Congradulations on the purchase of your new rabbit.  Here are some of the basics you will need to know.

Rabbit feeding: 

We feed Pro Manna rabbit pellets.   My rabbits love it and the ones that were running underweight picked up.  I also recommend Kent foods where available.  Pellets are fed every day.  The dwarf breeds only need about 3/4 of a small tuna can once a day.  You don't want to overfeed rabbbits. If you are going to feed a different food than I am, change it over in 10 % encriments each day.  I buy 50lbs at a time and store in an airtight container.  It is much more economical than buying from a pet store.  Also grass or timothy hay. Alfalfa hay tends to be to rich after the baby stage and the pellets have it added.  Fruits/ veggies can be added at 6mos of age.  Add one at a time and slowly.  No celery as it is very stringy. 

Fresh water should be available at all times. 

Rabbit care:

Rabbits need their nails trimmed as dogs and cats do.  If you are experienced you can do it yourself.  Just take off the tip like other pets so you don't hit the quick.  They also need something to chew to keep their teeth from growing too long.  Pet stores sell cubes for this purpose.  You can also use branch chunks from an apple tree.  Make sure you DO NOT use branches from a pitted fruit tree. 

Rabbits need an indoor cage or outdoor hutch.  If indoor, you need to choose a litter for bedding. Pine is not usually recommended as it has too much dust in it. Neither is Cedar.   Aspen is a good wood or you can use a pellet or recycled product.  The cage needs cleaned once to twice a week. You can chose to potty train your bunny.  If you do put a small litter box in the corner of the cage the bunny usually goes.  Put in some of it's fecal matter and hay.  This will encourage it to go there.  Start with the box in confinement and then enlarge the spac your bunny can go over time.  This helps them remember to return to their box. Bunnies are clean by nature and most will easily use a box.  You can also give your bunnies toys in their cage to fight boredom. 

If you go with an outdoor hutch, make sure there is shelter from the elements.  A wooden box in the corner or one end that is enclosed for them to escape to is perfect.  Do not use treated wood if you make it yourself.  Make sure it has plenty of room to move around and get exercise. 

Rabbits need attention and exercise.  If you let your rabbit free roam, make sure you get on your hands and knees and baby proof your home.  Make sure there are no cords or toxins around.  Supervise the rabbit.  It is recommended you give your rabbit daily exercise time.  If you exercise your rabbit outside, do it in an enclosed area.  Neighborhood/ wild animals can snatch a bunny up quickly.  One of the plastic baby play pens found at a rummage sale is a great way to keep bunny safe and exercised.  We found one at a sale for $3.00.  A fenced yard is also a good enclosure, but make sure the bunny can't get under decks, the house, or find a hole to escape.  Again, supervision is required. 

Rabbits do better in extreme cold than they do in the heat.  For winter care, use straw in their boxes to keep them warm.  Rabbits also do well in cages in a garage or shed.  Make sure it is well lit and ventilated.  Never start the car to warm in a garage with a bunny.  If it is excessively hot in the summer freeze a water bottle or 2Liter bottle and put it in the cage.  They will lay against it and keep themselves cool.  I always have two so one can be freezing while the other is in the cage. 

Spaying/nuetering a rabbit

It is a personal choice whether you fix your rabbit.  The benefit is that bucks won't spray and does will not become cage aggressive (there again not all do but some do).  Bucks are more likely to spray if you have multiple rabbits and/or one is a doe.  Cage aggression is shown by a rabbit thumping its feet at you, some times coming at you in the cage, and possibly biting.  Usually when the rabbit is removed from the cage it is fine.  Cage aggression often shows up starting at sexual maturity around 5-6mos.  Not all does become cage aggressive.  I have had more that are not than are.  I have not yet had a Holland or American Fuzzy lop that was cage aggressive but have seen it in other breeds. Most of the time a bunny is fixed around 5-6 mos of age.  We neutered one of our bucks since he is just a family pet.  It was $50.00 at my vet.  Prices vary by vet's office.


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