Should I get a boy or a girl bunny? Which one is better?

First off, I breed for health and temperament before anything else. We handle our babies every day, multiple times a day. We touch their tummies, ears, paws and faces so that they are very comfortable with handling and people. Both males and females will be friendly and have sweet dispositions but with that said, each are subject to their own individual personalities and natural bunny tendencies. I have noticed some general traits between males (bucks) and females (does) that I have listed below.

Bucks - They tend to be a little more outgoing, bold and openly affectionate. I think they make better pets overall and especially for families with children as they are more curious and easy going then does. If they are intact (not neutered) they can develop the habit of spraying urine in an effort to mark their territory and other unwanted “overly friendly” behaviors. If these do occur, neutering would be recommended. Within a month or so when hormone levels decrease, these behaviors should resolve.

Does - Overall, they are a little more shy and reserved, although, this is not always the case. I think that does can make wonderful pets especially if spayed. If left intact they may become aggressive and territorial when they want to breed or when hormones kick in. Spaying will help immensely with negative behavior and also with bonding with your bunny.

While there are subtle differences between bucks and does, mainly it comes down to their own individual personality. Instead of thinking just about the sex of the bunny, think more about what you want in a bunny’s personality. Do you want a calm, laid back bunny that will sit in your lap or a more active and adventurous bunny that will provide hours of entertainment? When babies become available, we do our best to describe each of their personalities they have shown us so far to help make this decision easier. It could change a bit as they mature and from future experiences but overall it should give you a good clear picture of their overall behavior. 

Does my bunny need a friend?

Contrary to popular belief, bunnies are just fine being the only rabbit in the household as long as they are given lots of daily interaction and attention. They will bond with YOU instead of another bunny. If you choose to adopt two bunnies at the same time I would only recommend two does from the same litter and they will need to be spayed once they mature. Bucks will fights each other or worse and no male/females pairs will be sold together as pets.

If you already have a bunny at home, I recommend only adding another if your first is spayed and neutered. Getting hormones out of the way is the best and safest way to bond bunnies. I also recommend that your new bunny be of the opposite sex of your current bunny. Male/females pairs tend to bond much more naturally and easily.

What colors do Holland Lops come in?

Holland lops come in so many different colors! The best information and pictures I have found is from Hickory Ridge Hollands or Hook's Hollands. Our bunnies will never produce some of these colors but we should have a beautiful variety to choose from!

What do I bring to pick up my new bunny to go home?

When you pick up your bunny, bring a pet carrier lined with a small towel or blanket in order to transport your bunny home. I recommend having some timothy hay in a small paper towel tube for you new bunny to munch on to help relieve stress on their ride home.

What can I expect the first few days home with my new bun?

Most importantly, allow your bunny time to settle in.  Most bunnies will be pretty timid and shy since they just left their brothers and sisters and moved into a new environment. Keep your bunny's home stress-free and calm until they are eating well and relaxing. I recommend at least 24 -48 hours of letting your bunny settle in before any major interaction and playtime. Talk to your bunny, feed him/her pellets or a little pinch of oats from your hand (okay treat for buns under 6 months) and try and let them come to you. Eventually, your bunny's personality will emerge, but expect it to take days or weeks for them to adjust. 

How do you litter train a rabbit?

  1. Place the litter box in a corner of the cage or your bunnies home. Rabbits tend to go where they eat so make sure food bowl and hay are as close as possible. 
  2. If the bunny urinates outside the box, wipe it with a paper towel and place in the litter box. Clean the area well to remove any smells. Vinegar wash (50/50 white vinegar and water) works wonders and it is safe for your bun!
  3. Don't clean the litter box completely for the first few weeks.  Start with 1/2 new litter and increase slowly until you are thoroughly cleaning the litter box after the bunny is using the litter box well.  Smelling the soiled litter when beginning litter training will help your bunny know where to go.
  4. Be open to moving the litter box to a different corner if your bunny changes his/her corner preference.
  5. Sweep up the poo balls a few times a day and place these in the litter box. Your bunny should get better at doing most of his/her poops in the litter box, but don't expect perfection! There WILL be rogue poo balls from time to time. All of my rabbits use their box perfectly when it comes time to urinate, but about 5% of poops still wind up outside of the box.  

My litter box set up includes a plastic Tupperware container that I purchased from Target for $2.00. It is 11.8L x 11.8W x 3.6H / 6.3Qt (Brand is Ezy Storage). I put the hay in the front and then place the litter box in the box. I find this a wonderful set up for potty training, space saving and easy for mess free hay.  

Can my bunny go outside?

Of course! I recommend an enclosed area in a nice shady spot. We use an 30'' tall exercise pen which is a good height that your bunny cannot jump over. Always supervise your bunny!  It is important to only let your bunny out in mild weather (between 45 - 80 degrees). Heat can be very stressful and dangerous. Make sure where you allow your bunny to play, the grass is free of any chemicals or fertilizers. Up to an hour or two is plenty of outside play time for a bun. If your bunny plays outside, just remember that they will become more susceptible to pests like fleas and ticks. I use First Saturday Lime which is a natural, chemical free product that repels unwanted pests making the area a bunny plays in much safer. I just sprinkle a little on the ground once a month to keep the area free of bugs and it is great for your lawn. Always give your bunny a thorough inspection for any of these hitchhikers after letting them out to play. 

Is this normal? The scoop on poop.

Bunnies have two main types of poop, dry poo balls and grape-like clusters of tiny, moist, poo balls called cecotropes. Both are normal! Cecotropes are partially digested food that bunnies eliminate and then re-ingest. They are pretty stinky but have a lot of nutrients and greatly benefit your buns health. Yes, bunnies do eat their poop!  Most of them will be consumed at night but occasionally one or two may be left behind. Excessive cecotropes scattered all over the cage floor can be a sign of a dietary imbalance and you may want to cut back on pellets/treats and really push an all hay diet.

If your bun ever has diarrhea (unformed watery feces) it may mean an emergency trip to the vet. Bunnies very rarely have diarrhea. If your bunny is still eating well and drinking, as stated before, a strict hay only diet for a few days may help. Keep a close eye on your bun, if nothing improves relatively soon it's best to see your vet. 

How do I go about "bunny proofing" my home?

Hide all your wires! Wires are your number one priority when it comes to rabbit proofing a room in your home. Their sharp teeth can chew through a cable before you can blink! You may have to get creative with your furniture to block off wires or buy protective wire covers. You will also want to keep your floor free from anything that your bunny shouldn't ingest. If you have houseplants, it is best to move them out of your bunny's area as they may dig in the dirt or eat a potentially harmful plant. I recommend baby gates or an exercise pen to keep your bunny in a specific area. Unfortunately bunnies are notorious chewers so baseboards and furniture legs can easily become subject to your bunny's teeth. Make sure to provide plenty of new toys to keep your bunny interested and engaged. Usually if a bunny is bored, the chewing tends to be worse. If nothing is working, block them off or you can spray or wipe the surfaces with white vinegar to make them less appealing to munch on. 

Do bunnies smell?

Yes and no, it's a little more complicated then a simple answer. Rabbits themselves are very clean animals and have odorless fur but it is their urine that can quickly become stinky if left to sit for too long. I have six adult bunnies (and babies from time to time) and with good cleaning practices and litter box training with absorbent pellets you would never know they lived inside. I do empty the litter boxes everyday and I use Sweet PDZ Staill Refresher which I buy at Tractor Supply and it is amazing at eliminating odors to even the most sensitive noses! You will also smell their number one dietary requirement which is hay, there's really no getting around it. I happen to not mind it but others may not feel the same way.