Many children want a rabbit as their first pet. However, the fulfillment of the wish must be carefully considered. After all, a small “long-eared” is a creature that can not be put away after a few weeks, like a stuffed animal that has become boring. Also, rabbits must be kept at least for two, individual husbandry is prohibited by the Animal Protection Act. If there is a possibility that the child can support and take care of a friend’s rabbits for at least a week on a trial basis, then you should absolutely make use of it. Because the child learns to know the daily life with rabbits – the beautiful moments, but also the annoying duties. Pre-schoolers are still too small for rabbits, but even with schoolchildren, parents need to be aware that they are not yet able to take on all the responsibility for caring for the animals. Give your sprout only rabbits, if you, too, enjoy it.
What you should look for when buying rabbits: The rabbit should not be younger than eight weeks if you include it in your family. Although the small long-eared ears begin to eat solid food as early as four weeks in addition to breast milk, it is not until eight weeks before the intestinal tract is used to getting along without breast milk. A healthy rabbit shows a lively interest in its environment; depending on the temperament, it will either retreat into the last corner of the cage before your hand or it will be interested to sniff it. In any case, it shows a lively play on the ears. Sick rabbits sit apathetically in a corner, do not respond to noises and look straight ahead. Other signs of the disease include inflamed, watery eyes, frequent sneezing or coughing, nasal discharge, brown discharge from the ears and dull, thin coat.
Generously invest in the basic equipment
If you have chosen rabbits as new family members, you can not save on the basic equipment. Only from a cage size of 100x100cm rabbits feel well. In the specialized trade you get in this size wire cages with an easy-to-clean plastic tray as a floor. The cage must be so high that the rabbit can stand on its hind legs, at least 50cm. Or you decide for a rabbit house with several floors. The commercial pressed small animal litter is well suited as bedding. In Kotecke, cat sand is the odorant binder. If you want to pamper your rabbits generously, then not only do you place the hay in the feeders, but you also give a layer of hay over the litter. For the grain food is a stable, heavy bowl of clay handy. Water must be available around the clock.
Crude fiber rich feed important
Since dwarf rabbits eat 60 to 80 meals within 24 hours, there must be constant feed. Because the further transport of the stomach contents is only possible through renewed feed intake and replenishment. This is also the reason why rabbits should not be screened out before surgery. Long-eared need as a grass eater food with a high raw fiber content. Therefore, always provide unlimited good hay – it is the natural food base. By grinding with the teeth of the teeth, the lifelong-growing teeth are rubbed off. Inadequate abrasion of the teeth due to insufficient raw fiber-containing food can lead to malocclusions. In addition to hay, the animals should get fresh green fodder such as grass, meadow herbs, yaw or dandelion. Salads and structured vegetables are also suitable. Apples, carrots, cucumbers and fennel are popular and healthy delicacies. The commercially available ready-to-eat feeds often contain too rich or too sweet feed. These taste very good and are therefore picked by the animals from the feed, while the healthy raw fiber-rich food parts are spurned. Malnutrition and obesity are the result.
Sufficient exercise and employment
Daily freewheeling in the apartment or in the well secured garden is absolutely necessary for rabbits. Turning fast laps, hitting hooks and making aerial leaps keeps rabbits healthy and alert. But attention to power and telephone cables! Long ears want to be busy too; So, give them toys: fill boxes or a litter box with hay, straw, paper shreds or cat litter – your rabbits will dig in it. Rolls made of cardboard cover make tunnels to crawl through. It becomes particularly interesting when you plug one end of the roll with paper; then the animals have to dig up the exit from the tunnel. Rabbits also have It’s fun to shred paper – with an old phone book you can make the long-eared happy. For gagging, unsprayed willow or fruit tree branches are suitable. All rabbits – whether daring or gentle – enjoy throwing things through the air. Well suited for this: Rattling baby toys made of hard plastic, metal rings, tin lid of jam jars and fabric balls. There are rabbits that throw back thrown balls. Beware poisonous plants
Attention poison plants
If rabbits are insufficiently supplied with crude fiber via the feed, they try to compensate for this by eating inappropriate, often poisonous plants. The poisonous houseplants include all ficus species, philodendron, flaming caterpillar and ferns. Common poisonous plants in the garden are boxwood, ivy, yew, rhododendron, lantana, lily of the valley and lilies. Symptoms of intoxication can be very nonspecific: salivation, central nervous symptoms such as tremors, tumbling or paralysis, bloating, and watery or bloody diarrhea. When such symptoms occur, the veterinarian must be consulted immediately!
Consider also veterinary costs before purchasing
The future rabbit owner should also be aware that veterinarian costs will be incurred in the course of rabbit life. Rabbits must be vaccinated annually against myxomatosis and against RHD (“China Search”). This also applies to in-house rabbits, as the pathogens can be transmitted by mosquitoes, but also via the feed. And like humans, rabbits are sometimes sick and need a doctor.