GACK! In my busyness I almost forgot to post about little cheeky nose here.
Marilyn's broken girlie went off to a pet home on Saturday. A daughter off Cheta, she was born May 10.
These two kiddos off Belle by Calypso were born May 10, 2020. Nice youngsters. I was very tempted to hold back Lyra, but decided she could go to a new home instead.
Lyra left yesterday, Gina today. Good little rabbits that will make fine additions to their new breeder homes.
Flight made a horrid nest for her babies and had all eight over the course of 24 hours. The first four yesterday at 10, the next three sometime before 8 p.m. and the last one sometime between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
I supplemented her nest with fur and additional straw this morning. The kits were looking okay this afternoon, one of the tiny ones has not eaten.
Watch Me Grow
Hay.... love it or leave it, a lot of people love to feed hay to their bunnies. There are so many viewpoints on the feeding of hay.
The house rabbit society would have you believe that a rabbit must eat it's weight in hay every day to stay healthy.
Many rabbit breeders simply don't feed hay, finding it a messy waste, ergo a waste of money, and unnecessary as their rabbits stay healthy.
Both maintain healthy rabbits. Don't you find that incredibly intriguing? Completely opposite thought patterns, yet rabbits that are hale and hearty.
My approach is to use hay as the gut stabilizer that it is. Giving hay during times of transition and potential stress. Otherwise I find alternative sources of fibre (which is why people use hay, for it's long fibre content).
Black oil sunflower seed is one source of long fibre, as are weeds, grasses and various plants.
For people who are allergic to hay but not to grasses and various plants as well as black oil sunflower seeds, it means they can also keep a rabbit. They could also feed straw, corn stalks, and hay cubes.
Use a feeder or not?
Whether you are a daily or occasional feeder you'll find yourself feeding hay. You might choose to use a hay feeder, or simply put the hay in with your rabbits. Both have their advantages or disadvantages.
Homemade or purchased, hay feeders require rabbits to pull their hay out of the feeder. This of course means you need to stuff the hay in. I've never found a hay feeder that that didn't result in some waste simply in the process of filling it. :)
The advantage to a hay feeder though is you can put what the rabbit needs in it so they can nibble over the course of the day. Assuming that unlike MY rabbits yours will nibble over the course of the day. Anytime I give my bunnies hay they gobble it all up as fast as they possibly can. They then sit on (if they get full) and poop on any remainder. Rabbits are rather silly aren't they? :)
The advantage to just tossing it in the pen is that you don't lose hay trying to stuff it into the feeder, but rabbits are more apt to sit on it immediately. Doing so can cause them to foul it fairly quickly.
What type of feeder?
I have made loads of feeders out of those wire cutlery baskets. Just ziptie securely to the side of the cage, preferably over their litter box.
I do not recommend those wire ball feeders that are often sold inexpensively. Some rabbits are silly enough to get their head stuck in them and if that happens while you are away, your rabbit may perish due to strangulation or shock.
To be honest though, I'm not sure, outside of the 2 in 1 feeders that I would recommend most of what they have on amazon. And those ones I'd want to put up on a brick so the rabbit is eating higher up. I find they waste less feed that way. Even to hang it up beside a rectangular litter box.
The best hay feeders I've ever seen are the simplest ones. Cutlery drawers, kleenex boxes hung outside a wire cage, circular wire ones built into a corner of the cage, etc. Something that is less fancy and more functional.
A litter of seven, all light coloured. My goal: a litter of tris with a good head and short body. Time will tell.
A well made nest, glad I gave her extra straw last night as she must have dug up a storm. :) Straw was EVERYWHERE. Tons of fur pulled, I'll need to mind them in the heat.
Watch Me Grow
Litter training baby bunnies is sometimes a matter of patience. Sometimes they get ideas in their head and it makes you wonder what is going on with them. My post Help! My bunny is not peeing in her litter box is a response to one of my customers struggling with a young bunny.
Recently one of my customers wrote to ask:
Mr. Peanut eats his food and seems excited for it in the morning. But overnight if there is anything left or even it it's empty (as we tried last night) he gets right in and pees. He was doing well for a few nights of not peeing outside his litter box but for the last five nights he seems to prefer peeing outside of it rather than in. Just looking for a little advice from an expert!"
So What is a person to do?
I will freely admit that I am not an expert with house training baby bunnies. I've trained young and adult rabbits to a litter box, but I don't claim to know all the answers. Sometimes bunnies do things that are a bit confounding.
For instance, why choose to use the food bin as a place to go pee AFTER having used a litter box? I sometimes don't understand bunnies. My guess is that one night while munching on hay, bunny had the urge to go pee, was lazy and decided to go there. Since he peed there once, it's easy to just go pee there again.
In this particular instance I suggested they move the feeder up higher so it's up off the floor. You'll generally need it to be up at least six inches for this to be effective. But if the feeder is big enough to fit an entire young rabbit that's not going to work.
So I would simply remove the feeder at night.
Any other Advice?
I found this video which I thought was fairly well done. Mute the video and just read the screen as he speaks, I THINK, Spanish? I loved his emphasis on needing patience with young bunnies.
Sometimes you need to outsmart them, or to alter their habitat to make it easier for them to learn.
I thought Celia Haddon had some good advice in her post about why a rabbit might stop using a litter box. I particularly appreciated her thought that sometimes we don't know what caused our bunny to not like their litter box.
BudgetBunny has put together a similar list as well as pointing out a possible solution. (make it impossible for bunny to NOT use their litter box). :)
For some bunnies, litter box habits are vastly improved by neutering them. One suggestion from The Rabbit house.
So Luna headed off to her London home about a week ago. When they received her they sent this message. "Thank you so much for all the information, we are already having so much joy with her! We named her Luna! :)"
Today her people sent me this picture.
Today Her People said "Hello just wanted to share a cute picture of Luna, we are all enjoying her! :)"
You may recall Baxter and Willa. Today Jill sent me the cutest picture of Baxter.
Does he look so cute? To me he looks like he could easily become their lettuce nibbler. :)
From his person : " Baby Baxter is having a great time, enjoying the yard. Just thought I would send you an update! Willa is also doing wonderful.
Thank you "
Even though Heart is pictured on grey above, she finally decided that she WAS a girl even though she's been playing at being a buck for the past two months.
Anyways, she's old enough to be bred and has been acting all hormonal girlie for the past week but she didn't like Calypso who I wanted to pair her with. She constantly ran away from him. Acted like he was the worst thing in the entire world that she's ever met. (poor old boy)
So I figured I'd put her with Band who she promptly bossed around (which tend to make Band a bit mean and I didn't want either rabbit hurt) so I said "okay, now what?".
I really had no desire to breed her to Keeper but figured, well.. maybe.. just maybe she wants a young boy. She LOVES him. Oh my. That went so quickly this morning.
So sometimes, even though we have our own plans, our bunnies make their own.
If the doe you want to breed with a certain buck won't... try her with a different one. Sometimes they really do have their own minds about things.
It has me wondering if Flower is holding out for HER own choice as well.....
Atom will be joining Trip and Journey in her new home. May 3rd daughter off Tracey and Band.
I have been breeding rabbits for a quite a few years. I thoroughly enjoy them as animals and think they make great pets. I also like to take some of them to rabbit shows to see how they measure up to the standards.
For the BEST rabbit forum I've ever found. Go to Rabbittalk.com. Good for the pet rabbit owner as well as the breeder for meat or show.