Rabbits are popular pets for children and they also are often raised as hobbies and on farms. Their ease of handling and calm demeanor can make rabbits a good fit for science projects that are educational and interesting. Rabbits can help students learn about genetics, movement and other concepts. No matter what type of science projects on rabbits you choose, always be certain to keep the rabbit's safety and health in mind.
Testing a rabbit's ability to differentiate among colors may be a useful science project. Find two food bowls or containers that are exactly the same size and shape, yet are distinctly different colors. For several feedings in a row, put the rabbit's food in the same bowl every time and cover both bowls tightly with plastic wrap to ensure that the rabbit's sense of smell is not a factor in the project. If the rabbit learns to come to the proper food bowl every time, begin putting the food in the other bowl and track the rabbit's behavior. Ideally, the animal will learn to recognize where its food is by the color of the bowl. If no distinct patterns develop during this science project, you have determined that the rabbit has not learned how colors relate to food.
Rabbit-sized mazes can be used in science projects to test a rabbit's ability to remember to move through the maze correctly and find a reward. You can make a simple maze using cardboard or plywood, but be sure to create a maze that is the correct size for the rabbit to move through easily. Place the rabbit at one end of the maze and put food at the other end. Record how long it takes for the rabbit to reach the food. As the project continues, lower the amount of food you use each time and continue to monitor how long the rabbit takes to reach the food. The goal is to determine if the rabbit can remember the fastest route to the food.
Breeding projects can take time, but they can be valuable teaching tools for students interested in genetics. For this type of project, one specific breed of rabbit must be used in conjunction with a Punnett square, which is a chart that shows/predicts all possible gene combinations in a cross of parents. Using color patterns of male and female breeding rabbits, breed solid to solid, solid to spotted and spotted to spotted. Punnett squares can help you predict probable results, which you can then compare to the actual results after several rounds of breeding.
Use this project to determine how music may affect rabbit behavior. You will need three rabbits or three groups of rabbits of the same breed and age, and it's best if they are from the same litter. Group 1 will hear no music, Group 2 will hear classical music and Group 3 will hear loud heavy metal music. Play music for Groups 2 and 3 for the same period of time daily, and do this for several weeks. Beyond music, all rabbits should have the same food, living space and conditions. At the end of the time period, compare the behavior of each group of rabbits. Does one group seem more nervous or on edge than the others? How does each group react to handling by humans? How do members of each group interact with those from a different group?
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