What is a rabbit?
Most people probably sae their first rabbit as a child. Either in a film such as “Bambi” or “Zootopia”, as cartoon characters or just wild rabbits hopping around the neighbourhood.
A rabbit is a type of mammal. Rabbits range in size from 2.5 pounds to 16 or more pounds for giant breeds. Their fur can be normal shorthair, woolly, rex, satin, or a mix.
Rabbit’s ears are upright, except for lop breeds whose ears hang down. Some bunny breeds have extremely long ears, such as the English Lop, while others have small, upright ears, such as the Netherland Dwarf.
They have two sharp front teeth. Meaning they can slice like scissors through the rough, fibrous vegetation they eat. Their cheek teeth help them chew their food into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow. This combination of teeth comes in handy in the wild.
Rabbits come in a range of colours. From brown, white or black. Some breeds of rabbits have up to 20 different colours in them. Rabbits are beautiful as they have different patterns. As well as varied eye colours – including brown, blue, ruby and blue-grey iris colours.
The history of a rabbit.
The 305 global rabbit breeds have all descended from the European rabbit. Recent research has shown that all European rabbits carry common genetic markers and descend from one of two maternal lines. These lines originated many millions of years ago when glaciers isolated two populations.
It can be assumed that early human species began hunting rabbits as a food source, but little comprehensive evidence of the relationship with humans exists until Roman times.
It is thought by historians that rabbits were first tamed in 600 A.D. by French monks.
In any event rabbits were introduced from Spain and France to many countries including Britain. The historical evidence credits the Romans with the earliest written records of rabbits and as being the first to use hutches and walled enclosures. By the middle ages, rabbits were regularly transported across Europe.
It took more than 2000 years for differences to be noted between the bones of wild or captive/ domesticated rabbits.
Buying a rabbit
Adopting a rabbit
Blue cross, pets4home and many other charities offer you to adopt rabbits that need a new home.
Blue Cross says: “We help find the perfect pet for you by matching the pet to suit you and your family’s lifestyle, ensuring that whatever animal you adopt it is the right one for you.”
On the other hand, websites such as gumtree allow people to post private listings of their rabbits. However, make sure you look carefully as sometimes the owners are not looking out for what is best for the rabbit.
If you are looking for something with more guarantee. Pets at home sell rabbits. They can also provide you with more information. You can also pick up everything you need for your rabbit (cage, bedding, food) when you are there.
Rabbits have not had an easy life. They have been used and abused for their silky, soft fur. For years there have been cases of illegal fur farming. When buying your rabbit, we recommend you go for adoption or do heavy research ensuring the rabbit is happy.
Is a rabbit a good pet?
Rabbits are one of the most common pets, and this is for a reason. After you built up your relationship with your pet you will realise how friendly and cuddly, they are.
However, having a rabbit is a long-term commitment. So be prepared to have it in your life for a while.
Though rabbit shave many good qualities, you have to remember they will take up a lot of your time. They need entertainment all the time. If not, they will become bored and get into trouble. They’ll make their own fun chewing your possessions if you don’t provide alternate forms of entertainment.
Another positive about rabbits is they make close to no sounds. They don’t stay up late at night barking, and they don’t meow at you to demand attention. I would even argue that sometimes a rabbit is quieter than a mouse because mice squeak and rabbits don’t.
Owning a pet rabbit comes with added financial responsibility. Be prepared to spend money up buying the rabbit itself. As well as housing/food/rabbit proofing supplies. In addition, be sure you’ll be able to afford ongoing costs for a rabbit on food, litter, and vet bills.
Housing your rabbit.
A rabbit housing refers to proper cages or hutches and arrangement for feeding, watering, and caring for rabbits. Rabbit houses are important to keep the rabbit in one roof and to prevent them from running away.
Every rabbit is different, however, from experience, it generally takes around 6 months for a bunny to finally feel settled and happy in their new home.
Domestic rabbits can be raised outdoors or indoors. Housing for rabbits ranges from outdoor hutches to indoor cages, to the free run of the home.
Make sure the rabbit hutch has two connecting areas – one area with a wire mesh door to allow light and air through. The other area should provide weather protection against the sun, cold, wind and rain.
The base of the hutch should have newspaper and then hay. This flooring creates warmth for the rabbit. The hutch or cage must also have a place for food and plenty of water.
One main thing to remember about rabbits is that they should never be completely confined to a cage. Remember they are designed to run, jump and move around.
Diet of a rabbit
- Overgrown teeth
- Uterine tumours
- Calicivirus (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus)