Author Topic: I have a few questions about rabbit care.  (Read 2849 times)

Offline Jennandjuicetm

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
I have a few questions about rabbit care.
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:18:06 AM »
A friend of mine has four rabbits and thinks that one might be pregnant. She has asked if I would want a pair of babies if she is. I am adopting four rats soon, within days, and want to be sure I know what I would be getting into if I decided to take a couple wee ones. I would normally do my own research, but I know that the more I research, the more I would want them.

So on to the questions:
1. She says that the mother is a grey and white dwarf and lop eared mix. The fother is a black and white dutch dwarf mix. I haven't seen the buns yet but when I asked how big she thought the wee ones would be, she said that right now mom and pop are about 4" long. I know it depends on the history of the rabbits, but how big would you say these babies would get?

2. After the initial costs of the cage and accessories, how much a month can I expect to spend on two rabbits?

3. Are there any medical conditions that rabbits are prone to? Something like the way rats have sensitive repiratory systems. Generally, are rabbits heathy animals, or should I expect the vet bills to wrack up quickly?

4. What would be a suitable cage size for the afore mentioned rabbits?

5. How long do rabbits stay preggo for? At what age are they weened and sexes separated?

I rabbit sat once for a neighbor a few years ago and I remember that he had the best personality. But like I said, I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting in to before I even give her a maybe.

Thanks in advanced and sorry for all the questions.
RIP:

Offline evilhobbitgirl

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2528
  • ratless
Re: I have a few questions about rabbit care.
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 09:36:35 AM »
1. The babies would most likely stay small, under 5 lbs, but it is hard to guess.

2. It really depends on whether you can get hay from a local farmer or feed store, if you can then you will spend SO much less. I just bought 25lbs of hay online for $46 and that will last me many months with just one rabbit but some get 50-60lbs from a feed store for $10. Hay needs to be in constant supply so that along with litter for the litter box are my biggest expenses. I figured once that I spend about $25-$30 a month for hay, food, veggies and litter for Kirby.

3. The most common health issue that can crop up in rabbits is GI stasis. Since they are herbivores they need to constantly graze and any upset in their insides from not getting enough hay/not eating can begin to shut down their GI system. This can be fatal within 24-48 hours so it is considered an emergency. Things that can fix it are giving benebac, a probiotic... feeding plain canned pumpkin which is high in fiber, and really pushing hay and veggies to get them to eat something and get their system moving again. You can tell the rabbit is in stasis if they haven't pooped in a full day or so and become lethargic in some cases.
The other thing are the health benefits of spaying and neutering. An unspayed female has a 50-80% chance of developing uterine cancer by the young age of 2. I consider it necessary to spay and neuter rabbits. A spayed female may live into the teens, dwarfs have longer life spans than larger breeds. Altering your rabbits will also curb chewing behavior, stop marking, improve litter training and your rabbits will have a much more calm demeanor overall without the hormones charging them.

4. No pet store cages are suitable for a pair of rabbits.. except for maybe a Super Pet Giant. I would highly recommend you make a NIC (C&C) cage. There are good instructions all over the internet. Here is one page with instructions. You can make a great spacious cage for well under $100.

5. I'm not very familiar with preggo/kit information. You should read around on www.rabbitsonline.net

I would go with a male/female pair and get them altered. Find a rabbit savy vet that you feel comfortable with because rabbit spays are complicated and not any vet should be trusted with one. Males and females tend to mesh together better.
My bunny kind of fell into my lap this summer and I had a crash course in rabbit care. She has become such a little love. She jumps over to great me from her pen when I get home and just loooooves attention. She was out in the living room with me for a few hours last night and she just followed me around whenever I got up. I plan to get a 'husbun' for her once I am out of apartment-roommate living.

Offline JesB

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2473
Re: I have a few questions about rabbit care.
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 11:37:51 AM »
*blinks, eying the female bummmers* .. didn't know about thaaat one, however, she's over 3 or 4 even by now (didn't get her as a baby).  Didn't think about getting her spayed to curb her attitude towards other bums ... hmmmm :-D

Good advice.

And, I can get timothy hay from a local farmer for roughly 3 bucks a bale in the summer.  Some times it gets dusty tho, so that's the only problem with that.  However, since we have horses ... I pick the not dusty stuff for the rabbits, and hose dowwwn the dusty stuff for the horses and it all works out.

Offline Jennandjuicetm

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 956
Re: I have a few questions about rabbit care.
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 01:51:59 PM »
2. It really depends on whether you can get hay from a local farmer or feed store, if you can then you will spend SO much less. I just bought 25lbs of hay online for $46 and that will last me many months with just one rabbit but some get 50-60lbs from a feed store for $10. Hay needs to be in constant supply so that along with litter for the litter box are my biggest expenses. I figured once that I spend about $25-$30 a month for hay, food, veggies and litter for Kirby.
When you say hay, you mean Timothy Hay, right? Is all Hay created equal, or should I watch where I get it from? There are a few ranches here with horses, so I'm sure there are feed stores. Could I use fleece for bedding and paper pellets for in the litter box, like I do the rats?

Quote
4. No pet store cages are suitable for a pair of rabbits.. except for maybe a Super Pet Giant. I would highly recommend you make a NIC (C&C) cage. There are good instructions all over the internet. Here is one page with instructions. You can make a great spacious cage for well under $100.
So if they did end up getting to be 5 lbs, how big would the cage have to be for two. I read somewhere 4x the size of the rabbit, but I would need to know how many packs of cubes to get.

Quote
5. I'm not very familiar with preggo/kit information. You should read around on www.rabbitsonline.net
She said he kits should be ready by the end of March, early April. I'm hoping later, though, so I can get settled with the ratties and have time to convince my fiance that two bunnies is a good idea.

Quote
I would go with a male/female pair and get them altered. Find a rabbit savy vet that you feel comfortable with because rabbit spays are complicated and not any vet should be trusted with one. Males and females tend to mesh together better.
Thanks! I would have never known.

And thanks for answering all the questions.  :)

RIP:

Offline evilhobbitgirl

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 2528
  • ratless
Re: I have a few questions about rabbit care.
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 02:34:58 PM »
Really any type of grass hay will work, there is orchard grass, oat hay, timothy hay... Alfalfa is high in calcium so you only want to feed that regularly when they are under 6 months, still growing, and can handle the calcium levels. If an adult rabbit ingests too much it can cause bladder sludge. Make sure it looks green and smells nice and fresh. Musty moldy hay should not be fed. Store it in a dry place indoors. I buy timothy hay from Kleenmama's.

I've read a rabbit is supposed to be able to do 5 full hops across the cage (so maybe about 5'?) and also be able to lay down extended. My NIC cage is about 5 panels by 3 panels. They need to be able to come out in a rabbit-proofed room for free range time to stretch and race around too.

I think I remember reading that kits should stay with mom for 8 weeks.