Behaviour

People often think rabbits are very easy to look after and that all they need to do is pop them in a hutch in the garden and feed and clean them when needed. However, this is actually very far from the truth!

Did you know

At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, grass and dried grass, as a guideline as much as the size of the rabbit’s body! They also need a small amount of nuggets – 20-25g per kg ideal bodyweight is all that is needed. You also need to make sure they have some green leafy salad as part of their diet and water should always be made available.

Behaviour

Nowadays, we have a far greater understanding of what rabbits need to keep them happy and healthy. It is also important to remember that the way a rabbit behaves will depend on their age, personality and past experiences.

  • Rabbits are prey animals first and foremost and their natural response to a perceived threat is to often run and hide. They have a wonderful ability to interact with humans but need time and regular, gentle handling from an early age to become comfortable around humans.
  • Offer your rabbit’s lots of bolt holes/hiding within their home and areas they have access to. Open spaces with no protection will cause your rabbits to feel under threat. For trips to the vet it is a good idea is to place the carrier inside the homing area for a number of days to increase familiarity and reduce stress during vet visits.

  • Think about what other animals are already in your house, and whether they are a natural predator to rabbits. For example rabbits will feel scared being housed next to dog kennels or ferret enclosures! Make sure your rabbits can always escape and hide if they feel afraid.
  • If a rabbit’s behaviour changes or they show regular signs of stress or fear (such as frequent hiding or being aggressive to you/or other pets), they may be in pain, distressed and /or suffering emotionally. You should get your pet checked by a vet to rule out any form of illness or injury that could be causing the behaviour problem. Your vet can then refer you to a behaviour expert if necessary.