The Mission of Luv-N-Bunns:
- Rescue domestic rabbits from abandoned stray situations, kill shelters, private relinquishments and hoarding cases
- Provide nurturing foster homes that will ensure proper care, shelter and love for each animal in our foster network
- Provide necessary veterinary care including spay/neuter surgery
- Screen applications to find perfect forever homes for each rabbit that we rescue
- Host outreach events in the community to provide education and information on the proper care of domestic rabbits
We stress the importance of neutering and spaying all rabbits to reduce the ever-growing population of unwanted rabbits and to prevent highly prevalent reproductive cancers in unfixed rabbits. Since our inception in 2007, we have accomplished our mission by saving the lives of almost 2,000 abandoned rabbits. However, the over-abundance of unwanted domestic rabbits keeps us working toward our goals, year after year.
Together we can accomplish our mission. Reach out today if you’d like to help!
If you've been previously approved and are waiting for your adoption day, check your junk mail folders! Liz has been emailing you!
Once we've accommodated all of our previously approved adopters who have been patiently waiting, we'll begin posting bunnies and accepting new applications.
Thanks for being so patient with us during these strange times. I leave you with a picture of the newest happy couple to begin bonding: Stella and Tito!
Well hello there, everyone! It's me, Jasper Jellybean, and my typing paws are all ready to go for today's BCC column. But first, I want to give a big shout-out and thank you to both Klaus and his mama Kristin for their guest posts on bonding the past couple weeks. You are both super awesome, and I know the information you shared was so helpful.
Paws crossed that today's column will be, too. Carol Farren wants to know about how to get a bunn to eat more hay. She says, "Hi Jasper! I would like some advise on how to get my Piper to start eating hay again. He is 3 and he must've stopped when he turned 2. He eats the usual kale, dill and parsley. He does get types of hay through different types of treats. He has had some dental issues I believe because of it. I've tried a variety of types of hay but he just won't have at it. Any suggestions would be helpful."
Okay, friends, let's see if we can help out Carol and Piper. Like Carol said, us rabbits can have some dental troubles if we're not eating enough hay. Because our teeth are constantly growing, we rely on chewing, especially something like hay, to keep them ground down. Eating a steady supply of hay is also really important for our digestive systems. It keeps things moving right along! It's very important not to feed too many pellets, because then we'll be too full for the hay. Did you know that 75-80% of a bunn's diet should be hay? We should be munching an amount of hay that's equal to our size each and every day!
So how to achieve this if your rabbit is picky? Offering a variety of hay types is sometimes enough to do the trick. I get a rotating mix of timothy, orchard, and a timothy/orchard blend. You can also try a different brand of hay. There are several good options out there, including Oxbow and Small Pet Select. Just be sure to know where the hay is grown to be sure it's safe for your furry family member(s) to eat.
Like Carol mentioned, it's also a good idea to offer treats that are made of hay! Hay bungalows, mats, sticks, cubes ... the possibilities (pawsibilities!) are plentiful. You can also try toys that incorporate hay. For example, I have a hay roller that I can nudge all around the house, munching on the hay that comes out. This is doubly good, because it also gives me extra exercise! I have a hanging hay ball, too. It's attached to my condo, and Ma fills it with hay that I can pull out to munch. Fair warning : both of these toys make a bit of (a lot of) a mess. They are SUPER fun, though.
You can also make some DIY toys. Have empty toilet paper or paper towel rollers? Make sure they're free from glue. If they are, you can stuff some hay inside for your bunny to pull out. You can also make a foraging box for your rabbit! Sprinkle some pellets or small treat pieces inside a box filled with hay. Your bunn will have to work to find those treats - and in the process, he or she just might end up munching on the delicious hay, too! Some companies will even offer boxes of "gourmet" hay that have bunny safe herbs sprinkled in.
And one more Bunny Pro Tip for you : hay ALWAYS tastes best when eaten directly from a bag.
Okay, friends ... who else has some tips to share?
Until next time ...
Nose boops and binkies,
Jasper Jellybean 🐰
Hi everybody. I am Klaus' human, Kristin. We have had some questions about bonding rabbits and Klaus addressed the first part in his column, but I am going to address some of the other questions in this part. Please note that I am not a vet or a bunny behavior expert. I am going by the 13 years experience I have had with my own rabbits and foster rabbits.
One question asked was if rabbits had to have a rabbit friend. I think the answer is that it depends on your bunny. I know some very happy single rabbits like my girl, Lucy. Lucy has made it clear that she is bonded to me. I have tried to introduce her to other rabbits but Lucy bites the faces of the other rabbits that have dared to come near her. She even sent Klaus to the emergency room! However, when she shares a pen wall with Klaus and Albert, she grooms them and accepts grooming through the pen. I think she considers them her annoying brothers that she can rough around with.
Other bunnies have guinea pig, dog, or cat buddies. We advise against leaving your rabbit unsupervised with cats and dogs. Even the best behaved dogs and cats may injure rabbits, since they are so fragile. Also it's tough to keep certain rabbits out of the cat or dog food, which is bad for rabbits since they are herbivores. Some people even think it is ok if rabbits and guinea pigs live together. It is not. For one thing, they have different dietary needs. Rabbits may injure guinea pigs, intentionally or unintentionally. Rabbits may bully guinea pigs, which can make them stressed if they cannot get away. The bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica, is the most common cause of respiratory disease in guinea pigs. Rabbits, cats and dogs can carry this bacteria which can pass to guinea pigs and cause disease.
Other bunnies want the companionship of another bunny. They speak each other's language and it is the cutest thing when they snuggle and groom each other. I always liked that they had company when I was at work. Be aware though that your bunny may not be as interested in you after they are bonded with another bunny.
When finding a friend for a rabbit, Luv-n-Bunns advises a few rounds of speed dating. You bring your (spayed/neutered) rabbit to neutral territory to meet potential (spayed/neutered) friends one at a time. Usually your rabbit will meet about three potential partners. For bonding purposes, male and female tends to work best. Then two males. Two females has been nearly impossible in my experience and many other "rabbit people" will agree with that. During the dating, we look for behaviors that indicate that there is potential for bonding, such as grooming each other or snuggling. However the grooming each other and snuggling are the Holy Grail of first date behaviors, and we usually settle for grooming themselves near each other, flopping, snacking, head presses (You groom me. No. You groom me.), and even ignoring each other. Even some humping is normal. We don't want lunging, biting, circling, or fighting.
Once your bunny has chosen his or her friend, you take them home. If you have another person with you and your car ride isn't that long, you can put the bunnies in the same carrier for the trip home. Your other person can sit and monitor that they don't fight. Usually bunnies are nervous on car rides and so they look to each other for comfort. You should give the other rabbit about a week to settle in. Sometimes the stress of the car ride and then going to a new place is a lot and if you tried bonding now, you may get an overly aggressive or a too timid bunny. Your bunny can be in the same room. They can be kept side by side. I would try to keep a little bit of space between pens so there is no face nipping.
Once bunny number 2 is settled in, it's time to start bonding. Now just because your bunny and the other bunny seemed like they would hit it off at their speed date, things may be different in your home, where there are new sounds and smells and it's your rabbit's turf. You want to find a neutral place that your rabbit does not go. I like the bathroom or the kitchen because the floor is a little slippery so if fighting starts, it's easier to separate them. Now you are ready to start bonding. I put my bunnies in the neutral territory for about 10 to 15 minutes every day until it looks like I can keep them together longer, then I gradually build up their time together. I always monitor them while they are together and I always try to end each bonding session on a good note. Usually I press their cheeks together and pet them both at the same time. I want that comfort and good feeling to be the last thing they remember about being together.
Then you just keep at it, gradually extending time together until you can leave them together all day. Then eventually overnight. Be warned, usually if fighting is going to happen, it happens at 3 am while you are asleep. Nothing like a rabbit fight to wake you from a sound sleep!!! You can also flip their living spaces so they get used to the smell of the other bunny when they aren't together. (Like putting bunny A in bunny B's pen and bunny B in bunny A's pen overnight.) Can rides help with bonding too. You can smear their heads with banana to encourage grooming. Just keep at it. Be consistent. If there is fighting, give them a break for a few days and then start over from the beginning. Once you think they can live together, you want them to move into a neutral place. Sometimes I will ship off the rabbits to a friend over night (truly neutral territory!) so I can clean the space and "redecorate." I have also taken in other people's rabbits that were *so close* and because they were in my house which was truly neutral, it just sealed the deal.
Bonding takes time and effort but it is worth it. I always said that Olivia brought Klaus to me because he was so high strung that nobody else would have wanted to adopt him. I find he is so much calmer with friends, and even then he's still high strung and nervous. I think he has lived with me for 6 years now and he shakes all the time and begrudgingly allows brief head rubs. Nail trimming is a nightmare. I have no idea what happened to him before he came to be with us. We practice benign neglect with him and hope that his bunny friends make him happy and hope that he thinks that we give him a good life.
The House Rabbit Society has additional information on bonding. Here is a link to a great article that may help: https://www.houserabbitga.com/bonding-rabbits
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested and I'll send you the foster guide as well as an application.
Don't worry, we'll talk you through the whole process and help with anything you need!