Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rabbit Behaviour: The Importance of Companionship

The importance of companionship to a rabbit cannot be overstated. A solitary rabbit is an unhappy rabbit, it really is as simple as that. Companionship can be provided by us as owners but by far the best scenario is a pair of happy, bonded rabbits.

Why do rabbits need companionship?

In the wild, rabbits live very closely in a network of burrows called a warren. Within this warren this is a strict pecking order, with one male and one female at the top of the tree. Beneath this are many more mated pairs, youngsters who haven't yet made a mating pair and outsiders who are unable to find a mate. Rabbits rely on each other to keep an eye out for predators and warn of danger. They also groom each other, sleep close together and forage together.

This behaviour is still relevant to domestic rabbits, with the best pairing being neutered male and spayed female i.e. a "mated pair".

Why boy / girl is best

For rabbits, sex is the cause of most arguments. Therefore, neutering / spaying has a huge effect on rabbits' behaviour, calming them down and removing the driving force that causes males to fight and females to be territorial. However, male/male and female/female pairings are still more difficult than male/female. In this way, rabbits stay true to their roots and how they would live in the wild by wanting to be in a "couple". A male/female bonded pair can be likened to a happily married couple, with the bond growing deeper year by year. Bonded rabbits feel grief and will mourn the loss of their partner; luckily, they usually accept a new partner readily.

Companionship from other sources

Solitary house rabbits can bond very well with their human owners. They may follow them around, "groom" them, even sleep in their bed with them. This is sufficient companionship for the rabbit but there is always the problem of what happens when the human has to go away. Rabbits often pine for their companions with a resultant loss of appetite; something which is very dangerous in rabbits and can lead to death.

Rabbits can also bond with cats or dogs although this is more rare and depends a great deal on the nature of the cat / dog. In many cases, the rabbit becomes the "boss", taking a superior position over the cat or dog. However, nature dictates that cats and dogs are predators and rabbits are prey so no relationship can ever be entirely safe.

Rabbits have traditionally been kept with guinea pigs for companionship but rabbits tend to bully guinea pigs and they do not make good companions for each other.

In summary, rabbits are gregarious animals and companionship from another rabbit, or their human owners, is vital to their emotional wellbeing.

Copyright 2011 Hannah Davis / All Rights Reserved

Hannah Davis writes for, an online information library for rabbit owners.

The simple guide to rabbits takes beginners through every aspect of rabbit ownership

For experienced rabbit owners, the A to Z is a handy information library of documents and links

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Five Ways To Organize Your Pet For Summer

Summer is coming. How do you mark the arrival? Do you stock up on suntan lotion? Buy yourself a new beach bag? Maybe you're thinking about a summer vacation and planning where and when you'll go. You've probably already sent in the deposits and medical forms for your children's camps and signed everyone up for swimming lessons. In the midst of all this planning, have you given any thought to your four-legged and furry friends? Take a few minutes and check these five for Fido off your list:

1. Hydration. You don't leave for a day at the beach without packing a cooler of snacks and drinks, right? Well, your dogs and cats need the same tlc during the hot summer months. If your animals are able to go outside, buy an extra bowl or two for outdoor hydration. If your exercise plans during the warmer months include taking along your dog, make sure you bring along a collapsible bowl or water bottle.

2. Fur Care. You make appointments for your highlights and hair cut, so make sure you give your pet the same amount of attention prior to the summer. Flea and tick baths and dips are a priority, so make appointments at your vet or groomer now to avoid problems later. The same goes for those pets with long fur. Book a trim now and you'll find your dog panting with happiness, not heat stroke.

3. Shade. If your animals spend a lot of time outside, take stock of your yard and see if you have appropriate spots for shade. If you don't, figure out where you can hang a temporary sheet in a corner of the yard and purchase the equipment you'll need. If you don't like that idea, go in search of a real dog house.

4. Put Together A Pet Care Bin. Throw one in your car and stash one by your front door or mudroom, especially if you live near a beach. Keep a towel, soft brush, and collapsible water dish in a canvas bag. That way you'll always be ready for fun, and the wet sandy paws that tend to go with it.

5. Doggy Day (and night) Care. Going on vacation? Chances are everybody else in your town is too, so line up your pet care now not at the last minute. If you're giving the job to your neighbor's daughter, have her do a trial run while you are there so you're comfortable with her knowledge. No matter who you are leaving in charge of your pet, make sure they have critical information about your pet (including appropriate shots and paperwork) before you leave. If you don't have that organized, there are many great pet organizers on the market, be sure to research and get the one that fits your families needs.

Follow these 5 tips to keep your pet safe this summer!

Buttoned Up is dedicated to helping stretched & stressed women get organized. Co-founders Alicia Rockmore & Sarah Welch team up with a group of Gurus to give you tips & products for all your messy, stressed needs & introduce "imperfect organization." Visit to see which Guru matches your style & get info on Everyday Life, Life Essentials & Life Events

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What to Do When Your Pet Has Recurring Urinary Infections

About one out of every seven pets become infected with a urinary tract infection serious enough to require treatment, with about half of those infections becoming a chronic long-term condition known as a recurring urinary infections. It is also safe to say that seventy percent of all cases will be female and that most will involve pets who are advanced in age, have diabetes mellitus, are prone to stones in the urinary tract, have some sort of bladder condition, or are on long-term corticosteroid therapy.

As you can see there are many reasons that could make a pet susceptible to recurring urinary tract infections. It might also be helpful to know that infections of the urinary tract can be acquired through oral ingestion of bacterial laden food or water that is spread through the blood or by opportunistic bacteria gaining access through the urethra and working its way up the urinary tract to the bladder and worst case scenario to the kidneys.

*So the first rule of thumb for ridding your pet of this condition is to make sure they don't accidentally ingest any food or water that might contain bacteria. No pet owner would intentionally feed their pet food teaming with bacteria but I know with my pets sometimes they can find, and eat or drink, gross stuff including old food and unclean water.

*As we briefly touched on above these types of infections typically become recurring in older animals primarily due to a weakened immune system which is no longer capable of eliminating and repelling bacteria that happens to gain access to the urinary tract. For these pets special care should be taken to make sure that they don't come in contact with feces while urinating or eliminating. For pets using litter boxes the threat is even greater since they are prime breeding grounds for bacterial and should be kept very clean and checked regularly. Additionally, a daily exercise routine should be implemented to boost waning immune system function.

*Another area of concern in older pets with arthritis. Pets that require long-term corticosteroid medication to reduce bone and joint pain are at high risk for developing recurring urinary tract infections. If your pet falls into this category switching them to a natural arthritis remedy containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate might be something worth considering since both of these substances have been shown to help animals (especially cats) with recurrent urinary infections.

*As we have mentioned bacteria generally enters through the urethra and works its way up the urinary tract. In order to accomplish this feat it must be able to adhere to urinary lining and then to the bladder wall. Certain compounds called ellagitannins help prevent this from happening. Blackberries and raspberries are good sources with cranberries and blueberries having similar action. Since most pets aren't going to beat the door down to get to your blackberry stash adding low sugar fruit juice to their water regularly probably is the simplest and cleanest delivery method.

*And lastly adding a homeopathic urinary tract supplement specially formulated to relieve bladder discomfort, reduce urine leakage, boost immune function, and improve overall bladder and urinary tract health could be an idea worth considering. One advantage of these types of natural remedies is they can be safely used in conjunction with other therapies (antibiotics) commonly used to hold recurring urinary tract infections at bay.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Farting Bunny Rabbit - Sadie has no manners!

Farting Bunny Rabbit - Sadie has no manners!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How To Care For Your Pet

Animals have been a part of our world since the very beginning and if you read the Bible, animals were actually created first before humans. There are almost thousand kinds of animals living with us and most of them are present upon becoming our food, pets and source of medicine. Some of them also act as our clothing and other daily equipment. We may not notice it but animals are extremely important to us. For thousands of years, they took care of our lives starting from being our food up to our protection.

Pets, being one of the animals' best contributions to us are actually very helpful when it comes to our means of living. They care for us humans, as we care for them. They provide us enjoyment, adventure, protection and a lot more. Also, having a pet gives us an opportunity to understand and have an open communication with their world; how they feel and how they react upon various situations.

Pets are actually very caring especially to their masters. Some of them had spent the rest of their lives looking after their owners. Dogs, for example, are very known for their friendliness as well as their huge concern for their masters. Cats, in the other hand, do the same things and provide us with almost the same opportunities.

However, it is somehow a sad fact that some of us humans lack the knowledge upon how to properly manage and take care of our pets. Let us accept the reality that there are some pets that die of starvation, cold, sickness, and other certain issues that happen because of our negligence and lack of concern. That is why, here are some of the best things to do to show our pets how we care for them and how they can feel that they are not taken for granted.

  1. Feed them - It is probably a no-brainer for most of us that we should feed our pets. Like us, animals have to eat too. You can consult the nearest pet store or the internet for the right types of food that you can give them and how frequent should they eat everyday.

  2. Give them shelter - Like humans, our pets need a warm and comfortable place to rest. If they are not kept inside our houses, it is better to build them a small but comfortable house in our garden or somewhere that is near us. We should make sure that the shelter that we are going to build will be strong enough to handle the weather and other factors similar to this.

  3. Play with them - Our pets need to enjoy too! Playing with them will help upon developing our relationship and build a stronger friendship. Also, this ill somehow act as their exercise to have a stronger and more active well-being.

  4. Get them insurance - There are certain times that our pet have to undergo medical treatment because of sickness. It would be better to get them insured so that it would be less expensive and also, you can have a lot of choices when it comes to the type of doctor and treatment that they would be getting. There are a lot of pet insurance companies available today that could help your pet when it comes to maintaining their health.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Groom an Angora Rabbit

Angora rabbits make wonderful and loving pets, but are also prized for their long and soft coat. Spinners find this luxury fiber a joy to work with and angora rabbits an excellent first fiber animal. If you are considering an angora rabbit or have just added one to your family, learning how to keep your bunny's coat looking beautiful and make sure the fiber is of good quality is critical.
    • 1

      Start by making sure that your angora rabbit is clean. Bathing is an option when necessary, but regular brushing and grooming will reduce the need. Consider litterbox training your angora bunny to eliminate the need for messy bedding throughout the cage or wire bottomed cages that can be bad for rabbit's feet.

    • 2

      Put a towel on your lap to avoid scratches or accidents. Make sure the angora rabbit is calm and relaxed. Take the time to pet the rabbit and maybe offer a favorite treat. Grooming time should be relaxing, for both you and the rabbit.

    • 3

      Grooming angora rabbits is primarily about brushing. Brush through the coat with a small slicker brush. Some spinners choose to save the combings as well as the harvested angora from their rabbits. Patience is required with this process, as an angora bunny in full coat may have a very long, dense coat.

    • 4

      Rest the angora rabbit on his back. Brush through the belly, legs and underside of the tail. Much of the time, the coat harvested from this part of the rabbit is of slightly lower quality, but may blend well for spinning with other fibers, like alpaca. Some rabbits may object to this part of the grooming process. If that is true, wrapping the rabbit gently but firmly with a towel may help to make grooming angora rabbits a bit easier.

    • 5

      Trim the angora bunny's nails with a set of pet nail clippers. Be aware of the quick within the nail, and trim quickly but gently. When the nails are trimmed, you reduce the risk of scratches and of possible injury to the rabbit.

    • 6

      Use a flea comb or small grooming comb to finish tidying the ears, face and top of the head. This is especially important for English Angora rabbits.

    • 7

      When it is time to harvest the angora rabbit's coat, your time spent grooming will be well worth it. How you harvest the fiber is a matter of breed and preference. French and English Angora rabbits are often plucked gently while German Angoras are typically clipped.

Read more: How to Groom an Angora Rabbit |

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Traveling In Cars With Pet Rabbits

Most rabbits are not fond of car rides, but with a little bit of time and attention, you can make the trip much more comfortable for them. The right setup can let them learn that a car trip might not be fun, but it isn't to be feared, either.

Proper traction is essential if your rabbit is going to feel at ease. Unlike dogs and cats, who have pads of bare skin on the bottoms of their feet, rabbits have pads of thick fur. This means that they cannot get any traction on the smooth plastic floors of most carriers. A rabbit carrier, which has a wire bottom, or a folded towel other rough-surfaced item, will allow them to avoid slipping and sliding around.

The carrier or cage that your rabbit is traveling in should never be in the front seat. If it is in the backseat, it should be belted down so that it can't slide or move if you stop quickly. If it is in the rear of a station wagon or hatchback, it should be firmly held in place by other items, such as a bungee cord. Rabbits should never be placed in the trunk.

Rabbits are very clean animals who don't like to soil their 'dens'. This is why they can be litter box trained and why even those that aren't often choose a favorite corner in which to do their business. This means that they don't want to soil their carriers, either, and should be provided regular breaks and chances to use a litter box, if possible.

Most bunnies won't eat while the car is moving, but going without eating for more than 12 hours can be extremely dangerous to their unique digestive tracts. This means that regular stops where you offer the rabbit water and food are essential. Bring the same food from home that your rabbit usually eats. In most cases, a bunny's tummy will be stressed out by the trip and they don't need this to be compounded by being introduced to a new food.

Keep your car in good shape, and make sure your roadside assistance is paid up, especially during the hot summer months. Rabbits suffer from heatstroke easily, and should your car break down in a hot area, your priority must be to get them somewhere cool as quickly as possible.

Avoid unnecessary car travel. Rabbits are easily stressed, and do not enjoy change. But if you must travel, be sure to prepare your vehicle to accommodate your furry friend.

You can learn how to find the best car insurance quickly and easily. When you are comparing rates for ins renewals, getting comparative quotes will help you to get the best rates for the coverage that will meet your needs and requirements.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Choosing Rabbit Litters

David Neil Warren

Rabbits are socially capable and they are highly intellectual. If they are treated well, and handled properly, they will be able to learn new tricks.

Of course, all rabbit owners prefer having a pet that is trained in the aspect of elimination. Since they usually use litter box, it is appropriate that owners buy the perfect one for their individual pet. Here are some information you need to know:

Are you thinking of buying a clay litter box? Clay is much like the material you use for plants. Like flower pots, they are very dusty and could easily attract dirt, thus, leading to various respiratory diseases. Aside from that, this material is naturally difficult to scrub. Although this may seem to be amongst the cheapest in the market, you will have to do your own work in keeping it spick and span.

Furthermore, when you are looking for clay litters, make sure to stay away from the crystals for controlling odors. These are also known as deodorant crystals. These crystals are made up of artificial substances that are very toxic for rabbits and even people.

Have you ever heard of corn cob litter for rabbits? This litter is very interesting because of its name as well as the source. On the other hand, it is not as functional as you might think. In fact, it could even be dangerous for your beloved pets. They could eat it up, which can cause obstruction of airway, not to mention, it won't be able to control the smell of your rabbit's waste.

Thinking of getting newspapers as your rabbit's litter box? These are great if you want to save up, or if you are thinking of buying a new litter for your pet. But, when it comes to controlling odor, this will not really help you.

There are some litters like that of peat moss, oat and alfalfa-made litters which have been known to control the odor and could even be composted. However, if the rabbits eat more than what is needed, they tend to bloat, which make a very bulky addition to the bunny's litter.

As for expensive pellets, there are compressed sawdust which are very absorbent. In fact, these are commonly seen in shelters housing many pets, and carrying litters. This litter comes from hardwood/softwood sawdust. Yes, these are very harmful and toxic if made with phenolic compounds. It's a good thing they are taken out when they are manufactured.

Another potentially dangerous type of litter is cedar and pine shavings. These shavings naturally emit gas that, if inhaled abundantly, could result to diseases such as liver damage.

In choosing a litter for your adorable pet bunny, the choices are rampant. But, having one is just not the important aspect. There are also certain considerations such as the litter's ability to control odor, composting, as well as the function. In that regard, make sure to do your research on the appropriate litter for rabbits. Or, perhaps you can talk to the veterinarian about this.

Tiny Bunny

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pros of Raising a Rabbit: An Exotic Pet

It is a known fact that many people consider raising pets of different kinds because of their own personal reasons. Dogs are just among the most common kind of animal that people consider as pets; after all they are known to be man’s best friend. You can also see people with cats and birds as a part of their household. But aside from these animals, there are people who find raising a rabbit as the best option to take a look into. Instead of raising dogs and cats which are two of the most common and popular pets, such people chose to raise rabbits. So what’s with raising a rabbit? Are there any benefits that a person can enjoy in raising one?

Just like taking care of other kinds of pets, raising a rabbit is also associated with a number of pros/benefits. If you are planning to get yourself a rabbit instead of a dog or a cat, that wouldn’t be a big surprise because rabbits are normally irresistible. They are very cute and cuddly animals that will surely make you happy for quite some time even if they are among those that are called as exotic pets. The major benefit of raising a rabbit has something to do with your health and your diet. Because rabbits mostly eat fresh vegetables, then you have to buy fresh vegetables even if you are not really into this kind of food. Somehow, you will be encouraged by your pet to change your diet into a healthy one and eat fresh vegetables. This does not mean that you have to eat the foods that your pet rabbit eats, this simply means that if your pet eats healthy foods then why won’t you?

Another thing that can be considered as a pro in raising a rabbit is the fact that it can take away your depression and somehow control your blood pressure. This benefit actually does not only apply if you have a pet rabbit, you can also enjoy this benefit if your have a pet dog or cat. However, unlike owning a dog or cat, there is no need for you to take your rabbit for a walk or brush its hair. You just have to get a rabbit hutch where it can comfortably stay and play. Also, you do not have to worry about your pet disturbing other people because of the loud sound it can create. Normally, rabbits do not cause too much noise, they do not meow like cats or bark like dogs.

These are just some of the pros associated with raising a rabbit. No doubt, rabbits can be considered as ideal pets regardless of your location and age. As long as you provide your pet with everything that it needs and you have a complete understanding on how to take care of it, then you will not experience any major issues. Just do not assume that rabbits are perfect pets, there will be times where in you will encounter nibbling issues, health problems and other issues/problems with your pet rabbit.

4 Day Old Baby Bunnies

Depressed Rabbit Attempts Suicide

A male rabbit named Furball had lost all hope. The female rabbit he had lived with for an entire year had left him for another rabbit. The owner of the garden he usually dined at had just put a fence around it. A fox had nipped one of his ears. And, at his most depressed, it seemed to him that all life is mere ephemera in the eye of time.

The only thing to do was bring an end to his sorrow, hunger, pain, and inability to find meaning even in a moment. He would take his own life. The question became, how?

The first thing he did is look for a cliff to jump off of, but, alas, he lived on farmland that was pretty flat. He did find one high rock beside the pond the cows waded into each day. Up he scampered.

The challenge was to jump and hit the ground, not the pond. He resolved to end his troubled existence and off he leaped. But when he hit the ground, unfortunately, he landed on his feet. He just stood there, regretting the rock wasn’t higher.

Next, he decided to back up and run at the rock as fast as he could, head first. He hopped back far enough to give himself a good running distance and then headed for the hard immensity. He banged into at full speed and knew nothing else, because the force knocked him out.

As luck would have it, after a while, he woke up, with a thundering headache. He rubbed his aching head with his paw and decided to drown himself. He leapt toward the pond and did a belly smacker. He waited to drown. The terrible thing is, he couldn’t stop swimming. Much as he tried, there was a reflex in him that he couldn’t control. So, filled with regret, along with water that had splashed into his mouth, he paddled out and sat down by the bank to dry off.

He thought about human beings and how many ways they had to commit suicide. Why didn’t rabbits have even one? In fact, why didn’t he ever hear of a rabbit, or any other animal, committing suicide?

No, it seemed that only humans knew how to do that. What was wrong with other animals? he wondered. He signed, realizing there were just no examples in the rabbit world or the entire animal kingdom he could follow.

He felt more miserable than ever and his vision blurred, because tears welled up in his eyes. He tried to wipe them away but his paw was still wet, so the clumpy fur only irritated them and made him blink. Oh, how hopeless his life was! He could see no reason to go on. Nothing good, he was certain, would ever happen to him.

But just then something good did happen. An exceptionally cute female rabbit hopped around the corner of the rock. He saw her and just the site of her made his sullen spirits leap up.

She hopped over to him, and said, “You look very sad. What’s wrong?”

“I want to kill myself but I don’t know how,” he confessed.

“Now, why would a handsome rabbit like you want to kill himself?” she asked.

“Because nothing is going right. My girl friend left me. My favorite garden has been fenced off. A fox bit my ear. And I feel insignificant.”

He leaned forward to show her the bite mark.

“My, oh, my,” she said. “Let me lick it.”

“You’d do that for me?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said. “If a fox bit my ear, I’d want somebody to lick it for me.”

“OK,” he said, “but take it easy. It hurts a lot.”

So the female rabbit licked his ear. He felt good.

“What’s your name?” she asked.


“I like that,” she said. “Very cute.”

“What’s yours?” he asked.

“Sweet Thing.”

“Me?” he wanted to know.

“Yes, you’re very sweet,” she told him. “But that’s also my name.”

“Oh,” he said, and tested it with is own lips. “Sweet Thing. I like that.

“Good,” she said. “And I like the way you taste.”

“You do?” he asked.


“Great,” he exclaimed, and continued to enjoy her soothing licks. He couldn’t believe it, but what felt like a new life was swirling all through is body.

“How’s that?” she asked, finishing her TLC of his ear.

“Much better,” he told her.

“You know,” she said, sitting down beside him, “I live by a great garden. There’s no fence, and you’re welcome to come there and eat.”

“I am?” he asked.


“Don’t you have a male rabbit who loves you?”

“No,” she said, “he left me for another rabbit.”

“I’m sorry,” Furball said.

“Don’t worry,” I’ll get over it,” Sweet Thing sort of sighed. “But I wish I could meet another male rabbit, one I really like.”

By now our suicidal rabbit was thinking, Hey, who would have believed it just a few minutes ago? My life just might work out! And, even if life is just ephemera in the eye of time, I might be able to fit in enough happiness to be glad I'm alive.

“How about me?” he asked.

“Well, I like you a lot, but I’m not sure I could be happy with a rabbit who is so depressed he would take his own life.”

“Oh, I’m all over that now,” he told her. “And, if you were my girl friend, I’d be all over it forever.” “You would?”

“Yes,” he said, and snuggled up to her. "I'd have so much to live for!"

“Wow,” she said, “and so would I. Would you like to come to my garden and eat something?”

“Love it,” he told her.

“Great. Then off we go!” she replied.

And so off they hopped, to live happily ever after.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Caring For a Rabbit – Getting the Best Food For Your Rabbit

They say that rabbits are among the favorite pets of children and adults because of their adorable and friendly nature. But owning one is not that easy because you have to ensure they are in best condition.

Majority of pet owners love to have them as pets because they are undemanding, quite, do not need to he walked often and do not require frequent veterinarian check up. However, like most pets, it is your responsibility to provide them an excellent, healthy and conducive environment. Caring for them and providing them quality and nutritious foods are among the numerous facets of a responsible pet owner.

How their digestive system works:

As pet owner, you need to know that rabbits do not get all the needed nutrients in their body, thus they have a system that corrects the problem. As they eat their food, it passes through their digestive system and are excreted as cecotropes or night feces. These wastes are not smelly compared to other animal manure, but they come in cluster of grapes shape. To get the nutritive value of the food they ate, they eat the cecotropes. In this manner, the food passes their digestive system for the second time and they excreted hard dry pellets, commonly known as rabbit droppings.

Like any other pets around, rabbits do need nutritious foods to keep them in tip top shape. Their foods should contain the needed elements in proper ratio and amounts to ensure their optimal health and growth. As a rabbit owner, it is vital for you to become familiar with high protein and energy rabbit food and high fiber rabbit food because they are vital in rabbits’ health, otherwise they became ill. However, you must be careful in choosing foods for your rabbits because they have sensitive stomach and digestive system than any other pets around.

Important factors to consider when feeding your rabbits:

1. They love to eat hay, vegetables and pellets.

2. You can also feed them variety of vegetables, like parsley, carrots, broccoli leaves, cilantro, oats, timothy hay and alfalfa. Depending on the size of your rabbit, you can give them 2 or 3 cups of vegetables daily.

3. If you intend to feed them with pellets, always ensure they contain 18% fiber, thus, you have to read food labels carefully. Water is very important for rabbit.

4. Make sure to give them fresh and clean water everyday. Always clean water container to avoid bacteria build up that may harm their health.

5. To give rabbits natural sources of food, you must give them fresh grass or hay that can be purchased in pet stores.

6. If you plan to feed them with prepared foods found in pet shops, never forget to consult your veterinarian first to ensure you have chosen the right food stuff for your rabbit.

Avoid giving them potatoes, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, lettuce, parsnips, Swedes, tomato leaves, potato tops, bunny sweets and junk foods because these foods cause diarrhea and gas problems.

Always make sure that the fresh fruits and vegetables you give your rabbits are pesticide free.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Housing Your Rabbit With a Cozy Rabbit Hutch!

While your rabbit can roam your house or even a fenced in, covered run during the day, he is going to need a good place to relax and to sleep at night, and one of the best places for him to do this is going to be a rabbit hutch! A rabbit hutch is essentially a type of cage that you can use to house your rabbits and typically, they are made of wood and wire. While some hutches can hold five or six animals, you will find that building one to house one or two is quite simple and is something that the whole family can enjoy. Unlike other animals, which need expensive caging, rabbits do very well in hutches that you can build yourself inside of a weekend.

For the most part, you will find that rabbit hutches consist of a covered portion and a portion that is open to the air. The covered portion might be made of solid plywood or another type of lumber while the open area is made out of wire mesh. The covered portion exists because rabbits, much like most other burrowing mammals, need a dark and cozy place to sleep in. In the wild, rabbits sleep in burrows and in some cases will have earth pressing in on them on three sides. Remember that in many cases, your rabbit will prefer a small covered area that will allow them to feel as though they are being protected.

One thing that you have to look into when you are planning a rabbit hutch is going to be the floor. Some people suggest using a wire mesh for the floor as this can prevent having a rabbit escape through tunneling, but the issue here is that it can be rough on your rabbit’s paws. If you end up deciding on wire floor, be sure that it is well covered with straw. Of course, you can always line the floor with plywood or with vinyl, which is quite easy to clean. Both options is fairly inexpensive and you will discover that it is something that is entirely up to you.

You also might want t look into putting wire mesh on the open area of the hutch. This will allow more circulation of air and it can reduce odor in your rabbit cage. It can also make it easier to check on your rabbit during the course of the day. Remember that when you are building your own rabbit hutch that wood and wire are going to be your best choices for your hutch; plastic might be easier to clean, but it will almost certainly get chewed up as time goes on.

Finally, when you want to make sure that your bunny has a perfect place to live, remember that making your own cage is quite simple. Most people don't realize how easy it is to put together a rabbit hutch, even a fairly large and roomy one. All of the materials are easy to acquire from your local hardware store, so why not devote this weekend to putting together the perfect home for your rabbit?

black and white

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


How To Select The Right Pet Bunny Rabbit For Your Household!

So you have decided to purchase a pet rabbit, and now you are wondering how do I pick out the right one?

Well, aside from appearance, there are a number of important considerations that you will have to make when you pick out your pet bunny rabbit at the local pet store or other venue. This is important both to ensure that you choose a healthy pet rabbit, and to make sure that you and he are compatible!

Now I'll explain what you'll need to think about before heading out to buy your pet rabbit, and what to look for when you're actually selecting an animal from a local breeder, adoption center or pet store.

Housing: Do You Have Enough Space for a Pet Rabbit?

When it comes to tame pet bunny rabbits, they do much better indoors than outdoors. Living indoors will ensure that your pet bunny rabbit stays healthy and safe and gets to know the members of your family. Rabbits kept in outdoor cages are at risk of being threatened by other animals; foxes, dogs, and raccoons have been known to open cage doors.

Therefore, before you decide to bring home a pet rabbit, make sure that you have plenty of space inside your house for your new animal friend. For most rabbits, plan on buying a cage that is either 30 inches square, or 2 feet by 3 feet. You will also need to make sure that you have enough room inside your home to fit a cage of this size. If you don't have space for a cage, you will not be able to provide a rabbit with an adequate living situation.

Keep in mind that the cage should not just be placed in any old spot, but should put somewhere where the rabbit can feel connected and close to the family. At the same time, the rabbit cage should be away from heaters, air conditions, loud objects like TVs or radios, and not in direct sunlight. Since you will be letting your rabbit out of his cage for exercise, you will also need to put the cage in an area that can be bunny-proofed. (more on that later...)

Your Time Investment

A lot of people seem to think that because rabbits are relatively small and spend a good deal of time in their cages that they're easy to take care of. Well, that may be true in some sense, but it's foolish to bring home a rabbit thinking that it's not going to be much of a time commitment. If you are not willing to spend time with your pet rabbit, then you probably should not get him. This, of course, applies to all pet animals!

Well, here's what to expect. You should ensure that you have plenty of time for all the initial and intermediate stages of pet care, which include:

- Rabbit-proofing your house to make sure the little guy won't get hurt
- Litter box training
- Cleaning up after the inevitable accidents
- Spaying/neutering

You will also need to devote a good deal of time to your rabbit well after you bring him home for the first time. You must:

- Give him exercise (at least a few hours per day out of the cage)
- Give him attention (just like any pet or child, rabbits need to feel love!)
- Buy and provide rabbit toys
- Administer feedings
- Take him to the vet if necessary and for check-ups

Above all, just keep in mind that bringing home a new pet bunny rabbit is not so different from bringing home a new infant. You will need to spend adequate time preparing for the arrival, as well as adjusting to life with the newcomer. Setting aside time for all these necessities will make for a happy, comfortable situation for everyone involved.

Before bringing home a pet rabbit, make sure that you can commit to giving him the quality of lifestyle he deserves throughout his lifetime (5-15 years, depending on the rabbit-s breed and age and health at the time of purchase).

Baby Bunny bounce

Warning, too cute for words

Fox Proof Rabbit Run - Can it Be Replaced by Any of Those Large Rabbit Hutches?

Because your pet rabbit needs to have adequate exercise and play, and have at the same time sunlight and air, the solution to it is the fox proof rabbit run.

This type of rabbit enclosure not only meets the demand for space the rabbit needs but also provides a great degree of protection to the rabbit from physical harm by predators such as foxes, dogs, opossums, weasels and many others that may be there just waiting for a chance to get your pet.

But one question that comes to mind is, is there not an alternative?

The advantages of a fox proof rabbit run

A fox proof run is very ideal for your rabbit because it provides the necessary exercise area for play and run. It is big enough for your rabbit and provide the safety from physical harm caused by any of the animals of prey that could sneak into your yard.

Because of the many lessons learned regarding predators, design and make of runs have become sturdier and proofed against any of them. Runs are now constructed of durable and sturdy materials like welded wire, rather than wire mesh or chicken wire. The reason is, the wire mesh or chicken wire can easily be destroyed by stronger predators like the strong and wily fox.

Aside from this, there are models of this type of runs with housing inside for your pet so that in case of a hot sunny day or moderate rain, the rabbit can have a place for shelter.

There is also the folding type which you can move or stow when not in use or if your yard is not really that big to allow a structure that stays there all the time, like the fox proof rabbit run. Otherwise, some pet owners make this some sort of permanent housing for their pets.

This is a lot better than allowing your rabbit loose in your yard where also are poisonous plants, herbicide and fertilizer treated grass and plants, that are toxic to rabbits and could cause illness to them.

The advantages of large rabbit hutches

Large rabbit hutches is an outdoor housing for a rabbit and because of its size, all the needs a rabbit for exercise, sunlight and air are met. They can also be fox proofed to protect the rabbit from physical harm.

Also, large hutches like this can be made of more than one storey say, two stories, or even three stories if you believe it is necessary, so that in case your yard is small, the needed space by your rabbit for the purpose intended is there.

These large rabbit hutches is actually intended for outdoor housing for rabbits and are constructed of sturdy materials. They provide both the ventilation and the warmth. Included in the design are covers to protect your rabbit from the elements especially in case of inclement weather.

Disadvantages of both

Rabbits are social animals and tend to live well with human beings, if properly tended and trained. If they are left in a fox proof rabbit run or in large rabbit hutches, the tendency is there will be less contact between the pet and the members of the family.

If you have the rabbit for pet, then the purpose is defeated by having them outside and with less contact between you and the pet. If you devote time for them or get them and loose them in the house, then this is not much of a disadvantage.

More than these, no fox proof rabbit run or large rabbit hutches are really fox proof when you consider that the harm that any of the predators can cause your rabbit is not only incurred through physical contact with them.

As various experiences have proven, rabbits may panic when confronted by those hostile predators which can cause them to run wildly, jump and twist which could result in injury of the back or other parts of the body. This may also cause the rabbit to suffer a heart that can cause its death.

Such incidents can happen even with the presence or supervision of a member of the family especially so in the case of those which are in the urban areas, where urban foxes are used to the presence of people.

What’s more, many incidents happen at night when everybody is sleeping so that no one is watching to ward them off when they come.

Because of this, additional fox proofing must have to be done. Examples of these are a motion detector which activates either a spray that will surprise the fox or a high pitch sound device that irritates and deter foxes or the like.

This means additional expenses on your part as pet owner.

Worlds Biggest Rabbit

Singing Rabbit

Double Rabbit Hutch: Get A Double To Avoid Trouble

Rabbits make fine pets, but they are notorious for being wont to reproduce. This is a natural instinct that they possess, and more than one unwitting pet owner has had trouble with unexpected litters. The problem is that newbie pet owners forget about the sex of the animals, and the consequences that may ensue. For the most part, it is a failure on the part of the pet owner to keep the opposite sexes separate. For example, if you have two rabbits, a double rabbit hutch makes a fine long-term habitat, especially if you are unsure of their sexes.

A double rabbit hutch is distinct from two rabbit hutches. You might think to yourself “What difference does that make?” Well, a lot actually. For one thing, a double is more cost-effective in terms of materials and time to build. You can save material on at least one wall section. You can save time by constructing a single, whole roof instead of two smaller ones. Of course, it can also be a bit more difficult to move the hutch as a whole.

For the most part, a double rabbit hutch serves its purpose well. One situation where it might be better to have two separate cages is if you need to quarantine one rabbit. This can be because the rabbit is sick or is being bullied by the other rabbit – as far as rabbit bullying goes, anyway.

Rabbit hutches are usually made of wood and wire mesh. The most common variations are the single and double rabbit hutch, while triples are a bit more uncommon. Some hutches are built to be easily attached or are already built with attached runs, to provide both long-term shelter and exercise area for the rabbits.

So why choose a hutch instead of a cage? Cages are made of mesh or bars on all sides. This provides excellent ventilation and waste management properties, but in fact the openness can be a little too much. Rabbits are docile, shy creatures, and they like being able to hide away, as attested by their natural affinity for burrowing. Hutch is often made of wire mesh on only one side, and has a section made of wood panels. This provides enough ventilation without making the rabbit feel too cold, while providing a more shaded, secluded area to retreat to.

On the other hand, a rabbit cage is more portable, since they are lighter given the fact that most cages are made only of wire mesh. Of course, if you choose a cage for your rabbit, you must keep it indoors because otherwise will be no protection against the elements. Rabbit have fur, but that won’t keep them very warm, and you can forget about drying off quickly.

Hutches and cages are small and do not provide enough room to exercise in, which could lead to muscle degeneration and immune system weakness. Make sure to let your rabbit out of its hutch or rabbit cage once in a while to stretch its legs. Rabbit runs are excellent for this purpose!

The Rabbit Cage and How it Protects Your Favorite Pets From Harm

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A very persistent predator that attempts to break into the cage may cause the rabbit to retreat into a panic-induced state, banging into walls and floors, trying to seek cover. All these efforts may result in the rabbit injuring itself, or dying due to a heart attack brought about by a fragile nervous system.

An indoor rabbit that is unknowingly set loose from its cage is put in a position where it is forced to deal with factors it is not accustomed to, like getting stuck in vents and nooks where it cannot crawl away from, and it may die from suffocation or starvation.

A rabbit may also chew through exposed electrical wiring, exposing it to risks of electrocution. Add to that unsanitary food and morsels they may come across and ingest, exposing them to complications leading to diarrhea and dehydration.

Especially when they are young, rabbits tend to jump and hop everywhere, taking for granted that whatever they land on or hit on the way up or down will cushion their impact. This proves to be a problem if your house has hardwood floors or even brick tile, where the possibility of fractures and bruises is increased.

All these dangers can be avoided if they are kept in a secure Rabbit Cage. It will be their home and guardian against all the dangers that await them out of their homes.

However, that is not to say that confining your rabbits in a Rabbit Cage will keep them safe.

Rabbits constantly kept in confinement tend to experience obesity due to overeating, and muscle and bone disorders, brought about by the lack of exercise and necessary movement to their bodies.

It seems that rabbit owners are torn between letting their pets go, exposing them to dangers their fragile bodies cannot possibly survive, or dooming them to an unhealthy existence within walls that are supposed to be their guardians but instead turn out to be their wardens and executioners.

Striking the balance between protecting them from harm and letting them go for healthy exercise is the key in promoting your rabbit’s safety and good health.

A good compromise in balancing your rabbits’ safety and health would be to get them a Fox Proof Rabbit Run.

A Fox Proof Rabbit Run is secured against attempts of foxes and other predators to force open your rabbit’s living quarters while permitting it to get much needed exercise by letting it run about in a protected, fenced in area.

A Fox Proof Rabbit Run is an indispensable tool and shelter for your favorite pets. It offers them security, all the while indulging them in their naturally active habits.

A Fox Proof Rabbit Run is the perfect way of showing your favorite pet that you value its safety, and promote its good health as well. And that may be the best gift you can give your rabbit.

Rabbit Cage & The Fox Proof Rabbit Run

Most rabbit pet owners know that even if they have a rabbit cage, they still need a fox proof rabbit run. These two are indispensable partners, if you want to have a healthy and happy rabbit in your possession.

The cage

The rabbit cage is an indoor housing to accommodate your rabbit. It should be large enough to give it room to move around. Rabbit experts recommend that the cage be at least four to five times the size of your rabbit when it is already full grown. It must be as high as the rabbit when it stands on its hind legs.

This size provides enough space for the litter box and a place to hide for the rabbit even for one who is of the dwarf variety because this one is active and loves to move around.

Rabbits are social animals and love the presence of its household mates. If it is kept in the rabbit cage all the time, it gets bored and aggressive or other unwanted behavior could result. If however, it is properly trained and the house is properly bunny proofed, it can be allowed to run around the house when you or any member of you family is there inside. It goes back there when it wants to or you keep it there when everybody leaves the house.

By itself, the cage can provide some running space for the rabbit, if it is the rabbit condo type where a room is made higher than the floor of the cage and a ramp provided on which the rabbit can run up and down.

If the house has more space for the rabbit cage, a pen can be places around the cage so to give ample room for the rabbit run and exercise. One thing is that the pen should be high enough so the rabbit can not jump over it. This is if you do not want to have your rabbit go around the house and if you can tolerate the litter it makes.

You can put a pen if you do not want the rabbit to go around the house because of its instinctive urge of chewing anything that it sees in the house, including your sofa and your bed. And this is trouble enough for you.

If not, then the only alternative is a fox proof run located outside the house.

A fox proof run

If the rabbit cannot be let loose inside the house, or even if it can be, because it needs sunshine and abundant fresh air, a rabbit run certainly comes in handy. A rabbit run has enough space for the rabbit to run around and play and if given the room to dig, it will dig. It will have the fresh air and the sunshine it needs in abundance.

However, a rabbit run must be fox proofed because of the dangers posed by predators which may be just roaming around looking for their prey, just like the rabbit. For this reason, even with the rabbit in the fox proof rabbit run, the presence of a member of the household is necessary because of the possibility that a dog or a cat or any of those predators might unexpectedly come and try to attack the rabbit inside the run.

Being inside the fox proof rabbit run does not insulate the rabbit from the shock that may be caused by the attack or any action of the predator. This can cause sharp reactions like jumping and twisting which may lead to broken vertebral column of the rabbit or a shock which may cause a heart attack. This then really needs the supervision of at least a member of the household as already mentioned.

It should be borne in mind that a fox proof rabbit run is not intended to be left there with the rabbit inside overnight, without the necessary safeguards against what could happen should a predator comes. And even if there are none, the rabbit should not be left there overnight especially in cold temperature.

The two in tandem

The assumption is that you, as the pet owner, have done and are doing the things you should do. These are having your rabbit vaccinated, the cage and run are properly maintained and cleaned, and all the sundry matters you are supposed to take care of are properly and religiously attended to.

Such being the case then, a rabbit cage inside the house and a fox proof rabbit run outside the house is a good combination that will make for a happy and healthy pet rabbit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rabbits in Mythology

A less innocuous use of the rabbit symbol in modern America is the "Playboy Bunny". This iconic symbol makes use of the rabbits reputation for playfulness and amorous activity to represent sexual frivolity. Some American street gangs have adopted the rabbit head design as part of their iconography, perhaps in reference to the "Playboy lifestyle", or perhaps to the clever and quick nature of the rabbit that enables gang members to evade the law.

This is only a small sampling of all the legendry associated with the rabbit and hare throughout the world. A truly thorough description of all the beliefs and folklore surrounding rabbits and hares would fill volumes. These fascinating creatures have bred myths and legends as prolifically as one would expect from such famously fertile animals. Wherever you go in the world, you can see the influence of the rabbit. With such a diverse and long-standing fan following, it's no wonder that people across the world continue to pursue the wonderment and joy that is found in friendship with these mercurial, magical, and mesmerizing figures.

The theme of the rabbit or hare as a trickster archetype is repeated in other cultures throughout the world. In the mythology of many Algonquin Native American tribes, Nanabozho is a mythical culture hero who takes the form of a rabbit. Like similar figures depicted as Coyote or Raven, Nanabozho is more than a simple ne'er-do-well. His daring exploits and ingenious tricks are responsible for much of the creation of the world as we know it, and the gift of various kinds of knowledge to mankind. In one story of the Ojibwa people, he stole the gift of speech from the animals to prevent them from conspiring against mankind. As with trickster figures the world over, however, he often falls victim to his own ruses.

Apart from wiliness, fertility, and fleetness of foot, rabbits are often associated with the moon. Many cultures, especially those of the Far East, recognize not a Man in the Moon, but a Moon Hare. In Indian legendry, one of the Buddha's early incarnations was in the form of a rabbit, who traveled in the company of a fox and an ape. When the god Indra approached them, disguised as a beggar, each animal went to get food for the poor man. Only the rabbit returned empty-handed, but rather than let the beggar go hungry, he built a fire and threw himself on it to feed him with his own flesh. As a reward for his sacrifice, Indra placed the rabbit on the moon, where he resides to this day. In Japan, the face of the moon is seen as depicting a rabbit mashing rice on a mortar and pestle to make the cake-like snack called mochi. A similar belief is found in Korea, while the Chinese believe the rabbit in the moon is mixing herbal concoctions.

Rabbits have stood out in the human imagination for untold centuries. All across the world, wherever rabbits are found, they have become the subject of myth, folklore, and creative speculation. It's no surprise that these playful, intelligent and mysterious creatures have attracted the attention of mystics and storytellers throughout the world.

The most familiar manifestation of rabbit mythology to most Americans is, of course, the Easter bunny. Many parents wonder what on Earth egg-dispensing rabbits have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, while most children are content to receive his mysterious bounty. The origin of the Easter Bunny actually lies in the pre-Christian times of the Anglo-Saxons. Then, as now, rabbits were known for being prolific breeders, and thus became a symbol of fertility, spring, and youth. The holiday we now know as Easter was, for the Germanic peoples, a celebration of the fertility goddess Eostre, and the rabbit and the egg were employed as symbols of the rebirth of the world from the deathly cold of winter.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Shear an Angora Rabbit

Angora rabbits have been domesticated and bred for their long fur, which is periodically harvested through shearing, combing and plucking, before being washed and spun into a fuzzy, warm wool yarn dubbed "angora." Even if your purpose for owning angoras is not to collect angora fibers for yarn, it is important to shear the rabbits periodically to remove mats, tangles and "wool block," which occurs as rabbits groom themselves and develop a clot of hair that can block their digestive systems.

  • 1

    Set all supplies within arm's reach and sit on a chair.

  • 2

    Spread the old, clean towel on your lap, and set the rabbit on the towel.

  • 3

    Comb the rabbit to remove hay, food and loose hairs from the coat. Dispose of anything combed out in this pass.

  • 4

    Hold the rabbit firmly on its back and trim long hairs from the top and bottom of the feet, the thighs and the genital region, using the shears. Always angle the shears and stretch the skin as you cut to avoid hurting the rabbit. Place the fur into a bin as you clip.

  • 5

    Use the styptic pencil immediately on any accidental cuts.

  • 6

    Clip the belly fur, using your finger to locate and avoid the teats. Place the fur into a bin as you clip.

  • 7

    Clip the dewlap, or chest, fur from the chin down, really stretching the skin as you clip to avoid cutting the rabbit. Place the fur into a bin as you clip.

  • 8

    Give your rabbit a potty and treat break.

  • 9

    Hold the rabbit on your lap and clip the topside and head fur. This is usually the most plentiful. Place the fur into a bin as you clip.

  • 10

    Trim any ear fringe.

  • Monday, February 21, 2011

    Breed History

    Lilac rabbits originated in a number of places around the same time.
    The first known breeder was H. Onslow of Cambridge, England. In 1913 he showed Lilacs for the first time at the famous London exhibition.
    In 1913, Mabel Illingworth crossed the Blue Imperial (a breed that she had newly developed) with the Havana and created a Lilac rabbit, which she called the Essex Lavender.
    In 1922, Professor R.C. Punnet of Cambridge University crossed the Blue Beveren and the Havana to create a lilac rabbit, which he called the Cambridge Blue.
    Eventually the 3 British lilac strains merged together and were recognized by the British Rabbit Council as the Lilac rabbit.

    Another story of the history of the Lilac rabbit states that the breed first showed up in a litter of Havana rabbits as a sport.

    Lilacs were being developed in countries other than England as well. In 1917, C.H. Spruty of Gouda, Holland, used Havanas and Blue Beverens to create a lilac rabbit which he called the Gouwenaar or Gouda. Gouwenaars are recognized today in Holland and the Scandinavian countries.

    In America from 1922 to 1926 many shipments were being made from England to the United States and the breed was becoming quite popular. In the 1930's the Lilac was recognized by the ARBA and a National Lilac Club was formed. In 1951 the Lilac club became inactive and the Lilac began to loose most of its breeders but in the next year a few Lilac breeders reorganized the club and made it active again. Today, even though Lilacs have such lovely fur and sweet temperaments, they are still a very uncommon breed.

    Oryctolagus cuniculus (Havana )

    Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus

    Country / Place of origin: Holland

    History: Havana Rabbits are said to be descendants of Dutch Rabbits and first bred in the late 1800s in Holland. They were brought to the United States in 1916.

    Appearance: Havanas are considered compact because of their short, round bodies. The ears are short and upright. The fur is short, soft and dense, and strikingly dark in color, which are black, blue, and chocolate brown.

    Average weight: 4 - 6 lbs.

    Lifespan: 5 - 10 years

    Grooming: Havanas require simple brushing at least once a week to remove loose and excess fur and prevent matting of the coat.

    Rabbits naturally groom each other by licking the ears, nose, top of the head, and around the eyes.

    Diet: Like other rabbits, Havana Rabbits are herbivorous. The main ingredient of their diet is hay, preferably Timothy grass hay, which is rich in the fiber needed to prevent diarrhea, obesity, and hairballs. Leafy vegetables, though also essential to a rabbit’s health, should be given sparingly to prevent digestive disorders. For variety, treats may be given (although occasionally because of potentially high starch or sugar content) such as carrots, peaches, plum, apples, papaya, pears, strawberries, and other fruits. Commercial rabbit pellets also add nutrients to the daily diet. Fresh water should always be available, either from a sipper bottle or in a stable water bowl.

    Housing: Havana Rabbits are best kept indoors to protect them from extreme temperatures, predators, and other outdoor dangers. They should be allowed to roam and exercise, preferably where they can get sunlight and fresh air. Extension hutches, exercise pens or lawn enclosures are recommended for safe outdoor exposure. If kept in a cage, the enclosure should be at least five times the size of the rabbit with plenty of room to stretch and stand upright. Wire mesh flooring should be avoided because the rabbit’s feet could get caught in them. A hide box or sleeping quarters should be provided for times when the rabbit needs to hide or sleep in private. Baby toys and interesting items should also be available for entertainment.

    Rabbits can be taught to use a litter box. To avoid health hazards caused by toxic wood shavings or clumping kitty litter, only organic litter should be used such as paper, citrus, or wood pulp. Rabbits may also be allowed to roam inside the house as long as the areas where they are free to explore are “rabbit-proofed” for safety.

    Health issues: Like other small mammals, Havana Rabbits can be susceptible to colds and viral infections. Exposure to draft, sudden changes in temperature and stress can lower the rabbit’s resistance to sickness. Rabbits are also vulnerable to conjunctivitis (a bacterial infection of the eyelids caused by smoke, dust, and fumes) and ear mites. Intestinal ailments like coccidiosis (parasites propagated by unsanitary conditions), bloat, and hairball obstructions are also common in rabbits.

    Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: Havana Rabbits are calm, sweet tempered, and social, getting along with other domesticated pets like cats, dogs, and guinea pigs. They are best kept in pairs or trios but preferably one per cage to minimize injury from occasional infighting. They are most active at sunset and at daybreak. Because they are timid, easily stressed, and physically fragile, they are not recommended as pets for small children. Havanas are known to be one of the best pet rabbits because of their very gentle demeanor.


    The original Havana began from a Dutch doe and an unknown buck breed. A similar breed of rabbit appeared at a Paris Exhibition in 1902 leading the way for other European breeds such as the Feh de Marbourg and the Gris Perle de Hal. The original Havana rabbits are believed to have been bred with Himalayan rabbits thus the reason behind the distinct colors and brilliance of this breed's coat. The Satin rabbit breed which also has a unique coat began from a litter of Havana rabbits.

    The Havana is a small to medium build rabbit averaging four to just over six pounds. A true Havana rabbit will have the same color on the entire body excluding the broken variety and the fur should be short, dense and quite silky. The body is compact but well-rounded. The head will appear to be sitting directly on the shoulders rather than the neck while the ears stand erect but close together.

    Even with their incredible coat that appears to need special care, the Havana rabbit requires no extra care than that of other short-haired breeds. Weekly grooming is usually all that is needed except during the shedding season when extra grooming may be needed. The Havana rabbit also doesn't require a special diet and can be fed the same foods as other breeds.

    The Havana rabbit breed is known to be quite docile, making the breed a wonderful companion. Havana owners describe the breed as mild tempered that bond closely to their owners. Their personalities tend to be playful and they fully enjoy affections given by their owners. Because of their compact size and sweet temperaments, the Havana rabbit breed has become increasingly popular among new rabbit owners.


    THE RABBIT HANDBOOK by Dr. Karen Gendron, copyright 2000.

    Havana Rabbits

    It is believed that this beautiful silky rabbit was first bred in Holland in 1898, using an unknown buck and a Dutch doe. Other European breeds have taken off from the original Havana, including the Feh de Marbourg and the Gris Perle de Hal. The original Havana is thought to have been bred with Himalayan rabbits which is the reason for the distinct colors and brilliant coat. The satin fur, a genetic mutation, was first discovered in a litter of Havanas. The first Havana was presented in 1899 in Holland, introduced in Europe in 1908, where it is still very popular, then making its way to the United States and accepted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1916.


    Chocolate was the original variety of the Havana but now black and blue are accepted. They are a compact rabbit weighing ideally 5 ¼ to 5 ½ for both bucks and does. They have a rich shiny coat that should have the same color over the whole body (except for the brokens) and very silky. They are known for their docile nature, friendly personalities, and love attention.

    Looking after sick rabbits and info on common illnesses

    Looking after a sick or incapacitated rabbit
    Make sure the rabbit has food and water close by. If its painful for the rabbit to move, it won't get up to eat or drink. Offer your bunny food and water now and then to encourage it to eat/drink.

    The rabbit will also poop where ever it happens to be sitting. Make sure that the rabbit does not get a rash or skin irritation from urine on the skin. Gently wipe the genital area with a damp cloth. Remove any cecals from the bunnys fur and offer them to your bunny to eat. This sounds yucky, but rabbits need to eat the cecals. You may need to wash the rabbit's tail area if poops are getting stuck to the fur.

    Most likely the rabbit will need a soft warm place to sit, where he/she can feel safe. Most likely this will be an enclosed space or next to a wall. Put towels, blankets, carpet etc. on the floor so the bunny has grip and is not on the cold floor. Block any draughts coming in under doors etc. You may want to use a WARM (not hot) heat pack or hot water bottle to keep your bunny warm after surgery. Most vets will put your bunny on a warming pad after surgery.

    You may need to confine your rabbit if he/she has had surgery. Moving around may aggravate the wound and/or tear stitches. If he/she tries to eat stitches, you may need to use an Elizabethan collar. Also known as a bucket collar. Rabbits really really hate these. Bandaids (sticky bandages/plasters) worked really well to deter a rabbit from licking or biting at stitches. Check with your vet first to make sure its ok for your rabbit's wound. You can also use a sock as a body suit to stop the rabbit eating stitches.

    If you have two rabbits you may need to separate them. Animals in pain usually prefer being alone, and other rabbits may lick at the wound and disturb the sick bunny.

    Poopy Butt
    Poopy butt is a condition where the rabbit's poops cease being solid round balls and are mushy and liquidy. Often the poops will stick to the fur around the rabbits tail and bottom. Poopy butt is usually caused by an upset in the rabbits diet. Try feeding more hay and pellets and fewer fresh veggies to see if it bulks up the poops. If it doesn't clear up in a day or two, take your rabbit to the vet. Normally rabbits have soft poops called cecals which are eaten straight away. These are different from poopy butt.

    Stasis is a condition where a rabbit does not eat or poop due to an upset in the intestines/stomach. If you notice your rabbit is not eating or pooping and seems dejected and unwell, contact your vet asap. This condition can be fatal, but with the right treatment your rabbit will be ok. This is a good reason to have your rabbits inside the house. It is much easier to see if your rabbit is unwell.

    Head Tilt
    Head tilt is a symptom that can be caused by various conditions. The most common conditions are an ear infection, Pasteurella and Encephalitozoon cuniculi (commonly known as E. cuniculi or EC). Head tilt is often accompanied by loss of balance and eye rolling. An affected rabbit is generally unable to hold its head upright, and the head is tilted to one side. Either one eye, or both eyes will roll backwards towards the rabbits tail every few seconds.

    If you suspect your rabbit may have head tilt, take the rabbit to a vet ASAP. If the head tilt is caused by an ear infection, the infection may spread to the brain. If the rabbit has EC, the next symptoms can often be paralysis of the limbs and severe loss of balance and muscle control, resulting in unstoppable rolling. If treated quickly, these horrific symptoms may be prevented, otherwise they are generally not reversable.

    Generally it can be difficult to tell which problem is causing the head tilt, and most vets will provide medication to treat all three problems (Baytril, Panacur etc.). Further investigation, such as X-rays may be required to rule out ear infections.

    General rabbit questions and useful tips

    Should I get a male or female rabbit?
    Once a rabbit has been spayed/neutered, their personalities are quite similar. The decision really depends on whether you already have a rabbit.

    It is easier to bond a male and a female rabbit than it is to bond two males or two females. (Bonding is the process of getting two or more rabbits to make friends). Bonding can be incredibly difficult, rabbits seem to be very fussy as to the companion they want. The best matches tend to be a neutered male with a spayed female. Two Unneutered males will tend to fight, as will unspayed females. It is possible to bond an unneutered male with a spayed female, however the female rabbit may become upset if the male rabbit continually mounts her. If he mounts her head, she may bite his genitals.

    Should I get one rabbit or two?
    Rabbits are generally happier in pairs. After all wouldn't you like to have someone to talk to? Rabbits groom each other, keeping hard to reach places clean. They also provide each other a warm cushion to lean on, and often one will be the sentry while the other takes a nap. Having said that, it can be difficult to bond two rabbits. Often they fight when they are first introduced until one rabbit is deemed to be the dominant rabbit of the pair. As you can imagine, this can be quite a problem with two headstrong bossy rabbits. Some rabbit owners are lucky as their rabbit is very accepting of a new friend. Its better to get two rabbits from the same litter as they will be less likely to fight. Read about Fuzzy and Thumper to get an idea of how I bonded them together.

    Where can I get a rabbit from
    Please adopt a rabbit from a shelter or rescue where possible. If you really want a baby rabbit, you can most likely adopt one, as many litters are surrendered/dumped at shelters. Buying rabbits from pet shops encourages people to breed rabbits. There are far too many rabbits being dumped to warrant more being bred. Also some pet shops end up making cat or dog food out of rabbits that don't sell. Often you can see a rabbits true personality at a shelter, where it may have been handled daily, and is socialising with other rabbits. Some shelters also spay and vaccinate rabbits before allowing them to be adopted, which will save money and time.


    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    The History of the Angora Rabbit

    There is much controversy regarding the story of the Angora rabbit, however according to generally accepted theory, angoras date back to the early 18th century, around 1723. As the story goes, there were some sightseeing sailors who pulled into a Turkish port called Angora, now known as Ankara . It was in this town where they saw native women wearing very beautiful shawls that were like no other that they had seen. The fineness and silkiness quite surpassed the shawls in their country of France . They inquired about the fine wool in the shawls and much to their surprise found it to be from the Angora rabbit. Thus the sailors secured some of the rabbits to take back to France .

    Some French authorities dispute the claim of Turkish origin of the Angora rabbit, claiming they were the first to record Angora rabbits. The French point to the Encyclopedia of 1765 for substantiating data to this effect. The French believe the Angora rabbit had been concurrently produced in various rabbit breeding countries, France among them. The French insisted the long, silky coats due to the proper conditions for growth. This theory seems to be born out by M├ęgnin’s report on asses kept in the coal mines of France without ever seeing daylight. It was in the coal mines where these animals grew very long, silky coats in the sultry darkness. With this in mind, it is interesting why animals working in a hot atmosphere should develop a long coat. Does nature provide them as insulation against heat as it does against cold? At any rate, the French without a doubt are given credit for seeing the commercial possibilities of the Angora wool into yarn. France was not the only country to visualize the possibilities of this excellent fiber. England very shortly followed suit. England probably did the most transporting of the Angoras to other countries including Germany, Spain, Japan , and various European countries.

    It was probably not until around 1900 that there were any Angora rabbits in the United States and those were by fanciers or people interested in showing the animals. Records regarding commercialization in the United States dates around 1925 or 1930. While there are very few commercial wool industries in the United States, many individuals maintain small herds of Angoras for wool production and exhibition. However, as yet there is no substitute for Angora —the fiber known as the Aristocrat of wools.

    Housing Your Angora Rabbit

    When starting with Angoras, the first thing for the beginner to decide is approximately how many angoras one wishes to raise. Are you going to have one or two angoras for pets? Do you plan on doing any breeding? How many does do you plan to breed in a year? What is the maximum number of angoras the space you have will permit you to raise?

    Every breeder will have their own idea as to the style and design of the perfect rabbit hutch or cage system. All of this will depend upon the amount of space you have for the cages and if the rabbits are going to be housed inside or outside. Regardless of what you decide, it is important to keep in mind the hutches or cages must be dry, well lit, have good ventilation but free from drafts, as well as the temperature where the rabbits will be housed. Several people have asked if a barn, chicken coup, garage or other unused building could be adapted for housing Angoras. All of these buildings can be suitable so long as you consider the factors listed above.

    There are many different types of hutches and cages that can be used. Some are made of wood and wire while others are all wire. If you are going to have several Angoras in a small area, I would suggest purchasing or making the wire cages so you can stack them on top of each other. Of course, when you stack the cages you will also have dropping pans that will need to be cleaned frequently to keep your rabbitry sanitary. When deciding what type of hutch or cage you want to use you need to consider the following: comfort of the rabbit, ease of cleaning and handling of stock, ease of dismantling for thorough disinfecting, resistance to vermin and the escape of the rabbits, and economy.

    The comfort of the Angora in the cage is very important. I prefer to use cages that are at least 24" x 30" that are 18" high The cages are made of 1" x 2" wire on the sides and top with 1" x 1/2" wire on the floor. I have larger cages I use for does when the babies come out of the nestbox to give the doe more room. Some people use cages that have baby saver wire, however, I have found the urine guards and putting window screening around the cage when a doe kindles works well. The window screening is cut so it is approximately a foot tall and goes completely around the cage. I simply use twist ties to fasten the window screening to the cage, plus this gives me easy access to open the door of the cage.

    Whether you are purchasing a cage or the wire to make the cage yourself, I would suggest you check the prices with various dealers to obtain the best price as cages purchased in pet stores are usually very expensive!