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How to Successfully Prepare for a New Bunny

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

So you decided to get a bunny. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of bunny owners. You will soon figure out your bunny needs you as much as you need it. I didn't know I loved bunnies until we got our first bunny, Tarzan. He was and still is just the sweetest bunny.



We will start here: Getting a bunny is a commitment. A bunny will live an average of 10 years, which is quite a long time. They need care, room to explore, and attention. Don't let that change your mind though. They are completely worth it! Each one has their personality.


Gender Preferences:


I have a lot of potential bunny owners asking me "Should I get a male (buck) or female (doe)?" My answer is always male. Male Holland Lops inherently have a calm demeanor. I always follow up with "But any bunny who gets loved on every day and cared for well, is going to be calm and want love." Whenever a person buys a bunny from our rabbitry, they can rest assured that their bunny is coming home to their use to dogs and loud noises and has been held every day since they were born. Repetition is key. We have a female Holland Lop that is the sweetest doe I have come across. She is so chill and loves being held and cuddled. It all depends on what you want but you can go either way. I'm partial to a buck because they are automatically more chill.


Care


Bunnies need a constant supply of water. We give our bunnies water in a water bottle. Some people say that bunnies need to have bowls of water. We believe either is good and works. It just depends on your preference and where they are going to live. If they are inside, a bowl of water will be easy to keep up. If they are outside like ours, we use water bottles to keep the water fresh, clean and always thawed in the winter. We use this water bottle in the winter. In the summer we go for a bigger water bottle that will last longer with them drinking more water.


Bunnies need a constant supply of hay. You want to give them Timothy Hay or Orchard Grass. Alfalfa hay can be used as a treat but not as their main course. Their hay intake needs to be 80% of their food intake. A good rule of thumb is a bunch as big as the rabbit a day. Then you need to get rabbit pellet feed to supplement the rest. We let our bunnies free eat and have not had any issues with obesity. We get our hay and rabbit feed at our local feed store. Either North 40 or Tractor Supply. To keep the hay as clean as you can getting a hay holder is a smart move. We usually put the hay in a corner of the litter box that is not used. For the pellets, we use this food dispenser because our bunnies are outside. It doesn't rust and stands up to the elements. While also holding lots of food, making the chores less frequent.


Room to Explore


Bunnies need at least a 24" by 36" cage to live comfortably. Obviously, bigger is better, and if you are choosing to house your rabbit inside, potty training them is the best for them and you, as they then can run around the house for their exercise. Exercise is so important for your rabbit's health.


Great Outdoor Option This is the hutch we used for our outdoor bunny before building our own. It is nice and now we use it to house bunnies in transition. It's lasted and is durable for the price.


You also could do a DIY hutch and do an old TV stand or kitchen hutch and make it into a bunny hutch.


Please, please, please do not let your bunny live on a wire grid. Even if they have a pad for it to rest on, the wire beneath their feet will eventually hurt their feet.


If you intend to house your bunny outside, they need to be used to the weather and have been transitioned outside. Please do not place a bunny that has been inside for its whole life and then immediately placed outside in winter. They will not be able to stay warm because their fur coats will not have grown in. If you intend to house your bunny outside, please move your bunny outside in the late spring/early summer. If you live in a place that has the same weather year-round, your bunny will be fine to be placed outside whenever.



Attention


Bunnies need attention, just like we need attention. They crave it. When we have a litter of bunnies, we commit to holding and giving those bunnies attention every day until they go to a new home. This is so important so that they know humans are safe. It is also important that they are introduced to other animals in the home and loud noises such as a vacuum cleaner. Here are some items you can get to play with your bunny and encourage activity for them.






If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out and ask. Ultimately, bunnies need love, food, water, and room to grow. I know you will not regret getting a bunny. They are my favorite small animal pet to have.


If you want more info on How to Potty Train Your Bunny, my most popular blog post to date shares tips and tricks to get your furball running around the house in no time!



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