Rabbits are excellent pets! They are smart and fun to have around. Each one has its own personality, and they love to be around humans.
The best way to keep a rabbit is indoors; rabbits that live outdoors grows distant from its owner, as life responsibilities slowly begin to rob the time you once had for your pet.
Just like any other relationship, spending time together is what creates the bond of love and friendship. You will soon understand, what your pet rabbit needs, and he will understand you as well. But how can you get to that point?
Even the most cuddly bunny rabbit will need time to adapt to its new home. The best way to start this relationship is to take one step at a time.
First, allow him to feel secure in the new home, give him space and try to keep noises down as he isn't used to you just yet.
Making the new place his own.
Allow him to mark with his chin all his furniture and give him time to settle down. It generally takes a week to get them adjusted to their new place. In the meantime be sure to check his water and food. Water bottles need to be inspected daily to make sure that your rabbit can get water out of it.
Then, allow a little freedom, just a little at a time. increase his free time little by little. Start with 10 minutes running around and keep a litter box nearby just in case. As he adjusts to the new area, you will be able to increase his free time by small increments of 10 minutes.
Next is time to get to know him.
My favorite time with my bunnies is to get to their level in the ground by laying flat on my stomach.
I do not talk much just observe and resist the urge of grabbing him when he is not paying attention. Trust me they are always paying attention.
I try to do this very often until they feel that is normal and they start to come to me. I might attempt a quick touch on their head or ears, but it is too soon to pick them up.
Next, when they feel comfortable with me, I pick them up gently holding their back feet, so they feel secure and hold them rubbing their ears nicely. When a rabbit feels safe, they do not struggle, they try to escape when you hold them too tight or not secure enough. Pay attention to their back feet, place them in your hands so they feel safe with you.
Finally, keep a routine, where you come to play and hold him after he has had a chance to explore, run and burn some calories. By doing this, often your bunny will know what to expect and feel safe about being held by you.
That's just the beginning of the bond you two can form.
Talking about Nest Boxes is a great way to teach a young breeder and also a beginner.
I remember when Luise and I just started to breed Holland Lops we bought a couple rabbits from some breeders that are involved with 4H and participated in many shows. We were excited to meet someone that "knew" what they were talking about. Well the only problem is that they weren't willing to teach us much because we would became competition to them. We were glad to meet some of the best breeders in the State of Utah and abroad and have learned a lot since then.
We want to help you succeed too and that's why I decided to write about caring for your nest boxes.
First and foremost you want to find the appropriate size for your breed, in my case I have large nest boxes and I like then except that they aren't too easy to keep it clean. Today I ordered all new metal ones, we want to be sure that we can sanitize them and keep them immaculate for our moms and babies.
After choosing size you should pay attention to how is it built, make sure there are no nails or sharp edges.
Wood vs. Metal
Wood is easy to get and cheap, but you should be sure to waterproof it before your first use. Even the most tidy doe can sometimes make a mess in the nest box and if it's not waterproof you will not be able to remove the stain out of it.
Metal isn't for every location either. We chose metal because we are USDA approved and sanitation is a huge part of our breeding program. Metal can be washed and sanitized and will not keep any stains.
When to give a doe her nest box?
We always have extra nest boxes and when a doe is digging a lot we give her a nest box to dig inside that way she doesn't dig in her litter box making a mess. If you have cages, you just need to give your doe her nest box around the 26th day of her pregnancy.
What goes inside?
Before the doe deliver her babies, we provide her with sweet smelling Timothy hay. we never put anything other then hay. I hard of newspaper and other materials, but for me nothing else is necessary.
After she deliver the babies we make sure that all birthing tissues are removed and any spoiled hay tossed in the garbage.
After the babies are 10 days old and start to move around we refresh the nest box by replacing the timothy hay with fresh new hay! Now they can eat and is clean without hair.
When to remove the nest box?
It depends on the weather, if it's cold we always leave it a little longer. If the weather is nice I remove it when they turn 3 weeks or are no longer spending time inside the nest box. I then place a small litter box with hay nest to their moms litter box, they normally just sleep there.
Sanitation and storage
After we remove the nest box we immediately empty the contents into our garden and wash it clean. We sanitize it with a Clorox solution (5%) and dry in the sun. Then we store for our next litter.
I hope you have learned something new today!
I always have people contacting me asking about how to pose a Holland lop.
They say that they rabbits wont hold still, and is always too curious to pose.
Have you been frustrated about posing your Holland lop? Have you spent hours trying to take one photo without success?
This is more then just a personality problem, it has to do with type.
I have seen photos of Holland lops that are so awkwardly posing that it makes me uncomfortable!
Breeding the wrong pair.
When you select your pair to breed you should take into consideration what each rabbit has that will compliment the other.
Holland Lops that have good bone and mass will naturally pose.
When you see a stretched out Holland lop, is most likely thin boned and has long front limbs, so no mater how hard you try, the poor animal just cannot get comfortable in that position.
Breed for thick short bones, short deep shoulders and massive Hind quarters and they will pose naturally for you.
Breeding Holland Lops is definitely not for everyone, as they are challenging and one can easily get frustrated. But if you are up to a challenge, it can be very rewarding.
Any show quality rabbit can be pets, but a pet cannot be shown. Maybe I should say: "should not be shown."
As time goes by and I get to see some of the babies I've sold in the past, I come to realize how many mistakes I've made thru my short years of breeding Holland lops. A breeder just must decide to either sell pets or breed to show.
Let me explain to you what I mean by that. Of course many people claim to sell show babies, and they normally get their babies sold by 4 weeks because they still look ok in their eyes. However you just cannot tell what a rabbit will look like for sure until it matures. At 8 weeks old if you have been breeding the same line for a while you kind of know what that rabbit will most likely look like at later stages, but if you really want to know for sure you should grow them, not sell them. I have seen ugly babies turnout really nice and babies that I expected to be good, turnout forever ugly. Now, I'm referring to quality here, not if a bunny is cute or not. I personally hate long legs, skinny bones in rabbit, specially Holland lops, they are known for its massive look and you just cannot achieve that quality with long legs and skinny bones.
So if you are starting to breed rabbit you should decide why, before your first breed. Do you want to show at a National level and succeed in shows? Then you cannot sell your babies at early age, you have to have space to grow them and see what they look like until your bloodline is developed and you have the understanding of the breed.
Effective right now 02/14/15
I no longer offer boarding or grooming sessions.
Please call Creekside Animal Hospital for Boarding options, they also offer grooming but I'm not sure if they groom rabbits.
Welcome to my Blog. I hope to inspire you to develop a wonderful relationship with your rabbits. I will share my thoughts and daily updates here. I hope you enjoy!