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View Full Version : Going to look at a new rabbit tomorrow... advice?



BexPets
21-08-2011, 09:12 PM
Background stuff (optional read):

Apart from 4 years ago when we got our first rabbits from a breeder, I haven't been to 'buy' a rabbit.
We have a 12 month old, lively grey dutch who was neutered 6 weeks ago and needs a friend. All of our other rabbits are in neutered pairs, and he's the only one on his own at the moment.
We looked in all the local rescue shelters, but couldn't find a single female of similar age and size (most of them are 4 years old or above, already bonded or were really young). So I looked on preloved, a second hand site where people were advertising rabbits.
Most of our rabbits, apart from the first two, we rescued, adopted or they were just given to us from owner's who couldn't keep them anymore and didn't want them to go to a shelter. All 20 were random ages and breeds, and we never got any choice in what we got. It's nice to sort of.. have a selection, to choose from.
I've always wanted a mini lop, and the vet reccomended getting a lop or rex to go with our dutch, and I found 2 for sale. She's registered with the BRC, and has 2 blue does, 4 months old and fully grown. She's owned rabbits for 15 years, and currently keeps mini lops, thrianta's and netherland dwarfs. I think this litter was accidental, although I admit I haven't asked. They are fully grown, 4 months old, and have been waiting for homes for a while now.

Long story short:

We're going to look at the mini lops tomorrow. I know to check the eyes, ears and wrists, and judge a healthy bunny, but are there any specific questions I should ask?
Not sure if we'll be taking her home tomorrow, but I'm going to get a hutch ready in case. Do I put it near the male's hutch I'm introducing her to?
Any tips on matching bunnies? I know it's hard to judge, but if we get one, we'd have to choose between the girls based on which we think would go with our male. Any... (this is going to sound dumb) tests? Things to look out for?

Thanks for reading :)

Fran
22-08-2011, 12:58 AM
I can't think of any advice, been a long time since I got a new bunny. Bumping this up for you :)

MichelleGsPets
22-08-2011, 01:23 AM
Good luck, picking one out! Only thing I would suggest is to wait till she's speyed before bonding! Pictures when you get her ;)

nursecroft
22-08-2011, 08:23 AM
Its a shame you can't get a minilop from a rescue I've seen lots about. I'd be more concerned to check the breeder out, makesure she has a good set up, that they have plenty of space and all the bunnies look healthy. Being a BRC breeder and having 15 years experience of breeding does not automatically make her a good breeder. I'm sure plenty of rescues on here will tell you their experiences of plenty of BRC breeders.

The only way you can makesure is healthy at the moment is have it vet checked, teeth can be a problem so get them checked.

Grin
22-08-2011, 10:34 AM
I'd be very surprised you cant get a minilop from a rescue. I really cant think of anything positive to say or advice to give when getting a bun from a breeder.

With 35000 rabbits in rescue, there really is no need to go to a breeder when you can get a vaccinated, neutered, bonded pair from rescue where they will usually know the background, temperaments and of any existing health issues. When paying the donation to a rescue for the rabbits, you will be saving on vet costs too. They can also help with bonding when you are thinking of getting one to bond with an existing bun in your care and help suggest rabbits based on compatible temperaments.

chelle
22-08-2011, 11:03 AM
well..its lovely you are getting a friend for your other bun....but Id say the best bet is to let him choose himself...contact a rescue and even ask on RU for help - alot rehome nationally...and your bun should soon have his own chosen partner hunbun!:wave:

Mrs. Bunnykins
22-08-2011, 11:27 AM
I'd be very surprised you cant get a minilop from a rescue. I really cant think of anything positive to say or advice to give when getting a bun from a breeder.

With 35000 rabbits in rescue, there really is no need to go to a breeder when you can get a vaccinated, neutered, bonded pair from rescue where they will usually know the background, temperaments and of any existing health issues. When paying the donation to a rescue for the rabbits, you will be saving on vet costs too. They can also help with bonding when you are thinking of getting one to bond with an existing bun in your care and help suggest rabbits based on compatible temperaments.

I agree with the above.

I know Windwhistle Warren has a few mini lops all waiting for new homes!!! All fully vaccinated and neutered. Alice does beautiful write ups about each of the animals in her care. There must be one bunny out there in rescue that would suit. Alice does re-home nationwide. :D:D

ShazzaBunny
22-08-2011, 01:52 PM
Its entirely up to you where you get your new bunny, however, remember lots of rescues do rehome nationally :D

Good luck whatever you decide, minilops are gorgeous :love:

Sky-O
22-08-2011, 02:00 PM
If you're going to go to a breeder then you need to ensure they are a responsible one.

This is something I cobbled together for someone about a specific rabbit.


When you view and potentially choose a rabbit, itís very worthwhile asking some specific questions and give a visual health check of any rabbits you are interested in, so that you are able to make an informed choice on the rabbit/s.

It is important to ask these questions because all of it is important information you need to know, although not all questions will apply in all situations.

~How old is the rabbit? S/he needs to be at least 8 weeks old.

~What is his/her history? Finding out about his/her background can be very useful.

~Why are you selling/rehoming him/her? (this will not be relevant to rescue centres, obviously).

~Has s/he been vaccinated? If yes, when? And also ask to take home the vaccination cards if you take home the rabbit.

~Has s/he been spayed/neutered? If yes, when? Also ask for evidence, such as a receipt from the vets, or letter from or telephone call (the vets will need the current owners permission to give out any information) to their vets confirming.

~Does s/he have a bonded friend? If yes, who? Ask all these questions about the other rabbit too.

~How healthy is s/he generally?

~Has s/he been ill recently? If yes, with what? What treatment has the rabbit received? Has s/he been given the all clear? Is it an ongoing condition or does s/he have an ongoing condition? Essentially, find out as much as this as possible.

~Does s/he have any special needs? If yes, what? Find out as much information about this as possible.

~What is the current diet s/he has? Including amounts, foods, and times. Also find out what fresh foods the rabbit is used to, if any.

~What routines is the rabbit used to?

~What is his/her personality like? Aggressive? Happy to be stroked? Easy to handle?

~What are his/her likes? Dislikes? What does s/he enjoy doing?

~Does s/he use a water bowl or bottle?

~Does s/he live outdoors or inside, currently?

~Is there anything else you need to know?


There may also be more specific questions to your household such as if the rabbit is used to young children, cats or dogs, or if you are buying from a responsible breeder you may want to ask to see relatives of the rabbit you are looking at. You will need to have a think about the different things you want to know specific to your household and particular setup.

When you go to view a rabbit you will need to be able to have a basic look at the general condition of the rabbit.

You need to check the following things (either by asking, or by giving a visual check yourself)

~General- ensure the rabbit is looking alert, lively and interested.

~Eyes- not runny, gunky or swollen. Bright.

~Nose- dry, no discharge.

~Inside of front paws- thick, good condition fur. If there is matting or bald areas then it implies there is discharge from the nose.

~Front teeth- that the top teeth slightly overlap the bottom teeth and the teeth are in line, and wearing down correctly.

~Ears- clean inside, no wax or crustiness.

~Fur- thick, shiny, looks in good condition. Should not have any bald patches or any dandruffy areas or any wounds. Also should not have any parasites, but this can be difficult to indentify at a glance when first meeting the rabbit.

~Underneath- the rabbitís underneath, including the anus, should all be clean and free from faeces and urine.

~Movement- the rabbit should be comfortable and happy moving, running and hopping around with no apparent mobility issues.


And this is something I wrote about buying from a breeder


~A Breeder- Buying rabbits from a breeder can be desirable to some people, especially those who want a specific breed of rabbit.

When choosing a breeder it is important to choose a reputable and responsible breeder, whose rabbits are treated well, live in clean, large environments, are vaccinated and generally have a good life. Generally breeders fall into two categories, those who are responsible with their rabbits, and those who are deemed ĎBack Yard Breedersí (or BYB).

A responsible breeder will be able to tell you about their rabbits. S/he will be able to tell you about their temperaments and likes and dislikes. The accommodation will be very clean and fresh. The rabbits will have unlimited hay and clean, fresh water available. The accommodation will also be a good size and the rabbits will be able to enjoy the space. The female rabbits will be bred no more frequently than once every six months (which allows 31 days of pregnancy, 8 weeks of raising the kits, and then three months to recover).

The genetic history will be known of all the rabbits, and the breeder should have information on the previous four generations (at least) for every rabbit they have bred. All the rabbits sold will be healthy (unless you have previously discussed a condition or issue).

Ideally these breeders will also spay/neuter (although this wonít be possible if s/he is selling baby rabbits) and vaccinate before rehoming to the public and also rehome in pairs. The breeder will also provide a minimum of 2 weeks food. Essentially, the breeder will respect his/her rabbits and treat them according to that respect.

A BYBís set up will likely differ from this; in many cases by the complete opposite. A BYBís accommodation may not be clean, it may smell, the rabbits may not have appropriate hay or food, the water may not be clean or fresh. The rabbits that have been bred from may have health issues, may not have a genetic history (such as if they were purchased at a pet shop), maybe have been bred from Ďback to backí (such as been pregnant, raised the litter, and then made pregnant immediately after the rabbits have been separated, or worse, the female rabbit may be forced to become pregnant as soon as she has given birth to one litter). The baby rabbits may be separated from mum earlier than 8 weeks.

For these reasons itís important to see the set up the rabbits live in to see whether its clean, whether the hutches are a good size (minimum of 6ft) and to glean a general idea of how the rabbits are kept and also to ask the breeder a lot of questions. Some breeders will allow you to see their Rabbitry, others will not (for very valid reasons). If someone does not allow you to see into their Rabbitry, then ask to see photos of the setup, where you can also see the rabbit/s you are interested in buying, so that you know the pictures are genuinely from their Rabbitry. That will give you an idea of the conditions the rabbits are kept in.

A positive thing about going to a responsible breeder is that you can ask for the history and genetics and any genetic defaults of your rabbit. A responsible breeder would not breed a rabbit with known genetic defaults, but sometimes they can occur as a bunny ages, so would not be known when the rabbits were bred.

A breeder is likely to sell young rabbits and also older rabbits and itís important to talk to them about what you want from your bunny and what you want to buy and why. Depending on the age of the rabbit and the breederís policies, the expense can vary. A breeder may sell older rabbits spayed/neutered and vaccinated, which means the initial cost will be accommodation, but for baby rabbits the expense is likely to be higher (and may include spaying/neutering and vaccinations as well as separate accommodations if you buy two rabbits and they are separate genders, both males, or girls who fight).


I haven't reread any of this over to work out if it is relevant or any errors or anything. I'm pro rescue, but ultimately it is each individuals choice where they get their rabbits from. If you are going to get your rabbit from a breeder the it is far better to be informed about what you're doing, rather than not.

I hope this helps :)

One thing that you need to personally think about is what will happen if your bunny doesn't bond with this bunny, then what will you do?

luvabun
22-08-2011, 05:53 PM
:wave: Having seen and heard of some iffy bonds for a while (there's definitely something afoot and I don't know if it's the weather or what that's causing established bonds to break or new bonds not to get off the ground) but I would check what the Breeders policy is on returning a bun if the one you choose does not bond with your current bun.

Grin
22-08-2011, 05:56 PM
If you're going to go to a breeder then you need to ensure they are a responsible one.

This is something I cobbled together for someone about a specific rabbit.



And this is something I wrote about buying from a breeder



I haven't reread any of this over to work out if it is relevant or any errors or anything. I'm pro rescue, but ultimately it is each individuals choice where they get their rabbits from. If you are going to get your rabbit from a breeder the it is far better to be informed about what you're doing, rather than not.

I hope this helps :)

One thing that you need to personally think about is what will happen if your bunny doesn't bond with this bunny, then what will you do?

Of course, you are right. :) I should have worded my post better.

Sky-O
22-08-2011, 05:58 PM
Of course, you are right. :) I should have worded my post better.

It wasn't a dig or anything at anyone else :), just how I view things with regards to me and what advice I give to people, that's all :)

Grin
22-08-2011, 06:25 PM
It wasn't a dig or anything at anyone else :), just how I view things with regards to me and what advice I give to people, that's all :)

I didnt see it as a dig. I thought your post was helpful and tactful. As as a result of seeing yours, I'm aware mine could have been worded better . Thank you for giving the better advice. :)

Sky-O
22-08-2011, 06:28 PM
Phew, I'm glad you didn't see it that way :) Was just worried it had been misconstrued, that was all.

Tis all good :thumb: