Twin Rabbits

Tobermory

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Cuties! They’re keeping their eye on you. :lol:
 

Norachan

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That's such a cool Halloween house. They really are adorable, I hope Frodo continues to warm up to you. Do rabbits need to be groomed the way cats do?
 
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Kieka

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Do rabbits need to be groomed the way cats do?
Yes. Grooming can be a big thing with rabbits. They can get hairballs like cats do but unlike cats they can't throw them up. Hairballs instead cause internal blockage and that can lead to GI Statis where their digestive system shuts down. GI Statis requires medication and force feeding to get through; although if you catch it early force feeding can be enough on its own. GI Statis also has other causes but typically those causes are damage from bad diet.. Rabbits should be groomed regularly but also their diet plays a part.

They need a high fiber to keep things moving; 80% hay, 10% fresh veggies (preferably leafy greens), 5% pellets, 5% treat. Hay is a long fiber and when it moves through their digestive tract can help prevent hair building up. My two have hay everywhere and everytime I see them they eat at least a piece of hay every few minutes. I give them pellets but I only give them about 1/3 a cup of it every two days. For treats they are getting strawberry plants and raspberry plants right now, so not "treats" but sweeter greens. They won't get any actual fruits (unless the strawberry plant has a small one) until they are 6 months old.

For grooming, I plan to introduce a brush when they are a little more comfortable. But I'll also take them to a groomer during shedding season, I used to take Peter once a year but he really hate it. Hopefully I can get them more used to it.
 
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Kieka

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I didn't know bunnies were born without fur.
Hairless until about a week old. Their final adult coat can also be a different color from their baby coat. Since Frodo is somehow a brown bunny from a black mom and black and white dad, he might end up a lot darker in a year when his adult coat comes in. Gladys is mostly her Dad's look so she probably won't change too much but could.
 
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Kieka

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They got a new strawberry bush AND the top level of their house got replaced (because they destroyed it). They've also destroyed three toys in the last 48 hours. Me thinks they are in the terrible twos (months). Which just means I need to buy bulk willow balls to replace them as they are destroyed.

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Norachan

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That's so sweet! I didn't know baby rabbits could be as destructive as cats. I guess that's why we call them kittens.

:lol:

I hope they get used to being groomed before they develop any problems. It sounds like you've got them on a really good diet.
 

mani

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I've only just seen this.. I love bunnies! We're not allowed to have them as pets here as feral bunnies create havoc. :(
 
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Kieka

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Did you know.... rabbits should have bowls for water, not bottles?

Bottles gained popularity with rabbits partially because the pet industry has deemed them large rodents (in reality they are small horses) selling people the misconception that their needs a small rodent needs are the same. But it was also adopted so readily because it is easier for the humans. Rabbits will happily tip over water (and food) bowls in their need to organize things or just out of boredom. Using a heavy dish that doesn't easily tip can help with that. The other reason humans tend to prefer bottles is that the water doesn't evaporate as quickly as a bowl will so they have to fill it less. There is also this idea that water bowls become contaminated with urine, fecal matter or food easily. In my experience, that has more to do with your rabbit having adequate space both for their own movement and between their food and water.

The twins get their water from a gravity cat marketed dish. The dish refills from the bottle as they drink. The bottle can hold 14 ounces which is enough for both bunnies for about 36 hours right now. I do have a second dish that we will add in when they get a little bigger.

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Kieka

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:thud:
Oh, you need to explain that before I start making tiny saddles for your bunnies.
Tiny saddles :flail:

Rabbits are lagomorpha (greek for hare like, along with hares and pika) not rodents. While in terms of evolution they are closer to rodent origins; in terms of health and behavior they are more in line with small horses.
  • Single stomached animals with a large functional caecum (AKA hindgut fermenters) - unlike cows and sheep who have more complex multiple chamber stomachs; rabbits and horses have an appendix that breaks down cellulose in plants. Rabbits have been used in digestive studies in substitute of horses with fairly accurate crossover due to the level of similarity in their digestive systems but their reduced size makes them easier on lab studies.
  • Both need a diet 80-85% hay based for their digestive and dental health.
  • Teeth have a gap between front 4 incisors and molars.
  • Teeth always growing and can develop spurs if not properly maintained.
  • Can be territorial and specific about their space.
  • Herd animals with her hierarchy that can bond very closely with another (to the degree that it is not unheard of for one to die if their bondmate dies) but are leery about outsiders.
  • Ear can move independently.
  • Eyes are similar.
  • People who have grown up with horses and are very familiar with horses comment on forums that a lot of rabbit behavior can be translated using horse knowledge and some rabbit keepers reference horse training techniques for use with rabbits.
There have actually been some interesting studies in rodent, lagomorphs and ungulates (hoofed mammals: horses, goats, sheep, etc).
  • Rodents have over 2,000 known living variations that can range widely in size (largest capybara is 133 pounds). While lagomorphs only have about 80 living variations all under 11 pounds on average and ungulates have about 220 species that can get rather large.
  • Rodent teeth are one of the main defining differences between the sister species of lagomorph and rodent: two incisors, different teeth past the incisors and coated in a double layer enamel.
  • Rodents can also eat meat while lagomorphs and ungulates are strictly herbivores.
  • Climate change and limited diversity are thought to have lead to lagomorphs limited variations.
  • Competition between ungulates and lagomorphs for the herbivore species in an area limited lagomorphs who typically have less energy efficiency which they think is why there are no naturally occurring giant rabbits (there are flemish giants which are large rabbits but they can't survive without human care).
  • A lot of the similarities between lagomorphs and horses is probably just due to similar environmental influences; evolution does reuse things because they work in similar environments.
 
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Kieka

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It is amazing how different these two are. Gladys absolutely adores getting pet and cuddles, while Frodo wants his space but to know what is going on. I really think Frodo us going to end up being noticably bigger than Gladys because he is starting to outgrown her. Even their ears have slightly different shapes to each other. If I didn't know they were from the same litter, I wouldn't think they were.

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Willowy

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Usually the males are friendlier!

I wonder if bunnies can have different daddies like kittens can. Although if she bred them on purpose she likely only put the mom with one male, but who knows.
 

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When my parents were moving us from Kansas to Virginia, they had to put our two rabbits in the same cage to save room in the car. Parents figured it was ok since they were both girls. Unfortunately, they were wrong and one was a boy. :lol: We ended up with baby bunnies. One was born with only 3 legs. Us kids wanted to keep that one but parents said no. Gave it to a neighbor and his dog killed it. :mad: I never let their kid forget it. For decades, every time I would see him, I would tell him that his family were horrible people.
 
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Kieka

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Usually the males are friendlier!

I wonder if bunnies can have different daddies like kittens can. Although if she bred them on purpose she likely only put the mom with one male, but who knows.
She had two males and two females. The males were both black and white; two different breeds but similar in sizing. One looks just like Gladys and the other white with black ears. I've thought different dads, it's possible. Frodo actually looks very similar to the other female so I think the females are sisters.
 
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Norachan

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People who have grown up with horses and are very familiar with horses comment on forums that a lot of rabbit behavior can be translated using horse knowledge and some rabbit keepers reference horse training techniques for use with rabbits.
Wow, that's interesting. I'm pretty fluent in horse, so I'll bear that in mind if I ever meet another rabbit. Do bunnies do that slow breathing through the nose thing to show each other they are friendly? It's like the cat's slow eye blink. Will Frodo let you get close enough to exhale slowly up his nose? It works with ponies.....
 
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Kieka

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I'll have to try the slow breathing, might be a little challenging though they are both probably about 2 pounds and have little noses. I know they seem a little bigger in photos but they are still pretty little. Granted, they have grown a lot in the last three weeks and have easily doubled in size. I was carrying them yesterday and was a little surprised how heavy they were (they were both in a box together just because they both were in the box at the same time when I went to put them back in the catio).

Gladys was dead to the world when I got home yesterday. Completely relaxed and sound asleep in the play pen. Frodo, true to himself, was more alert and ran inside the box to hide when I got home. I put them back out in the catio and gave them some lettuce (Romaine, not all lettuce is created equal). Frodo is a little bully sometimes when it comes to fresh food so I try to give it separately. Last night, he finished his and then went around me to get to Gladys's piece she was still eating. Luckily, I had a small leaf for just the purpose and she still got to finish hers.

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And before anyone says anything, they have a litter box in the play pen (the box I mentioned). But they are babies and poop is a form of territory marking. We do change the pee pad every few uses and replace the bedding after every use. These photos are from the end of their time in the play pen and the pee pads last day. The small stain was dried and they had plenty of clean spots but decided to nap right there. Out in the catio, they keep all their potty activities in one area that I clean up on a regular basis. I am hoping they will get into a smaller potty area as they get older. Peter kept it all in a one foot area which was amazing for cleaning they are keeping to a five foot long stretch right now but I am hoping that gets smaller. They do pee mostly in the box it's just nuggets. Rabbits do have to eat their own poop (a specific poop, not all their poop) to keep their digestive system working properly.
 

verna davies

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I've just caught up with Gladys and Frodo, where have I been! They are adorable and must be so much fun to watch, lucky you.
 
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