Rabbit in the Moon
Guide to Rabbit Care
Hi, I'm Cool Rabbit and I live at Westwind Grove farm. You'll meet me when you visit. I have a great life and I think all rabbits should too.
First of all, all rabbits need somewhere safe and cozy to live. Our wild cousins live in holes in the ground, but we are very happy in a nice cage away from drafts and damp. Our needs are pretty simple, fresh clean water, good food, a toy or two, and lots of love.
Old-fashioned wooden rabbit hutches aren't the best choice really. You need to put expensive wood shavings to soak up our puddles, and even then you have to clean out the whole caboodle every couple of days, and scrub it once a week. Otherwise we can get really sick. The all-wire cages may not look as cozy, but they are far easier for you to keep clean, and for us to avoid smelly wet feet. If you buy one with a pan underneath, clean-up time is a breeze. On warm dry days we like to run on your lawn. You'll need to build a run for your rabbit and keep an eye open for tunnelling. Rabbits are really good escape artists!
Rabbits aren't hard to feed. We do best on dark green rabbit pellets, and occasional treats. These pellets include hay, but we always enjoy a little more. It helps us pass through the fur we eat when we groom. The pellets should contain about 16% protein, 3 1/2% fat, and roughly 15% fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. We enjoy carrots, apples, and fresh dandelions too, but don't give us too much green food, as it can quickly give us diarrhoea. We like to have food to nibble all day, but if we eat too much we can get fat. Most important is that we never run out of clean water. We can drink from a bowl or a rabbit bottle. If you buy a bottle, get a bottle brush too, or it will get slimy inside.
It helps us to have twigs to chew on, as our teeth never stop growing. Here is a list of Safe Food for Rabbits. It tells you which things not to give us too, some things are poisonous.
Rabbits in Ontario do not need any vaccinations at the moment, this could change in the future. Rabbits that are looked after properly rarely get sick, but when we do, we often hide it. This is a survival instinct. There are things you can check every day to be sure we are healthy. Here is a Short Guide to Rabbit Health. More details are available from your vet, and a good book from your pet store.