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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question New to Bunnies

First off, I am new here and new to bunnies.

Now for the "rest of the story". Our neighbors got two female bunnies a couple of months ago. They are housed outside in a hutch that is so small I wouldn't put my rats in it. They are totally ignored except for food and water and the obligatory hutch cleaning. My husband and I are appalled at the way these beautiful little girls are treated (or not treated).

We want to rescue them and adopt them from the neighbor. We have some questions before we even approach them.

We want them to be inside bunnies.
Do we need a cage?
Can they be litter box trained?
Is there any special food I need to feed besides alfalfa pellets?
Is there anything I need to worry about that they can get into or chew?
We have 10 rats kept in a cage. Will the bunnies bother them?
If we are gone for a day, will the bunnies get into trouble?
Can we shut them into a bathroom to keep them contained while we leave?
If we put out a food and water dish (like a cat or dog dish) will they use it?

Once we get everything figured out, we will aproach the neighbors. Thanks for any help/advice you can give.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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Yes you will want a cage, if only for a comfortable place for the bunnies to hide.
Yes they can be litter trained, but remember, accidents do happen.
Remember that fresh veggies are good for any diet, and important in keeping your friends interested in food. You wouldn't want just oatmeal, would you?
Watch out for electrical cords, wooden table legs, books, papers- rabbits love to, and need to, chew. Provide chew toys.
Rabbits should not bother rats, unless they are aggressive in general.
They will probably get into some trouble when unattended, just like a child. Please keep them in a safe, confined area when you are not home. The bathroom would be suitable, but make sure there are no chemicals out and no place they could drown.
Good luck.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 02:59 PM
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I would check out http://www.rabbit.org . It's a great website. Good luck with the bunnies!




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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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hello

i think it is wonderful what you are doing! i only hope your neighbors will agree to the adoption! if not at least suggest a larger hutch/cage?

however! if things work out in your and the bunnies' favor- i think what evil_vegan said is very good advice. also- if they are older than 6 months you should feed them timothy based pellets instead of alfalfa. maybe OxBow or something like that.

i also think a cage is a good idea. my bunnies free-roam but sometimes start acting up by chewing carpet and wood panels and stuff. when i round them up and put them in their cages they calm right down, get a bite to eat, take a drink and take a nap or play with their toys. thats why i like having a cage- its like thier own bedroom.

with litter training- i have found that they use it very well as long as i keep little "bunny bathrooms" around. i have one box in each of their cages, one in my bedroom and one in the living room. lining the front of the box with hay helps mine to use them well. they like to nibble while they do their 'business' plus, they like those large hi-back litter boxes. these have helped mine to train really well. however- they cannot resist a couple little doodles on the bed now and then liek evil_vegan said, accidents will happen.

oh! and i also have rats but i have never let my rabbits and rats out to play together. i just dont feel altogether safe about it... i know (as far as my pets go at least) that one or the other would end up getting hurt.

good luck with the bunnies! i'll be hoping your neighbors agree to the adoption!!!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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None of my rabbits have ever had a problem with my rats- but the rats sometimes had problems with the bunnies! You will know right away if the rabbit is biting the rat, but in a case like mine, where the rat walks up and bites the rabbit's rear, you will need to pay attention. With all that fuzziness, sometimes they won't feel it right away.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Our rats are in a RUUD about 12 inches off the floor. There shouldn't be any interaction as the rats do not freerange.

My big concern is the comfort and happiness of these new bunnies. I don't think the neighbors have even given them names. I took care of them for about 3 days while they were gone. I just walked over to their porch to make sure they had food and water. Every day I took some lettuce or carrots or something. They went from not wanting to be touched to standing at the door waiting for me twice a day. Now that the people are back, we are right back to square one with no contact. I am sick about this. How can people get animals and then totally ignore them like an old shirt??
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yay ! ! ! The bunnies are mine. We will be bunn proofing the house this weekend.

Now I am R-E-A-L-L-Y going to need some help from everyone here.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:08 PM
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you might want to keep them either caged or confined to a small area for the first couple days, it will help them to settle in and will help with litter training, also keep in mind not to use clay based litter, or pine/ceder chips as they are all harmful to the rabbits health.. i highly recommend aspen chips, i use them and they seem to work great. another popular litter is carefresh. just a bit of advice

Congradulations on your new family members! hope you can post some pictures soon
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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What did you say to them? Could you give us a report?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelnstuff
you might want to keep them either caged or confined to a small area for the first couple days, it will help them to settle in and will help with litter training, also keep in mind not to use clay based litter, or pine/ceder chips as they are all harmful to the rabbits health.. i highly recommend aspen chips, i use them and they seem to work great. another popular litter is carefresh. just a bit of advice

Congradulations on your new family members! hope you can post some pictures soon
Sounds lots like the advice given out for our rats. We just purchased a 20 lb. bag of aspen chips for the rats. Now it will just have to go a little further.

We have to get a cage first before we can bring them home. Anything we get will be so much better than where they are housed right now.

Thanks everyone, for all the great advice. All I need now is information on what types of foods are good. I am really bunny illiterate. We have started reading rabbit.org stuff and trying to absorb as much as possible.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil_vegan
What did you say to them? Could you give us a report?
I am pretty much the "just say it" type of person. I walked up to her as she was gardening and told her I wanted to talk to her about her bunnies, but didn't know where to start. So I just told her that since they have been so busy this summer and not paying attention to them -- besides the fact that her husband is allergic to them -- could I have their bunnies. She said, "Do you really want them?" My answer was an emphatic YES.

She said they were mostly for her daughter. Who, BTW just ignores them all the time. This is a young couple who has better things to do with their time than take care of animals.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:19 PM
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You might want to read up about NIC cages.. storebought pet cages are extreamly expensive and really arnt worth it in the long run, especially one big enough for 2.

do you know how old they are?

For food information i think this site has some good basics http://www.carrotcafe.com/f/veggies.html

Dont know if anyone mentions hay yet but hay is very important to there diet.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 09:19 AM
 
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Welcome!!!!

Rosies Mom, First off, welcome to the forum and kudos to you for taking in the rabbits. It sounds like you are a first-time rabbit mommy. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what wonderful little folks bunnies are--that is, if they are given the chance to flourish in the right environment. They are friendly, social and intelligent creatures!

Search the boards here--you will find a wealth of information waiting for you. Also helpful might be a book called "The House Rabbit Handbook," though if you search around on the internet and do some Google searches on rabbit care, you will also find tons of info that is covered in the book.

Two sites I especially like:
House Rabbit Society: http://www.rabbit.org/index.html
3 Bunnies Rabbit Rescue: http://www.3bunnies.org/index.htm

And on a mini-rant, I have to say how much I dislike when parents buy animals "for their child." In my experience, this rarely works out. Older, responsible children--who show interest in and choose their animal--often make wonderful caretakers, but otherwise, stuffed animals are the best bet for kids! Animals are not toys!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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Well well well, "will they get into trouble when we leave?" lol yes! hahaha! No seriously, they should have a cage which acts as their safe haven and houses their food and water. Here is my meal plan for my bunnies. Timothy hay available to them all day, pellets for breakfast, greens for lunch and greens for dinner and fruit for dessert. The pellets should be about a cup for every two lbs of bunny and the greens you don't have to be chincy with, let 'em have it. Small amount of dessert, mine love applesauce, strawberries...pretty much anything sweet, but again, just a little bit. You need to bunny proof your home...they will eat your electrical cords. You can get those plastic protector things for them or just keep them out of bunny's reach. They do like to eat carpet and under your couch/bed. I personally gave my bunnies their own room. They have a cage...opened at all times. We put in a wood floor in their room with a few blankets on the floor. Also, beware of food and water bowls. The dog and cat kind don't work because they play this game of "tip them over". Get the ones that attach to the side of the cage. They love newspaper in their cage. Good luck and I hope you get them...you will love them, really!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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the easiest way to litter box train them, i found, was to let them pee wherever they want (in their cage) then put a litter box in that same exact spot, with a couple of their own poops. Now u just have to clean out the litter box instead of the whole cage every couple of days or when u can smell it.
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