female. Rabbits bond for life so it is nicer when they have a friend. 

Work involved daily

There is a lot of cleaning involved! If you have purchased a rabbit for your child expect them to get tired of cleaning up the hutch very quickly. Rabbits go to the bathroom a lot and even though they will generally pick one side of the hutch or run to do this in it does need to be cleaned up very regularly. Ideally their home will have a quick clean once a day and be fully cleaned once a week.  

They will need hay to eat and if you have indoor rabbits this can be messy also. Depending on the hair length a rabbit moulting season can cause a lot of a shed hair in your home. We hoover our rabbit’s indoor area daily to remove hairs and we sweep up the hay.

 

What to feed your rabbit

Hay is most important part of a rabbits diet. For more information on a rabbits diet visit the rabbit welfare website.

I get my hay delivered from a company in Wicklow called hayyourway.ie

Rabbit Enclosures 

A big mistake a lot of people make when buying rabbits is to buy a hutch and not adding a run. Rabbits like to run and hop so an ideal home for your rabbit will include enough space for them to do this. If not, you will have a very unhappy rabbit.

Most pet stores sell rabbit hutches and runs that are too small to house a rabbit in permanently. For more information on outdoor housing see the rabbit welfare website outdoor guide.

Rabbits also make great indoor pets and as they naturally chose one space in their house to use as a bathroom. They can be easily toilet trained similar to cats. For more information on indoor housing see rabbit welfare website indoor guide.

Review of my own Rabbit Enclosures

For my own outdoor setup I previously used all timber products but I wanted something a little more long lasting when I got my latest rabbits. (since they can live for 10 years!) I purchased an outdoor rabbit run from a company called Omlet.ie based in the UK. The run itself is brilliant. My plan was to keep moving it to fresh grass but they need moving every 2/3 days and it takes 2 people to move it so its not very practical to do this. I added underfloor mesh to stop them digging out and have set it up in one spot. I have the smallest size at the moment but hopefully will be able to extend it soon.