Easter is on it’s way in the maritimes, and with it comes fluffy bunnies like Peter Cottontail. We are always excited to see new bunnies and bunny owners, and would love to help you get your household fluffy-tailed ready for a new twitchy-nosed friend! Here are some of our tips and tricks:
- Bunnies develop quickly, and reach sexual maturity between 4-6 months of age based on their breed and size. Siblings have no qualms about having litters together, females have a pregnancy that only lasts 31-33 days, and on average there are 8 kits (babies) per litter. This means that one cute “teenager” bunny from the pet store can quickly become many, many fluffy little noses in your house. Having your bunny spayed (girl) or neutered (boy) is recommended to prevent this from occurring.
- Bunnies need a lot of space, and are very active at night. Their favorite times of day are dawn and dusk, and they really should have the opportunity to get out and play during those times to stay happy and healthy. They are prolific chewers, so their play space (which should be about 25 square feet minimum, or a 6×6 foot room) should be bunny-proofed to prevent damage and trauma. They sleep all day, and therefore are not the most receptive to playing with children mid-afternoon. 5am is more their style, so bunnies and kids sharing bedrooms might not be the best plan. A guideline for their cages is 8 square feet for the average bunny, with a length that is 4-6x the length of your (adult-sized) bunny stretched out.
- Bunnies are herbivores, so they have a diet that might seem a bit different to us. They should be fed 75% high-quality fresh Timothy hay, 25-15% Veggies and 10-0% pellets. Pellets should also be high-quality and Timothy-based, and should be given in moderation to adult bunnies (juveniles need them to assist with growth and development).
- Socialization is also very important. Bunnies are a prey species, and as such don’t react the same way that dogs and cats do in loud and busy households. They tend to cower, hide, run away, and bite/scratch/attack if they feel threatened. They also see better from the sides compared to head-on, and should be picked up carefully to support their very delicate spines.
Bunnies are very rewarding pets: they can be very cuddly and affectionate, love sharing salads and veggies, and are great at playing games with toys and treats. Making room in your life for these cuties is well worth it!