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RABBITS

bunny

Check out this bunny's eye! It was a campground bunny in West Virginia!

Rabbits are such adorable critters, aren’t they? Warm, soft and cuddly and they seem to be in many parts of the world. Here in the United States we see about 14 different species of true rabbits. The most common one is the “eastern cottontail” which is actually seen in most parts of the country. Cottontails range in color from gray to brown and have large hind paws and ears. Did you know that rabbits do not sweat or pant? Their ears function as body heat regulators.

Most think that “pet” rabbits or more accurately, “domesticated” rabbits and wild rabbits are the same, but they are not. They are related, but wild rabbits are very, very hard to rehabilitate if found injured. Wild rabbits may live up to two years; however, in areas where there are a lot of predators, they seldom live more than a year. Their predators (that means the animals that will kill them) are skunks, opossums, hawks, owls and raccoons.

Rabbits are different from hares in several respects. First rabbits are born blind and hairless and most (not the cottontail rabbit) live underground in burrows. Hares are born with hair and able to see. Plus hares live in simple nests above the ground (just like the cottontail rabbit).

kits_in_box You can actually litter box train a pet rabbit, just like a cat. Rabbits do get startled or frightened very easily. In fact, sometimes when you are showing off your rabbit and it looks very calm, it is actually frightened! You must be very careful around babies! That’s why you must learn about them if you are going to have a pet rabbit.

Some people actually eat rabbits. But we know that Yahweh gave us some animals to eat, some to help us in our work, and some just to help His environment. The old word for an adult rabbit was “coney” or “cony” where “rabbit” only referred to a young animal. Now, we use the term “bunny” for a baby rabbit and sometimes even an adult rabbit. What does Yahweh have to say about the rabbits? Let’s look:

Leviticus 11:5-6 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

Gee, I don’t think I want to eat a rabbit OR a hare! There are several health issues connected with using rabbits for meat. One is the chance of getting Rabbit Fever (“Tularemia”) and another is something called “rabbit starvation” due to rabbit meat not having the essential fatty acids our bodies need. Yahweh knew better than any man what is good for us, didn’t He?

campground_bunny

Another West Virginia campground bunny!

 

 

So you know you don’t want to eat one, but what do they eat? Perhaps you want to get one as a pet. What kind of food would you need? They like Timothy hay and can eat as much as they want—it’s good for them. We mentioned they can be litter-trained like a cat so they could be kept inside the house. Your rabbit would like a pen or cage so they have a “safe” place. Most rabbits live, at least part of the time, in a hutch outside with easy to open hatches to get them in and out. They like to be outside for the sunshine during the day. You can even train a domestic rabbit to come when called!

Always remember, Yahweh made all the critters, large and small—some to eat, some to be eaten, and some to work for us—all for a reason and always in its season!

HalleluYAH!

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