Our First Egg!

Rabbit CARE!

Our kits are from a loving home, and should be going TO one as well. Before getting our rabbits, please review the following care guidelines to make sure your situation is ok for a rabbit.

After the following becomes routine, rabbits are not difficult to care for. They are not overly time-consuming, they are easier than dogs, but a little more difficult than cats. With good litter/poop management and thought as to where to exercise, rabbits are very easy. French Angoras only require an additional 15 minutes a week to blow/brush coat than any other rabbit. Rabbits are gentle, sweet animals. They are very quiet. They do not smell, as long as you take time to clean out pans regularly. Say once a week or week and a half. They are easy to leave on weekend trips. Large breeds, like French Angoras, generally get along well with cats, as they are as large as a cat, and look MUCH larger when in full coat.

General Care:
Rabbits need daily care and attention. They are not happy sitting in a cage all day, everyday in garage or outside. At the very least, they need held and petted daily, and outside time in home or safe yard for a few hours a week.

Speaking of outside time, which we HIGHLY encourage you to provide, the lawn should not be treated with chemical pesticides or pesticide fertilizers (check labels!) as rabbits are all too happy to mow your lawn and cannot handle pesticides or herbicides (think weed control labeling). To handle the switch, we suggest using a composted turkey manure fertilizer for your lawn. Ours is as green and lush as anyone elses without the chemicals. We get it and spreader at Rail City Nursery.  The rabbits are amazing at finding & eating dandelion leaves do a great job keeping these in check. As do chickens, by the way. Just sayin'.

Our rabbits are used to seeing cats. They are not used to dogs, and dogs can easily eat your rabbit or scare it to death, literally. Care must be taken to insure they are not ever alone together.

French Angora rabbits should be housed on wire bottom cages, as they have ample foot fur to protect from sore hocks, and wire keeps the wool clean and sanitary. All rabbit pans must be cleaned on a regular basis. This amazing fertilizer is great for your garden, flowers, & trees. Just work it into your mulch or dirt and water a little. No smells. Your nose will let you judge how long is "too long" between cleanings.

Cages and pans should be cleaned periodically with vinegar and water mixture, and spare wool burned off with kitchen or plumbing blowtorch. These are really cheap, under 20.00. Fun too! Cages then left in sunlight to dry and sanitize further. We do this about...twice a year. And before anyone has kits.

French Angoras should eat a high quality feed, such as Bar Ale from 1-Stop Ranch & Feed. It has about 18% protein. They need a low-protein, high-fiber grass in addition, free choice. We like orchard grass. If you are having trouble with weight gain, add 50% alfalfa to the hay mow until weight improves, per our vet. When growing out kits we also use alfalfa as treats. Also feed 1/4-1/2 cup DARK leafy greens, like kale, to adult rabbits daily. Smaller portions to babies, but not so much that they are not getting enough pellets because they are too full. Rabbit tummies are very sensitive.

Adult French Angoras should weigh at least 7lbs 8oz, as this is minimum weight for registration with ARBA. In general, they should probably be in 9lbs range for females, 8lbs range for males, maybe more if larger framed rabbit. But their body condition will be the telling sign if in adulthood they are eating too much. Skin should never be loose or baggy, should not feel bones poking out, good muscle tone. We have been free feeding until at least 1 year or more before limiting rations to avoid weight gain. By limiting, I mean as much pellets as eaten in 30 minutes to hour of feeding them. Free hay/grass. Dark greens. Treats.

Treats are ok in small doses. Apple cores, banana, pineapple or papaya, strawberry jam, berry tops, strawberry leaves, kale & leafy DARK greens, and carrot tops are ok. Go slow. Rabbits are NOT garbage disposals like chickens are. Feed your backyard chickens your scraps & leftovers. Feed rabbits some of your cooking scraps (as above).

Pinecones or safe rabbit chew toys are provided to make sure teeth are kept nice and short & in good condition. I also like to use willow branches for them to chew up/play with. They are easy to bend into amusing shapes. They also like to eat the leaves.

French Angora rabbits, and rabbits in general, need access to fresh water at all times. Keep two bottles on cage in case of accident or prolonged absence from home. Rabbits are easy to leave on vacation. Just provide at least two water bottles, more food than usual, and lots of hay. Easy to leave on a weekend and no pet sitter necessary.

Rabbits should not be left unattended anywhere for long. They will eat your cords and chew on your wood furniture. I find that my rabbits don't chew wood, but then again they have chewtoys and access to outdoors. When outdoors use your judgement. Make sure they have a place to hide from hawks/etc. This can be a dogloo or shrubbery. Check places that are covered regularly, as this is where they will dig holes. Fill those with rubble/rocks/the dirt that came out. Check fence perimeter occasionally to make sure no holes. These will usually be in covered areas/bushy areas. Check there first. Fill in as necessary.

Clip rabbit toenails once to twice a month. Like doing a dog's nails. Look at nail, don't cut too near quick. You can clip on back or holding up in standing position. I do both.

French Angoras should never be kept anywhere that exceeds 80 degrees in summer! Please carefully monitor the inside of your garage or shed. When temperatures rise, put in frozen ice in plastic water bottles. Change bottles regularly. Rabbits should never be kept in sun. If hutch is in backyard, keep in shade. Provide wind shelter, make sure they are not rained on, & have a hidey-hole. Make sure to keep padlocked, as raccoons are sneaky!

Wool care:
Wool does best on wire bottom cages. Wool must be gently plucked or combed out up to four times a year. When your rabbit has a lot of hair on insides of cage, it's time! Do it in several short sessions, 15-30 minutes long. Provide a treat so your rabbit is busy when they are just "done" with grooming, and you can get an extra 10 minutes at times. There are a lot of good videos on you-tube about plucking Angoras. I use a combination of several combs to get job done. Wool on back loosens first, then sides and rump a little later. Sometimes back is ready but sides are not. Just wait a few days to a week. Some people actually cut hair, but I haven't tried this yet.

French Angoras are groomed once a week in adulthood, or if mats/knots visible do a touch-up. I find that my rabbits get a little muddy when digging, but I just wipe a little with towel (not much) and return to cage. Usually within a few hours they have licked clean again. If not, then touch up or spot wash wool.

Get a slicker brush, and a wire pin brush for grooming. Get a wire pin with long pins for plucking. Get a blower if you want to show.

Plucked wool gets put into Ziploc bags, because even in Nevada you can get wool mites.

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