I think a formal introduction is necessary finally! My name is Adriana and I am the owner/ operator of Blue Clover Rabbitry. It's important for our families and future families to know where exactly their bunnies come from and how they are raised. We have so many buns that are shipped out of state, and those families don't get to come see the atmosphere that their babies are raised in. I'm hoping I can explain and express in this blog the process of how babies are raised here!
There are so many different rabbitry's out there and each owner runs and operates differently. Everyone has their own opinion on how to raise rabbits but I wanted to dig a little deeper for you all to understand how I run my rabbitry and how our babies are raised! We handle our bunnies from day one when they are born. It is not dangerous for our bunnies to be handled when they are newborns because our rabbits are domesticated and we have a very strong bond to all of our does. They will not reject their babies like wild rabbit mothers would do. So when you see pictures of baby bunnies in my hand, don't fret! They are safe! Baby buns like to be warm when they are little, so even though they mostly just sleep, this is the most crucial time for bonding with them that will shape their future! We cuddle them up in the palm of our hands or tuck them in warm pockets. Did you know their eyes don't open until they are 10 days old?! That's such along time to not see anything! So their first sense is touch. Once you've created that warm and safe bond holding them in your hands, when their eyes open they can quickly associate that you are a safe zone for them. Bonding with them when they are newborns is a crucial part of raising rabbits here at Blue Clover!
Around two weeks is when the bunnies are starting to be alert and learning to hop around, which by the way if you haven't seen...is adorable! They don't have their balance quite yet so there's a lot of tipping over and rolling. A lot of pictures I post on instagram are of baby holland lops and we have so many people asking what breed they are because their ears are sticking straight up. Holland lops are not actually born with floppy ears. Depending on several factors, it can take anywhere from 2.5 weeks to 4 months. If they flop at 2.5 weeks, it's literally the cutest thing on planet Earth that you'll ever see... This stage is where it starts to get fun because they're responsive to you and since they're starting to eat solids, you can feed them strands of hay while you're holding them. I may have a little obsession with baby buns....ok maybe a big obsession! This is what I do full time 24/7. It's not a hobby, its a lifestyle. Sharing my bunnies with the world has been a dream come true and I'm so thankful how much God has really blessed it!
At three weeks old, the buns are running around and very responsive to their surroundings. This is usually when we take pictures to post on our website for upcoming reservations. One place rabbits love to be pet is right above their nose. Sometimes when you start, they don't want you to stop and if you take your hand away they'll come running and nudge you to keep petting them. To have a three week old do this to you is priceless. At three weeks they weigh about a half a pound...if that. They still fit in the palm of your hand and some may even start giving kisses at this stage.
We have play pens inside that they get to exercise in. Our buns are also beginning potty training before they leave. We've had some families say that their bunnies picked it up in one day and others, it's take a week or two. We do have information on our website about potty training, so if you want some successful tips or trouble shooting advice, check out our other blogs or "how to care for bunnies" page. The rest of their time here we just make sure to bond and hold each bunny every day. Our number one priority is social time each day with the babies, so when we have months where we have more babies, it may take us a few extra hours to respond to messages. My niece who is now 5 is a big helper when she comes to visit. She is so gentle with the bunnies and loves holding them. We also socialize them with our boxer puppy Bailey! It's important to us to socialize them together because there are other families out there that have other pets and it makes for an easier transition when they've already been in contact with a dog before. Our rabbits are not afraid of our dog and most of the brave little bunnies will go up to her on their own once they've had a few snuggle sessions.
I am continually seeking to provide better care for my rabbits. It's a continuous road of learning the do's and don'ts of raising them! A few things we've changed in the past year is adding apple cider vinegar to their water, which if you are interested in learning more about that, we have a blog post on the benefits to adding it to their water. We've also switched to an organic non soy-corn feed which has made a huge difference in their fur. A lot of people that come to see the bunnies always ask why they are so soft. The feed is one of the main reasons! We also are going to be busy bees remodeling our 700ft shop to accommodate our bunnies housing this Spring. Our online store may be small right now because bonding time comes first and since the demand has grown astronomically, we have a lot more babies to attend to daily. When there is a little bit of down time, that is when I get to sowing bunny quilts or making hay bin/ litter box combos for local orders. Youtube will be another thing being improved this year with videos of current babies and "how to" videos. If you haven't subscribed yet, do so! We have big plans for 2018 and can't wait to make the announcements as we hit each milestone!
God bless you all!
First you will want to buy a litter pan, but not just any litter pan. On the market for rabbits you will find these litter pans that are a triangle shaped which can be placed in the corners of your cage. These are not the most effective ones to use and I do not recommend them. If you do choose to buy one of the corner pans and you are having trouble potty training, switch to a square one. Try to find a pan that is stable enough that if they push their feet on the edge, it wont tip over. Rabbits usually potty where they eat so we’ve made a hay bin/ litter pan combo that you can purchase on our website or buy in person. These are the most effective ways to potty train and promote good litter box habits. The litter pan is contained inside the wood structure, so it can’t be tipped over. They just hop right in to eat their hay and do their business at the same time!
For litter, we recommend using a shredded paper or pellet form to absorb urine. Do not use clay-based or clumping litter as this is harmful to rabbits’ respiratory systems. Look for a litter that is odor absorbent, as rabbit urine has an unpleasant smell. Put a thin layer of litter at the bottom of the litter box- just enough to absorb wetness. If you do not have a hay bin/ litter box combo, we recommend adding a thin layer of straw to the top of the litter in the pan because rabbits like to chew on something while they’re in their litter box. There’s no need to fill it too high since rabbits don’t bury their droppings like cats. Plus, when you clean the litter box, you dump the entire contents out each time. Don’t fill too high or you will excessively waste a lot more litter than necessary.
You’ll want to limit their free roam space in the beginning to get them acclimated to their new area. Buying a puppy pen to confine them in one area is a good idea. As they are progressing in their training, you can open their space up more until they are fully potty trained. Then feel free to let them free roam with full access to their litter pan. If for any reason they start having accidents, retract their space again until they’re using their litter box. Some families have multiple litter boxes depending on how big of a space they have to run around in.
Here are a few other tips for those stubborn, “outside-the-box” bunnies:
· If an accident occurs, wipe up the urine with a paper towel and pick up stray poop and place both in the litter box. This helps get the message across that the litter box is the place that they should do their business. Keep in mind that rabbits are generally not 100% perfect with their litter box. Sometimes they leave a few droppings next to the box, or they urinate over the edge of their box. This is normal, so placing a plastic mat under their litter box or putting the litter box on a tile floor makes it easier to clean up these little mistakes.
· Bunnies here at Blue Clover Rabbitry begin potty training before they leave. Some rabbits pick it up right away within a day, while others may take a few months. Be patient and persistent! If you can see they’re about to go outside their litter box (they may lift their tail or sometimes they sort of shimmy down in a seated position right before they go), try to pick them up and put them in the litter box.
· If your bunny is insistent on going in one corner of the room, sometimes it’s easier to give in to their stubbornness, and place a litter box in that corner.
· If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee everywhere, this is probably due to your rabbit marking his territory. It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to calm down their hormones and lessen the likelihood of territory marking. Sometimes it can take up to a couple months for the spraying to stop so be patient. You can buy a litter box with tall sides to help avoid urine being sprayed out of the pan.
Even if your buns live outdoors, you can still potty train and we would recommend doing so for cages without a drop pan. This allows the cage and rabbit to stay cleaner.
Godiva and Balloo just had some beautiful chocolate babies that will be ready to go to their new furrrever homes right in time for Valentines day! Keep updated on our instagram @bluecloverrabbitry for videos and pictures of these babies! Chocolate is a rare color in holland lops and not many breeders have them so contact us on January 12th when reservations start! These babies will be ready to take home on February 8th!
Psalms 63:3-4 Because your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise you. Thus I will bless you while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Our Christmas babies are getting bigger each day! They are so adorable and I'm so pleased with the new colors that are starting to show up! I really try to make colors and markings that are unique and rare. We just got our first ever lilac otter vienna marked baby and he/she is gorgeous! We are going to be keeping this one to hopefully produce more of that color in about six months.
I wanted to write this blog because reservations will be starting in only eight days and we have had a ton of families interested in our bunnies for Christmas. What I've told each family is to contact me as early as possible on the reservation date to hopefully get the bunny of their choice. I know families will be contacting me at midnight and if I am awake at that time I will reply right away to reserve you. Otherwise when I wake up I will answer my messages in order of when they came in. Please be prepared in advance so it will be an easy process for the both of us! I take deposits through Facebook messenger or Venmo. Facebook messenger has a set up process that is very easy so please google the directions on how to set up payments on Facebook messenger and have your account set up before contacting me! I would say Venmo is easier than Facebook messenger to set up for some people so see which method will work best for you! Both services are free to use! If for some reason the bunny you wanted gets reserved before you or if they all get reserved right away, we are having a few more litters hopefully any day now and those will be ready the first week in January to take home! Reservations will begin sometime near the end of November for those litters. We strive to raise the most loving bunnies and in order to do that, I can only breed what I can manage to care for. We spend every day with our rabbits and they each are interacted with. I will not be increasing my breeding's just to sell more bunnies. These are live animals who are apart of our family and not a factory or bunny mill!
Before reserving please also check our sales policy at the bottom of our " Bunnies For Sale" page! Blessings to you all and I hope you each find a beautiful bunny to add to your families this Christmas!
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Are you considering buying two bunnies together or maybe you already have one at home and you want to get him or her a friend? Here are some tips to bonding those buns so they can successfully live together!
Buying two babies at the same time
The easiest way to bond bunnies is when you buy two young rabbits at the same time. They are used to being in a litter with all their brothers and sisters so they aren’t territorial yet. I always recommend getting them spayed or neutered because it calms down their hormones and helps them to bond better. Also be very careful when having a boy/ girl companionship because the female can get pregnant very young. Sometimes as early as 10 weeks. Not likely, but it is possible. Keep them separated until at least one is fixed. Don’t think because they are brother and sister that they won’t breed. They WILL breed when they’re matured.
Already have one but want another?
Already have a bun and want to get another one? Again I suggest getting your current bunny fixed before bringing in a second one even if it’s the same gender. The new baby bunny won’t have any issues bonding with your first bunny. It’s more; how is your rabbit going to react to a new one in his or her territory? Rabbits are very territorial so make sure they have enough space when bringing in another one. Rabbits are groomers and it’s the most adorable thing to watch them clean each other’s ears or lick one another’s forehead. These are comforting actions for rabbits and one idea you can take into action beforehand is stroking your first bunny’s forehead to mimic the action of another rabbit grooming him or her. This way when your new bun comes into the picture and starts grooming the other one, he or she will be used to the action.
Putting them together for the first time
Watch them closely and do not come home and put them together right away. I suggest sitting on the couch and having both bunnies on your lap. Hold them both right next to each other with your hands on top of them. Then separate them and repeat again every fifteen minutes or so for at least three times. Then keep your new bunny on your lap and let your other bunny go free range on the couch and see if he or she responds to the new one. In small amounts of time each day bring them together in an open space and watch very carefully how they react to each other. If aggressive behavior such as biting or ripping fur out happens, separate them immediately. Humping is a normal action for rabbits. It’s more of a dominance thing. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to get them fixed. It should heavily reduce the urge for them to hump each other.
Don't take your eyes off them just yet!
Watch them closely until you feel comfortable taking your eyes off them. This could take anywhere from a week to several months. It really depends on each individual rabbit. It’s a wonderful thing for rabbits to have a companion so if you are considering having more than one I encourage you to try these tips in bonding them.
If you have bonded rabbits already, please feel free to comment below and give your input and experienced suggestions!
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
It’s that time of the year again where Seattle is showered in pumpkin spice lattes. Fall brings in cooler temperatures and we’ve even had some below freezing nights in early November. We house our buns outside but frequently have them inside for bonding or photography sessions. Especially the little newborn babies; we try to keep them inside as much as possible until their fur comes in. I have a lot of families around this time of year ask about keeping their bunnies outside in a hutch and if it’s ok for winter time. So here is my opinion and knowledge!
Heat Lamps? Yes or no?
If you are planning to keep a hutch nearby your house such as on a back porch or side of the house; this is in my opinion an easier way to keep them outside. Most areas around your house will have electrical outlets. Heat lamps are a must when below freezing for our farm. Some other rabbitries use straw and pack it into each cage for the rabbits to burrow but I prefer an actual heat source for our buns. Remember to always securely attach the heat lamp to the outside of the cage or hutch. Never put the lamp on the inside of the cage because it could severely burn your bunny or get knocked down and start a fire! Also keep the lamp far enough away from hay so a piece doesn’t accidently catch on fire. Don’t be afraid to try a heat lamp out just because of the danger of a fire starting. As long as you take safety precautions and set it up securely you should be fine! We’ve been using them for over seven years and have never had an issue. The only issue I had is one year I put a heat lamp on each individual cage and back at that time it was nine cages. Let’s just say our power bill did not appreciate it. Now we have an amazing set up where four cages can share one heat lamp. Even if your hutch is not near the house, you can always run an extension cord out there to hook it up. Most local feed stores should sell them, or you can always purchase online. I would recommend buying one that has a clamp attached so you can mount it easily.
Frozen water bottle issue
Water bottles will for sure freeze outside as well. One option would be to put the heat lamp close enough to the water bottle where it stays unfrozen but doesn’t get too hot. You may need to test this out for a few days to get it right. If you put the heat lamp too close to the water bottle, then all the water will “magically” disappear within the same day usually. Another idea is to purchase a heated water bottle. This would be the most ideal route to go so you don’t have to worry about frozen or dried out water bottles. All you need to do is plug it into an outlet and make sure to fill it with fresh water when necessary.
Board up those open sides
For hutches we recommend buying one that has a hide away area with four enclosed walls and an entrance hole for them to access inside. Also the main part of the hutch should at least have one solid side. In the fall and winter time when it starts to get windy you can buy cheap plastic roofing or get a few pieces of plywood to board up the open sides. Especially at night when it’s the coldest time of day. Keep in mind if you choose this option but still have a heat lamp, you’ll need to cut a nice sized hole in the temporary pieces where the heat lamp can still have access to heat the hutch.
Well structured hutch for snow fall
If you live in an area that gets heavy snow fall during the winter make sure your hutch can bare the weight of all that snow! Make sure your roof is in good condition and if anything, when you go out to see them each day, just brush off the snow that has accumulated on the roof that day.
All in all, if you can bring your bunnies inside or at least in the garage during winter, that is the ultimate and best solution. But if that is not an option then try these ideas to help ensure that your bunnies will be safe outside during the colder months. For those of you that have had success or any good tips on weather proofing outdoor bunny areas please feel free to leave a comment to help other bunny owners or soon to be bunny owners!
"Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail," Job 38:22
It’s important to plan ahead before purchasing a rabbit. Figuring out costs of owning one is a responsible way to begin your research! Also making sure to buy quality products can help reduce costs in the long run. Make sure your family can financially afford to care for them for the long term. The average life cycle of a rabbit is nine years. I am going to break down costs for you and give you valuable resources of where to purchase feed, hay, cages, treats, and toys.
Water is the most crucial and valuable thing to remember to give to your rabbit. It’s important that they have fresh water daily. There are three different types of water containers that are commonly used for rabbits that I will list the pros and cons to. Some great websites to check out is Chewy.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, or Amazon.com. You may also compare prices at your local pet/ feed stores. We’ve found that the most unbeatable prices are between Chewy.com and Petco.com. Petco price matches and they also have a rewards system to earn $5 for every 100 points earned.
The standard water bottle attaches to the cage. Prices can range between $4-$20.
Water bowls are the more natural way for them to drink out of. A heavy ceramic bowl is the best option to use because light plastic bowls can easily be picked up and thrown around the cage. If your rabbit chooses to throw their bowl around you can purchase a bowl that attaches to the cage so it cannot be moved. Prices can range between $1-$15.
These are mainly used for dogs or cats but can also be operational for rabbits. Prices can range between $7-$38.
Providing a quality feed is so important to your rabbits overall health. Don’t be misguided by the brands that state that their feed is “premium” or “made with all natural ingredients.” Look for the ingredients on the nutritional label and make sure they have a high fiber content. Fiber is what pushes everything through the digestive system so be sure to try to find a fiber percentage of 16-18%. The higher, generally the better. We feed our rabbits Modesto Mills Organic Rabbit Feed. It’s corn and soy free which I am not against either of those ingredients but those are more fillers than nutritionally beneficial. The main ingredient should be grass based such as timothy or alfalfa. Cost of rabbit feed depends on quality of feed and size of bags. I suggest purchasing your feed online because it usually ends up being cheaper. Amazon.com, Chewy.com, or Petco.com are great places to order Oxbow, a brand we recommend along side Modesto Mills. Modesto Mills is milled in Oregon and sold in limited stores around the Pacific Northwest. Do some research around your area and see if there are any locally sourced rabbit feeds nearby.
For Oxbow, expect to pay around $12 for a 5lb bag, $25 for a 10lb bag, $39 for a 25lb bag. Holland Lops usually eat about 4 ounces of food a day. So let’s do some math…
5 lb. Bag of Oxbow $12
4 oz/day x 4 days = 1lb/4 days
4 days x 5lb bag food = 20 days
$12 bag food / 20 days = $.60c per day
$.60c per day x 30 days = $18 per month
25lb. Bag of Oxbow $39
4oz/day x 4 days = 1lb/4 days
4 days x 25 lb bag food = 100 days
$39 bag food / 100 days = $.39c per day
$.39c per day x 30 days = $11.70 per month
For the most part, buying in bulk is usually the best option for saving money in the long run. On the flip side, I wouldn’t recommend buying a 50lb bag of feed if you have only one rabbit because the food may go stale before you finish the whole bag. Nutrena is another brand that is nation wide. We used to use them until we went organic. I don’t prefer this brand but we never had a problem when we used it. I will compare the prices for this brand to the Oxbow brand.
25lb. Bag of Nutrena $14
4oz/day x 4days = 1lb/4days
4days x 25lb bag food = 100 days
$14 bag food / 100 days = $.14c per day
$.14c per day x 30 days = $4.20 per month
Hay is 80% of your rabbits diet and they must have access to it at all times. Hay is high in fiber and keeps their digestive track healthy and moving. Check with your local farmers to see if you can get ahold of some local fresh timothy, oat, or orchard grass hay. A good place to check is Craigslist.org. It is much cheaper to buy a bale of hay which can weigh up to 100lbs for $10-$25 depending on where you’re located. Although if you only have one rabbit I suggest buying smaller quantities so the food doesn’t go stale.
Cages/ Free Range Spaces
Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors. If you’re keeping your bunny housed outside be mindful of weather and temperature. Rabbits are heat sensitive but there are ways to keep them cool in the heat of the Summer such as putting frozen water bottles in their cage or keeping a fan on for them. When looking for a hutch I recommend buying one that has enough space for them to run around in. Also make sure to have a boxed in area for them to hide in. This also keeps them out of the bad weather. Hutches can range between $20-$400 depending on where you buy them. Craigslist or any phone app similar to offer up is a good place to check out for used hutches. This will most likely be your best bet for finding the cheapest one. Although Amazon has pretty reasonable prices too and they are brand new. When looking online to order one make sure to read the dimensions because their pictures can be deceiving and make them look a lot bigger than they are. Reading reviews is also a good idea.
If keeping your new pet indoors, there are many different options for housing them. Our favorite cage is the World Living Habitat Cage in a large or extra large size. Petco or Amazon is a great place to order these cages. They usually range between $70-$120. Once potty trained it’s also a fun idea to section off a free range area in the house for them. Either use a dog exercise pen to keep hem contained or look on Pinterest for awesome ideas. You can easily set up a play/ living area for them for under $50.
It’s important that your bunnies have things to occupy them and chew on. There are so many products to choose from and most are very inexpensive. Petco.com, Chewy.com, and Amazon are all great places to purchase these items. Apple sticks are always a big hit. You can even find sticks in your yard for free for them to chew on. Just check and make sure they are ok for your rabbit to have. Hay mats are also a great thing for rabbits to have. Rabbits teeth continuously grow so it’s important they have things to chew on the help control their teeth growing. Check online for all the fun toys there are and compare prices. Online is usually a lot cheaper then going into a pet store. Pet stores have such a high mark up price on their products. For instance Petco will be more expensive in store than online most of the time. Always check online first! Toys will range between $1-$12.
We add apple cider vinegar to our rabbits water for many health benefits. We recommend you do as well! One reason we use ACV is because it contains essential vitamins and minerals that increase the overall health of our buns. AVC is known to prevent urinary tract infections and helps keep their HP levels regulated. Being a breeder we want the healthiest babies we can produce and try our best to prevent any birth defects or deaths. ACV is known to improve digestion and increase nutrient absorption levels through the G.I tract.
If you will be housing your rabbit outside or have other animals and are worried about mites or fleas, ACV is a solution for you. It helps keep those nasty pesticides away. When a rabbit consumes ACV it makes them smell "off" to the fleas and is unattractive to them. It will also benefit in keeping their fur coat shiny and smooth.
Cages can be a pain to keep clean if your bunny isn't potty trained yet. If they have peed outside of their litter pan and you just wash it out with water, they can still smell their urine in that area resulting in them going in that same spot again. When we potty train rabbits we clean our their cage a specific way to help them learn. First we dump out their litter pan. You want them to be able to smell their urine in there litter pan only. Next we boil a big pot of water with one cup of ACV mixed in. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the cage and pour the hot ACV/ water mixture into the cage. Dump it out, let it dry, and continue with potty training! Convinced yet?! This is a miracle liquid that every animal owner should use!
My favorite part of the day is spending endless hours with these baby bunnies. The bunny in the video attached is one of Mitten and Benny's babies. He/ she is 10 days old and most of their time consists of sleeping. It's so precious to capture these moments of baby bunny stretches and yawns! Enjoy this short clip and subscribe to us on YouTube for more cute videos!
It was finally warm outside today! Spring is coming and I can't wait! All the quail that hatched four days ago are all sold, so you know what that means...time to hatch more eggs! It's never ending work but i enjoy it so much and i'm thankful and blessed for everything i have. The best part about being blessed is turning it around and blessing others. I'm excited for our farm business to continue to grow so we can keep on reach out to more people! Today was a fundaySunday. My friend Jaimie and I went to Clark Lake, a local dog park, and took the buns with us so they could run around. We got some pretty awesome pictures of them and they sure did enjoy the sun! Can't wait for Mittens new babies to grow so we can explore with them outside! It looks like she had 3 BEW, 2 solid black, and 2 black Vienna Marked. Next up due is Lola so check back in a few weeks in the "Bunnies for Sale" page to see what's new!