Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits

Introduction

To say about Rabbit Information, Rabbits are small herbivorous mammals of the family Leporidae. Rabbits have large sharp front teeth, short tails and large hind legs and feet adapted for running and jumping. Most of the rabbit’s ear length is longer than its width. The rabbit term refers to small, running animals which have short ears and legs. Rabbits are furry and have short fluffy tails. Rabbit move by hoping with the help of powerful hind limbs. They have four toes on their hind legs which are webbed to keep them from spreading apart as they jump. But their front leg has five paws each Rabbit is chiefly nocturnal but also sometimes seen in daytime. They have a serious sense of smell and hearing. Some breed of rabbits can run at the speed of 35 to 45 miles per hour (55 to 70 km per hours). But young rabbit walk instead of hop. Rabbits have many different breeds which are different of color, length of fur and size. Some rabbits are as big as a small child whereas some as the size of the cat. Small rabbits are as tiny as 8 inches length and their weight is less than a pound. Large rabbit grows up to 20 inches. A rabbit weight is 2 to 16 pounds depending on breed.

More Detail Information On “Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits”:

Breeding Rabbits:

Breeding and raising a rabbit is called cuniculture. Cuniculture is done usually for rabbit’s meat, fur or wool. There are many rabbit breeder all over the world and they are different. A female rabbit is called a doe and a male rabbit is called a buck. A small breed doe is ready to mate when she becomes five months old and buck becomes ready when he becomes six months old. Whereas a medium size is ready to mate when she is 6 months old and the buck is 7 months old. The big breed doe becomes ready when she is 8 months old and the buck is ready at 9 months old. Mate the rabbits which have same breeds. Avoid bringing rabbits who have genetic defects like malocclusion, mooned eye, etc. they will pass genetic defects and eliminate it for breeding purpose. The time between breeding and kindling is 31 days. A pregnant rabbit can be detected between 10 to 14 days after mating and with 12 days is optimal. The fetuses will start to grow and can feel them by touching which will feel like the size of grapes. Be careful and gentle in feeling them. False pregnancy is common in rabbits so be aware. If there is any sign of false pregnancy takes your rabbit to the vet immediately. In the third week, the size of abdomen size increase can see a slight movement. Doe will have mood swings and act differently towards you.

To give birth a nest box should be provided to give birth and to take care of her young ones. The kits are born naked, blind, deaf and have no ability to regulate their own temperature until seven days. The nest box should be at least 4 inches wider and longer than a doe. You can provide straw and paper for the nest box. You should have the good knowledge of your rabbit gestation period and consult with your vet. Kindling is usually occurred in the morning and quickly. After the baby is born make sure everything is fine and healthy. Provide a dam for fresh water. Do not disturb dam and kits which will disturb them and stress and frighten them. Give your doe her favorite treat. If there is dead kit then remove them as they can infest the healthy kit. The doe will take care of the babies and you will have to take care of doe in an early stage.

The baby rabbit should be fed kitten milk or a goat milk which you can get at pet stores. Feed the baby rabbit twice a day. Baby rabbits feed their mother while lying on their back. Make sure that the baby rabbits urinary system is running smoothly clean the genital area of baby rabbit gently with a soft cloth or cotton ball and warm water. If the urine is brown and gritty then the buns are not adequately hydrated and you should take to vet. Also, clean the baby’s mouth with a soft cloth or paper towel so no mill dries in the hair. Baby rabbit eyes open after ten days of age and you can start feeding them with hay and pallets. Leave the hay and pellets but no vegetables or fruits on the box where the babies are kept. After about 14 days kits start to hop and get out of the box. After 5 to 8 weeks the kits sleep a lot, eat a lot and grow. Remove the nest box by day 18 after they start to jump. Check their health and the place where they stay. Don’t keep deep water dish near the kit they could drown in it.

Domestic rabbit lives between 8 to 12 years in comparison to wild rabbits. Wild rabbits live a few years longer than domestic rabbits. There are many different rabbit breeds so they live for different years. Larger rabbit breed has a shorter lifespan than a smaller rabbit. Nowadays due to the trained veterinarian and better knowledge of rabbit care, rabbit live longer than before. There is a record that the oldest domesticated wild rabbit lived 18 years and 10 months. The oldest domestic rabbit lived 17 years. A good diet, a lot of love and care can make a rabbit live longer.

Rabbit Behavior:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - Rabbit Behavior

Rabbits have different interesting behaviors and body language. Rabbits are cute and cuddly. Beside their cuteness, they have different behaviors. Here are their behavior and what they mean.

  1. Chinning

They rub them him against the furniture or any other object he finds including you.this is a normal thing and this is the rabbit’s way of saying dibs!. There is a gland under the rabbit’s chin which leaves a scent on whatever the rabbit rub against his chin. You cant smell this marking behavior. Only rabbits can detect this scent, not people.

  1. Runny about in a tizzy

Rabbits are prey animals and they like the things just the way they left them. They memorize the layout of environment like the potential escapes routes and it is a natural instinct. Rabbit run about the room and retrace his route if you have changed anything in your room if you have to remove the furniture or any new thing then he starts to run around and its normal.

  1. Eating poop

Rabbit eats a small number of poops and they do so because it is a legit health benefit. The poop they eat is called cecotropes and they are different from their regular poops. the poop that they eat is softer and full of nutrients that a rabbit require. They consume them in early morning hours so it is also called night feces. Rabbit redigest their food to absorb the vital vitamins and minerals which they missed during the first go around through the digestive tract.

  1. Licking you

Two pairs of rabbit show their affection and love by licking and grooming each other. Similarly, Rabbit shows their affection by licking you. If he wants to be petted then also he will lick you.

  1. Nudging

Rabbit will nudge you when he wants the attention. Rabbit will nudge you on the nose when he wants a tasty treat in your hand and also when he wants to pet him.

  1. Grinding teeth

A rabbit will grind his teeth when he is relaxed and happy. If you are close to rabbit while petting then you will hear the sound of the grind. When the sound of the teeth crunching is loud when he is in pain and stress.

  1. Grooming

Rabbits lick themselves frequently throughout the day to keep their fur and paws clean like cats do. As they are clean so they don’t need a regular bath but they need regular brushing to minimize the amount of hair they consume during grooming. They sit and lick their paws and body and rub them against his face.

  1. Thumping

Thumping means smacking his hind limb hard against the ground. Rabbit do this when he is sad. He will do so when you disturb or take something he is enjoying.

  1. Dropping fecal pellets

Rabbits like to drop a little trail of fecal pellets behind him as he hops. He does this to claim his territory.

  1. Jumping

Hopping dancing in the air is a sign of happiness. Sometimes rabbits become playful and run, jump in the air and click his heels together which is also called boink or binky. A rabbit is a boink when he is happy and playful.

  1. Tossing things

Sometimes rabbit tosses things such as toys, boxes, dishes. This means they want to play or when they tossed the food bowl they mean they need attention. And your rabbit is saying feed me.

  1. Growling

If a rabbit feels threaten then he will growl. If he has no place to escape then he will growl. Don’t let your rabbit alone.

Rabbit Food:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - Pet Rabbit

Like people and other pets rabbits also need a healthy and good meal for being healthy and active. A large amount of fresh hay should be provided daily. Mix grass hay or timothy hay is best for them because it is low in calories and calcium than alfalfa. One cup of vegetable is enough for 4 lbs of body weight. You should choose three types of vegetable daily for your rabbit. Different nutrients, minerals, and vitamins are essential for a good diet of rabbit. Sugary fruits like banana and grapes should be used sparingly as a special treat. Here is the healthy pet diet for the rabbit.

Hay

Fresh hay is the best food for rabbit diet and should be kept around all the times. For an adult rabbit timothy grass and oat hay is necessary. For the younger rabbits, alfalfa is necessary. Alfalfa is not good for the adult rabbit because alfalfa has high protein and sugar content. Hay contains the essential fibers needed for good digestive health and which also helps to grow rabbit teeth for good dental health. Place the hay at the end of the litter box so rabbit use litter box as rabbit tend to eat hay and poop at the same time. Always give your rabbit fresh hay. Don’t give hay which is brown or moldy or which does not smell like cut grass. Keep hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy. Buying hay from local framer is much healthier and cheaper than buying from pet stores.

Vegetables

Different types of vegetables should be part of your rabbit’s diet daily. Vegetables should be fresh and free of pesticides. Don’t forget to wash the vegetables before feeding them. Some houseplant leave may be poisonous to them so don’t feed house plants. Consult with the vet to know which vegetable is healthier and which is poisonous. Basil, bok choy, broccoli leaves, carrot tops, celery, cilantro, clover, collard greens, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, mustard greens, parsley, watercress are the vegetable that rabbit loves to eat.

Water

Always keep fresh water in their cage. Hang water bottles in their cage or put the water on the bowl. You can also put one or two ice cube on water on a hot day. If your rabbit doesn’t drink water much then wet the vegetables and give them.

Pellets

Pellets should be fresh and rabbit turns their nose up at stale pellets. It should be of high in fiber and low in protein. But also make sure that the pellets should not consume more as the rabbit cages. Pellets have high protein and can lead to obesity and other health issues in rabbits. Don’t give your rabbit pellets that have treats mixed in like dry corn. These are not healthy for rabbits and can cause digestive problems.

Treats

Rabbit loves treat but taking care of rabbit’s health they should give only occasionally. High in carbohydrates like slices of bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, cookies, chips or cereal are not good for a rabbit. There are many branded rabbit treats which are high in fat and sugar like yogurt chips that should not be given to rabbits. Make sure you don’t give chocolate to rabbits as it is toxic to rabbits. Fruit is the best treat for rabbit but you should give the fruit in a small amount as the fruit has sugar content. Organic fruit which is free from pesticides should be given. And always wash it before you feed your rabbit. Strawberries, orange, melon, papaya, peach, pear, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple apples are the fruit of the rabbit like to eat. Don’t forget to take out the seed from the fruit, the seed may be toxic to them.

Rabbit Diseases and Cure:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - Rabbit Disease

Rabbit also suffer from different diseases and health problems. Rabbits are wild animals so symptoms may not see until they are very unwell. Regular check-ups, maintain good hygiene, healthy diet, up to date vaccinations should be done to prevent them from diseases. If the rabbit is healthy then it will live more than 8 years. Here are the disease, symptoms, and cure seen in domestic rabbits.

  1. Overgrown teeth

Rabbit teeth grow throughout his life and rabbit grind their teeth down by eating fiber. If the rabbit does not do so then their molar teeth are forming sharp spikes that can damage their cheeks and tongue. This causes pain to them and it will be difficult for them to eat. The incisors at the front of their mouth can grow around in a curl and because of that, they cannot close their mouth at all. Because of that it will be difficult for them to eat and stops eating and may die.

Rabbits diet should be 80-90% of the fiber in the form of oaten or grass hay. Leafy green vegetables, pellets and other treats should be given to prevent from overgrown teeth. For the treatment of overgrown teeth a general anesthetic and burring, the teeth flat should be done.

  1. Snuffles

Snuffles is also called pasteurellosis. It is caused by close contact with infected rabbits which transfer Pasteurella multocida bacterium to your rabbit. This bacteria can affect the eyes which make the eyes discharge, redness, squinting and also the nose. And also affect other areas of the body like ears, abscesses and uterine infections.

Bacteria remain in latent in the rabbit’s nasal tract until the immune system is placed under stress like when a new diet or pet is introduced or if overcrowding occurs. Reducing the stress of rabbit are the prevention for this disease. Antibiotics are given by vet for its treatment. Sometimes surgery is also done if an abscess forms.

  1. Hairballs

Hairballs are also known as trichobezoars. As rabbit self-groom by licking their body and fur so hair is found in rabbit’s stomach. Rabbits cannot vomit and hair is pass through the guts. Otherwise, it forms an obstruction and serious complications. Hairballs are so common in rabbits and they tend to not to eat.

If there is a problem of gut stasis in rabbit then hairball become a serious problem. Hairball is caused due to there is not enough fiber in the diet and high fiber diet is a great preventive measure. The solution of hairball is surgery if it causes a blockage in the gut. Medication to get the gut working can also work.

  1. Uterine Tumours

A female rabbit can develop cancer which is called uterine adenocarcinoma. It should be suspected anytime an undersexed female rabbit become sick. The symptoms of uterine tumors are blood-stained vaginal discharge, aggressive behavior, mammary gland cysts, and lethargy. For the prevention desexing early at 4-6 month of age.

  1. Myxomatosis

It is the virus that is transferred by the mosquitoes, fleas or by close contact between an infected rabbit and a susceptible rabbit. The sign of the disease is swelling and discharge from the eyes, nose and anogenital region.

Keep the rabbit away from mosquitoes. Flea control can help. This disease is invariably fatal.

  1. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus is also known as rabbit calicivirus which is spread by mosquitoes, flies, direct or indirect contact with infected rabbits. Symptoms of this disease are rapid fever and lethargy to sudden death within 48-72 hours of infection. But most rabbits will show no signs or symptoms. The clinical signs are poor appetite, restlessness, lethargy, and fever. This disease cause liver damage and blood clotting abnormalities. This is a dangerous disease that can cause abstraction of blood supply.

Vaccination should be given to the rabbit every 6 months. Prevent from direct and indirect contact with wild rabbits. Insect control should be used to reduce the virus. There is no treatment for this disease. Time to time checkup of your rabbit should be done.

  1. Heat stroke

Heat stroke is a serious disease of the rabbit. On the blistery cold night, the rabbit may freeze and may die. Make sure to block the wind and provide enough hay so that they will chew it and keep the body warm. On summer rabbits should be kept in shade place with a lot of water. Rabbits can get the heat quickly and if your rabbit is lethargic and is warmer outside then you should take some action. Spray cool water on their body to decrease their body temperature. Take your rabbit to vet and they will treat him with IV fluids.to avoid heat stroke by giving your rabbit frozen water bottles and blow a fan on the rabbits so cool air circulates around them.

How to Clean Rabbit:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - Rabbit Information

Rabbit doesn’t need the bath like other pets and humans. Also, the rabbit doesn’t enjoy bathing and don’t like to be wet in water. Rabbit is self-groomer and is usually clean. But some rabbits need to bath in which they become dirty and smelly. To maintain good hygiene your rabbit should be clean. You can also spot clean the rabbit. Spot cleaning is the easy and better option. You clean your pet with the damp cloth or a piece of towel. Dab at the affected or dirty areas with the cloth and dry thoroughly with paper towels. If it is difficult to clean then a special water-free shampoo for rabbits are available in the pet store. Bathing rabbits cause those unhappy so don’t bath them if they need not to. And also rabbit’s fur takes a long time to get wet and also a long time to dry.

Rabbit loves to be brushed and it’s the best way to clean the fur. Before wetting the rabbit brush his fur and if trim the inches so that it won’t tangled. Use lukewarm water for bathing and after wetting the rabbit place your pet on your lap then put the rabbit shampoo in the body and massage it gently. And rinse the rabbit thoroughly. Make sure there is no soap left on their body otherwise cause irritation on their skin. After the shampoo has been rinsed then gently dry your rabbit with a clean towel. Dry your rabbit’s fur with the hair dryer putting it on cool setting. Be careful when you use the hair dryer because it does not chill or heat your rabbit. Don’t immerse the entire bunny in the water, first slowly put the all four paws into the water and use a cup to soak and rinse body. Rabbit skin is delicate so do with care.

Rabbit’s Available Colors:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - All About Rabbit

Rabbits are of different colors and they are controlled by their genes at several locations on their chromosomes. These genes produce a different variety of colors and patterns. The basic color gene of the rabbits are

A: Agouti hair shaft pattern (or not)

B: Black (or chocolate)

C: Complete color (or shaded, or albino)

D: Dense (or dilute) color

E: Extension of color (or its limitation or elimination)

Genes act as a color modifier like blanket or spots modifiers and color intensifier. Rabbit has two basic pigments in its hair. Dark brown and yellow is absence in white fur. Also long and short hair rabbits have same hair genetics. The rabbit who have long hair such as angoras have diluted color expression. In long hair, it has a less dense look and more pastel color. Short hair rabbit such as Rex have more intense color expression. In short hair, the rabbit has dense color and more intense. Wild rabbit has brownish fur called Agouti. This color is made of 3 to 5 bands of color. The closest hair to the skin is grey and then yellow and followed by black on the tips of the fur. And the rabbit has white bellies. Agouti pattern is found in domestic rabbits too and called color chestnut.

There is a different variation of this color pattern in domestic rabbits. Rabbits with patterns of white and a color are called A Broken. Some resemble a Dalmatian dog in pattern and some look like a paint horse. Tri-colors are similar to a calico cat with a white body, colored saddle markings accented by a third color spot. Harlequin patterns are either striped or patched in alternating colors and are very striking in appearance.

Rabbit Shelter:

Everything You Need To Know About Rabbits - Rabbit Information

The rabbit should be sheltered indoor and put away from dogs. To reduce stress rabbit should be kept in rabbit only room. Putting rabbit outdoor will lead to them being ignored by potential adopters and also to the perception that rabbits are livestock. They will also infect various parasites like flies, fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks which may be transferred to many diseases. A rabbit cage should be 30 X 36 X 18 inches or larger which should be made up of solid bottoms. Litter boxes and rugs or towel to rest should be available. Rabbits are trained to poop on litterbox and should be trained from a young age. Litter should be organic or rabbit safe and avoid softwood litters. It can be topped off with fresh hay for easier training.

The cage should be hygiene and disinfected. Different toys like for chewing, tossing and rolling, birds or cat toys should be kept. If there is a space a cardboard box with a hole cut out can also be placed for privacy. The room where the rabbit is placed should be temperature controlled. For good hygiene cages and litter boxes should be cleaned every morning. The cage becomes soiled from soft stool or diarrhea, excessive urine or from water spilled from crocks or water bottles if not cleaned. You should clean the cage and boxes with disinfected cleaner. Routine disinfectant should be used when new rabbit arrives. Don’t put the male and female rabbit in the same cage until they become three months of age and also older rabbit should not be housed in mixed gender cage or playgroups. After the babies 2- 3 months of age separate them from mother cage.

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