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lavendertealatte

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I have been searching for a new rabbit since my other one died. I have come across a lot of rabbit breeders and rabbit showing culture and it struck me how different it was to what I had read on the internet. I wasn't able to figure out why, but then I came across this breeder's website where she writes about cages and the benefits of wire caging. Wow, now I am even MORE confused! Please read it with an open mind and tell me what you think?

 

zuppa

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I have been searching for a new rabbit since my other one died. I have come across a lot of rabbit breeders and rabbit showing culture and it struck me how different it was to what I had read on the internet. I wasn't able to figure out why, but then I came across this breeder's website where she writes about cages and the benefits of wire caging. Wow, now I am even MORE confused! Please read it with an open mind and tell me what you think?

Well they are talking about commercial breeders when they have many rabbits and have to keep them as clean as enough for keeping them healthy and showable and also keep the cost of that minimal since everything that adds to cost of supplies will reduce their profit, and cages must be easily disinfected etc. Same with time, time costs money so spending less time on cleaning will reduce your expenses just imagine you get paid by the hour.

As an owner of just one spoiled house pet rabbit you shouldn't read that for the sake of your mental health, that is my private opinion on that.

For Moderators, please note that this thread was posted not in breeders forum so I feel I have right to say that what I honestly think about the tiny wire floor cages and living conditions of the rabbits confined to them for life (can you call it life? nevermind), thank you for your understanding
 
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Blue eyes

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I have not bred rabbits but we do have some long-time breeders on our forum that may share their experience. I can understand that caring for many rabbits (often outdoors) as opposed to just an indoor pair has different demands altogether.

I read the article and can understand some of her points. However, there are several comments with which I'd heartily disagree.

Her beef with free-roam rabbits I disagree with. (She kept referring to this as the rabbit running "wild" & "run around like crazy") She claimed this makes them "much less friendly and affectionate" and "lessons their attachment to their owner" -- I've known and heard of plenty of affectionate, free-roam rabbits. This claim is unfounded. She also mentions the "dangers" of chewing things while free-roam but that is why one needs to bunny-proof. I could also counter with the dangers of outdoor housing as well.

Her claim that wire cages are "always cleaner than flat bottomed cages, without exception" is clearly spoken from ignorance. I've seen plenty of filthy wire-bottomed cages. Just a quick look at rabbits for sale on craig's list will show me rabbits in nasty, filthy wire cages. Any cage can be kept clean just as any cage can be dirty. She never mentions litter training either which can help keep indoor cages perfectly clean without (as she assumes) "having to scrub out a flat-bottomed cage twice per day."

She seems to also assume that all non-wire-bottom cages are plastic which they are not. I would agree that plastic bottom cages can be dangerously slippery. It's recommended to either not use such flooring or cover it with something not slippery. And I would agree that plastic would be more prone to break than wire.

I found it odd the mention of indoor cages not allowing for proper ventilation. Indoor cages often have wire sides and tops, or they have no tops at all and are very open like an exercise pen or total free-roam. The concern of ammonia build up would therefore not be a valid complaint. Nor would the idea that heatstroke is a risk in a non-wire cage (for same reasons).

She claims that broken or missing toes or toenails come from flat-bottomed cages. What?? The only torn toes I've heard of were from a rabbit getting their toenail caught in a wire-bottom cage.

And the idea that "most breeds are perfectly content without exercise outside of their cage" seems more than presumptuous. I don't think that's even worthy of comment.

For indoor pet rabbits, there is no reason, imo, to keep a rabbit confined to a wire bottomed cage. The joy of having an indoor rabbit is to be able to interact with them, and watch their fun antics, their binkies and dashes. With litter training, an enclosure or home-base can be a breeze to maintain.

There are many options for indoor enclosures and with the best interest of your rabbits in mind, "factors such as durability, safety, injury prevention, ventilation, sanitation, traction, convenience, disease prevention, and preference of the rabbit," mean that wire-bottom cages would never be my top choice.
 

NYAngela

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It’s clear from the article that bunnies are the writer’s business and source of income therefore ease of care, cost, space, time are likely a driving factor in decisions like housing. View an animal as a commodity vs a pet and you’re going to make different decisions about their care (and find a way to justify it)

The only thing I would agree with is the idea of a bunny sitting/laying in its own urine and feces. When I see a rabbit with urine stained feet I feel so sorry for it as they like being clean animals. I have a grate just in his litter box to prevent that and he’s in and out of there all the time eating his hay and doing his business without issue. Other than his recently new found love of marking my couch because he’s hit his “teen years“ his only peed and pooped in his litter and his pen is extremely clean. I clean the soft flooring once a week, just like I change our bedsheets.
 

Cloverhouse

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Having kept rabbits under both circumstances, I'd say it's not an either/or but a both/and situation. Rabbits do fine in wire cages with proper animal husbandry. They do fine as free living house pets as well. There are pluses and minuses to each situation. It's not practical to keep 30 loose sexually intact rabbits in a house.

Rex furred rabbits tend towards sore hocks. I've seen it on bunnies in cages and bunnies kept on carpeted floors. Normal furred bunnies rarely get sore hocks unless kept in wet or filthy conditions.

I provided my caged bunnies with areas to be off wire, and some used it and others didn't. As far as showing affection, generally I find males to be more snuggly and affectionate be they neutered or intact, caged or free roaming. My unspayed females tended to be happier when raising kits and restless when not. Spayed females were more chill.

Rabbits can get into a LOT of trouble running loose in a home, and are subject to different dangers than bunnies caged in a barn. I've had more issues with stasis in house bunnies than caged bunnies.

Anyone who spends much time reading on these forums can see that bunnies loose in a home is no guarantee of safety, health and happiness.

Rabbits were originally domesticated for food and fur and have been bred for thousands of generations as caged animals, outdoors (with protection) and do fine that way, but they also make lovely indoor members of the family.

It's similar to most animals that are raised as livestock, you can make a pet of one and have a very different personal experience, but that doesn't mean that the ones raised as livestock are ill treated or miserable. It depends on the individual providing the care. I've been to rabbitries that are clean, with large cages and healthy animals and others that are filthy with unhealthy stock.

I will say this, when it comes to rabbit breeders, the one's with wire bottomed cages generally are cleaner and healthier than the solid bottomed ones that I've too often seen caked with layers of fur, feces and soaked in urine. Wire floors are easier to keep sanitary. This has just been my personal experience, your mileage may vary.
 
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