Monday, 29 December 2014

12 Bunny Facts You May Not Know

1. Bunnies are lagomorphs, NOT rodents.
  • Although bunnies resemble hamsters and mice in appearance (eg: the teeth, the nose-mouth area), they are NOT rodents though often wrongly classified as so.

    2. Bunnies have an average lifespan of 10 years.
    • Bunnies mature at 6 months old, and with good care, constant love and attention, they can live up to 10 years or even more.

    3. A bunny's diet consists mainly of hay, NOT carrots!
    • When it comes to bunnies, almost all cartoons feature them eating carrots. In reality, however, too much carrots (or other fruits) causes bacterial imbalance in a bunny's gut. This condition could potentially lead to death within days.
    • Unlimited Timothy hay MUST be given to bunnies. The hay provides fibre which ensures a healthy digestive system.
    Only Bugs Bunny and other cartoon buns eat carrots.

    Real bunnies eat hay!
    Left: Timothy hay; Right: Jippie eating hay from a metal ball

    4. A bunny's teeth DOES NOT stop growing!
    • And therefore, here comes another importance of hay. A bunny's teeth naturally wears down as they chew and eat hay (due to the opposing action of the teeth).
    • If a bunny's teeth are not worn down, they could potentially overgrow. This causes discomfort and pain to the bunny and he/she will have problems eating.

      Coco from 家有寶貝兔, yawning - look at those bunny teeth!

    5. Bunnies must NEVER be picked up by their ears or scruff!
    • Again, cartoons often feature magicians picking out bunnies from their hats in this way. This is actually horribly dangerous and wrong! 

      Picked up by the ears - WRONG.

    • A bunny's ears have many important functions such as:
      • consisting of delicate blood vessels
      • hearing sounds from different directions
      • regulating body temperature
    • Picking up a bunny by his/her ears could potentially:
      • cause irreparable damage to the ears, resulting in severe problems such as deafness.
      • cause a bunny to fall and break his/her back, as this method does not secure the bunny properly.

    6. Bunnies poop constantly.
    • Completely different from dogs and cats (who only carry out their business once or twice a day), healthy bunnies produce poop almost every hour throughout the day. Yes, every hour.
    The above is only a very small percentage of what my bunny, Jippie, produces daily.

    7. Bunnies DO NOT stink, and they DO NOT need baths!
    • Unless you're very sensitive to fur scents of animals, bunnies do not "stink". The three things I know that may be the cause of unpleasant odours are:
      • the accumulation of urine or soft poop at the bum - however, this will be unlikely if you feed them the correct diet consisting of unlimited Timothy hay.
      • the feeding of cheap, low-quality pellets.
      • a dirty cage and uncleaned play area.
    • Bunnies groom themselves clean everyday. Therefore, bunnies practically don't need baths at all! Unless the bunny is disabled (eg: has a splayed leg), very rarely does a situation arise where he/she needs a body bath. Baths are often stressful to a bunny.

      Fridolin from Worringer Kaninchenstall, about to wash his ears.

    8. Bunnies consume cecotropes.
    • Cecotropes are partially digested food that are reingested by bunnies to obtain nutrients. As a bunny bends down to consume his/her daily cecotropes directly from the anus, many people, unfortunately, mistakes this as eating poop.
    • Here are the differences between cecotropes and normal bunny poop:

      Differences between cecotropes and normal poop.
    A bunny (pictured: Dutchie) would bend down and consume his/her cecotropes directly from the anus

    9. Bunnies are NOT stay-in-cages animals.
    • No companion animal should be kept in a cage 24/7. You can put a bunny inside a cage, but most of the time, the bunny should be outside the cage.
    • Consequences of keeping a bunny in a cage for long hours:
      • The bunny becomes more territorial and wary towards humans (eg: biting when you attempt to pet him/her)
      • The bunny becomes stressed and tends to have a shorter lifespan. (Imagine being cooped up in a holed box yourself, where you can only walk a few steps around everyday.)
    Dutchie: Lemme out! I demand to see my lawyer!
    (Dutchie going nuts when I was only locking him up in his cage to mop the floor)

    10. Most bunnies DO NOT enjoy being carried up.
    • By natural history, bunnies are ground-dwelling prey animals. It is against the nature of a bunny to be held above ground where his/her motions are strongly restricted.
    • A bunny will struggle and kick when held against his/her will in such a situation. This could potentially injure both you and your bunny. If the bunny falls, he/she could even break his/her neck, back, or legs.
    • Bunnies prefer humans to sit or lie beside them on the ground at bunny-eye level - and us to be generous with our pets, of course.

    11. Bunnies are sociable animals.
    • Unknowing humans claim bunnies to be "boring" and "lazy". This is not the truth at all! When one has a good relationship with his/her bunnies, these furry creatures can do many sweet and adorable things for you, such as:
      • leave their current lounging location just to be around you.
      • nose-bonk your legs if you just got back home from school or work.
    Jippie's eyes flipped on to Sparkling Mode when he wants vegetables or treats.

    • The key to a good relationship is frequent interaction between human and bunny. DO NOT keep your bunny in a cage.
    • However, it might take a few months before a bunny shows obvious friendly gestures mentioned above. You should be the initiative:
      • accompany your bunny everyday for a period of time, pet and talk to him/her gently all the while.
      • be the one that gives their daily food (eg: hay, vegetables).

    12. Every bunny has his/her own personality.
    • Personality is not primarily related to breed. A bunny's personality comes first, his/her breed second. 
    Dutchie is sociable and a little cheeky. He's one of the minority cuddle buns.

    Jippie is shy around strangers, but he's incredibly sweet and loyal when you get to know him.

    1 comment:

    1. Great post today,I have been lucky with the buns I have had,they have all been cuddle buns although the one I had before Speedy took a bit longer to come round ,xx Rachel