Basic Bunny Care
Cage and Habitat
Holland Lops are a dwarf breed and can suffice with a cage about 30 x 36, however, the bigger the better. Caged bunnies also 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.
Rabbits can be litter-box trained just like cats (we teach ours to use a litter box). 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 where the corner they are using and they should begin using the box.
Water bottles work well, and stay much cleaner. Our bunnies are used to using them, but they can also drink from a bowl.
They will also need a food bowl or dish.
Food & Supplements
Their diet mostly consists of hay. They should be eating alfalfa when they are babies until adulthood around 6 months, and then timothy hay. They should have an unlimited supply of hay and can eat around their body size of hay or more each day.
We free feed pellets to our baby bunnies up to about 4 months and feed our adult rabbits about 2/3 of a cup of pellets a day. Free feeding adult rabbits can lead to weight gain.
Veggies and Treats:
Introducing veggies should wait until rabbits are about 6 months and should be done in small amounts. They love herbs, leafy greens, and celery! Treats should also be given moderately. (Be aware that feeding red or orange veggies can cause a rabbit’s urine to look red almost like blood).
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 (typically chewing hay is sufficient to file down their teeth).
Foods to Avoid:
Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, beans, peas, potatoes, beets,onions, rhubarb, bamboo, seeds, 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.
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. You can watch a video on YouTube on how to do this properly. It is important not to cut too far back and nick the quick, causing the rabbit to bleed - if this happens, a bit of flour or cornstarch placed on the nail can stop the bleeding.