I’ve been raising rabbits since I was a little kid. I love watching them grow up to be healthy and happy bunnies. Even if you aren’t looking to make money with your rabbits, these 7 tips on raising rabbits might prove to be useful. These are tips for taking care of all breeds of rabbit. If you end up raising specialty rabbits, such as Angoras, it will be helpful for you to find out specific information for the breed. Some types of rabbits require variations in care.
7. Protect Your Bunny from the Elements
Photo Credit: Oh Joy!
Anyone who has had animals knows that shelter is necessary. It should protect your animal from wind, rain, sun, snow, and anything else that might harm your pet. A large cage with a water-tight roof on it can be covered on one end to allow your bunny to have a place to hide from the elements. I have half of my rabbits’ cage covered with a windproof/waterproof covering that allows them to hide during a storm or on windy days. The other half of the cage is open on the sides to allow plenty of air circulation.
6. Groom Long-haired Rabbits
Photo Credit: Bunny Spice
Long-haired rabbits can suffer from hairballs, just like cats. Using a wire-toothed comb and a mat rake for grooming a long-haired rabbit will enable you to keep the long hair looking nice. You might have to cut chunks of matted fur out from under the chin, along the bottom sides of the bunny, near the tail, or on the rabbit’s belly. Be sure not to cut the fur so close to the skin that you take a chance of cutting the bunny.
5. Have Nesting Boxes Ready before the Baby Rabbits Arrive
Photo Credit: tobymeister
It’s often too late to start making a nesting box when your doe is already having her babies. The nesting box needs to be in place well before the babies are born. The mother rabbit pulls her own fur out to line the next she builds. The box should be big enough for her to be comfortable when nursing the kits. It’s also helpful to have a hinged top on the nesting box so you can take a peek at the babies from time to time. This will also make it easier to clean out the box when the babies are grown.
4. Provide Lots of Fresh Water
Photo Credit: Madeleine_
Sometimes using a heavy bowl designed especially for rabbits is easier than a water bottle. Sure, the water bottle might take up less room, but it is often harder to keep from getting moldy. Water should be checked frequently during all seasons. In the summertime, water can become stagnant or moldy in no time at all. The winter time brings about the issue of frozen water. If using water bottles, it’s easiest to have one or two extras to swap out during the day. This will save time on waiting for the frozen water bottle to thaw or wasting a lot of water trying to thaw it out.
3. Determine the Proper Amount of Pellets for Feeding
Photo Credit: Natalie Franke
Most people think a rabbit’s diet should consist mostly of alfalfa pellets. Veterinarians recommend that a rabbit receive only a half cup of pellets per 4 pounds of body weight. So, if your bunny weighs 8 pounds, he should be given no more than a cup of pellets each day. This doesn’t mean to starve him to death by severely limiting his pellet intake. Be sure to offer him a variety of other foods as well. I don’t fill my rabbits’ bowls whenever they are empty, which helps me to keep from overfeeding them pellets. I fill each bowl with the same amount of pellets every morning, this way I know they are each getting the proper amount necessary to keep them healthy.
2. Offer a Range of Veggies
Photo Credit: oldworldprimitives
Carrots with tops, spinach, kale, parsley, basil, cilantro, and even mint are great additions to your rabbit’s diet. My rabbits love the tops of the carrots best of all. The males also love bananas, but the females prefer to stick to only eating carrots. I offer them little bits of different veggies from time to time, so I can see if there might be something else they enjoy.
1. Feed Plenty of Hay
Photo Credit: Greg from Maine
Timothy, oat, or wheat grasses are better for rabbits, since alfalfa or clover hay can be too rich for their system. The hay sold at feed stores is usually clover or a combination of clover and something else. To find pure timothy grass, I have to visit specialty stores. I make sure to stock up on quite a bit during the cold months, just in case we have a snow storm. I don’t want my rabbits going without their hay!
I hope some of these 7 tips on raising rabbits are new and useful to you. I find raising rabbits to be a rewarding experience. They can be just as cuddly as a puppy or kitten. I’ve had a few who were trained to use a litter box as well. Guests were always surprised to see a rabbit hopping out of the litter box! Do you have any rabbit-raising tips that you would like to share? What do you think is the most important aspect of raising rabbits?
Top Photo Credit: bterrycompton