Two Bunny Questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Laurajean, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I was recently given a baby bunny as a "surprise" from a well meaning neighbor. I've never had a bunny before, but I went to my local feed store and got the needed supplies. She's now a couple months old.

    But I have 2 questions:

    1. Can bunnies over-eat, and if so how much should I feed her?

    She seems to want to eat A LOT. I know she is growing, but I don't want to over feed her either. I have a small pet dish that I fill each morning and it's very quickly gone and if I feed her later in the evening she gobbles that up quickly and it's gone by morning again.

    2. How much space does a bunny need?

    She's a New Zealand white and is growing super fast! I have her in a good sized pet cage, but can see she will quickly not have proper space. Is there a general rule for sq. footage for a bunny? I want to upgrade her only once to a cage that will suit her adult needs, since she is growing so quickly.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Heartlandrabbitry

    Heartlandrabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Washington
    Quote:When I have young rabbits I usually free feed until they are 4 -5 months, since they are still growing they need all the nutrients they can get. If you think she is becoming too fat then you could maybe cut her down a bit. I feed my Cremes and Champagnes (Both meat breeds) 1/2 cup in the evening. She may not like it at first but they will get used to it! My rabbits know when it's feeding time. If you think she is still hungry, give her some hay.

    My rabbits are about the same size as yours, mine live in a 30x30. It gives them enough room to move around, I also take them out to exercise. If you plan on keeping her outside a 30x30 would be fine. Hope I helped [​IMG]
     
  3. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I don't think she's fat. She looks normal and healthy, I was just amazed at how much she chows down.

    You mentioned hay. I've been giving her Timothy hay at all times in her cage. She's been eating more of it as she gets older. It's okay to have that freely available, right? I know with my Guinea Pig, I used to give her free constant access to Timothy hay, and then reserve Alfalfa for occasional treats.

    Right now she is in my Guinea Pig's old cage which is 30" x 17", so I'm not sure how much bigger I should go.

    She isn't outside by the way, she's inside and I let her out every day or so to run around the house.

    I appreciate your help, thanks!
     
  4. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have pellets and timothy hay available all the time for my rabbits. In general, I don't think they will overeat as they need to constantly grind down their teeth by eating hay. Treats would be where you need to limit her intake. Mine are outside in a divided 4' x 4' hutch so they each have 2' x 4'. They get out every couple of days in a large pen so they can get more excercise. I go with the rule, the more space the better. If you're planning on keeping your bun inside I highly recommend a C&C cage. Much more space than a typical petstore one and you can customize it to fit your needs.

    This link explains what a C&C cage is and how to make one.
    http://www.guineapigcages.com/cubes.htm


    And this one shows some examples of modified ones for rabbits.
    http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/search.php?searchid=65392

    Good luck and have fun with your bun! Oh, remember rabbits can and will chew anything, including wires so make sure your room is bun proof if you let her out to play.
     
  5. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    If she's a meat breed then she will gain weight easily. As soon as she matures I would feed her 1/4 cup of pellets per 5 lbs weight.

    Hay free fed, like you're doing now is exactly what she needs as a rabbit needs to nibble constantly (in between naps [​IMG] to keep the gut going and the hay will be the fiber that she needs plus it will convert to the nourishment that she needs as well. Treats should be controlled to a minimum as they convert to sugar and that lowers the immune system.

    All said and done, rabbits need tons of exercise including a good race across the yard to keep those muscles in shape. I had tons of rescued rabbits for years and still would, but my newish GSD is not a natural nourisher of small animals....yet [​IMG] I so miss having them but I really can't keep them in a cage and mostly built pens for them
    with daily vigorous excursions in the basement or outdoors.

    Give a good snuggle from me! (sorry if that's too much info, I do get carried away lol)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  6. Heartlandrabbitry

    Heartlandrabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Washington
    Quote:Yes, feeding them hay freely is fine. Do you plan on giving your rabbit Alfalfa? Giving Alfalfa to your rabbit isn't good, it's very high in protein, can cause liver problems even liver failure.
     
  7. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Quote:No, I haven't given her Alfalfa yet, and based on what you just said, I won't in the future. I'm just giving her lots of Timothy hay.
     
  8. Heartlandrabbitry

    Heartlandrabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Washington
    Quote:No, I haven't given her Alfalfa yet, and based on what you just said, I won't in the future. I'm just giving her lots of Timothy hay.

    Good [​IMG]
    Stay away from the Alfalfa! [​IMG] There's many other types of hays that are great for rabbits. I give mine Orchard grass and/or grass hay. Mine won't touch Timothy for some reason! They just love the Orchard grass!
     
  9. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oregono
    Hi Heartland [​IMG] We're FB friends and in the same show circuit!
     
  10. Heartlandrabbitry

    Heartlandrabbitry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2010
    Washington
    Quote:We are aren't we! Heehee [​IMG] That's awesome you are on this site as well!! [​IMG]
     

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