Donate Now

Contact Us

News »
16/06/2017 - Rabbit Awareness Week

It's Rabbit Awareness Week!

Let's look after our bunnies the right way!

Environment

Saturday 17 June marks the start of Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW). Over the past 11 years RAW has become the biggest campaign for rabbit welfare in the UK. Rabbits are now the fourth most popular pet in the UK, and so continually driving the messages about good rabbit welfare is so important.

Did you know that a wild rabbit’s territory is equivalent to around 30 tennis courts? Running around large areas every day keeps wild rabbits fit and healthy!

Picking the correct housing for your rabbit is vital. Small hutches can compromise rabbit welfare as it does not allow them to behave naturally. You should view a rabbit hutch as your rabbit’s bedroom, and it should be permanently attached to a much larger run – we recommend a minimum area of 10ft x 6ft x 3ft. The bedroom area should be as big as possible, allowing them to lie down and stretch out. It’s also very important that it is long enough to allow three continuous hops from one end to the other.

Quality is key; a good quality hutch provides shelter and protection from extremes of weather and temperature, and is also predator proof.

Emily, our small animal care assistant said: “Rabbits are extremely clean animals, their housing needs to be cleaned out frequently to deter flies – particularly during the warm months. My advice would be to clean your rabbits’ home regularly, making sure you are cleaning the toilet areas every day. Always be mindful of fly-strike, that’s why cleaning is absolutely vital.”

Diet

Nearly all of the fibre that rabbits need comes from feeding hay and grass. Did you know that between 85-90% of a rabbit’s diet should consist of fresh hay and grass? The remaining amount should be made up of nuggets and leafy greens, and of course access to fresh water is always vital.

Diet is the focus of Rabbit Awareness week this year, #HoptoHay. The aim of RAW in 2017 is to encourage rabbit owners to feed their rabbits more hay, and to understand the dietary needs of their furry friends better.

Behaviour

Sadly, many people think that rabbits are easy to look after because all they need to do is pop them in a hutch in the garden. This is far from the truth.

Remember, rabbits are prey animals and their first response to threat is to run and hide. If you spend time with them, gently handling them, then they will become comfortable around you. Always remember that each rabbit is an individual and their behaviour will depend on their age, personality and life experiences.

It is so important to provide your rabbits with hiding places and areas where they can run to if they feel threatened. Cardboard boxes work brilliantly! They also love tunnels. Providing hiding places doesn’t have to be expensive.

Remember, if their behaviour suddenly changes dramatically, they could be in pain and should see a vet.

Company

Every bunny needs somebunny! A lot of people are unaware that rabbits are incredibly social animals and nothing makes them happier than having a bunny friend.

Neutering rabbits is vital before pairing rabbits, and introducing them needs to be done very carefully. We’d suggest you take a look at this.

So, you might ask, where do I get my second rabbit? The best place to start is at your local rescue centre! We currently have numerous beautiful bunnies just waiting for their future companion. We’ll provide you with all the support you need to make sure that love blossoms! Here's a few of them:

Aurora & Zeke:

 

Health

Because rabbits are prey animals they are exceptionally good at hiding any pain or illness, that’s why it is so important that you get to know your bunny well so you can identify what’s normal, and what’s not normal for them.

Make sure you’re checking your rabbit every day for signs of illness or injury. Flystrike is particularly prominent in the summer months and so stepping it up to two checks when it is warm is advisable. Remember to get them regularly checked over by your vet, and always keep their vaccinations up to date.

 

« Return to news

View News Archive »

website design by Tickbox Marketing