Tips for helping your baby bunny adjust to his or her new home
you purchase your bunny, any good breeder will provide you with a small
supply of feed that your rabbit currently eats. Use only the feed
provided for the first night. After
that, you can slowly transition your bunny to the grain you will use by mixing
it together a little at first and gradually changing over. Do not let the bunny feed sit out for more
than 24 hours or it will lose its nutritional value. Our rule in general, is not to give your
bunny anything but feed or hay the first 5 months as its digestive system
develops. Treats, like carrot tops, pea
shoots, or an occasional piece of dried bread are fine after that. To keep your Netherland Dwarf at a good
weight, once it is 4-5 months old, reduce the amount of feed to no more than
1/3 cup per day and all the hay it can eat (feed is what adds the calories and
- Make sure your bunny is eating and drinking,
pooping and peeing. If it doesn’t seem
to be drinking, try giving it bottled water and slowly transitioning it as you
do with the feed. We have well water and
yours may have a different taste or odor.
If you see red pee, don’t panic.
This is normal for a baby bunny that is on a higher protein feed. It can also happen periodically during your rabbit's life, depending on the food it is eating.
- Give your bunny the most friendly and safe
environment you can. It is a good thing
to hold your bunny a lot, but remember it is in a new environment and can be
easily frightened. If you bunny acts
scared, stay calm yourself, hold it snuggly and cover his eyes. Covering a bunny’s eyes can help calm it
down. And if you act scared or move
quickly, that will only make the bunny more anxious. Be sure to also give your rabbit some quiet
time, it is especially important for babies to still get some rest! Usually, a rabbit’s most active periods are
in the morning and the evening.
- Anytime you take the rabbit out of the cage,
hold and pet it for a little while. Then
if you want, put it down for some exercise.
This will help your bunny get used to being held by you. If you bunny starts to dig at you or nibble
your clothes, or do any behavior you don’t like, do not hit your
rabbit. It will only make it
aggressive. Instead, make a very
loud squealing sound each time you see the behavior and eventually the bunny
will associate its behavior with the unpleasantness of the sound. All sound seems louder to you than it does to
- When your bunny is on the floor, hang out with
it like a rabbit. Let him run around,
come up to you, sniff you or rub against you, then hop away again. As it becomes less fearful of you, it will
become more curious about you and its surroundings. Sometimes rabbits have a difficult time going
from being a” lap bunny” to a “run around” bunny. If you want your bunny to be mostly a lap
bunny, limit the amount of time it is out to run, and instead give it plenty of
people lap time.
Make sure the area your bunny will be in is “bunny-proofed”. Just like a toddler, your bunny will like to
explore and do what bunnies do best: chew.
This especially means making sure ALL wires are not available to your
rabbit. One bite could be the end of
your tv, or worse, your bunny. Give
your bunny plenty of other things to chew on: a piece of pine (never
hardwood), a cardboard toilet tube, an apple wood stick that has not been
chemically treated, etc.
- A rabbits usually sheds a couple of times a year
as seasons change. As it cleans itself,
it can ingest its fur, but can neither digest the fur nor can it throw-up like
a cat. To help it pass the fur through
its system, you can feed it papaya tablets – same as people papaya vitamins.
- Love your bunny and please give it a good home!