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Last Post by BeccaLovesMichy at 11/20/2012 9:07 AM (132 Replies)
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/15/2012 5:41 AM
in terms of the puppies thing, you guys are right. it's hard to remember she is "just a kid" when the cause is so dear to your heart. also, this is my first ever babysitting job and i am the youngest person in my entire extended and nuclear family, so i have little experience with children, especially of varying ages. it's honestly impossible for me to remember at this point where i was at age ten (in terms of social development and language skills etc.) i wonder when it comes time to plant that seed of knowledge that animals are not there (just or primarily) for your personal enjoyment/amusement. i would definitely be afraid for the kids you talked about, that those ideas that hurting animals are ok will stay with them through adulthood. i do remember though that as a child, if an animal wanted to be left alone i'd pet it any way because i really wanted to. now i have the maturity enough to say i should ultimately do what the animal WANTS and just leave it be. it's crazy how you don't even notice you're maturing until one day you are babysitting a ten year old and you're like "wow, i've come a long way!!" ; )

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
13440 posts Send Private Message
10/16/2012 2:11 AM
i do remember though that as a child, if an animal wanted to be left alone i'd pet it any way because i really wanted to. now i have the maturity enough to say i should ultimately do what the animal WANTS and just leave it be.

I can relate to that! I have a small scar under my eye where my childhood Shih-Tzu bit me because I was bugging her while she was sleeping. Had to go the hospital for a tetanus shot! I also used to dress up my cat on a regular basis. I just loved animals so much my whole life but just didn`t have a lot of common sense as most kids don`t. I did, however, always provide proper care for my animals. I had hamsters as a kid and changed their cages twice a week, fed them every day, etc., brushed the cat, walked the dog. I even baby sat my neighbors dog on a regular basis while I was 9 or 10. I never got bored of them, like so many kids do.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 5:39 AM
hey guys. at this point, i have no idea what will happen to bun during the winter months. i haven't had a good opportunity to actually sit the mom down and talk to her (she's always just getting home from work and visibly exhausted). from what my sister has told me, mom has no intention of bringing bun in for the winter and would prefer to give him away. also, my sis said from talking to her it appears she has "no intentions" of getting him neutered. when i spoke to B about it, she said they were waiting on the guy who bred the bunny, who apparently offered to neuter him (yikes?) or GET him neutered for them. i'm not clear on that part. she also told me that they are bringing him inside, they just need to "train him more not to do bad stuff."

here are his bad behaviors. i have tried every configuration of make-shift barriers i can think of, but he ALWAYS gets behind the couch, where he digs the carpet up, eats pieces of it (i'm pretty sure). we stuffed a blanket down in so he can't reach that part of the carpet and he chews and digs aggressively at the blanket!! i'm afraid he's going to eat stuff he shouldn't and have to have surgery or something. he even took a kamikaze dive straight down off the back of the couch to get in there. i swear, he's like a toddler, and the more i try to get him NOT to go in there the more badly he wants to. it's like it's the only thing he can think about. he's in that closet ALL day and he finally gets hours inside and that all he wants to do!!!!! if i stand in front of the entrance he rather aggressively tries to chew on my sneaks. he's extraordinarily strong-willed and feisty. am i correct in believing a lot of that will stop as soon as he is neutered? he goes potty mostly on the newspaper (though i don' t know how "trained" he is since we cover an entire...five foot, six foot area with it to be safe) but sometimes he still does a few poops off of it and i think a teensy bit of urine comes out by accident. i have offered him cardboard, and he seems to lose interest and proceed to try to chew all the wrong things. would he just chew a chew toy if i got one? i'm afraid he will be disinterested! is there a good kind to recommend?

also, if B is right, and they bring him in for winter, they still need a lot of supplies they don't have. she says she plans to use a different puppy cage for bun. i told her they need special cages (where the poo and pee can fall through the bottom) is that true? or would he be ok in a puppy cage? is there a good, reasonably priced one you all might recommend? i might be able to do some convincing. i feel i've made myself a catch 22, since all the work i've done to educate B and make things better for her rabbit HAVE made her more attached to him - but at the same time they still are nowhere near where they need to be in terms of his care or being with it mentally about what needs to take place. so now B is less likely to be willing to give him away, i have made that more painful for her, and despite my best efforts, i think he'd be better off with a more educated(educatable) family that has more to give.

i have surprisingly read on answer sites that people do in fact keep their rabs outdoors in freezing temperatures and say they end up ok. however most are still providing attentive and accurate care, heated water and hutches...

User is Offline Svandis
442 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 8:49 AM
"her they need special cages (where the poo and pee can fall through the bottom) is that true? or would he be ok in a puppy cage?"
That depends on what you mean by the poo falling through the bottom. Like a wire bottom cage? that is not reccomended as it can hurt little rabbit feet and they can get sore hocks.
A puppy cage could be fine if he gets out time (and you can make a ledge in there so he has an extra little "floor" to jump up on), or if he could possibly have a pen attatched to the cage so he could have more space

User is Offline Radhika
68 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 9:22 AM

This thread is equally sad and heart-warming.

With regard to the "bad" behaviours, they're just normal bunny behaviours. Bunnies like to dig because they are hardwired to dig tunnels, so if you don't want him to dig the carpet he needs other outlets. You can pick up squares of carpet really cheap, I got 4 for £1 at the local pound shop. Or if you go into a carpet store and ask for small off-cuts they will probably oblige. Then you can put that carpet behind the sofa and bunny can dig to his heart's content - but he shouldn't swallow it. If he is swallowing the fibres or if you can't get any carpet, you can make a digging box. Get a cardboard box (shops will give you one for free, surely?) and fill it with shredded newspaper. Bunny can burrow into it and have a great time. He makes a beeline for the couch because he's started a project (he's digging out a tunnel) and he wants to finish it. Honestly the simplest solution would be to block the area by pushing the couch against the wall, so he figures there's been a cave-in or something and he will abandon that burrow for another one (the cardboard box). Actually I don't think I should be calling bunny a he, I think females are more interested in burrowing than the males so bunny is probably a she.

It's important to know that his/her urge to burrow is not going to go away, you can't teach a rabbit that it's bad to dig tunnels - it's like trying to teach a human that it's bad to run. It's in their nature, and they need a way to express it. 

My Harry was not at all interested in cardboard or any of the chewing toys I bought him, then I gave him a twig of apple wood and he went to town on it. Not all woods are safe for bunnies, but apple, pear, willow and a few others are fine. If you see an apple tree just break some twigs off and see if the rabbit is interested.

As for pottying, even when neutered they leave some stools outside of the litterbox. Luckily they don't smell and are dry, so it just means going after them with a tissue and putting them in the litterbox. If he pees outside, dab it up with some paper towel and put the paper in the litterbox so he knows where to go. If he was neutered he would probably stop peeing outside the litterbox entirely, but from what I've read they always poo outside a little.

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 11:55 AM

Svandis:  here is a picture of what i "thought" bunnies needed.  i thought it was so the bunny's waste wouldn't accumulate in its living space, but the fact that it might hurt his feet makes sense...i wonder if you're supposed to put lots of hay down?  or else, why are they selling bunny cages like this!





re: puppy cage.  i have no idea how much out time they give him when i'm not there.  i think when he is "bad" they probably just lose patience and put him back outside.   what are the minimum dimensions for a cage for it to be humane?  


Thank you for the help!

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 12:08 PM

Radhika, thank you for your reply, very helpful!!!


I am fairly certain he is consuming the carpet fibers, so I'm not sure why or how he hasn't gotten sick from that...  i try to distract him with carrots, but he loses interest after a bit and goes back to t he couch!!!  i do know that digging and chewing is their nature, and i have tried to explain that to them.  what i meant was that he might be less "aggressive" about it... when i try to get him to back out by putting a broom in there he very aggressively attacks and bites it (maybe tis normal?) if you try at all to stop him he gets very head-butty and persistent.  


i thought of getting a box and filling it with dirt (i saw it on a bunny video) but that could potentially get messy... the box of newspaper is a good idea i will try, but his current "litterbox" is also a cardboard box filled with sheets of newspaper, so i don't know if he'd recognize it as a burrowing apparatus?  the couch unfortunately is one of those gigantic L shaped things that is a few inches on one side from the sliding glass door that opens to bun bun's porch.  i thought of moving it, but i'm not sure honestly if i could, but i'll try!


bunny poop is awesome.  you're right, it doesn't smell, it doesn't make a mess, and honestly i just pick up stray poops with my hands (then wash of course) while the kid gets completely grossed out ha!


also!  it has actually been confirmed for me that Bun Bun is indeed a boy, which the mom knew this entire time lol.  i don't know how to explain his extra burrowing interest in that case.  he does probably get pretty pent up being out there by himself all day so.


Thanks again!

User is Offline Svandis
442 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 1:27 PM
I would really not reccomend a cage like that, for the reasons i stated earlier. They need solid ground to stand on. As for the poops and cleanliness, if he can be potty trained well, it shouldnt be a problem

as for reccomended space for rabbits, the minimum should be so that he can hop atleast three hops in there with no trouble, but the bigger the better

User is Offline Radhika
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10/24/2012 2:09 PM
The only thing Harry burrows in is a wicker laundry basket, I turned it on its side and stuffed it with hay and he hops inside to eat. He doesn't actually burrow, just digs in to find the best bits of hay but he isn't a burrower. I think this bunny might really like it, and as long as it's untreated it's safe for him to eat some of the wicker too. I didn't spend anything because I had the basket when I got him, but you could probably pick something like that up at a dollar store.

User is Offline NikitaSue20
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
132 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 6:05 PM
Don't worry. My thump is a boy and he borrows way more than oreo does lol. Just the personality difference. And I can relate to you because Thumper and Oreo both came from a extremely similar situation as the one you are describing. And it was purely things falling into place right that they ended up with me so don't lose hope.

Also someone said about iceberg lettuce being bad. WHAT?! I've been giving oreo and thumper that. I had no clue it was bad. I've read the what they can have list and have it written down on a paper on my desk. There was so many kinds of lettuce on there i guess i assumed they were all good =/. I guess I'll have to get some different kinds of lettuce on friday and just fill the hole with spinach even tho they hate it lol. They will still eat it just they save it for very last and then protest it for an hour and then eat it.

And also I wanted to say that just from how much the girl has perked up about her rabbit I think there is alot hope for her. It sounds like she is ready to learn and she sounds smart also. My mother is very smart about animals and has rescued very many and is a huge animal lover and she still feeling that rabbits go in cages and she thinks they are unemotional animals. Patience Patience Patience. Just try to subtley say rabbit facts in conversation and I'm sure she will retain some of it. Best of luck =D I think your doing great and things will only get better

User is Offline Binky91
97 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2012 2:06 AM
Hi BeccaLovesMichy! I've been following this thread and think your doing such a good job and I think we're all grateful for you helping the furry little fella out .

As for cages, I use a dog cage for my Wilbur and he loves it. My boyfriend built a small second level (he basically just built a little table and we slotted it into the corner) which worked really well as it meant he got more exercise whilst in the cage because he could jump up and down the second level until his heart was content! I got mine off of ebay for around £28, so thats, what, $40ish? That is for a 36" cage. But if you look around you might get one for cheaper. Maybe join a website for people who have things like cages lying around that they just want to get rid of? I know here in the UK we have one called freecycle.


(Cage with no upstairs)


(Cage with upstairs)

Good luck You're doing a great job!




User is Offline Jenna, Chubs &amp; Comet
Portland, OR
618 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 9:47 PM
Wow, just read all of that. How wonderful of you to try and help this bunny. It must be so frustrating not to be able to do as much as you'd like to do for him. I think you are doing a wonderful job doing what you can! Hang in there...!
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 2:10 PM
Thank you so much!  That really means a lot!

User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 2:27 PM

Hi Binky!!  Thank you so much for your kind words, as always that kind of thing means an awful lot.  And thanks for the pictures, that's so thoughtful!!  Wilbur looks super happy in there, and he also looks A LOT like BB, only he doesn't have the bit of white trim yours has on his nose and chest, he's purely black.    I think BB's original cage was about a 1/2 foot- 1 foot smaller than yours, so I'll have to get myself a look at this newly proposed cage she speaks of.  In general, things are really looking up for BB!  I just found out that they have in fact decided to keep him in their apt for the winter!  I need to bring it home that it's not really just for winter but for always, but at least he won't be out in our frigid winter weather, thank goodness.  That would have kept me up at night.


For now BB is being housed in their bathroom - which is really a pretty nice spot for him.  HE's got a big cardboard box in there with a hole for a door and a big soft blanket stuffed inside.  He also has his cardboard litter box which he likes to use, and his food and water.  We did in fact move the couch against the wall, though he still occasionally goes into the OTHER side lol but is much easier to get him out of that side.  when we shoo him out with a broom he gets mad and thumps really hard, poor guy.  we are gentle.  I took Bella to the petco today and I think I'll spring for a chew toy... they sell one that supposedly tastes like carrots that I think he'd go for more than a piece of wood.  It's about 4 inches long and 6 bucks.  Regular, non-enhanced pellets are only 17 dollars for a 20 pound bag!!!  I think that's a great deal, considering he needs about 1/2 cup a day, which calculates to 80 servings per bag.  that'd last almost 3 months!  i think i could def convince Bella's mom to get that.  The hay is my last pursuit.  like y'all said, the pet store is a rip off, 8$ for a smallish package of timothy hay, so i must find a farm nearby that'll sell it in smallish bulk size.  Lastly I think I will buy a cheap plastic dish pan to replace his cardboard box and just continue putting newspaper in there.  The recycled paper litter is very expensive and newspaper is free.  bun bun ate part of my dictionary the other day which i thought was pretty funny, since Bella hates her spelling HW.


Do you all think BB could be ok without any hay?  That's seems like it'll be the biggest challenge, not just for me but for Bella and her mom to upkeep.  I know every site says it's the most important aspect, but I have to admit, BB looks and acts super healthy and active and he was only living on wildlife seeds until now and eating god knows how much other inorganic matter such as carpet and plastic.  As always, extra advice on this very long thread is super appreciated!!  Thank you all for being so helpful, attentive, and caring for myself and BB.  I know he would thank you all if he could!!!!!!!!! 


PS. BB is binkying and running all over now.  I htink he is pretty happy.  only issue is Bella tries to use his binkies as an excuse/sign that he's fine and doesn't need all the dietary changes i've recommended...hard to impress these things upon a child sometimes.  He even has been so much more social/affectionate.  He hops up on the couch right next to me - like a cat!!!!!  he sits there a ibt and lets me pet him, but he's very energetic so he never stays long

User is Offline tanlover14
3612 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 2:35 PM
If you can by any way get her to buy a big bag of hay since the smaller bags are much more expensive -- Oxbow sells 50 lb. bags (which you can keep in a plastic storage container) for only around $50! That's only a buck a pound AND I'm sure with only one bun it would last way longer. I'm not sure if you can get her to spend that kind of money but it's worth the try or finding a farm to buy it from.

Hay is absolutely necessary though for buns. It aids in digestion and helps keep their teeth trimmed down. It's def a must.
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 3:04 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, tanlover!  I had to come back to post again because I was just investigating the Tractor Supply Company, which is RIGHT down the street from my dad's apt.  They sell huge bags of rabbit pellets for so much less than petco, and I though theirs was a good deal!  Here is the link:




it's called " Manna Pro Select Series" and it says you get a 25 pound bag for TEN DOLLARS!!!  that HAS to be a better deal than whatever they're giving him now.  It also says it's a complete diet and has the required protein and fiber content!   I am so excited I can't take it.  This is for adult pet rabbits, right?  Is this brand alright?  It has to be better than what he's eating now.



EDIT:  this food was under the "livestock" category.  I can't find the same food under the pet category.  I did find one called "LM Animal Farms Classic Pet RAbbit Food.."  Even still, it's 10lbs for 5$.  Even if you bought 3 that's 30lbs for 15$ - 10lbs more than the petco offer for 2 dollars less.  That would last about 4 months and be 45$ a year.  That's nothing!

EDIT AGAIN:  Found a 50 lb bale of alfalfa horse hay for $18.99, would that be suitable?  Again, that's a really good deal, isn't it???


User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4247 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 3:31 PM
Hi Becca,
Any hay is better than no hay and if it's a choice between the bale or nothing I say "go the bale". I had to use bale hay last Xmas and all the pet stores were out and due to our isolation over here you could not even buy the expensive ones as most deliveries were delayed because of the holidays. Perverse little monsters loved it. Once I could get their normal hay again I just used the bale for litter and bedding but they would bound round the play area and leap into the baled hay when it was placed down. They loved the stuff. Just be warned, it expands when you cut the wire. Place it down on an old sheet and have lots of bags handy to portion it out for storage.
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User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4247 posts Send Private Message
10/30/2012 3:32 PM
And what ever you do DON'T unbale it in your car boot thinking it will be easier to move.... I am still trying to get it out
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User is Offline tanlover14
3612 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2012 7:47 AM
Just checked out the feed store -- I saw they had what my buns used to be on -- Purina Complete. Here's the link for it --


I didn't see the prices for the other one you had posted but I know the Purina Complete is really good for buns and has all the appropriate levels necessary for them! If it's the same price -- I'd get that one. I can't find my book right at the moment that has all the necessary percentages for food in it so I couldn't compare the other one. If this one is out of your price range, lemme know and I'll put more time into finding that book tonight and comparing!

I have to agree with Roberta, take any hay you can get for right now!
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User is Offline BeccaLovesMichy
52 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2012 9:25 AM
actually that would indeed be even cheaper than the other kind...only issue is that it's a fifty pound bag lol.  if he for some reason didn't want to eat/didn't like it, it might be kind of difficult to return/unmanageable.  i'm also kind of worried about the 50lb bale... there's no way i could lift that myself, i'd have to ask my dad to help me.  if i can find that they sell even a half-sized bag that is still a good deal, i'd go for it!!  thanks for the advice, and the offer to help me research different kinds of foods, that's really sweet of you!
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