Cinnamon is 9mos old on the 24th so I took a couple birthday pictures yesterday! I am just in love with her. Every time I get her out she looks better and better. Now she just needs to have babies! I can't wait to show her in July!
And of course, a couple goofy ones....you can't be serious all the time!!
My sister and I had fun with the bunnies yesterday, taking Easter photos! I really wish I had some babies to show off, but since Cinnamon decided to not get pregnant.....(not that I'm bitter or anything)......we just had to use her and Lance. I hope you enjoy the photos!
You are going out to feed your rabbit one day, and see that he has not cleaned out his bowl like he usually does. He has almost all his food left from yesterday. You automatically assume the worst. Is he sick? Is he dying? What's going on!?!
Before panicking and trying to get a hold of a vet, check your rabbit's water. Is it empty? Is the water dirty or does is taste funny? Is the nozzle broken or frozen, therefore keeping the rabbit from getting any water?
This happened to me before. Gracie wasn't eating and I was terrified something might be wrong. But no, she was just low on water.
Rabbits won't eat if they don't have accessible water. Therefore, water is the #1 MOST IMPORTANT thing you can give your rabbit. Check the water everyday. Depending on the size of the rabbit and the size of the bottle, you may not need to refill the water every day. But you should check to see that water is coming out easily and that it is not dirty.
When I was a new rabbit owner, I read too much and believed everything I heard. When my doe was around 6mos, she began scattering her droppings throughout her play area, which I read that only bucks did. We had this big stuffed rabbit that we would give Elsie to play with, but around that time she also started mounting it and "breeding" it! I was frantic. I thought my baby girl was a baby boy!
She didn't look like a boy, on inspection of the genital regions. Maybe she was confused. Is there any possibility a doe could think she was a buck?
I look back at myself and laugh. It's all obvious now. Those books I had been reading were surprisingly outdated; and maybe the author didn't know a single thing about rabbits. Because bucks and does aren't that different.
UPON SEXUAL MATURITY, BUCKS MAY.....
....begin to spray urine. This is disgusting, of course, but can also be caused by boredom and loneliness. Not all bucks will spray. Some are cleaner then others, and some are very, very messy! Usually this completely goes away when your buck is neutered.
UPON SEXUAL MATURITY, DOES MAY.....
....become aggressive, shy, or territorial. Think hormonal "teenager". This varies from doe to doe; I have both kinds of does in my rabbitry. The kind that becomes mean, and the kind that stays forever sweet and docile.
UPON SEXUAL MATURITY, BOTH MAY.....
....scatter their droppings to mark their territory. "Breed" or "hump", each other or objects to show who's the boss. Does "breed" the buck to show that they want to be bred. Be sure to separate your doe and buck around 3-4 months; they can breed and become pregnant at this young.
There you have it. And when I say "sexual maturity", I mean anywhere from the age of 4mos to 6mos, depending on the rabbit and their personality. Most begin this maturity at 5mos old.
The new page up on the website is about 4-H! Take a look and check it out!
Cinnamon is not pregnant. We put her and Lance together. Some say that if the doe is pregnant, she will growl at and try to bite the buck. She will be willing to breed if she isn't pregnant. She was so willing to breed. I actually feel kind of relieved. No more endless waiting - I'm going to breed them again in a couple days and hopefully this time we will have a more favorable outcome.
Her behavior was really weird. I am pretty sure she was pregnant at one point - and then reabsorbed her babies. That isn't common, but it does happen. And it would explain why she acted SO pregnant - yet no babies came. I will be removing her nest tomorrow.
Thank you for all your prayers, comments and concerns. I really appreciate knowing that you are all with me in this.
In other news....
We have bred Gracie and Sir Lancelot! However, she wasn't very receptive so I'm not positive this will result in a pregnancy. We will know in a couple weeks. She nests early when she's pregnant, so if she doesn't, we know it didn't work out. I'm going to try again later. I think the both of them are just pretty tired from this heat. Gracie and Lance can only produce rabbits over 4lbs. They are both 4lbs 2oz. Because of this, I will not be keeping any, and they will all be sold. I don't want to keep more "brood" animals, but show-quality rabbits that will increase the quality of my herd as a whole. These babies will make great 4-H, breeding (they have great lines), or pet rabbits, but cannot be shown. Lance and Gracie are like big ol' teddy bears! I love the bigger bunnies for this reason; they are so much more snuggly! If we had a successful "take", Gracie is due May 12.
Please keep praying that I might have 2 successful litters on the way soon (Cinnamon has not been bred yet but will be soon!)!
I LOVE this article from Oak Ridge Rabbitry! It's all about Holland Lop type with informative pictures and descriptions. It's amazing!
To see the article, click HERE
I also love Laura Freeman's Holland Lop Faults page on her website, Locket Rabbitry. The direct link: http://www.locketrabbitry.com/articles/hlfaults.html
Below is the main "look", we, as Holland Lop rabbit breeders, are trying to achieve. Diagrams below are credit of Laura Freeman from Locket Rabbitry:
And here's a great illustration of what the HQ/back feet should look like. Photo credit goes to Laura Freeman of Locket Rabbitry.
I bought this hutch when I was tight on space with new litters growing and needing time from mom. I didn't have much money to spend, so I had to buy the cheapest thing I could. This double-decker, $150 hutch was the cheapest (double), hutch I could find. I should have saved up and bought a better one.
There are so many things wrong with this, no one should have to go through what I did.
Advantek The Duplex CONS:
Adventek The Duplex PROS:
It's like this hutch wasn't even built for rabbits, when they advertise it as such! So disappointing, but if my account helps anyone else NOT make the bad decision to go with a cheaper, less-quality hutch because they need one ASAP, then it became profitable in the end. And now it's probably going to be firewood. ;)
As a new pet owner, I was concerned about sore hocks and wire cages. With only one house bunny living in my bedroom, wire cages weren't something I even considered. They were something I thought I had to stay away from. I had done way too much reading and believed almost everything I heard.
But when I became a breeder, and after a big hutch failure, I realized the only way I could expand my rabbitry without moving it into a barn/shed, was to buy stackable, all-wire cages. I did more research, but this time asked the breeders, who had had wire cages for years. Knowledgeable breeders that have been raising rabbits for YEARS, are often the best people to go to with any questions whatsoever. Most of us have been there, done that, and can relate to your experience!
Many pet owners think it's cruel to house a rabbit in a wire cage. The House Rabbit Society (site is HERE), is a big advocate of NO wire floors. But after my experience, I believe that is mostly a myth. And the people that made up the myth think the idea of wire cages is scary and harmful to the rabbits. Maybe they never even had an all-wire cage in their life.
My rabbits have wire floors. I give my bunnies big pieces of cardboard so they have the option of getting off the wire if they want. They don't use the cardboard! They do everything with it except sit on it. They chew it, eat it, and play with it, but I have yet to see one of them actually using it for sitting or "getting off" the wire. They don't mind the wire.
Holland Lops have VERY thick fur on their feet. This protects their feet from the harshness of the wire.
Everyone that says rabbits shouldn't have wire floors thinks this because rabbits can get sore hocks, which are painful sores on the rabbits' feet. Some breeds are more prone to sore hocks then others. Rex or Satin breeds, for example, have very thin and satiny fur on their feet, so they are not well protected. Larger breeds that support more weight with their back feet are also prone to sore hocks. Holland Lops just aren't.
TOP 2 PROS OF WIRE CAGES
TOP 2 CONS OF WIRE CAGES
Each rabbit has their own distinct personality, and like some people are shy and rather not be around humans, some rabbits are that way also. Mine usually aren't, because I handle them from day 1 to make sure they get used to humans and love the interaction.
But still, you get rabbits sometimes, that no matter what you do, they are shy little bunnies. Cinnamon was that way as a baby. I handled her more then all the rest, because I knew I was going to keep her from the start. But she was still really, really shy. Luckily she grew out of it around 3 months old. It also helped that even though she was shy and didn't want much attention, I still gave it to her. I rewarded her for behaving properly and letting me hold her, groom her, and give her health checks. Overcoming that shyness isn't only good for the bunny, but it's good for you, the owner, too. It's just not fun to have a bunny that won't let you clip his nails; pet him; give him cuddles and squeezes.
To become best friends with a bunny that's on the shy side, remember one thing: go at his pace. If he wants to stay at the back of the cage and be ignored, let him. He won't stay this way forever.
Once he is showing interest, try feeding oats or some other treat (if the bunny is over 6mos old), out of your hand. If he won't take it, put it in his dish. Try this daily. He will slowly realize that you are his friend; and that when you enter the cage, good things happen!
All rabbits love to be pet and loved. Some are just afraid of something that happened to them in the past. Rabbits are shy by nature. So if the breeder/previous owner of the rabbit didn't properly train the rabbit, they won't know how to not be shy. You will need to train them.
My name is Holly.
I'm glad you're here! Don't be a ghost; leave a comment every once and a while! Let's talk ;)