Swedes flock to rent rabbits over summer

Swedes flock to rent rabbits over summer
Jannes Pockele/Flickr
Renting an animal over the summer is becoming all the more popular in Sweden, with kids favouring rabbits while pensioners opt to foster hens.

Farms which offer bunnies for rent are popping up like rabbits across Sweden.

"I’ve been doing this for ten years, but in the beginning there were maybe only ten families interested," Kristina Karlsson from Gangvide Farm on Gotland told The Local.

"Now there are between 40 and 70 families each year who want to try it out. Interest is huge, particularly among families in the city and those who want to test for allergies."

Karlsson said it all started with a friend who asked to rent one of her rabbits – and she hopped immediately on board.

"Renting is great because people can try it out before they commit. Sometimes people plan on having a rabbit for three weeks or a month, and come back after just four days. Maybe the kids have lost interest."

Rental rabbits are available anywhere from one day to an entire summer, with two or three weeks being the standard. While Gangvide Farm doesn't do much marketing for their rabbits, other farms and breeders across Sweden do. Färnsa 4H Ranch in Norrtälje has listed their animals on Swedish buy-sell sites. The Blocket bunnies can be rented for 70 kronor ($10.60) a day or 900 ($136) for a month. Ninas Rabbit Shop near Kalmar even has a waiting list – baby bunny Shabby Chic Heaven won't be available until August. 

Rental pets are also increasing in popularity with pensioners – though generally they prefer chickens.

"I think hens remind many older people of their childhood," Karlsson speculated. "There are also places on Gotland where you can’t have rabbits due to diseases, and then chickens or ducks are better."

Customers can choose which chickens they would like to rent, and ducks are available as well.

"It’s actually more fun to have baby chickens and ducks than rabbits," Karlsson laughed. "They’re active all day long, while rabbits just sit there and eat."

Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter.

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