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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Another first timer here and have some questions (holland lop)

First I have been lurking for a bit (great site and informative) , but its finally time i ask some of my own Q's

I just got my Holland (Nico) this past Monday and want to provide him with the best home i can for his lifetime. Can someone let me know if i have all the correct things needed.

Clean Living Cage (2 level/Large)
Water Bottle
Gravity Bin Feeder
Corner Litter Pan.
Roll In the Hay (hay feeder thingy)

1) The first night i just put the water Bottle, Food and Hay in the cage so i can see where he likes to use for his toilet needs. The next night i placed the litter pan in that spot and he has been using it for his "P" ever since. How do i get him to use it for his marbles?

2) The cage has the plastic grated flooring which he seems to like (the second night i put the shelf/loft in the cage) But I am not sure if i need to get him some bedding? if so do i get something to put it on/in? I am presuming he likes it b/c he almost is never seen up on the flat loft part with a solid floor.

3) I have been taking him out and letting him free run of the living room (supervised and certain areas blocked off for his safety) but he tends to sniff around and then just plop down and not move. Am I doing something wrong? or does he just need more time to sit and relax.

4) He seems to be quite scared when i hold him or pick him up. I hold the hind quarters and his feet on my chest, if that makes sense and pet him. I try to lay on the floor with him and also put him on my chest without holding him so he knows he can leave at any point. He does leave but not really fast. Is this normal at first and/or am i doing something wrong?

5) When can i offer him a treat? the breeder woman i bought him from said no fruits til e is 6mo. I would like to give him something to encourage a positive experience with me.

6) I always keep the cage door open when i am around so if/when he decides he wants to use the plank/ladder/walkway to get in and out he is allowed. (its only open when i am in the room)

7) I am only able to spend 10 minutes with him in the morning and about 3 hours in the evening that he is out of the cage, is this enough? is it bad that he is alone during the day? should i move the cage next to a window when i am not home?


here is a picture of him
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 09:34 AM
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It looks like you're doing a pretty good job with him so far. He's a cute little guy.

He must be tiny - I remember looking at that same model of cage for my Flash and thinking it seemed too small, and Flash isn't exactly a huge rabbit. The shelf adds extra space, though, so that helps. I got Flash a cage with a shelf, too. I ended up pulling out the ramp, though, because he just jumps up and down to the shelf and never did figure out that he's supposed to walk up the ramp to it.

I'll try and answer your questions in bold after each question below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justa231v6 View Post
1) The first night i just put the water Bottle, Food and Hay in the cage so i can see where he likes to use for his toilet needs. The next night i placed the litter pan in that spot and he has been using it for his "P" ever since. How do i get him to use it for his marbles?

Good question. With Flash, I just kept scooping up the poops and putting them in the litter box, preferably while he was there to see it. He's mostly caught on, but he still leaves a few strays here and there, both in his cage, and near the litterbox that's outside his cage.

2) The cage has the plastic grated flooring which he seems to like (the second night i put the shelf/loft in the cage) But I am not sure if i need to get him some bedding? if so do i get something to put it on/in? I am presuming he likes it b/c he almost is never seen up on the flat loft part with a solid floor.

I have a towel on the floor of Flash's cage, just because he slides on the plain plastic. But his cage also has a shelf, and he likes to rest on that, too. I think it depends on his mood as to whether he wants a soft place to lay down or the harder plastic.

3) I have been taking him out and letting him free run of the living room (supervised and certain areas blocked off for his safety) but he tends to sniff around and then just plop down and not move. Am I doing something wrong? or does he just need more time to sit and relax.

Some bunnies are like that. My Flash runs around like a maniac when I first let him out of his cage, because he likes to run and play. But after a bit, he settles down, and I sometimes find him just sitting in the middle of the floor doing nothing. As long as he knows he can do what he wants, just let him decide for himself what it is he'll do.

4) He seems to be quite scared when i hold him or pick him up. I hold the hind quarters and his feet on my chest, if that makes sense and pet him. I try to lay on the floor with him and also put him on my chest without holding him so he knows he can leave at any point. He does leave but not really fast. Is this normal at first and/or am i doing something wrong?

Rabbits generally don't like being off the ground. Flash absolutely HATES being picked up. I try to pick him up once a day, just to get him used to it, but I doubt if he'll ever be comfortable with it. The key thing to remember when picking them up is to support their rear, which it sounds like you're doing. Just remember that if you try to pick them up like a cat, just grabbing their center and lifting, they can actually panic and kick their hind legs so hard that they can break their backs. So supporting their rear legs and/or back side to keep them from kicking wildly is key.

As for getting him used to you, cuddling with him while he's sitting on the floor is probably best.


5) When can i offer him a treat? the breeder woman i bought him from said no fruits til e is 6mo. I would like to give him something to encourage a positive experience with me.

Good question. I don't have any experience with baby bunnies. Flash was already at puberty when I found him, as were my sister's rabbits before I lived with them. I tend to use carrots for training Flash. I try not to give him more than two baby carrots per day, because I know too many is bad. At this point, he no longer needs litter training, but he knows that he gets a treat (usually a carrot) for going in his cage when play time is over. That's how I lure him into the cage - I have NEVER picked him up and placed him inside his cage. He always knows that if the door's open, it's his choice to go in and out as he pleases.

6) I always keep the cage door open when i am around so if/when he decides he wants to use the plank/ladder/walkway to get in and out he is allowed. (its only open when i am in the room)

I do the same thing. I noticed in the picture that you covered the cage door to keep him from walking on the bars of the cage. Good job. I've heard that bunnies can sometimes get their feet stuck in those and break a leg, so I do something similar with Flash's cage door.

7) I am only able to spend 10 minutes with him in the morning and about 3 hours in the evening that he is out of the cage, is this enough? is it bad that he is alone during the day? should i move the cage next to a window when i am not home?

I'm in a similar situation. I've heard that 4 hours outside the cage every day is ideal, but I don't always have quite that much time in the evenings from when I get home from work until I go to bed. But he gets at least 2-3 hours every day, and he's usually pretty happy with that.

As for putting him near a window, I'd actually vote against that. First of all, he's likely to sleep most of the day while you're not around. I've found that Flash sleeps most of the afternoon even on weekends when I'm home and his cage door is open. Rabbits tend to be most active around dawn and dusk, sleeping during the day and during the night. So he doesn't need the sunlight keeping him awake during the day.

More importantly, though, I've found that Flash gets scared when he looks out the window during the day and sees other people and animals moving around. I have a sliding glass door, so he sometimes sits by it during the day, and I guess the movement makes wonder who's out there. He's usually a very laid back bunny, so this and being picked up are the only things I've ever seen him get scared about. I don't know if all bunnies would be this way about seeing strange people and animals outside, but it wouldn't really surprise me. Remember, rabbits have the instincts of a prey animal.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 10:30 AM
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Hello! And welcome to Paw Talk! Your new bunny looks like a total sweetheart and I love his coloring. It looks as though you have a terrific set up for him. It is great that he is using the litter box for his "P" because that is so messy. The poops are more easy to clean up. You may find that the corner litter boxes will be too small as bunny gets bigger. If you have hay in there and he can graze for a while, he may start to poop in there too.


I have not had any luck with water bottles with my buns...just make sure he is getting water out of it.


The flooring may be too slippery for bun to feel comfortable enough to jump up there. Maybe you could try some type of carpeting on the floors. Make sure he is not eating it though.


When bunny is out playing he must be totally comfortable with his surroundings to flop down and stay put. That is a good thing!


Don't feel guilty with the amount of time he is let out. Three hours is good.


Thanks for supplying the photo. I love pictures!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 10:49 AM
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Welcome to Paw talk Nico is adorable!

It looks like you already got some great answers to your questions but I'll see if I can think of anything to add.

Quote:
1) The first night i just put the water Bottle, Food and Hay in the cage so i can see where he likes to use for his toilet needs. The next night i placed the litter pan in that spot and he has been using it for his "P" ever since. How do i get him to use it for his marbles?
Nico is still young, and like human babies you can't expect rabbit babies to have perfect bathroom habits. He should get better as he gets older, and getting him neutered when he's old enough should help as well. Rabbits use fecal pellets to mark their territory. Once he gets more use to his new home, he may mark less and less. But from my experience, baby rabbits can be very messy and you may just have to give him some time.

Quote:
2) The cage has the plastic grated flooring which he seems to like (the second night i put the shelf/loft in the cage) But I am not sure if i need to get him some bedding? if so do i get something to put it on/in? I am presuming he likes it b/c he almost is never seen up on the flat loft part with a solid floor.
Most people only put some kind of absorbant bedding in their litter boxes. I give my rabbits fleece blankets to lay on outside of their litter box, fleece is good because it doesn't fray like some fabrics do so it is less likely they can get their claws caught in the material. It's also good because when it gets dirty, you can just wash and reuse it. Honestly my rabbits play with their blankets more then they sleep on them, but I like to give them the option of sleeping on something softer than the cage floor anyways. My rabbits also have a small dog bed in their cage and they loooove laying on that.

Quote:
3) I have been taking him out and letting him free run of the living room (supervised and certain areas blocked off for his safety) but he tends to sniff around and then just plop down and not move. Am I doing something wrong? or does he just need more time to sit and relax.
He may not be use to your house enough to feel comfortable with running around and doing binkies (happy jumps). I'm sure eveutually he will All bunnies do have diffrent personalities too so he might just enjoy laying down and relaxing more than running around like crazy. My bunnies do that sometimes too.

Quote:
4) He seems to be quite scared when i hold him or pick him up. I hold the hind quarters and his feet on my chest, if that makes sense and pet him. I try to lay on the floor with him and also put him on my chest without holding him so he knows he can leave at any point. He does leave but not really fast. Is this normal at first and/or am i doing something wrong?
Most rabbits, as stated before, don't feel comfortable with being held. They are prey animals and the only time a wild rabbit would be picked up off the ground is when it's in a predators mouth. One of my rabbits absolutly hates being picked up, so I don't do it unless I adsolutly have too. Interact with him on the floor and once he's more use to you, he should seek out your attention. Let him come up to you for pets and cuddles instead of picking him up.

Quote:
5) When can i offer him a treat? the breeder woman i bought him from said no fruits til e is 6mo. I would like to give him something to encourage a positive experience with me.
Your rabbits breeder was right, baby rabbits have very sensative tummies and you should introduce new veggies/fruits to them very slowly. Give them one new thing at a time so you can make sure it doesn't cause any problems, and start by only giving him very small amounts. You can work up to giving him larger amounts and more kinds. Veggies arn't normally considered treats but there are some my rabbits go crazy for. Also, my rabbits love papia tablets, which are good because they can also help prevent hairballs.

Quote:
6) I always keep the cage door open when i am around so if/when he decides he wants to use the plank/ladder/walkway to get in and out he is allowed. (its only open when i am in the room)
I do this too. Don't be discouraged if he doesn't come out much, especially at first. Rabbits see their cages as their own personal spaces and most of them actually enjoy being in their cage, they feel safe and comfortable there.

Quote:
7) I am only able to spend 10 minutes with him in the morning and about 3 hours in the evening that he is out of the cage, is this enough? is it bad that he is alone during the day? should i move the cage next to a window when i am not home?
I wouldn't put him next to a window. Rabbits should never be placed in areas with direct sunlight as they can easily overheat. 3 hours is fine - the House Rabbit Society recommends 4 but when I don't have time to let my rabbits out for 4 they don't seem to mind. Give him toys to play with during the day while your gone. My rabbits seem to sleep alot during the days though. If your really worried about him being lonely, you could consider getting him a friend. Rabbits are social animals and most enjoy having a bunny friend. But two rabbits should not be allowed to live in the same cage untill they are both fixed and have been bonded to each other.

I hope that helps some If you have any more questions please feel free to post them.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-23-2008, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the replies... i am glad to know i am doing this somewhat correctly.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2008, 01:15 AM
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Nico is soooo cute!!


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