French Bunnies Haven

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GENERAL INFO

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Lifespan   On average the French Lop rabbit can live to 5 years or more.
Breeding   The ideal age for the female French Lop rabbit to start breeding is from 9 months of age, although some are not ready for a few more months. 
Average Litter Size   The French Lop rabbit can produce large litters, usually between 5-12.
Gestation Period   The gestation period is between 28-31 days. On average they give birth at 30-32 days.
General Physical Description   This is the giant of the Lop breeds. These rabbits are very heavy and cobby with wide, bold heads. Their ears are between 30 to 38cms long (measured from the tip of one ear to the tip of the other ear), making them considerably shorter than those of the English Lop.
Size   They weigh at least 4.5kgs.
Feeding   The mainstay of a rabbit?s diet should be large unlimited amounts of fresh hay, fresh fruit (very limited as high in sugars)  and vegetables, a well-balanced dry rabbit mix and plenty of clean water. Rabbits have quite delicate stomachs so when feeding fresh fruits and vegetables make sure they are added to the diet one vegetable at a time and eliminate specific varieties if they cause diarrhoea. An earthenware bowl is the best type of feeding dish to use, as they are harder to knock over than the plastic ones, also they not chewable. A water bottle fixed to the outside of the cage, with the water tube going into the cage, ensures a fresh water supply is available.
Cage & Bedding   For an outdoor rabbit the ideal home is a wooden hutch made of a heavy wood with a waterproof roof, and raised off the ground. If the rabbit is going to live indoors then a wooden hutch can also be used or a cage. All rabbits must have an adequate exercise area, whether it is an outside run or an enclosed area in the house. Wood shavings should be used for the floor of the hutch or cage. Fine sawdust can cause eye irritations so this should be avoided. Bedding material should be provided especially in cold and wet weather for the outdoor rabbit. The best thing to use is straw on top of a layer of the wood shavings in the sleeping compartment. The rabbit home should be cleaned out often and any old food removed. If it is necessary to wash the home then only use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning rabbit hutches. An earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle will also be required to feed and water the rabbit.

Basic Nutrition For Rabbits

The most important staple diet for pet rabbits is hay. It is recommended that 80% of a rabbits diet is hay, Timothy hay should be readily available to the rabbit at all times, either through a feeder or by filling the rabbit cage daily. Other hay options are alfalfa and oat hay, but Timothy hay adds the most amount of fibre with the least amount of sugar to the bunny's diet. Timothy hay can be purchased at leading pet retailers, but the cheapest place to stock up is at a feed mill. Feed mills provide bulk hay in bales and half-bales, and an entire bale. For one rabbit, this bale should last several months. To keep it fresh, store it in a cool, dark place like a shed or a garage.

Pellets are another important part of a bunny's diet. They are a great easy-to-eat snack for developing baby rabbits, and are good for the teeth and gums. As the rabbit ages, the amount of pellets should be cut back, however, as the extra protein from pellets can make adult rabbits obese.



Fruits and vegetables suitable for rabbits

Rabbits enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables and ideally they should only be fed as part of a balanced diet.

Rabbits, like humans are individuals and as such some may be unable to tolerate certain foods.

When introducing any new food, always do so slowly to avoid digestive upsets. We also recommend you introduce one new food at a time, so if it does upset the rabbit it can be removed from the diet. Only give a small amount and wait for 24 hours, if it isn?t well tolerated (i.e. soft stools are produced) withdraw it and try with something else after everything has settled back to normal. Allow 5-7 days before making any other additions.

The exact quantities given often depend upon the rabbit, so you may need to test your buns individual limits.

The following list is divided into sub-sections of vegetables, herbs, fruits and wild garden herbs/flowers that are deemed safe to feed rabbits, but this list is not a complete list and other fresh foods may also be suitable to feed to rabbits:


Vegetables:

  • Artichoke leaves
  • Asparagus
  • Baby Sweetcorns (but not full size ones)
  • Beetroot (care with leafy tops as high levels of oxalic acid)
    Bok choy
  • Broccoli (and its leaves, including purple sprouting varieties)
  • Brussel Sprouts (leaves and sprouts)
  • Cabbage (can sometimes cause digestive upsets)
  • Carrots (and carrot tops) ? the roots should be limited as they are high in sugars
  • Cauliflower (and the leaves)
  • Celeriac
  • Celery (and its leaves)
  • Chicory
  • Courgette (and flowers)
  • Cucumber
  • Curly Kale
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
    Green peppers
  • Kohl rabi
  • Parsnip
  • Peas (including the leaves and pods)
  • Peppers (red, green and yellow)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish Tops
  • Rocket
  • Romaine lettuce (not Iceberg or light coloured leaf)
  • Spinach (only occasional)
  • Spring Greens
  • Squash (e.g. Butternut)
  • Swede
  • Turnip (only occasional)
  • Watercress


Herbs (often powerful tastes so may take some getting used to):

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Mint (peppermint)
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme


Fruits (should be fed in moderation, due to sugar content) maybe once a week and a small amount.


  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banana (high in potassium)
  • Blackberries (and leaves ? excellent astringent properties)
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges (not the peel)
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries (and leaves ? excellent astringent properties)
  • Strawberries (and leaves)
  • Tomatoes (not the leaves)

Wild Garden Herbs/Weeds/Flowers:

  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Camomile
  • Chickweed (astringent)
  • Clover (leaves and flowers)
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey
  • Dandelion (diuretic properties)
  • Goosegrass (cleavers) but may stick to coat!
  • Lavender
  • Mallow
  • Nettle
  • Nasturtium (leaves and flowers)
  • Shepherd?s purse
  • Sow Thistle
  • Plantain
  • Yarrow


    What Not to Feed Your Rabbit

  • Iceberg 
  • No light-colored leaf lettuce

  • Red Clover
  • Feed Turnips
  • Chocolate (poisonous)
  • No meat; Rabbit are plant eaters.

    Absolutely no
    corn
    Cookies
    crackers
    Breakfast cereals
    Bread
    Nuts
    pasta
    peas
    popcorn
    Or other "human treats"
    research suggests that these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxaemia, a toxic overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in the intestinal tract.

    Please check out my link page for a link listing toxic plants.....

    You cant always stop your bunnies getting GI statis but you can help to insure that they dont by giving a good diet....i have unfortunately lost a couple of my young bunnies after i had purchased them just because of the change in surrounding and being taken from their mother which caused them stress and lead to GI statis (see bunny illnesses page).....which is why i keep hold of my bunnies for at least a week after being taken away from mom to make sure that "they" are ready!


 



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