Have you ever thought about giving your kids a bunny for Easter?
I have to admit, for years, I thought it was a little crazy and extreme for an Easter gift. We used to have a puppy when my kids were little but she got out one day and we never found her. My youngest son wanted a new pet so bad. We narrowed it down to a guinea pig or a bunny. We finally decided that a bunny was the right pet for us. I made the jump the next day and surprised my kids with a Holland Lop Bunny.
Her name is Sophie and she is the sweetest animal I have ever known.
Bunnies bond to their humans in a very strong, unique way. She literally gives me nose kisses every time I pass her cage. She initiates it. She runs up to the edge of the cage and sticks her nose through waiting for me to touch my nose to hers. It’s so sweet and heart warming! I love it. If you are considering adding a bunny to your family, do it! Purchase a small dwarf variety and keep it in your home with you. Bond with them daily. I doubt you will regret it.
If you would like to surprise your kids with a bunny, here are a few things that you need to know.
I’m going to focus on Holland Lops specifically. They are a little more sensitive than most bunnies. Most of these things transfer to other bunnies but you don’t have to be as careful with them. Most other bunnies can eat a wider variety of greens and live outdoors without a problem.
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HOLLAND LOP BUNNIES
Here are some fun facts about Holland Lop Rabbits
- They are a dwarf breed which means that they are only about 3-5 pounds when they are full-grown.
- The “lop” in their name is because of their ears that lop over. They usually lop at around 3 months.
- Holland Lops that are colored without a white background are called “solids.” Ones that have spots divided by a white background are called “broken.”
- They love to snuggle and run around. They need lots of exercise and snuggling to be happy.
- They have sensitive tummies.
- Their diet consists of water, alfalfa pellets, timothy hay, and a small amount of dark greens after they are 6 months old.
- You have to gradually switch their food. Adding a little more each time until they are completely switched over.
- Some pet store treats are okay, check with someone there to see which ones are best for your bunny. I give our bunny a rice pop every night. She loves them and looks forward to them everyday.
- They bond deeply with their humans so plan on keeping them forever. If you give them away, they will be sad and miss you. They may even mourn you.
- In the wild, bunnies have to be on guard. Because of this:
- Rabbit’s eyes are on the sides of their heads. This allows them to see things behind them without turning their head. They have a small blind spot in-front of them however.
- They often sleep with their eyes open so you can’t tell when they are asleep. Frequently the only way you can tell is if their nose stops moving.
- Bunnies are naturally shy by nature. If you want to bond with them, be calm and patient. They need to spend time with you and sniff you. If your bunny will let you, nose kisses and letting them see who you are when you pick them up helps.
- They like to pick their own mate and mate for life. You can’t force them to mate.
- A Doe can breed as early as 3-4 months and their gestation period is only around 31 days.
- Rabbits groom themselves. You can give them a bath if they get dirty but you have to be calm and slow so they don’t jump away and get hurt. You should use a blow dryer on the lowest, warm setting to dry them so that they don’t catch a chill. It is best if you stick to cleaning them with a brush, baby cornstarch, and a wash cloth when possible.
- When rabbits are happy, they will jump in the air and twist. This is called a binky.
Here is an example of a solid Holland Lop. Solid doesn’t mean that they are perfectly solid. It actually means that its brown color isn’t broken up with a white base.
Here are a couple of adorable “broken” spotted bunnies like my Sophie. Notice the white base.
Bunnies love to be cuddled. Especially once you bond with them. Sophie likes me to cradle her like a baby and pet her ears and paws. She likes to do this every night before bed. She often falls asleep.
You can buy a cage at the pet store but they aren’t usually the best option. I did a ton of research before I bought this cage.
It’s perfect for our small bunny. She has plenty of room and privacy when she wants it.
It’s also much more attractive and sturdier than most of the plastic pet store cages. I love our Petsfit® Rabbit Hutch. It was a little difficult to choose a hutch originally but I can’t be happier with our decision.
Sophie likes to hangout in her litter pan. I think that she thinks it her “outdoor furniture” or something. She likes to have me in view while I work. Even when she is in her bed (inside her cabin) she will place her head so she can see me. Her timid, little, trusting heart is so sweet.
I totally get it Sophie, I feel unsure too at times. <3
I used to use hay on the bottom of her cage but I think that it started to hurt her feet so I switched to Critter Care® Bedding. She seems to like it so much better.
It’s important to bond with your bunny everyday. It’s also important to let your bunny exercise everyday. If you aren’t comfortable letting her run around your house or yard, be sure to buy a run and a walking harness so that she can be happy. When rabbits are happy, they will jump in the air and twist. This is called a binky. You will know it when you see it. They also tend to flop over to lay down like this. Some bunnies appear dead but don’t worry, this is normal and means that they are happy and comfortable.
Here are a few pictures of my kids with Sophie…
If you are considering it, take the jump. It’s worth it. Sophie has been such a wonderful addition to our family.
Here are most of the supplies that you will need at the best prices I can find.
Happy DIY-ing friends!