Wednesday, 17 August 2011


It is worth noting when keeping rabbits many problems can be traced back to either incorrect diet and/or sexual frustration. Most of the common rabbit health issues can be avoided simply by vaccinating your rabbit against VHD and myxomatosis, neutering / spaying your rabbit and feeding it the correct hay based diet. De-sexing also prevents many common behavioural problems, along with keeping your rabbit in the correct accommodation (in bonded pairs if possible), handling it correctly and giving it plenty of exercise.

Why does my rabbit run around my feet?

Circling is a courtship ritual commonly seen in unneutered male rabbits. The rabbit will often grunt softly as it runs and may spray urine against your legs. Your rabbit may also attempt to mount your feet or another object. This behaviour is stressful for both you and your rabbit so it is kindest to have him neutered.

Circling is also often seen in de-sexed house rabbits who are begging for food; i.e. they run around your feet to get your attention.

Why does my rabbit keep shaking its head?

A small shake of the head and flick of the ears, often accompanied by a little hop or bounce, indicates that your rabbit is happy and wants to play. However, if your rabbit is persistently shaking its head and scratching inside its ears, it is likely that it has an ear infection - check inside the ears for redness and scabs and consult a vet. Rabbits who are moulting heavily may shake their heads more to dislodge loose fur that has drifted into their ears.

Why is my rabbit not eating?

How to keep rabbits eating

Loss of appetite is often the first sign of illness in rabbits, whatever the root problem, and a vet should be consulted asap. GI stasis, where the rabbit's digestive system literally shuts down, can occur in a matter of hours and can be fatal.

The most common cause is dental disease (malocclusion). This occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not meet up correctly and are therefore not ground down at the same rate, leading to overgrown teeth or spikes which cut into the rabbit's mouth and prevent it eating. Other symptoms include dribbling, food dropping from the mouth as the rabbit eats and sticky bottom (caked droppings in the fur around the bottom).

Why does my rabbit bite me / growl at me / lunge at me?

There is a difference between an aggressive bite and a nip. House rabbits frequently nip their owners to get their attention or to ask them to move out of their way i.e. this can be seen as bossiness rather than aggression.

A normally placid rabbit can also become aggressive when ill or in pain, or when mourning the loss of a partner. True aggression in a rabbit is usually caused either by territorial behaviour, sexual frustration or fear.

Territorial behaviour is more commonly seen in female rabbits who are by nature the homemakers i.e. if you are cleaning out her hutch or litter tray she may growl at you or lunge at you. This can be reduced by spaying the rabbit. Sexual frustration can cause aggression in both males and females and can easily be eliminated or at least reduced greatly by neutering or spaying your rabbit.

As prey creatures, rabbits are not inclined to aggression but, like any animal, may defend themselves when they feel threatened. Winning over a fearful rabbit takes time and patience but is by no means impossible. Give them a space of their own which you do not intrude into, interact with them at ground level rather than picking them up, avoid loud noises and sudden movements i.e. do everything you can to make them feel secure.

Why are my rabbit's droppings soft and runny?

Rabbits produce two kinds of droppings - the hard, round ones that you see, and softer ones called caecotrophs which they take direct from their bottoms and swallow. Like cattle chewing the cud, this enables them to extract the maximum nutrients from their food and is perfectly normal.

If you see clusters of these soft droppings in the hutch or litter tray, your rabbit is producing too much of them. This is usually caused by too much vegetables and/or pellets and not enough hay. Rabbits need a high fibre diet of approximately 80% hay to keep their digestive systems running smoothly and grind their teeth down.

Why does my rabbit have runny eyes and/or a runny nose?

Eye infections are relatively common in rabbits and may be caused by allergies, dust, ingrowing eyelashes or dental disease. This needs to be treated by a vet initially and at home with eyedrops; in some cases the tear duct may need flushing out under anaesthetic.

When accompanied by a runny nose, this can be a symptom of a more serious illness called Pasteurella, commonly known as "snuffles". Your rabbit needs immediate veterinary attention.

Why does my rabbit bite the carpet / the sofa / the bars of its cage or hutch?

How to keep rabbits entertained

Destructive behaviour is common in rabbits and is usually caused by boredom. It can be alleviated by giving your rabbit a friend (neutered male and spayed female is the best partnership), by feeding your rabbit plenty of hay, by giving it toys and tunnels to play with and by allowing it plenty of exercise.

Why does my rabbit look uncomfortable / sitting hunched up in a corner / shifting its weight around?

How to keep rabbits comfortable.

A healthy rabbit, unless sleeping, will be hopping around, eating, investigating its surroundings and so on. If your rabbit shows no interest in anything and is unwilling to move, it is probably sick and you will need to consult your vet. You can listen to your rabbit's stomach; it should be gurgling and ticking so if there is no noise there is a risk of GI stasis. Check that your rabbit has been passing droppings. There is a much higher risk of GI stasis / hairballs when the rabbit is moulting so groom it frequently.

Check your rabbit's nails - nails that are too long will prevent the rabbit moving around freely and can lead to sore hocks, where the hair wears away on the bottom of the foot and the skin becomes inflamed. If cut correctly, the nails should be barely visible through the fur on the rabbit's feet.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

KEEPING RABBITS - Lion Head Rabbits

The Lionhead Rabbits are the latest breed of rabbit, initialy imported into the U.S.A. in 1999. Along with the first appearance of this adorable little rabbit with its vertical ears, the precious little Lionhead Lop was developed!

A Lion head rabbit is a hybrid rabbit acquired by crossing a Lion Rabbits with a Holland Lop. Lionheads crossed with the Mini-Rex are referred to as Velvet Lionheads. There are many hybrids of the Lionhead and they're all really cute, really unique, and will make great pets!
The major feature of the Lion head rabbit and the Lion Rabbits is that they have a 'mane'. These small rabbits are so much easier to cherish than longhaired or wooly rabbits like the Angoras, because their mane only needs to be combed out every couple of days. The mane on the Lionhead Lop does tend to mat a little more than on the vertical eared Lion Rabbit.

One thing to keep in mind when getting a young Lion Rabbit is that this is a very new breed, and you will not know what your pet will look like till it grows up! There's no conclusive certainty that it will keep its mane. The mane may molt and vanish permanently or it may grow back even fuller than it was before.

The Lion Rabbits were initialy brought into the U.S.A. from Europe in 1999, largely from England and Sweden. It is usually believed that the Lion Rabbits were firstly bred in Belgium in 1996 and then imported to England in 1998 where they were crossbred with other small animals to develop what is today called the European Lion Rabbit; Lionhead Lops were also being developed.
There are a couple of thoughts on where the Lion Rabbits originated. Some think they were the result of crossbreeding a Swiss Fox and a Belgian Dwarf, while others think they're from the Dwarf Angora.

To help get more uniformity in type and size, breeders have been crossing the Lion Rabbits with a variety of other rabbits.

The Lion Rabbits are small-scale bunnies that have a 'mane'! They are unique to all other "new breeds" of rabbits. It has the first major mutation in rabbits since 'satin' fur first appeared in a litter of Havana's in the early 1900's. Unlike most fur mutations that are recessive genes, the Lion Rabbits have what seems to be a dominating mutation that makes the 'mane'. So only one parent is required to have this gene to produce more Lions and it can't be recreated utilising other breeds!

Color deviations:
The Lion head Rabbits come in many patterns and color diversities. Sixty colors are approved for showing in England.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Rabbit care is relatively inexpensive to keep when compared with larger animals such as dogs or horses. They make fantastic pets and can be easily cared for by adults and older children, even younger children can learn from keeping a pet rabbit provided an adult is there supervising them.
Rabbits have a long life span, so make sure your prepared to care for your pet through the long term. There unique creatures who form tight bonds with their families. They require vet care and are not by all means low maintenance.

For good rabbit care you must learn the following things :

Feeding your pet rabbit - Even the best quality rabbit pellets are not adequate on its own as a diet, they need plenty of fresh grass, hay is very important in their diet as are fres greens and vegetables. They need a well balanced and high fibre diet.
Look for greens which are dark, tough and thick leafed - dandelion greens and flowers, raspberry leaves, cabbage red and green, mint leaves, turnip / carrot tops, parsley. Look at feeding them at least 3 different types of greens a day for variety.Include some pea pods not the peas, carrots, apples, strawberries and mango.
When first introducing fruit and vegetables to your rabbit do it in small amounts to avoid runny spoilage and diarrhea.

Annual vaccinations - Make sure you take your rabbit to the vet for vaccinations against viral haemorrhagic and myxomatosis.A common cause of death in female rabbits (does) is uterine cancer which can often spread to other organs before it is diagnosed. This can be prevented by spaying if the rabbit is not intended for breeding and is best done when the rabbit is between 6 months and 2 years of age.
If your pet is scratching alot its most likley fleas. These are small flying insects dark brown in colour and are not easy to spot in all the fur. If not treated they will lay larvae eggs.It can be treated with revolution and is applied to the back of the rabbits neck.

Cleaning a Hutch - You should clean the hutch one a week and the toilet area every other day. When you first get your pet you can train them to use a litter tray and it will be much easier and tidier to clean the hutch. When cleaning a hutch you need to pull out all the soggy newspaper and scrape it into a bin liner with the hay and wood chippings.Scrub the hutch with a soultion of hot water and vinegar and allow to dry. Lay the hutch with newspaper adding more in the toilet area, then add the wood chippings and bedding hay. Wash the water bottle and food dish out and replace with fresh food and water to finsh.

Holding your rabbit correctly - Many owners have difficulty when it comes to picking up their rabbit and being picked up is not a natural experience for them. They do not have wings and are not designed to fly through the air at great (to a bunny) heights.Therefore you should make it as comfortable as possible, use two hands, one supporting the chest and one supporting the bottom.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.
Hold your 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. If you put your thumb in front of the bunnies front leg it helps prevent attempted escapes over your your shoulder.
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.

So now you know about rabbit care you can get down to doing and enjoying it.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

HOW TO KEEP RABBITS - Bunny Rabbit Facts

Want to know more about your bunny and understand him/her better? This short article contains fascinating bunny rabbit facts that every owner should know.

Fact #1: Rabbits are crepuscular (most active at dawn and twilight).

Fact #2: Neither wild nor domestic bunnies hibernate.

Fact #3: A rabbit may tear apart her cage out of mating frustration? If your bunny isn't spayed or neutered, you should get her/him altered as soon as possible.

Fact #4: Bunnies can't throw up. They can gag, but they can't vomit.

Fact #5: Rabbit can snore!

Fact #6: Bunnies can jump 36 inches and higher. Bunnies are excellent at jumping.

Fact #7: Wild bunnies can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. (While rabbits are not indigenous to Australia, there IS now a large population of feral rabbits brought to the continent by European ancestors.)

Fact #8: Wild rabbits sleep in burrows.

Fact #9: A group of bunnies is called a herd.

Fact #10: Less than 10 percent of all abandoned wild baby bunnies survive.

We also recommend you to read about "Rabbit Care Secrets", the book with literally hundreds of bunny rabbit facts.

How to keep rabbits Secrets You can get the book here: http://www.rabbitsecrets.com/R.htm is the book with literally hundreds of "word of mouth" tips and tricks - secrets which are next to impossible to find in books and pet stores. This is the gold which only comes from years and years of hands on experience... including all the hard to find Rabbit information people just can't locate with internet searches or trips to the library!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

HOW TO KEEP RABBITS - Popular Rabbit Names

We get a lot of email asking for help in choosing a name for newly adopted rabbit pets. Well, as part of our research we looked into the most popular bunny names, so we thought we'd share them with you.

Here are rabbit names from our collection in random order:

* Bailey

* Bugs

* Thumper

* Puddles

* Midnight

* Riley

* Stormie

* Pippin

* Noel

* Piper

* Holbrook

* Willow

* Cocoa

* Maybelline

* Oreo

* Dezzi

* Pepper

* Cherub

* Romeo

* Hershey

* Hayley

* Velvet

* Tinkerbell

* Juniper

* Dutch

* Tuxedo

* Patches

* Sadie

* Tyler

* Duchess

* Harvey

* Pumpkin

* Angel

* Binky

* Hopkins

* Snowball

* Peanut

* Dakota

* Dash

* Hopper

* Nutmeg

* Smokey

Not Enough? :-) Ok, more names for your rabbit pet:

* Chance

* Satine

* Shadow

* Snuggles

* Thumbelina

* Flopsy

* Marshmallow

* Gatsby

* Jade

* Frodo

* Arial

* Rex

* Mittens

* Zuzu

* Halo

* Onyx

* Sabrina

* Belle

* Noir

* Q-Tip

* Nibbles

* Daisy

* Merry

* Tricycle

* Oscar

* Zoey

* Pepper

* Sundance

* Hopson

* Ripley

* Trance

* Sweetpea

* Charmin

* Noah

* Bunster

* Silver

* Bumper

* Rascal

Do you know other popular rabbit names? Let us know and we will add them to this list!

Names From Our Readers

* Jazmin (name for girl bunny-rabbit)

* Princess

* Rox

* Ebbie (stands for the initials E.B., short cut for Easter Bunny)

* Emma

* Sophie

* Einstein (name for smart male rabbit

* Muffin

* Mopsy

* Honey

* Dopey (cute name for small cute pet)

* Charlie

* Smores

* Ollie

* Willow Jett

* Fern

* Snickerz

* Gadget (probably the name for rabbit who love to play with toys)

* Dandelion (great name!)

* Thumper

* Zypp

* White Chocolate (in case the rabbit is brown and white)

* Tinker

* Sunny

* Buttons (when you'll see baby bunny's eyes you'll understand this)

* Hocus Pocus

* Houdini

* Treacle

* Bunny-Bunny (fun name when said in a very high pitch)

* Milly

* Amber

* Max

* Jessee (for a girl or a boy rabbit)

* Lola

You also can send us feedback note about our rabbit names collection. We will be happy to hear your opinion about it.

How to keep rabbits Secrets You can get the book here: http://www.rabbitsecrets.com/R.htm is the book with literally hundreds of "word of mouth" tips and tricks - secrets which are next to impossible to find in books and pet stores. This is the gold which only comes from years and years of hands on experience... including all the hard to find Rabbit information people just can't locate with internet searches or trips to the library!