1st rabbit, have no idea about anything - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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1st rabbit, have no idea about anything

alright... these people i live with had this rabbit gave to them. i would say its probably a couple of months old, but i dont know... as i said, i know nothing. (lol)

he came with a cage, the bars are all bent up and it looks easy for his foot to get caught. how prone to this are rabbits? i am making him a new cage ASAP (sunday or monday)
they were feeding him lettuce only when i came home. i found that out and ran to the store to get some rabbit feed. He has water avalible, and food. his cage bottom was wire so i put down some old jeans for him to be able to get off the wire.

i have done a bit of research and found out they need hay at all times. if its not possible for me to get timothy hay in the next few days is there any other hays i can use?
also, anyone know a good site where i can learn all i need to know?

does ANYONE know if rabbits can transmit anything to my rats? this rabbit's background is complealty unknown.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 08:17 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Hi Ratty Ratkins...

Good for you for doing some research. Since your bunny is only a couple of months he/she can be fed alfalfa hay.... for now. But I would advise you to switch him/her over from the alfalfa hay to timmothy hay when he/she reaches about 6 months of age. The problem with alfalfa hay is that it has far too much protien for your little guy/girl once they reach adulthood... which if continued causes all sorts of problems for your rabbit.

As you said he/she must have hay and fresh water available to them 24/7. Then they will also need to have a supplimental diet of pellet. Again, once he/she reaches adulthood then I would advise switching over from a Alfalfa based pellet to a Timmothy based one. I feed my guys American Pet Diner Timmy Pellet... another good choice would be the Timmothy Pellets from Oxbow Hay Company.

Hay can be ordered in bulk on line from places such as

Oxbow Hay Company:
http://www.oxbowhay.com/index.sp

American Pet Diner:
http://www.americanpetdiner.com/

Or BunnyBale:
http://www.bunnybale.com/

I find that buying in bulk is both more affordable and it's nice and fresh. Store bought is usually not as appetising to our little guys... and the reason that they really need to eat lots of hay is because the long grass hays are very fiberous... and help to "pull" the injested hair (from grooming... rabbits are notorious for constant grooming) through their systems.... so that it doesn't ball up in their tracts and cause a blockage, and finally lead to a painfull death. Equally important is allowing your rabbit "out of cage" time... where they can run/binky/explore... which is basically exercise for both mind and body. Movement helps to keep their systems moving along... just as it would ours. Exercise also keeps their bones and muscles worked so that they don't become weak and brittle. A rabbit that is kept laying in a cage day after day is in real danger of snaping their spine by just one quick jump.

Veggies are also a good idea... nutrient wise. The HRS recommends that you wait until your rabbit is 6 months of age before you introduce them to veggies however. This is b/c their systems are still fragile and developing. Sounds like your guy is already well on his way tho. Rabbits who are new to veggies can develop diahrreah (sp?) which is a very bad thing for rabbits. Anyhow some veggies must be avoided and some must be limited due to calcium content. Iceburg lettuce is to be avoided for instance. It's nutritionally devoid anyways, but it is highly known to cause the diahrreah. Things like Parsley and Dandelion are higher in calcium... and cause sludge problems. As far as fruit. Bunnies are notorious for their sweet tooths. However, b/c fruit is high in sugar content fruit needs to be fed only sparingly.

Here is the HRS website for rabbit care info: (recommended fruit & veggie lists are on the right hand side)
http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/diet.html

As for the cage, you'll want to make one that allows your bunny to stretch full out in all directions... including up. Did you know that rabbits are littertrainable? If you put a litterbox in the place where he/she seems to be eliminating, it's usually pretty easy for them to catch on. Rabbits are actually fairly intelligent... I know mine are very clever when they want something. They are also highly emotional animals... so they will do best with lots of attention. They are very humorous as well... they can be very entertaining just to watch them running around doing the 500's or binkies.

Rabbits can generally live 8-15 years if well cared for, and no inherent problems exist. But in order for them to reach good old age, it's essential to have them spayed/neutered. Females are 85% likely to develop uterine cancer and die from it by the age of 2 if not spayed. And Males have a pretty high rate as well. Having your rabbit spayed/neutered also is very beneficial for you. It takes away those hormones that tell them to mark (with urine/feces).... and even though you may get your unfixed rabbit littertrained at a young age... once those hormones kick in litterbox training usually goes out the door. Once your rabbit is fixed, they very quickly pick their litterbox habbits right back up... mine were litterally picked back up overnight.

Um... well I have to get going... so that's all I can put now... but take a look at the HRS website, there is a wealth of info there... and continue to research everyday... there is a lot to know about rabbit care. =)

Good luck with your new addition!!

Sandra
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alfalfa hay, grass hay, timothy hay


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