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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been hearing a lot about rabbits lately and such and I don't know I just find them rather interesting. I have never really looked into rabbits ever and don't know much about them. My knowledge only goes from having rabbits in my neighborhood and whatever rabbit knowledge watching Watership Down can give you.

So what are rabbits like? What special care do they need? Etc, etc.

I won't be getting one anytime soon, I don't have the room or time at the minute but I hope once I finish highschool then college and build a stable life I hope to be able to get all sort of animals (I plan to be an exotic vet so I should be able to handle many different kinds, maybe not all at once but still) rabbits being among one of the animals. I'd like it to be a free-roamer with a cage to spend time in only when we're away and don't want it getting into trouble. I hope to let all my animals I have free-roam unless a pair don't get along / aren't good together then I will have restrictions for them but yeah back to rabbits...
 

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Rabbits, so I've heard, are a lot more comparable to cats. They don't like to be lifted much, depending on their level of comfort with their person, and are the type of pet who will appreciate being able to get affection on their terms, not yours. They are very independent, fun, and clean little critters (once you get litter training down :p).

Rabbits do best in opposite-sex pairs and males do best being neutered (it can eliminate behavioral and marking issues) while females ALSO do best being spayed (avoids cancers, just like in our ratties), so opposite-sex pairs encourage good care for the rabbits health-wise either way. Since you're going to be free ranging (good on you!), I don't think I need to tell you that 100% outside cages are a no-no generally for pets, though there are outlying circumstances, I understand. Same sex pairs can fight.

They can be fed a pellet-free diet, and it is healthier for them (as you can control exactly what they're getting and adjust their diets completely), however it is very very expensive to feed this way so pellets are often given in amounts just enough to get the nutrients they need but still making hay and veggies the biggest amount of what they eat.

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/small-pet-care/general-rabbit-care The ASPCA actually has surprisingly good, up to date guides on most pets.

Again, the best place to look for rabbits is breeders. Unlike other small animals and dogs/cats, rabbits can do a surprising amount of damage for how "innocent" they look, so I always recommend getting rabbits for the first time from a reputable breeder who has socialized them. What counts as reputable for you will vary - many breeders will eat kits they do not sell, and if you don't agree with this, it may be harder to find an ethic breeder near you.

However, I do know of a few rabbit breeders on another site, and if you are seriously looking into rabbits, I would be more than happy to ask if they know anyone in your area. :) They really are amazing pets but they are not cheap and when housed incorrectly or alone they can be little terrors. This is why it is absolutely vital to get them from a good breeder who will help you through litter training/behavioral issues and actually wants to be involved with their rabbits later on. I know people will probably say "don't get from a breeder! So many rabbits in the shelter!" however, rabbits are a touchy pet. They can be rewarding or nightmares, and if you are not experienced with them a rescue will not be your best option, in my opinion, simply because they can come with issues already. Of course, if you can find a rescue you click with and everything, this is always choice #1, but rescued rabbits often come from terrible backgrounds (and unknowingly abusive children or even adults), so it can sometimes be unsafe as a first time choice.
 

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As much as I'd love to own a rabbit now (**** i'd love to own any animal now) I am just not properly equipped to handle another animal right now. (But thanks for suggesting to ask the breeders ^^) I would definitely try to adopt from a breeder because I just trust them a lot more than pet stores and rescues. In rescues you don't always know the background of the animal so it's a huge risk. I under stand the ""don't get from a breeder! So many rabbits in the shelter!"" with dogs since puppy mills are a huge thing so it's safest to get from the shelter rather then a pet store or breeder (We got one of my dogs from a breeder actually but my mom had done her research on the person and they turned up fine. (And we've had no issues with the dog he's very friendly and will be 6 ((I believe)) sometime around thanksgiving) All 3 of my other dogs (past and current) were rescues though and we only had an issue with one (he died of an illness, I don't know the full story since I was too young then so I don't really remember. But we had gotten another dog along with him that was his brother who lived a long and happy life so I don't know if I can blame the previous owners for the illness)
 

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Sadly, rabbits have it even worse than dogs when it comes to begin given to shelters. Rabbits are a popular Christmas and Easter gifts. I've heard as many as 70% of these rabbits (though, I have no way to validate this, but with how much rabbits actually need it's plausible) end up either returned or abandoned within the first year. The most popular excuse is always "I'm moving".

While rabbit "mills" may or may not be a thing (sadly, most rabbits in these situations just get eaten or turned into fur accessories, so many from mills never see the pet trade, the pet trade just takes from the meat/fur trade what it needs to sell, is how I've come to understand it), rabbits are often the most widely abandoned small pet.

https://www.petfinder.com/breeds/

According to petfinder, there are more abandoned rabbits than horses. There are more abandoned rabbits than ALL OTHER SMALL PETS COMBINED. It's a really sad reality.

I'm not saying this to talk you out of breeders, but to tell you that they are in a bad situation just like dogs and cats, though not on such a wide scale as... well... again, many "unwanted" breeder rabbits get eaten or taken for fur depending on the breed. So it's not like there are breeder's rabbit filling up shelters like you have with dogs or cats - it's mostly made up of pets that are returned from unknowing owners.
 

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When you first said "many breeders will eat kits they do not sell" I was extremely confused as to if you meant that the kit's mother ate the baby (since i've heard animals do that I don't know if rabbits do though) but reading the last post I finally understood and remember that rabbits can be a popular meal among humans... I just could never see one being eaten.
 

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Me either, Hedgian, especially one you've raised.... to be honest, I don't know where most of that extra meat goes... I've never seen rabbit in a restaurant or even in dog food. It's really sad, but it's a big reality of the rabbit world. They're not seen as pets yet in many places. I watch someone on youtube who has a house rabbit (Erinshamsters) named Jack who was originally going to be given to someone's landlord for a meal because he couldn't find another home for him... and it's a common thing there, apparently. In some places even guinea pigs are considered meals, not pets.

It might be strange to us, but to other people it's totally normal... which is sad because they make such excellent pets, but it is what it is.
 

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Yeah my mom and brothers went to peru a couple years ago and got the chance to try guinea pig, the younger brother passed I don't remember if my mom did but the oldest brother definitely did try the guinea pig forget what he said about it though. The only thing I really found disturbing about it when putting myself in the locals of peru's mind set and thinking it is normal to eat guinea pig was that in the place that they went they had all the pigs on display. You could see them running around and doing what guinea pigs do. I just can't eat something especially after I just saw it alive and well x.x
 

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There are a lot of backyard breeders. There are a lot of fur and meat breeders to and getting one of them as a pet is nice, saves their life and all, but it depends on the breed. You see a lot of lops and lionheads, especially the latter now. It is the designer breed and people breed to make a quick buck. Stores sell them for Easter and then they get to big or pushy and poof rehome. So buying a rabbit is just as bad as buying a cat or dog. Adopting is really the best option if at all possible. They come fixed (this can be anywhere from $150 to $300+ And requires a rabbit vet) you know what size your rabbit will be if gotten as an adult (a lot of people will try to sell you a rabbit that will stay small when its really a larger breed) and its temperment, like most animals their true colors usually wait to come out till after puberty. Females also need to be spayed not just for health, but they are very hormonal and can damage your house horribly. Most issues people have with buns can be fixed if they are. One of our intact girls has chewed a hole in our wall. And they are horrible with their litter habits. A good rabbit shelter will also help you in much the same way a breeder can. I'm not saying not to get a breeder rabbit, but they are not the only option for a good bun. We have every mix possible when it comes to where our buns have come from. Backyard pet breeders, meat breeders, rescue from a shelter and from a bad owner, feed store, pet store. You really can't tell where they came from if you just met them.
 

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When the time comes I guess it's just up to what's around us. I haven't the slightest idea where I am going to live when I am older so yeah and there aren't many rat breeders in my area and I have only seen maybe 1 rabbit at the exotic pet store where I got my hedgehog.
 

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If you have a rabbit rescue with fosters that would be ideal. They can litterally pair you with your perfect bun. And you can keep a single bun, they arn't super social like rats or guinea pigs. Or a group of buns. We have eight we are going to try and bond once everyone is neutered. Possibly nine if my Voldemort settles down. But he is at least twice the size, if not more, then the rest of the buns, and he's a butthead! We have one for sure that is rabbit agressive. Rabbits kept alone tend to be more bonded to their owners. Keeping a pair they tend to bond close together and sometimes you'll get left out. But it depends on the bun to. Our girl pair, Keter and Cupcakes, are pretty friendly with us. Cupcakes will flop over next to you, and she is pretty ok with being picked up. Both of our sets of pairs we got really young though to so that might have something to do with it. Out Cheeseburger was only 4wks. Note for good breeder vs bad, rabbits should not be rehomed till 8wks. They wean at 4 but they still need to learn from mom and have her. We got an 8wk old bun, Susu, when we got Cheesburger to try and make sure he didn't get sick or depressed being so young.
 

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Hmm thats hard. I think I'd suggest single. You can introduce a new bunny to an existing bun so if you wanted another it is possible. There are some dynamics you wont see with just a single bun, or if you do it's harder to recognize them at first. But a single is less cost to start and you can form a relationship with him/her easier. I personally prefer males, and medium to large breeds. They tend to be more laid back and even our unfixed males have better litter habits then the girls! We have everyhing from Netherland Dwarf mixes to my Flemish Giant, and everything in between. The smaller ones have a lot more attitude. Lionheads are right brats, cute but they know it! XD of course they all have their own personalities.
 
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