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The real cost of keeping a rabbit ?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Pointermum, Aug 25, 2013.


  1. Pointermum

    Pointermum PetForums VIP

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    Hello, this is a new section of the forum to me after all these years :eek:

    My DD has got to the i want a rabbit stage at the age of 5, now i know this is a young girls whim and i wouldn't even consider it if i wasn't prepared to do 100% of the looking after for the next 8 odd years .

    I had a LOT of rabbits growing up as a teenager but if i own one (two) again now i would like to do it properly so to speak. As in a decent size hutch, vaccinations, the best rabbit food and a decent breeder.

    So having a brief look am i right in thinking a rabbit needs 3 vaccinations a year ? Myxomatosis twice a year and Vhd once a year ? How much do these cost ?

    How much would you say a decent set up would cost ? Also is it fair to expect rabbits over winter outside with extra bedding and a hutch cover or do they have to be put inside ?

    Thanks for any help. It's still very much pondering stage at the moment .
     
  2. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    To be honest, rabbits don't make the best children's pet for young children.

    Many are grumpy & don't enjoy being picked up.
    The current recommendations mean that they need a lot of space (a hutch of at least 6ft x 2ft with a permanently attached run of at least 6ft x 6ft, or a shed with run combo) & should be kept in a minimum of pairs.

    They need to be neutered to protect from unwanted litters & cancer in the females & need, as you say, their annual vaccinations (which I will also will tell you are not 100%- I've lost 2 rabbits to myxo despite their vax being up to date). I use the combi vaccine for mine & it's given once a year.

    Best food is mostly good quality hay (around 80% of the diet), with a limited amount of a decent, high fibre food (such as Allen & Page or Supreme Science Selective) & limited veg/herbs/safe plants as treats.

    Would you consider adopting a bonded pair from a rescue? As there are just so many bunnies in rescue nationwide who have been handed in because they're not the cuddly, affectionate pet they were expected to be :(

    That's the more negative side, obviously they are lovely animals, fascinating to watch (especially when they binky!) & some genuinely do love interacting with people- I have 2, Sammy will willingly climb on laps for a fuss & follow us round, his partner Delilah, on the other hand is a stroppy cowbag who will only bother with people at feeding time & will nip if she gets the chance :D
     
  3. fesixunderground

    fesixunderground PetForums Member

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    depending on your vet, a lot do the combined myxi and VHD injections which are only needed once a year. The cost will depend on the vet but you're looking in the £30-35 range. Just cost me £92 for the vaccinations for my three

    I got both of mine neutered which is pretty much a must for the welfare of your rabbit, Ivy cost £85 i think and Thor cost £75.

    If you did get some rabbits i would advise getting pet insurance straight away. i didn't and 2 of mine got gut stasis and i had to shell out £348 in one month :eek: Their vet bills can be insanely high

    a good hutch and decent sized run aren't cheap and I think if there's one thing i've learnt on here its that size matters. rabbits need a lot of freedom

    I've got a huge garden to access so i rarely buy herbs or bags of herby treats but that can add to the cost but you don't need to shell out on expensive toy. Mine LOVE a cardboard box and you can do daft things like stuffing toilet rolls full of herbs and hay
     
  4. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Go as big as you can find and save up for a decent sized pad I hate to see rabbits in tiney hutches they look so bored :<
     
  5. Pointermum

    Pointermum PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for the replies, it's not something i'm going to rush into and hubs isn't too keen on the idea but if it was up to him we would have no pets :rolleyes:

    I do like the children to have the chance of growing up loving and caring for animals though, obviously under my supervision.

    Do people over winter there rabbits indoors or in sheds ? Or is it OK for them to stay outside with extra hay and covered over ?

    I do have a large garden and a 40msq walled patio they could have free run of while i was in the garden. In a covered run the rest of the time.

    The other idea is a pair of guinea pigs :laugh: Again it's the winter that worries me with these as there isn't room in the house to house them and currently we don't have a shed :(
     
  6. fesixunderground

    fesixunderground PetForums Member

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    i meant to answer this. mine stay outside in their hutch and their hutch are push up against a wall in a corner largely protected from the wind.

    i built a base on the hutch and run using loft boards and made some 10cm legs out of some blocks of wood. this raised them off the ground and away from the snow and puddles.

    the hutch has a rain cover and i bought a large piece or perspex and built an angled roof for the run so the rain/snow doesn't get into the run but pours off it. then i bought some of that clear corregated plastic and made some sides for the run but with the end run exposed to allow fresh air. I am looking to invest in a much bigger hutch, although i'd prefer a shed, which i can line with insulation but as i say they WERE totally fine

    i'm just a fretter but they've coped with a vicious north yorkshire winter with well over a foot deep snow
     
  7. hippymama

    hippymama PetForums Senior

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    personally i think guinea pigs make better kids pets :) guineas are more likely to sit happily on a kiddies lap (with supervision obv) and be stroked etc as long as they are handled gently and often
    most rabbits don't like being picked up and can give a nasty kick/bite if they aren't happy :eek:
     
  8. hazyreality

    hazyreality PetForums VIP

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    I second that guineas would be the better pet if they will be partially a kids pet. They are much more willing to be held, especially if you get them used to it.
    They are also the easier pet for looking after. They have far less health issues, they dont need vaccinations and they wont need as much space, although they still need plenty :)

    Both can be kept out in the winter. Just fill beds with straw and hay, and keep droughts and ran off with insulation and plastic sheeting :) You can also get snuggle safe heat pads for them. A shed is obviously nicer to be in, for them and for you, cleaning out on cold wet days!
     
  9. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Guinea Pigs are certainly not good childrens pet.
    They are naturally flighty and skittish and like to spend most of their time hidding. They can of course be tamed just like rabbits.

    They thrive on company and should never be kept on their own as these are social animals that get lonely if left alone.

    Most small animals are not really the best choice of pets for kids.

    Lots of small pets wind up in rescue because the children loose interest when their pet bites them.


    Guinea Pigs do make wonderfull pets but their natural need to hide needs to be respected.
     
  10. Pointermum

    Pointermum PetForums VIP

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    As i've said i would take on the responsibilities of the animals, so they wouldn't end up in rescue even if they did bite the kids ;) If i can cope with 2 high demand breeds of dogs, i'm sure 2 rabbits or guinea pigs will be much more relaxing :p

    I've had loads of rabbits and guinea pigs when i was a teenager, my dad built us a shed, put a heater and light in there and left me and my sister to fill it with what ever pets we liked :eek: That was about 17 years ago now, so i would just like to do things a bit more responsibly now :thumbup1:
     
  11. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    I think guinea pigs are better than rabbits as a child's pet TBH. I had a few & don't remember them being skittish, quite the opposite, & I never got bitten. Any species that is a prey species can be skittish TBH, but well adjusted & handled guinea pigs make lovely pets :)
     
  12. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    I was just thinking despite what I said I think rats would be much better pets then rabbits or guinea pigs.

    They are friendly once tame but again will need their own company in order to thrive. They can be prone health problems but once tame make the most affectionate pets of any of the small animals.
     
  13. Pointermum

    Pointermum PetForums VIP

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    I haven't got the room in doors to give rats , my sister has a few of them, very cute.
     
  14. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    Guinea pigs are much easier to handle for kids than rabbits as rabbits powerful back legs can cause some painful scratches.

    A pair of piggies from a rescue centre is normally about £30
    A pair of rabbits can be £50-£80 depending where you go.
    They don't need any vaccinations unlike rabbits. Rabbits now only need an annual combine vaccination which costs £35 approx and includes a check up.
    At first you may want your vets to trim their nails and this can cost £15 per pet.
    Insurance for rabbits does exist but is a bit of a con as it doesn't cover common problems like mis aligning teeth. Most of us put a little money aside to cover vet bills say £10 per month per pet.

    Piggies need a 4ft hutch and rabbits a 6ft hutch as a minimum, with plenty of height for a rabbit to stand on its back legs. A good quality hutch made from solid wood not thin plywood will cost £100-50 easily.
    A run can cost £60-100 the bigger the better. Hutch and run combinations on sale in most pet shops are actually too small, many of us have converted sheds and playhouses.
    Additionally you may want some paving slabs to put under the hutch and run for security from foxes. Your local rescue centre will have their own minimum standards and should be able to advise you where a good set up can be purchased from locally or online.
    A lot of us recommend these runs Trixie Natura Outdoor, Galvanized, 216 × 65 × 116 cm:Amazon:pet Supplies mines now 5 years old. Please check with your nearest rescue that this would be sufficient before purchasing.
    A lot of people recommend this company and they will make to the size you want Rabbit Hutches Dog Kennels Chicken Coops Poultry Houses Aviaries Yorkshire UK Manufacturer

    Childen cannot legally be held responsible for the care of any pet so you will need to over see all feeding and cleaning. Because both rabbits and guinea pigs need to be constantly digesting food other wise there guts stop for good and they die, it's best to feed them twice a day, for example fresh hay and a veggie treat in the morning - clean out all poo and wee, more fresh hay, pellets and veggies in the evening. This way if they've not rushed up to greet you and snatched the treat out of your hand you know something must be wrong and need to get them to the vets immediately.
     
  15. sskmick

    sskmick PetForums VIP

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    I don't think there are any animals that anyone can honestly say is suitable for children and yet they are all suitable for children with the right parental guidance.

    I am a believer in bringing children up with animals around them, irrespective of the type of animal. Neither a dog or cat likes to be picked up and cuddled especially by a child - but you wouldn't let them. Most dogs are too big and cats will scratch.

    The cost of a rabbit is extremely deceiving in comparison to the cost of a dog. My weekly shopping bill for the dog is cheaper than the two rabbits. I buy hay, woodshavings, pellets, and they have a bag of fresh veg every day and twice a week they have a bunch of herbs. They have salad bowls which I believe helps to keep their teeth healthy and good quality forage/hay.

    Their set up came about as I bought the Rose Cottage and Run for Barney, but when Betty came her hutch was totally inadequate and I bought the Bluebell Hideout and Rose Run. I then wanted to buy a large dog kennel once I bonded them but I couldn't win hubby round. To cut a long story short I bought another Rose Run and joined the two hutches via the three runs. All we did was use the panels to create one long run 12' x 4'.
     
    #15 sskmick, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  16. Lopside

    Lopside PetForums VIP

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    If you are starting from scratch my advice would be to get a pair from a rescue. Buy a 6x6 shed and have that as their home, put a large 6x2 hutch on one side then at least you stay dry whilst cleaning them out and they can get plenty of exercise even if its wet. The thing with rabbits is cleaning them out regularly, so long term you'll be happier doing it in the shed rather than outside in the wind and rain in the middle of winter haha. In the summer you can always add a cat flap to an outdoor run. This way also your kids can sit on the floor in the shed and the rabbits can come to them. So shed, hutch, toys, litter tray, vinyl to line shed floor and hutch, and rabbits. Vet bills-if you get a pair from rescue you'll get saving 150-200 on neutering. Vaccinations £80 ish annually for two. Pet Insurance, I pay £50 month for all five of mine. Not cheap lol!! But well worth it. I love my bunnies! :001_tt1:
     
  17. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    Great advice from Lopside. Some sort of wealk in enclosure is far better than a hutch/run, for cleaning and interacting (we have both). sheds can get hot and stuffy at times, so it would be important to provide permanent access to an outside run too. We have an open fornted, aviary type enclosure, with double hutches in (3 closed sides for weather protection. That works well.

    I think it is important for children to grow up with pets, and you have the right idea, when you are already realistic about the daily caring. we once saw a horrible cruelty case where the care had been left to a child, by a busy parent.
     
  18. Lopside

    Lopside PetForums VIP

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    I love my rabbit shed, although now we have progressed to a 12x8ft one hahah, its a great place to just sit and watch, with a cuppa & my iPad so I can watch tele. Whilst being nudging by norty wabbits. If I ignore them for too long I usually get a chewed trouser hem in return. lol :crazy:
     
  19. Funky

    Funky PetForums VIP

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    I honestly not sure how much we spend on our bunnies monthly-depends on how many visits we had in vets!
    Food is not that expensive-2 bales of hay =£7.00 plus food £24 (20kg bag) plus cleaning products and toys.
    This month we have spent on vet bills something like £500 as there was two emergency visit in vet one overnight stay plus extra visit with one of bunnies.
    I am paying £130 for insurance for 10 bunnies.
    To be honest I don't like idea of kids having bunnies as they get bored with them quickly.bunnies are not cuddly pets -they like to do own things and if they want they come and sit with me-if not i am just watching them running around and do their stuff.
    We have two bunnies who had major operations -bill for one was £600 for second bunny £2000! They are expensive and I hate web people saying-oh they only rabbits you can go to shop and get another one for £25! First how insensitive, second if this would be dog or cat most of people would try the best to give them necessary treatments!
    This is only my opinion! I have watched program about kids an animals-and it has been said that kids should have puppies -as puppies would no let kids to hurt them -they would bite and both would learn from each other how to respect each other and how to not hurt one the other!
    I like to think some kiddies are good with pets (as I was very good with any animals when I was very young) - but I wouldn't recommend bunnies or g.pigs as kids would be bored with them quickly and parents stay with responsibility and it is very unfair to keep bunnies in the hutch r shed at the back of the garden and leave them there on their own(not spending time with them)! And only person who really likes rabbits will be cleaning them, having fun to watch them and spend time with them otherwise they are just sitting there in their own bored and miserable! That's unfair to them as they are very sociable, they want to be with people -but on their rules!
     
  20. Summersky

    Summersky PetForums VIP

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    That sounds like bunny heaven!! :D
     
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