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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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How do you do it?

After taking in more rabbits because of health reasons (emergency situation) of the other foster mom, I feel like I am running a warehouse of rabbits. It has been too hot to keep them outside, so now my bedroom is filled with cages and it looks like a bunny prison in there, as I sleep on the sofa. There is little room to let rabbits out of their cages, and with so many rabbits (11), the only interaction I get to do with them is to pet them. When the heat lets up, I will be able to put some outside where they can get exercise and interact with each other through the fences, but for now, I only have time to let them out of their cages, one at a time, on my days off. Soon I will get some help from some vet school student in socializing them with people, but for right now, all I can do is step up my efforts to get them adopted. How do other foster parents handle large numbers of rabbits?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 12:51 PM
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Probably not encouraging, but we bought a house so that we could foster. My husband works from home and spends a lot of time with our animals, and we have a system of gates and fences set up so everybody gets out of cage time every day.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 10:28 PM
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Hmm, I only have 2 and because I dont have as much time as I would like for them I built them pens out of NIC so they're not crammed up in cages. Umm, rabbits can do ok outside they didn't grow out of houses! As long as you provide shade and I seen mentioned before people who keep them outside freeze water bottles for the bunnies to rest against. And keep fresh water available at all times along with the frozen bottles.
In my personal opinion, I dont think Im on God's shoulder or anything, but if you cannot provide the time or space for them- how much better off are they exactly with you then? There are cat and animal hoarders who are able to feed and medicate their pets (I lived with one -_-) but the animals are stressed out which deteriorates their health. And maybe Im wrong on this but once the trust is destroyed in a bunny, it takes a long while to earn it back. They need stimulation and space to move about and stretch.
I know my answer probably isnt what you wanted to hear and moving into a larger house like Jennicat might not be practical but it seems to me you are unable at this point to provide everything these bunnies need.
Good luck dear, I hope you get something figured out Stay positive.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Purple-Hops View Post
Hmm, I only have 2 and because I dont have as much time as I would like for them I built them pens out of NIC so they're not crammed up in cages. Umm, rabbits can do ok outside they didn't grow out of houses! As long as you provide shade and I seen mentioned before people who keep them outside freeze water bottles for the bunnies to rest against. And keep fresh water available at all times along with the frozen bottles.
I see this get thrown around a lot for all species. I would just like to point out:
a.) domesticated rabbits also didn't come from outside. They were created by people.
b.) a wild, outdoor rabbit has a short, brutal life full of health problems and parasites and they rarely live beyond a couple of years.

Most folks want to keep their pets alive as long as possible, not just long enough to make another set of rabbits to continue the process.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 10:40 PM
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Well, its never harmful to adapt a pet rabbit to a temprorary outside life. People have bunny hutches and keep them successfully for years free of parasites, diseases and predators. I think it's healthy to allow every pet we domesticate outdoor air bc although city air may be toxic, inside it's much worse unless you have expensive air purifiers and junk. I certainly did not mean she would keep them outside forever and Im sure she watches them anyway when theyre out- so why would it be a bad idea?
And woah, I never mentioned once that the point of rabbits is to continue the process. Im only suggesting something to her that could maybe help out the bunnies whereas buying a new house might further the problem if the time is not available in the first place.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 10:45 PM
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Going out temporarily with supervision is much different than living outside in the heat and being exposed to parasites. Lots of people "do" keep them outside for years, but surviving is not always a measure of good care. We've picked up numerous elderly rabbits covered in maggots and nearly dead from outside hutches, as well as young rabbits injured when their hutches are attacked by a variety of animals. "Lots of people" doing something is not a good indication of care, and neither is an animal's ability to survive benign neglect and poor husbandry.

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"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 06:45 AM
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That's not the issue at hand. That's also why I suggested an alternative to housing all them bunnies when the time and space is not there for them. Im well aware of the problem of hoarding and think it concludes the wrong future for the poor animals involved. This is why I think if Moonchild cannot care for all the bunnies in her care, foster or otherwise, she should find a place that can. In your own words, "doing something is not a good indication of care, and neither is an animal's ability to survive benign neglect and poor husbandry." I mentioned above I lived with a hoarder of cats who brought them to the vet but I didnt say I liked what she was doing and moved out after months of trying to persuade her to stop.
I also did not say Moonchild would keep the bunnies outside, I didnt suggest that to her and Im sure if she was going to she would have already done so. I am aware of the diseases and stuff to threaten bunnies outside, it threatens people as well. But this is no reason to deprive bunnies from going outside for a little while.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 08:12 AM
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Not all bunnies enjoy going outside. I tried taking my Barnaby outside once, for some fresh air and whatnot, and he was so afraid of it out there that he literally started screaming. It was heartbreaking and I rushed him back inside - haven't tried to take him out again since. He's very content with his spoiled life indoors.

Moonchild - I think it's great that you're trying to help out so many bunnies! But I think, if you're having a hard time giving them all the attention they need that maybe you should try your hardest to get some of them adopted out, and then try to keep your numbers lower and more manageable. I know you're trying to help them, and you said it was an emergency situation, but everyone has their limits, whether it be space or time or whatever.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
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Not all bunnies enjoy going outside. I tried taking my Barnaby outside once, for some fresh air and whatnot, and he was so afraid of it out there that he literally started screaming. It was heartbreaking and I rushed him back inside - haven't tried to take him out again since. He's very content with his spoiled life indoors.
One of my first rabbits, a miniature lop, did the same thing. She was totally terrified of the outdoors which was odd to me because she was so bossy and outgoing inside. My Californian rabbit didn't have as dramatic of a reaction but she would just sit there, glaring at me.

(My other rabbits have all enjoyed the outdoors but it's not for everyone!)




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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your support. I sucessfully adopted one of my rabbits out today! The university found space for another one of my undersocialized rabbits in their program, and he is currently being socialized to people by two vet students. On wednesday, I am taking another rabbit in to the vet to get a physical and some tests done, and if all looks good, she will be going to a nursing home to make friends with people who really need her.


Some of the rabbits I have are perfect for outdoor pets, while others just don't belong outside. Keeping rabbits outside take a different approach than keeping house rabbits. People who are interested in parasitology and animal husbandry work hard to solve the problems that one encounters when it comes to keeping rabbits outside. Years ago, few people kept rabbits inside. For years, people have been working on the challenges of keeping rabbits safe inside the house, so that they don't eat clay litter, suffer from intestinal blockage from grazing on carpet, and get electrical shocks from chewing on electrical cords. If people can work on solving problems for keeping rabbits inside, is it wrong for others to work on solving problems for keeping rabbits outside?


As for hoarders, I think some rescue organizations unknowingly attract them. If there is a foster provider in an organization that is always willing to take in animals, but finds excuses to never adopt them out, it is time to check out that foster parent.


Right now I keep my rabbits in large dog cages, because I can set them up and take them down and store them with little effort. I usually mount a shelf in the cages for the rabbits to hop up on, put a little hut inside and provide a litter pan for them. The situation is not ideal, but I am not going to beat myself up over it because I know what I am providing for some of them is much better than what they had before they arrive in foster care. I know that with effort on my part, these rabbits will eventually go on to live happy lives in permanent homes.

Last edited by moonchild; 05-29-2010 at 03:06 AM. Reason: grammer
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