Everyone considering breeding rabbits should ask themselves," Why do I want to breed Holland Lops?".
Any reputable breeder should have the breed itself in mind when deciding to breed rabbits. Your focus should be improving the breed for future generations.
Holland lops are a marvelous breed of rabbits, but unfortunately far too many people are breeding these beautiful animals without taking into consideration the standard of the breed. Not all "holland lops" should be used for breeding purposes. Pet quality should not be used in breeding programs! Do you know the difference? Why are you wanting to breed Holland lops?
Some are breeding to gain popularity in different platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and others are just supplementing their low income by selling pet rabbits.
Holland lops are to be short, with Massive appearance, short wide ears, and wide muzzles. When you see "holland lops for sale" are they long? with long ears? are their heads narrow? Is the breeders claiming that the baby's personality is at fault for not being able to pose them? All those are excuses used by "pet breeders" who are breeding low quality animals for their own gain. We find too many rabbits that aren't bred right on local classifieds and personal websites. Pet breeders are like puppy mills, they have their own advantage in mind, not of their animals. They focus on colors firsts instead of type. They do so because the "pet rabbit"prospects are impulsively buying rabbits because they are cute. They do not know what a Holland lop should really look like and they are easily impressed but cute words. The truth is, we all must reflect on what is going to be of our loved Holland Lop breed if people don't stop immediately to breed irresponsibility. In order to preserve the gorgeous trait of Holland lops we ask that breeders focus first on their type instead of color. Focus on shortening your bodies, widening your ears,producing better bone! When you focus on your herd's improvement instead of selling pet rabbits, you will learn what a Holland lop should look like.
If you research online you will find many controversial ways that people recommends as the perfect way to feed rabbits. I even saw someone who recommend removing all minerals from their water! In order to feed your rabbit properly you first need to understand that rabbit's digestive system was designed to digest leaves, grasses, twigs, occasional berries.
After man intervened on how rabbits live we introduced pellets to their diet. Today I wanted to talk to you all about rabbit pellets.
Pelleted rabbit food is practical for us, but not the best food for your rabbit. They need lots of fiber in their diet, to help push all the hair they ingest while grooming themselves.
I have been a firm believer that rabbits should eat more hay and greens than pellets, until I switched my feed last year due to not being able to find fresh feed at my local feed stores. I always used MannaPro Show rabbit food for years and was very happy with the results. Many judges at shows complemented our rabbit's condition and fur when we showed them, these traits are very important in the show tables. I only stopped feeding MannaPro because I couldn't find it fresh here in Utah. I decided to switch to a local pet feed brand and they suggested me to free feed their pellets. I wish I would have stuck in my own way instead of being swayed. I learned hard way, in the last year I had more cases of GI Stasis than I had seen in years and I'm positive now that the increase of gastrointestinal problems in my rabbitry recently is due to free feeding pellets to my rabbits. It all started when I provided free choice pellets to them, they slowly stopped eating their hay and didn't drink much water. I didn't realize that the pellets were the problem until last week when I lost my favorite buck, Ali. After consulting with my vet, a huge fan of OXBOW, he instructed me to go back to my old feeding style. He recommended a controlled amount of Plain pellets that are hay based, and free choice Timothy hay plus green leafy vegetables. No more free feeding of rabbit pellets.
For a list of safe vegetables follow this link to the House Society
I wanted to share this updated, as many of you have changed your feed because I had endorsed a brand of food which promotes free feeding as the best way to feed a rabbit. I'm now retracting my previous posts and wanted to warn you of the bad consequences free feeding pellets can have in your rabbit's intestinal tract.
List of bunnies who suffered from GI Stasis since eating free feed pellets:
All the bunnies above were treated immediately but we still lost two of them.
To learn more about GI Stasis click here
My vet recommends feeding only a controlled amount of pellets daily for pet rabbits, ask your vet what he recommends.
Basic Diet for pet rabbits
Unlimited plain Alfalfa-based pellets for young rabbits from 7 weeks until 4 months.
1/4 - 1/2 of a cup of Timothy Hay based pellets for adult rabbits.
As long as the pellets are fresh and hay based it doesn't matter what brand you choose. Never suddenly switch your rabbit's pellets, if you choose to feed Oxbow pellets as most Vets recommend in the USA be sure to do so slowly by mixing your old feed and new feed for at least 7 days.
Hay should be available 24 hours a day in order to provide all the fiber your rabbit needs.
If you own a rabbitry, you will want to pay attention to feeding the proper ration to each group of rabbits you have. Rabbits of different age group require different amount of nutrition, also your show rabbits will need different nutrition than your breeding stock.
Dry bucks and does 1/4 cup of hay based pellets, and free choice timothy hay.
Nursing does, free feed timothy hay and pellets (16% or 18% protein). Greens can be also served daily.
Nursing does need more nutrition then dry does.
Babies free feed timothy hay and pellets 16%-18% protein until 13 weeks, then reduce to 1/2 cup pellets per day. Always free feed Timothy Hay.
Here at Gio's Holland lops, we grow a garden each year, so our rabbits are used to eating fresh green leafy vegetables daily.
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!