November 13, 2016

Bunny Care

How to keep your young bunny (kit) healthy and happy.

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Cartecay Farm

Bunny Care Tips

1. Feeding your new bunny – the breeder will give you a sample of the current food, I feed Kalmbach Show/Breeder food, but there are other rabbit food brands such as Oxbox Essentials Young Rabbit food (Chewy.com) or Manna Pro Rabbit food (Tractor Supply).  When changing rabbit food start by adding 1/8 cup of new food to 3/4 cup current food and each day add a little more of the new food until you are feeding just the new food.   Do it slowly so that it doesn’t upset the bunnies delicate tummy. Then do not switch brands, remain feeding the same brand.

2. For the first couple of days let your bunny adjust to its new home. Don’t over handle it. Handle it for a couple minutes several times a day and increase the handling time over the next couple weeks.

3. Feed your new bunny only rabbit pellets and free choice Timothy hay and always have fresh water available. Clean the water bottle at least every couple of days.

4. At 5-6 months old you can now add fresh Kale to its diet but only in very small amounts, too much and it will give the bunny diarrhea.  Carrots are a good treat but in small quantities. Spinach is another green but only 1-2 leaves once a week. Do not feed lettuce.

5. If your bunny gets diarrhea give it a couple drops of Imodium several times a day. Diarrhea can kill a bunny in a surprisingly short time. Don’t mistake rabbit grape clusters for diarrhea, diarrhea will be runny and make a mess on their bunny bottoms.

6. Your bunny has lots of hair and it grooms itself a lot so it will get hair in its droppings. Once a month give your bunny 1/6 an organic banana sliced in half, including the peel, sprinkle 1 teaspoon whole rolled oats on top of the banana and ½ teaspoon of mineral oil on top of the oats for three days in a row.

7. Your bunny loves oats and can have 1/2 teaspoon for a treat but do not add to its pellets. If you add to the rabbit pellets some bunnies will dig out all the pellets to the cage floor to find the oats.

8. Groom your bunny 2-5 times a week depending on how long it’s hair is. Be sure to clean the corners of the eyes of any debris with a cotton ball or damp soft cloth. Trim it’s bottom so that urine and rabbit pellets don’t stick to it’s hair.

9. Clip the bunnies nails every 4-6 weeks with small nail clippers (human). You will know when it is time to trim as their nails will grow and get sharp and pointed.

10. Rabbits have two different kinds of poop, the pellet kind and one that looks like small grapes clustered together. It is normal for the rabbit to eat the grape kind…it is full of good flora and minerals that they need for a healthy gut. When the bunnies are with the mother rabbit they will eat her grape clusters to establish a healthy gut.

11. Rabbits teeth continue to grow throughout their life. The rabbit should always have a piece of UNTREATED pine wood to chew on.

12. Most important, RELAX and ENJOY your new pet bunny.

One interesting suggestion I picked up from a show breeder is to feed 5-6 pellets of Calf Manna to your rabbits every day or every other day.  Be sure to open bag, store a small amount in a small container (what you will use in a week) and seal the Calf Manna bag to keep it fresh.

If you have any questions, please call me at 706-637-2002 or email me at Leslie@cartecayfarm.com

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