Friday, April 23, 2010

Rabbits Diet: Is Your Rabbit Eating Right?

By: Hagar Lagarto

The typical diet for a pet rabbit consists of water, hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and its own caecal pellets. Fruit and other treats are given only in very limited quantities, as they can cause obesity in a rabbit. Rabbits require a constant water supply as they dehydrate quickly.
Most sources recommend 80% of the diet should be Timothy hay or another grass hay. Too many vegetables in a rabbit's diet typically leads to diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Rabbits are generally fed a pelleted feed available from pet stores, supermarkets, and farm suppliers. Pellets were originally designed for rabbit breeders for the purpose of providing as much food energy and vitamins as inexpensively as possible. This is optimal when the rabbits are being bred for food or for experimentation.
Most sources recommend a minimum of 18% fiber, low protein (14-15%), and less than 1% calcium. Depending on the amount of vegetables available, an adult rabbit should be given between 20 ml to 40 ml per kilogram body weight daily. Pre-adolescent and adolescent rabbits (7 months and younger) can be given as much pelleted diet as they can consume, although additional vegetables are preferable to additional pellets. An older rabbit (over six years) can be given more pellets if they are having difficulty maintaining a steady body weight. Timothy hay-based pellets are great for rabbits that have stopped growing and do not need to gain weight. Alfalfa-based pellets are best only for young, growing rabbits or older rabbits who are under-weight.
Hay is essential for the health of all rabbits. A steady supply of hay will help prevent gastrointestinal stasis and other digestive tract problems in rabbits. Additionally, it provides a number of necessary vitamins and minerals at a low food energy cost. Rabbits enjoy chewing on hay, and always having hay available for the rabbit may reduce its tendency to chew on other items. Timothy hay and other grass hays are considered the healthiest to provide the rabbit. As a persistently high blood calcium level can prove harmful to the rabbit, hays such as alfalfa and clover hay should be avoided. Alfalfa is also relatively high in food energy, and a constant diet of it can cause obesity in rabbits.
Treats are unhealthy in large quantities for rabbits, just as they are for humans. Most treats sold in pet stores are filled with sugar and high food energy carbohydrates. If an owner is determined to feed the rabbit treats, the best treat to provide it with is fruit.

Acceptable fruits (seeds and pits MUST be removed): Banana, Mango, Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Orange and other citrus fruits.

Pineapple, mango, and papaya all contain a natural enzyme which is thought to reduce hairballs.
Fruits or other treats must be given in moderation, as rabbits easily become overweight and suffer health problems. Their diet should consist of no more than half a tablespoon of fruits or treats per day.

However, fresh fruits should not be given to rabbits under the age of 4 months because their digestive systems are not always developed enough to handle the fruit. It can cause enteritis that causes death within 48 hours.

While a common myth that rabbits should be given lettuce, this is not a good idea because it contains little to no nutritional value for the rabbit and again can cause enteritis which leads to a quick death.
Caecal pellets
Do not be alarmed if you see your rabbit eat some of his feces. These are called cecal pellets, and are a vital part of his diet. Caecal pellets are soft, smelly, clumpy feces, and are a rabbit's only supply of Vitamin B12. Due to the design of the rabbit's digestive system, they cannot extract some vitamins and minerals directly from their food. At the end of their digestive system is an area called the caecum where cellulose and other plant fibers are broken down and ferment. After they have been broken down and passed, a rabbit's digestive system can finally extract the vitamins from them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Choosing A Home For Your Rabbit

By: Tom Woodcock

If you are planning on getting a pet rabbit, you will need a place for it to live. If you are handy with woodworking, you may want to save money and build your own rabbit hutch. Otherwise, you will need to look for a hutch that is large enough for your rabbit and that will be suited for the area in which you plan to keep it. You should always make sure your rabbit has fresh, clean water and food available, and it is also important to interact with your pet to keep it from getting bored.

If you plan on keeping your rabbit outdoors, you will want to find an area that is out of direct sunlight. Rabbits cannot withstand extreme heat, so it is important that they have a cool place to stay. The hutch should have a roof to protect the rabbit from the elements, as well as to provide shade. Some rabbits hutches are made of wire, and others are mostly outdoor-grade plywood. If the sides of the hutch are wire, you may want to provide the rabbit with an additional wooden box. This will allow it to have added insulation from the weather, or provide a comfortable place for it to sleep. It is also important for outdoor rabbits to be protected from predators. Just seeing animals too near the cage can cause a rabbit a great deal of stress, and they can even die from fright. Keeping the hutch off the ground and making sure it is sturdy can be helpful.

A rabbit hutch with a wire floor can be easier to clean than one with a smooth floor. In either case, you should clean your rabbit hutch daily. Otherwise, bacteria can build up from the animal’s waste and cause illness or contaminate the food supply. Wire floors allow waste material to fall down to the area below, or to a tray, which can be removed for easy cleaning.

If your rabbit lives outdoors, you should make a point of interacting with it daily. This will keep your rabbit used to human interaction, which will make it a more enjoyable pet to keep. Rabbits can be affectionate and fun to play with and keep as pets. To keep your rabbit from getting bored, you should play with it or provide it with toys and chews. Toys that are safe for rabbits can be found in pet shops.

You can even try to walk your rabbit, but this is best done with a special rabbit harness, not a collar, and some rabbits won't like it. If you have some extra space in your yard, you may want to construct a rabbit pen. This can be done with chicken wire. You should dig down several inches to bury part of the wire, since rabbits like to dig. It also needs to be high enough so the rabbit can’t jump over it. This can allow your rabbit some daily exercise and play time.

Getting an appropriate rabbit hutch is important for the health and safety of your rabbit, but you should also make sure to interact with your rabbit often. Keeping your rabbit hutch clean and providing fresh water and food is also important for your pet.
About The Author
Tom Woodcock is a Pet Lover, pet product expert and builder of rabbit hutches. To learn more about Rabbit Hutches and Rabbit Runs. Visit him online.

The author invites you to visit:

Getting Ready ForYour Pet Bunny Rabbit

By: Andrea Austin

How To Teach Your Children The Proper Care For Your Pet Rabbit!
Children are naturally innately drawn to cute, cuddle-y little creatures, and they will probably want to pick up, stroke and play with your new pet rabbit. But while this may be tempting, it's potentially quite dangerous -- both to the bunny and to your child.

Rabbits are sociable animals and generally like human companionship, but unlike dogs and some cats, they do not enjoy the same type of close contact. They are ground-dwelling creatures and prefer to have all they're legs on the ground. If your child tries to pick up your new pet, the rabbit will likely squirm, claw and perhaps even fall to the floor. Moreover, children may want to rough-house with their new pet, but rabbits can easily be harmed by such behavior, because their bodies are so fragile.

For all these reasons it is essential to teach children in advance about what to expect from their pet and how to treat their new fuzzy friend. Read the next chapter, which is all about understanding handling your new rabbit, and then sit down for a talk with your kid or kids. Explain that rabbits are not like other pets, and that they don't like being picked up.
Also, be aware that rabbits do not respond well to stressful or very noisy environments, so households with very hyperactive or very loud children may just not be suitable to a pet bunny. And if you have a particularly energetic young child, you should certainly supervise the child's playtime with the rabbit, so that you can affirm good behavior and correct bad habits.
There are several supplies you will want to purchase before you bring you new pet bunny home. You will need to have most if not all of the following items on hand:

Cage Water bottle Food dish Food pellets Fresh veggies Hay Litter box/pan Rabbit toys
Make sure that you have enough of those essential supplies on hand before you bring your rabbit home, so that you don't have to run out and buy supplies while you're in the midst of getting your new pet settled into your house.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How To Select The Right Rabbit For You

By: Grahan Williams

Want an inexpensive pet which is adorable, cuddly and wouldn't grow from a adorable little ball of fur to a One hundred pound beast? Therefore consider a rabbit!
Take a look at a few reasons why you should think about a rabbit for a pet.

1) Many choices
There is Forty five different breeds of rabbits recognized through the U.S. Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA).
Would you like a small rabbit? Think about a Netherland Dwarf, Polish or Jersey Wooly.
Do you need a big rabbit? Then choose a Flemish Giant that can weigh up to Twenty pounds.
Do you think you're attracted to the "lop" eared rabbits? The Holland Lop can be a preferred choice on account of it's smaller size, nevertheless you can also choose from a Mini Lop, French Lop, American Fuzzy Lop or an English Lop. An English Lop's ears can be up to 24 inches long.
Are you picky about color? Rabbits come in several colors. You'll be able to certainly find one or more colors that could appeal to your tastes!
Are you interested in a rabbit with lots of fur? Subsequently choose one of the Angora breeds, or a Jersey Wooly. But be prepared to spend more time grooming the rabbit!
Thus the choices are endless, and for many of us, the choices are hard. Like the potato chip commercial says, "You can't pick out just one"!

2) Rabbits are quiet
It's certain: You will never have neighbors calling you to quiet down your rabbit. It just does not come to pass.

3) Rabbits could live indoors or outdoors
Obviously, one can find rabbits that live in the wild, but they can adjust to living inside as well.
Those that keep rabbits outside, you need to ensure they have satisfactory shelter and are well-protected from predators. These include the neighborhood dogs and cats which could wander through your garden.
They must be protected from the elements and still have ample ventilation. The moment hot weather comes, you need to take special measures to keep your rabbit safe because warm weather bothers them a lot more than cold weather.

Most people keep their rabbits inside, and that's fine also. If you keep your rabbit inside, you can expect to need to spend some time preparing your home for your new friend.
Be sure to keep electrical cables away from your rabbit. Rabbits like to chew, and those wires are tempting...and lethal.

Rabbits can be litter box trained, and also are extremely clean pets. As a result feel free to keep them indoors if this is what you want to do.
4) Rabbits are enjoyable to have around
Simply watching them play in their cages is great fun, but let them out, hold them and pet them, and you will definitely be hooked!
5) Rabbits are really adorable
Have you ever seen an ugly rabbit?
With rabbits, the babies are incredibly cute and adorable, and they stay cute and adorable when they grow up. Now I like dogs, but so many of them are cute as puppies, then grow into huge ugly dogs. This doesn't happen with rabbits. They'll stay adorable their entire life.
6) They can be inexpesive to keep
Rabbits are a low cost pet. Shots at the vet's are unnecessary and you can easily take care of your rabbit yourself. If you care for your rabbit the right way, there will be no need to go to a vet's at all.
Consequently, pick out a rabbit for your very own to take home and love today!

Once you have your pet Rabbit you need to keep it healthy and happy!
Large pet Rabbit Cages are a great way to do this. For more free advice on them be sure to visit