Category: rabbitry

Rabbits and Other Animals

Rabbits, Dogs, Cats…Can a whole food chain live happily ever after? I think so. Sort of.

I have to preface this with the fact that with only a few exceptions, I don’t leave the house with them all running together. But, while I’m home, it works well.

Since the two house rabbits pre-date the cat, Noah has grown up around rabbits running loose. He’s used to hanging around the smaller house bunnies, but when the German Angora rabbits were introduced, he was a little more cautious. While Noah is a Ragdoll cat, which is not a small breed, the German Angora Rabbits are really large. Wisely Noah doesn’t try to play with them. Although he’s absolutely fine just hanging out with them.

Bear came in at five months old, so not full size, but with a full size personality. Out of everyone, he is definitely the one in charge. Not only has the cat given up and walks away when bear decides to sit on him, but bear regularly chases even the dogs out of the room, nudging them until they get up and leave.

Since the dogs were full grown and moved in only a few years ago, the fact that they learned to peacefully live with rabbits running loose still amazes me. Honestly, I think they just don’t know quite what they are or what to make of them. Except that they quickly figured out that these fuzzy, hopping creatures are wonderful Pez dispensers. And, if you watch them long enough, they will magically leave a coco-puff type treat. While not so popular with the humans in the room…it’s proven a favorite canine pastime to try to sneak one of these magic treats as the bunny hops away.

Actually, it’s a pretty great way to spend the day, if the fiber studio watching them all interact.

More Rabbitry Cleaning

This is a subject that I apparently keep come back to. But, it’s an important one. I share a space with now…six wonderful rabbits and I’m one of those people that is sensitive to smells. Usually that doesn’t go well together. Honestly, I do clean cages and sweep up hay twice a day. So, there’s admittedly a lot of cleaning going on. But, I’ve gotten it down to a pretty quick process.

Cooper and Emma are my original bunnies. They are rescue and a bonded pair. I’ve had Cooper for over eight years now. So he’s a pretty old man. They both live in the x-pen and use a litter box. Neither wanders out much since they aren’t as active as they used to be. I have pine shavings in their box and change it once to twice per day.

Doc, Daisy and Lily live in Condo’s, which are very large cages. I think 36″. I can’t remember exactly…but plenty of room. I go between odorless, lightweight, low dust cat litter and pine shavings in the trays under their cages. I also use some lime in the area where each goes most. This makes cleanup really easy.

Bear has his own large condo. He is very sensitive to smells. Pine shavings and kitty litter make him sneeze. So, I use a large puppy pad in his tray. I just wrap it up and toss it and replace with a new one. Not as cost effective, but easy and it work better for him.

Since everyone gets run time every day I also have a lot of organic spray cleaner and shop type towels available. Running around they usually only have an accident (actually, they’re marking) near the other rabbits. So I expect that and it’s a quick clean-up. Okay, except for Bear. If he see’s me cleaning it up, he’ll get upset and really…and I mean really… spray. So I have to be a little more ninja in my cleanup. And, I leave the towel there so he is sure that his mark is still around, until he goes back into his condo.

All of the cages get a deep cleaning once a week. You might be able to tell from the picture, the cages have removable hard plastic mats. German Angora’s are heavy rabbits, and although I don’t trim the bottom of their feet (so that they have as much cushion as possible) I like having the extra protection of these liners. They don’t particularly like laying on them (I notice they lay in the area where the liners don’t quite reach), probably because it’s a little cooler with more air circulation under them, but I like the added protection they have on their paws.

These get taken out and disinfected every week when the rest of the cage is wiped down. You can find them from Amazon here.

I have the air cleaner running in the room as well. Honestly, I don’t know if it does much, but with that filter as dirty as it is, it must be cleaning something.

The biggest challenge, really, is hay. Not that it smells, and I only sneeze during allergy season, but that stuff does seem to get everywhere and is not vacuum friendly. So, there’s a lot of sweeping going on. But, it’s a small price to pay for such sweet critters and the beautiful ‘wool’ that they produce.

The Velcro bunny

We’ve had a wonderful addition to our little rabbitry…Pooh Bear. Actually, he got his name from the CoCo puff trail that he leaves everywhere as he marks his territory, but Velcro because he is a complete Momma’s boy. This beautiful five month old came from Serendipity Angoras in Oregon. Rebecca is such a friendly, knowledgeable person and has a beautiful rabbits.

German Angora with color seem are harder to find here in California, and while I love the white, I was anxious to add some color to the mix. This young tort buck was the perfect answer. He is not only handsome, he is full of energy…I mean really full of energy and absolutely loves to be with people.

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of male puberty. And wow, can this little guy spray. I think the comment from my son was, “Geez, how does that much liquid get into one rabbit!” And the distance this guy can get has to be Olympic medal worthy. In one desperate moment I eventried a diaper for his free run time. He was not a fan and I gave up. Luckily as he’s getting a little older, he’s getting better.

His fiber is just beautiful and I’m anxious to see how it spins up. Although, it’s now shearing time and I’m not looking forward to shearing this sweet bundle of energy!