New rabbit owner

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Eve84, Feb 9, 2020.

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  1. Feb 9, 2020 #1

    Eve84

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    Hello,
    I’m a new owner of three rabbits and I could do with some advice :0).

    I have three kids who are helping me with looking after them too.

    I read loads of rabbits already, we bought a hutch for them, which is made by a joiner, it’s winter safe and wind safe due to Plexiglass.

    We are about to build a walk in enclosure with the size in meters: 1.60m X 4.00m which they will be able to use 24h a day, 4 seasons long.

    Sadly they told me that the rabbits are only 9 weeks old. But having checked their vaccination card on the arrival at home I found out they are born already in October last year, so already 15 weeks old.

    I had wanted to have baby’s to be able to tame them from the start and also to see once a little baby bunny to be able to raise it from the early start, so I’m a bit disappointed and was still wondering to go for a fourth rabbit and have one baby, but I’m scared it will be too many rabbits in terms of a more regular dirty hutch etc. Also they have their hutch now since 5 days and I think it will cause trouble to put another one in after the other ones got used to their new home.

    Anyway one question I have is:
    Will I still have a chance of the brown rabbit of its ears dropping? They told me as it is only 9 weeks old (which is not the case sadly) that his ears will still drop/ hang

    Sorry it’s not my first language :-/

    Thank you
    Eve IMG_5631.jpg IMG_5634.jpg IMG_5616.jpg IMG_5581.jpg
     
  2. Feb 9, 2020 #2

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    I don’t know how I can post another picture....
     
  3. Feb 9, 2020 #3

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    That’s their normal stable for now and the other big one we still need to build.

    X
     

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  4. Feb 9, 2020 #4

    Theo

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    Welcome! I don't think that its ears will drop now that it is older. I would get them separated ASAP so that no fighting occurs and in case one of them is a male. Just a reminder that rabbits should have at least 18 square feet of room to roam, and that hutch looks a little small. They are super cute! I love the little grey one's markings.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2020 #5

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    Hi Theo,
    I won’t separate them as I want to keep them together as a group. It is two half ;-) males and one girl. The hutch is much bigger than the normal ones you can buy in any animal shop and like I said in two of my posts they will get a 24h walk in enclosure in a few weeks, probably two weeks time. At the beginning they should anyway not get too much space to themselves when they are new.

    Best Regards,
    Eve
     
  6. Feb 9, 2020 #6

    majorv

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    What is your climate like there? The hutch above doesn’t provide any airflow thru it in the warm temperatures. Can the plexiglass be removed?
     
  7. Feb 9, 2020 #7

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    I come from Hamburg- Germany, our winters are cold, up to -20 degrees and our summers are hot up to 38 degrees.

    We can remove all of the Plexiglass, but today we have severe storm and it’s also cold at night.

    During the summer we will remove the plexiglas and like I mentioned before they will get their big walk in almost 8 square meter which will be roughly 86 square feet.
    Also again with a similar plexiglass for the winter which can be removed during the summer.

    Hello from Germany
    Eve
     
  8. Feb 9, 2020 #8

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    Big walk in enclosure I wanted to say
     
  9. Feb 9, 2020 #9

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

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    were they already bonded when u got them?cause if there not they will fight and they will be problems, they are still babies and have great memories they are very young and getting a forth when u have very little experience, just because they were a bit older then u expected isnt the right thing to do.. take care of the three u have and do some more research ... and just so u know bunnies can live as long as cats if taken care of properly, i recommend free roaming and litter box training, i don't believe in cages or hutches, and rabbits are prey animals leaving them in an outdoor hutch can be awful for them , they don't do well in the heat or in the cold and there susceptible to uncontrollable weather conditions and preditors..
     
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  10. Feb 9, 2020 #10

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

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    i beg u to get them out of that hutch, and do more research there living in there own feces that's not okay.. they don't even have enough room to stand up in there, my local rabbit rescue society rescues bunnies kept in hutches then they burn the hutches after so no bunny is ever put in it again...
     
  11. Feb 9, 2020 #11

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    I’m not sure if you read what I wrote or if u just see pictures and can’t read actual letters.... this is their little house and they will get a big house in two weeks time.
    They have been together before with other rabbits. But u always have to keep at least two rabbits together - how will u keep two or more rabbits together if you never place more than one rabbit ever in a hutch?
    It is ok to keep rabbits indoor and outdoor but it is always better to keep them outdoor if you protect them against draught.
    When it is 38 degrees indoor it’s probably 33 degrees outdoor and probably 30 in the shade. The rabbits are way better off being outside with fresh air rather than being stuck indoor.
    Also do you know how much dirt they produce?

    Think about it and read!!!
    Eve
     
  12. Feb 9, 2020 #12

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Welcome to the forum!
    I see you have plans to build them a permanent large roaming space. That will be great!

    In the meantime, you could let them run around in an exercise pen whenever you have the time to sit outside with them and watch them. Just attach the pen to the current cage so that they can access the pen when the cage door is opened. Until the larger space is built, this is a way they can still have room to run and jump so that their muscles develop properly while they're young. This would only be for when they can be closely monitored since a pen is not secure or safe enough for outside housing. EDIT (we were posting at the same time) : if it will only be 2 weeks before the larger space is completed, then they will be fine in a smaller space. I was thinking it might take several months.

    Do not worry that you got them at 15 weeks rather than 8 weeks. It is actually a myth that they will tame better if handled from a very young age. That is true for other species, but not for rabbits. Older rabbits actually train more easily.
    Founder of Bunny Bunch rescue, Caroline Charland, states, "People often think a rabbit must be held a lot as a baby in order to like being held as an adult. I don't find this true at all. Over the years, the Bunny Bunch rescue I founded has saved many mother and baby rabbits from shelters. All the babies were treated the same. When they became adults their personalities varied-- some liked to be held, some hated to be held and some tolerated being held."
    (Rabbits USA 2014 magazine)

    That exercise pen I mentioned would also provide a good space for you and your kids to bond with the rabbits. You (or your kids) can sit inside the pen. When the bunnies come out and explore, they will also be getting to know you.

    As others mentioned, 15 weeks is a time by which one would normally already have separated the males from the females. At this age, the male can impregnate a female. If you wanted them all to bond together (baby 'bonds' don't count as true bonds because it is only temporary), then they will need to be spayed and neutered.

    It is also possible that if they are kept together they may begin to fight. Hormones can do that. Even if the female is separated, the boys can fight each other. You'll want to be keeping a close eye on them if they are together. Bonding can be a tricky thing. Sometimes bondings go easy, other times they are difficult, and other times they just won't work. It depends on the rabbits and one won't know until after hormones (or after being fixed). Bear in mind it can take several weeks after a neuter for hormones to fully dissipate.

    One option is to temporarily house them each separately but still within close proximity of each other. Cages or pens separated by a few inches is one way to do this. That way they don't forget each other and are more likely to bond after being fixed.

    Wow, didn't mean to write out so much. Hopefully this isn't too overwhelming. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  13. Feb 9, 2020 #13

    zupper

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    Hi. So I understand you have two males and one female and they are 15 week old?

    Then you need to separate them immediately.

    Usually boys and girls must be separated from 10-12 week old, so your female can be already pregnant now.

    Males also can't be kept together because from 12-20 weeks (depending on breed and personal development) they become sexually active it means that they will start fighting for dominance for territory as only one male can rule, they will fight and will try to kill each other. Even if they are very friendly it's nature and they will change sooner or later, the latest I have from my own experience was 5 months brothers housed together (under supervising) and I had to remove them one by one from 14 weeks the latest two brothers were separated at 20 weeks old.

    So, unfortunately your beautiful hutch won't be suitable to keep all of them together, I would leave a girl in it (and would watch out for the babies in the next 2-4 weeks)

    If you want to keep them all together they should be neutered and only after 6-8 weeks after surgery you can try introducing them in a neutral territory (please do some research on bonding process). Then if they will bond you can house them all together safely, with rebuilding your hutches as they are not big enough as they are now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  14. Feb 9, 2020 #14

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    Hi blue eyes,
    Thank you for your long and friendly reply!
    I use a exercise pen already so that we can bond with the three rabbits. I use the exercise pen inside a big shed (12 square meters) to keep them out of the wind.

    They are already castrated with being 15 weeks old, as soon as their bowls developed we castrated them early before the hormones kicked in.

    Good to hear 15 weeks is not too old to tame them and thank you for the information about that- that’s very cool.

    Bunny greetings from Germany, are you American?
    Eve
     
  15. Feb 9, 2020 #15

    zupper

    zupper

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    You can keep two rabbits together but after they are neutered (spayed) otherwise they will fight for territory (and can kill each other) or will produce new babies every 30 days.

    Sometimes you can bond two unspayed females but there's no guarantee. I have two bonded females mother and daughter housed together, they are not fixed, I had to bond them before I housed them together as they were territorial.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  16. Feb 9, 2020 #16

    zupper

    zupper

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    Sorry I just see your comment that they were already neutered, I thought you only have them for 5 days now and they are 15 week old? How long ago were they neutered, all of them or only males?
     
  17. Feb 9, 2020 #17

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    You're very welcome! That's fantastic that they are already fixed!! Then they are already doing quite well getting along. :)

    If you are still considering a 4th rabbit, just be aware that doing so could upset the bond of the three. Bonding more than 2 is always a delicate balance.

    Yes, I'm American. However all of my cousins (and Tanten & Onkel) live in Germany!
     
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  18. Feb 9, 2020 #18

    Eve84

    Eve84

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    Hi all,
    Yes I thought it was clear as I wrote at the beginning that I have to half males but only the males are neutered.
    The breeder told me the males go along fine but sometimes you get problems with females, you can also neuter them but it’s a proper operation. He said when the female is pregnant once or twice in her life time she will get on much better and offered us to get her pregnant next year and keep one offspring and he will keep the rest of the offspring for us.

    I will need to go for now
    Eve
     
  19. Feb 9, 2020 #19

    majorv

    majorv

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    I think the plan you have is fine. There is nothing wrong with having them outside as long as they’re protected by the hot/cold temps, and any predators you may have in your area.

    As to pregnancy settling down a doe, you could say that is usually true. Once our does had litters they were a little more calm.
     
  20. Feb 10, 2020 #20

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

    MammaOfTwoBlackBunns

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    good luck!
     
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