It’s a fact that the vast majority of rabbits do better with a friend. From what I gather it’s because in the wild they live in large groups, and are very sociable with other bunnies. They like to groom each other, play, cuddle up to keep warm etc. All fairly typical stuff and something Flymo can’t do because he’s currently living on his own :(
Karl and I have been discussing getting a friend for Flymo and have decided to go ahead with it. We won’t need a bigger hutch or peripherals because we’ve got all that stuff already, so the only ongoing costs are food (negligible as our animals are on the grass most of the day) and vets bills – vaccinations, castration etc – that are accounted for in our savings. We could even save a little bit by getting a rescue bunny which would be spayed and vaccinated (donation costs usually work out less than total castration+vaxx costs).
Indeed, a rescue bunny is actually a better idea overall because then we can get one roughly the same age as Flymo and don’t have to worry as much about one dying before the other and we’d be giving a bunny in need a good home. However, therein lies a small problem: we appear to have very few rescue centres nearby and the one main RSPCA place has “not suitable for children under 5″ listed on all their adverts (or in some cases, 7 or higher!)
I can understand that some animals are timid and are not suited to the boistrous behaviour of a toddler, and that some parents buy animals for their kids only for them to lose interest within a couple of weeks, but neither of those apply here. For starters, the animals are never left with the kids unsupervised and always have hiding places to go to when they’re out, and secondly the animals here aren’t FOR them (they play no part in cleaning them out etc at this stage.)
Hopefully we’ll be able to have a chat with the centre and get some flexibility on that rule, or otherwise we’ll have to look elsewhere. Either way, our zoo is about to increase in size again!