Rabbits and Rabbits!

The following is a guest post from a previous rabbit owner. It is a good read to both current pet rabbits owner and also to those who are thinking of getting rabbits as pets.

 

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When I was about seven years old my oldest sister came home with a pet rabbit! Well as a seven year old asked the simple question if she gets a rabbit can I have one??? Not too much longer I was able to go out and pick a rabbit of my own as long as it was another “Girl” bunny. Well we checked all the rabbits and came home with my own rabbit. We were lucky because since we purchased the last rabbit from our relatives we were able to keep the cage and all the goodies!  The rabbits were named Spike and Gizmo. All was well and we were so excited to have our two growing bunnies- sisters.....so we thought. Then came the shocking day when we noticed that Gizmo was starting to get quite plump and started to pull out her fur underneath her belly. This is when we realized Spike was a HE, not a she. So about a week later we had 6 baby bunnies, the first of many litters. 72 rabbits later, lots of food, and the creation of  a 4 room rabbit condo, we finally finished the reign of rabbits at my parents house. Twelve years later when my sister got married and moved away, apparently the deal was to take the rabbits too or else!!

 

Pet rabbits were a wonderful pet if we would have realized we had a matching pair instead of a set of girls. We were able to save tons of money by making our own rabbit condo. We purchased pre-fabricated trusses that were six feet long by 3 feet wide. We used these and some simple welded quarter inch wire as the floor and sides. My grandfather was an extremely skilled carpenter and machinist for a large corporation in Chicago and really helped our budget. When all was said and done, our condo had 4 large 3x3x3 feet cubed rooms. Each room had a large nesting box that was stuffed with fresh hay to battle the cold winters. We spent around $85.00 to create a condo that sold in the pet stores for close to $500. Then we found a local farmer who sold us rabbit feed. He would purchase it and resell it to us which was more than 30% off the going rate at local pet stores. We were really blessed as rabbit owners and each original rabbit lasted for 9 years plus.

 

After our large amount of rabbits as a child I decided NOT to let my family ever have rabbits for two main reasons: 1. I always ended up feeding, cleaning, and taking care of animals growing up and I didn’t want to do so now. 2. I was always in charge of corralling our rabbits after a refreshing run in the lawn! So when we moved into rural Florida and had a large back yard, my wife always asked when we went to feed stores and pet stores and the answer was always NO! Well thanks to my Mother-In-Law’s husband, my wife received two presents one day, Mopsy and Flopsy. What could I say? So after much deliberation and discussion I talked him into purchasing the materials to create a large rabbit pen. We made it 6x6x3. A much larger space then back home, but a much larger yard. After a few short months, my wife got another crazy idea-raising CHICKENS. We borrowed half of the cage and created two 3x6x3 cages, more than enough room and added an A-Frame roof with plastic tarp for our birds. Needless to say, we found that chickens and rabbits don’t really mind each other as long as the birds were kept out of the bunnies cage. Pet rabbits were fantastic pets as a child and adult. Please don’t take it lightly, they are not hamsters or goldfish and take much more planned care, but are a real treat to own.

 

Bio:

Craig Rapinchuk is an elementary teacher, past owner of more rabbits than he can count, and a part-time writer at Surviving a Teachers Salary.

 

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