Bunny Care Basics
When breeding English Angora you may first want to groom the buck and doe, this can help ensure a successful breeding. It is essential to groom the doe at least one week before she is about to kindle. I leave 1/2 to 1 inch of wool for her. Once she is ready to kindle you will need to provide her with a nest box and plenty of hay or straw to build her nest. She will pull hair from all over her body to prepare the nest. Once the kits are born you will want to remove the wool she has pulled. You will need to cut it into tiny pieces. I sometimes would even add small pieces of paper towels to help with humidity. I've added an image here of the kits at three days old where I have cut the wool adding paper towels. With this litter I had to do this three times.
This will ensure that the wool doesn't fuse together wrapping around the kits as this could result in losing your newborns. You will need to check them a few times a day at least until they are a week old. Check their tummies for full bellies and that they are also getting covered back up under the wool after feedings. A nesting box with a lip and anchored down is best for us to use. This keeps the kits in the nest and the doe from flipping over the box.
Once the kits are around two weeks old I being preparing them for the grooming process by turning them on their backs and playing with their feet and tummies showing them they can trust me. Once I have did this daily for about 2 weeks we begin with our grooming tools and blower gently getting them used to the sound. Our blower is fairly quiet, but they know right away when I turn it on. I hope to get some pictures and videos soon to add to show you how I groom them at such a young age. I can see the benefits in doing this and I want your experience with our angoras to be the best it can be. There will be moments that they may not feel like being groomed, or something may hurt them. They will always let you know. Take your time with your Angora during this special time, the more trust you build the better the grooming process will go.
We like to talk about the care for each breed that we have on our small farm. Below you will find some basic information and some tips I wish I had known before getting started with a new breed. Its always good to do your research. You are not always going to think about what could happen, until it happens.
Our bunnies born here at Woodby Farm have been touched since birth, given special care and attention, to prepare them for their next families. They each have their own character, likes and dislikes!
Bunnies get fed twice a day; we feed 18% protein as it is the best for wool production, Co-Op brand Rabbit Feed as it is the freshest in our area and have had great success with it. We use timothy or meadow grass bales fresh from our local Co-Op, bowls for water, and litter boxes for training using hay as the absorbent. Our bunnies eat from 4-8 ounces of pellets daily, depending on their mature weight or if they are pregnant, nursing or have kits. Does with kits can eat up to 1 lbs. a day. A fresh handful of hay is important for fiber production. About 1 tablespoon of black oil sunflower seeds is a good daily supplement and the seed's oil helps the rabbit's digestion. Rabbits must have fresh water at all times.
We do recommend that you prepare for your new rabbit before you get him/her. They will need a safe place to call home, feed, hay, and water bowls. Once you take your bunny home we also recommend that you quarantine your rabbit from your herd for at least 60 days.
Tennessee Redbacks - Redbacks instincts are very strong and can be a bit flighty at times. They can also be very sweet and submissive. With care they can be great rabbits to have around and can provide a substantial supplement for your family. Redbacks are usually Chestnut color with a red-locus coloring on the back of their necks with a white cotton tail. I have seen some blacks and greys pop up as well. They are a short haired rabbit that will need to be groomed at least once a month making sure you trim their nails and check their overall health. They are really easy to maintain and do great in cold winters. Fresh clovers, daffodils, and fresh cut grass is their favorites. Fresh pellets, hay and water should be given twice daily to get the best out of your Redback. They make great Mothers & Fathers, they are very social with other Redbacks.
Mini Lops - Mini Lops are a very sweet breed. They love to cuddle and be a part of the family. They will play along with household pets and they love children. If you want to introduce your child to a easy to care for bunny this would be a great choice. They are a shorter haired rabbit that will need to be groomed at least once a month making sure you trim their nails and check their overall health. They love fruits and veggies and this is also a great way to connect with your Mini Lop. They usually want to eat their treats straight from your hand. Fresh pellets, hay and water should be given twice daily to get the best out of your Mini Lop. They make great Mothers as well, just make sure you give them a nesting box. Its best you have one where they have to jump out of, you may even have to add a lip to the front of the box as these babies have been known to come out of the nest with mom. You need a way to make sure they fall off and stay in the nest.
Lionheads - A smaller breed that I just love! They look like they have a lions mane around their heads. Some are double maned and will have a skirting around the lower portion of their body. Our doe is a Japanese Harlequin single mane with marbled eyes and our buck is a VM Black double mane with blue eyes. These rabbits will need to be groomed at least once a week, health checks and nails trimmed. They also enjoy fruits, veggies a few times a week and they just love whole oats! Fresh pellets, hay and water should be given twice daily to get the best out of your Lionhead. They make great Mothers, very protective over them, just make sure you give them a nesting box.
English Angora's - Angora's are the sweetest of breeds, that have been bred to tolerate a lot of handling, plucking, and sheering. English Angoras are known for their beautiful and multi-use wool. We have rabbits that have a sheen, soft, delicate fiber and those who have a thicker fiber consistency. Depending on your Angoras wool you will need to groom your angora often. It is especially important to keep the hay out of the wool and make sure not mats have started to develop. However, mats can and will happen. It is best to make sure you have the tools on hand to deal with these areas.
*Tools will consist of a comb, bristle brushes, soft brush, slicker, nail clippers, pet grooming clippers, scissors, pet blower & letter opener. You will also need a safe place to groom your animal. Click on the images, these are what we have purchased from Amazon.