Tips for Raising Rabbits
Before you buy
If you're considering adding rabbits to your acreage, first decide why you want to raise them: pets, show animals, meat (for yourself or to sell), breeding, fiber, or a combination of these. Research the different rabbit breeds, and choose based on your goals. If you have questions, it's a good idea to attend a rabbit show and talk to breeders and owners of several different breeds. Learn about food and housing requirements before you bring your bunnies home.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
Rabbits as pets
Rabbits can make wonderful pets, and many have a lifespan of 10 years or more. You'll need to set up a cage, and might also want to get a few baby gates to keep the bunnies where they belong. Some rabbits can even be trained to use a litter box! Keep in mind rabbits are social creatures, so they may be happier if you have at least two. If you are keeping rabbits as pets and aren't interested in breeding them, they can be spayed or neutered just like a dog or cat. You'll want to keep them in their cage when you aren't home, since they do have a tendency to chew on things like electrical cords. Some rabbits have temperaments similar to cats, and will snuggle on your lap.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
Rabbits are a good alternative for children who are interested in showing animals at the county fair, especially if they are too small to safely handle larger livestock, or if you don't have the room or expertise to raise cattle, for example. Rabbit shows are also held all around the country for owners of all ages.
This little girl has her county fair ribbons displayed inside her bunny barn. This small outbuilding may once have been a shed or chicken coop, but now it makes the perfect place for her to keep and work with her rabbits.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
You may think sheep or goats are the only animals you can raise for fiber, but Angora rabbits take less space and are easier for children to handle. They can be brushed daily, and the fur collected, and they can be sheared once every 90 days or so. Their wool can bring anywhere from $5 to $15 per ounce, depending on the quality and color. These rabbits can also be used for breeding (sell the babies), and showing. Many other breeds of rabbits have multiple purposes, too, which makes them a good fit for acreages.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
The bulk of a rabbit's diet is fresh grass hays such as Timothy, wheat, oat, brome, coastal, or Bahia, and you can purchase specially milled rabbit feed or pellets. They also need a variety of vegetables to stay healthy, specifically dark, leafy greens. Fruits and starchy vegetables like carrots can be given as a treat. Of course, make sure they have fresh water available at all times.
Avoid feeding your rabbits iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, beans, peas, potatoes, beets, onions, rhubarb, bamboo, seeds, grains, chocolate, candy, anything moldy, or most human foods.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
Build a hutch
A hutch is a mini house for your outdoor rabbits. They can take the cold pretty well, but will need protection from drafts and wetness. Click below to see what features a good hutch should include.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
Your rabbits will need a warm place to stay during the winter. If you can move their hutch into a garage or barn, that's probably a good idea. Give them a nice blanket of hay to snuggle up in, and they'll be fine! Since you're outside less in the winter, your rabbits will probably be pretty lonely, so take them out to play whenever you can.Date Published: December 24, 2015Date Updated: March 22, 2019
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