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Rabbits - Fabulous Facts

Milton Keynes and North Bucks branch don’t have a traditional animal centre but instead rely on a network of volunteer fosterers to care for the animals which are rescued. Our fosterers help us to care for the animals which need a temporary home while they wait for adoption.

Fosterers help to rehabilitate animals who have come into our care due to neglect, abuse, injury or suffering. These animals need patient care and support while they recover and wait for adoption. ​We provide all the equipment and supplies required to look after the animals while they are in foster care, plus all the advice and guidance to help the fosterer fulfill their role.

Before you consider adopting, please take a look at the following rabbit welfare information. This page is for information purposes only. For specific information please consult a professional or veterinarian.

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The space required for rabbits is an ever growing topic, and the animal welfare world are trying hard to spread awareness of just how space rabbits need.

One pair of rabbits require a living area where they can exercise and rest with a minimum space requirement of 3m x 2m and 1m high (groups of rabbits will require larger accommodation). This is a minimum requirement to meet their welfare needs, but there's absolutely no reason why you can't provide an even bigger living space for your bunnies! These space requirements apply to indoor and outdoor rabbits. Sheds and playhouses with large runs attached are becoming common as secure living spaces.

Rabbits should be able to exhibit all their natural behaviours in their living space, including running, hopping and standing on their hind legs. Being confined to a small hutch or living area is incredibly cruel for these animals, as they are unable to exhibit natural behaviours and this can cause numerous health issues, severe stress and depression. They will also need covered safe areas that they can constantly access to hide if needed, rabbits are a prey animal so need areas where they feel secure.

They are naturally inquisitive animals, and enjoy lots of enrichment within their living areas. It's important to provide daily enrichment to keep your bunnies happy!

You can find some fantastic information on the Rabbit Welfare Associations & RSPCA website, where they provide further in-depth information into providing the best environments for your buns. 
https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/space-recommendations/
https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rabbits

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A rabbit's diet is incredibly important and can often be met with misconceptions about what foods are good for them!

Rabbits need access to fresh clean drinking water at all times, their water supply needs checking twice daily - more frequently during hot and freezing cold periods.

They need good quality hay or grass, this should make up the majority of their diet and should be available at all times. Any hay should be dust free, you can place in hay racks or hanging baskets to help keep it off the floor.

Rabbits can eat a multitude of plants, fruits, herbs and vegetables, but you must always make sure you check safe ones for them to eat and quantity amounts - https://www.saveafluff.co.uk/rabbi.../safe-foods-for-rabbits. Fruits and carrots are generally high in sugar, and should only be given as occasional treats. Muesli style food should always be avoided, as these are unhealthy for rabbits and come with a number of health issues.

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Rabbits are highly social, playful and inquisitive animals! They need regular and frequent opportunities to exercise every day. It's best to have their main shelter and living enclosure together so they can exhibit natural behaviours at their own choice.

It is best to keep an eye on your rabbits behaviour, if you notice any changes it could mean they are distressed, bored, ill or injured. Rabbits who are in pain or frightened are likely to change their behaviour.


Spotting negative behaviours is key to ensuring your buns are kept enriched and happy. Unhappy rabbits who are stressed can show signs by hiding, chewing cage bars, over-grooming, altered feeding or toileting habits, sitting hunched and repeated circling of their enclosures. Talk to your vet or a behaviourist if you have any concerns regarding your rabbits behaviour.

Rabbits need to be kept enriched and have lots to do. Providing an interesting environment for them helps to keep your buns mentally and physically stimulated! You can provide toys for rabbits so they perform natural behaviours such as digging, chewing, chin marking and investigating. You can either buy or make your own homemade toys! You'd be surprised just how much they love a cardboard box - so get saving those delivery boxes! Make sure you research which toys are safe to use.

In most cases, rabbits like to be in pairs. They are social animals who enjoy being with their own kind. Although, this isn't exclusive to every rabbit and they should always be assessed on an individual basis. The best combination is a neutered male and female or same sex pairings who have been raised together from a young age.

Introducing a bun to an existing bun is a complex situation, and should be considered very carefully. You should always research and get guidance on rabbit bonding prior to doing so as it's not as simple as you may think.

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Rabbits spend majority of their lives eating and grazing, if you notice your rabbit has a change in appetite at all, you must contact your vet immediately. As this can cause them to become very unwell. It's also important to keep an eye on their droppings, make sure there are plenty of fresh dry droppings in their enclosure.

They are vulnerable to many infectious diseases and illnesses, especially dental diseases. It is important to keep your rabbits safe by keeping them up to date with vaccinations. Outdoor rabbits especially can contract diseases very easily so need to be protected. It's recommended to get them checked over yearly, this can be tied in with their annual vaccination. You will also need to frequently check their rear ends in warmer periods, as they are at risk of flystrike which is an often fatal disease.

Neutering and microchipping your rabbits is also incredibly important. Having your rabbit neutered does wonders for their health and happiness, and both male and female rabbits should have it done. Neutering eliminates the risk of testicular and uterine cancer. Reproductive cancers are relatively common in rabbits, although more frequent in female rabbits.

Neutered rabbits are much less likely to display undesirable hormone-induced behaviors such as mounting, urine spraying (or territorial marking), and aggression. Rabbits are social animals and should live in pairs - neutering means this can happen safely. Microchipping also provides a level of protection for your rabbits, should they ever escape or go missing, you can be easily reunited if they are found by someone.

Being prey animals, rabbits can feel extremely vulnerable when picked up and unable to escape. Interactions should always be on their terms. Sitting with them and allowing them to explore you in a comfortable way can really help to build a relationship and level of trust.

Keeping a close eye on your rabbits will allow you to spot any early signs of trouble. Where possible, their teeth and nails should be checked regularly to ensure they are not overgrown and misaligned. If your buns aren't keen on being handled, try and monitor from a distance visually. Nails should be clipped regularly and this can be further helped by lots of things for them to dig!

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