FAQs about Rabbits and
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|Questions I get asked frequently:
|What kind of rabbit food do I use?
I am currently using X-Cel brand 18% protein
rabbit pellets for all my breeds of rabbits raised. I
like to buy my feed by the pallet (a pallet is 40 bags
or one whole ton). There is a discount for buying
by the ton. It takes me anywhere from 2 to 3
months to use up a whole pallet.
Where do I get my rabbit feed?
I buy from Lael's Landscape in Centralia,
Washington. A 50# bag of the 18% rabbit feed is
around $15.90. I have been very pleased with the
service at Lael's and highly recommend buying
Do I supplement my rabbit feed?
I have a "Secret Recipe" treat mix that I feed the
big guys at my rabbitry (French & English Lops).
Here's the current formula for the "Secret Recipe"!
6 parts COB (Corn, Oats, Barley; found mostly on
the west coast as a horse and cattle feed)
4 parts Rolled Oats (or use Oatmeal for humans)
3 parts Calf Manna, Vigor Plus, MVP Gold (name
varies by location and brand)
2 parts Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
My French & English Lops eat about 1/2 Cup of
"treats" per serving. They get "treats" about 4
times a week. You can give it to them daily if you
feel like it. Just make sure they are eating their
regular pellets too and not just waiting for the
treats to arrive. The "Secret Recipe" is a
supplement, not a substitute for regular rabbit
Does your Rabbit need a salt lick?
Many years ago it was a good idea to supplement
your rabbit feed with a special rabbit salt/mineral
spool. Nowadays, rabbit feed is a complete feed
and there is no need to supplement with these salt
licks. Rabbits like to play with them, but I've found
that the salt in the lick rusts the cage floor and
walls out very badly.
Will your Rabbit play with toys?
YES! Your rabbit of any breed will enjoy playing
with toys!!! Even if they don't enjoy contact with
humans, the rabbit still gets bored and will enjoy
playing with their toys when they think no one is
looking! English and French Lops will purposely
throw their toys around in their cage during
feeding time. I think they are trying to show off
and get our attention so they can have some
petting, outdoor playtime and/or treats!
Rabbit Toys are very expensive at pet stores. Go to
your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Visiting
Nurses or any Thrift Store and buy a bag of sturdy
hard plastic baby toys! You can get a dozen baby
toys for around $4 to $6, where you'll be spending
just that much on ONE toy at the pet store!
Does your Rabbit need a sitting mat?
Yes, almost all rabbits will benefit from a plastic or
wood sitting mat. Heavy rabbits will especially
need a mat to sit on to protect their hocks
(bottoms of their back feet) from getting sore.
Scraps of wood work, but need to be kept dry and
clean. If your rabbit doesn't keep his wood mat
clean and dry, try using a plastic slotted mat.
These are SUPER easy to clean and stay drier than
wood. Just throw the plastic mats in a bucket of
water with a dab of bleach. Let them sit for a day
and then hose them down and they look like brand
new. I use the plastic slotted sitting mats.
Some rabbits are ALWAYS messy and pile up
rabbit droppings on their mats. For these guys, you
can either clean their mat every day, or just give
up and let them live on the wire. Dirty feet will
give them sore hocks too, so it is sometimes better
to just not give them a mat if it is going to make a
mess in the cage all the time.
Where I bought my Sitting Mats?
I bought my mats from K.D. Cage Co in Indiana.
They had the best price around. I have now used
them for years, I am SOO happy with the quality
and durability of them.
Here's the K.D. Cage site: http://www.kdcage.net
What is the best kind of rabbit for a
Something big and indestructible that will put up
with all kinds of treatment without resorting to
biting and scratching! The English Lop is the most
fun-loving, people-loving rabbit I have every met.
They LOVE coming out to play, LOVE being petted,
LOVE being handled and LOVE going places to
visit! They are perfect pets for even very small
children. English Lops range in size from 9 pounds
to maybe 12 pounds. They do great on a harness
and leash or being packed around under your
arm!!! They beg at the cage door to be petted and
come out and play with you.
If you're looking for something very tiny for your
child, do NOT pick a Netherland Dwarf. Dwarfs are
a show rabbit and don't seem to make very loving
pets. Dwarfs are ADORABLE and tiny, but they are
very unpredictable in nature. If they get tired of
being picked up or get tired of being chased down
to be put back in the cage, they will bite and
scratch when you pick them up. Or, they will
attack your hand when you reach in the cage to get
them out because they know you're just reaching
in the cage to handle them again and they didn't
feel like being handled at the moment!
Tiny rabbits that have very mild and calm
personalities and would be good for children
include: Dutch, Holland Lops and Mini Lops. I've
tried Polish, Lionheads and Mini Rex, but found
them to be not very calm when being handled. So
far, I've found Hollands and Minis are the most
calm of the tiny breeds. I haven't tried all the
breeds though! There are always exceptions to the
We visit one of our local Nursing Homes from time
to time. I always bring a young Holland or Mini
Lop for a lap-rabbit and my most outgoing English
Lop buck, Code of the West (Cody!) on a harness
and leash. He LOVES to meet new people and also
LOVES to be hugged. He weighs 11 pounds though,
so for the people who don't want to get that close
to a big rabbit we hand out the Holland or Mini
Lop. They are tiny and sit very quietly when they
are being held.
|This English Lop's back feels bony
or skinny all the time. How can I get
him or her to gain weight?
It is not necessarily a lack of weight that is causing
a bony backbone. It is a lack of flesh condition.
English Lops do best on an 18% protein rabbit feed,
free choice all-you-can-eat diet. You can also
supplement with a high protein, high fat treat mix.
(try the "Secret Recipe" that we use!) If that
doesn't fix the bony backbone, then consider
culling the rabbit from your breeding herd. Elops
make fabulous pets! The bony back in the English
Lop breed is very hereditary. Select English Lops
for your breeding and show herd that have good
meat or flesh condition along the backbone and
pinbones. Judges like a big solid rabbit and it is
healthier for the rabbit to have that nice firm flesh
along the backbone.
Treatment of Sore Feet or Sore
It is easier to prevent Sore Hocks than it is to cure
them. For prevention, keep their claws/nails
clipped all the time. (every 2-3 months is usually
just right) Keeping their feet and cage floor clean is
For treatment of Sore Hocks:
1) Clip their nails as short as possible and clip every
2 weeks until hocks are completely healed and
2) Keep their cage spotless at all times! Don't let
their feet get dirty or it will irritate their feet even
more and reverse the healing process.
3) If they will sleep in a nestbox and not leave a
mess in it, give them a nestbox filled with hay!!! If
they start using it for a litterbox, take it away and
stick with using a plastic resting mat and clean it
every day if necessary.
4) If the hocks are bleeding or an open sore, then
dab with Iodine or Vanodine for a few days. Once
the foot forms a scab, then treat with Neosporin or
Triple Antibiotic Ointment (found in the pharmacy
dept of any grocery store) every day.
It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 months to cure Sore
Hocks. It is a slow and not-fun process. Usually,
when the rabbit finally molts then the hocks will
heal up and get new fur on them.
Sore Hocks can be caused by an exceptionally
heavy rabbit. Make sure to give those big ones a
sitting mat BEFORE they wear out their big feet.
French Lops (and many meat breeds) are very
heavy rabbits and require sitting mats at all times!
Sore Hocks can also be caused by thin or short fur.
That is why you see a lot of English Lops and Rex
with sore feet. Elops have thin flyback fur and Rex
have very short fur, making it harder to keep the
bottoms of their feet padded. If you have a rabbit
that is prone to sore feet, it is best to cull it from
your breeding herd. Rabbits that tend to have sore
hocks, also tend to pass that tendency to their
Can you guess how long this baby
English Lop's ears will finish out?
I've been trying to figure that out for years. I've
come to a general rule of thumb that works for my
English Lop bloodlines. I like my English Lop herd
to have at least 25 inch ears (longer is always good
too! LOL) If you keep your baby Elop's ears warm
(either by summer weather, or a heat lamp during
the colder weather), they should reach their full
potential length by 16 weeks of age. If you want 25
X 6 inches or longer here's the measurements:
6 weeks old - must be at least 18 X 4 1/2
8 weeks old - must be at least 21 X 5
12 weeks - must be at least 24 X 5 1/2
At 12 weeks old, an English Lop will usually only
gain ONE more inch of length. Some bucks will
broaden in the head as they mature at 5-8 months
old and gain maybe 1/2 an inch in ear length.
These measurements do vary by individual, but
overall, if you're looking to cull early on for ear
length this is a good rule of thumb.
What size of nestbox?
I use a rectangular box that is open on top for my
English Lops, French Lops and Mini Lops. The
Mini Lops could use a little bit smaller box, but
this size seems to work just fine for all three sizes
of my Lops. Here are the dimensions of my boxes:
11 inches wide (this way it will fit through most
doors, as standard door size is 12 inches)
18 inches long
7 inches high
The breeds I raise:
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