What You Should Know for when you first bring home your new bunny:
Young bunnies tend to have a sensitive digestion system and when their food is suddenly changed it can cause them to have an upset stomach or have diarrhea. I will send you home with a bag of starter food to mix into the feed you will be giving them to make the switch of food easier on their little stomach. We also suggest that you allow the bunny to feed heavily on timothy hay and/or orchard grass for the first week or so. It is very healthy for them and will help calm them down with the move to a new home.
Make sure you include a water bottle in the bunnies cage as that is what they have been trained to drink from. Always keep water bottles cleaned to avoid the form of algae.When you first bring your bunny home do not let them roam around outside of their cage for the first two weeks, for two reasons:
- During the rehoming process the bunny’s immune system will be weak do to stress, this makes it a lot easier for him/her to pick up illnesses during the first two weeks.
- Giving your new bunny too much freedom can make him/her more independent, which will not make for as good of a pet, you want to make sure you form a good bond with your bunny. During the first two weeks if your bunny is out of the cage he/she should be with you and/or being handled by you.
Feeding and Giving your bunny water:
- Adults: 1oz per lb of body weight
- Bunnies two pounds and under: 1/4 cup daily
- Bunnnies 2.5-4 lbs: 1/2 cup daily
For babies double the amount of feed for the first three months, if babies seem satisfied with the adult amount of food that is also fine.
For the winter months the feed can be increased by half the usual amount.
It is important to measure out the amount of food so that you can tell your bunny is eating the proper amount and if he/she isn’t then something may be wrong. This will help you catch any problems in feeding habits before its to late.Hay is an important part of a bunny’s diet. We use either timothy hay or orchard grass hay, I personally like to mix the two hay types to provide the bunnies with more fiber and nutrients. Unlike the pellets, the bunnies can have as much hay as they want. I suggest about three good size handfuls of hay a week or more. Don’t use alfalfa because too much is not good on their digestive system and can be fatal for the bunny. Alfalfa is not good for rabbits over the age of 6 months due to high calcium amounts.
Your bunny should receive fresh water daily. A bunny rabbit will not drink warm water, so make sure their water is nice and cold.
Using a water crock that attaches to the cage will make it easier to throw in an ice cube on hot days if needed to cool their water.
*treats should never be given in place of proper rabbit feed*
You have to be careful when giving your bunnies treats, as you don’t want to mess up their sensitive tummies. You don’t want to risk the health of your bunny, so try to stick to the following treats in moderation.
- Timothy hay and/or orchard grass: this unlike other treats can be given to your bunny as much as they want. You can place a pile on top of their cage and allow them to pull down as much as they want.
- Oatmeal: We like to sprinkle a small amount on top of my bunnies food at night as a treat. Oatmeal is very good for their skin, fur and helps nursing mothers and developing babies.
- Wheat grass: bunnies love to eat wheat grass but it can only be given in small supply or it will cause diarrhea.
- Bunnies also love to chew on small fruit tree branches, you can keep a small fruit tree or willow tree branch in their cage.
- Fresh Vegetables: Carrots and Spinach can also be a good treat for bunnies in small supply, make sure the vegetables you give your bunny are organic because pesticides can be deadly to you bunny.
Bunnies can sometimes develop diarrhea from the stress of moving into a new home, Being weaned (leaving mom), leaving a litter mate ( a bunny your bunny had bonded with), or from eating to many treats or eating the wrong kind of treats. Diarrhea can be fatal for baby bunnies; however, if it is caught in time it should be easily fixed. Simply take away your bunnies regular pellet food for 24 hours and allow him/her to feed on only timothy hay and/or orchard grass and sprinkle some plain oatmeal oats on top of the hay. You can also give your bunny some green tea to drink instead of water and the diarrhea should stop fairly quick.
If you follow the beginning feed instructions we provided for first bringing your bunny home this most likely will not be a problem as those instructions are meant to prevent any diarrhea from happening.
Bunny rabbits are very social animals and love to be around other bunnies. If possible it is best to keep two bunnies together. The best combination of housing mates is two females from the same litter or two females close in age. Housing males together isn’t a good idea unless you know for sure they are bonded closely, this is because males tend to fight with each other. If you decide to spay or neuter your bunnies you will have more options for housing bunnies together.
We also suggest that you purchase a bunny harness and carrier that way you can travel with your bunny, this will allow your bunny to have more social experiences and allow you to form a closer bond with your bunny.
If you decide to house your bunny outdoors I suggest the use of a hutch. Make sure you purchase a hutch that will protect your bunny from both hot and cold weather, also if you can find a hutch with a built in nest box that is ideal. A hutch around two feet by two feet is big enough to house 1 or even 2 bunnies in the same cage if they are a small or medium breed.
If housing your bunnies inside then a hutch is not necessary, a cage on a stand would work just fine but one thing that you want to make sure of no matter if your housing your bunny outside or inside is that the cage/hutch has a wire bottom. You don’t want a solid floor because this leaves the rabbits sitting in his/her own waste all day. This will make your bunny dirty and can cause them to get sick. With using a wire bottom cage you do have to be aware of sore hocks (inflamed, ulcerated areas that can form on the back of the foot or ankle from the bunny sitting on the wire bottom to long), to prevent this place a nesting box in your bunnies hutch/cage to allow your bunny to rest his/her feet. I recommend a wood nest box as this gives your bunny something to chew on as well.
If you do decide to house your bunny in a solid bottom cage/hutch make sure to litter box train your rabbit so he/she isn’t sitting in their own waste. Bunny rabbits are easy to litter box train, place a litter pan in the corner of the cage where your bunny seems to be doing most of his/her urinating and droppings. If you place some of the rabbits droppings inside the litter box this will help your bunny get the idea. Spaying or neutering your bunny will help you get better results but is not necessary.
What to Know if your bunny is outdoors:
During the summertime make sure your bunny is keep in a well ventilated area, you have to make sure your bunny doesn’t overheat. Keep your bunny out of direct sunlight at all times. Bunnies can overheat very easily on a hot day. During really hot days it is a good idea to hook up a mister system to your hose to cool down the hutch for your bunny. A suggestion is to hook the misters up so that the front of the hutch gets wet but not the back. This way the bunnies can lick up the water or lay against the wire to cool down and get a little wet when they choose.Try and make sure that the nest box in the cage doesn’t get wet that way the bunny has a dry place to go if he/she gets too wet. During hot days you also need to make sure you place ice cubes in your bunnies water so it stays cold. On days that it hits 100+ degrees try to bring your bunny in for the day and put him/her back outside in the evening when it cools down.
During wintertime a nice shaded area is still ideal. Your bunny needs to be protected from wind, rain, and direct sun. A good warm nest box is a must for cold winters and it provides extra protection. You can place straw and dry hay in the nest box to keep your bunny warm. Make sure that the nest box remains clean and dry during the winter months as this will be your bunnies warm shelter to go into. Rabbits do seem to put up better with winter conditions then the heat but your bunny must stay dry or he/she will freeze to death when it gets cold.
What to Know if your bunny is indoors:
When you keep your bunnies indoors things are much simpler as you don’t have all the weather issues to deal with. Keep your house temperature below 85 degrees and keep the bunnies cage away from any vents and away from any heating or cooling systems. Also make sure your bunny doesn’t have any access to chew on wires or other dangerous objects in the house. If your bunny is indoors you’ll want to make sure you clean his/her cage out at least twice a week to keep the smell away.
How to keep your bunny a sweet, loving pet:
- Pet your bunny on its head everyday when you feed him/her and again at night when you give him/her extra hay or oatmeal
- Make sure you hold your bunny daily for at least ten minutes. You can hold your bunny while your watching tv or a movie or just hanging around the house.
- Purchase a rabbit harness and pet carrier, like a doggie purse so you can take your bunny out places and keep him/her close.
- Socialize your bunny with other animals and children
- Also don’t allow your bunny too much freedom to run around without you present, if your bunny gets too much freedom he/she will become more independent and he/she will stop being a pet and will become more wild.
- Love your bunny (: the more love you show your bunny the more affection you will get back.
Why bunnies make a great first pet:
- They are easy to take care of, low maintenance
- Small, they don’t take up very much space
- Bunnies are quiet
- Require only light grooming if any (depending on breed)
- Bunnies handled properly are very sweet and lovable
- Very cute to look at and watch
- Bunnies are one of the easiest pets to care for, making them a great pet for families with children or first time pet owners. They are still a responsibility though they are low maintenance.
- Have an average life span of 8 to 10 years
If you have any further questions about your new bunny go to the “Contact Us” tab and fill out the contact sheet and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank You for choosing to be apart of our family 🙂
Bunny First Aid Kit
- Kaopectate – 1/4th teaspoon every 2 hours (diarrhea)
- Antibiotic Ointment – Basic Neosporin (without pain relief)
- Thermometer – Animal or Pediatric rectal (normal temp 103-106)
- Plain K-Y Jelly
- Stethoscope – (listen to heart/lungs and intestinal sounds)
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Cotton Swabs & Cotton Balls
- Heating Pad – (used for shock or hypothermia)
- Styptic Powder (bleeding nails)
- Saline Eye Wash (flushing areas)
- Gauze bandages / Sterile Cotton Pads
- Plastic Medicine Dropper
- Scissors & Nail clippers
- Baby Gas Drops (for bloat)
- Towel – (wrapping or securing rabbit)
- Small Tool or Tackle Box
- Vet’s Phone # & Address taped to inside lid of kit