This page provides important information for new bunny owners regarding their new bunnies care once they have left my home. The following information is STRICKTLY for the care of baby bunnies who have been bought from me, Carly, at Carly’s Mini Lops. If you have a baby bunny from a pet shop or different breeder, you must follow the information that you have been given when you bought your bunny. This is very important as all breeders will raise their bunnies differently and not sticking to that advise could affect your new babies health drastically.
It is important to follow this information as moving home is a huge deal to little baby buns and changing things like their diet while this crucial transition is taking place could cause your bunny to be very poorly.
I feed my baby bunnies exactly what I feed my adult baby bunnies from the moment they leave the nest. If they can reach the food then they can munch on it too. This includes the pellets, grass, weeds and veggies. When the mommy bunny has baby bunnies in her living quarters I will put all vegetables high up (on kebab sticks) so that when the babies are out and about and exploring their environment they too can munch on the same as mummy. My theory in this is that the babies are pretty much eating the same as mummy from birth through her breast milk. I have never had a poorly baby bunny and, touch wood, I wont in the future. You may read that you should not feed baby bunnies vegetables, and even any grass until they are 6 months old. The people who say this may not breed bunnies or they may not give their baby bunnies fresh veg and greens from youngsters because it costs too much (and it does cost, a lot!). If you suddenly introduce veggies and greens to a rabbit who has never had them the rabbits digestive system is going to have to adjust to get used to it. This can cause huge problems for rabbits. So you should stick to the advise of the breeder of your baby bunny.
Here is a list of every green, vegetable and item of food stuff that your baby bunny (from Carly’s Mini Lops) is used to eating on a daily basis.
Pellets: Supreme Science Selective – a handful per day (around 30g)
Hay: line their bed with it, put it in their litter tray and fresh hay daily in their hay rack. My baby bunnies eat plenty of hay.
Grass: My babies are given at least 4 hours grazing on grass per day (weather permitting)
Weeds: I regularly pick plenty of weeds for bunnies, including; dandelion leaves and flowers, sow thistle, dock leaves, plaintain.
brambles are a massive hit with the bunnies (the stuff blackberries grow on)
twigs – from any fruit trees or cherry tree, willow tree. Twigs are an excellent boredom buster as they spend ages stripping the bark off and it must great for filing down those teeth too.
Broccoli (especially the bits we don’t eat!)
Curly Kale (their ultimate fave!)
Carrots (as a treat, they are high in carbs and rabbits need greens high in fibre, I like to give them the peelings and end cut offs, if you have the green tops the bunnies will love this!)
Spring Greens (these are really cheap too!)
They do tend to like the parts of the veggie plants that we don’t eat ourselves, e.g. like the broccoli leaves and the whole plant really, strawberry plants rather than the fruit). This is great news if you grow veg or your neighbour does!
You should stick to this list of foodstuffs for at least 3 weeks. After this time, once your bunny is settled and in a routine, if you would like to start introducing new foods, you can. Start with a little bit of new food at a time (don’t give them lots of new things at once, their tiny tummy wont cope). Watch your babies poops for any signs that baby’s digestive system is not responding well (runny poops, diarrhoea, etc). If they do have runny poops, cut back the diet to hay, grass and water.
The most common mistake is changing the babies food pellets. Please don’t be tempted to do this. The Supreme Science Selective food is pricey, yes, but it is the only food stuff local that is anywhere near good enough for rabbits. If you really want to change your bunnies pellets to something else, of course you can, but you will have to do it over a long period of time and please do not do it until you have had your bunny for at least 4 weeks. Slowly add the new food to the current food and change the ratio of new food to old food slowly. It should take you two weeks at least.
When you bring your new bunny home… keep an eye on bunnies poo’s. Rabbits eat constantly and so, naturally, should poo constantly too haha. The poos should be hard and round, not too small. If poo’s become too small with a less uniform shape, then your bunny isn’t being fed enough. Is there a problem with your bunnies eating habbits? Are you bunnies teeth nice and short (you will need to check in his/her mouth)? Does your rabbit take yummy food from you? Rabbits are prey animals and they will hide any pain they are feeling so as not to be caught. Their poo’s and eating habbits are the only real way to tell that they are ok. If your bunny hasn’t eaten for 12-24hours you can guarantee that you have a very poorly bunny. If you see runny poos or diarrhoea then you need to cut back bunnies foods to the basics until bunny is better and slowly reintroduce other foods. If your bunny is passing water then your bunny is really poorly and a vet may be your only choice. I give a 5 day guarantee but I will not be responsible for vets bills. Please bring your bunny back to me so I can take him/her to my vet if I feel it is necessary.
It may be necessary to give your baby bunny worming treatments. It is nothing to worry about, if you have ever had a puppy then you will now it is standard practise for these types of pets. However, not all baby bunnies get worms so it isn’t worth putting their tummies through the treatment if they do not need it. Worms aren’t anything too awful and even children can get them lol (I don’t mean they get them from your bunny tho lol!). It is just part of being a responsible owner. You will know if your bunny needs treatment as their head will actually be tilted to one side.
People ask me if their bunnies need injections. The RSPC says so. Some breeders I know do, and some do not. The main thing you are trying to protect your bunny from is myxomatosis. This is an awful man made virus which was introduced to help control the number of rabbits in the wild by giving them all a horrifying death of the worse kind. I know, brutal. It can not be cured once it has been caught. Also, the vaccine against it doesn’t guarantee it will stop a bunny from getting the virus either. Awful. I will leave that for you to make your mind up about. I suppose it depends on your personal circumstances money wise as much as anything. If you have to neuter your bunny, this can all add up.
Did you know that bunnies LOVE playing and need to be mentally stimulated in order to be a happy bunny? check out my website for ideas and inspiration. I have some fantastic toys that my bunnies love, and I have tried out some things they didn’t think much to too hehe. A run for your bunny is essential if your bunny is not going to have the full run of your garden. Grazing on grass is also so healthy for them too. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a run either.
Importantly… when the bunnies leave my home, they come to their new families very friendly, outgoing and confident bunnies who are very inquisitive about their new homes. I am very proud of all of my bunnies. However, you must must must, continue this social interaction every day. This includes picking your bunny up at least twice a day. Stroking your bunny, fussing their heads, ears, cheeks and gently all over their bodies. Make sure they associate your voice and you approaching their living area with food to start off with. This will ensure they associate you with positive things from the getgo. When you come to pick bunny up, don’t pick them up if they run off and don’t chase them to pick them up. If they don’t want to be picked up right then that’s fine. Try again but make sure you are calm and just put your hand over the bunnies neck. This calms the bunny down. When they are still, stroke them with your other hand then slide it under their tummy, then slide your other hand under their back feet to properly support bun. Don’t pick them up by their tummies, when they are bigger they definitely wont appreciate this. If your bunny feels nervous when you are holding them, put their head under your neck and run your chin on their head. This is what rabbits do to eachother, it will calm bunny down. When rabbits are bonding they will lick eachothers heads. So, stroke your rabbit’s head, ears and cheeks to bond with them. If your rabbit will eat food from you while in your lap then you know bunny is happy.
In the winter, make sure your rabbits living area is out of the cold wind and rain. You could make a hutch cover too. Provide extra hay so they are warmer. Check their water bottles daily as they will freeze up in the winter. I add warm water to the bottles in the morning and wrap cloths around it and the bottle lasts then til the next morning. Cardboard boxes are good for extra warmth. You could even line the hutch with cardboard too. Even better, you could move the hutch inside a shed or outhouse.
Good luck with your new bunny! I love LOVE LOOOVEEE to see baby bunnies as they grow and when they are settling in with their new families as I always think about them. Please feel free to send pics and videos to me on my facebook page or to my email, and let me know if I can share it too (I wont share any pics or videos without clear specific consent, especially if there are people and/or children in the pics/vids).
Please do let me know if there is anymore information that I have missed on this page that would be useful for you. Thank you 🙂