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A Look Inside the Rabbitry

Enjoy insights from Wade Boelter about raising Holland Lop rabbits at Mountain Brook Farm & Rabbitry which was founded in 2017.

Mountain Brook Farm Holland Lops

Rabbits are unique in that they are quiet, soft and cuddly. They give the best hugs and snuggle under your chin. Just looking at a rabbit will bring a smile. They entertain us with a curious investigation of their environment, a twitch of the nose and a big expression with their eyes. Rabbits like to hop binkies and scurry zoomies. They like to dig burrows and crawl through tunnels. Rabbits are clean and groom themselves constantly. They will shed their coat during molt once a year. Petting your rabbit with a grooming mitten or holding them in front of a groomers blower will assist the shedding of loose fur. Petting a rabbit with a damp towel will help get stains off their coat. Rabbits need help trimming their nails using a drummel or pet nail clippers. Rabbits require fresh drinking water, hay and some pellets. They can be house litter trained best when they are spayed and neutered. The litter box needs to be cleaned and refreshed with timothy hay each week or two. Rabbits require deworming every change of season. You can purchase Fenbendazole liquid Safeguard goat dewormer locally at a farm store or from your vet.

Mountain Brook Farm Holland Lops

When selecting a rabbit do your research on the web or at the library. There are many breeds of rabbits to choose from. Rabbits come in different colors and varieties. My suggestion is that you visit a county fair, a 4H show or ARBA the American Rabbit Breeders Association show to see all of the many breeds. You will find a wider selection of healthy rabbits directly from a reputable breeder. Rabbits require their own space that is adequate to their size. They are raised in the house as a pet or in cages. Some rabbits have their own room or exercise pen. Rabbits are raised for companionship and as pets or they are farm raised for meat. Understanding why you want a rabbit and knowing what you want your rabbit for, will help you find the best breed for your needs. Rabbit breeders universally use a manual called the Standard of Perfection. The standard of perfection will explain structure, breed type and variety accepted by ARBA the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Purchasing rabbits from a reputable breeder is a great way to get rabbits with good temperament. Some rabbits too may be unhappy with their housing and space and therefore develop a bad attitude. Sometimes giving them more space or time outdoors improves everything. We raise Holland Lops.

Frisco top loading pet carrier

Don’t forget to purchase a transport carrier of some kind. There are many types of carriers to choose from on the web. We select and recommend carriers made for a rabbit. Choose one that opens at the top so you can easily pick your bunny up and out of it easily. Top loading carriers are best as your bunny won’t catch its feet on it. It easy to set them down inside of it. If you insist on holding your rabbit during transport then bring a blanket that you can swaddle your bunny inside of.

Mountain Brook Farm Rabbit Hutch

Rabbits need to eat and drink. As a new pet, they may be happier to be more active when your not in the room but soon they warm up to you. Rabbits need to poop and if they are not pooping then something may be wrong with the gut. Gastric stasis is the common cause of death in rabbits. A diet that includes timothy hay and routine deworming is recommended. Watch the expression in your rabbits eyes. The eyes show the most signs of how your rabbit is feeling. Watch how your rabbit is breathing. When rabbits do not feel well they become very still, may hide in shelter and will grind their teeth indicating pain. Rabbits like to flop and stretch out which is startling to the new rabbit owner but it’s a sign of a well adjusted rabbit who feels secure with their surroundings.

Aivituvin Rabbit Hutch

The following are all good ways to bond with your rabbit. Get down on your rabbits level or set them up on your level. Sit with your rabbit and pet them or carry them around with you. Snuggle with your rabbit. Teach your rabbit to learn tricks using treat rewards. Groom your rabbit. Practice posing them for the show table. Some rabbits enter hopping competitions with there owners.

Rabbit grooming consists of using a dog grooming blower to blow the coat which is excellent during molt to get all the hair out. You can also use a mitten or rabbit comb made specifically for rabbits when they are shedding. If your rabbit is stained use a damp towel to wipe them clean. Rabbits require nail trimming and that is done with a small dog nail clippers or with a battery powered drummel.

Holland Lop eating a banana chip from Oxbow

It’s not always possible but use two hands to scoop your rabbit up when handling them. Swaddle your rabbit to secure them like a burrito during nail care or other medication treatments. When I work with our herd of rabbits I like to wear long sleeves, eye protection and sometimes gloves. Gloves are helpful when you are working in a doe’s cage when she has a litter of kits. We call a doe the dam when referring to her as a mother. We call a buck the sire when referring to him as a father. Some dam’s are very protective before & after kindle and may bite during this time when they raise a litter. A Kindle is when a dam gives birth having babies. The baby rabbits are called kits. Eye protection is good when trimming toenails or giving dewormer so wear your glasses and watch out for your rabbits hind legs that can scratch with toenails. When giving dewormer to your rabbit, support the rabbits head with your hand over the ears as you swaddle them and turn them on their back. Swaddling your rabbit in a towel is a safe way to bind them like a burrito and protect yourself from getting scratched.

Posing Holland Lops - Mountain Brook Farm & Rabbitry

When preparing to show your rabbit practice posing your them as often as possible. We use both the standard of perfection manual and the official guidebook for our breed to prepare for rabbit shows. Join a breed club. Join ARBA the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Find a rabbit buddy or a friend to practice with and go to shows together.

Mountain Brook Farm Holland Lops

The best advice i have for your rabbits health is a deworming schedule. We deworm our rabbits using Fenbendazole or liquid Safeguard goat dewormer for large parasites. We deworm for coccidia using liquid Toltrazuril or Corid. We use 1 ml syringes and dose as described on the bottle. We start deworming at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and every change of season. We dose our brood prior to breeding.

When you are caring for senior rabbits a teeth health vet check is recommended. Provide a diet of hay with some branches to chew on. Rabbit pellets are complete with all nutrients that you need including salts. There are many joint health supplements to choose from. Consider retiring your senior rabbit outside in a pen so they can enjoy the outdoors.

Our rabbits love to eat willow switches leaves and bark. We give pinecones to chew and small balls for them to play with and push around. Rabbits like to roll things around with their head and push with their nose. You can also tie nibble toys from the ceiling of their cage.

Mountain Brook Farm Rabbit Hutch

Not only do I enjoy the Holland Lop rabbit for the companionship. I enjoy the science of color genetics and have learned so much raising and breeding rabbits. These are concepts you can learn through books, the web and bunny colors facebook groups.

Enjoy your journey with rabbits with whatever path you choose.

I hope you enjoy our blog and please visit us again soon :)

Thank you,

Wade Boelter

Mountain Brook Farm & Rabbitry

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