· Feed him about one ounce of pellets in the morning and one ounce in the evening.
· An eighth of a cup of pellets equals an ounce.
· Always give him plenty of grass hay to eat.
· Rabbits usually need more to eat in the winter to keep warm. When your rabbit is about a year old, he might need less to eat. About one or one and a half ounce per feeding is normal for a mini rex.
· A good way to tell if rabbits are getting enough to eat is to remember: they should be rattling their door, but not trying to tear it off the cage. If there is still food in the bowl from one feeding to the next, they are probably getting too much. His backbone should feel smooth like small marbles, or firm and well muscled. Rabbits should look trim like this one when moving naturally, not flabby and round.
· Water should be provided in a water bottle or maybe a heavy bowl.
· It is a good idea to check the bottle every day to make sure it is working. Tap the ball in the tip to make sure water comes out.
· In the winter, he will need to have his bottle brought out to him at least twice a day.
· Rabbits love greens such as clover and dandelions. Lettuce and cabbage gives most rabbits diarrhea, so stay away from these.
· Do not feed your rabbit greens until he is at least three or four months old. Start feeding greens very gradually.
· Rabbits love carrots. You can give him a slice every day. Wait until he is at least three or four months old.
· Once a month or so, the rabbit will need his nails clipped. Do not get too close to the quick. Use some small animal nail clippers.
· If you do get too close to the quick it will bleed. If this happens, use some styptic powder. Corn starch or flour can be used if you don’t have styptic powder. Just dip the claw in the powder and it should stop bleeding.
· To brush your rabbit, you can use a soft bristle brush. Go from head to tail, tail to head, and then back. This will get all his itches. When he is shedding, a brush with stiffer, wider teeth will get out more fur. Then finish with the soft brush.
· You can also dampen your hands or a rag and use it the same way as a brush. This will make his fur shiny.
· Mini rex have curly whiskers, which can grow into their eyes or nose. These will need to be trimmed if they get too long. If you notice he has a runny eye, long whiskers may be the cause.
· Show mini rex shouldn’t be brushed too much, it isn’t good for the texture of their fur. Use a lint roller or damp hands to remove loose fur.
· In the summer, heat is hard on outdoor rabbits. Keep him out of direct sunlight. If he is in a building that doesn’t get a breeze you will need to move his cage to a shady, breezy area on hot days.
· Check on him often in hot weather.
· Try filling a pop bottle with water and freeze it. Give it to him on hot days and he will lay by it to get cool.
· The rabbit will need shelter from rain in all weather.
· In the winter, your rabbit will need a place to be out of wind, rain, and snow.
· A box filled with hay that he can burrow into will help him to stay warm during cold temperatures.
BOOKS ON RABBIT CARE
· The Story Guide to Raising Rabbits by Bob Bennett
· Your Rabbit: A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing by Nancy Searle
· Rabbits for Dummies by Audrey Pavia
· Rabbits USA (magazine)
WEBSITES ABOUT RABBITS
· The Nature Trail
· The American Rabbit Breeders Association
· The Rabbit Education Society
KEEPING YOUR RABBITS IN SHAPE
· Your rabbit can be let out to run in a pen or on a leash. Make sure he is used to where the fence is or how the harness feels first though, or he could get hurt if he gets frightened and bolts.
· Always keep watch for cats and dogs.
· Wait until he is three or four months old before letting him run where greens are available.
IS MY RABBIT FAT?
· It is unhealthy for rabbits to be overweight, they cannot keep themselves clean and will get dirty bottoms.
· You should be able to feel your rabbit’s backbone when you pet him. It should feel smooth like small marbles and not sharp.
· If your rabbit is fat, he will have fat around his elbows and shoulders. If a rabbit has been very overweight, this may never go away.
· Busy balls and other cat toys made of hard plastic are fun for rabbits to push or throw around.
· They also like toilet paper tubes and other cardboard things to chew up.
· Plastic lids are also good, they like to throw these around.
· Of course, there are plenty of toys made just for rabbits.
· A useful medicine is Bene-Bac (beneficial bacteria) for small animals. It can be found at Petco or Petsmart. It is very fast acting if your rabbit has an intestinal problem and has stopped eating.
· When your rabbit is molting (losing lots of fur), it is a good idea to give him a papaya pill every day. This breaks up the fur he swallows when grooming, helping to prevent hairballs. Papaya pills can be found at Wal-Mart, with supplements for humans.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, ABOUT ANYTHING RABBIT, FEEL FREE TO E-MAIL ME. I’LL BE GLAD TO HELP. [email protected]