A rabbit's nutrition is incredibly important to ensure that your bunny stays as healthy as possible. Any rabbit's diet should consist of pellets, hay, and some occasional vegetables. An adult mini lop's pellet intake should be restricted to no more than 1/3 cup of pellets each day. Too many pellets in a rabbit's diet can cause them to gain weight and take away their appetite for hay. The pellets should contain 16-18% protein. Alternatively, there should be no restriction to the amount of hay that your bunny can eat each day. It should make up 80% of your rabbit's diet. Hay is not only good for their digestion but also helps to wear down and keep their teeth healthy. Hays that are high in fiber and low in calcium such as Timothy, grass and oat hay are preferred. Avoid hays that are high in calcium and protein such as Alfalfa as long-term feeding can cause kidney issues.
Vegetables should make up around 10% of a rabbit's diet. Vegetables high in calcium should be given sparingly as well as vegetable high in starch/sugar like cauliflower. These are not necessarily harmful to your bunny however there are better options to benefit your rabbit's health. Avoid iceberg lettuces, seeds, nuts, and legumes as these can be harmful to your bunny. Fruits should be used as a treat rather than a staple as it can cause weight gain due to the sugar content. An overweight rabbit should never receive fruit. Avoid single seeded fruits. To see a full guide of fruits/vegetable for your bunny, visit bikinibunny.com or click here.
Although mini lops do not require extensive grooming, they do need to be brushed as needed to remove loose fur and dirt. Rabbits shed their fur roughly every three months. This is called molting. Seasonal molts occur at the end of summer and winter. These are quite heavy and rabbits need to be brushed regularly during these times. Avoid bathing your bunny if at all possible. Rabbits do not like getting wet and even the occasional bath may be very stressful for them and is therefore not recommended.
Your rabbits nails should be trimmed roughly every four weeks. If they grow too long and are left that way they can easily get caught and be torn off. In extreme cases this can result in the dislocation of breaking of the toes. Nail that are too long cause your rabbit to shift its weight to the heels of the feet. Over time this can strain the joints and lead to sore hocks. If left unattended for a long period of time, the quick (blood supply of the nail) will lengthen towards the end of the nail and make it much more difficult to trim your rabbit's nails.
While grooming your bunny, always check the ears to ensure that they are clean, relatively smooth and with no odour or redness. If the ears appear red or sore, the bunny may have mites. A topical mite solution may be used, however always consult your vet before attempting to treat the issue.
Your bunnies teeth grow continuously. It is important to provide plenty of hay as well as things for them to chew on to naturally wear down the teeth. If your rabbit's teeth become overgrown, they may stop eating because it is uncomfortable, which can lead to rapid weight loss. If this occurs your vet to have the teeth trimmed. Malocclusion is abnormal growth of the incisors which effects the rabbits ability to eat resulting the inability for your rabbit to naturally wear the teeth down. A rabbit with malocclusion needs to be taken to the vet to have their teeth clipped fairly regularly to ensure that they are able to eat.
Given the size of a mini lop, they need to have a substantial amount of running time. Although bunnies enjoy free-roaming, we recognize that this is not always possible. Therefore, the x-pen/pet enclosure is ideal to allow your bunny to stretch it's legs unattended. It is not recommended however if it is unavoidable, your rabbit can be kept in a cage, however it is then vital that your rabbit is let out to run each day. The smaller the cage the more running time your rabbit needs. Your rabbit's cage needs to be large enough that your rabbit can hop 4 times lengthwise (approximately 36" for mini lops). If your rabbits is not let out for a long period of time and they are in a cage, muscle atrophy becomes a possibility, especially in older rabbits. If you plan to be away for a day and will not be able to let your rabbit out, we recommend that you place your rabbit's cage opened in a pet enclosure. This way your rabbit has access to all of its essentials while still being able to hop in and out of its cage freely.
Rabbits are natural very clean animals and will often go to the bathroom in the same spot. This makes litter training fairly simple depending on how fast your rabbit learns. To start, get a litter box that is large enough so that your rabbit can sit comfortably in it. We normally recommend getting a litter box that comes with a grate so your rabbit is not sitting directly on the litter, however a regular cat litter box is perfectly fine. Try to watch where you rabbit is going to the bathroom and put the litter box in that general area. Place enough litter in the litter box to cover the bottom along with some hay. If possible, sweep up your rabbits droppings and place them in the litter box to encourage your rabbit to use the litter box. If you bunny is still reluctant to use the litter box, try to soak the hay in some of your rabbits urine and place it under the grate of your litter box to further encourage your rabbit. If your are litter training your rabbit to be free-roam, begin litter training in an x-pen or small room and gradually expand the area once they have gotten a hang of using the litter box.
When it comes to being held, every rabbit is different. Some love it and are quite calm, and others are always moving around and trying to get away. Weather your rabbit likes to be held of not it is always important to make sure your rabbit's back and bum are always supported. Often times when a rabbit struggles while being carried, it is because they feel like they are going to fall. To safely pick up your rabbit:
I normally recommend to place one of your hands under your bunny's stomach, placing your thumb behind the one front leg and your third finger behind the other. Your second finger should be between the two front legs.
Once you have a steady hold, begin to lift your hand.
Once the two front legs are off the ground, begin to lift your rabbit's bum with the other hand and transfer your rabbit so you are holding i against your chest.