Can proper rabbit keeping be done on a budget?

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larryng

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The answer to this burning question depends on a number of factors.

1) How good or bad your rabbits overall health is.

2) How many rabbits you have.

I think the biggest forseable expense is housing and equipment cost.

The second biggest forseable expense is pellets and hay.

The biggest unforseable expense is a vet bill.

For me personally my rabbits have one small cage, one bigger cage and one dog play pen cost and all the equipment kick knacks cost me around $ 800

Food and hay cost me $15 a month.

Vet bill for both rabbits cost me $1, 300 . One thousand of it was for Bagel GI stasis episode.

Weigh in everyone.
 
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Our rabbits' overall health is, and has been, very good,so our vet bills are minimal. The more rabbits you have the moreyour food costs are...and that's our biggest ongoing expense. Housing and equipment are part of the initial costs but not normally that much of an ongoing cost.
 

larryng

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I agree with majorv that housing and equipment is a one time cost.
 

sugarbunnies

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Food seems to be also a relatively expensive part except for vet bills. You have to factor in veggies (although I get mine at Walmart), and then top quality food, which, is at least $32 each purchase. Toys, if you buy them, as well. I just bought their favorite wicker tunnel they decimate for $9. Hay is cheap here, I buy them by the bags, so that is not too bad. Litter is also only $8 for a 32lb bag. Honestly, I think it is just the food and first housing.

EDIT: Meant to say food, the initial start-up cost of housing and etc, and VET bills. haha
 

Korr_and_Sophie

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With 7 rabbits, I am currently spending about $20 a month on pellets. That will go up pretty soon once Felix goes on Oxbow. For hay, I get bales that cost $10 and last about 2 months. I am buying bagged alfalfa at about $4 a week. Joint supplements are about $9 and I use about 2 containers a month. Veggies are around $5 a week or so. Litter is about $5 for a 40 pound bag that lasts about 2 months.
 

dungeonbunnies

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We buy bales of orchard, or mixed hay, $9 something a bale (which with our six getting their hay racks filled daily, lasts about 2-3 months), we mix producer's pride and purina pellets ($20 total for pellets), for about a month), and they get whatever veggis are just about to go, and need to be eaten quickly (so it's part of the people food bill)... We also like to put ours on the grass, so it helps when there aren't as many veggis to share.

I know a fella who has eliminated all feed costs, because he grows his own rabbit food, and puts his buns out in grazers. And he has really healthy bubs
 

woahlookitsme

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I really dont know why many people have to spend so much money on their buns at vets. I dont know what it is but I haven't had to take a bun to the vet for any GI issues. The last time trip to the vet was when whiskey dislocated her foot and that was an exam, x ray, and pain meds around $70-80 bucks.

We feed Purina pellets (about $20 a bag replaced about every 2 weeks), and one horse quality coastal hay bale $9.25 replaced about every 8mos. No veggies for ours so no cost there. Our other expenses are medicine like ivomec and other OTC meds for home treatments such as vet Rx, bag balm, vanodine(for cleaning cages), and probiotics. Oh can't forget critical care just in case but only had to use it once for my moms himi a while ago.
 

dungeonbunnies

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Woahlookitsme, I like to use apple cider vinegar on our cages. It's a great disenfectant (comparable to bleach) but no chemical residues to worry about. I prefer to go the homeopathic route with my buns too, this means a lot less vet bills. Only for fixing. Most sprains we (my nurse sister and I) have had enough first aid training to handle (we've had one in the last 2 years I've been with the rabbits)

EDIT:
Tired grammar is bad grammar!
 

woahlookitsme

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I have heard of using ACV and plain vinegar. I think they said the vinegar not only helped with smell but got rid of calcium deposits or maybe that was something else. I'm not sure what's in vanodine as my mom started using it as a disinfectant on cages but after the rabbitcon sessions about rabbitry cleaning we might be changing something's around. I will keep that on our list of things to look into using thanks!

Alyssa: well we are out of the norm and have 20+ show and breeding buns. They all get personal time and hay is their only treat they get once weekly although I think my mom is going to start giving it more often. We have never had GI problems due to how we feed and all of our buns are healthy. I did feed veggies to my pet frenchie Franklin and my baby rocky. They adored it but my mom won't normally buy veggies for our show buns. Although we did get info about veggies that promote health and other things so I might start giving them some but to what difference one veggie when I come home On the weekend would make I probably wouldn't see. Also it scares me because of all the GI stasis issues on here and also seeing how well ours do without them I don't want to screw it up.
 

whitelop

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For me with one seemingly healthy bun, she is pretty cheap.
Her first cage was $60, then her second cage was $80. I sold the first one for $20, so I made a little back. I never had to buy pens or anything because she gets to be in one room.
Her food is pretty inexpensive, I just got a 12lb bag of Kaytee something or other and it was like $10 I think. Once that food is gone, then she will no longer be getting pellets.
Her salad costs are a little pricey sometimes, but its okay. I buy her several different kinds of greens each week, but luckily the things she eats aren't very expensive.
Her hay, I buy 1 mini bale of timothy and smaller bags of different kinds to spice it up.
Her litter costs $8 for a 40 lb bag that is going on 2 months now and I'm about half way through.
Her spay will be about $190, hopefully she won't have to go before then.
I don't buy toys unless they're on sale, I make her toys.

I guess from most to least it would be; vet, and if you have to pay for spay/neuter yourself, one time cage set up, then food/hay.
 

LeFuzz

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larryng wrote:
The answer to this burning question depends on a number of factors.

1) How good or bad your rabbits overall health is.

2) How many rabbits you have.

I think the biggest forseable expense is housing and equipment cost.

The second biggest forseable expense is pellets and hay.

The biggest unforseable expense is a vet bill.

For me personally my rabbits have one small cage, one bigger cage and one dog play pen cost and all the equipment kick knacks cost me around $ 800

Food and hay cost me $15 a month.

Vet bill for both rabbits cost me $1, 300 . One thousand of it was for Bagel GI stasis episode.

Weigh in everyone.

With one bun, costs are indeed down. I do feed lots of veg/hay and he was just at the Vet getting his neuter stitches out and the Vet said he is very very healthy. The neuter cost was $97 for the surgery and pain meds total.

He has no cage, so no expense there, but he does have a cardboard cottage and cardboard maze thing, plus he benefits from my online shopping (lots of boxes!). I don't think hay is too expensive and I usually stock up to have 2-3 months worth. The veg is fairly affordable at under $20 a week. He has no interest in store bought toys, so he likes to tear up free stuff like phone books, TP rolls, etc.

We have a Emergency Pet Fund savings account but he hasn't really cost me anything besides his neuter (that's the dogs job- she costs a lot!). Litter is super cheap at $5 for 40ish pounds.

Costs more than some, but then you get the binkies for free, so it all evens out.
 

Luv-bunniz

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I'm always a little surprised when I hear others saying that keeping rabbits is expensive. Bar medical treatment, I find it on the whole pretty cheap, although I am lucky to be able to buy from farm suppliers, and I have enough rabbits to be able to use it up quickly enough to buy in bulk without the food going off. Even regardless of that, I do think it's possible to keep a rabbit properly on a budget if you put the (minimal) effort in.

My expenses are (for 6 rabbits ranging from a mini rex through Frenchie up to a conti giant):
1x bale of meadow hay every 8 weeks
1x mixed hay bale (orchard, blue, timothy) every 6 weeks
1x 15kg rabbit mix every 8 weeks
1x 20kg rabbit pellet every 8 weeks
1x woodshavings bale every 8-10 weeks

That comes up to about £7 every fortnight. I also get through 3-4 carrier bags full of veggies every fortnight, and that comes to another £6-10 depending on what I buy and the season etc. I put away a % of my wages every month into an emergency/vet fund, and I can also enter a payment plan with my vet should I absolutely need it.

I have a rule that I don't spend more than £2 on something that's going to get destroyed! And with my guys, that's almost everything. I collect willow, alder, hazel and birch from woodland, and I get apple and pear branches from our local PYO fruit farm/orchard. I buy large quantities of untreated sisal rope and wrap it around planks of wood, carpet inner rolls, tin/cling wrap rolls etc for them to nibble on and throw around - also great to stick strips of bark and twigs in for them to find and 'attack'. I also thread pieces of wood, bark etc onto rope for hanging toys (which cost around £1.00 in shops as opposed to <£.25 to make). They also get boxes etc when I have them, paper sandwich bags filled with goodies (hay mixed with fresh forage), and the paper sacks from their food.

The only 'made' cage I've bought is a 48" dog crate which was £28, used for isolation. I built the rest, and 3 of the rabbits live free range indoors. A block of 3 6x8 aviary/kennel-style enclosures with large bed boxes cost £70 to build (between me and a friend), including the concrete base and sealant.

I'm rambling now, but my point is, if you put the effort in, you most definitely can properly care for rabbits on a tight budget.
 

woahlookitsme

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sugarbunnies wrote:
They only get hay once a week? They need unlimited hay. I'm just wondering how they are healthy when only get fed hay once a week.

They just do? We meet their nutritional needs with the pellets. The hay once a week helps everything flow and we haven't had a problem. Our litters do get hay everyday. Also healthy rabbits are genetically bred to be that way. We are preached to never breed anything that gets sick. It is not worth loosing an entire herd for one rabbit that starts blowing snot or gets sick in other ways. I have always been told health is genetic and I see it in my herd.
 

dungeonbunnies

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Whoalookitsme, you're welcome. I found a recipe somewhere for heavy duty and organic cleaner, I'll try hunting that down too.

Everybody does things differently. That's key to remember.
 

cerigirl

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I Probably spend about $15 dollars a month on food for the 2 buns I have now. My dad and I by a 50lb bag of purina pellets for $11 dollars and store it in air tight containers. Between his 2 and my 2 it usually lasts us 3 months. The hay, we get from a family friend for nothing, it's the only hay I can use because I am allergic to store bought hay. I buy most of my veggies either from Aldi's or my local farm market but my buns don't get it all the time.
I really don't remember what I spent on Melody's big cage but Petals little one cost me $60 and their littler costs me $17 and lasts me about a 2 months.
 

mdith4him

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We have three rabbits. Over the last year, we've definitely spent around $1000 on NIC cage cubes, blankets/sheets, various bunny knick-knacks (some of which worked and some didn't), litter bins, toys, etc.

We buy 20lbs of pellets at a time ($32 each) and a 25lb bale of hay ($30 after shipping). We buy pellets every other month(ish) and the hay usually lasts about 3 months. That comes to about $312 a year on food (or about $26/month total; about $9/bunny/month). We also buy veggies for them. I usually spend about $5/week on the veggies (sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less) or about $20/month.

We've been buying wood pellets for litter. $6 for a bag that will last many months.

Vet bills have been high! Our rabbits have generally been quite healthy. Nibbles and Junie have only gone to the vet for neuter/spay and annual check ups. Crispin has been sick twice--one just a cold, then a GI stasis incident. Crispin's vet bills alone cost us around $800.
 

fuzz16

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I think the most expensive thing is the litter...until murphy came along then 600$ laaater in a month...litter still seems like the most expensive thing long term lol

otherwise if you buy hay and food in bulk and have an apple tree in the backyard then rabbits are faaar more affordable than dogs or cats honestly lol
 
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