It is vital that you find out what brand of food they are usually given as changing the diet suddenly can have fatal consequences (see ‘common problems’ below).
Also find out if they are used to a water bottle or bowl.
They do not usually like to be picked up even if handled from a young age, and can easily injure their backs with fatal consequences if they fall or are dropped.
There are only two rabbits in the photo below that are suitable to give to a young child at Easter (the time of year when the highest numbers of rabbits are sold) – and neither of them are the one in the middle!
With this in mind it is important to let your new pet settle in with as little handling as possible.
Gradually build up his trust and confidence by talking quietly to him and gently stroking his head if he approaches you.
Remember that rabbits are naturally shy, quiet animals who hate being held above ground level.
Gaining the trust of a rabbit takes time, patience and effort.
I would urge anyone to rethink getting one as a child’s pet.
No matter how much you want to please your child think about the welfare of the animal first.
At the time, the boys were over the moon with the babies, but as the rabbits grew up and the boys discovered that the bunnies didn’t like being held and cuddled they quickly lost interest and the feeding and care was once again left to Mum to do.