Don’t get me wrong, we raise rabbits but given our experience there are a few reasons why maybe you shouldn’t. If you can handle all these things, by all means get some rabbits. If not though rabbits probably aren’t the best choice for you.
#1: You can’t chase after them
Rabbits are fast and when one (or more) get loose they are really difficult to catch. I have had more than my share of rabbit roundups and they can be really frustrating. If you can’t chase them, don’t buy them. I have literally spent hours and come inside hardly able to breathe after chasing after our rabbits on more than one occasion. You think you have the little critters cornered and they dart through the one inch opening you left on the other side. It takes brains and brawn to catch the things but you seriously need to be in shape.
#2: You can’t feed them consistently enough food
Rabbits can be a good source of meat and/or income on your homestead but only if you keep them alive. If you aren’t feeding them enough they will also try harder to escape in an attempt to get the food their bodies crave. If you don’t want to have a rabbit roundup you need to feed them enough and consistently. We increased the amount of rabbits we had for a while without dramatically increasing food supply and we ended up losing a couple rabbits. Lesson learned, give more than you think they need and when you add new rabbits to your homestead be generous. Also if you tend to go out of town frequently especially for more than one or two days at a time rabbits likely aren’t the best animal to have. You can sometimes find someone to watch a cat or dog but its less likely someone will want to pet sit a cage full of rabbits and keep up with feeding them.
#3: You get too attached to furry creatures
Unfortunately as with all things on the homestead the circle of life is in full swing even with these cute fuzzballs. They live and they die. Whether you kill them on purpose for food or they get loose and a predator gets them, you will lose some. If you can’t handle their deaths you may be too soft to really raise rabbits on a homestead. If you want one or two in a suburban apartment you might be able to keep your precious babies but likely not in a homestead situation.
#4: You can’t clean up after them
Rabbits poop A LOT. That honestly is my favorite feature of the little creatures. Their poop is not considered hot like the waste of some animals and therefore is wonderful to put directly onto the garden. Organic fertilizer at its finest! It requires scooping and dumping frequently though so their cage isn’t dirty. If the thought of poop makes you squeamish rabbits are probably not the best animal for you in any circumstances.
#5:You don’t have room for them to run
Rabbits like to hop. And run. And jump. They are constantly exercising. If you don’t have some room for them to run they will likely try a lot harder to run away. A good rule of thumb is to have a few square feet per rabbit so they can hop around. Encourage the bunny hop.
If you have room for them to run, can clean up after them, feed them well, deal with their deaths, and can chase them, by all means get a rabbit. If not please consider a different pet that may be better suited to your needs.