How long will it take to bond?
It may take some time for your rabbit/ rabbits to adjust when you first bring them home. They are leaving a known environment and entering into a whole new unknown territory. Some rabbits adjust within minutes of being in their new home while others may take months. This depends on where you got your bun from and what kind of social background they have. Most rabbits from shelters are there because they were abandoned or abused. It is not impossible for you to get a social and un-skittish bunny from the shelter and I personally know of families that have very social buns that they have rescued. So don't get me wrong, this is still a great option to adopt from shelters. But the odds of getting a social bun decrease for sure given most of their circumstances are coming from being ignored for months. I can't tell you how many emails I get on the daily from families who have rescued bunnies and are having a hard time bonding with them. Sometimes it can take months or even years just to get them to not be skittish around you and more often then not, they will eventually let you pet them but most do not prefer to be picked up because they weren't used to that. If you adopt from a responsible breeder who socializes their buns on a daily basis then the odds are much higher that you will get a social bun that will open up to you quickly.
When you first bring them home
When you first bring your bunny home it's good to give them time to adjust. I've heard other breeders tell their families to leave the bunnies alone for 3 days and not touch them at all because you can scare them to death. I don't agree with this because I have only ever raised my babies one way.; socialized with people and other animals (our dogs) on a daily basis. Our bunnies are involved heavily in our community in bunny therapy and they are very social. I cannot speak for those breeders that tell families to leave their bunnies alone completely, but if you adopt a bun from Blue Clover, I HIGHLY recommend you bond with them on day one when they come home with you. Excuse me for being blunt but I feel like it's an excuse for breeders to tell families not to socialize the first few days because they didn't really socialize with their babies the first 8 weeks they raised them. It can be terrifying for rabbits if they have had little to no contact with humans and then all of a sudden they are being picked up, pet, and smooshed on by multiple people. It's always a good idea to talk to the person you are considering getting a bun from and ask them how they socialize with their buns. Do they just pass by and feed them twice a day or do they get play time outside of their pens with people that are interacting socially and physically with them? SUPER important!!
Ok back on track...
When you get home, put your bun in their pen/cage area and let them sniff around and do bun things. Normal behavior could be that they hide right away and breathe quickly from being nervous. This is normal because they are in a new territory and they most likely took a car ride home which most rabbits are not fond of. If your bun was raised in a quiet home with little to no noise and you have a loud house with dogs and kids then it may take a little more time for your bun to come out of their shell. Let your buns hide for a while and establish a safe place. After a few hours go by you can sit or lay down in their pen area with treats and try to lure them out. Some may go for this and some may not. Each bunny is different and you'll just have to gauge their behavior. I personally like to sit on the couch with a blanket or towel and put them on my lap. Then just start to stroke between their eyes and down their back to get them calm. This will help them bond to you and it's a good idea to make it a routine daily. Keep trying to handle them in different positions on the couch if they keep jumping away. Sitting on the couch is also a great way to practice picking up and handling, so in case they jump, or you drop them, they will just land on your lap. Always be sure to scoop under the bum so the back is supported and then place the other hand under their front paws when lifting. If their back is supported and they feel secure, this will help them not squirm so much.
Have a really squirmy bun?
Every rabbit has their own personality and will go through a hormonal stage between 8 weeks old- 6 months old. Some rabbits are never fixed and stay super calm letting you hold, cradle, and kiss them. Some can be the complete opposite and you'll be counting down the days until you can get them fixed. Spaying/ neutering helps reduce hormone levels and is highly recommended for your pet bunny. In the mean time if you are having a hard time handling your bun you can try a few things. This may sound weird but you must be the dominant one in your relationship with your rabbit. If you have a rabbit with a dominant personality, you may need to put a little extra effort to let them know you are boss. It took me years of watching and learning behavior of rabbits bonding to realize, hey, why not try what they do together and see if using their techniques helps me bond to them. When two bunnies are learning to bond together there is usually always either a submissive one or two stubborn buns that take a few fights to figure out where they stand. As soon as one submits, they bow their head down and let the other bun groom with licks or mount them. If your bun is squirmy you can wrap them like a burrito in a blanket and then tuck them in your arm so that all four legs are down on your forearm (aka not on their backs). Begin to pet in between their eyes stroking up and over the head and down the back. Do this firmly and constant and it should help calm them down. If they are feeling comfortable with that, you can even add their ears in with the strokes. They may try to move or jump away but try to hold them in the blanket and pet their head the same way mentioned above. This isn't meant to scare or traumatize them so do watch their behavior. Most baby buns that have been socialized could just be hyper wanting to run around at that time. You can put them down and let them zoom around and try again later when they seem tired. If you rescued a bunny and they are completely terrified of any contact with humans, I do not recommend doing this step right away. Gauge how they are reacting and make adjustments or stop.
Rabbits do like to bond so if your bun is skittish then just keep working with them building trust. Whenever you feel is right, and this could be a few weeks or a few months, take away any areas they have to hide in and lay in their pen with them. You don't need to grab and hold right away but it's best to try to get them to come to you. Find what kind of treats they like. Usually fruit does the trick, but be careful to not over do the treats as their little tummies are sensitive.
You can also do their feedings with them if you have the time. Most rabbits are super excited to get their pellets or fresh veggies so if you can sit with the bowl in front of you and see if they will approach you to get to their food, then they will start to associate you with the person that brings them food and they should grow closer to you. After whatever amount of time you feel is necessary has gone by, try to reach out and pet them during feeding time as well and see if they will allow it!
If you are persistent in socializing with them on a daily basis and you can get a routine going, I guarantee that they will build trust and grow on you more as the weeks and months go by.
How we bonded our dogs with our bunnies.
Luckily we got Bailey when she was 11 weeks old and Bo when he was 8 weeks old so it was quite a bit easier to train them to do well with our buns. Bailey honestly was just so natural and took to the bunnies with very little correction. She has such a sweet demeanor. Puppies also sleep for like 18 hours a day and during their long 4 hour naps I would put bunnies in with them. The bunnies wouldn't really wake them up ever but they would hop on them and lay next to them and I think this helped Bailey and Bo get used to the buns scent. I also think it just helped get used to them and eventually it just became the norm to have bunnies around all the time. Bo took a little more work to get him to stop biting the bunnies when he was a pup. When I say bite, I don't mean he was super aggressive but puppies are curious and like to bite and chew on anything especially if it moves. When Bo would try to bite at the bunnies I would just pull him back and tell him no. This was pretty constant and when he would do it multiple times in a row I would just pull his face to mine while holding his mouth and look into his eyes and tell him no very sternly. If he still didn't listen then he would have to get down and away from the bunnies. I would put him in the kitchen with a baby gate up so he could see us playing but he wasn't aloud in. Eventually he just learned and caught on to not munch on the bunnies or he knew he would have to go to the kitchen. Bo is two now and although he doesn't chew on the bunnies, if he is acting too crazy in the same room with the buns I tell him "do you want to go to the kitchen?", and he knows that means he has to go away and he corrects his behavior right away! He is such a good boy. Also Bailey doesn't let him get crazy and she corrects him most of the time. It's quite hilarious! This is just my experience and it worked for my boxer dogs.
Introducing a new rabbit vs. a new dog to the home.
If you already have a dog in your home and are considering getting a house rabbit, it may be very easy to bond them or it could be tricky depending on personalities. Also depends on where you get your bunny from. I would say it's more important to find a very social bun who has been raised around dogs because they are the prey animal in this relationship. If you can't find a reputable breeder that socializes their rabbits with dogs, then just be sure to find someone who really spend time socializing their buns. Rabbits that have been raised around dogs tend to be more bold and fearless. If your dog has never interacted with a rabbit before don't worry, there are ways you can introduce them to see how they react to each other. That part is coming up soon!
If you do have a pretty social bun then you can start slowly introducing your dog to your bun within the first few days of bringing them home. It's good to let your rabbit take a few days to adjust to their new environment first though. If you have a very timid bun that is scared of almost everything then you will want to give them a lot more time to adjust to you first before introducing them to your dog. Trust is absolutely everything in a relationship with a rabbit. If they feel safe around you then they will interact more with you. Same goes for your dog. Your rabbit will feel comfortable being around your dog if they feel safe around them. One thing to remember is never, and I mean NEVER leave your rabbit by themselves with your dog. I trust my dogs so much and I'll admit sometimes I do leave the room to go grab something but it's for only about a minute or so. No matter how bonded your rabbit and dog are, animals can always be unpredictable when you least expect it. So always supervise them!
If you already have a bun in the home and are wanting to get a dog, it's best to find a dog that has been exposed to other small prey animals in their lifetime. This of course would be ideal but I know it's not always going to be the case especially if you are wanting to adopt from a place that doesn't have very much info on their dogs such as a shelter or rescue. I don't discourage you from adopting from either of those places because you could still potentially get a dog that will do great. The odds just most likely lessen. Even if you found a dog that has lived with cats before is a great option. As long as the dog has had some kind of interaction with different kinds of small animals and had good behavior, it makes the chances of them bonding with a rabbit much higher. Breed also plays some kind of a roll as well so try to find a friendly breed. Of course I'm biased for boxers! Sometimes buying a puppy could be your best bet because you can train them from such a young age to live and share space with your bun. If you do get a puppy, try the bonding methods I first talked about in the start of this blog.
Different ways to socialize your dog & bun.
One way to introduce them is to sit on your couch with your rabbit on your lap. Let your dog come up and sniff or lick your rabbit gently. Just keep an eye on how your rabbit is responding. If they start to freak out and scratch trying to get away, then it's best to end that session. The goal is to make sure your rabbit feels safe during the interaction time with your dog.
Another way to slowly introduce them is to try is the pen method. Set up a pen area for your rabbit to live in part time. You are welcome to have a free range rabbit but if you get a baby bun starting out, you will especially want to confine them in a smaller space to start out with to work on or continue potty training habits. Here is a great pen that is very reasonably priced --> Rabbit pen .
Even if you adopt an older rabbit who is potty trained, you should still mark off a section of your house for them to get used to before beginning to free range. You are welcome to order two of the pens linked above for a larger space as well. They are 16 sq ft each and I would recommend the height of the pen to at least be 30 inches high. 36 inches is most ideal as some rabbits eventually could learn to jump a 30 inch pen. Also it may help keep your dog on the outside of the pen the higher you go.
So when you bring your bun home, you'll want to let them get used to their pen for a few days and then let your dog in the same room so they can go up to the pen and sniff it but not go inside. If your rabbit feels nervous at all which is completely normal, they should have something in the pen to be able to hide or go to a different side. It's also good to place your pen in a corner that way your dog can't run around the whole pen scaring your rabbit. I also recommend having some kind of toy or bed that your rabbit can hide in so they feel safe if they get nervous. Just keep an eye out each day to see how they are doing together. Some dogs will be a little too crazy and pace the pen back and forth. This is ok as long as your rabbit is ok with it and not too scared. As the days or weeks go by, if your dog is showing less interest or is just calmer in general when coming near the pen, than this is a good sign and you can start slowly introducing them. The pen method is a slower approach to bonding but it's also more effective because it allows them to get used to each other living in the same vicinity while keeping safer boundaries.
If your dog is constantly aggressively trying to get into the pen or chasing your rabbit after a good amount of time goes by, then it may just not work out. Not all dogs will be able to bond to rabbits and you don't want to keep pushing and forcing the relationship because it could cause a lot of trauma and stress to a rabbit that is not used to dogs. You may have to keep them separate forever or years before they get used to each other.
Hope this blog was helpful! Happy bonding to you all!
Rabbits have a sensitive digestive system and their diet should consist mostly of hay, fresh veggies, and a high quality rabbit pellet food.
Hay Hay Hay!
Your rabbits diet should mainly consist of hay. Hay is high in fiber and helps keep their digestive system moving. Bunnies under 6 months old need a higher fiber diet then adult bunnies so feeding alfalfa hay or a mixture of alfalfa and timothy is recommended. After 6 months old switch to timothy. Some rabbits can be picky hay eaters. If so you may want to check the Small Pet Select sampler box to see if your bun prefers a different type or cutting of hay. Here is the link to the sampler box. > AMAZON.
If your bun is still having a difficult time eating hay, try sprinkling some dried flowers or herbs to possibly make the hay more enticing.
Here are some hay brands we recommend listed below with the links.
Oxbow Timothy Hay
Oxbow Timothy/ Orchard Mix
Oxbow Alfalfa Hay (For rabbits under 6 months)
Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay
Small Pet Select Meadow Hay (Very soft hay. Good alternative if your rabbit won't eat timothy or orchard)
Rabbits LOVE vegetables. Each bun has their own preference of what they will like and dislike. Always be sure to slowly introduce a new vegetable especially if you have a bun that is under 6 months old. A good rule of thumb is to feed 1 cup of fresh veggies a day per 4lb of rabbit after they are 6 months old. Fruits are high in sugar and should only be given as treats. If you'd like to learn more about how safe vegetables are for young rabbits, click HERE. To view a list of safe and unsafe foods for rabbits click HERE.
A good quality pellet will have no refined sugars or artificial ingredients. It also will not have nuts, fruits, or mystery bits mixed inside. A lot of rabbit food on the market will have little treats or random seeds and nuts mixed within. Stay away from these types of pellets! It can cause diabetes and an array of other health issues.
Here are a list of rabbit pellets we recommend and the link to them!
Oxbow Young Rabbit
Oxbow Adult Rabbit
Modesto Milling Organic
Sherwood Pet Adult Rabbit
There are also families that have 3lb rabbits that they pour a half a cup of pellets once per day with a handful of veggies and unlimited hay.
Your rabbit usually won't eat more then what they are hungry for so chances of them getting obese are slims if they live in an open concept home and aren't caged most of the time. It's recommended that you also ask your vet what your rabbits diet should look like as each rabbit is different and some have special diets due to health concerns.
This topic has a wide variety of answers on the web but it's one of the most asked questions for new bunny owners. Is it safe to feed your baby bunny fresh produce?
You can feed your baby bunny fresh veggies from the day they come home at 8 weeks old but only a limited amount starting out with. I suggest starting veggies and fruits as more of a treat to slowly introduce them. I always tell my families no more then the tip of your pinky for fruits or veggies that are high in sugar. Any change in a rabbits diet needs to happen slowly especially when introducing new vegetables. After your bunny is 3 months old you can increase the amount of veggies given daily to about a small handful or a quarter of a cup (doesn't have to be an exact measurement, this is just an estimated guide to follow). Each month after that you can increase the amount of veggies you are feeding them until you reach 6 months old. After 6 months, depending on your rabbits weight, you can start feeding them more. A good guide is 1 cup per 4lbs. of rabbit per day.
Fruits should only be given as a small treat as they are high in sugar! I If at any time you notice that your rabbit is starting to get soft poo, which will look different then cecotropes, then cut out fruit completely from their diet and mainly just push hay with small amounts of pellets. Rabbits diets need to be high in fiber which is why hay is so important and should be 90% of their diet. After a few days their poo should harden again to small little round balls.
There are a lot of online sources and breeders that are extremely against feeding rabbits under 6 months old any kind of fruits or veggies and to each their own. I've been raising rabbits since 2011 and have owned rabbits since 1997 and have never had an issue feeding the way I have described above. There are several families that don't like to feed their rabbits commercial pellets either and will transition their baby bunnies to fresh veggies and alfalfa hay within the first month of taking them home and that is safe to do. Each rabbit will respond differently to transitioning as well so always take it very slow and be watchful of their poos to make sure they stay hard and round! Also it's smart to consult your veterinarian for feeding advice as well!
I am often asked if it's better to adopt two bunnies or if having one is ok. Also if two of the same gendered or opposite would be better companions.
Is two better than one?
There isn't a simple yes or no answer to this question. Rabbits are not like goats who need a companion. An only goat is a lonely goat and they don't do well by themselves. Rabbits are independent and can be happy in a loving social home with their humans with no need of another rabbit as a companion. Every situation is unique on it's own though so lets run through a few scenarios.
If you adopt a baby bunny at 8 weeks by itself and raise him or her for lets say a year with no other buns, it may be a little tricky to bond them to another rabbit depending on personalty. It isn't impossible and some families have done it without any problems from day one of bringing home bunny #2. Every bunny will react differently because they each have their own personalities. I am asked a lot to pair or match one of our bunnies to their bunnies personality, but the thing is, I adopt baby bunnies. I cannot guarantee any kind of personality trait because they are still very young and aren't fully developed yet. Plus baby bunnies will bond to anything because they are still young and not usually hormonal yet at 8 weeks old. That being said, I cannot match one of our babies to best pair with someone else's fully developed rabbit. It will be a matter of bringing one home and taking it day by day to see how well your older bun will respond to a new baby bun. There are a lot of tips and tricks to bonding fully grown buns to baby buns so don't be afraid of the idea of bringing home a new baby to your older rabbit! Tons of people have great success!
Adopting two babies together is the easiest way to bond them. It doesn't matter if they are from the same litter or even the same place. As long as they are both under 12-ish weeks they should get along together and create a relationship with one another. The reason I say 12-ish weeks is because some bunnies can start to get hormonal as early as 8 weeks and dominant behavior could arise. They wouldn't likely fight that young of age but it's good to get them together as soon as possible to create that bond before their hormone levels rise. As they mature together, one will usually be more dominant than the other and this is completely normal. Rarely you may have issues during the hormonal stage where fighting could take place as both are very dominant personalities and one doesn't want to be submissive. It's best to get them fixed as soon as possible to help reduce their hormone levels. If your rabbits ever start fighting aggressively, it's best to separate them until they are fixed and then slowly bring them back together after recovery. They may even just take to each other right away again. You will just have to test and see how they react to one another. Don't leave them unsupervised without feeling confident they are bonded together again. If your rabbits are fighting I suggest separating them in different pens but in the same room so they can see and smell each other still. Slowly move their pens closer and closer until they share a pen wall. For some they can do this within days and others may take months. You will have to experiment and see what works best for your buns.
If you've adopted a baby bun and soon after decide you want to add another baby bun to the mix, you should have a pretty high chance of them still being able to bond easily and quickly. Every rabbit is different so take precautions when you bring the new baby home. Slowly introduce them and make sure your older bun doesn't aggressively attack the new bun. Mounting is completely normal and it is a way of showing dominance so that is ok behavior. Every rabbit pairing will have a dominant one.
Does gender matter?
Even though rabbits aren't herd animals and don't require another rabbit companion, most do very well and thrive with a little friend. I can't stress enough that gender does not play a huge roll in personality! You will read online that opposite genders make better pairs but it really comes down to personality and not gender. Online you read that females are sassier and males are sweeter. I am here to say throw that stereotype out! I have had dozens of unaltered (un-spayed) females that have been extremely sweet and snuggly. I've also had boys that have been aggressive and also sweet. So it all comes down to personality. When you are getting a baby bun, they are not fully developed yet and therefore no one can guarantee any kind of personality trait because they can change so much after their hormonal stage kicks in. I've seen super calm mellow babies turn into super high energy buns and vise versa. For the most part rabbits will eventually bond to one another but there are some instances where they won't bond and you will have to keep them separated and potentially try again when they are older.
This is always going to be a sensitive subject and I want to shed some light to hopefully bring a different point of view to the public.
Shelter, pet store, or breeder?
The word breeder has turned into such a negative concept. There are so many irresponsible people that breed animals with little to no knowledge and sell them to uneducated or irresponsible people. Most animals in shelters are there because their past owners didn't want them, they had no other place to bring them to, or breeders were busted for abusing or mistreating animals. Shelters are in need of families to adopt animals from them and I do encourage it 100%. I also believe that responsible breeders that sell to responsible owners should be an option as well.
This will be a hard pill to swallow but if you knowingly buy a rabbit from a breeder who is not responsible or mistreating their animals, you are not "saving" their babies. You are growing their business. There are so many people that have the mentality that if they don't personally adopt or buy that poor bunny then who knows what will happen to him or her. You feel like you may be saving them but in the most precious way I can say this, you are not. You are helping their business grow. If you decided to not buy from them because they are not reputable, then eventually someone would buy him or her but it would cause stress to the breeder because they wouldn't be moving babies out as fast as they would like which eventually would slow down the amount of litters they decide to have or even encourage them to stop breeding because it "wouldn't be worth it".
I can't stress enough how important it is to do research and find someone who really cares for their animals and raises them ethically. Or if it's an option for you find a local shelter and adopt there because no matter what, there will always be animals in shelters. If we can really grasp a hold of this concept and do our part in responsibly adopting our animals, we can make a huge difference in not only our communities, but the world.
When most people think of shelters, they think of horrible owners just dumping their animals. That is a very narrow mind set to have and there will always be strong opinions about this topic. Some families are forced to move beyond their control and maybe don't find a place that allows animals like their last place. Some people get very ill and can no longer give their pets the attention that they deserve due to such a drastic life change. Guess what? That's life and it's ok for them to need to re-home them. The shelter should be the last place and if they bought from a responsible breeder, that breeder should have been the first option to take the animal back to. Most people don't think about "life time support" or a "take back policy". Families are usually planning to keep this animal for it's remaining life. Even if you have zero intentions in returning or giving up an animal, I recommend always adopting from a responsible source that will take back animals for any reason. Yes, you may never think you need that service, but so did 6 million other people that surrendered their animals to shelters in just America alone last year. All in all, shelters most definitely need families to adopt pets from them so if that is an option for you, look into it! But also don't shame great ethical breeders for hand raising pets for families as well.
I'm not going to say every pet store is horrible and that you should never get your animal from there. But do you know exactly where that rabbit or hamster came from? Or the exotic birds and reptiles? Big chain pet stores sell exotic animals and the worst part is when their employees know little to nothing about how to properly care for these animals. Not all pet stores are like this so don't get me wrong. But for instance, we have a pet store near us that has so many exotic birds, fish, and reptiles. I go there every so often so look because it's very intriguing to me and I love to see animals. Anywho... one day a man walked in with a box of rabbits. Of course I wandered over to him and started a conversation. He said he bought his daughter two bunnies over a year ago and thought they were the same gender. Six months passed by and they had babies. Ever heard of this happening? It happens all the time with inexperienced people trying to figure out rabbits genders. He said his daughter lost interest in the rabbits so he built a big pen outside and put them out there. He said they just kept multiplying with each other so he decided to bring them to the pet store and sell them for $10 each as s small side business. So this store accepts and buys INBRED rabbits and resells them to the public! I overheard the owner talking to the rabbit guy and he said he would take the 3 smaller babies but not the bigger one because it won't sell. I just hated every part of the conversation so politely excused myself. This isn't to say every pet store doesn't sell quality animals but do they really know where they are being raised at prior to showing up at their store? Ask them next time you go in.
Pet stores are also not going to offer lifetime support, even with their exotic animals. Sure you can go in and ask questions but depending on who is working, they may not be able to help you with your questions because most employees aren't specialized in the animals. You get what you pay for. I have a lot of people ask me why our bunnies are hundreds of dollars and then I hear from some of them later on down the road that adopted their bunnies from an unreliable source because they wanted a cheaper rabbit. They ask me for advice or help and unfortunately those messages are not responded to because I have healthy boundaries within my business to give my full attention and time to my customer base. Again, you get what you pay for! I do take in account every message I get and your questions help me write more blogs to share with the public to help educate everyone!
Finding an ethical breeder may be hard especially if you are just starting to look into it. You can join groups on Facebook and ask around or Instagram is a great source as well. Even just reaching out to different rabbitry's you find on Google or Craigslist is ok too. Just be sure to ask about their sales policy and if they have a website, read it inside and out to get a grasp of how they raise their rabbits. Always ALWAYS as questions. Ask to see where their rabbits are kept and if they can't show you in person because they want to keep their home life private from the public, that's ok. Just ask to see pictures of their setup. If they still won't show pictures then run! People that breed animals should specialize in them and have enough adequate clean space that each animals lives in. It's also important to see what kind of services they offer after taking home their animals. Support is an essential apart of being a great breeder, so be sure they offer support in case you have questions. If you've never had a rabbit before, I can tell you right now you will most definitely have questions the first two weeks you have them. Some people offer support but are very shady afterwards and will just cut you off so do research and take the time to read reviews or message a few rabbits on Instagram and ask if they have any advice of good breeders. The Instagram bunny community is an amazing place with so much helpful information!
I hope this has been helpful for you to read and maybe even brought some new perspectives to your thoughts on shelters, pet stores, and breeders!
Being a breeder it can get pretty expensive to buy all of our rabbits toys on a consistent basis. I will be posting more DIY rabbit toys to our blog to help reduce your costs as well! There are some really fancy rabbit toys out there on the market that some of our rabbits could honestly care less about. But sometimes, it's the almost free toys that get the job done and they even last longer! So here is a fun one... start saving those toilet paper rolls!
Step 1. Collect your supplies!
Items you'll need:
Step 2. Cut Holes In The Toilet Paper Roll!
Carefully with your scissors cut 3 holes on opposite sides of the toilet paper roll so that when you stick one of the sticks through, it will go through both holes.
Step 3. Shove hay into the toilet paper roll. The fuller the better!
If you have a rabbit that is picky about eating hay, try to make one of these fun toys to spice things up for them! It may encourage them to eat the hay more often!
Step 4. Stick one stick through to each hole to complete!
If you packed your toilet paper roll tight, it may be a little harder to stick the sticks through to the other side. Just wiggle them and twist them until they go through!
Hay...what's the big deal?
Buying hay can feel complicated at times especially with a picky eater. 1st cut, 2nd cut, 3rd cut…. What’s the difference? Here we will discuss this!
First cut hay is just as it sounds! It is the first cut of the season out of the field before it blooms. This hay usually has thinner stems but it's more stemy than leafy. It's higher in fiber content and lower in protein and fat content. The color will be lighter with more yellow and brown parts. This is a good quality hay for rabbits. If you have a rabbit that is overweight or is prone to getting G.I stasis, than this is the hay for them.
Click on the link to order 1st cut timothy hay->> 1st cut hay
Second cut hay is a good hay for healthy adult rabbits. It usually has more leaves on the stems which is more attractive to your rabbit. This hay is greener than 1st cut and not as stemy. The protein and fat content is a little higher than 1st cut and the fiber level is a bit lower.
Click on the link to order 2nd cut timothy hay->> 2nd cut hay
Third cut is a very soft and heavy leafy hay. It should be a darker green than 1st and 2nd cut. It's higher in protein and fat content and lowest in fiber content. This hay should be given as a treat or you can mix it sparingly with 1st or 2nd cut hay if your rabbit is a picky hay eater. If you have a rabbit that is underweight, this is an ideal hay to give them as it's higher in protein and fat which should help weight gain. Be watchful of your buns poos. If you notice softer poos, besides their cecotropes, than cut back on this hay.
Click on the link to order 3rd cut timothy hay->> 3rd cut hay
Not sure what your rabbit will prefer?
Sometimes it's best to let your rabbit sample each kind of hay and see what they like best. Small Pet Select has a sampler box that has 1st, 2nd, 3rd cut timothy hay, and also orchard grass.
Click on the link to order your sampler box->> Sampler Box
If you are wanting an indoor rabbit than spaying/neutering can help make them better indoor companions! Here we will discuss the benefits of it.
Makes Them Better Companions
When you bring your baby bunny home they are cute and snuggly but shortly after you may experience hormonal behavior such as nipping or biting, aggressively digging and scratching, no longer using the litter box, circling around your feet, or constant pacing and always on the go. Rabbits can go through this as early as 8 weeks. Every rabbit is different and your rabbit may not experience these behaviors on an extreme level. You may not have to worry about hormonal behaviors or fixing them but this is a rare instance in rabbits! Baby bunnies aren't set in their ways yet so be prepared for changes after they come home. This blog is to educate you for the best or worse case scenario!
If your rabbit is showing any of the hormonal signs above, you will want to contact your rabbit savvy vet to see what age they spay/neuter rabbits. Some are comfortable with doing it as early as three months, where others wait until 6 months. It will just depend on each individual vet.
Marking Their Territory
Rabbits are territorial animals. They mark their territory by leaving poops, urine, and chinning everything. Once their hormone levels start rising, they will spray their urine to mark their area and let anyone and anything know that it belongs to them. They will also leave little poop pellets around. After they are fixed they will stop spraying urine and poop should be mostly in the litter pan. It is mostly males that spray their urine. Very rarely do females actually spray urine.
Not every rabbit will poop 100% of their poos in the litter box but there are a few different options to help try to control this.
The scent gland by their genitals usually does not need to be maintained but if your rabbits living area is cleaned and you smell a musky smell, it may be these scent glands. They produce a dark yellow or brown wax substance and can easily be removed by a wet Q-tip. You will want to gently hold them back and move the fur away around their genitals until you see the waxy substance. Sometimes it's kind of packed down in their so twist the wet Q-tip to loosen the wax and it will make it easier to come out. The smell is horrendous but once it's out, your rabbits area will smell so much better!
Helps With Bonding To A New Rabbit
If you are thinking about adding another rabbit to your home, fixing your current rabbit is a must. It will reduce their urge to want to mate or aggressive behaviors. Usually your rabbits hormone level will drop within the first few days but I have seen some rare instances where it takes several months. Always just slowly introduce your rabbits in a neutral area and monitor them closely to see how they react to each other.
I get this question on a daily basis so that always means it’s time to blog! The number one quality families want in a bunny is for them to be snuggly. You will see in our videos we post on Instagram of us holding and handling the buns and they are calm. I’m always asked… “Which bunny is the most snuggly out of the litters?” So let’s get into the nitty gritty of what to expect when adopting a baby bunny.
First off, rabbits are a prey animal but did you know that domesticated rabbits are not even the same species as wild rabbits? Those cute cotton tails you see hopping around your backyard are apart of the hare family. Domesticated rabbits belong to the Lagomorpha family. Although rabbits are prey animals, there are many ways to socialize domesticated rabbits to have them living happily in your home.
The first and most important stage in bunnies lives is how they are raised from birth, which is the breeders job. Here at Blue Clover our bunnies live indoors in the most realistic home style environment. We have individual solid floor pens that are spacious enough for each mama and her babies. Aside from a clean and spacious environment, socializing is the most crucial part of a bunnies development. Every breeder or person has their own opinion and I respect that but this is my point of view from raising rabbits since 2011.
When babies are born here they are handled from day one. Did you know domestic rabbits eyes don’t even open until around 10-11 days? Wild baby bunnies are born with their eyes open for obvious reasons. Otherwise there probably wouldn’t be very many wild buns hopping around due to predators! So since domestic bunnies eyes aren’t open, they cannot associate anything with sight yet. They are also born deaf. So this leaves “touch”. They can most certainly feel everything around them. It’s so important to make a bond with them at this early stage so they are familiar with being handled and pet. Once their eyes open, they can associate you handling them with sight now and you are not a threat to them. This is a crucial step in development and one of the main reasons why we are not a “hobby breeder”. This is a lifestyle and it’s every single day for me. Occasionally I have helpers come too!
So all that being said, no breeder can ever guarantee personality traits in baby bunnies. We can give you a description of what they are like currently, which is usually easy to handle and sweet, but things can change and most likely will change. Some change more than others and it’s not always bad changes. Just normal bunny behavior changes! I've seen it where people have had super snuggly babies and then a few months pass by and they are still very social but don’t like being handled. Sometimes it is honestly human error and I have actually helped numerous people just tweak and adjust the way they pickup and handle their bunnies and everything is ok after that! And in rare cases, sometimes the buns just do not want to be picked up. So yes, you can have a snuggly baby bun (and you most likely will) but it “can” change.
Rabbits go through a hormonal stage and it can start as early as 8 weeks which is right when you would be getting them. That doesn’t mean that every rabbit that leaves changes the day they get home. But it’s just to educate you that it is possible that the hormone levels could increase that early. A hormonal rabbit will usually be “testy” or have an attitude like a teenager. Males will tend to run in circles around your feet and almost all male buns will spray pee once they start getting hormonal as well. Both genders can get attitudes and you may notice them stomping their feet because they don’t approve of something or they are irritated. This is all normal behavior to expect and the solution is getting them fixed sooner than later. Call to ask your local exotic (experienced with rabbits) vet to see what age they spay and neuter rabbits. Some can do it as early as 3 months while others will wait until 6 months old.
All in all, when you see cute tiny baby bunnies online, be sure to keep this information in mind when making a decision whether to get one or not. Baby bunnies are cute and snuggly and adopting them from responsible and reputable breeders will definitely increase the odds of having a social and hopefully snuggly bunny. But the reality of it doesn’t always turn out that way. We are in contact with SO many families that have adopted bunnies from us and a lot of them have snuggly bunnies still to this day. It’s not too common that we’ve had families have difficulties handling their buns but it has happened as with every other rabbit breeder in the world.
If you are completely set on only wanting a snuggly bun then your absolute best option is to get one that is at least 6 months old and already spayed or neutered. Those buns will mostly be set in their ways by then. So if they are easy to handle at that stage then you probably got yourself a winner!
This blog wasn’t to scare you out of adopting a baby bunny. But more so to educate you on what you could possibly encounter. Like I said above, if you find a responsible breeder that handles their babies daily, your chances will definitely be higher of getting a snuggly bun!