Interested in raising rabbits? Glad you’re here.
- Getting Started Raising Rabbits with Kids (Part 1)
That’s the name of our rabbit. It comes from the fabric organza. I actually thought organza was a flower then we named the bunny Ganza and turns out it’s a fabric people use to make fake flowers.
We’ve named Ganza and we’re sticking to it.
If you’ve followed from my first post on raising rabbits, you’ll know a lot prep goes a long way. We got a cage from Amazon (this is the bestselling one and the one we purchased) as well as a water feeder and some feed from our local Tractor Supply.
We Facebooked (a verb now I reckon) around and found out who raises rabbits locally and arranged to pick one up. Then, one morning, we went and picked up the rabbit to bring
him her home. We’ve more or less settled into a groove with Ganza and so here are my basic tips for those who want to get their kids a rabbit.
Bringing a Rabbit Home
I think there is often a big disconnect between the anticipation of bringing home rabbits and having a rabbit in practice. I believe people end up discontent with rabbits simply because of unrealistic or impractical expectations. Here are some thoughts.
Give the Rabbit Time
The first week or two after we brought the bunny home she would run and hide in the shelter of her cage when the kids came around. She was not used to our home, the noise, or the environment and needed time to “cocoon” as they say.
Even though I have wild loud kids, I knew she’d eventually get used to us and she has. She no longer runs away when the kids come and she lets them pet her within the cage.
We used to bring her out of the cage but it made her very nervous and we got cut enough times by her nails that we’ve stopped doing that. That and she kept trying to run away.
“But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden, and squeezed under the gate!” Beatrix Potter
Offer adequate food and water and let the rabbit acclimate to their new surroundings.
Find a Good Location
Location is important for rabbits because of both weather and predators. We live in a rural area where snakes abound so it was important for us to keep her in a place less likely to receive reptilian visitors.
Like the one below.
Rabbits are able to handle cold better than intense heat so we put her under our carport where she’d be sheltered from rain (which happens a lot in our area) and be near enough to the house she wasn’t forgotten about.
If you are going to keep multiple rabbits then perhaps somewhere farther in the yard might be appropriate.
Being under the carport, however, has meant that spider webs often accumulate on her cage. We must clean the cage often and I wonder if this wouldn’t happen as much in an unsheltered cage or hutch.
Get into a Good Groove
It took a while to get into the groove. I’d initially imagined my children waking up every day, running outside, and lovingly caring for Ganza in every way.
Well… that’s not how it pans out.
The kids will feed her without prompting if they see her food down and they’ll give her hay as well. They’ll even refill her water bottle if I remind them, but it’s taken a while to get into a good system.
It was difficult at first to find a way to keep the cage clean enough without having to clean it out after every few hours. You don’t want the bunny’s cage to get too saturated with waste because the fumes alone can harm them, but neither do you want to shovel rabbit pellets 12 times a day.
We’ve got a system going now that means the rabbit has what she needs and the cage is cleaned out regularly without it being a lot of daily upkeep.
The rabbit drinks and eats quite a bit so you do have to be mindful of how much and how often you want to feed her. We generally feed and water once a day.
If you are dreaming of getting your kids an easy pet that’ll teach them responsibility (this was me) then a rabbit may be just the thing. That said, you’ll still have to be on top of the rabbit’s care every single day even if only to remind the kids.
Make it part of your chore routine or daily habits.
Rabbits are not terribly cuddly so if you want a rabbit imagining all the cute photo sessions with kids then that’s really not how it’ll play out.
Their nails get long quick and they are hard to clip because you don’t want to get too close to the quick.
We are going to have to take Ganza in to a local vet where – no joke – they put all bunnies under to get them cut down enough. This is not free, as you can imagine, so bunnies do require more upkeep than some other more cuddly animals.
Know your Limits
If you want a “get it and forget it” type of pet, then do not get a bunny. You must regularly feed them, groom them, and care for their cages. Unlike an outdoor animal which just runs and plays outside, you actually have to do nearly everything for the bunny.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to do this, wait a few years until the kids can take more of a lead.
So far our opinions on the bunny is as follows:
The rest of my family (extended members included) think we should pass her on to another family.
The kids like her, but don’t love her.
I’m happy with her so far. She doesn’t snuggle at my feet while I read, but nor does she shed hair in the house.
Richard Kong says
Hi Rachel, this is Richard again. I would like to share with you a couple of points. Bunnies can be toilet trained. Also, although generally they don’t like to be pick up, some bunnies like to be pick up if a bond is established. Our bunnies like us to put them on our shoulder and strokes them down. Also, bunnies loves head rubs. Our bunnies lives indoor with us, so a strong bond exists. They will listen to our commands and instructions. Bunnies likes to please and are really happy if they are appreciated for any actions they dos. Another important point. Although bunnies appreciate human companions, they do really well if they have another bunny companion. Even if they are not spray and are living in separate cages beside each other. Only 1 out of our 11 bunnies are sprayed so far. Sports Bunnies Hiroko, Yugi(Head Tilt), Moeka and Ai are sisters and they run around the house together. Miyu is their younger brother so they cannot run together. They still have very strong relationship as they can speak to each other during their run time. Their Father, Otto, have free run of the house when we are sleeping. Of course, his cage door is open and he will go into his cage when he need to drink or eat hay or poo & pee in his own pan. With regards to them destroying the house, as Long as they are trained not to and have fun chewing toys. Your house is safe.
Richard Kong says
Rachel, beside the book you have read, there are still many more good bunnies books as well as good bunnies related web sites around. Try Best4bunnies.com, just rabbits.com…etc…
There are more than what you have written so far about bunnies. At Sports Bunnies, we raise bunnies, rescue bunnies, perform educations trainings to both bunnies as well as humans. We conduct voulntary Bunny Show and Tell workshops to educate the community on bunnies, their care and maintenance too. Our aim is to make lives better for bunnies in our world and let humans enjoy the wonders of owing bunnies.
my girls and I have ALOT of pets, a lot more than we proble need or should have. Truer as I am a single mother with a few illnesses that prevent me from things at times. to give you an idea of what it’s been like I have MS and sle lupus. one is affected more by cold and the other by heat. all of our animals have a resone a purpose there is also a reason we ended up with so many. ok so what do I have other than craziness for all this? 7 dogs all our dogs were unwanted and was even dumped in the woods at bout 5 months of age with his sister (she is in different home) two are hounds’ copper (black and tan coonhound the one dumped into woods person tried turning into bear hound didn’t work came to me with burns from bark collar) Lycos (plot hound and walker coon hound not wanted returned several times barked to much dud as hunting because of barking…. not for my oldest girl who has done wonder with him.) molly ( beagle and golden retriever to hyper for the child turns out give her a ball she is happy all day oh can’t forget her very own plastic pool) night ( gray hound/ Alaskan husky high pray drive he gets very bord loves walks and helping with the other dogs to pull dog sled around) luck terrier/ chiwowa neglecting and miss treated by owners and kids) still have aggression problems after almost 5 yrs. but we work around his problems still do training oh did I mention he and Molly can find my bunnies without hurting them and hold them till I make it to where they are) puppers the oldest she showed aggression as a puppy as again not wanted. the sassy unwanted from Fl then up to MI to have puppy’s then unwanted again to me she is my gradian of EVERYTHING and mothers everything. she watches over the cat’s rabbit’s gunnie pigs and all my girls and niece and nephews. now we started with oddball (rabbit # 1) he was raised in our house with dogs and cats the learned to use the litter box to come when called and bagged for food worse than a dog. he was rabbit, cat, and dog all in one (he passed). he was wonderful he even started going to the door like the dogs did to go outside used the cat tree more than the cats (also unwanted 1 very sick stray 2nd was going to be dumped in woods as kitten) ever did. wail oddball was with us still we adopted 6 more domestic rabbits their parents had got out due to coyotes and well rabbits are rabbits. but their dog dug up the dens and was bringing babies of different ages back the ones we took should have still been with mom so with the help of oddball who was a male we took care of them bottle fed some others didn’t make it and oddball took care of cleaning and teaching them out of 6 we had two survive chip and Bambi. Bambi ended up with 6 babies we found 1 great home the others we had on our deck one day in heavy duties puppy pen with cover to end up with two surviving do to lose dogs where I live. wail they are difficult there are ways to make it easier they are clean by design litter training can be hard but if you take some of their droppings and bedding that’s wet and put in box, they will learn they are very smart. everyone is currently in house chip has learned how to open pens they are in. oh did I mention though very looked down on all my different animals get along one cat sleeps with the gunnie pigs of our bearded dragon the dogs and rabbits will lay together it odd but also amazing and with so many animals i can have the younger ones read to them or ” teach them ” school things colors shapes or just vent or run and play we have so much less waist for veggie and fruit because everyone can have something and my flowers have food rabbit poo is good fertilizer. and we as a family get out more because we pick fruit and leaves things that everyone can eat. and well Dandi lions instead of a pain became treats. rabbits can have many uses and benefit’s as well as being a pain in a parent’s side but i think if you and your family could find just one thing having to do with it weather reading talking to or even teaching it to fetch (they will do that also) you would enjoy her so much more rabbits really do Ame to please though around them if the bond is there. They can be beneficial in education; teaching math 50 lb. of rabbit food is $50 how much per lb. giving your child someone to read to that makes them feel like they are being listened to. or to vent to on a rough day with no judgment. rabbits like all animal can be so much more