New- Need advice on a rescue!

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DaisyE

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Hello from California!

Came across this forum & was hoping I could get the advice I seriously need!

I work at a small chain pet store that has a few small animals for sale...sadly they seriously do NOT take good care of them, they are treated like merchandise not like the living feeling creatures they are....I do everything I can to improve conditions....but my boss is cheap & never listens....the animals get a small cage, food, water & thats it! Suppose a lot of chain stores are similar!

Anyway...theres this GORGEOUS standard chocolate rex male rabbit [did my googling on his breed lol] that has been thrown into the back room & has been there a while who I've grown quite attached to :)
Reason hes back there is that he attacks all the other rabbits, pulls their fur out & he also killed a guinea-pig that a co-worker had for some reason put with the rabbits :?
Nobody likes him & my boss is saying hes going to send him back to the supplier...which being a commercial rabbit breeder for chain pet stores most likely = a miserable life.

I've been spending time with this guy & to me hes a sweetheart, I've held him, petted him, he even lets me give him kisses lol...which is good right??? I know most rabbits don't really like being held etc.
I'm thinking of bringing him home this Wed....do you think this guy has potential to be a good pet?? Hes been at the store all his life & is a full grown male...should I get him neutered?? Are rexes a good breed for pets??
& finally I had a rabbit in the past [LONG time ago] that I got as a baby & it literally turned into a monster!!! I believe it was female...but she seriously went from a sweet loving rabbit to a biting, kicking, grunting & growling lil thing! We couldn't even go into her cage to feed her without her grunting & nipping.
She was a small mixed breed, lionhead mix I think & was albino with blue eyes instead of pink....the way she turned out makes me a little nervous about being a rabbit owner again....can anyone help put my mind at ease??? :nerves1
I REALLY do want to help this rabbit...he seems so sweet & theres just something about him!

Heres a couple pics I snapped of the poor guy...pretty sure I got the breed right! He was watching me washing the bird dishes lol...




Hope they worked!

Oh & also I brought some fresh green veggies for him yesterday seeing as he only gets pellets & he let me hand feed him...then after he ate them he did these funny kicks...like he got hyper & happy lol!

Hope to hear from everyone!!! :D
 

Kipcha

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Personally, I say take him!

I don't go by a "breed" when looking at a pet, I find that there are general images that breeds have but have seen rabbits that completely defy them. Netherland Dwarfs are supposedly mostly nasty little biters but all the ones I have dealt with are extremely sweet, Holland Lops are supposedly mellow and laid back but mine have proven to be energetic little stinkers who love trouble (In a good way!), etc.

Most likely, your rabbit before changed due to the hormones that came with puberty. They can change a rabbit almost overnight from sweet to a grunting, biting nightmare. Luckily, spaying them usually clears up these problems.

I would definitely say get him neutered. Stops a lot of unruly behavior, including most commonly humping and spraying, and while rare, testicular cancer does happen and neutering prevents this.

Don't judge by the fact that he killed a guinea pig. That is extremely sad, but it doesn't mean that the rabbit is mean. One of the buns we rescued and adopted out killed his rabbit cagemate but he was the sweetest little guy ever. They can just be very territorial. I would be hesitant to put him with any other animals, however. But with people, it doesn't seem to matter.

Hopefully you take him, he looks so sweet!
 

DaisyE

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Thanks for the fast response...the fact he has been so aggressive & got a bad rap with the other rabbits, it really surprised me with how sweet he is with me. He lets me spot clean his cage & everything, he'll just lay there.
When I pet him he doesn't run away, he lays there & closes his eyes. He does seem a bit timid at times, but hes not exactly been socialized.

I guess my past experience just makes me have that smidge of doubt!

I don't really blame him for injuring the rabbits & the guinea-pig...when I heard about the guinea-pig it just made me angry...then like I mentioned the rabbits are kept 10 or so to a small space, 1 food bowl & they come to us unsexed. Rabbits aren't really a popular purchase so they are left to mature at the store...we've had so many unwanted pregnancies its awful.

As soon as I find a new job, I'm outta there!
 

JBun

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Well, what does the owner expect. Of course an intact adult male rabbit is going to fight with other rabbits when put together. It's pretty normal for hormonal male rabbits to fight with each other, even to the death sometimes. Rabbits can't just be thrown together and expected to get along. It just doesn't work that way, unless they are still babies. And even babies don't always get along.

It sounds like he may have already bonded with you. Sure, he could make a great pet! He's already full grown, so you are seeing his real personality with hormones and all, so if you like the way he is now, that's the way he should stay. Baby rabbits can often change as they get older and the hormones start. Especially girl rabbits. They can tend to get a bit grumpy, which is what it sounds like happened with your first rabbit. Rexes can make great pets. There are lots of members on here with rex rabbits. Though I have heard that when they shed, it's not very fun. Fluff everywhere :)

Neutering is usually a good thing to do. It can help improve their litter box habits, and often stop hormonal behaviors like humping and spraying, if those are problems.

It sounds like he has great personality and it's not likely to change. It sounds like he just doesn't like the other (male?) rabbits, which is normal rabbit behavior. Oh, and those funny kicks that he was doing, sound like he was doing a binky. It's kind of like a jump, twist, kick that buns do when they are happy. It sounds like he liked the veggies. Just fyi, new foods should be gradually introduced to rabbits, usually one at a time is best, so that if it causes soft poop or digestive upset, you'll know what caused it. Also other diet info, pellets if changed, should be done gradually over a couple weeks and that should be a plain pellet fed in limited amounts based on weight, and rabbits should only get limited sugary treats(if any at all), and unlimited grass hay like timothy(just in case you bring him home :) )
http://www.3bunnies.org/feeding.htm#top

Best of luck! I think it would be great if he went home with you :)
 
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PaGal

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I hope you take him as he sounds like a wonderful bun that deserves a good home. As everyone else has said intact buns will fight. Even buns that have been spayed/neutered will fight. You just really cannot throw buns together and expect everyone to get along.

Your first bun I am sure hit puberty and the raging hormones caused the change in her personality. Spaying her probably would have changed that. Also, sometimes over time they will adjust to the hormones and will settle down themselves.
 

DaisyE

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Well if hes still there tomorrow I'm getting him! Which he most likely will be!

I already have everything except food which I'll get from my work...is Oxbow a good brand for rabbits (for some reason my question mark button on my phone isn't working lol)

We currently have 2 fancy rats & a texel guinea-pig who is my daughters, so I moved him to a new cage in her room (she had been bugging to have him there!) & I plan to put the bunny in his old cage which is the bottom unit of my Critter Nation cage, its been modified so it has a deep pan for the floor & its spacious...he'll finally be able to stand up on his hind legs & stretch!

I'll be using Aspen bedding & will get him some toys tomorrow also...anything else I need to know (question mark)
 

flemish giant

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Oxbow is probably the best food for him. I wouldn't put aspen down I'd just hive him a litter box with hay and some wood stove or horse bedding pellets in it.
 

PaGal

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You can litter train him and then let him have some supervised time out of his cage to run around every day, just make sure to bunny proof.

If you put a litter box in his cage then hang a hay rack above it so that he will use it as buns poo while eating.

Be patient when you bring him home and give him time to settle in and bond with you. Some buns take longer than others but he sounds like he would settle in quickly.
 

Watermelons

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There is nothing wrong with using aspen. Aspen is a hardwood and is much safer then using pine based products.
Start him off like he is now at the store. Shavings in the bottom of the cage, add your food/water bowls and hide and let him choose a corner to pee in. Once hes picked a spot take the we'ed on shavings and place them in the litter pan and put the litter pan in the same spot. If he pees elsewhere, put the peed on shavings in the litter corner. Eventually he will get the hint. Then you can ditch having shavings in the entire cage.
Oxbow is a great kibble to use. Unlimited Timothy hay (or orchard grass, Bermuda, oat, barley, etc... just not alfalfa since hes a bit older then little) Water bowl or bottle.. and getting him/her neutered/spayed :)
 

DaisyE

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Yeh I thought Aspen was the only safe shavings for small animals, I use them for my rats & guinea-pig. The piggie also has unlimited Oxbow Oat hay (its the only hay that doesn't make me sneeze LOL)

I certainly plan to try & litter box train him! & I do def plan to have him neutered! I have already found some good vets & some good prices to get it done :)

Can't wait to get him home now! I already decided on a name...Hershey :bunny24
 

flemish giant

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I was just saying that he won't need aspen in the whole cage. I thought aspen wasn't a good litter BC it was absorbant?
 

DaisyE

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Oh I was thinking of bedding...so rabbits shouldn't have bedding....leave him on the bare plastic...am confused.

Am also thinking maybe Nesquik for a name haha...I can't decide :D
 

Watermelons

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You can use the aspen for now. But once he's litter trained he doesn't need bedding. You can use towels or carpet or just textured tiles for easy cleaning. Something with grip, but depending what he chews/digs at.... There is nothing wrong with using bedding while litter training.
 

JBun

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Or Nestle :)

Watermelons recommendation sounds good. Start with bedding in the cage and finding the spot he likes to pee, then putting a litter box there. And once he is using the litterbox area really well, then you can remove the bedding and just use the litter box. After that you can just have the bare plastic, or you could put a piece of fleece in there, though that will sometimes cause peeing accidents to happen. With him being a rex though, he'll be prone to sore hocks, so you may need soft fleece in his cage anyways. If at some point you want to switch him over to pine pellets, they are ok cause the harmful oils are baked out. They are really absorbent(better than the aspen) pretty good at odor control, and pretty cheap, especially if you get the big horse pellet bags(around $7 for 40 lbs) But some rabbits don't like the feel of them on their feet, so with my rabbits I put a layer of hay on top. If you have a feed store near you, you can usually get the horse pellet bedding there. You may also be able to get a bale of grass hay, which is the cheapest way to supply hay for your rabbit. You do have to check it over to make sure it isn't moldy(never been wet), doesn't have weeds, isn't dusty, and is a good quality hay. You'll want to ask what variety of grass hay it is. Timothy is the most common one used with rabbits, but most any grass hay is good. I don't like to get fescue as I've read of some problems with it. Johnson grass is bad. And any grain hays should preferably be without seed heads, as the grain could cause some digestive problems. But it's so much cheaper than buying the petstore bags, around $5-20 for a 50+lb bale.

If you can, please post pics. Would love to see how he does in his new home :)
 

DaisyE

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Ah ok! Thanks! It would be cute to just have a litter box & some fancy fleece from Joanns or something :) but I will start out with the aspen as recommended. I did use cool fleece fabric for my ratties....but they decided it was fun to chew up...it looked so much nicer than the aspen!

So how bad do rexes shed...sorry another question!

Love the name Nestle! & Mocha is another....ahhh I can't decide! Hes very big & macho looking so hmmm....& yes I will post lots of pics in his new home :bunnyheart
 

DaisyE

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Thanks for the info on the hay & pellets etc. is the oat hay ok or is Timothy better....like I said I use the oat as all the others give me REALLY bad allergies lol!
 

kmaben

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People with rexes on here seem to complain about their sheds a lot. The hairs are so fine and plentiful! Then again most people on here complain about their rabbit molts. Mine Giant sheds several entire rabbits before his molt is over. Also they should have about two huge molts a year. My big guy looses his winter coat in patches. He will literally have bald spots all over until it settles out. There are some tricks like fresh squeezed Pineapple juice to help and pushing lots of hay so they can pass all the hair that they sometimes ingest. Let your bun settle for a couple of days before you start handling him and or letting him run amuck. Most rabbits dont like change and can throw their gut off from it. You'll hear a lot of poop talk around here also. A healthy rabbit will have nice round poops and lots of them. Of course any questions you have feel free to post! There's lots to learn and rabbits are very complex, complicated, critters. I have one who's only goal in life is to irritate me as much as possible. And ask Morgan about her refrigerator and washing machine!!
 

DaisyE

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Ok thanks! I REALLY appreciate all of your fast, informative responses! I wasn't expecting so many replies so quick....THANK YOU :D

What are some good treats....just veggies & fruit....I know I need to slowly get him used to those tho....hes not even had hay before so I'm hoping he doesn't get tummy troubles lol. Whats a good routine to get him used to all the good new foods & which would be best to introduce first (ugh annoying not having question marks lol!)
 
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