Over the past few years, I have been harvesting weeping willow with Joyce from Elvis Parsley Store to make healthy fresh dried wreaths for the bunnies as a low-cost well-favored snack. They’re also great to have on hand for stasis episodes, as not only does willow contain natural aspirin, but they are also very tempting to rabbits and useful to judge their appetite with.
Rabbits enjoying a freshly dried willow wreath.
Weeping willow is often found next to lakes, creeks, and rivers and are generally considered an invasive species. They can also be grown as a fast-growing decorative tree in yards – if you know a neighbor with a tree, they often won’t turn down the help to keep the growth in check!
Being able to watch your rabbits — and any other pet, really — when you are not home can be very comforting (and entertaining) when you are off at work or on vacation. It can give you a great peace of mind when you can see your rabbit visually hopping around on your phone or computer screen and not loafing in pain in a corner. Personally, I had never thought of monitoring my rabbits remotely until the instance a couple years ago when the fire alarm went off in the apartment, and the bunnies freaked out in their x-pen and almost bashed their brains out.
The best money-saving tip I received about caring for rabbits is to buy a bale of hay from a local feed store instead of the tiny packs from the pet store. In California, bales are often ~100 lbs for only around $20-30 a bale, and these typically last about four months for two ~4.5 lb rabbits in my experience — disregarding Squishy since I have only had him for two months. I have heard from other bunny friends in other states that their bales are more like $5 for one!
For reference, anecdotally, I have bought bales of timothy for $30 and orchard grass for $26 in San Diego at Mary’s Tack & Feed, and I have bought bales of orchard grass for $28 and forage hay for $21 from Sam’s Downtown Feed in San Jose.
Regardless, having enough hay to feed two rabbits for over three months for less than $40 is quite a bargain in my book! I remember the first days of having Bao Bao, I would buy these $8 8 oz bags of timothy hay that would last less than two weeks. I can feed multiple bunnies hay for a month now for that price!