We had a crazy year so far! We enjoyed having a beautiful summer and many babies to improve the quality of our herd.
We kept most of our babies lately as we have seen a huge increase in quality. We are so happy to see rounded ears, short front limbs and compact bodies developing in our rabbitry.
We are now working on making videos and finalizing our newsletter.
Thank you so much for your patience with us. I hope you will enjoy our upcoming newsletter!
We keep quails for their eggs and the other day I was searching for quails on my local classifieds and I was shocked when I saw over 500 rabbits in my local classifieds.
Most of them are from local breeders that are breeding them just to supplement their income. It made me sad and mad to see how little people really care about the breed of their rabbits and our reputations as a breeder.
The first thing that upset me is people selling their rabbits dirt cheap as great pets for children. These people aren't thinking about the adverse affect that will have on their reputation and the development of the breed they are selling, instead they are trying to simply pay for their feed.
Negative result #1 Local shelters are seeing a increased amount of abandoned rabbits, because of these breeders, selling on local classifieds to anyone that waves a $20 bill. People buying rabbits for dirt price will dispose of them just as fast as they purchased them.
These folks are not preparing their buyers for the obnoxious behaviors these rabbits will develop in just few months after they reach sexual maturity.
The result unfortunately is that these same "cuddly bunnies" will be rehomed in just few months.
Negative result #2 The development of the breed is slowed when backyard breeders, choose to breed inferior quality animals just so they can sell them quickly and make a buck. How do I know? Because as a breeder that is interested in breeding high quality animals, I know that high quality rabbits are not sold for dirt price. I know how hard it is to select the best animals and try to match up the best qualities hoping that the result will be a incredible animal. I know such animals aren't sold on KSL. If these breeders were interested at all in improving the breed, they would grow their best animals and build their herd, but they can't do that by selling that much rabbits on the local classifieds.
Negative result #3 Breeder's reputation. The slogan #adoptdontshop is all over the internet due to careless breeders that are trying to make ends meet by selling rabbits on local classifieds. Breeders like me that take this responsibility seriously are attacked by haters due to the terrible reputation these backyard breeders are making for the rest of us.
Negative result #4 Buyers are abandoning their rabbits after just few months.The rabbits sold on those classified adds as being potty trained and cuddly. Have mediocre care and live in lower then standard conditions. Just because a rabbit have a box full of shaving on the corner of their wire cage it doesn't mean that they are potty trained! Just because these poor rabbits see their owner when they are dropping their pellets in their bowls, it doesn't mean that they are being handled daily!
After these same rabbits reach sexual maturity and start urinating everywhere, the uneducated buyers simply rehome them.
Due to the increase of irresponsible breeding of Holland lops and many other breeds, we have updated our sales policy and will no longer sell our rabbits with a pedigree if they are being sold as pets.
Are you contemplating adopting a bunny?
Here are some facts you should know about their poop.
Rabbits poop a lot and they must have their hutch cleaned daily. Before adopting a bunny you should read this article and decide if you are ready for this long term responsibility.
Rabbits are herbivores that must munch on hay all day long. Before we intervened on their life style rabbits in the wild would graze all day in grasses, twigs, pine cones, leaves, flowers and berries. After we humans became interested in rabbits to serve as our food and our pets ,we started to feed them pellets as a convenient way for us to care for them. The proper diet for rabbits consist in high fiber content extracted from grass hay like Timothy hay, often sold in pet stores and even grocery stores.
Rabbits need to have a constant movement of their gut in order to continue to be healthy, because of all that fiber, rabbits poop a lot!!!
Rabbits have two types of poop: one is the well known round and dry pellet made out of hard waste from the intestines. The other type is known as Cecotrophes and is part of a content from the cecum. It was meant to be re-digested by rabbits and has a soft consistency. Cecotrophes can smell and smudge around the cage.
Fortunately for us most of their poop are dry and hardly smell. Their urine on the other hand is very smelly specially if your rabbit is eating a carbohydrate based diet which is the formula chosen by economical feed companies. Their urine stain and stink and that is why we choose hay based pellets. We also potty train our babies from early age so we do not have to clean urine from our hutch floors. We do not use wire cages!
Back to the main point of this article, rabbit poops a lot. If you are considering adopting a bunny as a indoor pet, you must know that you will see about 200-300 "dry pellets" per day from your rabbit. You may or may not ever see Cecotrophes from your rabbit.
The good news is that rabbit manure is a great compost item and can be added to your garden without needing to wait. It will not burn your plants.
The bad news is that if you didn't buy a potty trained bunny, you will spend most of your free time cleaning after your bunny. Most rabbits will only be 100% potty trained after being spayed and neutered if they started their training early in life.
If you are adopting a bunny that never been exposed to a litter box, you will have your hands full!
Please research and make sure that you are ok with that task before you adopt a bunny.
Rabbits that are introduced to a litter box from early age will deposit 80-90 % of its "pellets" inside their litter box making cleaning a lot easier than the rabbit who watched his mom pooping wherever she pleased.
To read more about Bunny poop please go to http://rabbit.org/the-scoop-on-poop/
You might be asking yourself how young is too young for a baby Holland lop to leave its mother?
Many States prohibits the selling of rabbits under 8 weeks, so check with your Department of Agriculture if you don't know what are your State requirements.
1- During the first week of its life a baby bunny will develop its fur and receive a rich milk(colostrum) from its mother. This is a very important week as he will receive all his antibodies to fight diseases from her milk.
2- Week two is a bit more exciting as the fur is covering their skin and by day 11-14 they should open their eyes.
3- Week three is a huge change as they start to explore the outside of the nest box and nibble on solid food. By day 21 they should have full access to clean and fresh hay. That's why it is very important to know where your baby comes from, during this period many germs and bacteria's can form inside of soiled nest boxes that are neglected, and your bunny could be exposed to them as a result.
4- Your baby will develop his first toilet habits. They will watch mom and follow her lead, that's why it is so important to also potty train mom. If mom goes every where, so will her baby.
5- By week 5 baby's mortality rate are astronomical as Enteritis can develop as a result of transitioning from milk to solid food. Now more then ever a baby rabbit should have the nourishing fat milk of its mother to protect his intestines from becoming irritated. Many rabbits that are weaned and sold at early age are not prepared to be alone. They are left unprotected when weaned too early. A reputable breeder would also be concerned about the health of her doe when removing her kits too soon. The mother could develop mastitis as a result of weaning all kits too early and suddenly.
6- Now is the time to check baby's teeth for malocclusion. Between 6-7 weeks rabbits will have their teeth in place so if you buy your baby too young you could be inheriting a huge vet bill!!!
7- As they become more independent at week 7, their personalities are really going to start showing itself at this time. That is why you shouldn't buy a baby before 9 weeks. You could be surprised of how much they change from 6-9 weeks. Your once cuddly baby could become uncontrollable in one week.
8- By week 8 you will be able to tell the gender for sure. During week eight they will be grooming themselves and you shouldn't have to worry about their bum being dirty. Your breeder should also deworm your baby for intestinal parasites and mites.
9- Week 9, now is the best time to adopt your pet bunny, they have naturally weaned from mom and they know who they are. You can clearly see their personality and make a educated decision. Do not rush they will live 10-12 years!!!
When you purchase a baby from Gio's Holland Lop of Utah you will receive your first vet visit free. That's a great time to talk to our rabbit-savvy veterinarian about spay and neuter.
You had been dreaming of getting a bunny for a while, now what? Rabbits are very smart they can learn commands, they can communicate with actions and let you know what they expect from you. The question is, Do you understand what he is trying to say? The number one step to understand your rabbit is the bond developed by the two of you. If you are bonded with your bunny the two of you will be able to communicate and understand each other. How to get started? If you can devote 60 minutes per day to spend with your bunny, you will bond to him in no time!
Here are some ways you can do that!
1- Develop a routine. Rabbits are routine creatures, they like to know what is coming next, so make sure you develop a routine with your rabbit. he will know what to expect and anticipate.
2- Devote quality time to interact with your bunny as part of that routine we just talked about. Put everything else aside when you are with your bunny, specially your phone.
3- Lay down and observe. Let your bunny feel safe and not threaten by you. As he approaches you avoid reaching for him just talk in calm voice. He will know he can approach you without being picked up.
4- Use his favorite treat as your allied. Only feed healthy treats by hand, that will help your bunny associate your hands with a good feeling-reward.
5- Never chase him when is time to get back in his hutch. You must develop a routine that when is time to get back in his hutch, you will never have to chase him. The playtime has to always end in a positive note.
6-Announce your presence. Rabbits can get startled very easily so until the routine is set, find a way to announce your presence without scaring your rabbit. I always walk in in the rabbitry saying, "Hello, how are my cuties doing?" By doing that they always know its just me, no need to fear.
7- Be consistent. Even if takes time to bond, don't give up. You committed to have a bunny when you bought him. Continue to work on this relationship and I promise you your effort will pay off.
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!