About Us!


Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Is your bunny obese?

 The rabbit's digestive system is evolved to eat only grass and vegetable matter- the farther you stray from its design specifications, the more trouble the bunny gets into. Plenty of good quality hay for roughage should be the major portion of your rabbit's diet, and many rabbits can live well with just hay to eat. Sounds boring, so we add in tons of greens and veggies, pelleted diets, and sneak in treats like Cheerios and fruit. As a result, the most common GI problem in rabbits is obesity, which causes a number of health difficulties in rabbits.

* First, an unhealthy (and unnatural) diet leads to chronically softer stools, as the gut is not good at handling the refined foods being fed. This results in smeared floors and is one of the causes of the affliction kindly known as "poopy butt".

*Female rabbits will also grow an enormous dewlap, which may become chronically wet from drinking and develop skin infections.

*Some rabbits suffer from arthritis with age, and being overweight only makes the problem come on earlier and with greater severity.

How do you know if your bunny is fat?
Many house rabbits are, and they are not at all embarrassed by it! Rabbits store fat inside their abdomen, which makes just eyeballing them for love handles ineffective. Run your hands along your rabbit's side, feeling the rib cage. When you reach the end of the ribs, your should be able to feel a slight inward slope, the waist. Fat bunnies will balloon out instead. Remember that the ribs are palpable in even quite obese rabbits, so don't let your bunny fool you into more snacks!




Obesity in rabbits and other pets has been associated with such medical disorders as myiasis (fly strike), pododermatitis (sore hocks) and gastrointestinal stasis and ileus, and exacerbates the pain and reduced mobility associated with arthritis.
 Heath problems associated with obesity are increasingly being recognized in dogs and cats, but public awareness of this issue in house rabbits has not been widely recognized.

Despite the progress made in educating owners that rabbits should eat a diet of hay, leafy greens and limited amounts of high fiber pellets, most of the rabbit ‘treats’ sold in the pet stores contain unhealthy amounts of sugars and starches; even the pellets often contain bits of junk food which many rabbits pick out and eat, leaving the healthier pellets behind. Many individuals equate food with love, constantly offering their rabbits high-fat,/high-sugar snacks.



Too, it can be more difficult for rabbit owners (as compared to cat or dog owners) to recognize signs of overweight in their pet. It can be visually difficult to determine if your rabbit is obese, and different breeds of rabbits have slight differences in body shape. Many owners perceive their rabbit’s weight as being just fine, when in fact the rabbit is obese.
Early signs of exercise intolerance and difficulties with mobility associated with obesity are not as easily identified in rabbits as they are in dogs and cats. On the other hand, female rabbits may have a very good BCS and yet some will naturally have a very large dewlap which can make them appear overweight. The best bet in determining if your bunny is of an appropriate weight is to take your rabbit for at least an annual checkup to a bunny-savvy veterinarian.

Get your bunny in for a checkup.
Follow your veterinarians recommendations as to an appropriate weight for your bunny and how to achieve this.  
Avoid all the unhealthy junk treats sold by the pet stores, which not only make bunny fat but promote unhealthy bacteria in the gut, increasing the chances of potentially-fatal GI stasis. If you want to offer your rabbit treats now and then (not entirely a bad idea, as refusal or acceptance of treats is one way to gauge whether bunny has an upset stomach or not) offer them healthy treats.  
A half a grape or a thin slice of banana is a fine treat. Purchase natural (no added sugar or preservatives) dried fruits or dry your own (but offer these in minuscule amounts, as drying concentrates the natural fruit sugars).
Oxbow dried fruit treats for rabbits are sold locally at PetCare Solutions, or you can buy dried fruits at Liberty Market or dry your own. In the summer, grow your own herbs, plantain and thistle – bunnies regard these high-fiber 'weeds' as fine treats, and they can also be dried for winter use.
 
Encourage exercise.
Change their toys around, switch out hiding boxes for cardboard tunnels – anything to add interest and get your bunny exploring his surroundings.  

Play games with your bunny.
Try putting his pellets in a Go Cat Go toy so he gets exercise while he gets his pellets!

Never withhold food from your rabbit; they have to eat constantly to keep that gut moving and avoid GI stasis. Do feed your rabbit unlimited hay and water 24/7, limit the treats, and get them moving! 


                              PET-SIZE-O-METER:
http://www.pfma.org.uk/_assets/images/general/file/PFMA%20Rabbit%20PSOM%20Final%20Web%20Version%20070809%281%29.pdf 





For further reading:
http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/obese.shtml
http://www.examiner.com/article/is-your-bunny-obese?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Monday, February 22, 2016

Where do domesticated rabbits come from?

Ever wondered who first looked at rabbits and thought “I want one!”? I did a bit of web digging (or should that be burrowing?) and found an interesting history of pet rabbits. I thought I’d share it with you:

Fossil records suggest that Lagomorpha evolved in Asia at least 40 million years ago, during the break-up of continents.This breakup may be responsible for the wide distribution of differing species of rabbits and hares around the world, with the exception of Australia. There are currently more than 60 recognized breeds of domestic rabbit in Europe and America, all of them descended from the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the only species of rabbit to have been widely domesticated.

The European wild rabbit evolved around 4,000 years ago on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain meaning 'land of the rabbits'). When the Romans arrived in Spain around 200BC keeping the rabbits in fenced enclosures. Trade helped to introduce the European rabbit into many more parts of Europe and Asia, and with their rapid reproduction rate, and the increasing cultivation of land providing ideal habitat, rabbits soon established large populations in the wild, becoming widespread in North America and Australia.




In the fifth century, the wild European rabbit was first domesticated by French monks in the Champagne region of France. The Normans brought rabbits to England in the 12th century. 
In Britain, about 9 centuries after the introduction, rabbits became kind of an economic asset (fur and meat). They were kept in walled enclosures (as the Romans did) and those enclosures were called warrens.        

The British rabbit population quickly increased in the 1700's. Why? Well, that is the time when hedges were used to surround fields and of course the rabbits soon realized that these hedges were a perfect place to live. So Mr & Mrs Rabbit decided to make their burrow right next to these fields and food! How clever is that!















Of course, since that time, rabbits were regarded as either a meal or a pest. In the Victorian times the idea of pet rabbits took off. 

Up until the 19th century, domestic rabbits had been bred purely for their meat and fur, but during the Victorian era, many new 'fancy' breeds were developed for the hobby of breeding rabbits for showing. Although many of these rabbits were bred for meat, it became increasingly common among the rising middle classes to keep rabbits as pets. Rabbits were connected with the countryside and the animals they had left behind, and were considered sentimental. 

 Over in the US, the Belgian hare was the first domesticated rabbit and rabbitry became popular in the early 1900's. Belgian Hares were imported from England in 1888. Strangely, the Belgian hare is now fairly rare in the USA (a survey mentions there are less than 200 Belgian hares remaining ...)























By the 20th century, rabbit breeding had become a popular hobby across Europe, with many rabbit fanciers developing new varieties and colors. Some breeds, such as the Himalayan and Rex, came about as the result of naturally-occuring genetic mutations which were then fixed or enhanced through a selective breeding program while others were developed through cross-breeding.
Domestic rabbitry did not become popular in the United States until around the turn of the century, when many European breeds began to be imported, and breeders also developed some American breeds.
This is when the American Rabbit Breeders Association Inc. stepped up to provides unification within its members throughout North America and the world.

Their organizational roots can be traced back over 100 years when, in 1910, the National Pet Stock Association came into being in response to the skyrocketing popularity of the Belgian Hare (actually a domestic rabbit - not a true hare), that had come on the scene around 1890. Over the years, the ARBA has grown and evolved into its present identity - enhancing, through its membership, high standards of perfection, efficiency and cooperation between all phases of the rabbitry industry; the all encompassing objective remaining the promotion of the domestic rabbit and cavy.



Today there are currently 47 accepted rabbit breeds by ARBA and 13 accepted cavy breeds.(Guinea Pigs)



During the last 30 years or so, attitudes towards rabbits as pets have been undergoing a gradual shift. The promotion of rabbit welfare is fostering a greater understanding of rabbits; from their basic needs to their intelligence, personality and behavior. Rabbits are increasingly seen in the same way as cats and dogs, as a rewarding companion or family pet, and provided with the same level of care and attention, from routine vaccinations and healthcare, to greater freedom and interaction with their owners. 




Rabbits And Their Teeth - They Need a Dentist Too!

No Bark, All Bite

Anyone who’s found gnaw marks on the legs of their dining room table, or discovered a series of holes on the underside of their box spring, knows how powerful a tool bunny jaws can be. And while we might bemoan our rabbits’ tendency to chew on anything and everything, it’s important to realize how dental health affects your bunny in other ways.



Rabbits have 28 teeth, just like most humans, but they’re configured a little differently. The most visible teeth, the incisors, are the ones that can do the most damage. They’re designed to grab food and cut it, but they also grab and cut a lot of other things like telephone and electrical cords!



You’ll probably never see your rabbit’s back teeth, or molars. They do the hard work of grinding down the hay and veggies you feed your rabbit. In a healthy rabbit’s mouth, they also grind against each other, to maintain the proper length.




Photo courtesy of : http://izjustagirl.blogspot.ca/2012/10/rabbit-teeth.html (Thank you!)





When the teeth don’t fit together properly, it’s called malocclusion. Malocclusion of the incisors can make it impossible for your bunny to eat. It’s relatively easy to examine the incisors by holding your rabbit gently and pulling her top lip back. Check to make sure the teeth are not loose or uneven, and that the gums are a healthy pink.

Molars can grow sharp spines, called spurs. You won’t be able to see this yourself, because those teeth are so far back. There are clues, however, that you can keep an eye out for. If your rabbit seems to be drooling, if there’s any swelling or pain at the jawline, or if you notice a sudden decrease in food intake, call your vet, who will look inside your bunny’s mouth with a tool called an otoscope.
Rabbit dentistry can fix a variety of tooth issues, but early detection is crucial. Have your rabbit’s mouth and teeth inspected by a bunny-savvy vet at least once a year, more often if she’s had problems in the past. And always provide your rabbit with safe objects to chew, like cardboard, untreated wood, and pinecones.

**********************

Never trim the overgrown incisors of your rabbit with a pair of small wire cutter or with nail clippers !!!
It is painful, crude and, sooner or later, a source of serious dental problems !!!




Correction of dental disorders should be done by an experienced veterinarian only
In the case dental disease is suspected or observed, the oral examination made on a conscious rabbit should be accompanied by a general examination of the rabbit, an ophthalmologic examination and examination of the oral cavity under full anesthesia, accompanied by radiography of the skull under various angles, in order to assess the health of the teeth roots and the periodontal tissue, infection, the presence of an abscess or development of osteomyelitis (bone inflammation).





The oral cavity of a rabbit is small and requires the use of incisor gags for proper visualization (Photo: Veterinary Exotic Information Network)










 Using specific dentistry tools is of utmost importance (Photo: Veterinary Exotic Information Network)










Set of tools used by a veterinarian for rabbit dentistry






The size of the oral cavity of the rabbit is small, and motion range of the jaws is limited. This makes examination of the oral cavity with an othoscope on a conscious rabbit difficult. Dental problems or lesions can easily be overlooked. The full evaluation of dental problems and their treatment (trimming of incisors, coronal reduction, etc) is only possible on an anesthesized rabbit, using proper instruments like incisor gags and cheek pouch retractors, or a table top gag... If the case that a rabbit is allergic to an anesthetic drug or anesthesia is not possible due to health problems, trimming of overgrown incisors can be done on a conscious but sedated rabbit.
Incisors and molars have a high growth rate, about 11-12 cm a year throughout the life of a rabbit. This means that trimming of abnormally growing incisors may be needed every 4 to 6 weeks, sometimes even every 3 weeks. Surgical removal of the incisors may be an option to avoid regular visits to the veterinarian, more so to avoid the onset of soft tissue damage, abscesses and/or secondary problems like dacryocystitis and blockage of the sinuous nasolachrymal duct. Regrowth of the removed tooth is rare.

A visit to the vet for a dental check-up:





Footnotes and further reading:
http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/Dental_diseases/Treatment/Clipping.htm
http://rabbitsanctuary.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/no-bark-all-bite/#comment-234

Friday, February 19, 2016

Outdoor Hutch vs Housebuns - Why Indoor is Better For The Bunny

Most rabbit rescues or serious bun-lovers know how loving, intelligent and yet how fragile companion rabbits can be. A long time ago, when rabbits were only considered as food sources, they were kept in outdoor hutches until that fateful day came. Later, some people started making pets from the animals and it was just thought that they would live the same way as their not-so-fortunate relatives.


Thankfully, many companion rabbits have moved indoors where they live much longer and much healthier and happier lives. We now know the importance of spaying and neutering which also makes them much better suited to indoor living and removes many undesirable behaviors. For a creature as intelligent and social as the domesticated rabbit, living outdoors in a hutch is a lonely existence. Those rabbits rarely get to run around and use those powerful back-leg muscles or binky (happy dance) and will often just waste away their lives sitting in a boring hutch. They face extreme temperature fluctuations, urine scaldfly strike and other parasites, boredom and lack of attention. Winter climates can be very difficult for outdoor rabbits. Many rabbits die from renal failure or dehydration/hypothermia due to lack of fresh water. Water freezes within minutes and a rabbit can not get adequate water consumption from snow or ice.
 
Lack of attention often leads to a rabbits’ demise. Often there are subtle symptoms which indicate health trouble, but because the outdoor hutch rabbit may only be seen briefly every 24 hours, the symptoms go unnoticed and the rabbit declines. Being a prey species, it is natural behavior for a rabbit to hide his/her
 illness so they do not draw a predator’s attention. 





People who share their home with rabbits, know what is normal or abnormal behavior with their rabbit and will act promptly to seek proper treatment. Because companion house rabbits become actual members of the home, these caretakers will not think twice about seeking veterinary attention or any costs incurred to help their long eared family member. So unless you are a commercial rabbitry, we highly encourage you to house your rabbit indoors. Most cat and dog rescues/shelters want indoor homes for their adoptable pets as well. Being that cat and dogs are predator species, it only makes sense to keep prey species bunny, safe inside.












Predators are a huge risk to outdoor rabbits. Whether it is a raccoon, hawk, coyote or the neighbors dog, many outdoor rabbits are victims of awful attacks. Rabbits can die from the perceived threat of a predator, they can go into shock and they can die of fright. Some rabbits may go ballistic inside their hutch trying to get away and fatally harm themselves.
If you want a companion rabbit but are considering an outdoor hutch, please reconsider having a rabbit.




Here are some links to help you with building a proper indoor home for Bunny:

NIC and X-Pen Cages
 http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/10/indoor-rabbit-cages-good-bad-and-ugly.html?m=0

How to Build a Rabbit Condo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bLUDLbZYr4













Shopping List For Bunny:
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/p/v-behaviorurldefaultvmlo_7.html




*********************************************************************
Fly Strike:
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/06/fly-strike-in-rabbits.html
http://www.vetrica.com/rabbitcare1.html

Heat Exhaustion:
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2014/07/bunny-overheating-heat-exhaustion.html

Urine Scald:
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2013/06/urine-scald-rabbits.html


Bunnies in the Winter Cold:
http://hopline.org/rabbit-health-and-care/bunny-its-cold-outside/

Domestic bunnies released into wild & yards:
http://www.thebunnyhut101.com/2015/02/why-pet-rabbits-will-die-if-released.html

Footnotes:
http://www.rirabbits.org/Rabbit_Care/rabbit_care.html

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dispelling the Myths



Dispelling the Rabbit Myths






Myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about rabbits are a rescue’s worst enemies. These ideas have caused countless of people to impulsively buy rabbits without the real knowledge of rabbits as pets.

Myth# 1: Rabbits are great low-maintenance, starter pets.
Truth: Rabbits are anything but low-maintenance. Their housing needs regular (almost daily) cleaning, fresh food and water, and a daily salad should be offered. Rabbits are prone to a couple health concerns that may require special care. If rabbits are not closely monitored with a watchful eye, heath issues can go unnoticed.

Myth# 2: Rabbits love to be picked up and cuddled.
Truth: Although some tolerate handling quite well, most rabbits do not enjoy being picked up and help. Rabbits that are mishandled or insecure will scratch and bite in order to free themselves. Some rabbits will develop aggressive behaviors such as biting and lunging if not approached correctly.

Myth# 3: Rabbits are happiest living outdoors in a hutch.
Truth: Rabbits love being house pets and often have a longer lifespan when housed indoors. Rabbits who are housed outdoors are at risk of developing heat stroke in the summer, picking up a number of parasites, and being attacked by predators such as dogs or raccoons. An outdoor rabbit is easily ignored and forgotten about.

Myth# 4: Rabbits do not require a lot of space.
Truth: Rabbits are very active creatures and require plenty of space to keep them entertained and healthy. Rabbits confined to small cages develop serious behavior problems and health concerns such as obesity and muscle atrophy.

Myth# 5: Rabbits do not require vet care.
Truth: It is true that rabbits do not require vaccinations like dogs and cats. However, rabbits need regular veterinary checkups to ensure their good health. Rabbits are prey animals and hide illnesses and injuries very well. By the time you notice a problem, it may be too late.

Myth# 6: Rabbits are dirty and have a strong odor. 
Truth: Rabbits are naturally very neat animals and, when altered, litter box train very easily. A litter box that is scooped out daily will emit little to no odor. Rabbit droppings are easy to pick up and are odorless.
                                  
Myth# 7: Rabbits do not need a lot of attention.
Truth: Rabbits can not be left alone for more than 12 hours without someone checking on them. It doesn’t take long for a rabbit to get into trouble or have a life threatening medical problem. When a rabbit doesn’t eat for more than 12 hours, their body will release toxins that can eventually kill them. Rabbits need regular interaction and attention.

Myth# 8: Rabbits make greats pets for children.
Truth: Rabbits and children mix like oil and water. Rabbits are easily stressed by energetic children and children often lose interested or become frighten when bitten or scratched.

http://redbarnrabbitrescue.org/bunnyguide/myths.html

Friday, February 12, 2016

Social Life of Bunnies- Bonding, Losing Mates, & Mourning

Are rabbits social?

 The wild relatives of our domesticated rabbits live in warrens of 20-40 rabbits. They're VERY social animals and can learn to socialize with species as different [from them] as humans but typically prefer the company of other rabbits. 

What's special about bonded rabbits?

Rabbits mate for life (though very rarely, bonded rabbits do 'divorce'). Bonded rabbits will groom, cuddle and offer emotional support when when their partner is frightened, sick or stressed. Many minor health complaints (like runny eyes, dirty ears, etc.) can be improved with a bonded friend. These relationships improve your rabbits' physical and emotional health.

Why shouldn't I separate my bonded rabbits?

Bonds between rabbits are much stronger than typical bonds between pairs of dogs or cats. Major health problems can arise in the wake of a separation including GI stasis due to depression induced anorexia. Emotionally speaking, separating bonded rabbits is stressful and cruel. It isn't recommended unless necessary for medical reasons and they should be reunited as soon as possible.



What will happen if my rabbit's mate passes?

 Rabbits mourn in a variety of ways (not unlike other social creatures like humans, dolphins or elephants) ranging from anger to denial to depression. Some rabbits stop eating, others become aggressive or defensive and others start sleeping more than normal. Some seek attention from their humans, others stop socializing altogether. This rabbit sat vigil with her mate's body for hours and protested when her humans finally had to take him away. (thanks to DK and KJ for the image)


What if my bunny's mate just 'disappears'?

If your deceased bunny's body isn't available for their mate to spend a few hours with (due to disease or state of the body) or he's separated from his mate, understand that your bunny will take longer to adjust to the loss because he might think that his mate will return and won't begin mourning until he's sure his mate is gone forever. This state of limbo might be characterized by lethargy and reduced appetite. These rabbits might also check their mate's favorite hiding spots to see if they've returned.


How can I help my rabbit mourn?

Let your rabbit spend some time with their mate's body. This rabbit is watching over his mate's body. This will help to reduce the time that a rabbit mourns after their mate passes as the surviving bunny will understand that his or her mate is really not going to return. Your rabbit might be aggressive or antisocial in the weeks after their mate has gone. Just be patient as they heal. (thanks to DK and KJ for the image)

 What about vet visits?

 If you board your rabbits when you travel or go to the vet, make sure that your bonded rabbits stay together. Separating bonded mates can result in resentment and fighting when they're reunited. Having their mate's emotional support during a car ride and in a strange place can reduce the amount of stress that both your rabbits experience.

Does my solo rabbit need a friend?

It is rare that a rabbit doesn't want company. Bonded rabbits are generally happier, healthier and less likely to get into trouble than their solo counterparts (i.e. they'll be too busy socializing to chew on your furniture). Boredom and loneliness are common causes of misbehavior in solo bunnies. If your solo bunny is having behavioral problems or other signs of loneliness or boredom, consider taking them to you local shelter for some speed dating.

Should I adopt one rabbit or two?

If you have the option, adopting bunnies that have already bonded will give you the great reward of twice the love, cute cuddling, emotional health improvements and not worrying that your bunny is lonely when you're sleeping or working. Two rabbits do mean twice the vet bills and twice the food, but the maintenance is about the same.


Is bonding rabbits hard?


 Bonding rabbits can be an arduous task. Love at first sight is rare. 'Easy' bonds can take 7-10 days. 'Regular' difficulty bonds take 3-4 months of daily bonding exercises. The most difficult bonds can take 6 months or more. Bonding exercises themselves can be time consuming and stressful for humans. Some rescues and veterinarians will bond your rabbits for a fee. Once formed, these bonds are very durable.

How do I pick a mate for my rabbit?

Unless you want a big headache, you should let your rabbit pick his or her mate. Speed dating at your local shelter is the best way to find a rabbit that your bunny has chemistry with and can reduce the difficulty of bonding significantly. He or she won't care about a new best friend's size, shape, color or gender. We could all learn a lesson from bunnies.

What if I can't afford another rabbit?

 Consider fostering a rabbit from your local shelter. Even if they can't interact directly, the initial scuffles that many rabbits display when meeting new rabbits are often followed by social interactions that can have many of the emotional and health benefits of being bonded. Just be aware that if your foster rabbits are adopted, being separated (even though these relationships aren't usually as strong as bonds between pairs) might cause depression in your solo rabbit.

How much will they miss their neighbor?

 The strength of the less intense bonds that form between bunnies in neighboring pens shouldn't be underestimated. This bunny mourned the passing of his 'through the fence' friend to the point that his bunny parent worried he was ill. Once he made a new bunny friend, he sprang back to life. (thanks to RS for the image)

What if my vet says my rabbit shouldn't be bonded?

 Some solo rabbits might not be bonded for physical or emotional reasons but this doesn't necessarily mean that they won't benefit from company. Being separated by mesh can make better neighbors while allowing them to have company whenever you're working or sleeping.

What about non-rabbit friends for my solo bunny?

Rabbits can form strong bonds with their human, dogs, cats, rats, horses and stuffed animals to name a few. While none of these can substitute for a bunny friend, these social interactions do make bunnies happier and healthier. Just watch predator species for signs of hunting instincts when making introductions. The stress of being hunted and batted around won't improve your rabbit's quality of life. Also, check with your vet for diseases that can be transmitted between species (deadly septicemia from cats, for example) to reduce risk of harming either animal.

Is bonding rabbits worth it?

Yes.

 

 Footnotes:
Thank you Christie!!
http://imgur.com/a/HT9GQ#2jVGsgi

 

 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Pet Rabbits Will Die if Released into the Wild!

Domesticated Rabbits are NOT meant for the Wild!
(The most common true realities in pictures are posted at the bottom of this article)



  If you ever find yourself wondering if your rabbit would be "happier" if you turned it loose in the wild, please bear in mind that a wild rabbit comes camouflaged to blend in with his habitat. What color is your rabbit? I actually know someone who used to release her "extra" rabbits into the wild, without giving any thought to the fact that a black and white domestic rabbit was going to be very easily spotted by predators.

What's more, the rabbit's babies will be a virtual smorgasbord for stray cats, hawks, etc. They will be more visible than wild rabbits and too small to defend themselves at all and even too small to be able to cover as much ground as an adult when running for cover. This same person told me she cried whenever the neighbors cat killed one of her bunnies. Clearly, this is a case of someone having good intentions but poor insights.

Need another reason for not releasing into the wild? 
Think about the environment you are releasing the rabbit into. For example, the person mentioned above was releasing domestic rabbits into an environment inhabited by jack rabbits. If you've ever watched a jack rabbit, then you know they are much larger, much better at detecting approaching intruders, and very, very fast. Domestic rabbits more closely resemble "bush bunnies" which depend on thickets and dense brush to hide from predators. Clearly the domestic rabbits were ill suited for the habitat into which she was releasing them.

 


Next, consider how you would cope, released suddenly "into the wild" -- or your dog or cat. An animal accustomed to being cared for by humans does not instantly adjust to the dangers and challenges that it's wild cousins have grown up coping with from birth.  (For one thing they had the advantage of watching their mother and older siblings example.)

Lastly, there is the environmental impact of releasing domesticated animals into a wild habitat. Habitat destruction, competition with native species-- all may result from introducing a non-native domesticated animal.  Just by turning your domestic rabbit loose in the wild, you could be contributing to the extinction of native species.  Other species throughout the food web, both plant and animal, predator and prey, will bear the impact as well.

In short, be a responsible pet owner. Spay and neuter your pets and/or find responsible loving homes for their offspring.  And if you truly must "get rid" of them, visit your local animal shelter or humane society.  They will treat your rabbit with tender loving care and put it up for adoption. 

And remember, although with some shelters their is a risk of your animal being "put down" or "put to sleep" if never adopted, your rabbit will still have much better odds of survival than if you release it into the wild.  And what's more, being put to sleep is still a gentler fate than being attacked by wild animals or free roaming local dogs.


Here is the reality of a released domestic rabbit- the hunter doesn't know the difference in "wild or domestic". He only knows DINNER. - IF they don't starve to death first....