Please make sure you have all the necessities at home for bunny BEFORE bunny comes home!
You will need a rabbit cage or hutch. Keep in mind the bunny's size (not only now if bunny is a baby, but when he/she is fully grown). You will want a cage/hutch that will still be an appropriate size even when the bunny is full grown. Also keep in mind what else will be in the cage/hutch besides the bunny as those other things will take up the bunny's space (food and water bowls, large toys, etc). A large cage/hutch is always great. You can certainly get a cage/hutch that is larger as I'm sure bunny will enjoy any the larger space - more space to lay down and strech out, and more space to hop around.
You may also want get some sort of bedding/shavings/litter for any solid bottom areas or the cage/hutch or for any pans below. What type you use is up to you - there are many different types on the market - please just make sure whichever you choose is safe for rabbits.
Please keep in mind if it is cold out and the bunny has been used to the warm indoor temperature it is best for the bunny that he/she remain living indoors at least until it warms up in the spring, as the change to the cold can shock the rabbit.
*If it is currently cold out the bunnies may be used to living indoors (fall or early spring - in the winter they are used to living indoors) or if it is very very hot.
If you are unsure of whether your new bunny is currently living indoors or outdoors just ask.
The following hutches (single, double and triple rabbit hutches) are from Martins Animal Structures in Litiz, PA
I recommend getting a resting mat for the wire bottom cages/hutches.
Tile can also work for as a resting mat and can keep them cooler during the warmer weather.
(Please note if your bunny is a Velveteen Lop, they are more likely to get sore hocks. Velveteen Lops' cages/hutches - if they have a wire bottom, should have at least half covered with resting mats to help prevent sore hocks.)
I recommend resting mats that can be cleaned/disinfected and reused. They may be called resting mats, foot relax pads etc.
The type pictured below can be easily cleaned/disinfected, as well as with the holes it can allow for pee and poop to fall through rather than remain on top.
You will need to get rabbit feed. I will provide you with a small amount of the feed he/she is currently eating for you to mix in with the feed you decide to get for him/her (mixing the feed is to help the bunny transition from one feed to another). If you would like to continue the bunny on the feed he or she is used to just ask me what type we are currently feeding.
The rabbit feed we feed is just a plain pellet feed - it is not one of the types of feed with added colored treats.
Rabbits should have hay in their diet. They can have hay all the time.
We primarily feed timothy hay and that is what we recommend getting. There is also alfalfa and other hay mixes, however some like alfalfa could be too rich for a rabbit or fattening.
Is there a brand name of the hay we feed - No - as we do not buy hay from the pet store etc - we get hay in large amounts locally grown for our animals.
Something you may also want to consider is getting some sort of a hay rack. This can help in keeping the hay up off the floor of the rabbit cage/hutch and or where the rabbit goes potty. There are a variety of different types of hay racks. Another thing to consider when getting a hay rack is getting one that can be attached to the outside of the bunny's cage/hutch for bunny to eat while in the cage/hutch.
**Please be very careful with hay racks - they can be helpful in keeping hay for eating up of the floor or out of potty areas, but a bunny could get harmed on a hay rack if any parts are sticking out, sharp, or if bunny could in any way get stuck in it.
FRUITS, VEGETABLES, HERBS, TREATS
When doing your research you may find mixed information regarding the recommended diet for a rabbit. Please do your research - you are welcome to continue with your rabbit's current diet or change his/her diet to what you feel will be best.
Rabbit feed and hay is a part of our rabbit's daily diet.
If your bunny is under 6 months old getting fruits, vegetables or other treats is not yet necessary.
When I first got rabbits I had always been told to wait until the rabbit was at least six months old or older to start feeding fruits, vegetables, or any other treats - following that has worked well for my rabbits. Some information online, etc may agree with this or differ.
When you do decide to start feeding fruits, vegetables, herbs or any other type of treats please always make sure that it is safe for rabbits to eat before feeding.
Please also keep in mind just like for humans, certain fruits and vegetables are more or less nutritious than others.
When you start feeding your rabbit fruits, vegetables, herbs, treats it is good to start out with just one at a time and in a small amount. That way you can easily tell whether or not the rabbit likes it as well as whether or not it agrees with the rabbit (or cause soft stool/diarrhea).
Uneaten fruits/vegetables should be discarded as the rabbit should not eat bad fruits/vegetables and they could also draw pests.
WATER AND WATER BOWL
The bunny will of course need fresh water daily. Rabbits can drink from a water bottle or water bowl. In general our rabbits primarily drink from and prefer to drink from a water bowl. Please note if you do decide to switch from a water bowl to water bottle, please keep an eye on it and make sure that bunny really is drinking from it.
FOOD BOWL / FEEDER
You will need a food bowl. There are many different types that you can get. We recommend the ceramic bowls, the metal bowls, or metal feeders. The ceramic bowls, metal bowls, and metal feeders are good because the bunny should not be able to chew them up. Ceramic bowls are generally harder for a bunny to move or dump (compared to a plastic bowl and some metal, bowls). The metal bowls and feeders can be attached to the side of the cage/hutch, and should not be dumped or moved by the bunny since they will be attached to the cage/hutch.
Toys are good to get for your bunny. Bunnies do enjoy playing with their toys. They may chew, roll, pick up, and, or toss their toys. Wooden toys are great - bunnies love to chew, and chewing also keeps their teeth a healthy length. (Be sure not to give your bunny any woods that rabbits should not have, or woods that are treated with anything.)
You should also get grooming items for your bunny. The main grooming items we recommend are nail clippers, kwik stop, a grey hound comb, and a gentle slicker brush. Of course you get other grooming items for your bunny. No matter which breed of bunny you have you will need nail clippers so that way you can trim the bunny's nails. We recommend getting kwik stop, so that way if you accidentally cut the bunny's nail(s) too short, you can use the quick stop to stop the bleeding quickly. A grey hound comb (or similar metal comb) is good to use to comb through the bunny's hair so that way it does not get matted. When picking out a slicker brush make sure that it is a gentle one, other ones can be too hard for the bunny, and still keep in mind that you will need to brush gently as bunny's skin is thin and delicate.
Before and even after getting your bunny you can get education resources to help educate you on rabbits in general, a particular breed, feeding, housing, care, training, etc etc. Resources include books, magazines, internet, etc. There is tons of free information on the internet.
The bunny's cage/hutch, resting mats, food and water bowl/bottle, toys, carrier etc will all need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Soap, water, and disinfectant can be used to clean and disinfect the rabbits things. Please make sure everything is rinsed well to ensure there is no soap or disinfectant remaining on the bunny's things when they are returned to the bunny. Things like the food bowl, carrier, etc should be dry when they are given back to bunny.
There are many stores that you could get bunny's new things from, from your local pet store, pet store, grocery store etc. As well as online stores as well.
Things like fruits, vegetables, and herbs could be purchased from your local grocery store or farmer's market or you could grow them at home yourself.
The following are examples of places in Pennsylvania were you could get a rabbit hutch:
(I think they have single double hutches and a double hutch that could be used as one large hutch or divider can be placed down for two separate sections)
(They make single, double, and triple hutches)
(Double/triple hutches are great options for multiple rabbits - its a good idea to have a separate cage/hutch for each rabbit as no one can guarantee multiple rabbits will get along or for how long)
You can shop online for bunny supplies as well. Sometimes this can be helpful when you find something you like in store but would like to compare price online, or see if there is a larger version. It can also be helpful if the store does not have a particular item in stock at that location. Sometimes certain things like larger cage options are easier to find online. Some websites also offer free shipping.
Many pet stores have their own online store.
Other stores like the ones mentioned below are only online stores.
Where should I put my bunny's cage/hutch?
Most cages are meant to be kept indoors. When you get a hutch make sure you look it over well and know where you'll be keeping it. Some hutches aren't quite made properly to be put outside, so be sure to look over it well and see whether it is meant to be inside or outside.
Make sure the bunny's cage/hutch is away from predators. This goes for inside and outside placement of the cage/hutch. If you have other pets in your home or yard you will probably want to make sure that the bunny's cage/hutch is placed away from the area the other pets if you know or think they may go after the bunny.
Keep in mind if the bunny is in a sunny area (whether it be inside near a window, or in an area of the yard without shade), that the bunny can get very warm. If it is already warm in the house, a warm spring day, or a hot summer day - you may have to worry about bunny overheating which can lead to death.
What do I need to bring with me when I pick up my bunny?
You will need to bring a carrier for your bunny to ride home in. We suggest having some sort of bedding in the cage or in the pan below the cage in case the bunny pees on the way home.
If you have paid the 50% deposit, then the remaining 50% will be due in cash when you come to pick up your bunny.
If you have not reserved any bunny with a deposit - the full 100% will be due in cash when you take your bunny home.
Taking a care ride and transitioning to the new home could potentially make the bunny a litter nervous or stressed.
There are some things that can help in making this process go well.
Please make sure you have all the bunny necessities at home before bunny comes home.
Please have bunny's cage/hutch all set up along with fresh water and food all ready for your bunny when he/she comes home.
If bunny seems a little stressed you can go slow and try to keep things quiet and calm for bunny to settle in the first few days.
Spend lots of time with your new bunny! What you do with your bunny will make a big difference!
ALL BUNNIES: handle, pick up, hold, pet, groom, train, etc the rabbit - you should do these things on a regular basis so that the bunny is used to you doing those things, gets used to anything new, is cooperative for those things, as well as through this process and you spending this time with bunny, bunny should get friendlier and friendlier.
SHOW BUNNIES: practice posing your rabbit (for each breed there is a particular way your rabbit is to be posed). When showing your rabbit it can be very helpful to the judge when evaluating your rabbit if your rabbit quickly and easily posed, as well as if he/she lets the judge pick him/her up and evaluate him/her.
Do you have questions?