Maybe you’ve been dreaming of having fuzzy bunny pets. Or maybe, like us, you’re on the start of a meat rabbit venture. But, as with any new animal, we’ve been surprised by some of the rabbit habits we hadn’t known about before acquiring them.
For example, rabbits eat a lot for their size. Point one: Expect to buy rabbit food for two rabbits more frequently than you buy grain for your dwarf goat. Seriously.
They also eat a lot of what’s on the ground. Point two: The rabbits can serve as a lawnmower if given pasture. They will gnaw that grass down (and leaves, and twigs, and whatever else is underneath of them) within half a day.
And did you know that rabbits are extraordinary diggers? (That’s point three.) So good, in fact, that if you do give them pasture, they will decimate your yard with small holes. So do make sure you keep moving them so as to prevent giant pits of ankle-twisting doom about your property.
Not to mention point four- that digging ability also makes them great escape artists. I have discovered this several times when our buck, Peter, weasels his way over to the doe’s side of the tractor for an unscheduled rendezvous. I rediscovered it yesterday when I saw Rosie, our doe, hopping onto the front porch. (She had dug herself a tunnel to freedom.) “Rabbit’s loose!” I hollered to my husband in the front door, and the two of us had a rabbit rodeo trying to track her down and hold onto her long enough to transport her back to the cage.
Which brings me to point five- rabbits mate whenever given an opportunity. We accidentally returned Rosie to the wrong side of the run, and Peter got to her before we could switch her back to her own side. I mean, I know there are jokes about rabbit reproduction, but it’s really true! Accidental mating has happened here three times despite our best efforts to keep them separate until scheduled breeding times. And since rabbits experience induced ovulation (they ovulate following intercourse), this means we’ve likely got another round of babies on the way.
There you have it. Five things I didn’t know about rabbits before getting them. Do I need any other heads up? 😉