Breeds of rabbits 4 kids

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Snowygirl, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Snowygirl

    Snowygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mirkwood
    Hi all,

    Thanks for taking time read over this!! We're for sure getting a bunny/rabbit now, and I had a few questions
    about some breeds...and if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them! [​IMG]

    * which is better, mini lops, or lion heads?

    * Are both ok with being handled?

    * can they be outside bunnies?

    * is one friendlier than the other?

    * do either of them require a lot of maintenance?

    * and how often would you recommend to clean the hutch?

    Thanks all!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Neither, unless you find a great breeder that will let you and your children handle some of the rabbits some one that breeds for temperament first. (lion heads are more friendlily, Lops are easier to care for)
    mini-Lops are worse by general consciousness, mini-lops have bad attitudes if bred poorly or not handles.
    Yes, mine are- in completely inclosed runs with flooring
    Lion heads are friendlier
    Lion heads require more maintenance (brushing especially in the blow out shed)
    If it smells to you it reeks to them, concentrations of rabbit ammonia can cause lung scaring.

    I love Dutch rabbits as far as the friendliest ones I've had I didn't get mine from a breeder but they are not large and are short haired, http://www.verlannahill.com/AboutDutch.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. BirdyMe

    BirdyMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congratulations on deciding to get a bunny! :D

    As to your questions:

    Neither of the two breeds you listed is 'better' than the other. It's really all based on personal preference. I've had experience with Lionheads, but don't know too much specifically about Lops. However, I always loved my Lionheads- they make very good pets!

    Both breeds should do fine outside, given that they have shelter to get out of the rain and wind. Clean the hutches out once a week, if you can. :) As far as maintence on the rabbits themselves go, my Lionheads always kept themselves very well groomed- I would brush them a little during shedding season, but otherwise they were fine.

    If the bunnies are handled when they're young, then they should make great pets! You can actually clicker train rabbits- the same way people clicker train dogs. I trained one of Mini Rex's to come when I clicked. It was so cute!
     
  4. Snowygirl

    Snowygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mirkwood
    Thank you both so much!! [​IMG]

    So Lion Heads are okay for younger children?

    And when they shed, is it a lot? We have some allergies, so I want to make sure that she can hold it.
     
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hands down, english lops are now my favorite indoor rabbit breed. In general, for all breeds, I find bucks to be more cuddly and sweet, and does to be tidier with the litter box and more playful/energetic/sassy. Elops are the least active breed I've owned or been around, making them awesome pets and seems to help completely cut out any inappropriate chewing too.
    Our buck lives in the bedroom, and sleeps snuggled up in my armpit at night. xD Adults are about ten pounds, and they typically live longer than some of the other large breeds. I adore their personalities...very, very dog like.

    Velveteen lops are a mix of Elops and mini rexes, two breeds I really like, but I have not personally spent time with any.

    I've met some nasty individuals in generally docile breeds, and sweet individuals in some generally high strung breeds. As others have said, know your breeder and their animals. :). The mini lops around here have been sweet, as have the lionheads, but I've met really nippy ones in both breeds before that I did not care for.

    Any breed can be kept outdoors, though some need extra care like the ears on elops. My tamest, most interactive rabbits have been indoor rabbits though. Generally, they are very easy to get to use a litter box, in which case cleaning is very easy. If not using a box though, they have very mineral rich..often reddish, urine, and are great at making a lot of fertilizer. Drop through wire is often used for outdoor rabbits due to this. Trust me when I say a wooden hutch is not fun to clean if not litter box training.

    Research rabbit diets. This can be a killer in way too many pet rabbits either through obesity, GI stasis, or other issues. Papaya/pineapple/some other fruits are a good preventative for wool block, especially in a breed like an angora or lionhead.

    I really think rabbits are one of the best little pets. I love that an animal generally regarded as being mute can have so much to say with every grunt, brux, flop, and leg shake.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: That depends on your source. Find a GOOD breeder that breeds for health and temperament and either will probably be perfect. I work for a vet that sees rabbits regularly (in fact, the doctor that sees rabbits adores bunnies and would specialize in rabbits only if there were enough business for her to run a rabbit-only clinic) and lion heads and mini lops are probably the two most common/popular breeds we see. I've seen outstanding examples of both breeds, and I've seen absolutely horrid examples of both breeds. Mini lops are well known for having a bit of an attitude, not unlike tortishell cats, but some can be very sweet. One of the most aggressive rabbits we see is a lionhead, she's generally fine once you get her out of the cage but when you go into the cage to get her or to change her food or water or to give her a treat she growls and lunges. Most lionhead rabbits we've seen have been fairly docile.


    Quote: Yes, provided they get the proper socialization. Rabbits are a prey species, so being picked up, hands coming in from above, and cuddling not on their terms tend to go against their basic survival instinct. Most rabbits if handled frequently and properly from a young age will get used to being handled, even if they never come to truly enjoy it. I can't think of any breed that can't be an outside bunny given appropriate shelter. Neither lionheads or mini lops are delicate and most will do ok outside. However, all rabbits are prone to overheating and heat stroke in the summer time, so you have to be able to accommodate that (keeping the hutches in a shady place, perhaps on the north side of a building, providing frozen water bottles or milk jugs for them to lay against for cooling, having a "rabbit barn" with fans and/or air conditioning, or moving them inside during the hottest parts of the day). They typically do very well in the winter as long as they have a shelter that is out of the wind and are kept dry, much like chickens.


    Quote: Again, this depends more on the individual rabbit's personality and socialization than breed. But in my experience, lionheads have been less standoffish than lops. Not necessarily "friendlier" persay, but maybe a little less likely to give you the disapproving rabbit glare of death.


    Quote: This comes back to finding a GOOD breeder again. Lionheads have the longer fur around the neck that will require some grooming on your part or they do form mats. And lionheads can come in more than one coat length...some are really just longer right around the mane while others have longer, more wooly fur all over their body. On the other hand, working for a vet that treats rabbits has taught me that lops and dwarfs with their more rounded head shape can be more prone to molar malocclusion. If you do get one that has molar malocclusion, it is often not apparent until the rabbit stops eating because even with a mouth speculum it is often difficult and sometimes impossible to see the cheek teeth while the rabbit is conscious. Molar malocclusion requires anesthesia and filing of the molars by a veterinarian as often as is necessary based on how bad the rabbit's teeth are, which could be anywhere from every 3 weeks to once or twice a year. In extreme cases of molar malocclusion we've actually extracted teeth, which is a long surgery and difficult recovery on the rabbit with a chance that some of the root may be left behind and the teeth could grow back. Sometimes malocclusion can be caused by trauma, but more often it is caused by poor genetics. So if you do decide to go with a mini lop, take the time to find a breeder who breeds for healthy rabbits.
     
  7. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how young are the children? Rabbits can scratch. And some rabbits can drop dead with just a cage shake. I had rabbits for years. I think they are happier outside. They are very hormone driven. Females have a lot of false pregnancies if not breed and males have their issues also. I had all mine neutered. I had to drive an hour to get to a vet that spayed female rabbits (and I live in a big metropolitan area). It is also tricky to get rabbits to get along together. I kept mine on the back porch and attached small area of the yard. I had dachshunds in the same area which took care of my predator issues. My rabbits peed and pooped in the same area. So I just harvested it (put it in the compost). There would be an occasional poop ball in odd places but nothing really gross. Mine were trained to get in the hutch for animal crackers or some other treat so it was no problem to put them up at night. I've never had a rabbit bite me, some were more tame than others and I had a couple that liked to be petted. The males were generally sweeter. My rabbits would hiked their butts up to pee and would spray over the top of any litter box which is why I put them outside (along with digging up the carpet). That was gross. Rabbit urine will take the paint off the house. And it stinks! I also had to put chicken wire on the ground to control the digging. I enclosed their area with a picket fence and they chewed on that pretty good. They will tear up a yard pretty quickly, but they are fun to watch. I had mini rexes and a dwarf lop. Hope you enjoy your bunnies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS:
    This is our buck. He is twitching in his sleep in this one. X)
    He will actually nudge you and seek you out for cuddling. A lot of people comment that English lops are just a whole different ball game. That they are not 'skittery' like many breeds. They honestly are the most laid back breed I've seen.

    His 'sister' will seek out attention too, but being a doe, she is a bit more independent. It took some work to get where she wants to do things like jump into our laps or nudge us for petting. Spaying was a huge first step in having a gentler doe, but so was handling her a lot and not allowing her to call the shots, and simply teaching her that handling at first meant treats and known 'good things'. She grunted and stamped a LOT when we first adopted her. I can't remember the last time I heard her angry grunt or stamp. Someone mentioned having a doe who was nasty in the cage. That's another thing about female rabbits, they are much more prone to 'cage aggression'. It can generally be trained out, but is best not to let it start. Certain cage designs (ie. top lifting rather than side) also seem to help minimize cage aggression. We haven't seen this in our doe at all, but have seen it in a lot of shelter does. I definitely recommend bucks, and neutered bucks are even better, as being a generally more gentle pet.

    Oh, and YES on spraying over the litter box edges. Both bucks and does will do this. Our doe is very tidy, but our buck is more than happy to give it a whirl. High sided boxes solve the problem. Our buck actually uses a recycling bin that looks a lot like one section of these stackables (10 bucks at Lowe's):
    [​IMG]
    And it completely solved the problem. Our doe uses a high sided cat box that was two bucks from a thrift store just as a precaution. Rabbit pee is strong stuff, and can ruin carpeting and wood floors.

    Hay is another source of endless mess. I cut a hole out of an upright, clear plastic bin and lined it with electrical tape so the edges were soft and smooth. All the hay now stays in the bin instead of all over the floor. The rabbits just stick their noses in to pull out what they need. A lot of people feed straight pellets as hay is messy, but most vets agree that a diet that is mainly hay is much, much better for them, and won't lead to obesity issues. Obese rabbits are very prone to things like heart attacks. So are very skittery rabbits, who, as someone mentioned, can drop dead just from stress (or break their backs by kicking out too hard). Trim, docile rabbits are what you want for pets. :)

    Another consideration; vet trips are often not cheap for rabbits. There is only one clinic near me that will even see rabbits, and that is in a city!! We found a dog/cat neutering clinic that was knowledgeable in rabbits and at least was able to get a neuter and spay done for a very affordable price. Something to consider, but make sure they send you home with rabbit-friendly pain medications and know what they are doing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  9. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good point about the hay and pellets. Not only does it help keep them trim, but hay is important to keep those cheek teeth filed down to a normal length. Most of the rabbits we see with molar malocclusion are very bad about eating their hay. Many times this is because of their bad teeth, but we have seen some cases where the bad teeth were actually due to not enough hay. Baby rabbits and pregnant/nursing moms generally do well on a free choice offering of pellets, but most adult rabbits really should only be getting a few tablespoons of pellets per day because pellets are quite calorie-dense. If your rabbit is particularly couch potato-esque, you may even need to consider switching to timothy pellets as they are lower calorie than the more often available alfalfa pellets.
     
  10. Snowygirl

    Snowygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mirkwood
    Thanks so much!!! I've never had a rabbit before, so this is all new to me.

    So, bucks make better pets? She's 7, so I want to make sure that whatever
    breed that we get is ok with being handled. Also, you'd recommend English
    Lops? Are they ok for allergies, and how big do they average?

    Thank a bunch!! [​IMG]
     

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