Last year I helped Herbie find his new home. Today his people sent me an update.
I adopted a male holland lop from you back in the summertime and I just wanted to give you a random update on him! I was not sure how else to contact you. Anyways, he has full free roam of our basement and we love him very much. His name is Herbie, and he is happy, full of energy and overall has a wonderful personality. I am so happy every day that we got him and I wanted to thank you again for giving us that chance! Here is a photo of him posing in his favourite little seductive bunny pose. Hope you are doing well!!
Holland lops and their ears are highly variable when they are babies. They can be lopped, upright, down, airplane, one up one down and literally all over the place when they are little.
A case in point
for sale picture
First his new digs
Two days later
a week later
Two weeks later
Same bunny, but what the ears do.... they gradually do their thing. Some people keep petting them down, others let them come down on their own, it's entirely up to their people. But loppy ears are weird.
I had a doe once, she as a meh rabbit until she hit around 11 months. Her ears lopped, her head popped. Became one of my best rabbits. I almost got rid of her and I was so glad that I didn't. Her influence still runs through my lines.
So for the past couple of days Jingle Bells has been running through my head and keeps changing to Hopping now Hopping now bunny on the loose... I finally decided to put the words to page.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Dashing through the snow
Coat flapping open wide
yelling as I go
Lad come help me now!
A bunny's on the loose
Leaving tracks in the snow
I have to catch it right away
Before the cat she comes
OH... hopping now
bunny on the loose
It's not fun
To chase a bun
Through the snow so white
Bunny on the loose
It's not fun
to chase a bun
through the snow so white
The bunny seems to laugh
She's having so much fun.
She jiggled the cage latch
And gave me such a fright.
She's binkying around
leaving tracks in the snow.
She makes me wish I had
Myself a soft-mouthed dog and so.
Cornered finally is
Against the shed and fence
The fun is almost done
I'm panting loudly now.
The lad he stops to bend
Ready for the catch
And finally we have her now
And she is rather upset.
Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells
My teenager! You were right ! Had her trained but not for the past few days . She spends her nights hopping around like crazy. We are enjoying her. Hope all is well in the rabbitry.
More information on Angel.
Cinnamon's people sent me a comparison picture between Last hallowe'en and this. Isn't he a fine looking boy?
Got a message today from Miss H. Cinnamon is doing really well for her. Cinnamon moved out last year in October.
Here’s some pictures of Cinnamon! He’s grown up to be a really social and funny guy, he’s fully free roaming in our apartment and enjoys being able to sleep anywhere and everywhere. He loves going outside too! Sometimes we take him outside in a safe open field with a his harness and leash.
Isn't it great to see how well he is doing? He turned out just like I thought he would. Betting he has his Mama's personality. GAH.. I need to breed him to Heart!!! I MUST I MUST! (but I'm guessing he's neutered by now)......
The other day I received this message
"Since I got Lyra home, she has had at least one or two sneezing fits a day. She has no discharge and is eating drinking well. Could it be the hay? I’ve never heard a rabbit sneeze quite like that, but it’s not all the time, only once or twice a day like I said.
Any ideas or suggestions? Her cage is fairly sparse for litter training so she just has hay, wood pellets for litter in her litter box, a wood hide and a lava block to chew. Plus pellets and water."
My short response to her was "Rabbits sneeze sometimes. If you see no snot, or wet front paws it's probably just a sneeze."
I was reassured to hear that she saw no snot, and no wet front paws. A sneeze is sometimes just a sneeze.
But what about those times when a sneeze is NOT just a sneeze and is indicative of a bigger problem?
Causes of Sneezing
What can cause a rabbit to sneeze?
1. Dust and other irritants
Dust and other irritants
You get dust in your nose, you sneeze. Bunnies are no different. Irritants can be things like smoke, perfumes, air fresheners, and various dust particles. Eliminate the irritant, relieve the sneezing.
The bedding used, or the chemicals you use to clean, could be irritants as well.
I knew a girl who had a lovely bunny who one day started biting her and it was so surprising. After lots of questions we tracked it down to she changed her perfume and it was negatively affecting her bunny. She got rid of the perfume and the bunny reverted to his normal sweet self. Not sneezing...but an example of how something we don't know about can cause a problem with your bunny.
People will often say "my bunny is allergic to hay." I have a really hard time believing this one. I tend to believe rather that the hay is dusty and the dust from the hay is the issue, not the hay itself. Hay can be dusty and some rabbits are highly susceptible to dust particles. Even if you don't see it, doesn't mean the dust isn't there.
But, given the anecdotal evidence I do think that rabbits can have seasonal allergies when there is most dust and pollen in the air, or a dry summer with farmers working their fields. Some rabbits can really struggle with the dust and other irritants that are in the air.
I firmly believe that rabbits who really struggle with allergies or a sensitivity to dust particles should NOT be used for breeding. There are so many rabbits out there that don't struggle, why would you perpetuate the health issue?
BESIDES a rabbit who is struggling with dust and/or allergies, would be more susceptible to the third reason.... illness.
Respiratory infections carry a much greater cause for concern. Frequently they are associated with discharge from the nose and watery eyes. You'll also see dirty front paws from the bunny wiping their noses.
Respiratory illnesses can be very dangerous to bunnies. It can make them so ill they can't eat, drink or breathe properly. They tend to be highly contagious, therefore putting any of your other rabbits at risk.
Diseases that cause snot in rabbits generally one of:
1. Bordatella. Treat it! Rabbits usually recover.
2. Pasteurella. This one is hard. Here is Dutch Rabbit's approach.
3. Pneumonia. Often buns die from pneumonia very quickly. It can literally have them on death's door overnight.
2. Tooth issues. Drainage from the eye goes into nasal cavity.
3. Nasal Tumour.
4. Foreign body. Hay, or some particle stuck.
5. Trauma, such as a head attack by a predator.
My approach to excess sneezing or snot-laden rabbits can be found in this blog post. Always keep and use your best rabbits. If you just have one, do your best to keep them healthy, but let them go if it's time for them to go.
Thank you again for allowing me to take Gina Home and meeting up last night! I took her outside this for a private grass session this morning while it was still cool outside and she really enjoyed herself! She is so gentle, I am excited to see how she grows.
Her sale post can be found here.
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.
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.
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.