This list is meant for first time bunny owners or for people wanting to know more about how to keep a happy and healthy bunny. Enjoy!
1. Never keep a bunny alone! Bunnies are group animals who should always be kept in pairs or in a group. Just look at rabbits in the wild, they always live in a big group. If you keep your bunny alone, it is like torture for the animal. He might start to nibble on the cage bars, sit in corners not moving for hours, not eating enough, among other things. Also don't pair a rabbit up with a guinea pig, these animals don't understand each others ways and cannot communicate in any way.
2. Make sure you are feeding your bunny right. Those colorful store bought bunny food packages is not a suitable food source for a bunny. It usually contains sugar, coloring, corn and wheat. Bunnies are in most cases allergic to these ingredients or they cannot digest them well. Most bunnies get teeth problems from these dry foods and you have to go every now and then to the vet to shorten their teeth. This is very pricey and you usually have to sedate the rabbit which is always very risky. Bunnies need in the first case fresh veggies, they can eat all kinds of salads and leafy greens which should be 2/3 of their daily diet, then the last 1/3 can be for an example carrots, fennel or cabbage. What's also very good for bunnies are fresh herbs, like basil, sage and parsley. You can feed your bunnies dried herbs as well. But there is an exception; if you keep your bunnies outside in the wintertime you can give them a bit of seeds once a day or if you are keeping large bunny breeds, like German Giant Rabbits (I have two) they should always get a bit of seeds every day and lots of veggies. I give my bunnies a lot of cabbage and they especially love savoy cabbage. In the summertime you can go out on the fields and pick grass, dandelion and other plants for your bunnies. But watch out, some are poisonous. I am going to make a list later on with examples of good plants to feed your bunny.
3. Keeping your bunnies in a cage.
This is probably the most important point of all. Everybody knows how a standard bunny cage looks like. I am talking about those bunny cages sized around 1m x 50 cm. What most people don't know, is that these cages used to be plant cages in laboratories back in the day. One day someone put a bunny in there and that is where it all started. First of all, bunnies have a natural desire to run. Rabbits and bunnies can run anywhere from 25 to 45 mph (40 to 72 kph). In these cages they cannot run or barely move at all. Bunnies and rabbits can jump up to 2 meters high, and this cage is around 40 cm high so they cannot use their legs at all. I would only consider this cage for a short period of time when a bunny is sick or has just been castrated and needs to wait some time until he can go back to the others. A good size would be for two bunnies a minimum of 10 m2 and for each additional bunny add 2 m2 to it.
Example: Would you put your cat in a cage? It is basically the same like keeping your rabbit in a cage. What comes to it, bunnies are in general more active than cats and have a need to run every day.
4. Keep the bunny hutch clean. If you are using toilets in corners, they should get cleaned every couple of days. If your whole hutch is covered with litter, it would be enough to clean up the corners 2 times a week and clean up and remove everything once in two weeks. I personally prefer the toilet idea. You don't need to use that much litter and they are very easy and fast cleaned. It might take a few weeks until your bunny understands how to use the toilet, if you see a corner he is using a lot then put the toilet there and try to put their food in a hay rack so that the poo is going straight in the toilet. Also if you are keeping male rabbits that are unsterilized, then the toiletmethod usually won't work because they mark their territory too much.
5. Not knowing which sexes to pair. If you want to keep two bunnies they get along the best as a female bunny (either sterilized or not) and a castrated male bunny. If you want to to keep four bunnies the best is always two castrated males and two females. If you get a bigger group, try to keep the same amount of males as females to avoid fights. Why? Well, after owning more than 10 bunnies in my lifetime I have learned a lot about which sexes match the best with each other and which pairs and groups are the most harmonious. I am not saying you cannot have a pair of females or males who are best friends, of course it can work. But in most cases when they reach maturity they start fighting and at some point aren't suited for each other anymore.
6. Not castrating or sterilizing your bunny. I have heard of people only taking in female rabbits because of the cost of castrating the males and it is one of the most absurd things I have heard. What many people don't know is that female rabbits are in general much more dominant than castrated males and keeping females together without males is a recipe for disaster? They fight ten times harder than males and always need to be the leader in a bunny group. And if you have a two or more females in a group or pair who all want to be the leader? Most people do not realize the costs when they purchase or adopt their bunny. The expensive food, vet costs (bunnies are very prone to diseases, infections, parasites) and housing (the high costs in building a suitable and big enough hutch). The castration cost is nothing compared to these things. What comes to it, in some cases you need to spay your female bunny which ends up costing 3 times as much as neutering your male. What about those people saying " Aww let's once make babies with our male and female rabbits, they would be soo cute!"? I do not know if people realize, that in most cases after you have made once babies with your rabbits, your male will only hump the female all his live even if he gets castrated after? He becomes a breeding rabbit, there is no going back. As for the female, she will be expecting each year for her next litter, building nests and thinking she is pregnant when she really isn't. This is such a stressful experience for your bunnies, they probably can never be housed together again and it will affect them for all their life. Also, there are so many bunnies waiting for forever homes in our animal shelters. Bunnies are cute and babies for around 10 weeks and after this around 8 years adults. Please give the adult rabbits a chance they deserve.
I hope you had fun reading my list of 6 things to make your bunny happy. I want to add and say that these are my opinions and based on my experiences of almost 20 years of keeping rabbits.