- Every rabbit is different. Adjust these tips to your rabbit's personality and temperament. Don't try to fit your rabbit into a "mold" - these tips & tricks won't work for everyone, but I've found that they work for me.
- Practice putting your rabbit on his or her back (without clipping nails), several times a day for only a few seconds each time. When they struggle, have them there for longer. Let them go when they have been still for at least two seconds.
- When you go to actually clip your rabbit's nails, do so when the rabbit is tired, such as after a long time playing or exercising. This will decrease his/her energy levels and make him or her more willing to cooperate.
- Hold your rabbit tightly, so they feel secure, but gently. Don't squish his or her guts out!
- When you get down with a nail, rub/scratch your rabbit's head or his/her favorite petting spot, or reward him/her with a tiny treat.
- Put your hand in between the rabbit's back feet and front feet. Wear a long-sleeved shirt to minimize scratches.
- Talk to your rabbit during the nail clipping.
- Clip the nails every month or two. Don't go too long without doing it or the rabbit will get unaccustomed to it and you'll have a harder time next time.
- Cut only the tip off each time. Some rabbits don't like the pressure change of a chunk of their nail coming off.
- If you let the nail get long, the next time you cut it, only cut the tips. As the nail grows, the quick (blood supply), in the nail also grows, and when you cut the nail, the quick shrinks back and gives more nail to be cut off the next week.
- Above all, DON'T GET STRESSED OUT! Your rabbit can sense your frustration and anxiety, and because of it he or she won't behave any better for you. Stay calm.
A "difficult bunny", is any that doesn't like to be picked up; won't let you flip them over and hold them on their back; an easily excitable, very energetic bunny; one that will kick and bite and scratch whenever they're put into an uncomfortable position. You can say that I have one of those. I have a "difficult bunny". And I've found that these 10 tips and tricks REALLY WORK, to help getting those claws clipped!
Rachel, a lady that bought two bunnies from me (both from different litters, but siblings), needs to move and her new apartment doesn't allow pets, so her beloved bunnies will have to go. She is really upset about it, but the new living situation is what's best for her and her daughter.
She is giving these two - Graham, the big broken blue tort neutered buck, and Cracker, the little black tort doe - back to me. I'm going to do my best to try and find a home for them. Someone that will provide a loving, wonderful permanent home, have them as house pets, and never separate them. They have a deep emotional bond, and they could get really stressed out if they are separated.
Once I get them, at 5:30 today along with all their supplies, I'll update this post. Tomorrow I will post them on my For Sale page. If you would be interested (or know anyone who would be interested), in these two, please let me know.
When Gracie had her last molting cycle, conveniently right after Cinnamon had her kits in May, I thought Gracie was going through a state of depression because of the new babies. She had been the only one having babies before, and so the thought of someone else - even her own daughter - taking her place in that made her sad (or so I imagined.... ;)). She only nibbled at her food and never ate her whole portion like usual. She didn't play with her toys or seem interested in being with me like usual. I was worried about her.
I gave her apple cider vinegar in her water, and she's had that for a couple weeks now. I think it's helped a ton with her shedding cycle, and has made it finish up quickly.
When I bred her this past Wednesday, she was almost finished molting and was eating 1/4 cup of feed - better than a couple months ago, but still half as much as usual.
I'm happy to say that yesterday is the first day she's eaten her full amount of feed! She's been perky and happy and at the door every morning like the good girl she is. Whew! Glad she's back to normal! Maybe all she needed was a little love :)
Do you give toys to your rabbits?
What some people don't understand is that rabbits are just like any cat or dog. They like to play. They have emotional and physical needs; they need to be active, and to exercise their minds.
In the wild, rabbits are naturally very brainy creatures. When I say "brainy", I don't mean they are particularity smart (which they are), just that they have to use their minds for staying alive. Most of it is instinct; however, a dumb rabbit with no brain isn't saving itself from anything.
Domesticated rabbits have to use their minds a little less than they would have to if they lived in the wild. They don't need to be constantly aware of their surroundings; they don't need to forge food for themselves; they don't dig for burrows, food, or nesting; they don't (hopefully), need to run from predators; they don't need to protect their young from danger.
Toys that hide treats bring out a part of the rabbit that might otherwise be concealed. Searching and smelling out the treats stimulates their minds, and brings out their instinctive foraging behavior.
Some rabbits have just a feeder and water in their cages. What do they do all day? How do they exercise their minds and stay happy? In my opinion, a happy rabbit is one that will breed easier; take care of its young better; and be, overall, funner to play with and be around.
I don't have rabbits just because they're cute and easy to make a quick dollar on. I raise rabbits because I truly enjoy this little creature that God put on the earth. And if we TRULY enjoy rabbits, we want them to be happy, right?
To see some fun toys to make for your rabbit, visit this page! http://hollyshollands.weebly.com/bunny-fun.html , for inexpensive toys to stimulate your rabbit's mind!
The babies are getting bigger! I already have eyes on the two little does that I'm keeping for further evaluation and to show. I'm actually kind of glad we have two fuzzy does or else this would be a lot harder, lol!
I'm really liking these girls. I haven't been as excited about juniors since Cinnamon was little! I knew her babies would be outstanding.
My next show is July 26th, and it's supposed to be really fun! I'm really hoping and praying these does will be up to weight (2lbs), but it's highly doubtful (they'll only be almost 10wks old at the show), or that Cinnamon will grow her tummy hair back. She's completely bald from where she plucked fur for the little guys.
If I don't have anybody to show, I might just go to hang out. We'll see. It's in Monroe so it's not too far. After that, in August, I have the Evergreen State Fair, and I'm really excited about showing there! After that we have the WA state fair in Puallup, and three more shows in October and December that will hopefully end the showing year with a bang! I'm really hoping to get a leg on two of my does by the end of the year; Cinnamon and whichever of her daughters I decide to keep. It might be tough but I'm excited to try and learn along the way.
These three shows are actually 5 shows; two of them have two chances to enter your rabbits and two different chances to have your rabbit judged under a different judge, or to earn a leg.
I wanted to go to a lot more shows this year. Because we didn't have a car at the beginning of the year it was completely out of our control.
I see great things for next year in Holly's Hollands Rabbitry. For one thing, next summer should be the time of the shed; the summer I've been waiting for since I started breeding. And so many more shows and bunnies next year too. Oh boy, I'm really looking forward for 2015!
Thanks for sticking with me through this ramble of sorts.
Have a good one!
I bred Gracie today! She was very willing and ready, so I'm almost positive she'll get pregnant! Only a month until more babies! She is due July 18.
The daddy to this litter is Blue Storm's Sir Lancelot. These babies will be bigger, probably over 4lbs as adults or very near there, and they will not be showable. However, they can come with a pedigree if you'd like to breed them.
Our current babies should be weaned the week these new ones are born! I'm very excited to not have to wait for more babies for too long! If you haven't noticed, baby bunnies are somewhat addictive.
As some of you may know, I'm waiting to breed Dragonfly's Gracie until she's done molting. I think she only has a week left to go or so. I've been trying to get her out every day to brush her and give her lots of exercise, to try and get her molting finished up.
As some of you may not know, Gracie has a habit of not getting pregnant. So far, she's been bred 4 times, and the two litters she's had were from the same buck. In between those two litters, she was bred to another buck who she didn't like very much. She's also been bred to Sir Lancelot before but didn't take.
I can't find the buck she produced amazing babies with. He was sold from his breeder and is probably a pet somewhere. That's fine. The point of buying a buck for my rabbitry was so that I didn't need to borrow bucks anymore.
I am going to do everything I possibly can to get her to be VERY WILLING to breed. Sir Lancelot now has 6 babies under his belt, and since he's experienced, she may take to him a little better this time. When she's done molting I'm going to get her out in the sun all day, give her apple cider vinegar, ect. But what if she STILL doesn't get pregnant?
If she doesn't get pregnant this time, Dragonfly's Gracie is going to have to be sold. It really breaks my heart. I love her so much, but I just don't have enough resources to devote to a doe who is no longer producing; I can't keep any more pets. She's the sweetest rabbit in my rabbitry right now, but since she can't be shown, and since she's getting older, I'm really liking the idea of bringing in another, smaller doe, maybe in a cool color like blue or black. One that would work really well with Lance.
Even if Gracie does produce, I'm only going to keep her for 1-2 more litters. Since she's just SO sweet I'd love her to be able to have a spoiled house bunny life with a loving family that can devote all their time and attention to her. She deserves it, after everything she's done for me.
Thanks for letting me ramble. I know there are a lot of people out there who are waiting on a litter from Gracie. I'm going to try everything I know to get her pregnant, but it's not up to me anyway. I can't control if she takes or not. I know some of you might be disappointed, but trust me, I will have other litters, you can bet on that! If you choose to find your rabbit somewhere else I understand. If you stick with me through this guessing game, I highly appreciate it, and you won't be sorry!
The (E) series is unique because the most common gene is not actually the most dominant. There are 5 genes in the (E) series, and the most common one is also semi-recessive. The (E) gene controls how far up the dark pigment extends. The (E) genes are linked chemically to the (A) genes, and many (E) series genes won't show their "true colors" ;) unless they are on an agouti coat. Let's dig right in, then, shall we?
Ed - "Dominant Black" It's a full extension of dark pigment; it brings the black (or blue, chocolate, or lilac), all the way up the hair shaft (which, by the way, is hollow). (Ed) will make a chestnut coat look black, an opal coat look blue, and so forth. The "blacks" brought on by this color are very deep in color and are less likely to have scattered whites than a true black. Things may change someday, but for now, (Ed) is rarely found, so it's safe to assume your black (or blue, chocolate, lilac), is a true black (or blue, chocolate, lilac), unless it meaninglessly throws (produces), agoutis when bred to a true self.
Es - "Steel" This is a lesser version of (Ed). (Es) carries the dark pigment mostly all the way up the hair shaft, but leaves a little light color at the tips of the guard hairs. This produces the steel variety when coupled with the agouti gene. Since self and tan patterned already have single-colored hair shafts, there's no light color at the end of the hair tip for the steel gene to leave. Thus, the steel gene doesn't show on (aa) or (at) patterned animals.
E - "Normal Extension" Dominant over lower (e) genes, recessive to those above it. Most colors are normal extension.
ej - "Japanese Bridling" When you see the (ej) gene, think "harliquin", or "tricolored". The (ej) gene creates the colors called Japanese, magpie, and tri-colored. The (ej) gene segregates the dark brown and yellow pigments, putting them on separate hair shafts. The (ej) gene only works properly on rabbits with the agouti gene.
e - "Non-extension" Most recessive gene in the (E)-series. On the other end of the spectrum from (Ed), (e), hardly shows any dark pigment at all. Only the orange/yellow pigment shows, thus, non-extension colors are those that are yellowish, such as orange, cream, red, frosty and sable point.
And there you have it! Put all these genes together and you have a genotype, an actual color code for a rabbit. Dragonfly's Gracie's genotype is Aa BB Cc(chd) Dd ee. She's orange, but carries dilute (d), and self, (a). She is agouti (A), black-based and doesn't carry chocolate (BB), but is non-extension, since she's orange. I hope you enjoyed this series. We're not quite done yet. There's another, secondary, set of genes that controls other things. Tomorrow we'll tackle that, then we'll be finished!
Have a nice day!
You may have noticed so far that all the pictures I'm including are of Holland Lops. However, all the colors I mention can be found in every breed - they just aren't necessarily "excepted", or "recognized" with the ARBA.
The (C) series controls how much what what colors of pigment are found in the coat. Affects both the color, and the placement of the color.
As you read the following descriptions, notice that the further down the hierarchy you go, the lighter and lighter the color becomes. This is because more and more pigment is being removed from the coat.
C - "Full Color" Dominant over all the others. Normal amount of pigment over the whole animal. Examples include black, orange, chestnut, otter, tortoise (tort), and their blue, chocolate, and lilac counterparts.
Cchd - "Chinchilla Dark" More commonly referred to as the Chinchilla gene. Colors often appear silvery because this gene removes the yellow pigments from the coat. Where a full color variety has orange or fawn fur, the chinchilla color has pearl or white fur. Examples include chinchilla, squirrel, silver marten, magpie, and more.
Cchl - "Chinchilla Light" More commonly referred to as the Sable gene. This gene creates the shaded colors. All colors with this gene are darkest on the points (feet, nose, ears, tail - the "ends" of the rabbit), and shade to a lighter color on the flanks and over the chest. Examples include sable point, Siamese sable, smoke pearl, seal and more.
Ch - "Himalayan" This color is also known as Pointed White or Californian. Recessive to all (C) series genes above it. Notice that we are almost to the end of the (C) series and the pointed white color is almost colorless. The pointed white color is all white except for the points. They have red eyes.
c - "Albino" The most recessive gene in this series. Albino, or Ruby-eyed-white (REW), are all white and they have red eyes. Here's an interesting fact: ANY rabbit with the genotype (cc), will appear REW. Why? Because the (c) gene removes ALL the color pigment from the fur and eyes. This is true no matter what the rest of the genotype is. The genotype AABBccDDEE is a REW rabbit. Same with the gene aabbccee.
Before the (D) series is actually the (C), series, but because we just did the (B) series and (B) and (D), work so well together that I'm going to cover (C) in my next blog, and skip it for now.
(D) and (B) actually work together to change a black to a blue, and a chocolate to a lilac. Like the (B) series, there is only 2 genes in this series.
D = "Dense" Dominant over (d). Colors usually have brown eyes. All black and chocolate based colors are (D). Examples are black tort, chocolate tort, black, chocolate, ect.
d = "Dilute" Recessive over (D). Colors have blue-gray eyes. Changes a black or chocolate to a blue or lilac. A dilute color has the same color pigments as its dense counterpart, but the pigment granules are spaced unevenly, thus creating a less intense appearance. Examples are blue tort, lilac tort, blue, lilac, ect.
If a rabbit had the gene B? D?, it would be black-based. If it had the gene bb dd it would be lilac-based.
So here's a question. What color-based (lilac, chocolate, black or blue), would B? dd be?
Answer: B? dd is the dilute version of black, which is BLUE! That rabbit would be blue-based. Thus, a chocolate-based rabbit would be bb DD.
Now none of this came from my own brain. I would like to thank Ellyn Eddy of Rabbit Smarties (you can Google it), for her book, "It's Easy as ABC: About Bunny Colors", a book on rabbit coat color genetics and a practical guide on raising colors in your rabbitry and applying what you know in rabbit coat color genetics to get an accurate picture of all the colors you could produce with a pair of rabbits.
~What's with the question marks? I put question marks next to the letters to say that with that rabbit, we don't know what it carries. We don't know what its recessive gene is, or even if it has one at all. the recessive gene cannot carry anything, so that's why there's two dd (for example), and a question mark after the dominant gene, I'll talk about finding out what genes your rabbit carries and more on recessives in another post. This will be a long series.
~The reason why I say "blue-based", or "black-based" (ect), is because those aren't the genes for just a pure blue or black; well, they are, but they're also for each individual blue- or black-based (ect), color like black otter, blue otter, black tort, blue tort, orange, cream, Siamese sable, smoke pearl, chestnut, opal, squirrel, chinchilla, a lots, lots more.
Hopefully when I'm done with it I can incorporate all of this info in a single article on my website!
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 ;)