WE PRESENT TO THE RABBIT!
Rabbits are one of the most popular pets and that is no wonder because they are very nice pets! Rabbits are active, intelligent and social animals that must always be kept together. Rabbits that are kept together can show their natural social behavior and that is wonderful to see. They look after each other, play with each other and really seek each other out for attention. It is very nice to see how they treat each other!
Bunnies often find it uncomfortable to be picked up, with all four feet on the ground definitely having their preference. But when it comes to stroking the matter is very different, most rabbits love that. Some rabbits also come to their owners for active attention!
Rabbits belong to the hare family (lagomorpha). You would think that a rabbit is a rodent, but that is actually not the case at all! The reason why the rabbit does not belong to the rodents are the two extra pin teeth that can be found behind the upper incisors. These two teeth have no rodents.
Furthermore, rabbits naturally have their beautiful long ears which stand or hang. The hind legs of the rabbit are strongly muscled and well developed to set themselves off, making them particularly fast and agile in their movements.
The wild rabbit has a gray-brown fur and a light abdomen.
Rabbits live on average between 8 and 10 years.
RABBITS IN NATURE
You must have seen them in the wild. Rabbits sprinting across a meadow and quickly shooting into their holes. Rabbits live in the wild in large groups. They prefer sight in grassland, dunes and heathlands. They mark their territory with the help of cots, puddles and they also have a scent gland under their chin. With the scent gland, they rub objects and thus create a scent for other rabbits. Rabbits live in a strict hierarchy, which means that they have ranked among themselves.
The animals dig caves and corridors with multiple exits. Rabbits spend a lot of time above ground to eat, run and play, among other things. At noon, however, it is a moment of rest, because then rabbits are happy to take a nap. They prefer to do this together and meanwhile they also like to take care of each other's fur.
As if we would love to show them all ... we would be short of pages ... there are more than 50 different rabbit breeds! The differences are not only in the colors, but also in the construction. There are rabbits with hanging ears, small dwarf rabbits such as the color dwarf of 1.5 kg and large Flemish giants that can weigh 8 kg. When it comes to rabbits, the choice is really huge! In terms of behavior there are often major differences. It is often the case that the smaller varieties are more spicy than their larger counterparts. For example, pools are known to be very bright.
HOUSING OF RABBITS
There is so much to tell about the rabbit housing! But we try to keep it as short and concise as possible. As mentioned, rabbits are group animals and must always be kept together with at least two animals. Rabbits really need the space to run and play. In addition, the rabbits must be able to stand upright at all times during their stay.
Most rabbit breeds can be kept indoors or outdoors. For a Teddy Dwarf bunny, the humid and cold conditions outside may not be as pleasant and for a Flemish Giant there may be a lack of space in the living room.
Rabbits generally cannot handle temperature differences. It is therefore wise to let rabbits slowly get used to the outside climate in the spring or early summer. It is not advisable for rabbits outside to bring them in during the winter. The temperature differences in the winter between the living room and the garden can be immense, which can make the rabbit sick. Rabbits that always live outside make a winter coat in the winter. This downy thick undercoat protects the animals from the cold, but it is still important to give the rabbits enough straw or other bedding so that they can dig in nice and warm.
Whether rabbits live indoors or outdoors, they all need space. In addition to a stay, it is therefore good to offer the rabbits a run at all times where they can move around freely and even run a bit or do crazy things :) A nice tip is to put the outside run partly on the tiles so that the nails of the rabbits can wear out. In addition, a sandbox is also very nice. Some people use the blue children's sandpit as a rabbit sandpit ... after all, they really love digging! With an outdoor run you must always be careful that the rabbits do not dig themselves under the run. In addition, everything must be properly sealed and preferably put a safety net over the run so that no predators can reach such as: cats, foxes, birds of prey or polecats.
The size of the stay outside depends strongly on the type of rabbit and the number of rabbits. 150 x 60 x 60 cm is a great start for two dwarf rabbits. The best thing would be if the run is linked to the enclosure and that the rabbits can enter the run freely. A good size for a run is 3 to 4 m 2 for two dwarf rabbits . At least 200 x 80 x 80 cm for the larger rabbits of 2 kg and a run of at least 5 m 2 . Running inside can still be a challenge, that is okay. In that case, let the animals walk around the room for a few hours so that they can run and play nicely. Of course always under supervision and take measures against broken power cables! It must be safe for them.
CORDS FOR RABBITS
For every rabbit hutch money goes that they may not stand on the draft, in front of the window, by the heating in the sun or the wind. If the miffies are allowed to roam freely through the room, the cables should preferably be concealed in cable ducts and poisonous plants must leave the door to another room or a place where the rabbits cannot reach them. You sometimes do not realize that our house plants can really be dangerous for the animals. Consider for example the
For outside rabbits, a first layer of ground cover such as: Corn kernels (Corbo), cotton (Cotton N Cotton), paper (Carefresh), cardboard (Card N Card), hemp fiber is well suited. In addition, a layer of straw must be added. Be picky when it comes to sawdust. Sawdust that is too dusty can irritate the airways of the animals.
Rabbits are clean animals and also clean! They prefer to meet their needs in one fixed place in the residence and preferably in a corner. Be sure to keep the corners of the stay clear at the beginning. Once you find out in which corner the rabbits have made their toilet, place a rabbit toilet there . To help the rabbits with the toilet training, it is advisable to put the cots that the rabbits leave in other places in the toilet, especially in the beginning. That way the animals know what the purpose is quickly enough. In a large rabbit cage with a run you can also omit the floor cover and choose to only put floor cover in the toilet. This saves money and helps the animals clean their house even better!
PAY ATTENTION! Never use lump-forming cat litter! This can cause blockages in the intestines when it is eaten.
THE RABBIT HOUSE
Finally, the rabbit house must not be missing in the residence. Rabbits like to be able to withdraw visibility. They like to do this by lying under or in something. A house gives them the peace and quiet they need to be able to do their lunch at noon. A night loft is sufficient for the outside rabbits.
RABBIT DEALING AND CARE
To pet? Gladly! Lift? No thanks!
It is good to know that most rabbits do not like being lifted. If you take this into account when dealing with the animals, they will appreciate it! Rabbits that are really frightened can bite when they pick up or start to jolt very hard with their hind legs. This allows them to scratch and hurt you, but even worse, they can even break their backs if they kick too hard! If you are already picking up your rabbit, you have to do it very carefully, with the hind legs fixing well.
WE DO RUNNING THE RABBIT
The head must face you so that the rabbit can see you. Then put one hand around his butt and slide your other hand under his chest. You can now lift the rabbit and lay it against you, preferably with its head under your arm. This way you have a stable hold of the rabbit and it feels safe because it lies against your body.
A rabbit who is very opposed or not used to being picked up and who reacts wildly can best be picked up in the following way: To pick up the rabbit as safely as possible, it is best to grab the skin between the shoulder blades. Not to be confused with the skin in the net so that should not, really between the shoulder blades and with the other hand under the butt you can pick up the rabbit and put it against your body again.
PAY ATTENTION! Never lift a rabbit by its ears. This is sometimes shown on cartoons, but is animal-unfriendly and painful for the animals.
Rabbits need thorough brushing, especially during the moulting period! The short-haired rabbits in particular must be brushed when they are in moulting. The long-haired rabbits must always be brushed regularly because their fur is easily tangled. Preventing tangles is many times more pleasant for you and your rabbit than remedying them! A comb and soft brush are ideal for brushing rabbits. At the daily cuddle session, you can scrape the fur for tangles with your hands, then feel one grab it immediately to prevent it from getting worse. Do not forget the butt and the tail, the coat often tangles quickly. Be careful at the tail.
It can sometimes be an advantage to cut long-haired rabbit breeds once every two months. You can do this yourself with a special rabbit scissors or have it done with a rabbit trimmer. Pay attention to the face and be well informed how short you can cut the coat. If you cut the coat too short or incorrectly, fur problems may arise.
NAILS CLIP AT RABBITS
The rabbit nails must be checked regularly and if they are too long they must be cut. Special rabbits are scissors for this. Be careful not to cut the nail's life. This is the part of the nail that the blood vessels and nerves pass through. It is particularly painful if you cut this! With light rabbit nails you can see life running through the nail, cut the nail above it. With dark colored nails life is hard to see, you can then use the coat border as a guide. If you find it scary to cut the nails yourself, go to a rabbit groomer or the vet. These people can show you how to do it so you can do it yourself later!
CLEANING THE RABBIT
How often you have to clean the loft depends very much on how you have set it up and which floor cover you use. For example, if you have no ground cover, but only a toilet, you will be ready quickly and you only have to change the toilet every few days. Clean the drinking bottle regularly and watch out for algae growth. This can happen both inside and outside. There are special thermo covers that prevent algae growth in the drinking bottle. For outside rabbits, it is very important to keep the pen hygienic so that no flies come at it. Use safe cleaning agents and rinse cleaned parts thoroughly with water.
A rabbit is a herbivore that means herbivore. Rabbits therefore need vegetable food with a lot of fiber. The best source of fiber is hay . Therefore always give your rabbit enough hay. A good benchmark is to give a piece of hay a day that is just as big as the rabbit itself. There is fiber in both hay and straw , but straw has almost no nutritional value, so hay is always preferred.
Grass and vegetables also contain a lot of fiber, but before the rabbit can eat it, it must get used to this diet. Build this up slowly. Rabbits cannot just get all types of vegetables. Gas-forming greens in particular are bad for them. This includes coal and leeks. Other vegetables such as endive, carrot chicory, radish leaves, pieces of carrot, chicory are fine. They may also have fruit, but not too often. fruit contains sugars that can make the animals overweight. In addition, sugars are not properly processed by the gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to hay, rabbits also need rabbit food in the form of hard food. Here we have a choice of mixed food and everything in one piece. The big advantage of the all-in-one chunks such as biks is that the rabbits cannot eat selectively. Some rabbits eat selectively and only pluck the tasty things from the feed, which can result in nutritional deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, overweight or underweight. Whichever rabbit food you choose, the highest fiber content is, in our opinion, preferred. Hay must be the main food at all times!
The amount of hard feed that must be given can differ per feed brand. This strongly depends on the composition of the feed. Therefore always look carefully at the back of the packaging where the manufacturer provides nutritional advice. In addition, you also have to make a good estimate yourself, because an active outside rabbit needs more food than a calm inside rabbit. Different stages of life can also play a role. Think of young animals, pregnant and lactating rabbits and of course the older rabbit. All these groups have different nutritional needs. Fortunately there is special food for all these stages of life. The first time you can also weigh the rabbits and keep track of the weight.
Did you know that rabbits eat their night stands? The appendixes. We call that with a very expensive word: "Coprophagy". The animals do this to extract all their nutrients and especially the vitamin B12 from the diet. Rabbits eat these droppings directly from their anus. They are small shiny cobbles. If you often find this in the accommodation, there is a good chance that your bunny will get too much food.
RODENT MATERIAL FOR RABBITS
Rabbits do not belong to the rodent group ... they love to gnaw! In fact, they really need it. The teeth of rabbits also grow throughout their lives and must wear well to prevent dental problems. Good rabbit rodent material is:
You can recognize a healthy rabbit by its active and alert attitude, clean eyes, clean and dry fur. You can recognize a sick rabbit by the following symptoms:
In addition, the droppings are an important pillar when it comes to the health of your rabbit. Small hard droppings indicate a blockage or insufficient food. Soft or even wet droppings can be an indication of intestinal complaints. In most cases, the wrong food or a too fast switch of food is the culprit.
Does your rabbit not eat? Then you must go to the vet immediately! A rabbit cannot live without food for too long, a day can already be life threatening or deadly. Supplementation is almost always necessary in such a case. Not wanting to eat can be caused by various things, intestinal complaints, dental problems, pain, stress etc. Dental problems often occur such as incorrectly growing teeth and molars. In that case, a veterinarian must always be consulted.
There are also two particularly dangerous and infectious diseases in rabbits. That is Myxomatosis and VHD (RHD). These two are deadly to the rabbit in almost all cases. VHD spreads very quickly and easily. Vaccination is highly recommended by veterinarians. We can have two virus variants of VHD in the Netherlands. Against myxomatosis and VHD type 1 is a vaccine that is given annually. Against VHD type 2 must be vaccinated every six months or annually. The latter depends on the vaccine.