CARE OF THE NEW BUNNY
Young bunnies should be fed a high quality pellet feed which you can obtain from your local feed store. It is very important that fresh, clean water is available at all times. Without water to drink your bunny won’t eat. A good horse quality hay should be given daily. Just a small handful will do nicely. Never feed a young bunny Lettuce, collards, fresh grass, or anything with a high water content and low food value. This can cause diarrhea which left untreated can cause death. If your bunny should develop an upset stomach, treat it with Pepto-Bismol or similar medicine. Dry oatmeal should also be given freely until the symptoms are gone.
Reframe from giving lots of treats to your new bunny. If you have to spoil it, try a raisin or piece of wheat bread. Any quick changes in it’s diet may trigger an upset stomach. When your bunny gets a little older, you can start with treats like a piece of apple, carrot, banana, or other goodies. Never over due the treats.
Angoras should be housed in all wire cages. The reason for this is cleanliness. You should always keep your bunnies cage clean and free of wool. This promotes good health. Don’t have any wood near where your bunny can chew. The wood could have toxins in it used to treat it. Make sure if you have some wood on your cage it is untreated and covered with wire.
The size of your cage should be comfortable for your bunny. A good size for an indoor pet that gets to run outside it’s cage some is 24″ x 24″. An outside hutch can be 24″ x 30″, or 30″ x 36″. I don’t recommend anything larger than that, for 2 reasons.
- With less room to run, your bunny has less of a chance of hurting it’s self. Bunnies can break their backs very easily.
- If you have to big an area, you may not be able to reach your pet if it is being stubborn and not wanting to come to you.
Make sure your door latch is secure. Bunnies will become board and look for things to do. If your door isn’t latched good your pet can run freely in your house or yard. This can present many dangers, some fatal to your bunny!
Angoras handle cold weather much easier than hot. Their wool is 8 times warmer than sheep wool. Imagine having a winter coat on all summer, and that is the way angoras are. ALWAYS keep your angora out of the direct sun! Heat stroke will kill an angora quickly. Signs of heat stress are heavy breathing with mouth open, panting, and slobbering (wet around the mouth).
In the summer it is best to keep your Angora clipped back. To make your pet more comfortable, it should be in a cool, breezy area, or have a fan on it when it is in an outside cage in hot climates. You may also consider freezing plastic drink bottles with water in them. The frozen water bottles will last about 2 hours in the heat of the day. On a 100 degree day, this can be a life saver for many angoras.
In the winter, you should keep your pet out of direct wind. Make sure it has plenty of water to drink. Crocks are recommended in winter because they are easy to thaw out when frozen. Check your bunny several times a day, and provide it with warm water. Warm water will not freeze up as quickly as cold water.
Wool block in Angoras is the same as hair balls in cats. Bunnies constantly groom themselves, swallowing wool as they do this. However, unlike cats, bunnies can not exit the hair ball and will die from wool block. Preventing the wool block is the best thing to do. I have a very good prevention plan called ” nuts & berries day “.
The signs of wool block are reduced feed consumption, and then not eating at all. This is one reason you need to monitor your rabbits eating closely. Another sign is the droppings looking like a string if pearls. Droppings will be stuck together with strings of wool and hang on the cage. Droppings will also become smaller in size, as the stomach becomes more wool blocked.
Should your pet exhibit these signs, clip all the wool off immediately. This will help with the swallowing of the wool. Take pelted food away and feed hay, roughage, and herbs. Bananas are helpful, along with the treatment of cat hair ball remedies. Meat tenderizers that contain bromelain will also help break down the wool so it can be passed. I use 1 tablespoon of meat tenderizer mixed with a little honey and a dab of water. Treat the bunny with this 2 times a day for 3 days. By the 3rd day you should see much improvement. If your bunny isn’t better within 72 hours, seek the advise of your vet.
I recommend brushing your bunny once a week. Just a light going over will due. Make sure you do it’s stomach each time. The more your bunny is turned over, the more tolerant of this it will become, thus making your grooming time more enjoyable.
The best time to start grooming your bunny is around 8 weeks. At this age it will need very little grooming, but it will build trust and good habits between you.
The basic tools you will need are – a steel comb, a gentle slicker brush,, stainless steel pin brush, a matt splitter, a pair of small sharp scissors, and animal nail clippers.
As you groom you will develop a method that works best for you. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this, just what works for you!