With Easter just around the corner, we suppose it's only right that we talk about Bunnies and their popularity as pets!
Wings & Paws rescue, although already full with four adult rabbits in their care, recently had an influx of bunnies, after a young man called us for help.
He explained that he’d purchased two male rabbits for his then girlfriend. Unfortunately, they turned out to be a male and a female, and yes, you guessed it... he suddenly went from having two rabbits to having nine rabbits!!
He was no longer able to care for them and had come to us in desperation - how could we say no? Especially, once we found out that all nine rabbits were living in a tiny indoor cage which wasn't suitable for just one, yet alone nine bunnies.
When they arrived, they were in a tiny cage which appeared to have quite a few weeks’ worth of rabbit waste and dirty sawdust/straw. There was no food or water either!
The first thing our foster mom did was to remove daddy rabbit from the others and settle him into his new fully equipped and suitable hutch. It was almost certain that mommy rabbit would already be pregnant again (as rabbits breed, well, like rabbits!). Next was to move the eight remaining bunnies into a temporary enclosure with clean bedding, food and water.
She then called on the expertise of one of the other Wings and Paws foster moms and CEO Clare to help her sex the babies. With all three on the case they made short work of separating the two female babies and mom from the five male babies.
So now we had dad, two female babies, five male babies and a pregnant mom to find foster spaces for!
Our original fosterer Gemma, who had first taken in all nine, kept the daddy rabbit (Scatt) and three of the male babies (named Darren, Little Dan and Peter by her daughter Alex).
Faye, our other foster mom took the pregnant mom (Treacle) and the two female babies, then one of our new fosterers took the two remaining male babies.
Thank goodness for our amazing Facebook followers who came to our aid!
We now had the issue of space, food, bedding etc, etc. We just didn't have enough hutches and provisions for nine more rabbits at such short notice, so we put a call out on our Facebook page for help!
We were overwhelmed at the response - we were given a very large indoor cage and two large outdoor hutches plus, two outdoor runs and more sawdust, food, toys, treats, hay and straw than we could ever have imagined! We were so grateful as it meant not only could we take care of the new additions, but we now had plenty of supplies to use for our existing adult foster rabbits too!
Daddy rabbit was neutered a few days later and has now been moved to one of the outdoor donated hutches alongside the three baby boy bunnies who are in a similarly large hutch next door to him.
Mommy rabbit is being kept indoors in a suitable indoor cage, as she is pregnant and should be giving birth very soon.
The two female baby bunnies are in another of the donated large outdoor hutches and the remaining two male bunnies are in a lovely indoor set up with a bedroom all to themselves!
Time for them to find their furever homes
Two of our existing adult rabbits (Bugs and Bunny) have already been adopted since, so that leaves us with Scatt (daddy rabbit), Cheddar and Poppy who are all friendly adult rabbits, and seven baby rabbits all looking for a new home.
We also have mommy rabbit Treacle, but obviously she is not available for adoption until she has given birth and the babies are old enough to be rehomed too.
How much space does a pet rabbit need?
We strongly believe that rabbits are not toys and should not be rehomed unless you are prepared to provide them with a large living area and enrichment activities. For this reason we only rehome rabbits where there are no children under six years old and where the hutches meet our high standards!
In the wild, a rabbit covers a lot of ground. A white cottontail rabbit for example, has a home range of up to 20 acres! Luckily you don’t need to provide that much space, but your bunny will need enough room to run, jump, stretch and stand up. Your rabbit will need two kinds of areas: a living area and exercise space. Living area means the hutch, including a nesting box or other hiding place, somewhere dry and warm with space for indoor time. Exercise space means a run. Ideally, these should be as large as your space and budget allows... just keep in mind more is always better! RWAF Guidelines The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund recommends that your rabbit’s hutch be large enough for “three hops” from end to end. That means a minimum of six feet long by two feet high by two feet deep. A 6ft x 2ft x 2ft hutch will allow your rabbit to hop, stand up, stretch, and move around comfortably.
We consider the RWAF guidelines to be the minimum starting point. Adding a run will provide your rabbit with a safe place to exercise, dig, play, and engage in other natural behaviours which are essential for their mental and physical wellbeing. In addition, you should provide your bunny with plenty of toys and activities for mental stimulation. Because no one likes to be bored!
If you would like to apply to adopt any of our rabbits (or any of the other animals in our care) and you can provide the correct living conditions for them, please go to: https://www.wingsandpawsrescue.com/adoption-animals and complete the adoption application form. Thank you.