How long rabbits live depends on what species and breed they belong to, and the conditions of detention. The nature of the diet and the susceptibility of the animal to seasonal diseases are also important. We can say that rabbits live on average about 5-6 years. With adequate care, correct selection of the cage, organization of living space, attentive attitude and timely veterinary care, the life span of the pet increases to 9 years.
What determines the lifespan of rabbits
There are a number of interrelated factors that affect how long these cute animals live. Among them are the following:
- heredity. One of the main factors influencing the life span of a rabbit is its pedigree, i.e. genetic component. It is important that the breeding process is properly organized in the breeder's estate or nursery. A responsible breeder separates families of pets and monitors the purity of the mating in order to obtain strong viable offspring without developmental disabilities.
- immunity and breed diseases. The next important condition, on the observance of which the quality and life time of rabbits depends, is the timely vaccination of animals and the prevention of myxomatosis in combination with viral hemorrhagic disease. Decorative rabbits are vaccinated with multifunctional vaccines. This is due to the fact that throughout life they are in direct contact with people. Vaccines help protect animals immediately from a complex of diseases. Usually one vaccine can protect pets from pasteurellosis, rabies, paraphytosis and listeriosis.
- care and timely care. Despite preventive measures, rabbits still remain very sensitive to any pathology and can die even from a mild infection. Therefore, the timely start of treatment is the first step towards increasing the life of the pet. In case of any deviation from usual behavior, lethargic or abnormal state of the animal, acute or mild symptoms, you should immediately contact your veterinarian, try to get specialist advice by phone or online and take initial measures. This moment especially strongly affects how old decorative rabbits live.
- microclimate. The quality of existence of the animal is significantly influenced by climatic conditions. Central heating radiators, air conditioners installed on heating, microwave ovens have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of rabbits. In the room, shed, any other room where the animal's cage or corral is located, it is imperative to install a thermometer and control the temperature. For species that live outdoors, it is important to avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight and frost. It is advisable to consult with the breeder from whom the pet was purchased regarding the conditions and temperatures that are familiar to him.
- freedom of movement. Adequate personal space is another important factor in extending the life of animals. The animal must be provided with the opportunity not only to move freely around the space of the corral, aviary or cage, this space must be bright and equipped, since these animals are oppressed by the excessive restriction of area and activity.You can release decorative rabbits for a walk under the supervision of the apartment, and even better - in the open air.
- psychological state. Another important point is communication. Rabbits need company, and not only owners, but also their own kind or other friendly-minded pets. According to statistics, animals that have contact with other animals live much longer. If owners do not have the financial or housing opportunity to have another animal, they should take care to establish communication between the rabbit and other friendly animals from time to time.
How old do rabbits live: wild, ordinary domestic and decorative
The wild rabbit that lives in northern Africa, southern Europe, Australia and New Zealand can live for 10-12 years. However, in fact, this lifespan is found only in individuals living in Australia, where the animals have no natural enemies. In other regions, animals in the wild are able to live up to 3-4 years. The reason for such a tangible difference is the presence of predators in the middle climatic zone and southern latitudes, breed diseases and a regular decrease in numbers due to hunting and the possibility of adverse weather conditions. Thus, how many years rabbits live in such circumstances is difficult to say unequivocally, this is determined by external circumstances.
A common average pet, an inhabitant of a summer cottage or a plot near a private house and a courtyard, whose breed is obtained by selection from a wild European or Australian rabbit, lives up to 4-5 years. This figure stands out given the fact that representatives of the so-called meat breed of hare-like animals prevail in nurseries and villages, which are simply not kept for longer. It is known that if such an animal is not slaughtered, a rabbit can live for 8 years. Neutered individuals live longer - up to 12 years.
So, how many years do decorative rabbits live at home? The oldest and most common - lop-eared ram and rex - live for about 7-8 years. They are unpretentious, well-selected (bred in the first quarter of the twentieth century), rarely get spontaneous injuries. But the animals of the colored dwarf rabbit breed are more gentle: they were finally formed by selection in 1945-1950. Short legs and body, combined with a cute asymmetry towards the heavier back half of the body and a short neck, look very petite, but increases the likelihood of injury, even if the rabbit lives in an apartment. They are also able to live up to 7 years, but in practice their average life span is 4-5 years.
How many rabbits live, depending on the habitat
In the natural environment, there are many phenomena and circumstances unfavorable for the life of rabbits: climatic anomalies, the presence of predators, lack of treatment and prevention of pathologies and infections, susceptibility to infection with parasites and viruses, seasonal hunting periods. At the same time, these representatives of the animal world have sufficient immunity. Taking into account the given examples, the animals live for about 3 years.
In domestic rabbits, even living in a private house, immunity is much weaker. However, human care, timely treatment and adequate care allow the animals to live for 6-7 years. There are even champions.
However, do not forget that a standing-eared rabbit that lives in a country house or plot is usually intended for household needs. Such animals are most often allowed to eat meat at 3-4 years old.
How long decorative rabbits live at home, when most of the time they live in a cage or a special aviary, depends on a number of factors. The specificity of selection and movement restriction reduce the average life expectancy.In standing-eared rabbits, it reaches 7 years, in lop-eared breeds, it is about 5 years. Dwarf species usually live for 6 years.
How to extend the life of a pet
So, if the owner wants his pet to live and delight the whole family for as long as possible, some rules should be followed.
- You need to choose a rabbit from the offspring of a nursery or breeder with a good reputation. Heredity is one of the determining factors affecting a baby's life expectancy, so it should not be ignored.
- It is useful to make sure that the baby is timely vaccinated and prevented from infestation with parasites.
- Care must be taken to ensure that the rabbit does not overheat and does not have to endure large temperature drops. You also need to protect the animal from drafts.
- Provide the pet with sufficient physical activity and space. You need to walk it up to 1 hour a day under supervision in the house or outside it.
- Stress should not be allowed. For such animals as rabbits, it is destructive. Do not drop or intimidate babies who are in their arms, beware of frequent changing places, placing rabbits near a constant source of noise or sudden loud noises. It is important to make sure that the pet does not feel lonely: take care of his interaction with someone else from the animal.
- It is important to ensure that your rabbit is hygienic. Wash the animal's drinker and bowls once a day, change food and water, filler, sawdust. Avoid "crowding" animals, excessive crowding of their residence.
If the owners take care of the observance of all the conditions listed above, you can count on the fact that the new friend will fully live the period measured for him.