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Thread: Adopted new rabbit today, pretty appalled how he was kept. Advice needed please

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    Default Adopted new rabbit today, pretty appalled how he was kept. Advice needed please

    Hi there, long term lurker but first time poster on this forum. Myself and my daughter saw a gorgeous bun advertised on gumtree. I went to collect him earlier, heís a massive French lop, young women answered the door, told me to go in the cupboard under the stairs. There he was kept in a tiny dog crate, under the dog food bags,no hay and a bowl full of Ďpremium rabbit mueslií, which she said she went and got me from the corner shop. Heís never had a strand of hay in his life at 13 months. Heís currently in my kitchen shaking with fear. Heís got a tray full of hay, I doubt he knows what do with it. How do I go about changing his diet and how much food? Heís used to nothing but a huge bowl of muesli a day. I donít know how to post pics sadly. Iíd appreciate any hel you can give. Thanks Ali xx

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    Wise Old Thumper
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    Hi, welcome to the forum

    Poor little mite It's understandable that he is frightened. Was he being kept in the dark under the stairs? Was the muesli what he has been fed on up until now?

    Personally I wouldn't attempt to change his diet until he has settled. I would also give him a cardboard box, so that he can hide in it and feel a bit safer, if he wants to. I would keep the hay with him and give him the same amount of muesli each day.

    When you consider that he feels a bit more OK with you, then I would start to change his diet, but I would do it very, very slowly. It might take a while before he starts to nibble at the hay. When introducing new foods, such as fresh herbs, just give him one sort at a time and monitor any effects. If you are going to change him over to a pellet food, this must be done very slowly as well. Start off by replacing some of the muesli with pellets and gradually increase them until he's just having pellets.

    I hope he soon settles. I would monitor his output closely as well as obviously checking that he is eating.
    "The mind tells me this is our new reality, the heart aches for it to be just a bad dream" Frans Timmermans

  3. #3

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    Hi welcome to the forum, and well done for rescuing this little one from what sounds like a sad situation.

    If it were me, I would do as you have and give him a tray full of hay that he can sit in and munch if he wants to, it will help him feel more secure, perhaps a little hidey-hole too. I wouldn't start changing his pellets too much just yet until he's more settled, but gradually over the next week or so, and maybe add one or two little bits of fresh veg or herbs here and there.

    Good luck with him, he's certainly fallen on four paws coming to you!
    Every Bun deserves some love, no matter what their breed, colour or background

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msalisoncarroll View Post
    Hi there, long term lurker but first time poster on this forum. Myself and my daughter saw a gorgeous bun advertised on gumtree. I went to collect him earlier, heís a massive French lop, young women answered the door, told me to go in the cupboard under the stairs. There he was kept in a tiny dog crate, under the dog food bags,no hay and a bowl full of Ďpremium rabbit mueslií, which she said she went and got me from the corner shop. Heís never had a strand of hay in his life at 13 months. Heís currently in my kitchen shaking with fear. Heís got a tray full of hay, I doubt he knows what do with it. How do I go about changing his diet and how much food? Heís used to nothing but a huge bowl of muesli a day. I donít know how to post pics sadly. Iíd appreciate any hel you can give. Thanks Ali xx

    Hi Ali and welcome to the Forum

    Lovely to hear you've rescued this bunny - bless you.

    There are so many wanting new homes and you've done a wonderful thing for that bunny.

    I also rescued one that was being kept in a tiny cage with only muesli and no hay or veggies ever. I managed to get him eating readigrass, which is a tasty version of hay if you haven't come across it before.

    I would keep him on muesli for the time being. The first thing you need to organise is a visit with your vet. A check up, teeth and everything will give you a ball park measurement to go by. Otherwise you don't know much about the state of his mouth and what he's capable of eating. He may well have mites because stressed rabbits often have them even if you can't see them. And boy must he be stressed! Please give him somewhere to hide as well, I'm sure you have. I had a rabbit that had been kept in a small glass cage for months and when she was put into a hutch in the kitchen with the door always open, she wouldn't come out! I gradually had to acclimatise her to the wonderful life outside her confines

    You should also enquire about vaccinations whilst at the vet (and neutering is needs be). There are two vaccines to be given, and details are here:

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/vaccinations/

    Many of us are now getting the RHD2 vaccine done first (advisable to leave a couple of weeks between vaccinations) because it's spreading quickly amongst rabbits.

    More info on that here:

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/own...estions/FAQRHD


    Here's some info on diet:

    http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/

    And here's help with posting photos:

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...nother-website

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...to-Post-Photos

    https://postimages.org

    Photobucket isn't working, so you may have to register with Imgur or another photo-hosting site


    Good luck!!
    Last edited by MightyMax; 18-06-2018 at 06:20 PM.
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
    An extensive and comprehensive guide to all things RHD2 - Please Vaccinate!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...RHD2-July-2018

  5. #5

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    Hi Welcome to the forum

    You've already been given lots of really good advice and you've definitely come to the right place . Sadly, way too many buns are being kept in horrible conditions, so well done for offering this one a fresh start.

    I've rescued a number of buns from Gumtree, having kept an eye out for those that appear in most need and we have 12 in total. I'd say the important thing is time and to not rush anything. Give them time to settle without too much handling etc, there plenty of time for that. You've already done the best thing getting them out of there and the rest can happen gradually. Definitely have them checked over at the vets and booked in for their jabs.

    As above, make diet changes slowly. Our 3 most recent additions all arrived eating muesli and horrible breeders pellets, so we slowly changed them over to Science Selective. However 1 couldn't tolerate the change very well, so he stayed on muesli for longer and we tried again at a later date, which was successful.

    Where do you plan on keeping them?

    Good luck xx

    **created by my DD Lionheadlop**

  6. #6
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    You already got great advice. Sending you and your new friend some positive vibes for many, many happy years together.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    How is your rabbit doing?
    Reliable and up to date info on RHD2:
    An extensive and comprehensive guide to all things RHD2 - Please Vaccinate!
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...RHD2-July-2018

  8. #8
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    Thank you all so much for your advice, it was greatly appreciated! He seems too of settled, however Iím having a bit of an issue with him growling. Heís possessive of the food bowl and the floor. Heís happy for me stroke him, however if I so much as put my hand near him while heís eating or to pick up, tidy etc he growls at me and lunges. The only thing he ever had, is his food bowl, Iím guesing he sees it as Ďhis bowl, your not touching ití . Heís eating hay, Iím gradually introducing nuggets which he eats no problem, as long as food is involved heís happy. Heís going to the vets next week for his vaccinations, Iím going to ask about neutering. As anyone else ever experienced this behavior with a rabbit? XX

  9. #9
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    Lots of rabbits do not like you to enter their space especially when they don't know/trust you. Is he in an indoor cage or outside?

  10. #10
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    He has the entire spare room to himself, heís got various boxes etc to hide in and a zoo zone 2 cage base for his litter tray x

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