By discovering all about rabbits as pets, you can amaze your friends with that knowledge, which will help you get to know your rabbit friends better. A female rabbit is a doe and a male is given the title of buck. The length of pregnancy for a doe is only about a month, and when she gives birth it is called kindling. Kittens, or Kits, is the term given to the newborns, and the average litter is about 4 to 8 kits in size. The kits are born deaf, blind and without fur, so they are completely dependent on their mother for survival.
All About Rabbits As Pets You Should Know
Caring for rabbits is not really too difficult, especially when you consider that the mothers will do most of the work for you when it comes to raising their infants. She will pull fur from her body to make their nest nice and warm. The doe will feed her litter once or twice per day, for about five minutes each time. Rabbit milk is one of the richest milks found in mammals.
Rabbits groom themselves as a general rule. This keeps them neat and tidy, but self-grooming also comes with a negative consequence. All types of rabbits, similar to cats, can produce hairballs from swallowing their own hair. This is why it is important to feed them hay regularly. Hay helps prevent the formation of hairballs by cleaning out their digestive tract of the hair they may have swallowed. Another fact about rabbits is that their teeth continue to grow no matter what age they attain. For this reason, it is very important to feed them hard foods, to help them wear down their teeth. Allowing their teeth to grow too long can take away their ability to eat normally.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes more than 45 breeds and they have over 30,000 members who work hard promoting these various types of rabbits. Some rabbit breeds can grow to be as large as 20 pounds, while smaller breeds can tip the scale at a mere two pounds.
Caring for rabbits is becoming quite the popular hobby these days. Believe it or not, in the United States alone, there are more than 5,000,000 rabbits being kept as pets in over 2,000,000 homes. These joyful little creatures love to run and jump and twist in the air. They adapt well to living indoors or out. But when living indoors it is important to be on the alert, as they will chew on furniture or electrical cords. They see these items as food to be eaten. Chewing on furniture will not be very pleasing to their owner, but chewing on electrical cords will not be very pleasing or fun for their owner or for them.
Here are more amazing facts about our little furry friends. They produce two different kinds of droppings. The most common type is what is usually seen, the dry circular “bunny beans” that are thrown into the garden as fertilizer. But rabbits also have a soft dropping with a bad smell called a cecotrope. The amazing aspect to this is that they usually eat the cecotropes as a way to get all the possible nutrients from their food. It may not seem like a tasty treat to you, but bunnies have no qualms about it.
These active animals do most of their running around at sunup and sundown, which classifies them as crepuscular. They do best when they are out of the hot weather and can suffer from heatstroke if they cannot cool off in the sanctity of shade. They prefer to stay safe in a corner of their cage if they sense that predators are near. If you have ever heard the term “scared as a bunny rabbit,” it is because they can literally be frightened to death.
Some more interesting facts about rabbits: Domestic rabbit meat is all-white and very nutritious. It has less fat than chicken, pork or beef and is easily digested, even by people on special diets. A single doe weighing only 10 pounds can produce 320 pounds of meat in a single year. Plus, it can produce it in a very small area. As a comparison, a single cow will require two acres of land to produce the same amount of meat.
Rabbits exhibit several behaviors that may mean different things at different times. For example:
- Grunts usually mean the rabbit is angry or scared. Be careful lest you be bitten.
- Sniffing can signal an annoyed rabbit or also that he is trying to communicate with you.
- High pitched screams mean the rabbit is in pain or thinks it is about to be killed.
- A circling rabbit can either indicate a courtship ritual or aggression. If the ears are laid back it probably means aggression.
- Chewing is a natural rabbit behavior necessary to keep their teeth ground down and doesn’t mean they are nervous.
- Male rabbits will mark their territory by spraying, much like a male cat.
- If you notice a rabbit rubbing its chin on something, it is using scent glands to mark things that they are possessive of.
- If you notice a female rabbit pulling hair from her chest, it probably means she is pregnant and is building a nest.
- If your rabbit is jumping and twisting wildly relax, they are just playing.
- Standing on hind legs is a sign of begging. Rabbits are notorious for this and can quickly get fat if you give in too often.
- Occasionally rabbits will scatter their droppings around to mark territory.
- A rabbit that just falls onto their side like they are dead is a happy, relaxed rabbit.
- Rabbits don’t like having their things bother and will often seem agitated when you clean their cages. They’ll spend hours rearranging things to their liking afterwards.
- If a rabbit is stomping their hind legs they are either frightened or mad. Find out what’s bothering him.
- Rabbits make good pets because of their interesting and quirky personalities. Learning a few of their behaviors can help you understand what your pet rabbit is feeling and allow you to better care for it and interact with it.
Rabbits are delightful to have. They are very entertaining to look at, they have limitless energy, their ability to learn tricks is impressive, and they are capable of socializing with the people they live with, as well as other pets, if introduced. The responsibility of taking care of these fun creatures will not surpass the brightness they can add to your home.