Rabbits are active and smart animals that must live together with cohorts. It’s great fun to see how the animals live alongside each other, run around together and wash each other. Many rabbits like to be petted, but make sure you leave them standing on the ground with all four legs. Give your rabbits space: to stay healthy, besides proper food, they also require a suitable living environment and lots of movement.
Rabbits are part of the lagomorphs family and are not rodents. Lagomorphs have two little teeth behind their top upper incisors. Rabbits have long ears and strong hind legs. A rabbit can live to be up to 8 to 10 years old.
Rabbits are herd animals and therefore do not like to live alone. On their own, they fade away.
They require a large rabbit cage that allows them to move around. The height of the cage is also important. The rabbit must be able to stand upright on its hind legs. Outdoors we recommend a playing area with night shelter. For rabbits that stay inside, make sure the cage is spacious and the rabbit can move sufficiently.
A cage also requires a hay rack, water bottle, food bowl, gnawing material, rabbit toilet plus filling and toys.
Ground cover for the cage:
The health of your rabbit starts with the ground cover. The ground cover should primarily absorb the urine, be dust-free, soft and comfortable. We do not recommend hard ground cover due to eye and skin irritation. Moreover, with loose ground cover a rabbit can create and maintain its own living environment. A good ground cover also helps against boredom.
Joris recommends the following ground covers (in recommended order):
- Cotton N Card bedding
- Coconut Bedding (excellent for both indoors and outdoors)
- Card N Card Bedding
- Cotton Bedding
- Cut Canola Bedding (Has a naturally bitter taste and will therefore not be eaten)
- Ground soft straw grain
- Soft fine paper pellets
Hay, hay and more hay:
The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is hay, hay and more hay. Whether a rabbit is sick or healthy, everything depends on sufficient high-quality hay in its cage.
- Hay is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins
- Maintains the intestinal flora
- The fibres ensure proper bowel movement
- Proper dental wear
- Less boredom when chewing on hay
- Hay makes rabbits feel full
The best hay is sun-dried hay because it contains more nutrients. Store the hay in a dry and airy place. Individually packed, the hay stays of higher quality.
Generally speaking, it is possible for a rabbit to only live off hay. The best rabbit food comes in grain pellets. Grain pellets contain all important nutrients and rabbits themselves do not care. Available in various different types depending on the size of the rabbit. Per day, a rabbit may eat approx. 20 grams per kilo of weight. Beware of too large portions; in that case, the rabbit won’t eat enough hay, which will be detrimental to its health.
A good ration:
- High quality hay
- Herbs and flowers
- Leaf vegetables
- Rabbit food
- A snack from time to time
- Clean drinking water all day