Male vs Female Rabbits…
Naturally as with any animal there are good and bad points for owning each gender.
Around 5/6 months of age females Rabbits can be a very difficult to deal with or control as their hormones kick in and the urge to nest and breed becomes overwhelming.
Signs of this include:
- Becoming territorial not letting anyone near the cage for feeding or cleaning.
- You may have trouble handling them.
- They also may throw temper tantrums and try to destroy items in their cages.
- Litter training may become a thing of the past.
- They may also start trying to dig anything from bedding to carpet as their natural urge to build their underground warren and burrow kicks into overdrive.
Female bunnies can also experience fake pregnancies when they start to build a nest in a corner of their hutch or house using straw, hay and even pulling out their own fur to line the nests with
Note: Not all bunnies will display significant behavioural changes as a result of hormones.
Tend to be more mellow, less moody and unlikely to get grumpy as they do not have the inherited duties of nest building or protection of young.
Around 5 to 6 months their hormones will also go into overdrive and they may become overly romantic with items such as soft toys, pillows, your leg and even other pets if they will oblige.
Naturally this can raise a few interesting conversations if you have children around wanting to know what their bunny rabbit is doing.
The worst male habit tends to be urine spraying, like with cats, dogs and many other animals. In the wild they are just marking their territory and leaving their scent for any prospective females to find.
The key is to have him neutered before the spraying stage starts, consult with your local vet as some are willing to operate as early as 4 months and others prefer to wait.
If you wait till after he has started spraying there is no guarantee that having him neutered will stop him from still spraying afterwards, so the sooner the better.
Note: Every bunny is different and not all rabbits experience mood and temperament changes during puberty.
Each individual rabbit has and will develop its own unique personality over time. Some are laid back, while others are highly strung.
Factors that contribute to a rabbits overall temperament are the type of breed, how they are introduced, integrated, handled and treated and the conditions and environments they are exposed to.
For example if you put a breed that tends to be more highly strung like a Polish surrounded by screaming kids, and a cattle dog that just loves to try and round everything up, you are creating a recipe for disaster. The poor rabbit will think you have sentenced it to a certain death.
However if you get a larger more mellow breed of bunny like a Flemish giant keep them separated slowly introduces them and give the whole family the rules and boundaries you new bunny will be running with the kids and the dog in no time.
Having said that even though some breeds tend to be more laid back each rabbit, like people will have its own individual personality, likes, dislikes and tolerance levels.
How many Rabbits…
Whether to keep 1 or 2 bunnies, males and or females etc can be the cause of much debate.
There is no hard and fast rule on keeping 1, 2 or more bunnies.
Some breeders say that as bunnies are social it is better to keep more than one, others say if you are looking for a lovable and affectionate companion to hang out with you then one is the only way to go.
Ultimately it comes down to how you see a bunny fitting into your life, the purpose you want the bun/s for, how much time, effort and money you are willing to spend to look after them properly.
When deciding on a type of rabbit, consider…
- The type environment they will be living in – busy family vs quiet single.
- Who will be their primary care giver – adult vs child.
- Other pets size and temperament – excitable vs mellow.
- The rabbits individual temperament – laid back vs skittish.
- What size rabbit will be best – small vs medium or larger.
Which Breeds Make the Best Pets…
When choosing a rabbit as a pet, it is a good idea to select one of the small or medium breeds, especially if you are a first time Bunny owner.
These rabbits in general will be tamer than the larger breeds such as the Californian and will be easier for older children to handle and care for.
Small breeds tend to make the best pets or show animals for children, they generally weigh less than 6 lbs or 2.7 kg and are easy to handle.
- Dwarf Hotot
- Holland Lop
- Mini Lop
- Mini Lionhead
- The Mini Rex
- Mini Satin
- Netherland Dwarf
These bunnies are a great for somebody desiring a bunny not too small but at the same time not too large.
Generally medium bunnies weigh between 6 to 9 lbs. or 2.7 kg to 4 kg.
- Belgian Hare
- English Spot
If you are looking for a bunny just as a companion, then is adopting a rescue bunny that has gotten over its teen phase, been de-sexed and already had some training, is great pet option.
The best way to see and find out about most rabbit breeds is to attend a rabbit show.
In general rabbits live healthier and happier lives, when kept as an interactive indoor pet in a rabbit safe room.
Remember indoor Rabbits can live 10 to 12 years or more so do your research ahead of time so that you’ll know if you are truly ready for the commitment that having rabbits requires.