Quantcast

Can proper rabbit keeping be done on a budget?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Nancy McClelland

Larry
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2007
Messages
16,693
Reaction score
1,565
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Six bunnies. Orchard grass is $60 for a six month supply. Veggies are $5 a week, $10 a month for pellets, and $15 a month for treats. Probably $5 a month on average for toys, as the preponderance we have are paper rolls, bags and cardboard with the occasional apple or willow branch. They have a two story cardboard Castle/maze that I make and replace about every 3 months----one gigantic box with six more boxes fitted inside, and I have pics of the last one I made that I'll post soon. The biggest and most frightening expense is the vet visit which has been anywhere from $75 to $1200.
 

larryng

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
229
Reaction score
6
Location
Britain
The best way to avoid or at minimize your rabbit vet bill is

1) Choose a healthy rabbit.

2) Take very good care of your healthy rabbit.

3) There is no way get around spaying or neutering your rabbit at around six months of age. Spaying should cost around 200-250 dollars.

GI statis is 100% preventable with a pellet diet that have a high fiber content and lots and lots of hay.
 

caustin4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
200
Reaction score
2
Location
Bay area, California, USA
I have 5 rabbits. Housing is a sunk cost from years ago, so that doesn't really add in for me. Hay is '$15 for 4 months or so, and that shared with 10 buns.. My rabbits are on a mostly pellet free diet, so maybe $15 for 6 months of pellets. Veggies I get for free from local stores, so no cost there. Litter I spend $5 for 1-2 months of litter. I also use hay for the litter boxes. Then there are vet bills... 2 English lops= lots of ear infections, one of them will be getting her back teeth trimmed soon as well. One injury incident was about $1500-2000 8 months back. Never had gi stasis yet, so at least no cost for those bills. Besides the vet bills everything is SUPER cheap.
 

OakRidgeRabbits

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
2,422
Reaction score
397
Location
, Pennsylvania, USA
woahlookitsme wrote:
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.
Yeah, seems very frequent. :confused2:

The initial costs of housing is certainly one of the biggest bulk purchases, I think. After the supplies are purchased, rabbits are pretty inexpensive, even kept properly.

We feed Blue Seal Show Hutch Deluxe pellets and usually go through a bag or two a month ($20/bag). Hay costs about $6/month or less. I use pine shavings in the trays at about $5/bag/month or so.

All of the bunnies stay very healthy. :) I've had rabbits since 2001 and have had a pretty good number over the years, but only two serious health issues- one case of wool block in a rabbit I had just purchased, and one case of wry neck. Otherwise, they've been pretty easy kiddos! :)
 

mdith4him

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
564
Reaction score
3
Location
Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
We were surprised when Crispin had GI stasis. Our vet said it could have been due to stress. The day before we had taken all of them to get their nails clipped (he hates car rides) and the next day we had had maintenance guys come through our apartment to fix some things. Apparently it was loud (hammer banging, drills, etc.). Hubby got home just before they finished up, so there was nothing we could have done to move the buns (we didn't even know they were coming that day).
 

majorv

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
3,370
Reaction score
651
Location
Texas
woahlookitsme wrote:
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.
Keep in mind that good quality pellets are hay based...that's the first ingredient on the label. They get their hay through the pellets, in addition to some hay to eat.
 

Imbrium

Jennifer
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
6,162
Reaction score
1,120
Location
Houston, Texas
the main difference between hay in pellets and actual hay is how good actual hay is for the teeth - pellets are very easy to chew, whereas hay and veggies require different chewing motions that go a long way towards helping to wear the teeth down.
 

whitelop

Morgan
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
3,930
Reaction score
510
Location
York, South Carolina, USA
Imbrium wrote:
the main difference between hay in pellets and actual hay is how good actual hay is for the teeth - pellets are very easy to chew, whereas hay and veggies require different chewing motions that go a long way towards helping to wear the teeth down.
Its actually the fiber length between the hay and pellets. Hay has long fiber thats indigestible and helps move everything through the gut. The pellets have short pulverized fiber, while its still fiber; it doesn't help to move everything through as well.

But chances are, the way that Vicki/Sarah feed their rabbits is fine for them. The rabbits digestive flora have probably gotten used to the way they feed and the rabbits are fine. They have their rabbits for a particular reason and that is show/breeding.
Everyone feeds differently, their way of feeding isn't my way and my way may not be someone elses way. They clearly don't have sick buns, so they must be doing right by their herd.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,886
Reaction score
3,375
Location
Utah, , USA
whitelop wrote:
Its actually the fiber length between the hay and pellets. Hay has long fiber thats indigestible and helps move everything through the gut. The pellets have short pulverized fiber, while its still fiber; it doesn't help to move everything through as well.

But chances are, the way that Vicki/Sarah feed their rabbits is fine for them. The rabbits digestive flora have probably gotten used to the way they feed and the rabbits are fine. They have their rabbits for a particular reason and that is show/breeding.
Everyone feeds differently, their way of feeding isn't my way and my way may not be someone elses way. They clearly don't have sick buns, so they must be doing right by their herd.
Well said Morgan! We all have different ideas of what is best for our buns. What we all have in common, I think, is that we all care about our rabbits, and try to take good care of them.

Though pellets are made from hay, the fiber in them is a little different. Pellets are a bit like cooked veggies. They're still good for you in a different way than fresh, but not as good as fresh because the cooking changes the veggies. It's kind of the same with pellets. They go through a heating process. So while they still have fiber, the fiber is different than it would be in dried 'uncooked' hay.

I personally have lost track of what I spend on rabbits. I try to make a lot of things myself, but it still feels like I spend everything I have on them. Must love those little critters:) I used to have a horse and all I know is that even with all my rabbits, they are A LOT cheaper than a horse! One bale of hay will last my 10 rabbits 2-3 months, probably 1 1/2 months if that was all I fed them, and that's even with all the wasted hay I end up throwing out every day. 1 bale of hay lasts 4 days at the most with a horse.
 

Luv-bunniz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
1,334
Reaction score
2
Location
, , United Kingdom
My preference is to give rabbits unlimited hay and very little concentrate/pellet/mix, but I know many people (particularly breeders and showers) who keep their rabbits on a entirely pellet diet with no hiccups. I think it's very much a personal preference thing and, if it's not causing negative effects on the rabbit, I see no reason for that to change.


Luv-bunniz wrote:
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
My bad, this was supposed to say
1x 15kg rabbit mix every 8 weeks OR
1x 20kg rabbit pellet every 8 weeks

My guys get barely any concentrates.
 

majorv

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
3,370
Reaction score
651
Location
Texas
Imbrium wrote:
the main difference between hay in pellets and actual hay is how good actual hay is for the teeth - pellets are very easy to chew, whereas hay and veggies require different chewing motions that go a long way towards helping to wear the teeth down.
I don't meanto hijack the thread, but Ithink that chewing pelletsplays a bigger part in keeping the teeth worn down than you might think. Pellets areour rabbits' staple diet, with hay thrown in1-2 times a week. We've had several rabbits who ranged in age from 3-5 years old and nonehave teeth problems.


 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,886
Reaction score
3,375
Location
Utah, , USA
majorv wrote:
Imbrium wrote:
the main difference between hay in pellets and actual hay is how good actual hay is for the teeth - pellets are very easy to chew, whereas hay and veggies require different chewing motions that go a long way towards helping to wear the teeth down.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I think that chewing pellets plays a bigger part in keeping the teeth worn down than you might think.  Pellets are our rabbits' staple diet, with hay thrown in 1-2 times a week.  We've had several rabbits who ranged in age from 3-5 years old and none have teeth problems.

 
You may have a point. I feed my rabbits limited pellets, unlimited timothy hay, and some sort of wood twig to chew on once or twice a week, and when I took two of my girls in for their spays, I had the vet check their teeth while they were asleep, and they both had sharp points on their back teeth. One rabbit was 7 yrs., one was 5 mo. So I thought I was doing everything right to keep their teeth worn down, and they still got sharp points.
 

BlueCamasRabbitry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
5,067
Reaction score
9
Location
Thurston County, Washington, USA
I spend $10 on a bale of hay, and one bale lasts 2 or so months with 2 rabbits.

Pellets are around $20 per 50# bag and that as well lasts around 2 months.

I do not take my rabbits to the vet, therefore I do not have any vet bills. I home treat all illnesses, etc. GI Stasis is a very good example of something you can treat at home if you know how to.

Emily
 

Ape337

April
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
703
Reaction score
57
Location
Delaware, USA
To be perfectly honest I don't know how much my bunnies cost me. I have 3. All 3 were unwanted bunnies so I didn't have any from baby age. They get unlimited hay (oxbow) which is in bags of varying sizes from concord pet supply. I feed several kinds. When one type gets low we buy a fresh bag. I feed Timothy, orchard, meadow, oat, botanical, and alfalfa (freckles only). Humma and Faith get oxbow bene terra organic pellets, when the bag gets low I buy more. Some toys I buy, some are household items like toilet paper rolls. Humma and Faith get veggies 2x a day, dawn/dusk, 3 types a day off of the hrs website list.

Vet bills are a lot. Faith is healthy, she went to the vet after she was given to me (for a check up), then for spaying. She will go again in January for her yearly check-up.
Humma is healthy, goes for his yearly in dec or jan. had one stasis episode when I left a bag of kale in his room and he ate the entire bag. That's a mistake I only made once.

Freckles is chronically ill, and has been since we adopted him in late July. He has topped $1,000 so far, and his bills will continue until he is well. Bouts of GI stasis, cecal dysbiosis, anemia, ulcer, weight loss. Lots of meds, alfalfa and critical care to put on weight. Hasn't had any food but hay and critical care since early September, but he still gets stasis.

So, if you buy hay by the bale, pellets in bulk, and comparison shop for veggies (if you feed them), I think you could keep it pretty cheap. Vet bills just depend on the bunny. Quite frankly if I chose not to take Freckles to the vet he would be dead by now.
 

Latest posts

Top