Buddies for Bunnies
Rabbit Awareness Week aims to raise awareness for the need to keep rabbits in pairs, with the Buddies for Bunnies campaign. Advice for successful pairings includes ensuring both rabbits are neutered, otherwise you could find yourself with more than you bargained for! New rabbits should be introduced to each other in a neutral environment rather than in the existing home of either one to improve the chances of becoming buddies. Although they are sociable creatures, it is important to provide large enough housing to accommodate both bunnies.
It is also a good opportunity to review the importance of their diet. The bulk of a rabbit’s diet should be hay and grass as they require a diet high in fibre. But foraging for food keeps a rabbit entertained and mimics its natural habitat, as well as helping to wear down the teeth. Rabbits can be fussy and pick out only the bits of muesli that they like, so nuggets ensure that your rabbit eats a balanced diet and get everything he needs nutritionally. You should also aim to feed 5-6 greens a day, providing a variety for of veggies, plants and herbs.
Limit any sweet treats to just a couple of tablespoons a day as rabbits can suffer from obesity, leading to a variety of health issues. While carrots themselves are high in sugar, carrot tops can be fed much more freely. It is also important to be aware of food that is toxic to rabbits. Onions, shallots, garlic, chives, rhubarb, foxgloves, bluebells and plants grown from bulbs can all be found in the garden if you let your bunny out for a run. Finally, make sure they always have access to plenty of fresh water. A bottle cover on an outdoor hutch will help regulate the temperature and stop water freezing in the winter or going green in the summer.
Ways you can get involved in Rabbit Awareness Week:
- Enter the drawing competition for a chance to win a month’s supply of Burgess Excel food
- Visit a rescue centre with a view to finding a buddy for your bunny
- Come in store to find out more information about the nutritional and health needs of your rabbit
Written by: Lucy Ellis
Photos: Young Rabbits in Hastings Country Park by Phil Sellens