New owner .

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Karlee M., Apr 23, 2019.

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  1. Apr 23, 2019 #1

    Karlee M.

    Karlee M.

    Karlee M.

    New Member

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    Hi all,
    I am new rabbit owner, totally cliche but the Easter rabbit brought my son a rabbit for Easter. Before I receive any backlash, I know that kids grow tired of pets, I know that the responsibility of caring for and such falls on me, I researched for weeks before actually making this decision. However despite my research I was not as prepared as I initially thought so here I am.

    We got our rabbit from a friend who had a domestic set of rabbits dumped at her house. My assumption is the owner found out the rabbits were in fact and boy and girl and aka got pregnant. They then dropped them , off on the side of the road in front of my friends house. My friend is a known French bulldog breeder and works with rescues so people in our area know she has a caring heart for pets regardless of breed. Que baby bunnies.

    Our bunny is about 9 weeks old, I have no idea if it’s male or female at this point or what breed. Initally we thought the bunny would be outside so we purchased a large two tier hutch for outside, I got bedding, hay, bowls, bottles , chew toys, and food.

    The first night my son really struggled with the idea of his bunny being alone at night outside, so we brought it inside, used a storage container and added all of the above to it so it had what it needed for the overnight sleep over.

    We then purchased an indoor cage, and extra bowls/bottles a litter pan, litter, and a hideaway thing for the indoor cage.

    I looked up litter training and am a little confused. I put litter in pan along with some hay and some of the bedding but what do I provide for the bunny to sleep on so it doesn’t get confused?

    With the bunny having both indoor and outdoor hutches, can they be trained in both areas or do I need to confine to one hutch until litter trained. Is it possible to only use the litter pan inside and allow the bunny to do whatever in the outside hutch or do i need to be consistent with a litter pan in both areas.

    Also 9 weeks old, it was being fed Timothy hay, but I read today it needs alfalfa. Just want to be sure this is accurate. Also do I need to mix the hay together before switching to all alfalfa if it needs alfalfa?
     
  2. Apr 23, 2019 #2

    Karlee M.

    Karlee M.

    Karlee M.

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    BFCD8601-1589-44FB-BDA1-D9FB257A186F.png D770CBF9-1E14-4A5B-B55E-68D845688F39.jpeg These are the two hutches.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2019 #3

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    You’re rabbit can have timothy hay and just give an alfalfa based pellets. Because some rabbit will have some trouble switching from alfalfa hay to timothy later because the hay won’t taste as good.

    You will need a litter pan in both area, so it learn where to go and not pick up on bad habits.

    It will be easier to litter train him if he’s confined to one area, instead of moving him around.
     
    Alyssa and Bugs♡ likes this.
  4. Apr 23, 2019 #4

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    First of all, welcome to RO! The fact that you're here, doing research, and you're committed to see things through with your rabbit instead of dumping him at the shelter at the first sign of trouble is enough to win me over ;). I, too, got a rabbit as a kid (not for Easter, rather after our dog died)... I was nine and I took good care of him and didn't get sick of the extra chores. Every kid is different and some are prepared to handle the responsibility.

    Litter box training may not be 100% successful until he's neutered, btw. Most vets will neuter once the testicles descend.

    I would not feed purely alfalfa hay - I made that mistake myself and it was VERY hard to get my bunns to switch to grass hay as adults! As in months of ordeal and 16 different kinds of hay hard. You can absolutely supplement the timothy (or other grass hay) with alfalfa, though... be sure to introduce it gradually.

    Some great sites, if you haven't found them yet:
    https://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/ (really, the whole HRS site)
    https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/
    https://www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO/tabid/53/Default.aspx

    I've got to head to work soon or I'd give you a whole wall-of-text with cage info and such... but to sum things up, no store-bought cage is anywhere near an appropriate size for a rabbit. It's ok to start with at such a young age, but you'll need either something bigger that you build yourself + time outside of the cage each day or just a free-range setup. Personally, I went with the NIC grid condo - here's one I built a few years ago:

    [​IMG]

    For cage ideas, a great place to start is this thread: https://www.rabbitsonline.net/threads/2019-cages-add-your-photo.93422/

    Be warned that it varies on breed/size, but I would not use a NIC grid condo until a minimum of 12-16 weeks! My lop was fine at 12 weeks, but my little lionhead stuck her head through the grid (I was sure I had measured and determined that her head wouldn't fit, too) and then she got trapped when her ears popped up on the other side of the grid! Luckily, I was within earshot and monitoring them after having just added a playpen made of grids around their storebought cage.
     
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  5. Apr 28, 2019 #5

    bigdaddyyonko

    bigdaddyyonko

    bigdaddyyonko

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    When I got my bun, I didn't realize how small she was going to be and I bought and set her up the came kind of NIC grid condo and she learned she could fit in through the squares and she would escape. Haha luckily she stopped doing that.

    I use a Timothy Hay and Pellets and I added Alfalfa blocks for her to chew on and eat and she loves those. She hasn't chewed on things on tried to escape anymore since she has things to chew on, but it helps their teeth since they're constantly growing.

    Moving your bun from cage to cage will definitely cause some confusion and might make it harder for them to litter train properly. Buns can get stressed from moving their housings too much also.

    It's so sweet that your son wanted to bring the bun inside!

    Definitely consider making a grid cage. I bought mine through amazon, got some zip ties to secure it, and a child's spill mat for the bottom of the crate for easy clean up. I added a large pee pad for accidents since she isn't fully litter trained yet. I clean up and replace them every 2-3 days depending on how dirty it is. She's been using her litter pan more often so that's progress!

    Good luck on your new bun. This forum helped me so much in the beginning with a lot of good information!
     
    Imbrium likes this.
  6. Apr 28, 2019 #6

    Love.Bunny.Marinette

    Love.Bunny.Marinette

    Love.Bunny.Marinette

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    I have an outdoor hutch and an indoor cage for my bun too. I put a litter box in both areas. She is inside most of the time as I live in the South and it is already getting hot during the day. I also let her free roam when I am home so she can get exercises and interact with the family. Litter training literally consisted of providing the litter box and hay she did the rest. When she is out she goes back to her pen to do her business. There are a few areas where she may poop wail she is out but she has never peed anywhere else. I plan on getting her fixed as soon as she is old enough so she will maintain her good litter habits but I didn't have to do anything to train her they are very smart clean animals.
     
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