RABBITS

 

Kitten (baby rabbit) Vaccines:

Rabbits can be vaccinated from 5 weeks of age for myxomatosis and R(V)HD (1 injection) and then repeated yearly so immunity doesn't descrease.

Some rabbit breeders are recommending to also vaccinate against R(V)HD2 as well, although this can't be done till they are 10 weeks old. It also has to be done seperate to a myxomatosis and R(V)HD injection. If you are interested in vaccinating against R(V)HD2 it is something that can be done at our practice, but as it is not in high demand you'll need to book a few weeks in advance as we'll need to order the vaccine especially in for you, because we do not stock it.

 

How old does my rabbit have to be to be neutered?

A rabbit should be 6 months or more for males and females. It can be done earlier but you risk other problems later in life.

Like cats, bunnies are capable of falling pregnant from 3-4 months, as their seasons are mainly seasonal but they also have Induced Ovulators (induced to ovulate by mating). So it is best to keep males and females seperated (especially siblings!) till they are neutered.

The most common reason given for neutering a female is they get very aggressive when they come into season. Spaying stops pregnancies and also uterine cancers.

Males are usually neutered to stop pregnancies and some behavioural reasons.

 

What food is best to give my rabbit?

Hay and grass and they will thrive on it.

Ideally 70% Hay and Grass, 20% vegetables and ONLY 10% pellets or mixer. This translates to 2-3 eggcups full of pellets for each 1Kgm of hay fed, which is very little.

Too many pellets cause rabbits' teeth to grow extremely long, in the wild they are chewing on grass constantly which helps to 'file' the teeth and keep them to their correct length. Pellets should only be given in moderation, like chocolate and kids - kids will eat chocolate all day and get rotten teeth. In moderation - it's ok.

Over grown teeth is the most common problem I see with rabbits, this is a problem with domestication of rabbits when pellets are quick and easy to feed, and the rabbit likes pellets and the breeder/pet shop told us just to give the rabbit pellets.

Remember -  in the wild, rabbits thrive on dried up hay and grass and an occasional mouldy vegetable. - They don't get any pellets and there have been a lot of healthy wild rabbits around for thousands of years.

 

How do I make rabbits hutch as safe as possible from foxes etc.?

The average rabbit hutch you buy from a pet shop will not stop a fox if he knows there is a rabbit inside.

Simple paddle latches on the doors, thin wire and pine wood boxes with no floor are really no match for a determined fox. They can be stopped with concrete and heavy gauge wiring but you should make an effort to get rid of the fox. Female foxes are very active hunters in winter when food is scarce. The Fox Project can help, phone 01892 824111.

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