Thursday, 25 April 2013

The bunny challenge step two exercise post 1.

Bunnies in the wild can run up to 5 miles a day so making sure that your rabbit is getting adequate exercise is very important to its overall health. If a bunny does not have adequate exercise it will become obese and have muscle weakness. Bunnies need an exercise area in addition to a hutch or similar sleeping quarters. A run allows them to stretch their legs and also provides room for more toys to play with. Ideally Having a large run connected to the rabbits hutch will allow your rabbit to exercise freely.If your run is not connected to the rabbit hutch your rabbit should be let out 4 to 6 hours a day.
I consider the minimum rabbit run  size is 7' x 5', this is the minimum  however and your rabbit will certainly appreciate being provided a larger area. The rabbit run should be tall enough for your rabbit to stand upright on its back legs.

Here are some runs I recommend :

Rectangular Wood & Mesh Run  thoroughly recommended.
A wooden frame covered in mesh is the most common type of rabbit run. These can be made in any size and are easy to build yourself. Placing the mesh on the inside of the wooden frame will protect the wood from gnawing. thoroughly recommended.

Aviaries are commonly used for keeping birds but are great for keeping rabbits in whilst they exercise. It also makes  access easier as they are no small doors to  catch your rabbit through and they can't  climb over the sides.


Wire Pen (Puppy Pen) recommended only for indoor use, buy the largest size that you can find.
These are pens made by joining multiple wire panels. By combining multiple packs, you can cheaply create an extremely large temporary enclosure. However, as it has no roof, rabbits should never be left unsupervised even for a few minutes.

Metal Run recommended only under supervision,buy the largest size that you can find.
There are a few all metal rabbit runs available which include lids. Where it is possible to combine multiple runs they are a good alternative to puppy pens for creating a large exercise area. Make sure you firmly anchor the run to the ground though as they are lighter than wooden framed runs.

 Don't buy this kind of run.
This is a triangular run made from wire and mesh. Most have a covered area to provide shelter and fold flat for storage. This style of run is limited in size by its design and the area is reduced further by the low slopping sides. All the apex runs that I have seen are far too small for bunnies.

In my opinion it is better to pay someone to build you a run, an aviary or build it yourself because the vast majority of runs on the market are far too small for bunnies and are made of poor quality materials. It will cost you more at first but you will save in the long run.
I hope you enjoyed this bunny challenge post as always feedback is always appreciated,you can send me a photo of your bunny to be included in the next post, you can find my contact details at the contact button at the top of the page.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Home-made bunny treats

We have been baking bunny treats. I am not a good baker by any means, when ever I bake something it always ends in a disaster but these treats are really easy to make and super inexpensive and the bunnies loved them.

Top tip
when it's time to grind up the pellets wrap them up in cling film and whack them with a rolling pin.

for this recipe click here

 In this recipe it tells you to use grass but I looked out at my lawn and decided that there wasn't any grass to cut so I substituted with  hay instead. It took a lot less time to cook and my bunnies told me it still tasted good.

 for this recipe click here
I hope you enjoyed this post if you did please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The bunny challenge step 1 diet post 3

 In this post I will be looking at commercial rabbit nuggets, treats and snacks, water bottles and water bowls.

Commercial rabbit nuggets.

Do not feed your rabbit Muesli rabbit food. This type of rabbit mix looks like muesli i.e. made up of different kinds of dry food. This is not recommended as it can lead to selective feeding, your bunny will pick out the bits it likes and leave the rest, thereby missing out on some of the nutrients.
 If a bunny has unlimited access to dry food, it will often choose to eat this instead of hay. Hay is essential to wear the rabbit's teeth down and provide the fibre it needs. So a rabbit which eats too much dry food is likely to be overweight, prone to teeth problems and producing "sticky poo" instead of the normal hard, round pellets.

I feed my bunnies" Burgess Excel adults" pellets, approx. half an eggcup each, twice a day. A another brand of good quality rabbit food is" supreme science selective rabbit food".There are different versions of nuggets available for overweight rabbits, baby rabbits or elderly rabbits.
Nuggets have been developed specifically to prevent selective feeding and is also higher in fibre than muesli type mixes. This is recommended by vets and can be fed to your rabbit in small amounts, approximately an eggcup full per day for a small/medium sized rabbit.

 Snacks and treats
Treats aren't really important to your rabbits diet so you really don't need to buy commercial rabbit treats and snacks, because   commercial rabbit treats aren't very healthy (which are usually the rabbit equivalent of donuts and candy bars). You could have a go at making your own, here are some quick recipes for making home-made rabbit snacks and treats.

Water bowls and water bottles
Your rabbit should always have a fresh supply of clean water at all times. Personally I prefer to have a Bolt on Stainless Steel Bowl because it allows my bunnies to drink more naturally, I have tried all sorts of different water bottles ranging from £3 to £15 and all of them were rubbish, they either did not let my bunnies drink or they leaked all over the hutch. However there are some pros and cons to both.

A Bolt on Stainless Steel Bowl is easier to clean and refill, it lets your bunny drink more naturally. It won't leak all over your hutch.

A Bolt on Stainless Steel Bowl will get dirty more quickly and can hold less water than a water bottle.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the next  bunny challenge post will be on exercise. As always feedback and comments are always appreciated.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The bunny challenge Your rabbits fibre step 1 diet post 2

This post is part of the bunny challenge diet plan.
Rabbits are herbivores, they need a lot of fibre in their diet. 

Rabbits need to keep their digestive systems busy with a mix of two kinds of fibre, moving through the gut at all times (these types of fibres are called digestible fibre and indigestible fibre).  
Rabbits don't get enough nutrition from fibre when it passes through their gut the first time, so they pass it through a second time by eating their droppings !!!

Indigestible fibre is moved through their digestive system and excreted as separate, round, hard droppings. This type of fibre keeps the digestive system moving and their appetite stimulated.

Digestible fibre is moved up into an organ called the caecum.
Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre, making it easy to digest. This emerges in the form of clumps of sticky droppings – we call these droppings caecotrophs. Rabbits then re-eat the caecotrophs and their systems extract the essential nutrition when the digestible fibre passes through for the second time.
If rabbits don't get the right amounts of both digestible and indigestible fibre, it can rapidly lead to serious health problems.

Hay! Glorious Hay!

I can't stress enough how much rabbits need lots  of hay. Hay is the most important component of this diet plan. So finding the right hay makes all the difference.

(Q)What hay should I feed my rabbit ?

(A)Timothy Hay or Meadow hay are best for daily feed. Occasionally, I also like to buy my rabbits  what I call " treat hay" with dandelions and mixed herbs. Don't feed your rabbit too much alfalfa as it can be fattening.
As your rabbits munch their hay, the chewing action required by the rabbit to eat his hay helps to wear down his teeth.The rabbit teeth are constantly growing and overgrown teeth can be the cause of potentially fatal problems.

(Q)How can I tell if I've got good hay?

(A) The hay should be slightly green and smell sweet. When you buy your hay sniff the bag, it shouldn't smell musty but sweet  and it should not look dry or powdered. 

(Q) How much hay should I feed my rabbit?

(A) You should feed your rabbit the same amount as the rabbit size.

(Q) When should I change my rabbit's hay , once a week or more often?

(A) I change my rabbits hay EVERY DAY. Every time  I didn't change their  hay daily, I have noticed that they  ignored it and stop eating it .  Changing your rabbits hay will ensure that your rabbit  will eat it.

 Rabbits need a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. During the winter months, PARSLEY should be given to your rabbit every day since the rabbit is not getting as much fresh grass. Parsley will help the rabbit's digestive system and as always if your rabbits can't tolerate parsley don't feed it to your pet . This is only a guide some rabbits can't tolerate some fruits or vegetables so finding what works for him will be on an individual basis.Your rabbit should get a tiny portion of  fruit ( my rabbits love bananas!) and  larger portion of green veggies and herbs. 

Here is a list of  vegetables and fruits safe to feed  your rabbit with.

 Brussels Sprouts
 Carrots (only feed occasionally – they are high in sugar. The leafy tops are OK)
 Celery leaves
 Dandelion (in moderation – can make your rabbit go to the toilet more than usual)
Green beans 
Radish tops

Fresh water should be available at all times and changed daily.


I hope that you enjoyed this post and as always suggestions, feedback are always welcome.