New to Rabbits

HollandHops

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Hi BYHers!
Holland Lop is what I am gettin'
I am getting two Holland rabbits in about a week (ekk) and I am very excited! Anyways, the doe might be pregnant *screams* and I would love any tips on birthing/pregnant rabbits and uh, well everything! I am totally excited, and I can't wait to get them. Anything is helpful, but I have a few questions:

*How does this nail trimming thing work?
*What is a molt?
*What are your tips to beginner rabbit raisers/breeders?

Thanks!
HollandHops
 

SA Farm

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Birthing/Pregnant rabbits: Don't move her or her cage once you have her where you want her. The more settled in she is, the more comfortable she will be, therefore she'll be less likely to have trouble. That said, a lot of first timers in particular make terrible moms and may eat them, over clean them, etc. Be prepared for everything to go wrong. Makes it easier to deal with if it does and more wonderful when it doesn't :)
Add the nest box on day 27 - most rabbits are due day 31, but some can kindle earlier or later.
If you're changing the diet, make sure you do it gradually. Same with introducing new foods = always just a little at a time to prevent digestive upset.
Hmm....can't think of anything else at the moment.

Nail Trimming: Just like with dogs and other animals, rabbits need to have their nails trimmed occasionally. I just use people nail clippers for my rabbits. Just watch out for the quick and if you aren't confident that you're going to miss it, have some powder on hand to stop the bleeding.
Molt: A molt is when an animal sheds their coat. Most rabbits molt twice a year, just like dogs and cats shed. Same thing.
Tips for beginners: Never be afraid to ask questions ;)
 

HollandHops

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Birthing/Pregnant rabbits: Don't move her or her cage once you have her where you want her. The more settled in she is, the more comfortable she will be, therefore she'll be less likely to have trouble. That said, a lot of first timers in particular make terrible moms and may eat them, over clean them, etc. Be prepared for everything to go wrong. Makes it easier to deal with if it does and more wonderful when it doesn't :)
Add the nest box on day 27 - most rabbits are due day 31, but some can kindle earlier or later.
If you're changing the diet, make sure you do it gradually. Same with introducing new foods = always just a little at a time to prevent digestive upset.
Hmm....can't think of anything else at the moment.

Nail Trimming: Just like with dogs and other animals, rabbits need to have their nails trimmed occasionally. I just use people nail clippers for my rabbits. Just watch out for the quick and if you aren't confident that you're going to miss it, have some powder on hand to stop the bleeding.
Molt: A molt is when an animal sheds their coat. Most rabbits molt twice a year, just like dogs and cats shed. Same thing.
Tips for beginners: Never be afraid to ask questions ;)


Okay, once I get her home she will stay where her cage is. Should I even take her out to hold her or just let her be. Omigosh I hope she doesn't eat them! What does it mean to over clean them? Can I add nestbox earlier? I have heard some dig in litterbox 2 weeks before birthing. I will make any changes gradually.

Okay on nail trimming. I will have someone hold them. How do I know if they need trimmed?

Okay on the molting and the tips. :)
 

SA Farm

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I usually let them be, just petting and giving treats to my does so they know I'm to be trusted - helps if I want to handle the kits later ;)
Over-cleaning means that the doe is a little aggressive in cleaning and sometimes can nip into the skin or bite off an ear or leg that she thinks is dirty somehow...
You can add it earlier if you want, most don't because a lot of does decide to use the nest box as a litter box! :rolleyes:
If the nail has grown past the fur on the toes, it's definitely time to trim them. Usually I check them once a month.
:)
 

HollandHops

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I usually let them be, just petting and giving treats to my does so they know I'm to be trusted - helps if I want to handle the kits later ;)
Over-cleaning means that the doe is a little aggressive in cleaning and sometimes can nip into the skin or bite off an ear or leg that she thinks is dirty somehow...
You can add it earlier if you want, most don't because a lot of does decide to use the nest box as a litter box! :rolleyes:
If the nail has grown past the fur on the toes, it's definitely time to trim them. Usually I check them once a month.
:)

Oh..yeah I don't need her going potty in it. Well I hope she is a good mother!
Okay, I will check them once I get them.
Is there anything else about new mothers I should know?
 

SA Farm

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They are individuals. A lot of it you'll work out as you get to know her and vice versa :)
 

Hens and Roos

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Welcome :frow and congrats with your new friends!

I agree with the information from @SA Farm

if you have to trim nails by yourself- you can always wrap a towel around the rabbit to help keep them secure. We have found that if the rabbit feels secure they are often times easier to work with...again it depends on the rabbit.

Also be prepared that the doe may be very protective of her kits given that she is in new surrounds and not use to you.

Have fun and the more you can relax the better the rabbits will feel :)
 

HollandHops

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Will the doe attack me if I try and get them? Thanks for the nail tip!
Welcome :frow and congrats with your new friends!

I agree with the information from @SA Farm

if you have to trim nails by yourself- you can always wrap a towel around the rabbit to help keep them secure. We have found that if the rabbit feels secure they are often times easier to work with...again it depends on the rabbit.

Also be prepared that the doe may be very protective of her kits given that she is in new surrounds and not use to you.

Have fun and the more you can relax the better the rabbits will feel :)
 

Hens and Roos

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It depends again on the doe and her personality. Our first doe we got was breed and the breeder we got her from recommended we give her about 5-7 days before checking. When we went into feed after she had the kits she would stand guard so to speak at the corner of the nest box and if she thought we got to close, she would swipe at us. This last litter she had- she actually let me check within hours of her having them- no issues- I think she has figured out that we will not hurt the babies.

Does that we have raised from kit on, are more relaxed around us and are perfectly fine with us checking the babies when they are just hours old.

You can always give a small piece of apple, bread or sunflower seeds so that the doe is busy and you can take a quick peek. As a rule for us we don't handle them much the 1st 5 days or so- but that's just us, everyone does what works for them.
 

HollandHops

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It depends again on the doe and her personality. Our first doe we got was breed and the breeder we got her from recommended we give her about 5-7 days before checking. When we went into feed after she had the kits she would stand guard so to speak at the corner of the nest box and if she thought we got to close, she would swipe at us. This last litter she had- she actually let me check within hours of her having them- no issues- I think she has figured out that we will not hurt the babies.

Does that we have raised from kit on, are more relaxed around us and are perfectly fine with us checking the babies when they are just hours old.

You can always give a small piece of apple, bread or sunflower seeds so that the doe is busy and you can take a quick peek. As a rule for us we don't handle them much the 1st 5 days or so- but that's just us, everyone does what works for them.

Okay, that sounds good to me. I can give them a couple days before checking if she is pregnant,
 
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