Happy and Healthy Bunnies


How To Have Happy Healthy Rabbits



The lop breeds are all the rage as family pets as they are the most kid friendly. So following is a general description of them so you don't get sucked into any substandard or crossbred animals. The Dwarf Lop is the larger animal weighing in at 2.6kg on average whilst the Mini Lop is much smaller at 1.6kg on average. Don't be fooled by sub standard Lops which have narrow heads and overlong ears. From above a lop rabbit should have a nice oblong shape kind of like a fuzzy brick in shape with no pointy ends. Check the bunny's feet. If they are long and narrow you either have a Dwarf Lop or a Mini Lop with the Dwarfing Gene. A true Mini Lop has small chunky feet, about a third longer in length than in width. See pics from buyer beware post.

I am sure that you or a friend has had the experience of buying a bunny from a pet shop and been assured that it will remain small as it is a dwarf, only to find out that the bunny is anything but a Dwarf? Or that the bunny is definitely a boy or girl only to find out that it is the opposite of what you were told? Take the guess work out of it and go directly to a caring breeder who can not only answer all your bunny questions, but gives you right information you can rely on, after sales service and is generally very helpful. If you find that this is not so, please let me know immediately and I will post it onsite exposing the shonky breeder.

This is the question I am asked about most so I thought that I would share this procedure or method that I have devised so that people can make an informed decision on finding a healthy happy bunny and of finding the right breeder to purchase their bunny from.

I do think that a good breeder is still the best place to purchase your bunny because you can see firsthand the bunny’s parents and the breeders other stock and have all your questions answered whereas if you buy your bunny from a pet store who only pay the breeder on an average of $15 per baby bunny and sell it to the public for anywhere between $40 to $70. And a good percentage of the pet shop staff knows nothing about rabbits or their care.

So, now for the procedure to follow in finding a healthy and happy bunny: - make a list of several breeders in your area and ring the first breeder on your list and ask if you can come visit them and see the bunnies that they have for sale. You are going to test for smell, sound and handling.

When the breeder takes you down to their rabbit shed check for smell. If you get bowled over by the stench of urine from dirty uncleaned cages this is not the place to find a happy healthy bunny so make a polite excuse and leave and go check out the next breeder.

If the breeder passes the smell test enter the shed and check out the bunnies whilst keeping your ears tuned for the sound of sneezing or coughing. If you hear a lot of sneezing or coughing once again make a polite excuse and leave and go check out the next breeder on your list.

If the breeder passes the smell and sound test you need to observe how the breeder handles their bunnies, and how the bunny reacts when the breeder opens their cage. If the breeder grabs the bunny by the scruff of the neck and the bunny lunges at the breeder, once again make a polite excuse and leave.

When you find a breeder who passes the smell, sound and handling of their bunnies test, you have found a person who looks after their bunnies. Now you can start handling the bunnies and see how placid the bunny is. A lot of breeders handle their bunnies on a daily basis and this ensures that most bunnies from this breeder will be gentle and placid.

Standard WardrobeIn conclusion when you go to a breeder’s shed it should be neat and tidy the bunny’s water bottle should be filled with clean water with no green algae or other debris, the bunny cages should be clean and not stink of urine and faeces. The bunnies should look healthy and calm without any coughing or sneezing and the breeder should handle their bunnies gently but firmly and the bunny should be picked up as you would a small child, by placing their hands on either side of it. The breeder should be able to answer any questions that you may have in relation to bunnies, demonstrate how to hold them, and give you full care instructions. They breeder should also demonstrate how to clip your bunny’s nails, carry out a health check and encourage you to ring them if you have any problems or further enquiries.

Don’t forget to ask heaps of questions regarding the care and management of bunnies. A breeder who cares enough about their stock are more than willing to answer any enquiries that you may have.

I personally encourage people to check that the breeder only breeds for the love of the hobby and not breed for purely monitory gain. I personally dislike breeders who churn out bunnies just for profit without thinking of the bunny’s welfare. By not purchasing any bunnies from this type of breeder you are sending them a clear message that you don’t like their actions.

Trish Ratford


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