So, you and your family have decided to purchase a rabbit as a family pet. While they are fairly easy to care for, there are a few things everyone should know before bringing bunny home.
First thing you need to consider is, does anyone have any allergies to cats. Most people with allergies to cats will also have an allergic reaction to rabbits. If this is the case, rabbits are not the pet for you and your family. I would then recommend a Guinea Pig or reptile.
If no one has any allergies, then you need to figure out where you are going to keep your new little bunny. If you are wanting a house rabbit, than size may be a concern. Many are small weighing less than 6 lbs. These usually make good pets however, check out each breed and speak to breeders that have more than a few months experience in them. While many know their rabbits very well, we are truely unable to tell you how others will do or act around small children if we do not raise those breeds. Here at Cherokee Flats, we raise Dutch, Mini Satin, Netherland Dwarf, Mini Lop, Californian and Polish. While I would recommend Dutch, Mini Lop, Netherland Dwarf and Polish to ANYONE as a pet, the Mini Satin are more for the older child and are recommended more for 4-H projects than pets due to temperment. If you are going to house your rabbit outside (sheltered from weather) or in a garage/barn, size may or may not be an issue. Keep in mind that if you are looking for a pet for a small child (3-9 yrs old) I do not recommend a Flemish Giant as a pet. Although very gentle and friendly, they are extremely large (over 15lbs in most cases).
So now you know where you are wanting to house them and what size you need... next comes breed... If you chose a small breed. You have several nice tempered animals to chose from. Dutch and Polish are the 2 we have. There are also Mini Rex, Holland Lop (not recommended for small children), Netherland Dwarf (not recommended for small children), Dwarf Hotot, Havana, American Fuzzy Lops, Mini Lops, Himilayan, Flordia White,Jersey Wooly, Lionhead and a few others in development. Many of these breeds are great for kids but some are not recommended for children under 5 yrs old. Temperments can vary within the breeds between female and male as well as between breeds. The Dutch has a great personality with sweet cuddles and snuggles for everyone while the Netherland Dwarfs can be nippy and mildly aggressive, however we breed for good temperment in our Netherlands. While agressiveness is commonly seen in females after reaching sexual maturity (between 4 and 6 months), males can be agressive during breeding. If you are going to get a pet for the family, I would suggest a young (8-10 weeks old) male. This is good for several reasons. 1st: If you get a male while he is still young, he wont spray (or shouldnt) as he doesnt know he is a boy yet. 2nd: He will be calmer and less likely to lash out as he gets older due to sexual maturity. If you are wanting an older animals... Retired brood does would the best. They have had their babies and temperments are usually evened out!
For smaller breeds, cage size is rather simple. For our Dutch we use 24" x 24" x 16" and they work great. They have room to "popcorn" and run around, stretch out to relax yet it's small enough to feel safe. For Polish, we use 24" x 18" x 16". These too are good for the polish as they provide safety and they feel secure yet have room to run and stretch.
For larger breeds (American, Angoras, Satins, Californian, Checkerd Giants, Flemish Giants, English and French Lops.....ect), a 24" x 36" x 18" cage is prefered. This will allow them the same comfort as the smaller breeds in the cages recommended for them.
Ok, so now you know you want a rabbit, you know where you're going to house him/her, you know the breed you want and the size cage you need. Now, the next thing you need to know is what other supplies will you need to get BEFORE bringing bunny home (for a complete list CLICK HERE).
Basic Bunny Needs: Food, Cage, Water Bottle, Food Bowl, Hay, Chew Blocks, resting mat.
While most of the objects can be purchased at local pet stores (PetCo, PetSmart, Wal*Mart) It is not recommended as they usually are higher in price and do not supply you with the correct items or information. A good place to get your bunny supplies is through us (CLICK HERE) or visit Koning's Kountry Supplies in Edwardsville IL. They are usually at local shows in the Bloomington/Normal area. Check their site for show listings.
Once you have all your info and supplies, now is the time to come and pick out a baby. We usually have several available to choose from including up-coming litters. When you decide when you can visit us, just give us a call at 309-928-9460 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We will let you know what days we will be able to accomodate your visit. We usually do visits M-F 5 pm - 8 pm, Sat 9 am - 8 pm.
So what can you expect from a visit to us?
Your Visit to Cherokee Flats...
Once you are here, we will show the babies we have ready and explain when they can go. We will go over each baby and describe the personalities of each (if they have shown yet), talk about the cage and other IMPORTANT information, complete Bunny School, and if you are purchasing a PET rabbit, someone over 18 yrs of age (parent) must sign a pet contract and Before you leave, we will set a date and time for you to come back and pick up your new pet (this option is for those close to Farmer City less than 2 hrs away). There is a lot of info out there online, although most is good, your best bet is talk to a breeder directly.
If you are over 2 hrs away, Most of this is done over email via photos and pick-up and Bunny School will be done the same day.
No matter which option is chosen, once a baby is picked, we must have 50% non-refundable deposit within 7 business days (I will put the deadline date in an email if we deal that way till pickup). This guarentees that baby is YOURS and that no one else can purchase him/her. IF we do not receive your deposit within the 7 business days, the baby will be placed back up for sale and it will be a first-come, first-serve option.
The day of PICK-UP...
On the day of pick up -- please make sure you have the proper carrier (small cat carrier works great or rabbit carrier) to take bunny home in. You will also pick up any equipment you need that day unless picked up at an earlier visit. Please, Cash or Money Orders only thank you.
After you get bunny home, you are free to call me or email me at anytime with questions or concerns and I will do my best to assist you in any way possible. That is our promise to you!!