Rabbit Care

Please check out The House Rabbit Societies website, it’s full of useful information about learning how to accommodate an indoor bunny! http://rabbit.org/Timothy&Pellets

Great news! Mini Plush Lops are quite simple to take care of. They make great indoor pets and are perfect for apartments or small homes because they aren’t loud and hardly take up any space.

 

 

 

 

 

Cages and Litter Training:

Below is a great indoor rabbit housing choice.

 

Keep in mind you will have to purchase bedding for plastic bottom cages. My preferred bedding is called Carefresh. It looks a lot like lint and is one of the few types of bedding rabbit wont eat. Do not purchase any kind of wood shaving or pellets. Rabbits will try to eat wood based bedding which can cause medical problems and seriously harm your bunny. You can purchase Carefresh at most pet supply stores.

 

Bunnies can be litter trained! They can have free range of the house and be taught to do their business in a litter box, just like a cat! See the House Rabbit Society’s litter training instructions: http://rabbit.org/faq-litter-training-2/

Below is a great choice for indoor rabbit litter boxes.


I recommend placing a litter box in the corner of a plastic bottomed cage which will make it a lot easier to clean and prevents your bunny from stepping it it’s own waist while in it’s cage.

 

Natures Miracle is a great product to encourage your rabbit to use their litter box if you have an indoor bunny. It can be found at Tractor Supply, Rural King or even Amazon.com.

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If you don’t want an indoor pet, outside hutches are an option, but indoors is always preferred! Pictured to the right is an excellent example of a great outdoor hutch. It has roofing and an already built in nesting box. A nesting box is very important because rabbits are natural burrowers and like a safe place to go if they feel threatened or cold. Rabbits do require shelter, so please don’t make your new Mini Plush Lop stay outside in an all wire rabbit cage.

*Rabbits are very susceptible to heat stroke! Be very mindful of high temperatures. If your Mini Plush Lop is an outside pet you MUST put a frozen water bottle in their cage during the day if it gets over 80 degrees so it can lay against it and it MUST have access to water. Rabbits ears are their cooling system, they would even appreciate a few quick squirts of cold water on their ears throughout the day if they are outside and it’s hot. They must also have SHADE! Outdoor hutches are an option but mini plush lops are not as hardy as other breeds and do much better indoors. All of my mini plush lops so far have gone to indoor homes which I prefer.

*Winter Time Care: In the winter make sure your rabbits cage is in a protected location where snow drafts and cold wind won’t reach them. Staple window plastic around your hutch to help trap the heat in, its inexpensive and quick to do. Give them plenty of timothy or grass hay bedding for them to burrow in. Monitor closely through the winter months.

An all wire rabbit cage is also great indoors or in a barn or some kind of shed or shelter.

I actually like wire bottomed indoor cages better than plastic bottomed cages because they are easier to clean and you don’t have to purchase bedding. I put my pans in a garbage bag, so when its time to clean I just flip the bag inside out which leaves my pan perfectly clean and all the waist in the garbage bag!

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Anybody’s feet would get raw if they had to stand on wire all day. A resting platform or a simple thin 12×9 in. wood board are great ways to get your rabbit off flooring wire 24/7.  A plastic resting platform can be cleaned and reused over and over again. They can be found at Tractor Supply, most feed stores or even amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Water:

Rabbits should always have access to water. Both indoor and outdoor rabbits can use a pet water bottle with a dripping ball, pictured below. You should only have to fill it up every other days, or for outdoor rabbits in the winter you must change them regularly to ensure they are not frozen.

A rabbit food feeder is the best way to feed your rabbit. Or a simple heavy bowl that the rabbit can’t tip over also works fine. Bunnies don’t eat as much as you may think. I/3 of a cup of rabbit pellets is the usual amount a mini plush lop needs daily.

I will give each buyer a small baggie of the feed I use so it can be sifted into the rabbit feed you choose to purchase so you’re new Mini Plush Lops can adjust to its new diet. But, I would highly recommend using the same feed I purchase if possible. I feed my Mini Plush Lops Manna Pro Select Pro Rabbit Feed, 18% protein, found at my local feed store and pictured below. Pictured are some other good choices too. Make sure to get food with only pellets, its best not to choose feed with oats, nuts and seeds in it. Bunnies tend to get picky and only eat those things instead of the more nutritious pellets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabbits need roughage just like we need fiber! Mixed hay or timothy grass is the perfect choice. Do not feed straw or alfalfa! Straw is not nearly as nutritious as mixed grass or timothy and alfalfa is too rich and will likely give your rabbit diarrhea. A bag of timothy and mixed hay can both be found at your local feed store. A generous handful of hay should be fed daily to your rabbit. You can also occasionally feed your rabbit a tablespoon or so of old fashioned oats out of your kitchen pantry. Keep in mind oats are a treat! They should not get this every day!

Things NOT to feed a rabbit:

As a general rule, you shouldn’t feed your rabbit lettuce, spinach or cabbage, it contains lactucarium, which can give your rabbit diarrhea so bad that it becomes fatal. It also causes bunnies to bloat and unfortunately they can’t pass gas!

Parsnips, potato, and tomato leaves and vegetables that contain higher levels of oxalic acid (like spinach, mustard greens, and parsley) can be dangerous. Onions, leeks and chives can cause blood abnormalities

Do not feed your rabbit any types of flowers, breads or cereals, sweets meant for people and meat. Avoid straw and alfalfa. Timothy hay and mixed grass hay should be the only roughage your bunny eats.

Treats you CAN feed your Rabbit:

Keep in mind these are treats and should be fed in small portions, preferably NOT every day.

  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini squash
  • Carrots
  • Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds)
  • Cherries (any variety, without the pits)
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Plum (without the pits)
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Berries (any type)
  • Pineapple (remove skin)
  • Banana, both fresh and unsweetened banana chips
  • Melons (without the pits)
  • Apricot
  • Nectarine
  • Old fashioned oats

 

Grooming, Accessories and Toys:

Rabbits like something to chew on to help keep their teeth in good condition. If you put a small board in with your rabbit for him to sit on instead of a resting platform they can use that to chew on. If not, a small piece of sheet rock or UNTREATED wood from Lowes works great! An empty toilet paper roll will keep your Mini Plush Lop entertained for hours and some even like little cat balls. Below are some common, safe and fun bunny toys.

Nails: Toe nail trimmers will be necessary every month or so. There are lots of rabbit trimming tutorials on YouTube that are very helpful. If you happen to cut a nail to short, apply pressure and dab with cooking flour to clot the nail and stop the bleeding.

Bathing: Rabbits do not need to be bathed. In fact, it is harmful because it washes of the natural oils on their skin and fur which often causes irritation. If your bunny gets messy just spot treat the area with a damp towel and Dawn dish soap.Image result for rabbit toe nails trimmers

Rabbits can be fixed!

If your not interested in breeding, I would HIGHLY recommend getting your rabbit fixed. This makes them very easy to work with. They no longer have any territorial issues meaning there is no possibility that they will spray or be aggressive around their cages. It also makes it much easier to potty train your bunny when fixed. Fixing your rabbit also lengthens their life expectancy. A well cared for fixed rabbit has the potential to live as long as a dog, 8-12 years. You can have multiple rabbits sharing a space with no issues as long as they are all fixed. Two bucks will naturally fight as well as two does. A buck and a doe will breed all the time. But, if fixed bunnies of any gender pairing can cohabitate safely and happily. Most vets will fix bunnies at around 6 months of age. It should cost the about the same as a cat to get fixed. You can find more rabbit fixing information here: http://rabbit.org/faq-spaying-and-neutering/

Rabbits love playmates!

Ideally every domestic rabbit has a companion rabbit. Keep in mind both MUST be fixed. Although not absolutely necessary, rabbits do appreciate a buddy. They will play, clean each other, eat and sleep together. If not fixed,  2 does will fight as well as 2 bucks. And, of course a doe/buck companionship will result in babies and lots of territorial issues including fighting, spraying and bad attitudes!

 

Ellie McGinnis

Lexington, Kentucky

(859) 457-7769

elliesrabbitry@yahoo.com

Breeder of True Mini Plush Lops, Lionheads & English Angora’s