In my search for Jack, I didn’t have very many choices… I was given the choice between 2 black rabbits or Jack, and since I knew I didn’t want a solid or dark colored bunny, and Jack had such a laid-back personality, I chose to adopt him over the others. At the time he was 5 months old, and pretty well full-grown. He has gotten a little bigger since I first got him, but not much. The second time around, I had my heart set on a baby bunny, particularly after seeing adorable pictures on google images like these:[column width=”40%” padding=”5%”]
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I knew that any breeder worth their salt won’t let you adopt one of their bunnies until they reach 8 weeks old, but what I didn’t know, is that baby bunnies don’t stay little like this for long. When I went to pick up Binks, the difference between her (2 months old at the time) and a one month old baby was crazy… She was triple the size of the younger ones! I was surprised, because I expected her to be much smaller, like those cute bunnies above. WRONG! It wasn’t until I saw her and Jack side-by-side that I could see that she really was small, but now, a month later, she’s catching up fast.[column width=”40%” padding=”5%”]
Jack and Binks lying side-by-side, the day after I brought her home. Note the size difference.
Obviously, you can see that Binks was smaller than Jack at 2 months old, but not by much… and certainly not the size of the babies above. So, what other differences, besides size, have I noticed between adopting a baby vs an almost-grown bunny?
- It has been more difficult to litter box train her. I’ve had to clean up COUNTLESS mistakes since I’ve picked her up, and she pees on the floor of her cage with the same regularity that she does in the litter box. I can kind of attribute this to my excitement and eagerness to just let her run free in the apartment as soon as possible, and I’ve paid with little bunny pee messes. Now, I’ve got to rein her back in and re-train her to use the litter box, and ONLY the litter box. This stinks for Jack at the moment, because he has to get locked up in the cage with her, or he won’t have access to the food, water, hay, and litter box inside. He HATES being locked up, but he’s handling it much better than he did before he had Binks to keep him company.
- She’s skittish. I understand that bunnies have individual personalities just like people do, but Jack had 5 months of constant handling by his breeder, whereas Binks had only 2 months. I’m convinced this had a distinct effect on their varying tolerance of being held, petted, and played with. Jack will let you pick him up and hold him, will come to you if you offer up a treat, and will lie quietly in your arms if you hold him on his back. Binks won’t tolerate ANYTHING, and we’re still working towards just getting her to sit still when I approach her, instead of bolting. Also, Jack’s breeder set up a room inside his house for Jack and the other bunnies to live in, so they were constantly exposed to the noises of the household. Jack’s breeder vacuumed in the room regularly, and allowed his dogs to go in and out of the room at will (the rabbits are caged). Binks’ breeder on the other hand, keeps her bunnies in a shed that her husband built in the backyard. Therefore, Binks wasn’t exposed household noises like Jack was… For example, when I vacuum my apartment, Jack will run up to it and get in the way on purpose, sniffing and climbing on top of it. Binks is terrified of it, and won’t go near it.
So… I say all of this to convey to you that in my opinion, go for an older bunny when adopting, particularly one that has been housed indoors and handled daily by its breeder. Even though you, like me, would love to have a cute little bunny like the ones above, any good breeder will not allow you to take a baby home until it is at least 8 weeks old, at which it is much bigger than the bunnies above. Trust me when I say that it’ll be WAY easier!