Category Archives: Rabbit

Fluffy Bunnies & Fuzzy Chicks: Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Advice on Easter Pets

It’s easy to tell that Easter is approaching by the amount of advertisements containing cute bunny rabbits and fuzzy little chicks!  Often, parents looking for a first pet are inspired by these ideas, and will surprise children with a baby chick or a bunny in an Easter basket. While both species can be very rewarding pets, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye!

Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but they require more work than a dog or a cat!

Below, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital reveals some facts about rabbit and chicken care.

  1. Rabbits need to be spayed and neutered, just like dogs and cats. Intact male rabbits often

    This bunny is a lop! Lops have very long ears.

    become aggressive, and over 80% of intact female rabbits will develop invasive and fatal reproductive cancers before 5 years of age. Healthy, well-cared-for rabbits will live for 10-12 years!

  2. Bunnies require very specific housing conditions. They need solid-floor housing–wire-bottom cages and shelves can cause a condition known as “bumblefoot,” which is a painful infection and swelling of the feet. Rabbits cannot have wood shavings of any kind, and cages should be in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of

    Rabbits, just like cats and dogs, need to be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year.

    respiratory problems.

  3. There are “good” and “bad” veggies when it comes to rabbits.  It is important not to feed sweet or starchy fruits and veggies such as apples, sweet potatoes, or carrots, because they can actually slow down a bunny’s digestive tract and cause life-threatening GI stasis.

    Baby chicks require lots of specialized care until they are old enough to live outdoors.

    Rabbits like romaine, Swiss chard, endive, and red- or green-leaf lettuce. Even more important is a constant supply of fresh timothy hay.

  4. Baby chicks need to be kept inside until they are fully feathered–this can take around 5 months for some breeds. Chicks need a very temperature-controlled environment

    Chickens are birds, which means they will make noise and can be fairly messy!

    (~95 degrees is ideal) which means a heat lamp is a requirement. Also, chicken feces contain salmonella bacteria, so baby chicks need lots of clean-up to keep the bacterial populations to a minimum.

  5. Chickens are birds, which means they can fly (to an extent)! This sounds obvious, but it means that either the chickens will need a very tall fence, at least 7 feet, to prevent escape– or they will

    If a chicken is going to be a good pet, it needs to be handled from a young age.

    require regular wing trims to prevent flight. Keep in mind that if a chicken can’t fly, it can’t escape from a fox or raccoon!

  6. Many city ordnances and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) prevent owning chickens or any “farm” animals.  Be sure to research all laws and by-laws thoroughly!

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month


House Rabbit Society (HRS), an international nonprofit animal rescue and education group, promotes February as “Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month.”

Mary Cotter, Marketing/Education Director of the Richmond-based HRS, says that the timing of this educational effort couldn’t be better. “Promoting adoption and educating potential adopters early in the year helps to prevent the impulse purchase of bunnies a month or two later at Easter time. This, in turn, will reduce the number of rabbits relinquished to shelters.” This month, HRS volunteers will be putting in many extra hours to teach potential adopters what to expect when living with a rabbit.

“For the right people, rabbits are wonderful indoor companions” says HRS President Kathleen Wilsbach. “They get along with many other companion animals (including gentle cats and dogs), are intelligent, affectionate and inquisitive, and can readily learn to use a litter box.”

“However,” she warns, “they can also be destructive. The ideal “rabbit person,” in addition to being calm, patient and eager to get to know a rabbit on his own terms, must be willing to rabbit-proof an appropriate exercise area in the home to prevent damage from chewing.”

HRS works to debunk the myth that rabbits are ideal pets for children; in reality, even baby bunnies tend to be willful and independent, do not enjoy being picked up and carried, and are easily injured when dropped. HRS also cautions against buying or adopting a rabbit as a gift, or on a whim, as the novelty usually wears off quickly. When a family realizes how much day-to-day work is involved, the rabbit is, unfortunately, surrendered to a shelter, or– worse — released outdoors, where he often becomes the victim of a predatory animal or a speeding car.

The mission of HRS is twofold: to educate the public about these often-misunderstood companion animals, and to help rescue and “re-home” domestic rabbits. HRS advocates spaying and neutering rabbits – both for health reasons and also to help put an end to the animal overpopulation problem.

For more information on Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, log onto House Rabbit Societyat www.rabbit.org