Droopy Ears Rabbitry

Breeder of Mini Lop Rabbits in Perth, WA

Frequently Asked Questions

I have decided to include this information on my website for anyone

who wishes to do some research before they bring their new rabbit

home.


My mini lops are friendly as they have been handled from birth. 


They like to be cuddled, I have three children that handle them regularly.


It is quite a stressful time for a kit when they move to a new home, so

try not to handle the new arrival too much for the first 48 hours. 


Keep a close watch to make sure your new bunny is eating and drinking and

settling in okay.


Many of the questions we are asked about our rabbits seem to be almost universal. 


We've added some of the more common questions and the answers we have to offer.




Q: Why should you buy from a reputable breeder?


A: It is better getting a rabbit from a reputable rabbit breeder. You will

have some assurances about your pet.


You will know that the breeder produces rabbits that meet the standard of perfection for their breed and get some indication as to the health of the rabbit.


You do not want the result of crossbreeding. 



They will not have been selectively bred for the traits of a particular breed. 


You should expect to pay more for a reputable breeders rabbit or one that is carefully bred. We do not support any back yard breeding or cross breeding.


You can also rest assured that the health of your rabbit has been

guaranteed. All rabbits leaving our rabbitry will be in excellent health.

Q:  Where does the mini lop breed come from?


A:  Adrian de Cock formed the miniature lop by breeding the largest of the lop breeds, the French lop with a Netherland dwarf. 


It’s hard to imagine how this act was done. Nonetheless, 6 babies were born in 1951 and this was how it started. From then on a sooty fawn English lop was

introduced to help ‘lop’ the ears.


Years of hard work paid off to produce the smallest of the lop breed.

Q:  What is the difference between a Dwarf lop and a Mini lop?


A:  Dwarf lops and Mini lops are very similar in appearance, size being

the only real difference between the two.


Dwarf lops are the larger of the two and may weigh as much as 2.5 kg.


The smaller Mini lop should have a maximum weight of 1.6 kg.


Both varieties have a dense and soft coat and drooping ears. (Lops are born with upright ears which soften and droop as they age).


The picture above is of a mini lop on the left and a dwarf lop on the

right.

Q:  What is the Mini lops temperament like?


A:   Mini lops were developed with the intention of creating a rabbit

which was easy to handle and hardy enough to withstand cuddling from

children.

The mini lop are sociable, interesting, inquisitive, intelligent animals

which crave attention and love.

They can become part of the family and do all the things that dogs and cats do. 



They will sleep on your bed, cuddle up in front of the fire, watch TV, kiss you, give you loving nose rubs and cuddles, beg for treats, come to greet you on your return from work (sorry, no they can't cook! but hopefully be able to help with the

washing). 


They will play tricks and games etc... they interact with their family, and bond with other pets, and so much more.


To top it off, you don't need to take them to the park every day for a run, and they do not bark and upset the neighbors. 


They prefer to laze around and sleep in their bed through the day, and are active at dusk and dawn. Ideal companions for busy, working owners, and what better way to unwind after a busy day, than to fuss over your pet rabbit. 


Is there any wonder rabbits are fast becoming the 3rd most popular pet behind dogs and cats?


Above is a picture of a bunny lazing around the house.

Q:  What is the difference between a Netherland dwarf  and a Mini lop?


A:  The Netherland dwarf rabbit is as cute as a button, it is the smallest breed of rabbits with a full grown weight of 900 grams. 


They have short and compact bodies with very big round eyes with very short ears of a maximum length of 5 centimeters.


The Netherland dwarf is more independent in nature with a willful
personality which I refer to as “character” and can be a good and
amusing trait.

I like to compare them with cats and dogs – the Netherland Dwarf is the cat (tells you what it wants to
do)

The Mini Lop is more docile and cuddly, and generally speaking makes a better pet for young children.
The Netherland dwarf is more independent in nature with a willful
personality which I refer to as “character” and can be a good and
amusing trait.

They both love company and attention. 
 – the Mini Lop is the dog (unconditional love and just wants to please you).

However:

There will always be exceptions! Temperament in either breed can vary

immensely. 







Q:  What is the lifespan of a rabbit?


A:  Domesticated rabbits live for an average life span of 6-8 years.


However with proper diet and living conditions they can live as long as

12-18 years.

Q: Do rabbits make good Pets?


A: Rabbits make wonderful pets. Each rabbit have a distinct personality, just as different as dogs, cats or people are.


You can enjoy teaching them and playing games with them. Rabbits can be trained and are very quick at learning. 


For example

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptyKSiRyQ4Y


Rabbits make little noise. You will not get complaints in the middle of the night because of barking or yowling. Compared to other caged animals, rabbits tend to be more trainable. 

When children want to cuddle with a rabbit, the rabbit is more likely tolerate it and even enjoy
it.

Q: How old do the kittens need to be before you can separate them from their mother?



A: Most mums wean their kits between 7 and 8 weeks of age. I keep them for 3 days or so on their own to make sure they eat, drink and function well on their own. Then they are ready to go to their new families.



Q: Do I buy one or two rabbits? 

Will my rabbit be fine alone or does he

need company?


A:  Rabbits are wonderful social beings. Rabbits do not live in isolation,

they live in herds, interacting with each other all the time.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwM92P8aT64&feature=related


They groom each other and cuddle up together and play together. You need to provide your bunny with lots of love and affection.


One rabbit will get lonely if you do not have the time to spend with him.

Keeping a rabbit on its own results in boredom and a depressed pet.


Two or more rabbits introduced correctly will usually happily share

their hutch and exercise run, provided they are neutered to stop

fighting and breeding.


Grouping rabbits increases their activity level as they chase each other

and play with each other.

Q:  What is the best combination?


A: Two female’s combination

Two females get along very well especially if they were together since young age (8 weeks ). 


These females will exhibit no amounts of aggression toward each other and show very positive social behaviors such as nuzzling and grooming each other.


If not raised together one might become more dominant then the other where de-sexing of one or both are needed. 


The female (doe) needs to be spayed around 4 to 5 months of age. Once again occasional mounting will happen and once again it is testing for dominance and not a signs of sexual behavior or aggression.


B: Two male’s combination


Two males will fight unless both are neutered.

Two neutered males make an excellent combination (if together since young).

A buck needs to be neutered around 4 months of age, as soon as the

testicles have descended. Still occasional mounting behavior between

them will happen, just to establish dominance. It is not a sign of sexual

behavior or aggression.



C:  Male and Female combination


The male needs to be neutered and female spayed as constant

pregnancy is not desirable.


Even if both are sterilized they will still occasionally mount each other.

A neutered male / female combination is the best scenario. They will

have the closest bond.



Both need to be sterilized because if only the female is sterilized,the

male will still keep on mounting the doe. This can lead to fighting and

him pestering her. 


Occasional mounting behavior will happen between

them just to establish dominance.


Pairs of rabbits will often form strong bonds with each other and relate

better to people, especially a male and female or two females.

Q:  What are the benefits of neutering a rabbit?


A: Neutering will prevent unwanted pregnancies, as well as increasing life expectancy in females by up to 80% due to a lesser risk of uterine cancer.


Rabbits are very sociable and neutering will calm them making them even more lovable.


The main reason to have your rabbit neutered is so you can keep more than one rabbit without them fighting or causing a population explosion. But there are other advantages too.


Neutered rabbits are less aggressive and territorial, and are more easily litter-trained if you want to keep your pet indoors as a house rabbit. All over rabbits are more happy being sterilized.

Q: Why should I neuter a male rabbit?


A:  Male rabbits (bucks) make responsive pets.  


Most are territorial and frequently spray urine, although not all of them. They will also have to live alone, which isn't fair to an animal that needs company.


Neutered males are much happier and more relaxed. They can enjoy life without constantly looking for a mate. 

A  neutered male will stop spraying urine even if the operation is performed later in life.


Sterilization is a relatively minor operation which can be performed as soon as the testicles descend although most vets wait until the rabbit is 4 or 5 months old, when the operation is easier to perform and the anesthetic risk is reduced

Q: Why should I spay a Female rabbit?


A:  Having female rabbits (does) spayed is even more important. Most females become territorial and aggressive from sexual maturity on wards (4-6 months).


They have repeated false pregnancies. Keeping two females together - even if they are sisters - can make things worse.


Spaying reduces and sometimes eliminates these behavioral problems. 


Spayed females are likely to live longer then their unspayed sisters. Up to 80% of unspayed female rabbits develop uterine cancer by 5 years of age.


Females who are not spayed when young and in good health may have to undergo the operation in later life if a pyometra (uterine infection) or cancer develops, although usually it is too late and the cancer has already spread.


Spaying is a bigger operation than castration. It's usually performed when the rabbit is at least 4 or 5 months old.

Q: Is it safe?


A:  Surgery on any animal can have unexpected complications. But for most rabbits the benefits of neutering far outweigh the very small risk.


Make sure you do go to a vet that know and have experience with rabbits.






Q: How much does it cost?


A: As a very rough guide, expect around $200. 


Prices differ from vet to vet.

Q:  Do you have a good vet you can advise us to visit?


A:  Ian McDowell is my vet, Ian is a very skilled in exotic animals and he did an eye operation on our one rabbit. I will take my rabbits to him only, even it it is 1 hour drive from my house.


I do know that Ian also keep them over night with sterilization where most vets sent them home the same day. 


A common side affect of anaesthetic agents are that they affect gut motility. It is important to make sure that the rabbit's bowel function returns to normal before sending the rabbit home.


If you do not already have a relationship with a veterinarian who take care of rabbits, at least try and get the phone number of one before you bring your rabbit home.


I take my rabbits to


Ian McDowell

Riseley Veterinary Centre

at 113 Hulme Court, Myaree

Tel 9329 9222


Doctor McDowell is highly educated and very good with rabbits. The center is very rabbit friendly with amazing staff.


The firsts time you live with another species you are not familiar with can be very stressful. Most of the stress comes from not knowing what is normal and what is abnormal.


For instance, you worry about whether you are feeding correctly.


Another good Vet in the North of Perth is the 


The Unusual Pet Vets

59 Erindale Rd, Balcatta WA 6021

Tel.  9345 4644


Dr. Viki Is an excellent vet with all animals but she have very wide knowledge regarding rabbits. The staff is friendly and very helpful.





Q: Is a male or female your best pet?


Generally males make better pets. Females may have a personality change with maturity due to their need for nesting.


This is not always the case. A way to make sure you have a lovely female pet is to sterilize her at the age of 4 to 5 months.

Q: How will a rabbit get along with my other pets?


A: Do not assume that your rabbit will make instant friends with other pets in your house. Make sure that any other pets are not allowed in your rabbit's cage so that your rabbit will feel secure in his cage and not worry that it will be invaded.


If there are any signs of hostility, do not let the introduction go any further until it stops, which could take days.


Continue to allow your rabbit and other pets to see each other without having any direct contact.


When your pets seem comfortable in each others presence, it is time to expand the introduction. You should get involved as soon as there is any sign of danger to one of your pets by separating them. Gradually increase the amount of time you let them spend together.

Once they get along, you can just sit back and enjoy watching their interactions.

In general, most dogs can be trained not to worry a rabbit, but certain breeds will find it almost impossible. If your dog breed was created to crawl into holes and drag out whatever animal lived inside, a rabbit is not the pet for you.


Likewise, most cats can be trained to leave rabbits alone, and in fact adult rabbits usually chase cats away, causing the reverse problem!


As the photo below shows, it is possible for various species of pet to live in harmony together, but do not expect too much too quickly and be prepared for instinct to kick in under certain circumstances.

Q:  How do I introduce my two rabbits to each other?


A:  You will have no problem introducing two small rabbits to each other when both are new and the same age. Rabbits don't have to be siblings in order to live together peacefully.


Introducing a new rabbit to one or more that are already in the house and have established a territory can be more complicated.

The easiest introduction will be between females and males. Even when a doe and buck do not immediately take to each other, there is rarely any significant trouble between them, but introducing members of the same sex can be an entirely different story.


I do not recommend allowing two intact (not sterilized) males to have any contact with each other once matured. Two sterilized males will get along. Keep in mind that rabbits are very territorial.


A first introduction should take place in a neutral space that no rabbit considers his territory. A new pen in the yard may be a good option. Any interactions at first should be well supervised.

Do not interfere with the meeting unless there are true signs of aggression. Give them a chance to work things out on their own.


Try to break up a fight with a spray of water before jumping in yourself. You can also give the rabbits treats when they are together.


The idea is for the rabbits to associate positive experiences with being together. 


For rabbits that want to fight with each other, you will need to set aside time every day to supervise them in neutral territory.


As the rabbits learn to adapt to each other, or at the least ignore each other, you can give them more time together with no barriers between them. 


Do not leave them together unsupervised until you are absolutely sure they will no longer fight. Some rabbits will get along in the day time in a play area and need to be put back in their own individual hutches at night.

Q: How do I add a second rabbit at a later date?


A:  An adult male will usually welcome the company of a female, but not another male.


Adding a baby rabbit with a mature rabbit is easy to do.  I will not do it unless the adult rabbit has been neutered.


If not the adult rabbit may  attack and kill a young one or try and do a matting.


Introduce a baby rabbit to a mature rabbit in a non territorial environment. Not in the hutch. Make sure you are there to observe. 


It normally work out very well.


I have seen many times that the older rabbit accept the younger one. The older rabbit take on the role of a parent to the younger one.
It is lovely to see.

Q: Where do I keep my rabbit?


A: Your rabbit needs a hutch with food and fresh water. Rabbits should also be allowed out of their cage frequently to play and exercise in a safe environment.

Some people prefer letting the bunny run around the house while keeping an eye on them.


Others will let them play outside, provided you have an enclosed play pen or the type of garden where the bunny can't escape underneath fences.


I train all my rabbits to be able to walk on a leash so that they will hopefully not be confined in a hutch all the time, but taken for a walk!


            "Let me in...."


Some bunnies have the freedom of the back yard. Just make sure that your rabbit can not escape.


If you prefer to have a more safer option then you can take your rabbit for a walk with a harness. They are available at pet stores.


A good way of giving them some exercise is also to train them to do certain tricks. They love it and it is a wonderful way of bonding with your rabbit.


It do not matter what form of excessive your rabbit is getting if it is running free in the house, in the garden, playpen or walks or tricks it is very important that they do get some for of excessive. 


It is not just mentally healthy for them but also physically.

Q: What do I feed my rabbit?


A: Rabbits will need hay as well as a rabbit mix available from pet stores. 


Ask for rabbit pellets. A good pet store will be able to supply both hay and rabbit mix in bulk, making it cheap to feed your pet.


When you pick up your new pet, we will provide a few days worth of food so that you can slowly make the transition from our rabbit mix to yours, as sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive problems. 


I feed my rabbits pellets, oaten chaff and lucern chaff since small growing bunnies need to be on a high fiber diet. You do not need to continue with this high fiber diet but you do need to continue with unlimited hay. 


Do give them about a 1/4of a cup of fruit and veg a day but introduce it slowly.

Q:  How do I wean my rabbit of the breeders food onto my food?

A:  I would suggest you use the following method for weaning onto a new diet: 


  • Day 1, provide the rabbit with a small portion of its usual food only (together with lots of hay and fresh water).
  • Day 2, give 90% my food, 10% yours

  • Day 3 give 80% mine, 20% yours and so on until the rabbit is eating only the food that you will be supplying.

  •  If during this weaning process, the rabbit appears to have diarrhea, constipation, looks in pain or off-colour, take away all dried food and feed HAY ONLY for a couple of days (and water).

  • Then try the whole process over again. If you ever decide to change the food that you give again, you must do this weaning process again.

Q: How big should the rabbit hutch be?


A:  The minimum recommended size for a hutch is 120 cm . A lager area is also needed for bunny to get daily exercise. 


 It is essential that your rabbit have the room to stretch in all directions. A rabbit hutch that’s too small can affect your rabbits health – causing spine problems, muscle wastage and obesity.


A relaxed rabbit will fully stretch out when resting. The rabbits hutch should be wide enough to allow you rabbit to lie with its legs stretched out fully. This allows for plenty of room to turn around in the hutch too.


If selecting an enclosure made from metal it is important to consider heat and sunlight on hot days, as you do not want your Mini Lop to cook in a hot metal box.

Cage sizes also should be decided in conjunction with the amount of exercise time and space the rabbit has.

Features to look for in a house rabbit cage


  • Space and comfort for the rabbit
  • Ease of cleaning and minimal potential for mess escaping
  • Durability

The photo below illustrates just how long a rabbit can be when he stretches out whilst relaxing, emphasizing how important it is that rabbits have plenty of room at all times.


If you buy a rabbit and  you just leave it in a cage, you are missing out on the joys of owning a rabbit.


Rabbits are not meant to just sit in a cage all day. They need human contact, love and are to be nurtured.


They also need daily exercise.

Q: Can I leave my rabbit outside in the winter in his hutch?

A: Rabbits can withstand cold temperatures but not drafty or damp conditions.


If possible, position the hutch in a shed or garage during the colder months (so long as the garage is not being used by a car, as the fumes may kill him). During the summer months, cover the mesh door with a fly screen mesh.


If your rabbit sleep outside and you feel concerned during winter time, cover half the hutch with an old blanket. He still need to get lots of fresh air so do not cover them up all the way. I do believe that this is more for our comfort and piece of mind though. :)

Q: How often do I need to cut my rabbits nails?


A:  It is important to check your rabbit’s  nails monthly and possibly clip them if they have not been worn down.


Rabbit’s nails are like cats or dogs and contain blood vessels and nerves, so when clipping your rabbit’s nails it is important to identify where the blood vessels are located so they are not cut, as this will cause bleeding and is painful for your rabbit.


I will show you how to cut your rabbits nails on the day of pick up. You can also ask your local vet to cut your rabbits nails.


Below is a horrible example of overgrown nails. It is painful for the rabbit to stand on its feet, and the long nails affect the interaction between the bones in the foot causing pain and suffering.

This is a horrible example of overgrown nails. It is painful for the rabbit to stand on its feet, and the long nails affect the interaction between the bones in the foot causing pain and suffering.

Q: How do I cut my rabbits nails?


A: If you are confident that you know what you are doing, the following may help:


When I clip rabbits’ claws I usually sit down with the rabbit on my knee and turn him or her gently upside down so the head is held gently between my side and my left arm (I am right handed).


This then makes it easier to get access to all four paws, and most rabbits do not struggle in this position. The more you practice, the better you will get at it. If this position is too difficult for you then you can try the position in the photo below. However you will need to be two people to get the task done.


For dark claws, it is usually easier to see the live bit by looking from underneath the claw as there is a change of shape and a slight change in co lour between the live and "dead" bit.


Do not cut right on the line, leave a few millimeters so you are not cutting too close.


Another method is to use a torch for dark claws and shine it through the claw and this will show up the live bit clearly.

Q: What is the best way to pick up my rabbit?


A: Many rabbit owners have difficulty when it comes to picking up their rabbit. Rabbits are often not very keen on being handled and may wriggle.


Your Rabbit's Point of View 


Gradually build up his trust and confidence by talking quietly to him and gently stroking his head if he approaches you. When he has settled in, you can pick him up gently but firmly .

How NOT to Pick Up your Rabbit


Rabbits should never be picked up by the ears or legs. Doing so could result in serious harm to your rabbit.


Lifting Your Rabbit


When lifting your rabbit you should use two hands, one supporting the chest and one supporting the bottom. If your rabbit is small enough you can position the hand supporting the chest with you thumb over their shoulder for a firmer grip. 


Hold the rabbit with its head slightly higher than its bottom and with the bottom slightly tucked in. 


This will help prevent the rabbit kicking out backwards or trying to do a forward somersault.


If held firmly the rabbit should feel secure and not wriggle. Never allow children to grab the rabbit, run with it or rough it up.

Q: How should I carrying my rabbit?


A: To carry your rabbit you should either hold it close to your body.


There are several ways to hold your rabbit, you should use the one that your bunny feels most comfortable in and you feel most secure holding it.


The first position pictured is most suitable for smaller bunnies. 


Hold the rabbit facing you with all four feet against your chest. 


Place one hand supporting the bottom, holding it against your body to stop it kicking out and the other hand across the rabbits shoulders.


The other position is like a hug using your arms to hold the bunny firmly against your chest. Hold your bunny sideways with its feet resting at your hip facing your right shoulder. 


Wrap you left arm across its body and support the chest with your hand, thumb over the shoulders, fingers underneath. Use your other hand to support the bottom,

Firmly to press her feet against you so he/she can't lift them to kick out.


Putting Your Rabbit Down Again


When putting your rabbit back into its house or on to the floor you need to be careful not to let it jump out of your arms. 


Many rabbits will attempt to leap down once they see their hutch. Hold the rabbit firmly until its feet are on the ground. Be careful as you let go as some rabbits kick out backwards when released.


It is important to handle your bunny every day, or as frequently as possible. 


By daily handling you are able to ensure that your Mini lop remains gentle and placid. It is important to give your Mini lop plenty of attention.

Q: What can I use as bedding in my rabbits hutch?


A: You can use wood shavings, hay or shredded paper. News paper is not good since it is not absorbent enough. 


It will also stain your rabbits feet and your rabbit will be smelly since it sits on the urine infested newspaper all day.


The photo above illustrates why newspapers are not very suitable for 


bedding! Instead, use a deep layer of wood shavings throughout the hutch, with a good layer of hay on top.


Litter trays can be filled either with a covering of shavings and hay or a wood-based cat litter.


Replace with fresh bedding and thoroughly cleaning out the whole hutch once a week.

Q:  Can I litter train my rabbit? 


A: Mini Lops are very intelligent and are able to be litter trained. 


Litter training your rabbit can make your experience of your house pet much more enjoyable and easy to care for.

Q: How do I litter train my rabbit?


A: When litter training your Mini lop the first things you will need are lots of patients and positive reinforcements consisting of praise and treats.


Step 1 – Rabbit Cage

Rabbit Cage: Even if your Mini lop is house pet your rabbit will still need a cage, especially to make the toilet training process a simpler procedure.


Step 2 -  Using a litter tray


To start teaching your Mini lop how to use their litter tray, place the tray inside their cage in the area in which they have chosen to defecate.


Once your rabbit has gotten the idea that the tray is where they’re supposed to do their business they will begin to use it consistently.


Reward your rabbit with treats and praise when they correctly use their litter tray and repeat this process to ensure your rabbit of its correct behaviour.


Rabbits like to poop while munching on hay - put a hay-rack over the litter tray and sure enough your rabbit will hang out in his litter tray, munch hay, and make manure!


*Note: Do not be concerned if your rabbit uses the sleeping area as his toilet as this behaviour is quite common. A litter tray can be used in the hutch in the corner where bunny usually chooses as his potty corner.


I do not believe in shutting house rabbits into a cage as I feel that all you then have is a sad caged rabbit who happens to live inside.


Having said that, it is best to have an area that is cordoned off, say a corner of a room not a cage, to keep them in for the first few days as you need to be sure they know where their litter tray is, and also where the food and water area is located.


Only once they have established a good tray routine you can then let them start to explore a bit, gradually increasing the area that they are allowed to be in.


Some people like to confine their house rabbits at night, but most rabbits are just as active at night as during the day, so the night area would need to be a good size to allow them to take exercise.

Q: What kind of litter should I use in the litter tray?


A:  The types of litter you use for your Mini lop is also very important. Your rabbit will without doubt nibble on their litter so it’s important make sure that whatever you're using in the box won't be harmful to your rabbit.\


Stay clear of types of litter that aren’t suitable for rabbits, such scented kitty litter. 


You can find a kitty litter that is made of recycled paper that is very effective for Rabbits. Wood shavings is also a good idea since it is very absorbent. Shredded paper is not absorbent enough and will be smelly.


 Above is a picture of a litter tray with hay in. It is not very absorbent. I prefer not doing this. Not much point to it for me.



A litter tray with some wood shavings. Its absorbent and works very well. 

Shredded paper. I do not like to use it cause it is not absorbent enough and end up being very smelly.


*Note: Despite litter training your Mini lop will still leave small amounts of droppings  around their litter tray, this does not mean that your rabbit as become untrained nor is untrainable; this is merely a display of normal rabbit behaviour and your rabbit marking the territory as their own. The important thing is you want the urine to be in the litter tray.





Q: Can I bath my rabbit? Do they like being bathed?


A: In general, pet rabbits do not need baths. They are very good cleaning themselves.


It may be necessary to bath your rabbit when he gets excessively dirty. If dirt, urine, feces or another foreign body is on your rabbit, so much that it can't be groomed out then bunny do need a bath.



The goal is to bathe your rabbit in a quick and kind manner as to not stress him out. Make sure bunnies head always stay above the water.


I found that most rabbits do like being bathed in the summer months. 

You get at pet shops or City Farmers special rabbit shampoo.


(Do not use other shampoo, cause rabbits have very sensitive and thin skin and it irritate their skin).


You also get dry shampoo in a powder form that you sprinkle on bunny and then brush it through his coat.

Q: Do mini lops require grooming?


A:  Mini lops don't need grooming. As they grow, they will gradually lose their baby fur and acquire an adult coat. It may be necessary to groom them with a wire brush to remove patches of fur when they molt.


From 5 months on wards, the adult coat develops.


A typical rabbit molt begins on the head, progresses down the neck and back and then towards the stomach.

Dark coloured rabbits sometimes have a noticeable "tide mark". 


If you blow into the fur of a molting rabbit, the skin appears dark in colour where the new hairs are growing through. All these are perfectly normal.



Q: How can I wash my rabbits hutch or disinfect it?


A: A good way of washing and disinfecting your rabbit hutch is washing it with diluted bleach. Use 1/5 bleach with 4/5  water.


Let it dry in the sun and then it is ready for use again.

Q: What vaccinations do my rabbit need?


A: Rabbits need a vaccination against calicivirus. Calicivirus is a rabbit disease which was introduced into Australia to control wild rabbit populations.


Calicivirus causes a rabbit's organs to bleed and then eventually bleeds them to death.


It is highly contagious and easily spread. There are often no symptoms to indicate that anything is wrong. This disease is inevitably fatal.


It is important to vaccinate your rabbit against Calicivirus especially  if this disease is a problem around your area. It is a vaccination that is annually.


The vaccination can be given from 12 weeks on wards.


Q: What side effects can my rabbit get from being vaccinated?

A: Some side effects to vaccination can be expected in a few rabbits.

These can include

  • depression and loss of appetite for a day or so after vaccination.
  • site reactions seen as swellings that can sometimes lead to irritation with patches of hair loss about one week after injection.

              "Life is too hard....."

Q: How often do I feed my bunny? Do I take it's food away after eating?


A: Bunnies eat about a tea cup of rabbit pellets a day when they are still growing.

They do not continue to eat so much. 


You can leave the food in the hutch. It is safe to put food in a food bowl and not to think you are overfeeding your bunny.



Q:  What fruit and vegetables can I give my rabbit to eat.


A:  Fruit and vegetables your rabbit can eat.


Apple

Banana (very good for bunny since it is high in potassium)

Basil

Blueberries

Basil





Bok choy

Broccoli stalks

Carrots and carrot tops

Celery leaves


Dandelion flowers and leaves (untreated)

Dill

Radish tops and sprouts

Parsley

Pear 


Grapes (no seeds)

Grass (without any chemicals)

Mango peals and fruit


Mint

Pear


Plums

Pineapple

Raisins



Raspberries

Sprouts


Strawberries (fruit and leaves) Tomato (it is high in potassium so it is good for bunny but do not give the leaves and stem)


Zucchini


Careful on giving your rabbit fruit. Its good for them, but its high in natural sugar and can cause loose stool. Not diarrhea. 


If that happen you cut down on sweet veg and fruit for a day or two.


A list of food they can't eat...


Green beans


Avocado

Beets


Cabbage

Corn


Potatoes (especially the peal is not good)


Onion

Lettuce (cause severe diarrhea and can be fatal)


Rhubarb


Sweet potato

Q: What plants are dangerous for rabbits?


A: Rabbit Care - Plants

Pet rabbits love to graze when they are out and about. 


Have some of their hay at their disposal where they can easily see it.


To make sure you are giving your rabbit the best rabbit care, here are some plants that are dangerous to them.


Common milkweed

Boxwood

Oriental Bittersweet

Lily of the Valley

Poison Hemlock

Jimson Weed

Toadstools

Foxglove

English Ivy

Daffodil

Oleander

Azalea

Black-Eyed Susan

Buttercup

Nightshade

Bird of Paradise

A rule of thumb, if a plant is known to be toxic in general for any reason, please do not let your rabbit near it. It may cause him to become very sick or it could be fatal to him.

Here’s a list of some plants that are safe for your pet rabbit.

Sunflower

Dandelion-

Apple (but not the seeds) Leaves, branches and fruit

Basil

Blackberry- leaves, stems and fruit

Clover, red and white

Maple, sugar and silver. Leaves and branches

Mint

Pear (but not the seeds)

Strawberry

Willow- leaves and branches

Branches are also good to let your rabbit chew on to help keep their teeth trimmed. Rabbit’s teeth grow continuously; so they need harder items to chew on to keep them in good shape.

Q: How do I sex my rabbit?

A: It is absolutely vital that your rabbit is sexed correctly, especially if he or she is to live with another rabbit. 


Sexing of rabbits is not easy, and it is very common for people to make mistakes – even vets have been known to get it wrong! 


As a general rule, by about 12 weeks of age the sex of the rabbit becomes much more obvious. 



The female has only a leaf-like structure (the vulva) which when pressed gently will be.


The photo above shows an immature female.


The males will have, in place of the penis, a tube-like structure, which is apparent when you press gently on the genital area.

Q: How do I bond with my  rabbit?


A:  When introducing yourself to new Mini lop it is important to act calmly and quietly.


I feel the best process for bonding with your Mini lop is to sit quietly with your Mini lop in an enclosed area, and wait for your rabbit to approach you. 


Mini lops, like all rabbits are very curious by nature.


If you show your rabbit that you are not a threat and spend time with them they will feel comfortable and approach you happily.


Food rewards can also help build interest and trust with your Mini lop.

Q: Should I feel guilty putting my rabbit in a cage? 


A:  Don’t feel guilty about using a cage. House rabbits regard their cage as home, not prison. 


Wild rabbits spend hours underground in very confined warrens. Your rabbit won’t mind being based in a nice roomy cage, so long as he can come out for several hours every day.


You can build up his freedom gradually without sacrificing your home.


Even once your bunny is perfectly trained, cages can still be useful.

  • A cage provides a sanctuary for a rabbit if there are children or dogs around the house, either permanently or likely to visit.

  • A familiar cage is a great asset if your house rabbit goes on holiday.

  •   Most people have to confine their rabbit from time to time, for example if        decorating the house or entertaining.

Q: Can my rabbit live indoors only?


A:  If you are new to the idea of keeping a rabbit indoors, then the concept of house rabbits may seem strange. But rabbits adapt very easily to life indoors, using litter trays just like cats and settling happily into the family.

House training rabbits is easy - most rabbits get the idea of using a letterbox straight away, although a few take a bit of persuading.

Baby rabbits, like puppies, can't be expected to achieve perfect control of their toilet habits straight away - although most will make a pretty good effort.

 And do bear in mind that trying to keep an un-neutered rabbit indoors once it reaches puberty (4-6 months) is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. Rabbits of both sexes have to be neutered to live indoors successfully.

Chewing is another matter - whereas it is natural for rabbits to toilet in one place, they are animals programmed to chew and you must teach your rabbit is not to chew forbidden objects and offer plenty of attractive permitted alternatives.

I read once in a book about rabbits where the author advised owner who struggle with rabbits that chew on furniture to use cooking vinegar. She said you can dab a bit of vinegar on the object you do not want your rabbit to chew on then bunny will stay clear of it.

I thought it might be a good idea to use for litter training as well. If bunny use both corners in its litter tray then dab a bit of vinegar in the corner you do not want bunny to use. 

Q: How do I get my rabbit back in his cage after he has been roaming free?


A: Fill his food bowl, rattle it a bit and put it in his cage.Then rattle the bribe tin and see if he will come back near the cage.


If he does, great. If he doesn't, you'll just have to herd him back in from further away. He has to go back into the cage under his own steam, so you need to 


(gently!) harass him such that he goes home to escape being pestered. 


Then you reward him and he learns that going home means a treat. 


The easiest way is to gently herd him back to his cage, clapping your hands and saying 'go home' or 'bedtime'.


You can also make a point of always popping something tasty in his cage for when he goes back in, such as a teaspoon of porridge oats.


Most rabbits will happily go in and out of their cage during their free running time, because to them it is their home, not a prison.


They might pop back in to go to use the litter tray, have a drink or a snack. That's wonderful behaviour! 


You won't believe it until you see it but they soon learn to go whizzing back to their cages when you tell them to go home, ready for their treat. 


Although if they get used to a certain amount of free time and they feel deprived if you try to put them back sooner, you might find bunny goes on strike which is infuriating but actually very funny.


Q:  What kind of toys can I give my rabbit?


A:  Yes. You can give rabbit’s things to chew: toys can include balls with bells inside, pine cones, any small boxes from the kitchen and paper towel rolls, or empty toilet rolls or empty baking paper rolls or a piece of pine wood that you can buy at Bunnies in small stripes at a minimum price.





There are toys made specifically for bunnies and most of these are good too.


A note of caution: some types of wood can be poisonous for rabbits so try and use untreated pine.Rabbits love playing with boxes.


They enjoy it very much if you put a view boxes together. 



Rabbits love chewing on untreated wood.

Q:  Will my rabbit be all alone during that day when I am at work?


A: Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are active in the mornings and evenings, but spend most of the day asleep or relaxing.


Sad but true bunny will not miss you during the day.


            "....Im so tired....wish I can catch a bunny nap..."


So if your bunny lives in a cage, it's a good idea to plan exercise and play time around the times your rabbit is most alert. 


Most of us feel guilty if our bunny is alone during the day when we are at work. They are very sociable animals and sure do enjoy having a friend. I think it is in their best interest to get them a little friend.

Q: What do I need to buy before I bring my new rabbit home?


A: Your shopping list should contain the following (There is a more detailed list on the section of the website called "What I need to buy"


  •  Good quality hutch
  • Large run or play pen
  • Bedding material
  • A good quality hay for eating, (oaten hay)
  • Rabbit pellets
  • Feeding bowl ceramic (not something that is too light, bunnies like to play with it and toss it in the air then all the food is out)
  • Water bottle not smaller than 500 ml

Q:  How much grass can I let my bunny eat per day?


A:  Start your bunny off on grass grazing gradually. Start with 5 minutes the 1st day, 10 minutes the second day, 15 minutes the third day until you can see there is no diarrhea and bunny is grass tolerant.

Q:  Why do rabbits eat their droppings? 


A:  This is not bad bunny behavior; 


Because their diet of plants is hard to digest efficiently, and they have to make two passes at it to get everything out of the meal. They don't eat all their poop, only soft mushy poops called cecals. 




Rabbits are unable to absorb the nutrition via the intestinal wall, but can still get it by eating their cecals.

Q:  How can I prevent my rabbit from having heat stroke?


A: Heatstroke can be fatal. Use Ice water bottles. The rabbits biggest veins are in his ears so a good way to cool your bunny of quickly is to spray bunnies ears on the inside with a mist bottle. 


A rabbits ears are considered to be his air-conditioners.

The pooh above show the big veins in the rabbits ears.

Signs of heatstroke:


Rapid breathing Lying in a stretched out position and panting. Wet nose and mouth.


If your rabbit shows signs of heatstroke call your vet. Wrap your bunny in cool damp towels, even his ears. If conscious, offer him cool, fresh water. Then rush him to the doctors.


Rabbit health is very important to your little friend. He cannot tell you verbally what is wrong with him. So he is depending on you to keep him healthy. Know the signs of illness and find a bunny doctor. Rabbit health is important to your little friend.


Place a thermometer in the hutch to check

what temperature the bunny is really in.

The forecast temperature may be much lower than

the actual temperature in the hutch

Over 23 deg.= Give total shade.

Over 28 deg.= Give frozen water bottles.

Over 32 deg.= Bring bunny inside. 


The perfect solution is a carrier and on tiles, with perhaps a fan or frozen bottle inside the carrier with bunny. 


Do not think bunny coped well with the heat outside the first day so he will be fine the second day. I have heard so many times how owners thought that and it just take 2 or 3 days in a row to kill bunny. It happen very suddenly, bunny is fine the one moment the next moment you find them dead. So do not think twice.

Q:  What is Fly Strike  


A: Rabbits can get flystrike in summer time when wet droppings are stuck to their coat. Flies go lay eggs in the area. 


Your rabbit need to be taken immediately to the vet for treatment. 


A good way to prevent it is to put fly screen on your hutch.

Q: What should I bring when I fetch my bunny?


A: Most people bring either a box or a carrier to put bunny in for the car ride. I suggest you do bring something to put him in and do not try and hold him in your arms. 


You have to remember the car ride is stressful as it is and now a stranger holding him for so long and keep on pushing him down to sit still will be even more stressful especially since you are all strangers to bunny. 


Please do not expect your child to hold him for the ride home. It will only end up in a disaster.



Bring a carrier or a box with some hay in or a towel or blanket in the bottom. Bring a bit of hay for bunny to chew on. 


It is always good for bunny to chew on hay to relax him during the car ride.


Do remember to put water in if you have a long car ride.

Q: What do I do with my new bunny once I arrived home?

A: 


1. Leave bunny alone about one hour in its’ new hutch to get used to his new surroundings and to marking its new territory by rubbing its’ chin on everything. This will give the children time to settle down and the bunny a chance to recover from the car drive.


2. Teach children to speak quietly. (No fighting or screaming near the rabbit) Loud noises will frighten your bunny. 


Stress causes rabbits to be more susceptible to sickness, and even death, so keep in mind that rabbits are timid and vulnerable.


3. Have children seated when handling bunny. A dropped rabbit will not necessarily land on its feet like a cat. Its’ back can break easily.

Q:  How do I know if my rabbit is scared?


A: A rabbit show you the white of the eye. To make bunny feel better is hold him secured and firm or put him in his hutch to feel safe.

Q:  Is it ok to handle bunny a lot right from the start?


A:  It is easy to overwhelm your new rabbit when you bring him home.

Everybody want to shower him with attention and affection. You want to teach him everything he needs to know right way but go slowly.  It is important that your rabbit left everything familiar to him behind. Mum, siblings, cage and owner. 


This precious little rabbit has a big adjustment to make. He is being taken away from the life he knows and is being put in a new one. He will need some time to adjust. 


Let your rabbit spend time in his cage, and at certain times lave the door open so your rabbit can choose to come out and interact with you.


If you force your rabbit to interact with you before he is comfortable, you may get a reaction you do not want. Always put your hand in the hutch, stroking bunny before you take him out. If not then bunny will have such a fright when you just grab him to take him out that he will learn to run away from you.


You want your new pet to trust you and he will not trust you if you scare or overwhelm him. He may bring home such a social rabbit that he wants to spend all his time with you right from the beginning.


I also advice new owners to wrap up their bunny in a blanky, just like a baby. It help bunny to get use to your smell and top trust you. You need to do this only for the first view days.


It is also a good way for small children to hold bunny since they often get frightened when bunny tune or jump out of their grip.

Q:  What should I expect the first week after bringing bunny home?


A:  Kits need to be kept warm at night time and away from hot sun in the day. They need to be handled tenderly and often, as they may be fussing for their mother and siblings.


Although they may have been toilet trained by their mothers, they often don't know what to do in their new home. It all smells different.


Even though when you buy your baby bunny, it will be weaned from its’ mothers milk, it is still a baby, who needs tenderness

It is wise to keep bunny inside the house when the weather is too hot or too cold. It also help socialize and provide a stable temperature, especially at night.


Of course it is better to have bunny outside in its hutch during the day if you feel there is too much noise in the house during the day.


It is very stressful for a baby rabbit to be all alone for long. 

The only time this would happen in the wild is if they were lost or its family had been eaten. 

Therefor I cannot stress it enough to handle your bunny often. Rabbits can stop eating and drinking when stressed.

Encourage your bunny to come to you by scratching in the hay or tapping your fingers at the entrance of the cage to attract its attention.

Allow the rabbit to smell your hand, speak gently, and stroke the head to gain its trust, before attempting to pick it up.

Pick up gently with one hand under the body and the other under its backside.

Never pick your bunny up by the ears!

Feed your new bunny the food supplied by the breeder and gradually go over to the rabbit pellets you bought. 


Find out from the breeder what fresh foods the kit has already been introduced to.

Introduce new fresh foods very gradually.


Sudden change of diet can cause diarrhea, resulting in death. If you notice your bunny have diarrhea after introducing a new vegetable or fruit go immediately back to pellets, hay and water only. 


Cut fresh foods out for several days.

Hay is the most important food source for both young and old rabbits.

Give freedom gradually in a confined space

Playpens are ideal to give your bunny some freedom the grass.


Rabbits can be bored and lonely just like other animals. The only difference is that they can’t tell you, not like a dog can.


Keeping a rabbit shut in its hutch all day is cruel, and not good for their health.

Do not chase your bunny !


This will frighten your rabbit, and they learn to to run away from you.


You may think the rabbit is enjoying the chase, but most likely it is terrified and running for its life.


If you want a friendly pet, avoid frightening situations.

Try to have bunny come to you. This is why a confined space is important.


Only give greater freedom when you are sure your rabbit will come when called.

Always put your rabbit back safely in its’ hutch at night
Q: How do I discipline my rabbit?

A: Say to your bunny with a firm voice "No". You are dealing with a toddler so it will take a bit of time for bunny to listen at you and to learn.


A good way to motivate bunny is to give treats. bunny do something you do not agree with then put him immediately back in his hutch and do not give attention for a while.


Hopefully bunny learn soon out of its mistakes. 

Interpreting Body Language and Behavior


Rabbits have a language of their own. Here are some tips on interpreting your bunny’s hops, kicks and grunts.


Chinning — Their chin contains scent glands, so they rub their chin on items to indicate that they belong to them.


Standing on Hind Legs— May be checking something out. Also used for begging. 


Rabbits are worse than dogs about begging, especially for treats.


Flat on the ground, legs spread out to the side or behind — Relaxation, bliss


Upside down, legs in the air — Your rabbit will only do this when in total bliss, and often after a big bout of binkying.



Territorial droppings — Droppings that are not in a pile, but are scattered, are signs that this territory belongs to the rabbit. This will often occur upon entering a new environment.


Playing — Rabbits like to push or toss objects around. They may also race madly around the house, jump on and off of the couch and act like a kid that's had too much sugar.


Thumping — Rabbits often are displeased when you rearrange their stuff. They are creatures of habit and when they get things just right, they like them to remain that way, and may thump in anger. Bunny can also be frightened, mad or trying to tell you that there's danger (in his opinion).



Binky — (Dancing and hopping madly): A sign of pure joy & happiness!


Thumps – thumps and turns back on you – you have caused great offense, annoyance.


Petting – Pushes head under your hand or under your chin if you are cuddling or open cage door – want to be petted.


Licks you – grooming behavior; a great favour for a rabbit to bestow; you can reciprocate by petting him. Be happy, your bunny is telling you he loves you.


Flat rabbit – Rabbits flatten themselves for there is something scary and if they are close to the ground then maybe they won’t be seen.


I do hope that you have found the care information useful and will refer back to it if needed.

Rabbit care is very important to our little friends. Hopefully, these tips will help you have a long and happy friendship with your pet rabbit.


I would love to know how my, now your bunnies are getting on in their new home and really appreciate any pictures you are able to send me!



Please remember, owning a rabbit is a big commitment they can live up to 8 years.

Please think carefully before deciding to adopt a rabbit as a pet as they do require regular care, love and attention.


Thank you to all the people who brought bunny's from me that send me photos of them in their new loving homes. I appreciate it very much.


I would not have been able to make this page so colourful without your photos. 

 Thank you.

Bye See you later....

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