Congratulations on your new bunny!
We know you will love them as much as we do!
Arriving Home: When you first arrive home, put the rabbit in his new home and let him relax quietly. Make sure the bunny has a small amount of pellets, hay, and plenty of water. (Make sure to use both the crock and water bottle.)
After a few hours or quiet, check on your new friend. If the bunny seems calm or ready to explore, take them out and let them sit on your lap for some pets and cuddles. This allows them to get used to your smell and adjust to their new home. We like to use an old towel or blanket on our lap or floor.
Food and Water: We provide our rabbits with a water crock and water bottle. Water is critical and should be provided at all times, as rabbits can dehydrate easily.
We offer our rabbits one to two handfuls of timothy hay each day.
In the morning, we provide a handful of hay and check water crocks and bottles.
In the evening, we give 1/4 to 1/3 cup of feed, another handful of timothy hay (if needed), and check water crocks and bottles.
Be sure pellets, hay, and water stay fresh and clean. If they do not finish their hay and pellets each day, it is best to remove and replace with fresh every day.
We feed Bluebonnet 16% and Oxbow Timothy Hay. Both can be purchased on Chewy.com, and Oxbow Timothy Hay can be purchased on amazon, at tractor supply, and various pet stores. (https://www.chewy.com/bluebonnet-feeds-rabbit-booster-16/dp/231969). If you decide to switch feed, mix their current feed and new feed together for about two weeks to transition. Avoid the colorful mixes at the pet store and stick with a 16% protein, which is great for the Netherland Dwarf breed.
For treats, we offer a pinch of old-fashioned oats (not quick oats) or one plain, yellow box Cheerios once or twice per week. Greens like dandelion greens, kale, and some other herbs are ok but avoid iceberg lettuce. Greens can be given in small amounts a few times each week. Great tips about fruit and veggies for rabbits here: https://be.chewy.com/rabbit-food-list-what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-safe-for-rabbits/
Timothy hay sticks and apple sticks are great for chewing and can be purchased on Amazon. This type of treat can be given weekly.
Wait to try fruits, veggies, greens, and treats until they are over 6 months. Then, introduce one at a time.
Indoors, Housing, and Cage Tray: Rabbits overheat and freeze very easily, especially dwarf breeds. They are so small that they cannot handle our Texas summers and will die without air conditioning. Our rabbits were born and raised in an air conditioned and heated environment. Please keep their climate under 80 degrees in summer, and they really love it when it is close to 70. Please do not put them outside to live. They will not survive. Also, if they are not kept in a consistent climate, you will find that they shed and molt more. Their coats will be in constant flux, as their body tries to regulate. If you find that you can NOT house your rabbit indoors, please contact us.
As for housing, we prefer to use a wire cage with a mat for our rabbits, as the flooring helps keep the rabbit’s environment cleaner. We line our trays with a small trash bag or spa liner and add pine pellets (Feline Pine at a pet store or Pelletized Bedding at Tractor Supply) to help absorb waste and reduce any smells. If needed, you can add a scoop of Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher to further reduce any odor. We change our trays one to two times per week, much like a cat litter box.
Poop: Rabbits poop way more than you think, and they even have a special type called cecotropes that they eat for probiotics. Yes, they eat their own poop, but it is good for them! All kidding aside, regular feces should always be round and easy to squish between your fingers. If you see stringing poop, give them a bit of dried papaya, a little smaller than a cheerio, to help with fur block. If your rabbit starts to have small, very dry, hard feces, increase their water and fiber intake immediately, as that could be the start of GI stasis. If your rabbit ever has diarrhea, take them to the vet immediately.
Tips and Tricks: Please reach out to us anytime with any questions or concerns. We are here to help, and we want to help! Please send us pictures and updates about your bunny. We love to get them!