Bunnies with Marc Morrone

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2009

Most people think of bunnies as adorable symbols of Easter and don't realize they require special care and can live for eight to 12 years, just like dogs. Unless you've done thorough research and know you can be a very good bunny keeper, do not bring one into your home.

Bunny Breeds Featured on the Show
Lionhead

  • A new breed of bunnies
  • Small to medium in size
  • Has mane of fur around head like a lion
  • Needs careful combing to maintain neat appearance

Dutch

  • Originally imported from Holland
  • Has dark head with white nose and blaze and dark britches

Lop ear

  • A very old breed of bunnies
  • Comes in many color patterns
  • Very flat face and draped ears on each side of the head

Netherland Dwarf

  • The smallest bunny breed
  • Short ears and flat face
  • Comes in just about any color

Flemish Giant

  • Native to Belgium
  • Largest breed of rabbit
  • More self-confident than littler rabbits

Care Tips for Bunnies
Bunnies do not thrive in small cages. They need to stretch out, and that is why a puppy playpen is ideal -- they won't be able to hop out of a puppy playpen.

It's very important for a bunny to spend time out of the playpen. They're social animals and need to feel like they're part of a family. Bunnies prefer the company of other bunnies, but make sure they're spayed or neutered first. Bunnies also enjoy the companionship of humans and other domesticated animals such as dogs or cats. However, the other dog or cat must view the bunny as a companion, not a meal. You may need to keep the animals separated when you are away from home.

Necessities of a Bunny Playpen

  • Door mats made of cocoa fiber 
  • A litter box with a paper-based litter
  • A rack to hold hay
  • A water bottle
  • Heavy crockery dish
  • Chew toys -- rabbits chew on everything; they'll need wood and other items to chew on or else they'll destroy furniture, moldings, and electrical wires

Bunny Nutrition
Carrots are not the proper diet for bunnies. In the wild, they mainly eat grass. We replace that with Timothy Hay in the domesticated state. Supplement the hay with a good brand of pellet food and fresh, dark, leafy greens. Stay away from fruit and other sweet treats sold in pet stores.

Recommended Reading
If you like novels and want to learn how bunnies interact with each other, Marc recommends "Watership Down," by Richard Adams.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Marc Morrone (parrotsoftheworld.com) for sharing this helpful information about bunnies.

Resources
For more information on rabbits and how to care for them, visit "The House Rabbit Society" at rabbit.org.

 

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