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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Carmen & Steph (Veggi) ????

Okay for those that haven't read Steph's thread on her rescue bunny "Rusty", I had mentioned about us getting a bunny or 2 from a local national that works with Darren, he raises rabbits for food and we both wanted to try and take one or 2 for a pet, guess we would be "saving" a bunnie or 2 if you look at it like that

Okay here come the questions, hahaha!!!!

Okay is it best to just have the "1" bunny or should we get "2" ? And if we only get 1, which is better a male or a female and if we get a male should we get him neutered? See so much to learn about bunnies If we get 2, should we get same sex or opposite and get the male or both fixed?
Okay I know lot's of questions....hahaha.... Hey we had to learn about chinnies so why not learn about bunnies, I guess Darren said we would be getting the baby bunny in about 2-3 weeks that will put the bunny or bunnies at 6-7 weeks old? Is that too young??
Food.... We have Purina Show Formula Pellets I am guessing those would be okay for pellets, but how often do they get pellets and what veggies are best ect.....
We have Timothy Hay for the chinnies so I'm thinking that would be fine as well......
So questions are what type of food?
How often do they get fed?
How much do they get fed?
What type of bedding to use?
What is a good cage size? (Mom & Dad are said to be HUGE)
If we house the bunnie(s) in the chinnie room we are planning on letting the bunnie(s) have a bit of free run, would that be okay??
Answers to the above would be great as well as other answers to questions that we may have forgotten.

Thanks you 2 are the best Thanks to anyone else that can help as well........
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 04:40 AM
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Ok well I'll help you out best I can!!! The chinnie thing I don't know about...they could live in the same room I'm sure...playtime together I don't know cause we don't have chins but chinchilla girl should be able to tell you when she gets her phone fixed!

Ok cage size - The rabbit should be be able to stand up on it's hind legs, stretch out along the floor of the cage and be able to turn around comfortably. Find out the actual size of the adult before you go cage buying! There should also be room for their food bowl and a litter tray. (corner ones are great but they may be too small if you are getting a really large breed)

Technically rabbits should stay with their mum until they are 8 weeks old but I have always got rabbits at 6 weeks of age and they have always been fine. Just only feed them a good balanced pellet diet (ask Steph what she uses...I use an aussie brand)

Australia and the us have different ideas on when you should start feeding a rabbit vegetables. I'm sure on us sites it says that you should wait until they are 4 months old before you introduce vegetables. I have always given my rabbits vegies from 8 weeks of age (Aus recommendation) without any trouble. However until they are four months of age I only give them a little bit once a week. I'll find out the real reasoning behind waiting for you when I have a bit of time Kim.

I give my rabbits vegetables in the morning, half a cup of pellet mixture in the evening (they weigh 4-5 pounds) and unlimited hay supply. Obviously the bigger they are the more they need. They eat in the morning and of a night time...seeing as how they are nocturnal animals.

Rabbits are very social animals....they love to live in pairs! If you get them both young you should have no problems what so ever with them getting along....as long as you don't get two boys! Two boys will fight once they reach maturity....even if they are brothers.
I would recommend getting a girl and a boy, only for the fact that boys in general are much nicer (says she with two girls!! ).
However if you want your rabbit to totally bond with you and only you, and you don't mind it following you around the house, pushing your books out of it's way and demanding a pat when you are trying to read and jumping on your dinner plate full of food then you want a single bunny! If you have two they will still bond to you, just not as much, cause they have a friend of their own species. It boils down to how much time you have for them.

No matter what they should be speyed/neutered. At 4 months old your rabbit will become a horror!!! It will hit it's teenage years and even though it dies down at 6 months of age to get your super sweet bunny back you need to get them fixed to calm the hormones. There are health reasons too but to me a super sweet bunny is much nicer and good enough reason!!! When Rodger was a teenager he actually picked up our cd's and threw them across the room!! He also chased Alex in an attempt to bite his ankles cause Alex wanted him outside and he wanted inside!! He solved that problem though....he just ate a big hole in the screen door and came charging through!! See what I mean!! Be thankful though....the two months does go quick!

Types of veggies....my girls mainly get carrots, brocolli and corn on the cob. They also get snow peas, beans, and fruits. Avoid giving them potatoes cause they are poisonous and anything that creates gas in us (like cabbage) should be avoided cause rabbits can't vomit and they can't fart.
Lettuce is a big no no too!! Just avoid it all together...it has no nutritional value for them and can cause diarrhoea.
My girls love apples but they get a small amount as a treat once a month....anything with lots of sugar can make them a sugar addict and they will start refusing everything else. By the end of Rodger's life I was having trouble to get him to anything apart from baked beans and green curry's!! He found those himself by the way and decided they were much better than his food.
I give them watermelon, mango, strawberry etc. in summer....it's a great way to help keep them cool.

While rabbits don't always have to have cool temps like chins they don't do well in heat so they need to have cold water and a frozen water bottle in their cage on the hot days to help keep them cool is needed. A spray of water over the ears cools them down too.

Bedding...you can't beat straw and newspaper. Shavings can cause respiratory problems. And a recycled newspaper based litter is best too...they will eat their litter so this type digests easily. nothing that clumps together when wet or anything too dusty.

ok how was that?
www.rabbit.org is a great site but I don't agree with everything they say so if you have any questions just ask! If you handle your rabbits from day one they will let you hold them and they will be happy to be held.....

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Carmen Great Job!!! tons of info girlie and wow somethings I didn't know..... As for the chinnies, I really wasn't going to let them have play time together, I was just basically going to let the bunny have free run of the room from time to time when the dog's are in the house. We have very large dogs and I wouldn't want the bunny getting hurt. Although it has been said that a chinnie can pretty much get along with most animals if introduced right, so I will have to ask Mandie on that one.
Well we found out today that the bunnies are ready to go, so I'm guessing they are already 6 weeks, because the LN told us that they needed to stay with mom until then. He told Darren to bring in a carrier and he would bring them to him on Thursday, seeing that Darren is off work until Wednesday.
I am thinking if he will let us get 2 even if we have to pay for one it might be best as I'm not too sure about letting them have free run of the house with the dog's and cats as the kitties seem to be "mousers". I am going to copy/paste and print out the information you have provided so we have it as a reference and will see what everyone else has to say as well.
Thanks again Carmen your info was great and we will check to see if Dr. Friz does spay/neuter bunnies if not there are several other vet's in the area I'm sure with as many bunnies as they have around here some vet must do it. If not I guess we can always take them to the same vet as the LN does even if it is about 2 hours north
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:32 AM
 
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Yay Kim! I'm so happy that you are saving some precious little bunnies!!!

Well Carmen gave you tons of great info. The pellets that I used are Kaytee Forti-diet, but I'm not sure if you have Kaytee there. Any high quality fortified alfalfa pellet would work. There are also timothy pellets which are supposed to be better for adult bunnies, but I can't get mine to eat them. The rescue that I got my bunnies from suggests a diet that is mainly veggie and hay based, with only a small amount of pellets. I have found (with my bunnies anyway) that pellets can cause the bunny to not each as much hay and veggies, and I have also noticed that they can gain a lot of weight from pellets. Mine just love those darn pellets so much! What I usually do is give my bunnies their veggies in the morning, and after they eat all of those I will give them 1/4 cup pellets each. They have access to unlimited hay so they eat that throughout the day and at night when their pellets are gone. Of course, I have adult bunnies and I'm sure the nutritional needs of babies are different.

The main veggies that I feed are: Parsley (regular and Italian), cilantro, dandelion greens, broccoli, and carrots. They aren't supposed to have too many carrots but carrot tops are really good for them. Bunnies love leafy greens. Kale, escarole, endive, (sorry if I butchered the spelling on any of these) swiss chard...those are all good. Any kind of grass hay is good. I use timothy and oat, wheat, and barley combo. I've read that baby bunnies should get alfalfa hay until they are like 6 months old or something. They need the calcium in it. After that they shouldn't have alfalfa anymore. I'm sure www.rabbit.org has more info on that.

And I agree with Carmen that you should get two bunnies! I think its better unless you have LOTS of time to spend with the bunny. You have such an advantage since you are getting them as babies. You don't have to go through the whole bonding ordeal like I do!

And yes, they go crazy when the hormones kick in. I couldn't let my female out because she would chase my cats and mount them! She also forgot that she was litter box trained and she'd run around like crazy with poops flying everywhere! It was a sight to see!

I'm so excited for you. Please let us know if you have anymore questions!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Steph,
Thanks a bunch hun, you and Carmen have both given us some great info
Darren is going to talk to the guy tomorrow and see if he will either give us 2 bunnies or let us buy another from him so we can have 2, and if not I guess we will have to find a decent pet store around here and pray for the best in finding a playmate. However I don't really see too big of a problem with getting 2 from the same guy, brother and sister combo would be good I suppose..... I will definitely let you both know how it goes.... We went today and bought a medium sized cage as it was only like $25 we couldn't pass it up and it will save Darren time on having to build one right now, I know we will either have to buy a much larger cage or Darren will have to build one soon, as this one won't hold 2 bunnies for long
As for pellets we have Purnia Advanced Nutrition For Show, so I'm thinking those will be great. The veggie diet for the bunnies sounds much like the one we had our guinea pigs on back in the states, so I think we can handle this okay and if not I definitely know where to turn
? though, I read some info on the rabbit.org site and one thing they said was to never reach in the cage to fill their food bowls unless you have lured them towards the door, as well as never take them out of their cage or pick them up to place them in it, is this true???
Okay I know more questions will come and I thank you both again you have helped a great deal
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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Hmmm, thats weird. I have never had a problem with reaching in the cage or pen to fill the bowls. My buns have always been more than eager to have me give them a re-fill. I don't know why it says that.

I agree that its better to let them come out of the cage on their own instead of taking them out. I usually just leave the door open and they come out. I've read too that instead of picking them up and putting them back in the cage, you should "herd" them towards the entrance and kind of guide them in. That way they don't think that every time you pick them up, you are going to put them back in the cage. Its really easy to get them back in without picking them up.

You will find what works for you. Each rabbit has its own personality and like I said, you have a huge advantage by getting two babies who have never been mistreated. Things are a lot harder with an adult rabbit who has been through hard times. Bunnies are really smart and they remember everything! I'm sure you'll see what I'm talking about soon enough! I was lucky enough to get Sonora when she was about 2 months old so she wasn't too tramatized even though she came from a shelter. Rusty on the other hand is two years old so he's been through a lot and I'm trying to undo the damage now. Anyway, now I'm babbling on! The point of that story is that each bunny has its own personality. I can't wait to hear what yours are like!
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh this is going to be fun I can see it now
Steph do they give vaccinations for Myxomatosis and VHD back in the states? I read they do vaccinate for Myxomatosis in Aus. as that is where it was orignally started on purpose to kill off the wild bunnies and then another version is VHD that started in the U.K. so I was just curious if they vaccinate in the states, I'm going to have to check into that here, as I read there is NO cure for VHD and that the incubation period is 1-3 days with death usually occuring in 12-36 hours....WOW!!!
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 02:57 PM
 
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Wow, no I've never even heard of that.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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Kim, if you ever need to get your bunnies to do something, I have two words for you: Yogurt Chips.

Sonora will stop whatever she's doing and stick to me like glue the second she gets a whiff of these. They work wonders for training purposes. Mine are berry flavored and made by Kaytee but I'm sure you can find them by someone else. They may be called yogurt drops. They are considered rabbit junkfood but they are a lifesaver if you need to get your bun's attention.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 05:51 PM
 
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Ok you are probably going to think that I have no life but I wanted to add that a good way to encourage your bunnies to use the litter box is to put hay in it. They like to eat while they go to the bathroom so if you put a nice stack of hay in the front, they are more likely to use the box.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 02:58 AM
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Kim I don't know where you got your info about Myxamotosis from. It is illegal to vaccinate your bunnies against that in Aus....it totally sucks. It was bought in to Aus to control the amount of wild rabbits we have. Now 90% of the wild rabbits that catch Myxo recover from it...0% of domestic rabbits do. The best way to avoid it is to have them as indoor bunnies or to cover their cage with fly screen to keep the mosquitos out if they are outdoors. We vaccinate our rabbits against the callici virus...which is also fatal and carried by mosquitos. And yes myxo does kill that quickly. It's a horrible horrible disease...I had one rabbit die from it when I was 14.
As with the bowl thing.....I've never heard of it!!!! Molly will actually pick her bowl up and bang it against the cage if I'm not quick enough with feeding her in the morning!!! The only problem I've ever had with putting them back down in the cage is they sometimes try to rip it out of my hand, which makes a mess!!!
Steph's diet sounds great too!! I guess it's just like dogs...you do what works best for you! And Steph I have read before about carrots being bad for your your rabbits....mine get them at least 4 times a week with no trouble what so ever!!
Kim bear in mind when getting two that they may (and only may, not all bunnies do this) fight a little when they are 'teenagers' and may need to be seperated for that time. It's not overly common though so don't stress about it too much!!! At four months of age a male can get a female pregnant so you might want to put some wire up to divide their cage until they are fixed anyway!
I don't know if I mentioned before but rabbits do need to have an hour of exercise a day (just like chinnies) so maybe getting them introduced with the chinnies might not be so bad!!
Toilet training....your rabbit should pick up pretty quickly that wee goes in the tray....poos however are a whole other story!!! They will mark their territory by pooing so until they get desexed their will be poo!!! after that you should only find poo where they need to mark! Like Shadow poos under Molly's cage and Molly poos under Shadow's cage! That is just being a rabbit and it will never stop!
Boys can mark their territory by spraying urine....this will stop about 4 weeks after he gets fixed and he may never do it! Shadow must have thought she was a boy cause she used to spray into molly's side of the cage when they used to share!
And I have no choice but to pick my rabbits up and take them out of their cage...they are on stands and would never come out if I didn't. They are fine with it! We have a bit of a game of chasey before they go back in their cage but they only do it for a minute and then they give in and it's a game for the both of is so I don't really mind!
If you are looking for toy ideas for in their cage I read about a really good one the other day. Peg old clothing, or even just newspaper, to their cage (like a clothesline) and let them rip it to shreds!!! They'll love it! Otherwise cat balls, toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, plastic lids, hanging things that make noise, water bottles with pebbles in them to make sound make for great toys too!!! Obviously not all of them are useful in their cage!
You can teach a rabbit to come to you on command, and other little things like that. If you want to know more about that let me know...I'll post exactly how to do it!
Ok have we overwhelmed you enough yet?? They are great pets Kim!!! you'll love them!!!
On a funny note, I have a friend who's husband rings any time he has a bunny question and he always asks if he has rung the bunny hotline!! In all my spare time I had last year when I wasn't workin gmuch I learnt about rabbits!

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Here is where I found the vaccination information it is aimed at U.K. rabbit owners (sorry about that).
As for the bowl thing and taking your rabbit out of the cage and picking him up to place him back into the cage that was found on the rabbit.org site, but I can see why Carmen mentioned about not agreeing with everything they have on their site
We won't be getting the bunnies for another week or so, they are still a bit young (found this out this morning).
They have the yogurt drops here (if you can believe that), so I will have to try that when they get a little older or just use smaller amounts.
Carmen thanks for the toy ideas, I've been doing some reading and some sites mention similar things to what you have mentioned, I'm sure with Darren's creativity he can come up with something to occupy the bunnies time
Okay the guy that is giving us the bunnies said they couldn't be sexed until 8 weeks old, is this true? I'm worried that if we get the bunnies at 6 weeks old and they aren't sexed we might end up with 2 boys, oh well I'm sure Darren can arrange a swap if that happens, but I would hate to do that, but then again after hearing the stories I really don't want 2 boys
I'm trying to soak up all the information as there is alot to learn, but all in all it doesn't seem too difficult. I figure if we can learn about Chinnies we can learn about Bunnies
Thanks again to both of you, now I have about another week to wait oh the anxiety
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 06:23 AM
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Kim!! I have many people tell me that they can't sex bunnies until they are at least 8 weeks of age. Like you I don't want to take the risk (after my experiences!)....The easist way to sex them is by pressing just above their genital area. Both sexes have a little thing that pops out! If it is a boy it is a circle, if it is a girl, it is a slit. There are some in a litter that I can't decide between but I can usually determine about half of a litter guaranteed. The larger the breed of rabbit, the easier it is to tell.
Try doing a search on rabbit genitals on yahoo or google....you should get some good pictures! I found a picture the other day that showed the boy's testicle's popping out and was saying that that is how you determine....at 6 weeks of age every rabbit would be a girl so find a site that mentions the slit and the circle! They are who you want to follow!!!
I think rabbit.org is one of the best sites but like everything else on the internet you take what you want to believe is true and disregard the rest....just like that uk site saying that us aussies vac against myxo! I wish we could!!!!

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 10:44 AM
 
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I agree about www.rabbit.org. Its a great site but you have to find what works for you. Carmen I used to feed my bunnies whole carrots with the carrot tops on them all the time and I never had problems! Then I read that carrots are too high in sugar for bunnies so I stopped giving them carrots so often. I think I got that info from The Bunny Bunch. But they are really fanatical about what they feed their bunnies. They only feed timothy pellets and a very small amount at that. Rusty is way too skinny in my opinion but thats going to change soon!
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 11:40 AM
 
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BTW, I meant they feed timothy pellets instead of alfalfa pellets. They feed veggies and hay of course too! Mo is going to lose a bunch of weight on those things but thats ok because he was getting a little too fat.

Kim, thats too bad that you have to wait. Those bunnies will be with you before you know it though. I can't wait to see pics!!!
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