Rabbits Rule!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Sugar Man

This is Spicy Girl's man. I always had a hard time calling him Sugar since that seems a female name. You can always see his hair bounce in this picture. This is a really long-haired rabbit. He's pure white with gray nose, ears and tail, not that you can ever see the tail under all that long hair. He's kind red eyes. Much more outgoing than Spice, he loved to sneak out of the kitchen and visit all the other rabbits in the house.
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More Spice

Here's another picture of Spice. Your can barely see the little bit of white on her nose.
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The Spice Girl

This is Spice. She was one of my foster rabbits until recently. She's a Jersey Wooly, like Hillary, mostly black head and ears and mottled black and white very long hair. She's pretty shy. When I'd pick her up she'd make little grunting sounds like she was afraid, but then she'd snuggle in and be happy to be held for hours.
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Death of Topsy

I haven't written in here since Topsy died last April. My energy for writing about rabbits sort of went out of me when she was gone. She was only three years old and I don't know what caused her death. She started snorting and sneezing. It seemed like it would go away. It had before. When after a few minutes it didn't I rushed her to the Animal Emergency Center but she was dead when we arrived. Even now it's hard to write about it.

Attached is video I'd taken only a few days before of Topsy and Quinn, who had just made friends, and are were looking forward to playing and hanging out together for a long time. I treasure having more than a still picture of her!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rabbits outside

Eleanor, Charlie and Quinn are outside to enjoy the lovely spring weather. Sunny and NOT TOO HOT!

Hillary outside for the first time

Hillary, the Jersey Wooly rabbit, explores the outside world

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another foster: Hillary, a Jersey Wooly

Hillary's staying with me till she gets rid of a cold. She needs medicine twice a day and I'm giving her probiotics and immune system boosting herbals more often than that.

She a sweet little thing--can't weigh much more than two pounds. If she looks bigger, it's really all fur. The Jersey Wooly was initially bred by crossing a Netherland Dwarf with an Angora rabbit. They come in lots of colors. Hillary looks sort of like a Blue Point Siamese or Himalayian cat. She has blue eyes, which is fairly unusual in rabbits.

Over the weekend, I built a condo for visiting rabbits. This one is perfect for a tiny rabbit like Hillary. It's 28" by 42" and 28" high, with little rooms on 4 levels. She has her two litter boxes, one with litter and one with hay. She can eat hay out of the latter but she still uses it as litter.

Speaking of hay, this long-haired rabbit needs hay even more than a short-haired rabbit because the risk of ingesting too much hair while grooming itself is considerable. She needs combing out often, but it's not onerous because she loves it--sits still and lets me comb. She must know her chances of finding a loving home depend on her looks!

Hillary is sweet-tempered and cuddly. Because she's so little the condo with four levels gives her considerable exercise. She likes to run around on the floor too, but you have to look at the world from rabbit level to remove all the potential hazards first. Things like wires she might chew or hidey holes she might vanish into.

In the picture, she's sitting on the 4th level. Rabbits like both high perches and little spaces so this little spot is perfect.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bonding Bunnies

Bunnies are social animals and they like to have friends, but they're particular about who their friends are. Experts say the easiest to "bond" are are a spayed female and a neutered male, though same sex partnerships are often successful too, especially when bunnies are brothers or sisters and are adopted together.

If you have a single bunny who needs a friend, take your bunny along when you look for a partner. My dwarf albino Charlie didn't like the little hotot who was his size at all and picked a part lop bunny twice his size.

I took Topsy along and she got along with several of the bunnies. I picked Quinn because he was both cuddly and assertive. But he'd just been neutered so I decided to keep them separate for awhile. It took more than a month before his first impulse was not to mount her. And they always started to fight. So I started putting them together for short periods every day and separating them before the fight started.

The standoff seemed to be who would groom who first. I could almost hear them saying, "OK, if you lick my nose, I'll lick yours!" Finally, yesterday I saw Topsy grooming Quinn and then a while later Quinn grooming Topsy and sure enough, now they're friends. I'm not quite ready to leave them alone together when I'm not here but clearly that's coming. Thanks goodness. I was worried there for awhile!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stormy, a Fuzzy Lop

The Bunny Buddies, rabbit rescue organization I belong to, currently still have more than 50 rabbits available for adoption as a result of a seizure of rabbits from a breeder who could no longer care for them. It's been a huge project for the organization. Individuals are "fostering" as many as 16 rabbits. Most of the rabbits are Jersey Woolies or Fuzzy Lops.

Recently I took Stormy, a Fuzzy Lop, home for the weekend from a local business where the owner is taking care of a bunch--and where I volunteer twice a week. I thought she needed socializing since she bit me twice. Turns out, though, she was just scared. She's really a lovely ball of black, white, gray and brown fur, with ears that go to the floor. She loves to have her fur brushed--good thing since it will have to be done often--and she'll sit quietly in my lap for hours. She's also an active investigator when I let her roam in my bedroom. All the "rabbit proofing" I did for Quinn is more than good enough to keep her safe since she's not the jumper he is.

I already have 4 rabbits, but am mighty tempted by this one!

Monday, February 05, 2007

New Rabbit Condos.

I've spent the last couple of days building a new condo for Topsy and her new friend, Quinn. There's a lower unit and an upper unit. Each has a perch where the rabbit can jump up. Quinn's has carpeting on it and Topsy has her monogramed fake sheep fleece pet bed. The litter box goes underneath and there's a rug in the open space. Each unit is 28" by 42" and 28" high so they can stand up on their hind legs if they want to.

The condos are built out of plastic-covered wire squares designed to build bookcases. I get them at Target. They're put together with the plastic ties for electrical cables. I just discovered that there's a tool that tightens the electrical tie--well worth investing in. The floors are "coroplast", available from art supply and hobby stores. It looks like corrugated cardboard but is made of plastic. It comes in many colors.

The advantage of the multi-story condo is that it saves space. You can also build them with stairs and ramps so that rabbits can roam over multiple stories. My rabbits spend most of their time running around the house so they won't be closed in here all the time. Topsy will probably have the door to her condo open most of the time since she's used to just roaming the house. In the future I may have to build an outside stair for Quinn so he and come and go freely.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Chewing bunnies

I just found this picture--my first glimpse of Mr. Quinn at the Bunny Buddies' "adoption day" in December. If I'd looked more closely I'd have realized that Quinn was a "chewer". See where he's been chewing the side of the box? Not that I'd have loved him less. He's been a delight, but rabbits who chew are a real problem.

First of all, rabbits need to chew because their teeth grow continuously and chewing keeps them appropriately filed down. You need to give them chewy things to eat--hay, sticks, etc., as well as "chewing posts" -- something challenging to chew that's not forbidden, sort of like a cat's "scratching post". Quinn currently has an old wooden knife rack and a wooden footstool, but he hasn't definitively learned yet what's allowed and what's not.

Left to his own devices Quinn chews cardboard boxes, baskets, wood furniture where there's a edge for him to get his teeth around, books, and woodwork (he's even chewed at shoulder height by jumping up on the bed and sitting on top of a pile of pillows to attack the door frame). He chews plastic occasionally but it's obviously not as satisfactory as wood so he usually gives it up quickly. He'll occasionally chew fabric--preferably heavy ones like rugs. He's better than a predecessor, Mr. Tops, who chewed holes in any clothing you happened to leave in his reach (sheets, blankets, towels, t-shirts, etc.), but at least Mr. Tops didn't go in for rugs.

Eventually rabbits learn what they're allowed to do and what not, but it's important to restrict their access until they do learn and to make your lessons clear. And it's paramount to give them something they are allowed to chew.
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