I just acquired a couple rabbits and now I am doing research on how to properly feed and generally care for them. I haven't had rabbits before, just cats, dogs, snakes, mice (for snakes), and lizards. Haha. All of those critters seem so straightforward when it comes to care, but rabbits, I just don't know.
I never had a rabbit before because my first real encounter with a rabbit I had was... it PEED ON ME. And I hadn't a change of clothes, and I was stuck out wherever I was in pee clothes. It was awful. So here we are.
Why did I decide to hop on these rabbits? Yes, pun intended. Go ahead, laugh, you know you want to - a little. They were floating around for a while on one of my local FB pet pages. They were a steal. A family was going through some stuff and they just needed to get rid of them, I couldn't pass them up. It took a full week to actually get them because they came with their own hutch and I needed a friend with a vehicle that could hold it! It's a huge hutch. Anyway, why did I decide to get them, really? Their poop. Yep, I said it. I wanted them for their poop. Their poo is fantastic fertilizer for the garden.
We want as many animals to be multi-functioning as possible. But, as I know, I am an animal lover, so we might end up with more rescues than anticipated. Haha.
I decided to share with you here some things that I have learned about rabbits on my research rampage.
Here are my little guys and their hutch. The hutch is pretty nice, but does need some modifications for sure. I will try to do that as soon as I can. Husband thinks we might wait until we get the house, but, I hate that their walking in their own poopie. I will make it right soon enough. I think they're already happier as it is.
I actually learned a lot about what kinds of foods that they eat and even a big ol' list of things that are poisonous to them. I have a couple friends who have had rabbits and I know that one of them accidentally killed their bun by feeding it too much iceberg lettuce. Whoops. So, if you didn't know they couldn't have certain things like, cabbage... Then maybe do some research. I honestly, why wouldn't they be able to have cabbage? Anyway, I had no idea. Here's a nice list of some things they can have for sure.
Apparently, once rabbits get older than 7 months, they shouldn't really have alfalfa or alfalfa pellets, only sparingly. Alfalfa isn't even really a grass hay, it's a legume! I didn't know! It is very high in calories and protein which is more than the pet rabbit needs.
They should have hay, of any type (timothy, orchard, oat, brome, etc) available at all times as it's supposed to make up the a large portion of their diet (I need to get some for sure. I'll be heading to one of the local feed stores tomorrow. They were closed today. I went to Wilco and another feed store in town and wasn't happy with much). Pellets are only to make up a small portion of their food intake once they're adults. Hay provides roughage which reduces the danger of hair balls and other blockages. They also should have a nice array of fresh veggies and sometimes can have fruit as a treatie.
Man, rabbits are much more complicated to feed than dogs or cats. Haha. I will learn, hopefully I don't kill 'em in the process. Haha, I know I won't, but it's a little nerve wracking! Thankfully, they eat pretty natural stuff cause my dog eats their poop. They give me dog treats! Haha, kidding. I try to get him to stop but there's not much I can do.
Ultimately, I'd like to feed them organic food. I plan to use their poo as fertilizer in the future so this will be the best, I imagine.
Is there food that you recommend? What's your rabbit's favorite treat?
If you click on any of the images below, it'll send you over to Amazon where you can grab them, and then rub it in that you have these things and I don't. Tell me how you like them! Do you have any special toys that you like to give your rabbits?
I don't plan on trying to pick these guys up right away, they are still pretty traumatized it seems from the move, but I am trying to get them to be used to me. Every time I go outside I spend time near their cage. The poor grey one is so scared. But, once I got that cardboard shelter in there for them, he was much happier and not avoiding me! He even smelled my hand. I also got to scratch the brown one's head today. I think things are going swimmingly so far. I'll keep ya in the loop!
Did you know that rabbits eat their own poop as a part of their digestive cycle? Gross. There's even a name for it, coprophagy. You see, your rabbit poops two kinds of poops. There's the regular pellet poops that you always see and then there are, cecotropes, which are soft and super stinky poops that often look like a tiny cluster of grapes. They eat these directly from their rears, it's a part of their digestive cycle, man. ?
Animals are gross sometimes.
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I'm Adrienne! Stay tuned for my adventures in beginning homesteading.
Adrienne is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.