I have had a number of friends ask me questions about Lionhead rabbits. Some just want to know more about the bunny as a pet option while others actually are planning to acquire Lionheads. One friend in particular came to me seeking to know more about the things she has to know and do before buying a Lionhead. I thought it weird since I knew that she owned a Lionhead already. However, she informed me that her Lionhead had died. Bobby as we fondly called him was just over one year old.
The vet confirmed that this once playful cuddly fellow had a defective gene that resulted from breeding siblings. At the time I didn’t know much about buying bunny breeds so I did some research to help out my girlfriend. If you are interested in acquiring a Lionhead, this guide should help you.
Finding the right place to buy your bunny
Breeders are the best places to get bunnies. However, you should be careful as everyone claiming to be a breeder isn’t one. Me friend had to learn this the hard way. Professional bunny breeders take pride in their work and don’t just breed rabbits for the money. To know whether a breeder is right for you, simply ask questions about their business. For example, how long they’ve been in business breeding Lionheads.
You should also ask about the Lionhead kit’s parents. Consider questions about lineage, diseases and, temperament. Breeders with no clue about this should be avoided.
Some breeders will charge a premium price for their bunnies. If you prefer a less expensive bunny, you can check out the various shelters housing them. Bunnies found here might be a bit older and you might not know much about their history. However, it’s a great way of adopting a cute fluffy creature that doesn’t have a home.
Knowing the ideal age
Lionheads reach maturity at around 5 months. They are usually weaned at around 6 weeks when they can be separated from their mother. However, if you want a young bunny, ensure that it’s at least 8 weeks old, at this age, you can know that the bunny has been properly weaned and can eat and digest food easily.
Lionheads, like other bunnies are prone to developing serious diseases which can lead to death. Two of these are myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease.
Myxomatosis is characterized by swelling and inflammation in the eyes, genital area, anus and face. This disease is caused by a virus and has no cure. Unvaccinated bunnies become infected if they are bitten by an infected flea. 12 days is the average time it takes for death to occur.
Viral haemorrhagic disease is also caused by a virus. Infected animals show symptoms such as bleeding from the nose, low appetite and fever. Some bunnies won’t show such symptoms and simply die without their owners knowing why. The virus is spread through direct contact between an unvaccinated bunny with an infected one.
When acquiring your Lionhead, ask whether it has been vaccinated against these diseases. If not, you should get the bunny vaccinated if you buy it. The vaccines for myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease are given at around 6 and 5 weeks after birth respectively.