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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Treats for babies?
Last Post by BB at 7/27/2006 9:46 PM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/09/2006 12:58 PM
Our little Sable is such a smart bunny we'd like to give him treats to help with his training.  What sort of treats are acceptable for babies since his diet so far is strictly timothy hay and pellets?  Is he still too young for the apple juice soaked popsicle sticks?

Thanks!
Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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6/09/2006 1:39 PM
He's only 9 weeks right?    In a few weeks you'll be able to introduce greens one at a time and that would be a great way to do it - as a treat.

But for now, is he just too bored with his pellets? If not, maybe you could train him with those? Train him around the time he normally goes to his dish to eat. Also, when you say training, are you talking about litter training, or clicker training, or ?? ?


User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/09/2006 2:46 PM
I was thinking of starting some clicker training.  He seems to be a very quick learner.  I've tried using pellets and, though he seems to love eating them from his dish, he just isn't fooled into thinking they're a treat as well.

As far as litter training goes, he's still a bit poopy all over the play pen but at least he goes to the litter box to pee.  When he's in his cage, he pees in the litter box and the nest box.  I'm going to try giving the nest box a good cleaning with vinegar as you suggested, do you use straight vinegar or  what proportion with water is sufficient?



Thanks!
Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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6/09/2006 3:06 PM

Ah. It really is hard when treats aren't allowed.   My Bailey is old enough to have treats but her digestive system is extremely sensitive, so she can be clicker trained with affection.  But she's also a very needy bunny.  She always craves that, where with my other two, they are like.."eh, eh, just show me the goods!"

I'll actually ask around to a few of my bunny expert friends and see if they know something that I don't know about something yummy to give to a 9 week old bunny.   Maybe something exciting will pop up, and we'll both learn something.

Regarding the vinegar and water:  When I'm just spraying it as a cleaner I make it 50/50.  (I just get a spray bottle from a drug store)

If the item really smells, caked with pee, or the smell has just gotten into the plastic, then I soak it with an 80% to 100% vinegar.  You can either spray it on with a spray bottle or just fill it up 1/2 inch and swirl it around and let it soak for 24 hours (if it's not really bad, you can just do it for a few hours.)   You have to be more careful with long soaks with metal, as the acid in vinegar can end up causing damage to some.

Then, I rinse and wash with soap, and the rinse really well, so there isn't a soap residue.

When you do this to a litter box though, after it's all clean,  remember to put poops back in there to help with training.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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6/14/2006 7:52 PM
Just wanting to see how things were going with training.  Are you doing clicker training yet?

So far, not treats were recommended for your baby, but in a few weeks, you'll have more options.


User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
6/16/2006 2:10 AM
Hi
Thanks for asking!  I haven't started the clicker training yet, but I have found a way to save my fingers for now. 

I bought some of those hard hay cubes (made sure they were mostly timothy) just the night before last.  He seems to accept a chunk of one of those as a treat and, if I'm not mistaken, since he's chewing more on that he's not chomping so hard on my fingers and his teeth don't seem quite so razor sharp as they did. 

It does get kind of messy when he's munching them in my lap though.  He likes to run up and down my legs on the couch and throws the hay cube on ahead of him.  My husband suggested putting an apron on before playing with him like that.  Not a bad idea since he managed to bite a hole in the cotton slacks I was wearing the other day.  I might try the apron idea tonight. 

How old should he be before I offer the first fruit treat and what sort of fruit would be best to start with?

Thanks!
Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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6/16/2006 10:12 AM
What a great solution - hay cubes!   That's so cute that he throws them around too.

Bunnies are great at destroying clothes!  Hopefully the apron will be thick enough, or at least give you time to make him stop before he gets to your clothes.    Otherwise maybe something thicker, like a towel or blanket (of course ones that you don't care to have destroyed)  Sometimes I pick up those little $5 blankets at the grocery store. 

Regarding when to introduce fruit:  I follow the House Rabbit Society Guidelines which is:
You can introduce fruit at 7 months and no more than 2 oz per 6 lbs body weight   Apples (no seeds or stem!), banana, strawberry,  etc   Here's more of a comprehensive list:  http://www.rabbit.org/care/fruits.html
Doesn't matter which one to start with, just always start small and make sure he doesn't get 
diarrhea.

However, you can start leafy greens at 12 weeks, again just go slow, which is why introducing it as a treat would be perfect.   Just one kind at a time.   Here are some more specifics about that at http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...bsp;  Parsley, cilantro, romaine lettuce, chicory, dandelion are all really great.  Spinach and Kale should be given sparingly as they are too high in vit A for an everyday green.







User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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7/04/2006 1:13 PM
I wanted to say thanks so much for helping out loopy-lop with her new bunny dilemma in the other section  That was great advice. 

I was also happy to hear that the poopfest was better. I am so glad he's gettin' it.  It is harder for for baby bunnies.   So this is quite a feat.

I know you said you hadn't done clicker training yet, but I just recently pulled out my clicker training stuff from the closet and started it again.   Bailey remembers exactly what to do.   She's such a fast learner.  I need to discipline myself to stick with it so she is actually trained to do something more useful than just touching her nose to a ball.

I'll try and post some video of the training in the video gallery.



User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
7/04/2006 1:50 PM
I'm glad I could be helpful.  Really it was your good advice, I was just passing it along. 

I'm trying to decide which greens I should start with him.  I gave my husband a copy of the list of recommended veggies so that he can pick some up.  He's such a good bunny and he's doing really well.  I'm still using the hay cubes as treats.  I try not to give him too much at one time, I want him to keep thinking it's a treat only.

I'm looking forward to seeing your videos.  I hope he can be trained to be at least a bit more cooperative with the nail clipping process.


Sable's Mom

User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/24/2006 4:42 AM
oh my goodness, i just read this and dougal is about 8 or 9 weeks and is munching through all sorts of foods (not always with my permission mind you). he has already been eating pears (only pears) and leaves off fruit twigs. is this terrible then? he hasn't got any horrible poos or adverse effects? i'm wondering if maybe he wasn't 5 weeks when we got him though. i think he must be older?!

he is turning into a fatty - oh no, i've been spoiling him with all the wrong stuff! he is also addicted to dried beet treats (a lot).

i'm a bad mummy!

am i able to keep him going on the pears and beet treats (with the pellets). it's not like he eats loads and loads or anything? i removed all the leaves from his twigs though...

this is what staying with my parents in the countryside is doing to him! if only my parents spoilt me as much as they spoil him!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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7/25/2006 9:34 PM
At five weeks, he shouldn't have been taken away from his mother and given to anyone, so hopefully he really is older. (at least, that the policy over here - usually they are weaned around 7 weeks)

But he seems to be doing just fine, so either it didn't bother his digestive system to be weaned so early or he is older.

Regarding his treats  Even though he hasn't shown any adverse effects now, too much sugar can also cause problems over time with the bacteria in their digestive system. and, it's not too late to get back on track and keep the sugar away for now.

Digestive imbalances and overweight issues can lead to a whole host of problems.

The House Rabbit Society even suggests not introducing fruits until 7 months.  But you can introduce leafy greens (like beet tops)  at around 12 weeks.  I bet he'll think that is a treat!

When you do give fruit or any sugary veggie - give only about 1 - 2 ounces per 6 pound bunny.  Very small amount.  And for REALLY high sugar fruits like bananas, you don't want to give it daily.

Lastly, you are not a bad mummy!  Bunnies are so incredibly cute and they are the most convincing beggars. It is almost impossible to refuse those cute begging fuzzy faces. I am guilty of offering too many treats sometimes too.   It takes a heart of steel to walk away from a bunny who looks at you with that expression,  "Please, Please, More?"

But I also know that gi stasis and/or gas can cause serious problems if I give in everyday, so be strong.  We can do it!  Just walk away...quickly...and don't look back.   They do move on from treat denial, I promise.

User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/25/2006 11:11 PM
hehehe. i will do my best. he doesn't get fruit daily or anything. this was a treat whilst in the parents orchard. i will try this beetroot idea, and i'm sure i will have a better idea of his age when he starts humping my leg and has to go for the snip!

he was out again at 5 this morning after i woke up from big rain storm as i know i'm going to be late home tonight, it meant he got 4 hours out this morning. however, he had a bit of an incident with the bath, and i'm not sure my snowboard is intact anymore. ah, such a destructive young thing!


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8673 posts Send Private Message
7/27/2006 9:46 PM

Wow, a bath and snowboard incident.   Sounds whacky, but entertaining.  Care to share? !

And what's the beetroot idea?

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