Author Topic: Two new baby bunnies - Question about hay  (Read 1725 times)

Offline kukupecpec

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Two new baby bunnies - Question about hay
« on: November 07, 2012, 04:37:29 PM »
Hello there! I used to be on here for my ratties, but sadly they have both passed away. I now have chickens and have added two baby bunnies to our growing animal family. I have done a fair amount of research and am prepared to care for these adorable little critters so no worries there!

I have read a lot of different ideas on when to start giving my little guys hay (alfalfa is what I the consensus seems to be for young rabbits). I honestly don't know how old these guys are - purchased from my local feed store and they weren't really sure either - but their mother was there and they are probably 1/5 or less of her size (their eensy weensie poops are adorable lol)
I have a nice fresh 20% fiber pellet that they have unlimited access to.
One fits in my hand just perfectly at this point so they are still really small and the mother is probably the size of a bowling ball. When should I start feeding them alfalfa? And will they go through an entire bale fast enough for it to stay fresh? I will use any that goes bad as nesting material for them and my chickens, but I don't want to waste too much of it. Any help would be great!

Once they are close to full grown, I will be keeping them outside with full run of the large chicken run attached to the coop and their future outdoor housing. they will get lots of shade and frozen water bottles to lounge against all summer (i live in Tucson AZ) but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions about keepin gthem cozy and warm in the winter? I'm more than happy to build them just about anything they need for optimum comfort (The chicken run is wonderfully predator proof, and even dig proof as the plan was to eventually get rabbits.

one last thing - can multiple breeds and sizes of bunnies be housed together in my large run and bunny home? These guys should be medium sized when full grown, but we are also looking around for a good flemish giant breeder.

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: Two new baby bunnies - Question about hay
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 05:37:56 PM »
Check out

I believe baby bunnies start getting fresh veggies at 6 months, but start on alfalfa hay as soon as they begin eating.

The forum mentioned above has great resources for winter hutch building.

Multiple breeds and sizes can be housed together, but spaying and neutering is almost always a must. Unaltered bunnies squabble. There are some members of the above forum who have tiny bunnies and big bunnies living together.

Offline Rats_Red

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Re: Two new baby bunnies - Question about hay
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 03:09:45 PM »
Unlimited hay, alfalfa isnt a must but umlimited for sure!! A bale can last 6 months if stored properly, they will a flake a week probably and a lot may go to waste that they strew everywere (:
And then, make sure to do unlimited pellets that are alfalfa based until a year old
fresh veggies can start at 6 months but arnt a neccecity in a rabbits diet (:

heat is the major killer with rabbits on top of predators outdoors. winter they can adjust to fine, and your winters arnt cold enough to do them harm. just make sure they have an area to go out of the wind.

And if you want them to have the run and whether you want to breed or keep as pets, you should look into colony setups on may give you some good answers. unaltered, they can live togeter with enough room. but not every bunny will like every other bun. so its a hit and miss kinda thing.
Home to...
Rats: Rodger & Lillian
Buns: Murphy & Sebi. Maggie, Ripley, & Po
Cat: Romeo
Dog: Kodi
and 3 kids...18mo, 4.5, and 24!!

Offline Anjel

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Re: Two new baby bunnies - Question about hay
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 12:37:23 AM »
Alfalfa is usually until they are six months old. It should be unlimited 100% of the time. If feeding alfalfa hay you should feed timothy-based pellets. Not all pellets are equal sadly, so look around and get reviews for the best ones. I have a pellet mix that is 50% timothy based 25% alfalfa based, and 25% orchard grass based. I buy it from my local feed store and they appear to be local, generic brands but your store may have something similar.
 I have fresh unlimited timothy hay. I don't give alfalfa hay to my adult rabbits (6 months and over) because it's very high in calcium and in adult rabbits can cause stones.

I have seen "hay blocks" which are supposed to be half and half timothy/alfalfa. My feed store clerk opened a bad to let me see them and they appear to be compressed cubes of hay. They smelled really good and should be able to be found at any feed store. They are for horses.

I start to give fresh veggies and daily forage (chemical-free grasses and weeds, mulberry branches, etc) to my baby rabbits when they reach 4 months old. I start off with low-water-content veggies, forage like grass and weeds, fruit tree branches, and progress my way up from there.

Rabbits are pretty much OK in most winter habitats. It gets around 20F here in winter, and they usually do just fine, but they are housed in pair and I provide them with an insulated home to live in. They're easy to make, you just need 2 small storage boxes(one larger than the other) big enough for your rabbit to fit in the smaller one. You cut a hole in the front end of both boxes, use styrofoam between the layers of the boxes, then fill the inner box with some hay, and put the lids on. Makes a super great insulated box and we use larger versions of it for the outdoor feral cats in winter and everyone loves it. If you need to, you can use a room heater, but many rabbits are definitely built to withstand cold temps.

As for colonies, if they're unaltered, they can sometimes be hard to group together. Most of my females only tolerate their female cage-mates. They don't tolerate other rabbits and are pretty territorial. I find fixed rabbits to be more tolerant of other rabbits, but it should be fixed sooner rather than later.

Good luck!