I can picture the adorable bunnies jumping all around.
Rabbits are social animals and it is ideal to have more than one rabbit. Rabbits live 8- 10 years. Two males can only live together in harmony from birth, but do not place a female with them . Two females can live together perfectly anytime. Fighting in the beginning between rabbits are common especially when they adult . Integration can take a while so one has to be patient. Rabbits are fast learners. They can be potty trained although some rabbits prefer to urinate and defecate in corners. Remember to keep electrical cords out of their reach, as they are excellent chewers! Imagine what can happen!
Forget the magician’s stunt of pulling a rabbit out of the hat by its ears. It is extremely cruel!! You should pat them gently. Put your hand under the chest holding each foreleg separately between thumb and two fingers and with the other hand support the rump. Then cradle the bunny against your body. Remember, that they are delicate and fragile animals (poor backs) .
HANDLING YOUR RABBIT CORRECTLY
- You must move slowly and talk quietly around your rabbits, to avoid startling them. This will make any interactions less stressful and so potentially easier.
- Correct handling of rabbits is vital, as they have a fragile spine and if they feelinsecure and struggle they can sustain serious, potentially fatal injures such as fractures.
- To hold your rabbit correctly, you should hold him/her gently but firmly, ensure one hand supports your rabbit’s back and hindquarters at all times and make your rabbit feels secure by having all four feet held against your body. Covering your rabbit’s eyes (with a towel or in the crook of you arm) can helphim/her to feel more relaxed, but you should ensure the nares (nostrils) are not obstructed.
- To reduce stress during handling and minimise the risk of injury, it is important to use the minimum effective level of restraint, according to the animal’s temperament, health status and the procedure to be carried out.
- You must never pick your rabbit up by the ears. This would be extremely stressful and is highly likely to result in injury to your rabbit.
- Slippery surfaces should be avoided; for example, covering the veterinary examination table with a towel can help the rabbit feel more secure.Attempting to handle your rabbit from a standing position may scare him/her. Picking your rabbit up when you are positioned close to the ground is likely to be less frightening for him/her and will reduce the risk of injury if your rabbit is accidentally dropped. We recommend that where possible, all interactions are carried out at ground level, as people are likely to be perceived as less threatening when in this position.
- Young children should be supervised at all times when interacting with rabbits, and ideally all interactions should take place at ground level. Only adults and responsible older children should be allowed to pick rabbits up, to reduce the risk of injury if the rabbit is mishandled or accidentally dropped.
Rabbits groom their coats regularly with the help of their tongues. During shedding season, you should brush your bunny to remove old and loose hair.
However, the angora rabbits should be groomed daily with a special brush fitted with metal bristles. During the warm African summers you also need to give them a haircut regularly.
Check the teeth regularly because the animal can have malocclusion of the teeth. This is a condition where the teeth do not meet each other and grow so long that the rabbit can no longer eat. If this happens, you should take your rabbit to a vet.
Some books recommend that you can cut the claws yourself and other recommend that the vet should do it. If you feel at all uncomfortable about doing it yourself, please take your bunny to the vet.
Regularly cut the hair of an angora rabbit around the sex organs so that the faeces do not get caught or stuck in it. Use a cotton pad with a little baby oil and wipe the rabbit’s skin folds to remove any deposits on it or you can just use a cloth with lukewarm water. Never bath a rabbit.