Brand new to raising Bunnies

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by KRH, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    Hi, I'm KRH's wife, We just got a 4 week old bunny from our local feed store. Are there any real no no's to raising a bunny as a pet?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A four-week-old bunny is newly - very newly - weaned. You must be very careful how you feed it. Pellets are safe and so is a reasonable quantity of good quality hay. Some cracked or rolled oats are also fine. Make any changes in diet very slowly and if you intend to feed greens go very easy at first or your bunny may have digestive problems. One blade of dandelion or a couple of clover stalks the first day... and gradually imcrease it from there. Good greens for rabbits include dandelion greens, clover, chickory, plantain, shepherd's purse and moderte amounts of grass clippings.

    Hope this helps... and that your bunny does well.
     

  3. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    Thanks for the info. I think we have a boy. Hopefully we will be able to tell for sure soon. He is eating the Timothy hay that I bought with him he seems to like it alot. I am also feeding him the pellets. When I start to feed him fresh things is there anything that I should avoid that will be to hard for him to digest? As the weather gets warmer he will be allowed to graze in our yard as we have bought him a hutch with a fence around it kind of like a chicken tractor setup so that I can move it around so he will always have fresh grass to eat. I will ween him on to this gradually after the little guy grows a bit more. Thanks for the info. If anyone thinks of anything that is a big no no please let me know.
     
  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are lots of things that are not good for bunny's digestion. Never feed lettuce, especially iceberg. I don't feed cabbage either. You need to do some reading. A good book is Raising Rabbits by Ann Kanable. There are also links to good rabbit websites posted in one of the Stickies at the top of the page.

    You rabbit tractor sounds very nice and I am sure your bunny will enjoy it. What kind of wire does it have? Chicken wire is not predator proof. Also, there is the chance your bunny may try to dig his way out, especially if he is bored or the grass gets thin. There is a recent thread about rabbit tractors where we have been discussing ways around this. Hope this helps.
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Oh dear, four weeks old is VERY young for a bunny to go to a new home. Four weeks is just about the youngest age you can wean a bunny. I could "strangle" the person who sent tiny little babies like that to a feed store...

    But anyway, your best bet would be to stick with high-fiber commercial rabbit pellets. Skip the expensive junk that comes with the cutesy dried veggies and stuff. I'd suggest Manna Pro rabbit food (TSC), Purina Rabbit Chow, Blue Seal (Royster-Clark), or Small World Rabbit (Walmart, although SWR is rather low in protein for growing bunnies).

    Oats (livestock grade or plain dry Quaker oats) and good quality hay are good supplements for young bunnies. Probably your biggest concern at this point is to make sure your bunny doesn't suffer from an intestinal upset and get diarrhea.

    For more info about rabbits, try www.pet-rabbit-care-information.com and islandgems.net. "Rabbits for Dummies" by Audrey Pavia is a GREAT pet rabbit reference. "Your Rabbit: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" is another good book, although this one is focused more on breeding and showing rather than pet ownership.
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Whoops, one more thing: skip the greens for a bunny that young!
     
  7. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    Thanks for all the great advice. I will go slowly just like with a baby when he gets bigger when adding fresh things to his diet. The pen he is in is actually a chicken hutch with an attachable pen. The hutches for bunnies didn't seem stable enough to us. So it is kind of like a chicken tractor. It is easily moveable with two people and he won't be out in the pen area till he is much bigger and can be supervised to make sure he doesn't try to dig his way out. So once again thanks for the dietary tips and such.