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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Wink Found a rabbit or rabbit found us.

A week ago we found a lost rabbit in our front yard. We've had no success in finding the owner so far and at this point I think the rabbit is here to stay. This is just one of many lost pets that have found their way to our home over the years; dogs, cats and even a Russian tortoise (most found their homes or a good home and some have stayed on permanently) but we've never had a rabbit.

After some research, I believe he is a mini Rex. Light tan with a white underbelly, erect ears and short dense fur about 4lbs. He looks just like the ones I've seen online anyway. He appears to be an adult and in good health (just a little dirty when he arrived) but other than that I know nothing.

The rabbit (now called Butters) is simply adorable. Kind, gentle, very playful and very hungry lol. He seems a little thin maybe but according to a few neighbors he had been seen running the streets for a couple days before he found our yard. We are feeding 1/2 cup pellets, unlimited timothy hay and fresh veggies (lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery so far) 3 or 4 times a day.

We have have him in a large metal barred dog crate that has a solid plastic tray bottom. He has a litter box, bed (big enough to stretch out), food/hay/water all inside his cage. He also has a blanket and litter box outside the cage as he spends most of his time running around the living room. The cage is on the floor and the door opens fully so he can go in and out on his own during the day but we close him in at night or if we leave.

After some reading, my daughter used a raisin as reward and in a matter of 2 days he is now peeing in the box without incident. The poo situation is not going as well lol. The little poops just seem to fall out everywhere he goes. He is only in the living room (which is not huge) but my daughter spends a lot of time following along behind him with a dust pan and hand broom. Any suggestions on this would be much appreciated!

Um, he seems happy. He licks us, jumps in our laps if we sit in the floor, jumps up on the sofa and lays along the back of your neck, LOVES to be petted and ruffled up and sometimes he is really silly and runs in funny little circles doing these flip things (especially when my daughter come back into the room). Totally playing, not fearful in anyway. He's not scared of the chihuahua or the cat (he approaches them for sniffing) and if my daughter lays in the floor, he will flop over and nap with her with his little head sticking out of the blanket lol. Can you tell we are enthralled?

I guess I wanted to know if we were missing anything? Does it seem like we're doing okay by him? Any suggestions, tips or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Oh one question I do have - does he have to chew on something? He seems to have no desire what-so-ever to nibble or chew on anything. We were afraid if we gave him things to chew it may bring out the desire to chew. Does that sound weird? Like 'if it's not broken, don't fix it'? Anyway do they need to chew like ratties or is it something they do out of boredom like a dog?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 12:46 PM
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Congrats on your bunny!!

It seems you have the basics down as far as care and free running. Rabbits confined to a cage are by no means living an ideal life So keep him out as long as you can! Some people have free running bunnies who are only crated when they are left alone in the house and at beditme.
The poop is a territorial thing. He will just be a poop machine unless you have him neutered (in the meantime you might even have a female if you have not protracted the testicles) I would have him seen be a rabbit savvy vet to confirm his gender and also make sure his teeth are fine! If he is eating a lot of hay, that's a good sign. Although (and not to worry you) my mini rex was badly bred and while she ate hay and food everyday she developed a bad abscess that turned into retrobulbar [her molar grew into her eye duct bc of bad placement or something].
You want to probably stop feeding so many carrots and spinach though. They are high in calcium which can lead to bladder sludge and worse from there. Romaine, green leaf, red leaf and the bushy dark leafed lettuces are fine for a salad base. Top it off with things like home grown herbs (if I can grow them, anyone can), and scraps from fruit or veggies. Stay away from cabbage and potatoe as a general rule. This is the list I go from: http://adoptarabbit.org/articles/packet/abcvegi.html

The flips he does in the air is called a "binky" in the bunny lover's world You can find all kinds of videos and pictures of bunny binkies. They do it when they're full of happy and have spasms of excitement. It's truly fun to watch and a great thing to see, it means the bunny is happy and comfortable in his surroundings.

As for chewing, yes. Always provide something for him. Be it cardboard, willow, apple branch, grass mats, etc. You can find bunny safe toys anywhere. Cardboard is a favorite with my Acacia, she also likes to tear and shred newspaper. They will chew walls and wires and furniture if you let them, if he doesn't show signs of chewing now I wouldn't rule it out. My old bunny didn't chew walls while I had her but when I was moving I found out she had chewed my computer wire (which is now adorned in green elec tape).
Always be careful with your stuff when it comes to bunnies.
Finally, PICTURES!!!! I love love mini rexes, and your description is just making me die to see him. You can attach a picture by the paper clip icon or a photo upload site like Photobucket.
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