A Compilation of our most frequently asked questions
1. Are Bucks or Doe’s Better Pets?
Both bucks and does make great pets as long as they are fixed. We would highly recommend getting all pet bunnies fixed for several reasons. Please read all the reasons below in “Why Get A Rabbit Fixed?” If a rabbit is not fixed, each gender comes with an undesirable issue. Bucks tend to spray to mark their territory and does often get moody and territorial when they come into heat, which is often! Once a bunny is fixed, there is not a personality difference between bucks and does towards their humans and both issues that accompany each gender is eliminated.
2. If I choose to get two bunnies, should I get two bucks, two doe’s or a buck and a doe?
It is very important to only get two bunnies if you are willing to get them spayed/neutered promptly (4-5 months for bucks or when their testicles appear and typically 6 months for does.) If not done promptly, there can sometimes be issues between the two rabbits because of flared hormones causing them to be territorial. Getting them fixed eliminates those hormones before they kick in which will ensure that both bunnies remain friends. If bunnies are fixed promptly, they love having a companion. They eat, sleep, groom and play together and it's very fun to see them interact with each other. About half of the families that get bunnies from Ellie's Rabbitry choose to get two.
Because our mini plush lops are on a spay/neuter contract, we do not sell opposite sex pairs. Either two bucks or two does work well together, there is not one pairing that is better than the other. If getting a holland lop, you can get a buck and a doe but will have to keep them separated until they are both fixed to eliminate the possibility of having a uprise litter.
The key to a bonded pair is to get two babies that are freshly weaned at the same time. It can be very unpredictable to introduce a young rabbit to an older, already established rabbit. It is not recommended, which is why a lot of families choose to go ahead and get two babies at the same time if they were considering wanting to get a second bunny in the future.
There is always a very slim chance that even if you spay or neuter a pair of rabbits at the appropriate time that as adults, they will not have good chemistry. If this is the case, you may have to house them separately.
3. Can I Introduce a Young Rabbit to an Older Rabbit and Will They Get Along?
Although this scenario sometimes works out just fine, we would not recommend introducing a young rabbit to an already sexually mature, established adult rabbit as a first choice. Ideally, if you have two rabbits, they would have been introduced before 3 months old and both be bucks or does (not one of each gender) for the best chance of having a successful bonded pair.
Some people are able to successfully pair an older mature rabbit with a young rabbit, but it's important to only opt to try this if you are ok with the possibility of housing them separately in the future if they end up not getting along well. If you are interested in trying to bond an older rabbit with a younger rabbit, it's important to have the older rabbit fixed for at least 2 months before trying to introduce a younger rabbit for the best possible chance of bonding success.
4. How Long Do Bunnies Live?
If spayed or neutered and if they live indoors, bunnies can live to be up to 12 years old. Getting your rabbit fixed reduces the chances of reproductive cancers and complications. Being an indoor bunny eliminates the bodily stresses that occur when rabbits experience temperature fluctuations during the heat of the summer and cold of the winter.
5. Do Baby Rabbits Need Baby Rabbit Food?
No! Please don’t spend the extra money on “baby” rabbit foods. Changing a rabbit’s diet is stressful on their simple digestive system, so to do it more than you have to is not necessary or a good idea. Our baby rabbits immediately start nibbling and eating their mother’s food, so that is what they are weaned on and used to. The feed we give to our rabbits is regular “adult” rabbit food. So, when you go shopping for your new rabbit just get the food you plan on feeding him or her permanently and avoid “baby” rabbit foods.
6. Do you have to get two bunnies for them to be happy?
There is a lot of contradictory online information about this topic - but bunnies do not absolutely have to be in pairs to live a happy and fulfilling life. In fact, rabbits have to be altered (spayed or neutered) to happily cohabitate. But if bunnies are promptly fixed at the appropriate age and they are introduced and begin living together before three months of age, they really love the company of another bunny. Bonded pairs eat, sleep, play and groom each other and become the best of friends.
About half of our customers purchase two babies at the same time which results in a bonded pair. We would recommend two bunnies if they will be left alone for extended periods of time. A lot of people love to get bunnies because they are an animal, unlike a dog, that can live independently for the most part and do not need constant human interaction to be happy and content. Bunnies fit well in families with busy work schedules for this reason. With that being said, a bunny would still appreciate the company of another bunny if the family is able to accommodate a slightly larger cage to fit two rabbits if the family is away from the home for long periods of time every day.
7. Why get a bunny fixed?
1. Bunnies who are fixed tend to live longer because they are not at risk for any reproductive disease and cancers.
2. Bucks that are fixed wont spray to mark their territory.
3. Bucks that are fixed wont mount other rabbits or you!
4. Fixed doe’s will not be territorial around their cages and won’t be moody every time they come into heat, which is often!
5. LITTER TRAINING is SO much easier and a much faster process when a rabbit is fixed.
6. Bucks and does can safely cohabitate
8. When to fix a rabbit and how much does it cost?
Most vets won’t fix a doe until they are 6 months old. Bucks can be fixed as early as 4 or 5 months old or when their testicles appear. Some vets consider rabbits to be an “exotic” animal and charge a pretty penny to fix a rabbit. But others think nothing of it and are happy to fix your rabbit for a reasonable price. My advice would be to call around and do price comparisons. It should only cost the amount it would cost to spay or neuter a cat. My vet will fix a buck for $100 and a doe for $200. Does are more expensive because it is a more invasive surgery.
9. Do bunnies need shots?
No! Bunnies do not have any kind of yearly vaccines or shots like dogs and cats.
10. How do you litter train a rabbit?
We are not a litter training expert. Click this link to the House Rabbit Society Litter Training Page:
The house rabbit society is a great resource for anything to do with an indoor rabbit! We regularly refer to it ourselves. Please see this website for any litter training questions.
11. Do rabbits need to eat leafy greens?
Greens are a pretty controversial topic online and even with vets. Lot's of greens like cabbage, lettuce and spinach can actually be harmful to bunnies and should not be ingested. These foods are very rich and often times can cause bloat which can be very dangerous to rabbits. The best way for me to explain my position on this debate is, it is similar to people that are allergic to peanuts. Some people can eat tons of peanuts and others can eat one peanut and die. Some bunnies can tolerate leafy greens, and some have a very bad reaction to them. Some bunnies can eat greens for 3 years and then die from greens due to bloat after eating them for years. We prefer to play it safe and not see how my rabbits are going to react in case they have a bad reaction! Rabbits love the taste of greens and will gobble them right up. If you're lucky, they will just become tired or lethargic acting which is usually a belly ache because greens produce gas and rabbits cannot pass gas like we do. When you feed your rabbits their hay, they are eating greens! They are just eating the less rich, safer version. Some might think it odd that wild rabbits eat leafy greens as a main food source and wonder why domestic rabbits are so different. Domestic rabbits are literally thousands of generations separated from a wild rabbit. Their gut processes have evolved over time to accommodate the diets that people have fed them, which has been a less rich, pelleted diet.
12. Rabbit Urine Colors
Rabbits urine can range from a pale yellow to a dark rusty orange. All are normal! Sometimes people become concerned that a rabbit has blood in it's urine because of the dark rusty color, but don't panic. Blood in urine is a rare occurrence and cryptically only happens to much older rabbits.