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Easter Bunnies

Tis the season when darling cute adorable irresistible baby bunny rabbits are snuffling their little noses at you at the feed store, the pet store, and sometimes from little boxes in front of grocery stores. They are so cute. And Easter is on Sunday.

Just walk away. Go visit the interactive bun site to help you decide if you are ready for a bunny or two. Just as a preview, you need to think about this: it is no more appropriate to store your bunny in a hutch in the yard than it would be to store your cat in a hutch in the yard. Sure, you could do that. And some people do with rabbits, but it is cruel to take an animal built for speed and confine it. You have noticed that rabbits have incredibly strong back legs? Yes indeed, they need to be able to run and hop the same way that your children need to be able to move. So if you are going to take in a bunny, bunny needs to live with you.

You can learn most of what you need to know about house-rabbits in the
House Rabbit Handbook: How to Live With an Urban Rabbit.

We have, as you may recall, two houserabbits. They turned eleven earlier this month. They are very sweet and very companionable and nowadays I constantly feel guilty for neglecting them.

We feed them bundles of cilantro or parsley daily, and a carrot. They also enjoy eating dandelion greens, blackberry cuttings, and the trimmings from our unsprayed fruit trees. For treats they get unsalted crackers, a raisin, or a bit of banana or apple. We have to go easy on the fruit or they get poopybum, and bathing a wiggly clawed animal with large teeth is a drag.

Fortunately, bunnies can be hypnotized or tranced, and this helps a lot for washing up (and for clipping nails). Bunny tummies are very fragile and were a constant worry to me in the first five years. Now I know their individual dietary foibles, plus their characteristic pre-tummy ache behavior, so we don't actually get into crises very often. Do make sure you have some tummy medicine on hand.

The leading cause of death of houserabbits is electrocution. That cord hanging in their way? They'll treat it the exact same way as they treat a twig in their path as they are hopping down the bunny trail. Yum, a snack. So, if you are going to be a bunny parent, all your cords need to be off the ground and the little bit that runs near the ground needs to be protected; we encase ours in tubing.

There is much much more you need to know to be a good rabbit parent. Hopperhome provides lots of useful links.

One last tip if you are bound and determined to take in a bunny. Wait until about six weeks after Easter. Your local animal shelter will have plenty to choose from.

Questions? Please ask. I'd be happy to answer.

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