Archive for February, 2011

All Change for the Buns

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Pepper helped me to clear out another room in the house today.  By helping I mean she sniffed items on the floor and I picked them up before she could nibble on them.  When she came back to the living room it was quite funny to see her baffled face.

Her pen was gone! 

While we were busy elsewhere someone else was busy dismantling the rabbits home made pen. 

We’ll be welcoming a baby to our home soon and we decided it was time to purchase a new cage with a bottom tray to keep stray hay from spreading across the room.

It was nice for a few moments to see a corner of our room not full of the usual rabbit clutter! 

It didn’t last long.

Problem Solving

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Rabbits never fail to surprise you with their wonderful problem solving skills. 

The other night, while Dylan sat lazily on his cushion,

Pepper discovered an intriguing box on the messy sofa. 

It didn’t take her long to pull that box open and discover that, oh dear, the box was empty. 

Nevermind Pepper.

Research on Rabbits

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Researchers at the University of Lincoln are currently conducting an internet questionnaire of pet rabbit owners and need your help.

By doing this questionnaire, they hope to find out more about the rabbit population such as; Who keeps rabbits? What do people do with them? Why do people have them? And what influences all of these decisions “.

The survey is part of a much larger PhD project which will also look at relinquishment and the behaviour of rabbits. After completing the questionnaire those rabbit volunteers interested will then also be visited by Jessica to meet their bunnies and see how cheeky and confident they are in new situations.

The information that you enter in the questionnaire will be vital in helping the project to provide information for developing educational resources on the various aspects of rabbit ownership. This information can then be used by the general public, current and potential rabbit owners, veterinarians, welfare organisations and breeders to not only improve things for rabbits but also in improving owners relationships with their rabbits and thus hopefully in reducing the number of rabbits relinquished every year.

The questionnaire is online now at the following address:

 www.rabbitsurvey.com

If you would like more information on either the study or a paper copy of the questionnaire sent to you, please contact Jessica on 01522 895488 or jhardiman@lincoln.ac.uk

Rabbits and Weddings

Monday, February 14th, 2011

With the chinese new year of the rabbit beginning on the 3rd of February we are starting to see some strange sights!  Rabbits at weddings in Hong Kong?  What next?  These photos are taken from Photoblog where you can read some more about them.

Baby Bunny Update

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Layla’s babies are now four weeks old and are getting bigger and stronger by the day.

They are very fast and are learning (although somewhat awkwardly) to do binkies whilst flying through the air.

They are now eating hay and vegetables just like the adults do and only feeding from Layla at night.

Their claws are quite sharp and their teeth are quite strong. I get constantly licked and snuggled into.

It is only a matter of time (5 weeks!) before they head off to new homes. I will miss them terribly as they have been such an experience in more ways than one. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures. All courtesy of my husband, Steve.

Hannah

The ‘Up’ Command

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Teaching rabbits basic commands is not as hard as you may think. From a young age they are able to understand some words, just like a puppy would.

Of course, some rabbits are cleverer than others. Layla really only knows ‘no’ and ‘in’ as we use  ‘in’ to get her back in her cage, through a door or into her carry box.

Henrick on the other hand is quite a clever little bunny.

Even when he was tiny he would understand words such as ‘bed’, ‘in’, ‘no’ and ‘up’. I can also say to him “where’s Steve?” and he’ll run to my husbands feet although I think it’s the slippers he associates with.

Using the ‘up’ command is a simple one to learn. I also use it for Henrick when I am cleaning out his hutch as I get him to jump ‘up’ on top of Layla’s cage to keep him out of my way and off the floor.

To start using this command you’ll need a lot of treats!

If you hold your hand above your rabbits head but making sure he can see it, he will instinctively stand up on his hind legs and give you a sniff. By holding a treat in this manner and saying ‘up’ every time you do it will teach your bunny this simple command.

Over time you can then say ‘up’ and bunny will oblige. (He will also pose for photographs without your hand being above his head).

Or you can expand the command and tap an object that you want bunny to jump onto (start small) along with a treat on top of the said object and once bunny jumps up the treat will be waiting for him.

It takes a lot of time and patience to learn a command but if you’ve already got a rabbit you’ll already know that they need lots of attention, handling and time.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Hannah

The Miracle of Pineapple Juice

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Henrick suffers with sluggish mobility in his gastrointestinal tract (GIT) which causes him no end of problems.

Rabbits need to eat fibrous material such as hay, to keep their digestion system moving. Henrick has never much liked eating his hay, he prefers to lie on it or snuggle up into it for warmth. He would only eat his pellets quite happily along with fresh fruit and vegetables.

One day he was lying in his hutch, not moving and hadn’t eaten.  This resulted in numerous trips to the vet where we were told he had a hairball, eaten something unusual or had Snuffles.

As he was barely eating we had to make sure he was drinking and gave him a mix of sugar and salt in water which would rehydrate him and also get his digestive system up and working.

Many £££’s later and after trying antibiotics, I was told to try him on pineapple juice to ‘unblock’ his system. Three times a day I was wrapping my little bunny up in a towel and syringing 5ml of pineapple juice into his mouth. It worked like a charm.

We weaned him (and Layla) off of pellets completely as these were causing the impaction in his intestines. Pellets were originally designed for rabbits bred for food or fur. They are packed with calories and rabbits can easily overdose on vitamins if they are also receiving hay and fresh vegetables.

Since having a diet of only hay/grass with fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, Henrick is back to his old self with much more energy and curiosity.

  

Hannah

Indoor Housing for a House Rabbit

Friday, February 4th, 2011

My name is Laura and I am currently in my final year at University studying BA (Hons) Product Design. For my final year graduation project, I am hoping to re-design an enclosure/cage for a house rabbit. 

I have owned a pet rabbit in the past but not as a house rabbit, however, I have friends who own/have owned house rabbits and I am a huge animal lover.  After researching further into the subject I have found that there is an increasing number of rabbits kept indoors as house rabbits and after looking into exisitng cages/enclosures for house rabbits, I feel that the look of them could be improved.

With this in mind, I was just wondering if you could offer me any advice/helpful tips on points to consider when
designing such products.  Any feedback would be very much appreciated in the initial research phase of this project.  I look forward to hearing from you and any advice you have to offer.

Can you help Laura?  If you could create an indoor home for your rabbits what would you ensure they had?? 

Please leave a response.

The Chinese New Year Of The Rabbit

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

With over a 6th of the world’s population, and around 1/2 a million in the UK celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit, rescues across the UK are bracing themselves for a surge in unwanted rabbits once the celebrations are over.

News wires Reuters, CNN, The Associated Press and others have already reported a brisk sale of rabbits in some parts, and although the coming of the Chinese New Year will be less marked here in the UK, there is no doubt that ‘rabbit fever’ will strike some who will become enchanted by the many images of cute and fluffy bunnies or their association with good fortune.

“Sadly it’s an inevitability”, reports rescue owner Helen Halliday. “Any time an animal is featured prominently in the media, people want them and simply go out and buy one without a thought for the long term consequences. Contrary to popular belief (and some comments in recent news reports), rabbits are not easy to care for; they require a great deal of attention, time and money.”

“We are beginning to see a significant rise in admissions following Christmas, and we’ll see the same after both the Chinese New Year and also Easter” Helen continues “They strain on rescues is overwhelming. Many rescues have waiting lists of rabbits needing to be admitted which is already greater than the capacity of the rescue! People need to realise that buying a live animal really is a big deal, and they should research it thoroughly before taking on the commitment.”

The Chinese New Year of The Rabbit coincides with the launch of the 2011 annual Make Mine Chocolate! Rabbit Sale Amnesty being held across the UK.

“The Make Mine Chocolate! campaign aims to put a stop to the impulse buying of rabbits” says campaign manager Lisa Whitty. “We encourage people to buy toy or chocolate rabbits instead, and we provide care information to potential new owners via retailers or the makeminechocolate.org.uk website so they can determine if rabbits really are the right pet for them before potentially making a very bad mistake.”

With around 35,000 rabbits passing through rescues annually and the RSPCA reporting rabbits are the most neglected pet in England, only time will tell if this really is the Year of the Rabbit.

If you are trying to decide if a rabbit is the right pet for you visit our Bunny Basics pages to find out what you need to know to help you make that decision.

http://www.britishbunnies.co.uk/blog/beautiful-big-ears/
Mobile UploadsRemember that bunnies are prey animals. Getting down on the floor with them is the best way to bond with your buns.
How do you tackle the weeds in your lawn when your rabbits play on it?
Mobile UploadsThis is Minstrel who has lost the use of her back legs, she is currently indoors as she needs regular cleaning and general stroking......she does have hay,water and dried food, its up the other end of the cage. She also has a name badge and information on the side of her cage (how organised is that! ) She was bonded to smarties and Elgar but with them being younger and mobile they kept knocking her over and she was having fits trying to get up, she has also just recovered from Fly Strike, I hadn't checked her close enough one day and a fly had laid its eggs in her scent gland.........within hours maggots had hatched. Was one of most horrific things I have seen and all because I missed checking every nook and cranny. The level of care needed when Fly Strike happens is intense to put it mildly. I learn't alot about Fly Strike very quickly and with a panicked phone call to the vets Minstrel is alive today. I always thought it affected other peoples unkempt buns.....oh how wrong. Please please if you have a disabled rabbit or one with incontinence or messy bum please be thorough and check, genitals, around the genitals, anywhere where its warm and moist.

And the winner is ...... Pete Spencer. Well done Pete, please send me a message...
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