Rabbit Care & Tips

maryland rabbit breeder

 

This page will be our compilation of ongoing articles by Anomaly Rabbitry on rabbit care.  We strongly believe that rabbits may be kept indoors and outdoors as long as their needs are being met.  By needs, we mean….

  • Food, Water – Rabbit feed, hay, clean water
  • Climate Control – Solutions to keep rabbits comfortable in the heat and cold
  • Companionship/Attention  – No lonely bunnies!!!!

THERE IS A SOLUTION FOR EVERYONE!

Unfortunately, so many people purchase rabbits and quickly realize they are some work and hassle.  They don’t have to be as much hassle as one may think.  Rabbits can be a lot of fun, and great for children and adults alike.   Please review our articles and come back for more.  I am a neat-freak by nature – I love to keep everything in my home and work life – neat, efficient, and organized.  I have a LOT of animals.  I can help you figure out solutions to keep your animals less hassle and fit better in your home.


 

Indoor or Outdoor?

Outdoor

While we recommend indoors, we are not out to control your life, but would like you to know there are options, and we are here to help!

Our outdoor rabbitry is on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania.  We have extremes of temperature.  Just this past year, we have had temperatures as high as 100+ degrees and as low as below ZERO.  Check out our facility and what we are doing to keep our rabbits happy and healthy.  To see the progress of the outdoor facility, go HERE.

Rabbit Hutch-DoubleThe best place for rabbits is in the house.  Rabbits should become a part of your family just like dogs and cats.  They can be litter trained and allowed to roam the house (but keep them away from cords or other chewing hazards).  They can get along with cats just fine.  If you are planning on keeping your rabbits outdoors, please make sure that you have a large hutch, preferably with two levels or a run and an enclosed area for warmth – but that is not always enough.  Most concerning is the heat.  Rabbits can die of heat stroke.  You must be diligent about providing them with the ability to cool off – keeping them in the shade and supplying with frozen liter bottles of water daily that they can lay on for relief.  But what a lonely existence in solitary confinement.  If I had to keep a rabbit outdoors, I would have to have two, and keep them in a double hutch – this is a great example above.   This allows socialization but keeps them separate.  It’s still not ideal if you are not providing human interaction with them.

Indoor

Check out the indoor rabbit hutch we designed.    This is our solution for indoors and how we did it.

converting rabbit hutch

This is simply an enclosed shelving unit from Ikea.  Look for cheap furniture that you can alter – check out your local Goodwill.  Find something that makes sense.  This original piece had glass panels.  Before assembling, we smashed the glass out (carefully and safely). 

I replaced the glass with 1/2 inch hardware cloth simply by stapling it to the back of the frame.

Next, I cut holes in the center area for “travel” around the hutch.

I then assembled.

Have you ever tiled?  For a cheap alternative, you can use stick-on tiles that you can purchase at your DIY home store (they are super simple and with a razor knife, you score them, and “pop” the cut pieces off to the size you need).  For this hutch, I used leftover ceramic tile from one of our home projects.  Keep in mind, rabbit poo can be like glue if it gets worked into a surface – soaking it with a cleaning product for a few minutes is all it takes to wipe clean.

The final product – perfect for a teen or kids’ room.  We did alter this one a bit more, and placed panels at the bottom of the doors to make sure bedding stayed in.  This is also not enough room for a rabbit to “run”, so any house bunny should be let out occasionally to jump up and kick his heels.

Be Realistic

If you are having a problem with keeping a rabbit, there are solutions that help!  Every problem has a solution!

Please scroll down for more information for helping keep a pet rabbit in your life.

house-rabbit-hutch



Basic Rabbit Care — Rabbit Requirements — What we Do

Food –

  • Pellets – An alfalfa-based pellet is the general staple of rabbits.  It’s cheaper and better to purchase from a local feed store or Tractor Supply type of store.   Pet chain stores tend to sell a lesser quality and much more expensive.
  • Grass – Rabbits need fiber.  Timothy hay is what they need and lots of it.  Again, feed stores are great for this, but you can pick up bags at your local pet chain store.  If you are feeding an alfalfa based pellet, it is better to feed timothy hay.

Carrots and other table food – not necessary – Please read about what is poisonous to rabbits here.   If in doubt, it is best to just stick with the hay and pellets.  Rabbits do have sensitive systems.  By the time you notice diarrhea, it could be too late.

Bedding -

  • Rabbits need bedding and “litter”.  I personally use straw and pine pellets (that are compressed pellets that you can purchase for horse bedding at local feed stores).  There is some question whether or not pine is good due to residue.  I’ve not had a problem with it.  Do not use cedar.
  • Clean several times a week – spot cleaning is fine (scoop soiled bedding out).  We always do a complete clean-out once a week.  Rabbits are dirty, there is no doubt.

Litterbox -

  • You can litter train your rabbits.  Google this, and you will find a ton of information.  We put bedding inside of our litter boxes.  If they soil outside of the litterbox, simply put the soiled bedding inside of the box and/or put the box where they like to soil.  Many of our young rabbits are litter trained before they go to their new home.
  • Plastic litterboxes are fine, but be aware, ingesting plastic is not good, so watch for this.

Wood to chew on -

  • This is extremely important.  Rabbits need to wear down their teeth (and claws).  When my husband is pruning trees, I have him cut a few branches for us to store for year-round chewing.  We found that attaching the wood to the sides of the hutches make for some stability for the wood, so that they aren’t chasing it around with their teeth on a smooth surface.  Beware, some wood is toxic – there is a good list here.

Fresh Water

  • Some rabbits will drink out of bowls – we prefer the typical bottle with roller ball.  Some are better than others as far as leaks go, so test a few to find out what works best for you.  Remember, if you are keeping your rabbit outdoors – these bottles will freeze.  You can purchase heated water bottles.

grooming rabbitsTrim those Claws and Brush that Fur!

  • Rabbits dig naturally in the wild which helps them keep their claws shorter.  Rabbit claws do need to be trimmed.  This is another reason you should continuously keep your bunny socialized.
  • Grooming lionhead hair a few times a month is all that is needed.  Sometimes lionlops require brushing more often, especially when they are starting to shed as the Boosh did to the right here….