“I find them cute when they do ‘binky’, jumping with twisting of the body. This flopping is a sign of happiness,” explains Marie Zeta, a member of the Philippine Lapine Club Incorporated, which has 3,728 members. She was one of the exhibitors at a recently concluded pet show at the World Trade Center.

Why rabbit? “For me all animals are equal, but they have different personalities. I used to own a Labrador named Apollo and a beige-colored aspin called Caramel,” shares the 24 year-old Information Technology graduate. “But I find rabbits super cute!”

The young, bubbly entrepreneur is into the rabbitry and supplies business. “We provide house/pet rabbits raised with quality special care, and love. We do also provide affordable supplies for them.” Her products range from cages in various sizes, rabbit leashes, hay-based pellets, food dishes, plastic mats, customized mugs, and embroidered loose shirts with a line drawing of—what else, but rabbit! Curiously, she also sells goat’s milk. Go negosyo!

“Every bunny must always eat…hay/grass regularly. It has benefits [for] every bun’s health and also makes their teeth always in good shape,” she explains. Interestingly, rabbits with their prominent toothy faces are herbivores. They feed by grazing on grass, forb (an herb other than grass), and leafy weeds. In consequence their diet contains a large amount of cellulose, which is hard to digest.

Rabbits solve this problem in the form of hindgut fermentation. They pass two distinct types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are known as caecotrophes and are immediately eaten (a behavior known as coprophagy). Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as cows and numerous other herbivores do) to digest their food further and extract sufficient nutrients. This process serves the same purpose in the rabbit as rumination does in cattle and sheep.

As of this writing, Marie has seventeen bunnies as personal pets. Last year, she advertised one of her unique rabbits.

 

 

This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s April 2018 issue.