Basic Bunny Care

IMG_0629_edited.jpg

Please see our PRODUCTS page for all the products we use and love!

IMG_9553.jpeg

Food & Supplements

  • Hay:

    • Rabbit diets mostly consists of hay. They should be eating alfalfa as babies until adulthood around 6 months, and then switch to timothy hay. Alfalfa has a lot of calcium which is good for growing babies, but can build up in the kidneys of adult bunnies. They should have an unlimited supply of hay and can eat around their body size of hay or more each day.

  • Pellets:

    • We free feed pellets to our baby bunnies up to about 4 months and feed our adult rabbits about 1/2 of a cup of pellets a day. Free feeding adult rabbits can lead to weight gain, so it’s a good idea to limit them (especially if showing). We use Purina Rabbit Complete with a small amount of black oil sunflower seeds sprinkled on top.

  • Veggies and Treats:

    • Bunnies love herbs and leafy greens (romaine, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, carrot tops, beet greens, radish/rutabaga greens, arugula, cilantro, basil, kohlrabi, broccoli greens) and will be introduced to some of these while in our care. When introducing a new food, do so in small amounts to give the rabbit’s digestive system time to adjust to it. We don’t feed our bunnies fruit, because of the high sugar content, however, they can eat it in small amounts. Introducing fruit should wait until rabbits are about 6 months and then be given moderately. (Be aware that feeding red or orange veggies can cause a rabbit’s urine to look orange/red almost like blood)

  • Foods to Avoid:

    • Kale and Spinach are high in oxalates and should be avoided. Also, Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, beans, peas, potatoes, beets, onions, rhubarb, bamboo, seeds (except black oil sunflower), grains, and many others. Also, don’t feed your rabbit chocolate, candy, anything moldy, or most human foods. If you are not sure about a certain food, ask your rabbit’s veterinarian. There is an entire list of bunny-safe foods at www.rabbit.org.

 

Cage and Habitat

  • Cage:

    • Holland Lops are a dwarf breed and can suffice with a cage about 30 x 36, however, the bigger the better. Caged bunnies should have daily play-time outside of the cage as well. Don’t use glass cages or aquariums –wire cages work best; rabbits can chew through wood and plastic. Always go with the biggest cage possible.

  • Litter-box:

    • Rabbits can be litter-box trained just like cats (ours are litter box trained before going to new homes). They can free-roam around a house, but may chew on carpet or other things if they don’t have enough toys to chew. Paper-based litter or wood pellets work best for rabbit litter boxes. Our bunnies are already used to using a litter box, but when in a new environment they may have to be reintroduced to it. If they are going in a corner other than their litter box, just move the litter box to the corner they are using and they should begin using the box. Do not use pine-shavings – they can cause respiratory issues in rabbits.

  • Water:

    • Our bunnies are used to using water bottles – they are much more sanitary than bowls and much less messy, however, you can use a water dish, but keep an eye on your bunny to make sure they figure out how to use it and do not get dehydrated.

  • Food:

    • They will also need a food dish – we prefer low ceramic dishes that are heavy and more tip-resistant. We usually have our unique, hand-made ceramic dishes in stock on Etsy at www.peacerosepottery.etsy.com

  • Toys:

    • Bunnies not only like to chew, but also need to chew to keep their teeth from over-growing and causing problems. Wood blocks, cardboard, and pinecones work well as toys (eating hay is sufficient to file their teeth).

 

Other Supplies

  • When receiving your bunny, his or her nails will be freshly trimmed. From then on, their nails should be trimmed every month or month and a half. Rabbit nail clippers are sold at pet-supply and feed stores like Tractor Supply. They look like small scissors. The best video I have found to do this properly on YouTube is titled “How to Trim Your Rabbit’s Nails | Pet Rabbits” by Howcast. It is important not to cut too far back and nick the quick (the pink under the clear nail), causing the rabbit to bleed - if this happens, a bit of flour or cornstarch placed on the nail can stop the bleeding. A great tip from the video: giving a light squeeze with the clippers on the nail before you actually press firmly to cut will tell you if you are cutting too much off. The bunny will pull their paw away from the clippers. 

SOME HELPFUL ARTICLES...

Bringing Home a New Bunny

Bunny Behavior / Body Language

When Bunnies Get Sick

fullsizeoutput_178d_edited.jpg