Most people are surprised to learn that you can housebreak a rabbit by putting litter boxes or pee pads in the corners of the room. They’ll eventually choose a corner and then you can remove the others. Rabbits will quickly learn their name and even come when called. Rabbits are cute, quiet and don’t take up a lot of room. This makes them a terrific companion for any home or apartment. Just make sure you Rabbit Proof your home(Removing anything you don’t want chewed).
PICKING THE RIGHT RABBIT
Rabbits come in all sizes and possess different strengths and weaknesses. If you’re interested in breeding rabbits. New Zealand’s are a medium sized rabbit that’s easy to breed and known to have big litters. There’s also Angora rabbits that have long wool hair that’ll need to be combed regularly. You may want to avoid certain breeds that require grooming. Folks often choose small or dwarf breed because they stay cute, small and eat very little. Lop eared rabbits are also popular pets because they have adorable puppy like ears. Let’s not forget giant rabbits. They’re surprisingly docile and great for hugging and cuddling with. Giant rabbits require more food and space but also make a terrific pet.
More times than not, male rabbits tend to be the most affectionate and cost less to fix if you choose to go that route. But Females don’t spray. In my opinion, Males are by far the better choice when picking a pet. All rabbits are a little different. Rabbits in pet stores are often stressed out and may even expire shortly after your purchase. Instead find a breeder. Once you pick a breed you like, google “Rabbit breeder near me.” A rabbit breeder will most likely be able to provide you with a healthier rabbit and in many cases can even offer a better price.
Here’s some things that may help you when bringing home your new pet rabbit
If you plan to potty train your rabbit than grab some potty pads or litter boxes. Small tubs also work and are a less expensive litter box choice. Using wall splash guards near the litter boxes they designate to be their bathroom is a good idea. Some rabbits are raised with water bowls so if you’re using a water bottle and you notice the rabbit ignoring it, dab some peanut butter on it and your rabbit will quickly investigate and discover their new water source. Some folks use baby gates to prevent their rabbit from entering certain parts of the house. Rabbits need a lot of fiber in their diet so provide Hay to your rabbit all the time. Purchasing your hay in a store is an expensive option it’s in your best interest to look for hay farmers and once or twice a year make a trip to a farm and purchase your hay. It’ll be high quality hay and drastically cheaper than the store. Simply store in a dry area like a shed, garage or barn.
Here’s some things to look for when your new fuzzy friend arrives
When you bring your rabbit home there’s going to be an adjustment period. Being covered in fur rabbits don’t need heat. Setting them in the living room next to the wood burner isn’t necessary and will cause them to over heat and suffer from heat stress. Instead, pick a quiet and cool room so your new companion is comfortable and not stressed or scared. Let them get used to their new sights, sounds and smells in peace. Check on your rabbit regularly make sure their water and feed are getting used. Folks often want to spoil their new friend with treats but stick to Hay and Pellet and refrain from feeding a lot of sugary treats or carbs. This can give your rabbit gas and they may have a hard time digesting food. Once you learn more about what rabbits can and can’t eat, you can start introducing new foods. Look over your rabbit every day. Red eyes or white mucus in the eyes, is a red flag. This is most likely an infection and should be treated. This can quickly be fixed with Terramycin which is a ophthalmic ointment. Their nose should be free of mucus or redness and should be wiggling like crazy. Check their fur and ears to make sure both are free of mites which can be treated with a couple drops of ivermectin on the back. Ivermectin is an antiparasite.
Making friends with your new rabbit
Bonding with your rabbit is fairly simple. Visiting with your rabbit daily and softly talking to it and petting it will quickly help your rabbit learn your scent and feel more comfortable with you. When carrying a rabbit tuck them in your arm like a football with their eyes covered. This relaxes them and prevents them from getting scared from the height. Your rabbit may need their nails clipped before handling. You can use cat clippers or just use long sleeves. Your new rabbit may nibble or bite for attention. Make sure their water, hay and pellet is full. Whatever you do, don’t react with a swat or slap for a correction. When it comes to your hands, you want your rabbit to associate them with positive attention and care.
Keep a clean cage with a weekly routine
Depending on the breed of rabbit you choose, they may need to be groomed regularly or not at all. Regularly inspecting your rabbit is always a good idea. I often softly squeeze my rabbits feet and check the hock pads to make sure they’re free of sores or cracks and full of fur. Look over their eyes, they should be clear and bright and open. Check their fur, ears, even teeth and nose. This only takes a minute. Good hutch maintenance requires a good routine. Empty manure trays frequently and replace bedding to keep any odor down. Using splash guards is a great idea but they’ll need to be cleaned too. Clean these with lysol spray. I like to clean the bottles and bowls with soapy water weekly. I check the J-feeders and remove and manure if present. I make sure the screens are clear and undamaged. Always check the cage and look for any needed repairs.
Here’s some tips for handling your Rabbit and how to safely let them out of their cage
Your rabbit may need their nails clipped before handling. You can use cat clippers or just use long sleeves. When carrying a rabbit tuck them in your arm like a football with their eyes covered. This relaxes them and prevents them from getting scared from the height. Your new rabbit may nibble or bite for attention. Make sure their water, hay and pellet is full. Whatever you do, don’t react with a swat or slap for a correction. When it comes to your hands, you want your rabbit to associate them with positive attention and care. Rabbits love to chew. Their teeth never stop growing so they need to have things to chew on. When letting your rabbit walk around, you must remove all electric, cable and internet cords. Also furniture or items you don’t want chewed.
Keep your rabbit healthy and happy
Rabbits like to hide so provide them with a play tunnel or hidebox of some sort. Try your best to be disciplined in feeding your rabbit the right amount of food. Most folks over feed their rabbits and never take a few seconds to read the feeding instructions on the bag. It’s best to research rabbits and become especially familiar with your breed’s nutritional needs. This way you can provide the best care possible.
As your Rabbit gets older, some adjustments may need to be made
A rabbits nutritional needs will change over time. Young rabbits need more protein around 16% Once rabbits reaches 6 months or older they only need around 12% Protein. But if a senior doe was pregnant or nursing a litter she’d once again need at least 16% protein. So to provide the best care possible it’s best to learn as much as you can about your new fuzzy friend. Older rabbits will need their nails clipped to prevent them from breaking or snapping. Cat clippers work great.
Rabbits can be housed outside too
Rabbits are such a terrific animal. Some folks just love having a pet rabbit. For others it’s a passion. There’s several different ways to raise rabbits. Many folks are surprised to find out that Rabbits do very well in the cold and stay comfortable down into the negatives. It isn’t necessary to house rabbits indoors. If keeping your rabbit indoors becomes too difficult, it’s possible to keep your rabbits in outside hutches or colony setups. It really makes cage maintenance so much easier. We developed a system using totes to help our rabbits beat the heat and stay comfortable in the coldest times of the year. Running up and down the ramp helps our rabbits stay fit. They get their exercise and when given the choice between a nesting box or a kindling tote, our Pregnant rabbits choose the kindling tote every time for their litter placement. This is a Rabbit hutch that’s enjoyable to watch and easy to keep.
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