|Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)|
Rabbits are mammals of the order Lagomorpha. There are about fifty different species of rabbits and hares. The order Lagomorpha is made of rabbits, pikas and hares. Rabbits can be found in many parts of the world. They live in families and eat vegetables and hay. In the wild, rabbits live in burrows, that they dig themselves. A group of rabbits living together in a burrow is called a warren. Rabbits are famous for hopping and eating carrots.
A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female is called a doe. A baby rabbit is called a kit, which is short for kitten. Rabbits have a gestation period of around 31 days. The female can have up to 12-13 kits, very rarely litters as big as 18 and as small as one. Some people have rabbits as pets. Rabbits are also raised for their meat. Rabbits are of a different biological classification than hares.
Since rabbits are prey animals, they are careful in open spaces. If they sense danger, they freeze and watch. Rabbit vision has a very wide field, including overhead scanning. Their enemies are foxes and dogs; also bears, raccoons, minks, weasels and snakes. Birds of prey sometimes take rabbits. People are also known to shoot rabbits, because they eat crops. Their escape method is to run for their burrow, where they are usually safe.
Rabbits have a complex social structure and, like dogs, they have a hierarchy. Rabbit ears probably have several functions. The main function is to give warning of predators, but they may be used for signalling, and temperature regulation.
Rabbits As Pets[change | change source]
Rabbits can make great pets and tend to bond very closely with their owners. They can be extremely social, and love being around people, making them loyal companions. They also have a tendency to be very independent, which makes caring for them less stressful compared to other pets. Being very social and playful mammals, rabbits are easily distracted by toys. Training a rabbit can be quite easy, using similar techniques as one would to train a dog.
2. Essential Equipment
In order to successfully own a rabbit, there are essential items that are needed. First it is important to have a cage that the rabbit can call home. It does not need to be big, just somewhere that the rabbit can live comfortably and relax. Secondly it is important to have a water bottle or water bowl that is replenished with fresh water daily. A litter box for the corner of the cage is a great purchase because it can help potty-train the rabbit, and can easily be cleaned on either a daily basis or every other day. It is also essential to have toys for a rabbit. Since they are very social and playful animals, it is important for them to have toys to play with while their owners are not able to be with them.
After purchasing essential housing items for a rabbit, a new owner needs to purchase bedding for the cage. Having newspaper handy makes cleaning the cage extremely easy and (hopefully) a little less messy.
Grooming a rabbit is essential for their health and wellbeing. Purchasing a brush at a local pet shop comes in handy when grooming. It is important to groom a rabbit on a weekly basis because they tend to groom themselves obsessively, but it becomes dangerous to their health due to the fact that they swallow so much of their fur.
Rabbits are extremely easy pets to feed. It is important to make sure that they are being fed fresh hay and grains on a daily basis. Providing a rabbit with fresh, well-washed vegetables every day is essential for a balanced diet and digestion. Fruits can be given to rabbits every once in a while as a snack, but it is important to keep a rabbits’ fruit intake limited due to all of the sugars.
In order for rabbits to live happy and healthy lives, it is important for them to get out of their cages and exercise on a daily basis. Hopping around the house for a couple of hours a day will allow a rabbit to explore its surroundings and stay healthy.
Bunny-proofing a rabbit owners’ home is vital. These curious critters tend to be drawn towards electrical wires, wood, shoes, furniture – basically everything within a normal household. It is important to be present when a rabbit is venturing outside of its cage to ensure its safety, or have an area for it to hop around in that does not have any dangerous items.
References[change | change source]
- "Irish Mammals – Rabbits". eircom.net. http://homepage.eircom.net/~edrice/mammals/rabbit.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
Wild rabbits[change | change source]
Wild rabbits are nomaly called hares, but you can get wild rabbits.