Tell Me About Rabbits?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by sillysally, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Evaniaday

    Evaniaday Guest

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  2. DogKisses

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  4. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    I haven't read the whole thread yet...but for your first post...

    What sort of things does a beginner need to know? They are best in m/f pairings, but whatever pairing you get, they should be spayed and neutered for their best interests. Entire does stand an 80% chance of dying from uterine cancer by 3 years old, and also, both sexes will often spray when entire (and trust me, its not pleasant at all!). I don't think you are in the UK, but in the odd chance you are, they need vaccinations each year for Myxi and VHD. Both are killers, VHD will kill without a doubt, and Myxi is a long disease which unvaccinated rabbits will very very rarely survive.

    Should I get a pair of rabbits? If so, they would be same sexed.Rabbits do best in pairs or groups, as a general rule, single bunnies can be very lonely. They are social animals, and if you are away for long periods of time, then yes, they should have a companion.

    I have read that Polish rabbits are good for beginners....any thoughts on Polish rabbits or any other breeds? I personally have heard the complete opposite, but maybe there is a difference in Polish in the UK and USA. Polish tend to be quite flightly, full of attitude, and hard to tame. That is the general experiences of people on the rabbit forum I use. Netherland Dwarfs are somewhat easier, but still have a ton of attitude. I love Mini and Dwarf Lops :)


    Can they live in a hutch outdoors? Yes they can, but it needs to be a very large space (ideally 6ft x 2ft x 2ft, with an attached run of at least 8ft). Those are the requirements in the UK, and I don't feel rabbits are happy in anything smaller. Mine have a 10ft x 6ft shed, with a 14ft x 3ft run. If they are outdoor rabbits, they should have company, as outdoor rabbits see far less of their person than indoor rabbits.

    This is my bunnies home...
    [​IMG]
    Islay, Jura and Arran's new shed by Niseag, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Islay, Jura and Arran's new shed by Niseag, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Islay, Jura and Arran's new shed by Niseag, on Flickr

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ayYYwLQgh-w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe

    Can you see that? ^^^ I can't, so try this...http://youtu.be/ayYYwLQgh-w
     
  5. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    Mini Rex are lovely rabbits, I've never met a badly tempered one. However they are VERY prone to sore hocks, they need thick thick padding under their feet. A friend of mine has Mini Rex rabbits, and she has spent thousands on vet care and home changes to try and keep her girls hocks healthy. She's been battling with them for around 4 years now.

    I personally wouldn't have one because of that, but they do have great personallities.
     
  6. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    Oh, and a well cared for rabbit should live around 8-10 years. :) My vet's Nethies are 13 :yikes:
     
  7. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    A good way to avoid sore hocks is to provide at least one area of the enclosure where the rabbit isn't on wire. If you look at the picture I posted of Shaker's cage, you'll see white plastic resting pads over the wire. Before I found those, I used a piece of cardboard for my first rabbit. The only problem with that was the poop would scatter all over when he moved. Shaker is going to be 9 next month. I've never had to deal with sore hocks.
     
  8. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    In the UK, we don't tend to use wire flooring, rabbits can be seized by the RSPCA for being kept on wire flooring :) It's not banned, but if the RSPCA find a rabbit being kept on wire flooring, it is usually taken away. I, personally, feel wire flooring is cruelty.

    She has used foam mats, baby blankets, and several inches thick with hay. She has never had them on wires, but still, they constantly get sore hocks :( seems a very common problem I have discovered from being on rabbit forums.
     
  9. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Good to know about the wire. It seems like most of the rabbit homes I have seen for sale online have wire floors.

    Can a rabbit be shown for a few years, then altered?
     
  10. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    It seems to be more of an American thing, keeping rabbits on wire flooring (no offence intended). I have had many many arguments on YouTube with people showing videos of their 'brilliant rabbit accommodation', and its rabbits in 2 x 2 wire boxes :mad: really gets me down.

    No reason why a rabbit can't be shown and then altered, but the longer you leave a doe, the higher her chance of cancer, and with both sexes, they will likely spray, just like cats do.
     
  11. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    I meant to address that earlier- yes, everything I've read about Mini Rexes has indicated that they are prone to sore hocks. I wonder if it's more prevelant in certain lines? I know I read why someplace years ago and couldn't remember, so I Googled it. Evidently, it has to do with them having narrow feet and thinner pads. Seems it can be a problem in Standard Rexes, too. https://www.naturalrabbitfood.com/mini-rex-rabbits/

    I was also wondering if part of your friend's problems with sore hocks had to do with the foam mats and baby blankets, especially the mats. In my head, I would think that, no matter how meticulous someone is about cleaning, the mats would hold moisture. Than I saw this from the post in the following link "...I do keep his litterbox as clean as possible - though I now plan to scoop it 2x each day to keep wetness to a minimum...." The link to where I found that:
    http://www.bunspace.com/forum/thread?tid=3875




    Probably because it's easier to clean a dropping pan. Actually, it's more the breeders who use cages with dropping pans, although there are a fair amount of people who house rabbits in outdoor hutches with wire floors, too. I see nothing wrong with wire flooring, as long as the occupants have ample places to get off of it. When I have the xpen attached to his cage, Shaker very rarely pees or poops in the cage itself. Instead he goes in a corner of the pen, just outside the right front corner of the cage- which the same corner he uses if he's confined to his cage. I attempted to litterbox train him when he was younger. The little stinker decided the litterbox was for sitting in, and would get out of it to pee. :p So, now the litter box is in the upper level of his cage for him to sit in. Even tho his cage has a wire floor, there's actually only a couple of inches of wire that isn't covered by something (litter box, resting pads or his house).
     
  12. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Sore hocks is prevalent in some lines of Rex and mini rex as well as a few other breeds I'm aware of. The breeder I purchased my castor rexes from selected years back animals that had little to no problems with sore hocks and the result was not really having to deal with sore hocks.

    I have no issue with rabbits being kept on clean smooth floor wire with a resting board. None at all. It's easier to keep things clean, keep diseases and parasites from spreading, and keep as much moisture away from the rabbits as possible.

    Also you could spay later... or you could just not bother. I've known several rabbits who have lived to 12-16 without being altered.
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    What are peoples opinions of the House Rabbit Society?
     
  14. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Well, I think they mean well, and I have gotten some good information from them over the years. I don't believe in the "rabbits should always be kept in the house" thing. I have no problems with rabbits living outside, as long as they are taken care of properly and get enough attention. There is no way Shaker would have as much room as he does now if we kept him in the house. He's not exactly outside, either, tho- he's on our closed in back porch.
     
  15. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Does anyone have links to any good rabbit hutch/home sites?
     
  16. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    so i just got 3 broken variety standard rexes. they are happily munching feral alfalfa. since they have been living seperately, the male has been working VIGOROUSLY to fill the freezer in about 3 months. now i have some construction projects to get on.
    pics to follow.
     
  17. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I think they have good intentions and stupid conclusions. They are HSUS with bunny ears basically.

    You will never convince me that there is an overpopulation of rabbits that feeding the poor couldn't solve.

    Rabbits at least in this climate are far more comfortable outside.

    Rabbits are not happy social critters always. I've had more than a few quite happy to rip an ear off any available rabbit neighbor. Just watch rabbits in the wild sometime - they're pretty feisty critters.

    They are against the exploitation of rabbits. So no medical research, no rabbit shows, no meat rabbits, no circus bunnies, no cadbury bunny, and other such nonsense. Clearly the easter bunny is a slave to his christian overlords or something.
     
  18. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Oh, man, you just put my thoughts of the House Rabbit Society into the words I couldn't!
     
  19. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Agreed re: the House Rabbit Society

    And Pops2 I am jealous of your standard rex. I really like that breed...they are probably my favorite...but here most rex are the minis and it's tough to find standards. The one person I did find was a show breeder and that's all well and good but the prices she wanted for rabbits who were only kindling 3-4 at a time were...interesting. Not as suited to dual purpose as one might hope, in that case.
     

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