Easter and #Bunnies
It is that time of year again, spring and Easter. Everyone seems to associate spring and Easter with bunnies. For a long time I always wondered why. After searching I found that bunnies and spring represent new life. Yes, with the coming of spring we see flowers poking there head up, grass forming and wild rabbits more active. A joyful time of year especially if it was a cold, harsh winter.
I assure you a bunny makes a wonderful pet. I currently have two: Brownie Boy and Cupcake. They bring me much joy each and every day by seeing them run, hop, play and relax in the sun rays. Even when these little furry critters get into something they shouldn’t have, I still see the joy in having them as pets. However, there is a difference in how many people look at bunnies.
Most people walk into a farm / feed store or see someone selling bunnies at a roadside stand or even a pet store and think it would be a wonderful present for their child. That the bunny will always be soft and cuddly and since it is small it would be the perfect pet for the child. Most people do not realize that a pet bunny is not a pet for a child. Pet bunnies need room to run and play, and hate being held — especially by a child.
Parents that buy their child a bunny as a pet end up taking care of the bunny but the bunny is sadly relegated to a very small wire cage. This cage usually ends up in the back yard leaving the bunny exposed to the elements including predators. What people do not realize is that bunnies cannot tolerate temperatures above 72 degree or cold below freezing. Yes they have fur but leaving them out in freezing temperatures is not any different than leaving a dog or cat out in freezing temperatures. Leaving a bunny outside in a cage is similar to leaving cheese out for field mice.
Bunnies are prey animals. Anything that eats meat (dogs, cats, ferrets, foxes, owls, hawks, snakes, raccoons) will think this is food for them. These predators will torture the animals before killing them whether for food or fun, it happens. Then bunnies are the one animal that can be scared to death. Yes, you read that right. They can actually be so scared there heart will stop beating and they die. What a sad, sorry way to go.
There is a lot of resources available to find out how to keep bunnies as pets. Check out the House Rabbit Society or just Google rabbit rescue and you will have a list of rabbit rescues that offer a wealth of advice. Check out Etherbun on Yahoo Groups. It is one of the best places to get advice, help and information about being owned by bunnies. Facebook has several bunny groups that are willing to help anyone in finding out if a bunny is the right pet for you.
I am not going to say having a bunny is all sunshine and roses without any problems. I have had problems, GI Statis is the main problem I have ever had. Thankfully if bunnies receive enough hay (fiber) in their diet this is usually not a problem. My bunnies are allowed to hop free in my house most of the time. When I say most of the time I mean they do have a caged area. The caged area is an exercise pen with carpet over a vinyl floor. The area is 10 feet by 4 feet along with ¼ of this having a second level. They have toys to play with, boxes to chew on, and when my dogs are outside they have free run of my house.
My bunnies have chewed up more computer cables than I can remember, telephone cables, charging cables, clothes, shoes, sheets, furniture, most anything they think needs a little altering. They do this for a reason. The chewing comes in because their teeth never stop growing. The chewing grinds down their teeth. Yes, all the chewing can become a nuisance but if you provide the bunnies with other items to chew on (toys, boxes, hay) they normally will leave other items alone. I say normally, not always. Why? because last year Cupcake chewed thru the charging cable for my Kindle. Cupcake is almost 9 years old. She is queen and allowed to do whatever she wants. Yes, I ranted about this but the only thing I changed was not allowing her full access to hiding/resting under my bed. I blocked an area off around the headboard with NIC cubes keeping my cables/cords blocked but allowing her access to her favorite spot in the summer heat.
I also go to the grocery store every 3 days to buy fresh food. I buy 3 – 5 different types of greens. These greens are essential to a bunny’s diet. They receive 1 cup of greens per 2 pounds of body weight. Then they receive a little treat and pellets. The pellets provide needed vitamins and minerals while the treat helps with their sweet tooth. Well at least my bunnies have a sweet tooth. They love pineapple, raisins, bananas, carrots, craisins, papaya, apricot, star fruit, apples, or even mango. Sometimes they even get a little sweet tea. My two go crazy over this. Tea and used teabags without sugar are beneficial to bunnies but the sugar is not healthy for them. When I do give them sweet tea I mix 1/3 tea with 2/3 water to weaken the sugar.
All I am asking is for parents to please remember that bunnies are a 10+ year commitment. They require extensive medical care if sick, fresh food, and free run in a house not outside in a little 2 by 2 wire cage in your back yard.
I know my life would not be complete without bunnies. They are my heart and soul. These wonderful little creatures have brought me through a divorce, abuse, depression, and many other events in life. They have taken my tears and gave me a fulfilling love in return, casting away demons leaving me covered in fur and their love. I would not trade their love for anything in this world.
Just remember a stuff toy is an Easter bunny and a live bunny is a 10+ year commitment.