Author Topic: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!  (Read 3980 times)

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« on: December 31, 2009, 05:26:50 PM »
Hi, all! I'm not exactly a rabbit person... Yet... So I guess I'm discovering if I am one  :P

So heres the deal with our pets: Casey (dog) and Snickers (cat) are family pets. Everyone shares responsibility. However, since I'm the only animal nut in the family (rotfl) that wants moree pets that no one else really wants, ha, there is Al and Rose (rats) and Harvey (hamster). They technically belong to me, I pay for all their expenses and take care of them. Let me just say, with school, all of the sudden a truck load of homework, and my precious babies to take care of, my hands are full. But I've discovered a love for rabbits waiting to explode, haha. It would be terribly irresponsible of me to take one in. So I've been thinking, maybe in a couple/few years, when I don't have pets of my own and I can take a little break to save money, I could maybe possibly be a first time bunny owner.  :cheeky: Yeah yeah, I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself.  ::) But I want to know if I should even think about a rabbit, you know, if they're right for me. So I need your help. Got some questions:

1. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most challenging pet ever, one being simple as a fish, how hard are rabbits to take care of? How many hours a day do they need (of attention)? What animal would you compare them to as far as care goes (I've heard them be compared to a horse!  :worry:)? Anything related to these questions are appreciated  ;D

2. How long does the basic rabbit live? I know there are a bunch of different breeds and their care and health make it an "it depends," but just *basic* for a mini lop or.. uh... standard rabbit? Haha havn't learned my breeds yet  :P

3. How much money do you spend on your bun a month, *without* any vet bills or health issues? Just basic food, bedding, toys, etc.

4. I've heard that rabbits are truly difficult to take care of. This is why I've decided that if I ever get one, it will be my only personal pet so I can really focus on them. What do you think?

I apologize if I seem really unimformed,  ::), I've just started to research rabbits. I know they are/can be expensive, high-matenience pets, and I want to be ready *confident face*.

Thank you!  :cookie: :heart:

Offline DebsRats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 03:08:57 AM »
I've had rabbits for like 20 years now I guess. I couldn't say on a scale of 1-10. I would say care think of it like a rat. They need a big enough
cage for when you're gone, time to run around. They need a good pellet lots of veggies and lots of grass hay. They can die younger but
say 5 or 6 years to 10 or 12. I had a New Zealand White that was 12 when he died. I couldn't give you how much-- I buy a bale of hay at a time
I get food cheaper from work. I love my rabbits. I have 5 now, I'd get another but I have no more room. ;D They need to be spayed
or neutered for their health. But I rarely have to take mine to the vet. I know other people that have to take them often.

Research if their the right pet for you.

Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 03:41:55 AM »
1. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most challenging pet ever, one being simple as a fish, how hard are rabbits to take care of? How many hours a day do they need (of attention)? What animal would you compare them to as far as care goes (I've heard them be compared to a horse!  Worry)? Anything related to these questions are appreciated
I'd say they're about a 6-7. I think my rabbit is easier to care for than my rats, really. She smells less...is almost 100% litter trained, and although her C&C cage takes up a lot of room it is sooooo easy to clean. I just pull the old blanket out, wipe down the linoleum, and put a new one down. She drinks out of a water 'feeder' type bowl that I refill every few days. The most annoying thing is emptying her litter box every 1-2 days. She does need daily care morning and night with different feedings--pellets in the morning, fresh veggies and hay at night. It would be ideal to get a few hours of hop around out time a day but I feel okay missing it because she lives in a very large pen.

2. How long does the basic rabbit live? I know there are a bunch of different breeds and their care and health make it an "it depends," but just *basic* for a mini lop or.. uh... standard rabbit? Haha havn't learned my breeds yet
Smaller breeds live longer, some can get into the teens. Larger breeds may be somewhere from 5 to 8 years. This all depends on whether the rabbit is spayed or neutered. Spaying can especially prolong life as it takes away the very large chance (50-80%) of uterine cancer and tumors.

3. How much money do you spend on your bun a month, *without* any vet bills or health issues? Just basic food, bedding, toys, etc.
I try my best to buy things in larger quantities for a better price. The Oxbow food is $12 for 5lbs if I get it at Petsmart and $16 for 10lbs if I order online at petfooddirect and pay shipping. Now that she is older she only gets a bit in the morning so I can really stretch it. I expect a 10lb bag can last about 3 months if I'm lucky! I just spent $30 on 14lbs of hay from Sweet Meadow farm including shipping and that can probably last at least 4-6 months (I'm hoping!). She has been going through hay faster as she gets older so it is hard to tell. I get fleece blankets at the Goodwill or buy it by the yard to lay in her pen. Her cage itself cost me under $85. I buy 25lbs of paper pellet cat litter for $12-$16 depending if it is on sale and I also use that for my rats and mouse so I'm not sure how long it lasts me. I change her litter frequently and I think I buy a bag about every 3 weeks. She also eats fresh greens almost nightly. For a week I usually get parsley ($0.89), green leaf lettuce ($1.70), spinach ($2), watercress ($3) and alfalfa sprouts ($1.99). I usually have 3 of those at a time and there are other things I get too for variety--I eat some of it too. Soooo I will conservatively estimate that I spend about $45 a month.

4. I've heard that rabbits are truly difficult to take care of. This is why I've decided that if I ever get one, it will be my only personal pet so I can really focus on them. What do you think?

I don't think they're really that difficult but I do think it would be more difficult to have one with a dog or cat in the house. When my boyfriend's cat sees her all she wants to do is poke her through the cage bars, luckily Kirby doesn't bite! Having a rabbit is like having a cat, to me. Some don't mind sharing a house with an actual cat but dogs can be another story. My rabbit kind of fell into my life so I am thankful that she is easier to care for than the rats that I already had. She takes up a lot of space but I'd rather her have proper housing!

Here is a link to my "bunny blog" on a rabbit forum--you can see pictures of my cage there. Look around the forum for lots of good bunny info!

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 11:21:43 AM »
Oh, these answers couldn't have made me happier! Thank you! Such relief. "Easy/er than a rat," "like owning a cat," I was so worried they are gonna be like super super difficult. I know, I know, don't expect an incredibly easy pet, but just this heads up is nice.

I wouldn't use a C&C cage, what if my cat got in the room.  :eek: I have found a big. Big. Cage on Petsmart.com though. (Trust me I'm not the person that shoves their bunnies in rat cages this thing is quite large. Biggest one they have!)

I would most likely adopt from our local Humane Society and all of their rabbits are spayed or nuetered.  :) HUGE money saver  :D

I can handle the cost, too, according to pet websites (with prices heh) and you guys.

<Ok Nat, now erase your mind of rabbits for a year or so - before you get too tempted!> Hehe


Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2010, 12:44:51 PM »
Undergunfire has some of those Super Pet Giant cages for her buns right now. They're 40 something" long and I think 20 something" wide. You could even make a lid for a C&C with more panels. Maybe make it like a roof tilt so they can't jump on top? I know cats are impossible..
I almost hate to say it but my rabbit "fits" into my life better than my rats because of how her care is. She is just easier to keep up with. The bad thing about her is that when I let her out I have to watch her like a hawk because she will chew the baseboards and dig/chew up the carpet. I think her spay will help these habits go away as well as growing up. She does seem to have gotten a little better--she is 8 months old now and was spayed about a month ago.
Read a lot about feeding. There are a lot of particulars like free-feed alfalfa pellets under 6months and after that switch to timothy and start limiting it..ease into feeding greens at 3-6months. And always supply constant amounts of hay. They should always be grazing to keep their GI tract going.
One of the biggest health issues is GI stasis when their eating and pooping kind of gets put on pause--this can be really dangerous and fatal within 24-48 hours.
Rabbits can also get sniffles and they need to be put on antibiotics just like rats. So far my rabbit has been WAY healthier and hardier than my rats. I plan to get her a 'husbun' in the future when I'm no longer living with a roommate and have the funds.

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2010, 03:47:46 PM »
 :bow: The Super Pet Giant was what I was looking at! Me, being me, heh, measured the dimensions of the cage out on the floor and it is... well, giant!  ;D

Okay, you've gotta stop saying such great things about rabbits! Remember... I wanna take a break after rats and the ham to raise money and do research on buns.  ::) Sooo like 2.5 years till I get a bun, probably. (Thinks to myself- wow thats not gonna happen!) Lol. You're gonna kill me with all these great bun comments! Haha  :yelcutelaugh: J/K... sortaaaa  ;)

Offline evilhobbitgirl

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2010, 06:33:39 PM »
Well you wouldn't want to get overwhelmed with cleaning. That's kind of where I'm at right now with her, 3 rats, a mouse and 2 fish tanks. :-\
People respond so much more positively when I say I have a rabbit than they do when they hear about rats and a mouse. ::) And everyone oogles at her when they come over--not so much the rats. :yelcutelaugh:
I think it would be smart to wait a little bit, learn as much as you can and get the money saved up for a cage and supplies. I wish I was able to do all of that but she kind of ended up with me over the summer and I had a crash course in rabbit care. I'm sure it is already something you think about but going out of town and finding someone to watch all of these guys can be tough.

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2010, 09:21:32 PM »
Ahaha, yeah  ::) I already hate cleaning the 2 cages  :P Hey, you're not alone. No one oogles over my rats either  :-[ Ohh well their loss! Haha

Yes thats what I plan to do. Take quite a few months of personal-pet-ownership off to save, research, put together some impressive power point about buns to convince my parents, and have some R&R, thennnn once the parents agree, finally, GET a bun. Lol.

<sigh> Even though I'm a younger teen, I want to be stable with money. Ha! Allowence allowence allowence! Babysit babysit babysit! Mow the lawn mow the lawn mow the lawn! Etc etc etc! Lmao.

And I heard about Kirby's situation. Disgusting! Thank you for taking her in  ;) :heart: :bow:

Offline Lady_Penrhyn

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 05:32:24 AM »
You can Cat/Dog proof C+C cages quite easily, take a look at this album

http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/showgallery.php?thumbsonly=2&perpage=90&cat=533&ppuser=&thumbcheck=2&page=1&sortby=&sorttime=&way=&date=

Whilst the cage might be okay lengthwise (as long as the bun is given daily floor time), buns like to hop and have levels too so that's one shortfall of the cage, with a C+C you can customise it and make it go up + out quite easily.

This is a really good example of a closed cage set-up

http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/data/507/medium/IMG_1292.JPG

C+C cages are really strong too, you do need lots of cable ties on top of the connectors but if I can't damage it when I fall onto it (was bruised for a week!) then I'm fairly certain a cat would not be able to break into the cage.

5 mice: Janet, Sam, Cassie, Vala + Jennifer
4 Guinea Pigs: Josephine, Caramel, Frank + Josef
1 Elephant/Guinea Pig/Basenji/Fox Terrier: Kara (sounds like an Elephant, eats Oxbow Pellets...strange creature!)

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 10:05:21 AM »
Okay, I will consider it  ;)

The cage I was looking at does have a second level, though  :D I love that you can't find anything wrong with the other cage, hehe  ;D

Offline Lady_Penrhyn

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 01:13:20 AM »
A small ledge does not equal a second level, nor enough of a 'hop' in my mind, you want the bun to be able to stretch his or her legs whilst locked in the cage.

This is a rabbit NIC condo, one of the better ones I've seen (though I think 3 grids wide is better for buns, especially bigger ones.  2 grids wide would be okay for baby or Dwarf Buns)

http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/NIC.shtml

This is also a really good example
http://sprowtybun.tripod.com/rabitat2.JPG
http://princessblackie.homestead.com/files/niclarge.jpg
http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/morfz/nic.html

« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 01:19:37 AM by Lady_Penrhyn »

5 mice: Janet, Sam, Cassie, Vala + Jennifer
4 Guinea Pigs: Josephine, Caramel, Frank + Josef
1 Elephant/Guinea Pig/Basenji/Fox Terrier: Kara (sounds like an Elephant, eats Oxbow Pellets...strange creature!)

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 01:28:24 PM »
The NIC's do look nice. But I do think that the Super Pet Giant cage is quite large enough to let a bun stretch their legs. I will still look into NIC's though because of how big you can make them. I would need to build a roof for a NIC cage because of my cat. I think I will PM undergunfire, she has the SPG and I would like to see some pics of it in use...

Offline Leah636

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2010, 11:21:14 PM »
Kudos to you for doing your research Nat!! It really saddens me when people take on a bunny but have no idea about the care they need...

Not to tempt you even more, but all rabbits, regardless of their breed have their own individual personalities, which makes owning them SO fun!

Offline Nat Loves Rats

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Re: Thinking about a bunny in the not-so-near future!
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 05:22:17 PM »
Yeah  :) Thanks. I'm not going too far in though, or else.. wellll everything that got me all my other pets will happen  :yelcutelaugh: I don't want to be dieing for a bun for years, it would just ruin those years... haha.  ::)

Ahhh I know thats why I want em! Lolz
Everyone thinks I'm crazy but another reason I love pets is blowing your savings money on them  ;D It's better than a shopping spree for myself! Haha
My dad is always saying that my rats have a better house than he does  ::)