Adorable Rabbits

Miniature Lops and Netherland Dwarfs

Hutch Size Guidelines

The minimum recommended size for a hutch is 5' (150cm). In addition, a larger area is needed for 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 rabbit’s health - causing spine problems, muscle wastage and obesity.

 

 

 

Rabbit Hutch Width

 

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

 

 

Rabbit Hutch Length

The rabbit hutch should be long enough for the rabbit to take at least 3-4 hops without bumping its nose on the end.

 

Rabbit Hutch Height

Rabbits stand up on their back legs to check their environment is safe. The rabbit hutch should be tall enough to allow your rabbit to do this without being hunched over or folding its ears against the roof.

 The above information was originally created by 'The Rabbit House'.

 

 

Rabbit Diet

Rabbits are very cute friendly little creatures.  Hours can be spent watching their little noses twitch, seeing them hop, skip and jump around.  Please consider the costs involved in keeping any pet, which will include vaccinations/neutering.  Bedding and food. 

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As well as the high fibre pellet food, their diets should replicate that of the wild rabbit with grass or hay always available.  Vegetables in moderation on a daily basis as well as wild plants and herbs.

Try to keep the diet of your rabbit consistent, any changes should be done gradually.  Any sudden changes can affect the bacteria present in their intestines.  This includes the introduction to any new vegetables.  Our Care Sheet provides the vegetables our baby rabbits have been accustomed to.

Fruit should only be given as a treat, our rabbits occasionally have strawberry leaves.

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The rabbits digestive system is adapted to eat large amounts of grass with high fibre content.  Fibre is fermented by bacteria in the large bowel to produce caecotrophs which are expelled and then re-digested to provide vitamins and other essential nutrients.

If a rabbit is fed a high content of carbohydrated food rather than high fibre content, an excessive amount of these caecotrophs will be produced.  This will stick to the rabbit's bottom and is known as "sticky bottom". The caecotrophs look like small dark round cherry like droppings, with a sticky mucus covering, and can easily be distinguished from the normal faeces.

A rabbit that is overfed the wrong diet will get fat, and in these circumstances may not be able to get to their bottoms to clean themselves or even re-absorb the caecotrophs.  This in turn will become detrimental to the rabbit's health.

 

Benefits of Neutering

Neutering will prevent unwanted pregnancies, as well as increasing life expectancy in females by up to 80% due to uterine cancer.

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

A vet can perform this procedure on a buck from 16 weeks of age.  Females from around the age of 6-8 months.

Is the anaesthetic Safe?

Veterinary surgeons were once reluctant to neuter rabbits because of the safety of anaesthetics, however modern anaesthetics are much more reliable (although there is a risk with any surgery).

Rabbits should recover quickly and not be starved before surgery.  They will  start eating again after surgery by the following day.

 

Teeth

Sketch of a normal rabbit's mouth

 

CAUSES OF MALOCCLUSION

When the teeth get out of alignment, then we see them become overgrown. There are three causes for malocclusion of the teeth:

 

Congenital ~ the rabbit was born that way.

Trauma ~when the rabbit has an injury to the face leading to disruption of normal growth of the tooth roots.

Infection ~bacterial infection of the tooth roots can lead to changes in the direction of the tooth growth.

All of these problems can occur in any of the teeth. Whenever malocclusion of the incisors occurs, always check the molars, because overgrown molars can be either the cause or the result of the incisor problem. If only the incisors are treated and the molars are neglected, then treatment will fail. Overgrown molars and sharp spurs on molars are a common cause for a rabbit to stop eating and still be active and alert.

Once the incisors are maloccluded, they are of no benefit to the bunny, and in fact can be uncomfortable. The rabbit learns to use his very mobile lips to pick up the food and get it into his mouth. One treatment for incisor overgrowth is to continually clip them. Many people use dog nail trimmers, which is a risky thing to do, because it is quite easy to fracture a tooth and break it off at the root. This is not only painful, but it can introduce infection into the root.