Decorative rabbits, care and maintenance at home – this topic is becoming more popular and discussed. It is no longer a wonder to watch a pretty rabbit sleeping on the kitchen floor or arranging incredible evening runs around the house.
In previous articles, we learned how to comfortably and safely arrange a pet in a cage, aviary or separate room. But whatever the way the rabbit is kept in the house, before the housewarming party, his dwelling is equipped with everything necessary, and that’s how to choose the right equipment and care items for keeping the decorative rabbit at home, we’ll talk in this article.
First of all, for keeping and caring for a pet, they stock up on the main equipment – you should think about feeding troughs and drinking bowls, a sleeping place and a toilet.
Necessarily need toys and designs for outdoor activities. In addition, an important element of the content is a portable cage for visits to a veterinary clinic or a visit, as well as a harness for walking, but more on that in the next article.
A special discussion deserves the choice of a toilet tray and training a pet for it. A separate article is devoted to these issues. In the meantime, let’s start with the main thing: feeders, drinking bowls and places to relax.
Decorative rabbits, care and maintenance: feeders
A bowl-shaped feeder is a must and main dish for keeping a decorative rabbit. Such bowls may be ceramic, plastic or metal. Ceramic feeders are preferable, as they are more environmentally friendly and rather heavy, which will prevent them from tipping over and spilling the feed, as well as simplify maintenance.
It is better not to install such a feeding trough on one of the upper floors in multi-storey cages or cages, as hasty and sometimes absurd decorative rabbits love to throw things around, and fragile dishes can shatter into pieces at once.
Light metal or plastic bowls are chosen with a special holder, with which they are attached to the grate, which is convenient for maintenance and will prevent overturning of the feeder.
In most cases, the feeders are too large for one decorative rabbit, which needs very few nutritious granules – a few tablespoons per day. Therefore, a large volume of a bowl does not mean that it should be poured right away (although this is the first desire of a caring owner).
For feeding vegetables, a flat wide bowl, a dish with low sides or special basket balls are well suited.
When keeping decorative rabbits at home, it is important to remember that these animals feed in the wild, overcoming vast distances.
On this basis, it is not enough to put a bowl with granular food alone; it is much better to offer a decorative rabbit a variety of toy feeders that will make him make some effort to get food that is too easy for him at home.
From left to right: a basket ball for vegetables, a ball for hay or grass, a toy with a treat
You can build homemade devices for active feeding of a decorative rabbit at home. The simplest such solutions are cabbage leaf, willow branch, or vegetables simply strung on dense twine attached above with a clothespin.
Another elementary way of active feeding is to sprinkle dry food on the floor, which will make the rabbit move and look for tasty pieces.
And, of course, it is possible and necessary to feed decorative rabbits from hands, communicating, encouraging for the right actions or the task performed. These are quick-witted animals and such motivation is very effective in training.
Decorative rabbits, care and maintenance: drinking bowls
The successful maintenance of decorative rabbits at home implies the compulsory and constant access of pets to fresh water, especially in hot weather and when feeding concentrated feeds.
Juicy grass and vegetables can greatly fill the need for moisture – sometimes up to 30%, but it should be remembered that an excess of such products will cause digestive upset. Therefore, succulent feed should be limited, and water should be provided ad libitum.
When keeping decorative rabbits at home, automatic drinking bowls with a bottle and mount are most practical and convenient. For a medium-sized rabbit, a 600 ml drinker will be sufficient, this amount of water will be enough for him for a day.
If together contain several decorative rabbits, it is better to install two or three small bottles than one large.
If the owners are not at home for a long time, even two decorative bottles are installed for one decorative rabbit, since it can inadvertently catch one of them, tear it off the mounts and remain completely without water.
Although automatic drinking bowls for keeping decorative rabbits are very convenient and the water in them always remains fresh, drinking from ordinary bowls for these animals is more natural. Once the rabbit has been given a choice, he will always prefer a low bowl to a bottle.
The disadvantages of conventional stationary drinkers are obvious – the water in them is easily contaminated with litter, such bowls or bowls are easy to knock over, which complicates the care.
Such drinkers can be successfully used if the habitat of the decorative rabbit is spacious enough and it can easily bypass the bowl, or there is the possibility of attaching it to the wall.
The best, as is the case with feeders, is a ceramic bowl. In it, the water stays cool longer, fresher and harder to knock over. Also a good option is a metal drinking bowl with a mount.
From left to right drinkers: ceramic, metal, automatic
Decorative rabbits, care and maintenance: hay feeder
In the successful maintenance of a decorative rabbit at home, the constant presence of fresh hay plays the most important role. The pet should eat a bunch of hay per day, approximately equal to the size of himself.
Choose a feeder so that a portion intended for consumption during the day or a little more is placed in it.
This prevents the spread of valuable feed and turning it into litter. Even if a decorative rabbit pulls out all the hay from the feeder without finding anything else in it, he will be forced to pick up blades of grass from the floor.
And the owner, during regular leaving, will not be compelled to throw up the fragrant timothy, mined with great difficulty, together with dirty litter.
For keeping a decorative rabbit, metal, wire, wooden or plastic hay feeders are successfully used, making sure that they are of sufficient size. Often, such purchased feeders are small.
From left to right, hay feeders: plastic, metal, wooden
Making a hay feeder is easy with your own hands. The ingenuity of lovers of decorative rabbits is unlimited – feeders at home are made from waste wood, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles and even thick fabrics.
From left to right, hay feeders: from fabric, from a plastic bottle, from cardboard tubes
When purchasing a hay feeder, you need to remember that decorative rabbits are both curious and agile. Therefore, the distances between the rods should not be so large as to allow the brisk pet to insert its head or leg and injure itself.
In addition, when keeping a decorative rabbit in an aviary, he can deftly jump onto an unsuccessfully installed feeding trough and get out, which can have the most unpredictable consequences.
Decorative rabbits, care and maintenance: resting place
In nature, the rabbit hides from predators and makes nests in holes with several entrances, so that in case of danger you can quickly hide.
A decorative rabbit living in comfortable conditions at home, like its wild relatives, feels more confident, knowing that there is a shelter nearby where it can quickly get in an emergency. This is important, even if such a need arises extremely rarely.
The complexity of keeping a decorative rabbit at home is that it can be frightened by the most mundane, in the eyes of a person, things – a working vacuum cleaner, mixer or a guest who came to the house.
At the same time, the fearful pet will not feel safe behind bars – such a wall is transparent and it does not see any obstacles for the predator in it. A much more reliable refuge will be a simple cardboard box.
Despite the low cost and discreet appearance of this simple refuge, a cardboard box has a lot of advantages – accessibility, a variety of shapes and sizes, the ability to make multi-room apartments, as well as environmental friendliness and harmlessness.
Decorative rabbits are very fond of such houses and are happy to relax in them or climb up, vigilantly watching everything that happens around.
Caring for a decorative rabbit at home is greatly simplified if you give your pet the opportunity to occupy himself. The box can be used for additional entertaining purposes – to nibble, chew and arrange with the rest all kinds of exciting games. After complete destruction, such a house is replaced with a new one.
Wooden booths or compact plastic shelters, more often installed in cages, are more durable for keeping decorative rabbits at home. When buying a plastic booth, it is important to make sure that the material does not emit an unpleasant odor.
The range of ready-made rabbit booths is large, so it’s quite possible to choose the right option.