View Full Version : Stray Rabbit Found - Advice Please

23-08-2009, 02:11 AM
Have been advised to repost this in Rabbit Chat to get more replies, apologies if it confuses anybody

Hi there, I'm new to the forum. I'm here to ask for some advice - yesterday I was walking through the churchyard near my house, and spotted a rabbit stretched out on the path. At first i thought it was an injured wild rabbit, but as i got closer i realised it was clearly a domestic rabbit, and it got up and began to hop off. it didnt appear injured in any way. it let me get quite close but not close enough to touch, and unfortunately after a while it hopped off into long grass and i lost it.

i went down again today in the early evening, armed with a cat carrier and some carrot, to see if i could catch it. and much to my surprise i did, carrot is clearly very tempting! i have never had a rabbit before, but i do have a Nero 2 which i got second hand as an extension for my rats' cage, but havent got around to doing it yet. obviously i realise this is too small for long term accommodation, but at the moment Bunny is in it in my garage, where it is nice and quiet. from googling it seems to be a black otter rex?? but i am probably wrong!! its about the size of my cat.

So; i have put shredded cardboard squares in the cage bottom, as i have this for my rats. i have also put in:

- a water bottle
- a heavy water bowl
- a cardboard box to hide in
- some grass and dandelion leaves
- a bowl of my rat mix, which i make up myself, and consists of Supa Rabbit muesli, sugar free puffed wheat, sugar free cornflakes, plain rice cakes, flaked wheat/barley/oats and a v small amount of linseed. it also usually has dog kibble in it, but i've picked that out. is this ok until tomorrow when i can get some rabbit food? what rabbit foods do you recommend?

the rabbit seems to be in good condition, not skinny, and no obvious fleas/ticks. it has nice clear eyes and is alert. according to the church warden, it has been seen running around the area for at least a month! so it has a nice thick outer coat. its surprisingly tame, has sat very calmly on my lap, only kicks a bit when picked up and hasnt attempted to bite or squeal at all. it hasnt eaten or drunk yet that i've seen, but its only been here 2 hours and ive been leaving it alone. i have no idea whatsoever how to sex it.

so basically how does all that sound?? i will put up some flyers round the local area saying rabbit found, and will happily look after it for now. i plan to get some hay and rabbit food tomorrow, and take it to a vet in the next coule of days for a check up. what else do i need to get/do?

all advice appreciated! thanks! pics to follow tomorrow...
snaisby is offline Reply With Quote

23-08-2009, 03:17 AM
Firstly welcome to the forum. A big well done for rescuing the rabbit, there is so much to learn in a very short time, with an unexpected arrival. I think you've done very well for your unexpected arrival.

The most urgent thing is rabbit diet, they get serious tummy problems easily.
I wouldn't feed it grain based foods.
It's probably been eating churchyard grass for the last month. You need to continue with a grass/hay/herb based diet, & introduce veg & dried feed very slowly. Many people use a very small amount of Alan & Page pellets or Science Selective. Uniform pellets are so much better than a mix. Cos bunnies can be choosy "eat all the pudding & leave the important main course"!

You need to tell the police, & your local vet that the rabbit is with you. He just sounds so tame that he may be a much loved pet which escaped for whatever reason.

Your next urgency is accommodation - some rex rabbits wear the fur on their heels very easily & get ulcers so they need "give" in the flooring (some people use deep hay). Equally they need plenty of space to hop around in.

Can I leave it there for tonight? Wishing you all the best.
Judy & Thumper.

23-08-2009, 11:53 AM
I agree with everything Judy says. Just to add though I wouldn't say what kind of rabbit it is on the flyers - don't mention his colour or anything. That way when a person phones you can ask them about the rabbit they have lost, and if it matches you know he's theirs. Also, phone the RSPCA. They'll keep a record of him and if the owners phone them they'll be able to let you know.

Oh, and when he's settled in he'd probably like a toy or too. Do you have any apple trees in your garden? Bunny-safe wood to chew on would be great.

Good luck with him!

23-08-2009, 11:58 AM
hi there well done on catching it, i would suggest you ring all local vets and put a poster in all local shops and flyers through doors dont put a full description as this will allow people who are genuine to contact you instead. also contact local rspca and contact rabbit rescues locally.

firstly rabbits have a very sensitive gi tract and cant cope well with a change of diet... i would get a large bag of meadow hay and feed this give small amounts of veg such as spring greens/ little carot .herbs etc, mix wise its better if bunnys are on a pelleted mix so start with a small amount osomething like excel or science select as its the high fibre they need...the most important bit is grass or hay as this should be 85% of the diet.

i hope you locate its owner being soemone who has in the past lost a rabbit i know how heart breaking and worrying a time it can be.

get bunny to the vets to be sexed and to have it hecked over for any problems it may have. a rabbit savvy vet is a must for this state your location and we can tell you whom you could try...also a local rescue can help sex him/her too.

rabbits need to be spayed/neutered which can be costly and need vaccinations vhd 1 time a year and myxi 2 times a year... a 28 day course of pannucure can be useful in case of ec.
also using rear guard regualrly can prevent fly strike

id say your most urgent thing now is accomodation... rabbits should be housed in a 6x2x2ft hutch attatched to a minimum of a 6x6ft run ideally bigger. house rabbits are often housed in large 52inch dog crates which are left permenantly open or attatched to a dog pen 24/7 also if indoors you will need(if keeping him/her and owners not located) to bunny proof.

thats the basics theres much mroe which you can learn as you go along...they need toys and stimulation a varied diet where possible and lots of space rabbtis prefer company too so a freind (agian if keeping and looking in to the future) can at a later date be sought from a rescue. x

23-08-2009, 04:44 PM
I think that between us you've got the very basic outline now. It seems a lot to do in a short time!.

We haven't mentioned toilet training. Rabbits will toilet in 1 place. If you put a litter tray filled with hay where bunny "tends to go" he will continue to use that spot. [makes cleaning easier for you.]

When all that is under control if no one claims him you'll have to decide whether you'll be keeping bunny outside all the time, or mainly in the house with time outside in a "hutch & run". Mine is a house rabbit & hoppit has outdoor rabbits.

Yes, rabbits are very social creatures & incredibly intelligent (about a 3yr. old child) when you get to know them - they need to be kept in pairs once both have been neutered. They have massive personalities - each different. I so hope you've a bit of time over to enjoy him/her.
Please let us know how you get on & ask any questions.:wave::wave:

26-08-2009, 04:17 PM
Hi all! sorry its been a few days, but i thought you might like an update on Mr Stray Bunny. i did some asking around at the pub where i work, and i now know a bit of his history - apparently he has been seen hopping around people's gardens for the past 5 months :shock: he belonged to a family who have recently moved away from the village. supposedly they tried to catch him several times but then just gave up on him and left him to fend for himself. i can't believe they tried that hard, since it literally took me 15 mins and 1 carrot to catch him :? so basically it looks like i'll be keeping him :) i have fallen in love with him already!

Bunny has now got plenty of hay, plus grass and dandelions and i have slowly been introducing Supreme Science Selective pellets, which he seems to love. his poos appear to be well formed. he's remembered how to drink out of a water bottle! took him to the vets yesterday who said he was in very good nick, teeth and nails are perfect and he's a good weight. he had a myxi jab and is going back in 2 weeks for VHD and probably to be neutered as well.

at the moment he's still in the Nero 2, but he's been having the run of the garage for most of the day and i have a big hutch arriving for him this weekend. i'm also in the process of building a big attachable run for it. i like DIY :)

here are some pictures of mr bunny and his scruffy fur. any idea of his variety? also he needs a name; any suggestions?




26-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Well, what an absolute beauty, and he's obviously picked his new owner very well! Sounds like he's going to be a very lucky bunny.

26-08-2009, 06:56 PM
He's just so hansom - what a bunny:love::love:
Good on you for rescuing him & taking him on.
I'm not surprised it's taken a few days to get back to us. You are doing great. Welcome to being a "bunny parent". Is he getting to know you yet?

OK. I think buns are amazing as you get to know them - very strong personalities, each different, & remarkably intelligent about a 3 yr old child. So they also need something to occupy their minds - boxes/ tunnels/ "toys" to manipulate & chewy things to keep their teeth healthy (their teeth grow continuously).
They also need company, so these days they are usually neutered, and then introduced to another bunny - called "bonding". You need to know this now while you are planning his home.
I hope you've got some pet insurance too, cos vet bills can be expensive.

Can you use the "search" part of the forum to get additional info? I could also suggest if you can't find what you want there, posting a new thread on the topic you need help with. Please keep us updated with how things are going :wave:

26-08-2009, 07:31 PM
Lovely story :wave: we think he should be called 'Lucky' because he was a lucky little fellow

good luck with him - he is precious :love:

27-08-2009, 06:27 AM
I saw that you asked about breed, and I think I can safely say that he's a netherland dwarf with sable coloring. :)

Very gorgeous bun. :love:

27-08-2009, 06:54 AM
Awww, he's very cute. He looks like my Alfie but with uppy ears. :love::love:

I can't see from the photos but has he got a brown bit of fur at the back of his neck? If so, then he's definitely a black otter - if he just has the white band of fur, then that's called something else but I can't remember what. :oops::lol:

He's definitely not a rex. If he's the size of a cat he's too big to be a netherland dwarf as well but he's gorgeous. :love:

27-08-2009, 07:06 AM
Well done and welcome :wave:

Bunny looks like a silver fox to me - especially if there is a white bit behind the ears. The ears seem large for a silver fox...


27-08-2009, 07:28 AM
What a great story and a beautiful bunny!
Think he has landed on his paws with you!

27-08-2009, 08:10 AM
Well done and welcome :wave:

Bunny looks like a silver fox to me - especially if there is a white bit behind the ears. The ears seem large for a silver fox...


I think I have to agree with the silver fox statement, especially if the bunny is as big as a cat! Forget what crazy Sara said! :lol:

27-08-2009, 12:47 PM
His lovely. Definately too big & the wrong ears to be a pure bred nethie but he looks too small for a silver fox if he's fully grown in the photos although you say he's the size of your cat...small cat or big?. He's probably a petstore cross. In the end I think you've just got a 100% lovely bunny. I think lucky would be a very good name.

27-08-2009, 05:28 PM
He's a gorgeous bun, and you sound like you're taking care of him really well :)