Blog Posts

Turn the Radio On

Turn the Radio On

In the 15 years we’ve had rabbits, we’ve been in hundreds of barns looking at stock and just visiting friends across the country.  We recently visited a friend’s rabbit barns to look at some potential stock.  I say we visited the barns, but we really […]

Trim Those Toenails

Trim Those Toenails

I’ve had an opportunity over the past couple of months to visit a number of rabbitries as I looked for foundation stock and also to watch a lot of judging at rabbit shows.  Trimming toenails takes only a few minutes every month and yet a […]

Hey, What Kind of Hay?

Hey, What Kind of Hay?

This was an article written a few years ago when we still had rabbits.

Part of our feed program includes hay which we give daily along with regular pellets.  We feel hay is important as it is more of a natural roughage than pellets and it helps aid in digestion.  It also moves any hair, ingested while  grooming, through the digestive tract as well.  In the past, we have used cubes (Alfalfa, Timothy/Alfalfa, and Timothy) due to their convenience.  They can easily be transported in a car or van, they are easy to store in a large covered tub, and they are cleaner to feed.  Other than picking up loose hay from friends or family for nest boxes, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.  We never had a good place to store a bale and I knew the mess a bale could make (I’d grown up with horses and bucked more than my share of bales).  I also knew that with bales, one sometimes got more than they bargained for … a little four-legged creature that could scurry way faster than I could move.  I absolutely HATE mice and, believe it or not, have actually been able to mouse-proof our bunny barns as well as some of the old farm houses where we’ve lived.  No hay bales, no mice 🙂

Over the past few months, I’ve been researching and trying some different things in the “barn”.  Through my research, I learned that Alfalfa is higher in calcium than most other forages and the white kind of sludge in rabbit urine is actually an excess amount of calcium.  As you can imagine, it’s hard on the kidneys to filter and eliminate.  So, I switched to a Timothy/Alfalfa (T/A) cube.  There was some decrease in the amount of sludge, but it was still there.  The next thing was plain Timothy cubes.  Most of the sludge disappeared.  I did notice, though, that the rabbits just weren’t eating much of the hay cubes and it didn’t matter if it was Alfalfa, T/A, or Timothy.

hay baleI had a doe that was struggling to maintain weight while on a litter even though she was getting all the pellets she could eat and she wasn’t particularly wanting the hay cubes.  I work at a feed store and decided to grab a plastic grocery bag of loose Timothy hay from the storage area.  As long as this doe had a handful of Timothy every day, she seemed to want more pellets and her weight was stabilizing.  I had a couple of old bucks that were the same way.  So I decided to fill a storage tub with loose hay and give all the buns a small handful every morning when I checked things before heading to work.  Not only did the rabbits eat the loose hay better than cubes, the flesh condition on my hard keepers improved and all the rabbits slightly decreased the amount of pellets they needed to maintain weight.  My doe that almost completely went off feed for almost 2 weeks with her last litter, ate right up to her due date and has been eating ever since.

Loose hay also has the added advantage of giving babies something to keep them occupied when they first come out of the nest box so they don’t “pig out” on pellets right away.  This allows for a smoother transition from milk to pellets and less incidence of weaning enteritis.

I do have loose hay on the floor now, so I have to sweep a little more often; but the benefits far out-weigh this little inconvenience.  I just bring my storage tub to work with me about once a week and fill it with loose hay.  My rabbits are thrilled and I don’t have to worry about transporting a whole bale in my car.

Sales Policy

Sales Policy

I am often asked about the Sales Policy we used when we had rabbits.  So I thought I would share it here. The following sales policy is in effect for all Designer Bunnies sales.  A copy of this policy is provided with every purchase at the […]

The Secret of the Drippy Bottle

The Secret of the Drippy Bottle

If you use water bottles, you know about the occasional bottle that just keeps on dripping which makes it completely worthless.  Or does it?

Breeder or Promoter?

Breeder or Promoter?

* Are You a Breeder or Promoter?
Query by: Roger A. Cota (from the Himalayan Rabbit Club website)
For a printer friendly PDF that you can share with others, click here.

The world is full of rabbit breeders, as evidenced by those attending shows, the supply that pet stores have, and the number of signs found along highways advertising “Bunnies For Sale.” Being a rabbit breeder is an easy task. All you need is a few does and a buck, and you’re in business.

The AHRA has among its members a number of breeders. What we need is for each of these breeders to move up the ladder to the rung which I call “The Promoter.” There is a vast difference between the two categories and the requirements for each.

As I said earlier, being a breeder is easy. Get yourself a buck or two and some does, and you’re in business. With a little work, you can soon be taking a good number of animals, regardless of quality, to shows. This will help you get points and become a leader in the National AHRA Sweepstakes. Now, you can sell your stock for reasonably good price and people will pay it because your standings are high. You may even get smart and have your show line (which you keep strictly for yourself because you don’t want the competition to use your line) and your sale line, which does not get your attention and does not measure up to your show line. People will buy from you because you’re “a winner,” (more…)

Purchasing Your Pet Rabbit

Purchasing Your Pet Rabbit

You’ve decided you want a rabbit for a pet but don’t know where to start.  Rather diving in, take the time to research how to care for a rabbit and what breed of rabbit will work best for you and/or your family.  There are 47 […]

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

It’s important to have a first aid kit in your rabbitry and replenish it as items are used.  The time to prepare this kit is before it’s needed so you have it ready and handy when the need arises.  Below is a list of items […]

Biosecurity

Biosecurity

Note:  This is a re-print from the Purina Rabbit Newsletter for July 2012.  When the Link is available on line, I will include it.

Pathogens and parasites lurk everywhere, just waiting for the opportunity to infect your animals! To keep your rabbitry healthy and hopping, utilize a proper biosecurity program to keep out pathogens the animals have not yet been exposed to and to minimize the impact of endemic pathogens.

“Shower in, shower out.”

True biosecurity involves people “showering in and showering out”. However, most rabbitries are not set up with such facilities. You can go a long way toward minimizing human transmission (more…)

Turning Others “ON” to Rabbits

Turning Others “ON” to Rabbits

A recent post on one of my rabbit email lists mentioned that, unlike horse and dog shows, entries for youth members were up in the rabbit shows they were attending.  Those of us who have had the rabbit habit for a while know it’s a […]