Potential Foster Qs

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Robin~, Oct 6, 2019.

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  1. Oct 6, 2019 #1

    Robin~

    Robin~

    Robin~

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    Hello!

    I’m typically a hamster/mouse momma but I found my local animal shelter takes in rabbits from time to time that are open to be fostered. I figured I could spread the love a bit and help out :)

    I do have a few clarifying questions, though:

    1.) Space. I have read about rabbits needing about 30-40sq ft of space, but I’m not sure if this would apply temporarily. At the minute, I could fit at absolute maximum a 8x3’ cage (unsure about play space as my room is carpeted). Would that be ok for a few weeks/months or should I just steer clear from rabbits for now?

    2.) How much would you feed a well-adjusted rabbit per day in terms of veggies? (I know they need unlimited hay and about 25g/rabbit/day in pellets)

    3.) What size water bowl do you recommend? I’d be replacing the water 1-2 times a day, more if the water becomes dirty easily.

    4.) For some animals, having a bottle as a back up in case of contamination or spills is a good idea. Would this be true for rabbits or not worth my time?

    5.) How crowded do rabbits like their cages? Are they more like guinea pigs in they like a few things spread out or hamsters who like only enough space in between to fit themselves? I would assume the former but just making sure.

    6.) I do have a dog, but he’s extremely harmless. The most he’d probably do is sniff them and walk away. Should I still take that extra precaution of separating them or would it be ok if they were in the same room at the same time while the rabbits are free roaming?

    I’ll be adding to this if I think of anything else, but that’s all for now :) Thank you for reading!

    ~Robin
     
  2. Oct 7, 2019 #2

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    1)Sounds like enough space for me, if not more than enough room. The rabbits tend to have one or two spots they like to hang out in as their living area. The rest of the space they used more when they were exploring or having the "zoomies" and running around. As long as they have enough space for a living area it shouldn't decrease their quality of life, though they will always enjoy even more space just for environmental enrichment.

    2) I don't feed any veggies to my rabbits. I feed 1/3-1/2 cup of pellets a day, buying pellets that are complete diet pellets, not just whatever they sell at the pet store. There's more than one correct way to feed a rabbit, but I trust the work of the feed company's nutritionists more than I trust my own veggie buying/mixing skills in giving the rabbit all the nutrition it needs.

    3) I prefer water bottles because they're easier to keep clean, but some rabbits prefer drinking out of a dish. The larger the water dish, often the better. I like mine to be at minimum 20 fl oz. If I can't find those I often have two 10 fl oz dishes in a rabbit's cage. Make sure you get one that is too heavy to lift or attaches to the side of the cage because they will try to spill them

    4) Rabbits do drink from a bottle, but if you are getting any contamination or spills it is probably something that is happening frequently so imo you'd be better off preventing spills in the first place than having a backup in case it happens. Rabbits love to make a mess with their water dishes. They are experts at it. I need water dishes that are either heavy and have high walls (to prevent them from urinating/defecating in it) or attach to the side of the cage (again, at a height where they can't poop in it) to keep the water clean. Anything else gets dirty within a day.

    5) Rabbits don't like things super crowded in their cage from my experience. They need a lot of air flow in the cage, and space to run and move about, though they do often enjoy a smaller more confined area to hide and rest in.

    6) I would not ever leave a dog in the same room as a rabbit. It might seem perfectly fine, but rabbits are often rather flighty animals, and can spook without much notice. This can lead to either the rabbit injuring itself while trying to get away from a dog (even if that dog is just wanting to play) or in worst case scenario, the fleeing rabbit making the dog's hunting instinct kick in and having an otherwise tame dog go after it. I know too many people who lost rabbits to dogs, including myself, to ever advise somebody else to risk it.
     
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  3. Oct 7, 2019 #3

    Robin~

    Robin~

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    Thank you for the reply @SableSteel :)

    New question— so, I’m thinking about doing a C&C cage-type thing, how high should I make the walls (each grid is 14”)? Or should I go for X-pen walls instead?
     
  4. Oct 7, 2019 #4

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

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    What foster organization will you be collaborating with?

    Have you spoken with the individual at the shelter who would agree to a foster-mom arrangement? I fostered for numerous years when a pregnant female came in, or when a rabbit needed to trust a human after being surrendered. Reputable shelters will collaborate with responsible species-specific rescues.

    The guardians and caregivers with a rescue org can answer lots of your concerns, based on the rabbits they pull from over-capacity shelters, or buns who need to reestablish trust due to surrendering factors (mistreatment, un/speutered) etc.

    Good points about a seemingly harmless dog reacting to a flee response of a lagomorph. I likewise am aware of numerous situations with small dogs, large dogs, etc.
     
  5. Oct 7, 2019 #5

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

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    Shelters often have a quantity of heavy duty (untippable) water crocks that come in with surrendered pets. You can inquire before you make a considerable investment, althou' I understand if you wish to purchase a heavy duty water crock brand new. Second-hand or thrift shops often have heavy duty type bowls you can use for water.

    Our crew all have h.d. water crocks and rarely do they get dirty; on occasion a strand of hay carried over from their hay nibble stash by their litter box. Bunnies also like to play with toys, and will take a stuffie or roll towel tube filled with hay and "carry it over" into their water dish. Same for stuffie pals. No worries, just remove said toy object, and refill dish.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kaytee-Stone...NCARTTYRAZG&psc=1&refRID=1GW6Q1GQGNCARTTYRAZG
     
  6. Oct 7, 2019 #6

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

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    Allow your foster rabbit a caging unit that will allow him/her to stand up on his/her hind legs, and stretch out in 4-5 different ways with a litter box, hidey house, and food/water dish. Depending on the size of your foster! A nethie, dutch, american, new zealand, or larger sized bun.

    Plus an exercise pen attached to an ample-sized dog kennel crate will give your foster bun a private bedroom space to enter or the option to lounge in the attached ex-pen with a walk-in door. Certain ex-pens (gold finish or black) from Midwest Homes for Pets have tall sides with a walk-in door. And be aware if your new foster bun is a leaper or climber!

    You don't want your new foster to get a leg caught and fracture bones.

    Our crew ranging in size 4 lbs. to 11 lbs. get minimal pellets, unlimited hay servings (a.m. and p.m. refills), a rinsed romaine leaf in the morning, and a cup or so of mixed veggies for evening salad.
    Introduce veggies slowly to determine if your foster bun will acclimate well, or gets gassy from cruciferous veggies (which we rarely give).

    Add'l info here: http://rabbitadvocates.org/care-info/health-diet/

    https://myhouserabbit.com/
     
  7. Oct 7, 2019 #7

    TreasuredFriend

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  8. Oct 7, 2019 #8

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    Yes haha they sure love to do this. Especially hay cubes. I feed hay cubes when I find timothy ones as they are so much easier to clean up than loose hay and the rabbits have fun tossing them around but I swear, the rabbits make a huge effort to toss the hay cube into the water dish... Ug, cleaning out expanded, soaking wet hay cube from a water dish is the worst.
     
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  9. Oct 7, 2019 #9

    Robin~

    Robin~

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    I’m looking into helping with the SPCA. As far as I’m aware there’s no one they collaborate with. I’m more south central; not near Philly or Pittsburg.

    I haven’t applied yet; it’s still very much a WIP idea. My folks seem open to it, though.

    Thanks for the other info! I’ll definitely look into the toilet roll idea; although we’ll see if my mice want to share their tp roll allowance haha.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2019 #10

    Robin~

    Robin~

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    Just took a look at my room again and I’m actually able to provide a space of about 4x8 (42” dog pen, one of the long sides against the wall and C&C cubes used to block the baseboard), so that’s great :D

    Another question popped up though— as stated, the cage will be on carpet. I was wondering what you guys use/recommend for protecting the floor. I was think coroplast, followed by foam play mats, then a tarp to protect the play mats, then fleece, possibly getting rid of the tarp layer if the bun is potty trained. I did want to get some other ideas, though :)
     

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