To help new bunny owners we have compiled a shopping list that will hopefully help with what you may need to purchase.
1. Enclosure at least 10ft by 6ft with a 6ft indoor area (if outside)
Bunnies need plenty of space to run, jump and binky about! They need access to an area at least this size 24 hours a day and it needs to be completely fox proof and secure if outside.
We recommend a shed/aviary set up for outdoor bunnies. This both gives your bunnies plenty of space but also allows you to go in and out easily to clean them out and spend time with them. Alternatively, a hutch and run set up is fine but do make sure the hutch is at least 5ft, so they have a large enough indoor area to hide and shelter.
For indoor bunnies we recommend bunny proofing at least one room in your house for them to free roam. This involves covering wires and anything chewable and giving them plenty of places to hide. You can have a pen/cage for their base, but this isn’t always necessary.
2. Hay, hay and more hay plus something to put it in
Good quality timothy hay is so important (we recommend timothyhay.co.uk, just4rabbits, haybox and bunnyapproved.co.uk). It is important to put hay in a few different places to encourage bunnies to eat it. This includes: hay racks, in the litter tray, stuffed in boxes and tubes etc.
Top tip:Put your bunnies hay in a rack above their litter tray, as well as scattered in the tray because they like to eat and poop at the same time!
3. Litter trays & substrate
Rabbits can be easily litter trained so get a couple of litter trays and line then with either wooden pellets or newspaper. If your rabbits are toileting elsewhere then move the litter tray to the location of their choosing!
4. Water bottles and bowls
Water bowls are more natural and allows your rabbits to drink more than out of a bottle, but we would have both in case the bowl gets knocked over.
Hides are important for rabbits because they are prey species. We highly recommend J&S Wood Hobby on Facebook who make amazing hides, castles, tunnels etc. Decorating your bunnies’ homes can become very addictive! Alternatively, you can make hides out of cardboard boxes or even put stools or other furniture in for them to hide under. They also love things to jump on, particularly to keep watch of when snacks are arriving!
Rabbits are very intelligent and therefore need things to keep them occupied. Different rabbits like different toys depending on their personality so it is worth trying a variety and make sure you move things around and switch toys in and out to prevent them from getting bored. You can make homemade toys such as toilet roll tubes stuffed with hay, forage bags and boxes and many others. Other enrichment items they often love are twigs and sticks (make sure they are bunny safe), plastic keys and stacking cups and balls. There are lots of shops online that sell bunny specific enrichment and we recommend just4rabbits for enrichment and forage.
A rabbit’s diet should be 85-90% hay, 5-10% pellets and 5% fresh vegetables. We recommend Burgess Excel, Science Selective or Marriages pellets and a selection of vegetables that vary day to day. You can get creative with their feeding and hide it around their enclosure to keep them stimulated.
Other optional items:
Blankets – Some bunnies will chew blankets, but others love them.