Spring has sprung here in Connecticut! After a frosty March, April has finally brought some warmer temperatures to the area. This means more time outdoors!
Have you started a bunny garden yet? If not, now’s the perfect time to get some veggies growing! So far, we’ve planted a couple different types of romaine and greenleaf lettuces, bok choy, and Paris market carrots. I also have a plan to plant some oregano and some mint in a raised bed and let them battle it out. If you’re new to gardening, read our tips to starting your own bunny garden. It’s not too difficult to grow a few basics for your rabbits – especially if you include dandelions as one of your crops!
Springtime also means more wild baby bunny sightings! Read our article about what to do if you find an orphaned baby bunny in your yard.
Our big box of Timothy hay from Small Pet Select arrived today, and needless to say, the buns were very excited. They could smell the fragrant contents before I even opened the box. Cosette decided I was too slow opening it, so she started to help. She’s very good at unwrapping gifts.
She became a blur when I finally opened the box, swiping the first bite.
Coco decided he’d have better luck on the other side.
He happily munched away…
…until he realized that the lid had created a makeshift tunnel. He can never resist a good tunnel.
Cos started to wonder why I was taking photos. The clicking was ruining her dining experience.
“Still here, eh?”
I took the hint, and turned off the camera so they could eat in peace.
You can buy this hay online for your buns at Small Pet Select. Their boxes of Timothy hay come in various sizes all the way up to 60 pounds. (Click on the link for Timothy Hay on the left to see the larger size options.)
Congratulations to Amber who won our Bunny Holiday Card Giveaway!
We had some fantastic responses to the question in our giveaway, What’s your best piece of advice for new bunny owners? Amber’s piece of advice was:
I always tell new rabbit owners: when trying to understand bunny habits, think of a rabbit more like a cat than a large hamster. They are much more curious, interactive and clever than I think most people anticipate.
Here are a few more responses:
Be patient! It takes bunnies so much longer to trust and form bonds than a cat or a dog, but it’s so rewarding once they do. I also preach the glory of cord protectors.
Spend time with your buns. They are not cage animals. I’ve found that the personalities of our two rabbits really came out when we allowed them to hop around the house freely. Also, if you have access to fresh hay, buy it! The hay at the pet stores is expensive and my rabbits don’t really care for it much. But the fresh hay I buy at the MSPCA @ Nevins Farm, they absolutely love!
Make sure you potty train your new bun! And feed him or her lots of hay
Read lots of bunny books and articles to be sure you’re getting different perspectives! Also, get a big box and cut out a slot so they can jump in and fill it with newspaper and cardboard to protect your carpet and furniture!!!
Get in touch with your local House Rabbit Society chapter. Its always good to be a part of a community of experienced bunny people who can answer any question you have.
Rabbit Awareness Week 2012 takes place September 15-22. Each year during this special week, vets, pet retailers, welfare charities and manufacturers in the UK work together to promote the proper care of pet rabbits.
Thousands of vets throughout the UK offer free health clinics, while retailers and rescues offer fun and educational events.
Every year, International Rabbit Day is held on the fourth Saturday or Sunday of September. This year, that weekend falls on September 22-23.
International Rabbit Day is a day to consider the welfare of all rabbits — to promote the proper care of pet bunnies so they can live happy and healthy lives. We’d also like to call attention to the joy and enrichment that well-cared-for rabbits can bring to the lives of their human companions.
Below are a few articles from My House Rabbit that fit the spirit of the day:
What is the mainstay of a rabbit’s diet? Carrots? Nope! Rabbit pellets? Wrong! The right answer is hay. The RSPCA is spreading the word with a new campaign called Hay Fever!, which educates the public on the right foods to give to their pet rabbits.
According to the RSPCA:
In fact hay and grass are the key components [of a bunny’s diet], and a new study commissioned by the RSPCA shows a lack of hay and grass in rabbits’ diets is one of the most important welfare issues affecting them today. Indeed, in a recent poll only 8% of rabbit owners knew hay and grass are the most important parts of a rabbit’s diet.
It is vital that rabbits are given a hay-based diet to provide fiber for good digestive health and roughage for good dental health. A hay-based diet helps prevent potentially deadly conditions such as GI stasis, in which the digestive system comes to a halt, or poopy butt, which can lead to fly strike.
For more information about the Hay Fever! campaign, see the RSPCA website.
You can also read about the importance of a hay-based diet in our articles:
Today’s topic for Rabbit Adoptathon week will be about providing enrichment for your bunny. Rabbits are very intelligent, curious creatures. They get bored if they do not have enough space to run around and explore and/or enough “toys” to entertain them. Follow these tips to make your bunny a happy bunny.
Give them space! If your bunny is contained in a puppy pen, condo, or cage, make sure you let your bunny out everyday into a bunny-proofed room. Rabbits love to sniff and examine their surroundings. Plus, they need room to do bunny 500s and binkies!
Get creative with cardboard! By cutting rabbit-sized doors and windows into an old cardboard box, you’ve transformed it into a cardboard castle for your bunny to renovate. They’ll love widening and shaping the doors and windows to their liking. Putting a smaller castle inside a larger box gives them even more things to renovate. Rabbits also like tunnels. So be sure to save any narrow/tall boxes or tubes for your bunny’s enjoyment.
Shake, rattle, and roll! Rabbits like toys they can hold in their mouths and toss. Baby keys, toys made for birds, and toilet paper rolls are all things they enjoy.
Get down to their level! Rabbits prefer interacting with you on the ground. Wait for them to approach you and investigate so you can build trust with your bunny. Once they’re comfortable with you, they’ll enjoy being petted and will seek out your attention.
For more information, see the following articles from My House Rabbit:
Today’s theme for Rabbit Adoptathon week will be about litter training. We get a lot of emails from people who are frustrated by stubborn, “outside-the-box” bunnies. Here are our best tips:
Rabbits tend to poop while they eat hay. So it is always a good idea to place ample amounts of hay either in the litterbox or in a hayfeeder right next to the litterbox (so the bunny is forced to sit in the litterbox if he wants to munch on hay).
Mop up urine with a paper towel and pick up stray poop and place both in the litterbox. This helps get the message across that the litterbox is the place that they should do their business.
Be patient and persistent. Litter training takes time, especially if your rabbit has learned bad habits. It takes a while to retrain them. If you can see they’re about to go to the bathroom outside their litterbox (they may lift their tail or sometimes they sort of shimmy down in a seated position right before they go), try to pick them up and put them in the litterbox or corral them in. This is oftentimes easier said than done of course.
Limit their space. If your bunny is free reign, you may want to limit their space initially using a puppy pen until your rabbit is consistently practicing good litterbox habits. Then, very gradually increase the space, ensure those good habits remain intact. Eventually, you will be able to take away the puppy pen completely.
If your bunny is insistent on going in one corner of the room, sometimes it’s easier to give in to their stubbornness, and place a litterbox in that corner. Sometimes when rabbits consistently choose another place to go, they are trying to tell you that that’s where they want to go.
If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee everywhere, this is probably due to your rabbit marking his territory. It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to ease territorial feelings.
Sometimes rabbits deliberately pee on your couch or bed because they’re showing you who’s Top Bunny in the house. You should correct their misconception immediately. See our blog post, “Being Top Bunny” and the House Rabbit Society’s article, “FAQ: Training” for more information.
To promote rabbit care and adoption, AfFURmation and Bunny’s Blog are co-hosting a Rabbit Adoptathon Hop starting Sunday, May 13th at 6pm ET and ending at 6pm ET on Saturday May 19th.
Here’s what you do to get involved in spreading awareness:
If you have a blog, create a post anytime during this week about rabbit care or share information about adoptable bunnies. Add in the Rabbit Adoptathon badge (code below) so others can do the same on their blogs.
If you’re on Facebook, you can share an adoptable bunny’s information by using the Facebook Share button located on each animal’s profile page on Petfinder.com.
(Copy the code above and paste it into your blog if you want to get involved.)
The folks at Mint.com and Humane Society Silicon Valley put together a helpful infographic outlining the lifetime costs of pets. It’s so important when you decided to adopt a pet rabbit or bonded pair into your family, that you are willing and able to shoulder the costs.
Here at My House Rabbit headquarters in New London, CT, the unseasonably warm weather has resulted in some fresh treats for Coco and Cosette. (It was 70 degrees today!)
Since we also had a very mild winter, some of the lettuce that I started last fall survived through the winter months and then flourished once I covered the bed with some garden fabric. So for the past few days the rabbits have indulged in freshly grown romaine, carrots, and dandelions (ok, so actually I just plucked those from our yard… but we also have a pot of intentionally-grown dandelions that are currently thriving). I’m going to experiment more with extending the growing season next year by using a cold frame and making more use of my garden fabric on the raised beds.
Anyone else harvesting veggies for their bunnies now?
Many of us in the bunny community already know that year after year, shelters and rescues get inundated with unwanted pet rabbits a few weeks after Easter.
So let’s try to spread the word that pet rabbits should not be Easter impulse buys! It comes down to this: if you haven’t done any research or put any thought into whether or not a real rabbit is a good fit for you and your family, go the chocolate bunny route instead.