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Handling Bunnies and Rabbits

Posted at YouTube

How to Handle your Rabbit or Bunny

By Georgia Williams, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA

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I often ship rabbits to their new owners and worry that they will not get the lessons I provide when you adopt a rabbit at my home. So I created this video series. Scroll down for videos. I have also included some of my favorite videos of bunnies getting along with dogs, cats and show jumping.

I fervently hope that people around the world learn these simple handling tips. If they do, it should extremely reduce the number of rabbits that are turned over to rescue organizations. Rescue organizations are overloaded with rabbits, support them please! Learn about rabbit rescue organizations at: The House Rabbit Society

Picking Up and Putting Down

picking up a rabbit: video Picking Up A Rabbit: 25 sec.     placing down a rabbit: video Placing Down a Rabbit: 30 sec

A calm rabbit makes a great pet, these tips will help the bunny feel safe and secure. A frightened rabbit may scratch, bite or try to escape from a captor (a human handling them incorrectly). Help them feel safe and loved by using these handling tips.

Remember rabbits are a prey species and a ground dwelling animal. Any time they are in the air they are afraid of being hurt. Pick them up and put them down while FACING you. Do not dangle or be timid. Do it with a QUICK motion with your hand scooped under their belly and under their rump.

Turning the Rabbit Over

turning a rabbit over: video Turning a Rabbit Over: 17 sec.

Hold them closely and flip the bunny so you can cut their toenails or lovingly hold them like a baby. Hold their left arm securely so they do not flip back over.

Cutting Toenails

cutting or trimming a rabbit's toenails Cutting a Rabbits Toenails: 1 min, 16 sec.     cutting a rabbit's toenails Cutting a Rabbit's DARK Toenails: 27 sec.

Also check this video about this method of cutting nails while the bunny is standing in your lap: Filing nails from Expert Village 1 min. 30 sec.

If you hold the bunny securely it is easier to trim the toenail. Be sure to cut beyond the bloodline so it does not hurt the bunny's toes and so it will not bleed.

Cutting a rabbits toenails - where to cut Filing a rabbits toenails FILING a Rabbit's Toenails: 22 sec.

If you keep your bunnies toenails filed down regularly you will not have to clip them.

Trimming teeth and malocclusion

Trimming a rabbits teeth Trimming a Rabbits Teeth- Malocclusion: 1 min, 48 sec.

Trimming a rabbits teeth - Sometimes a rabbits teeth are mis-aligned. THIS IS RARE with purebred rabbits adopted from reputable breeders! Don't worry. If it happens ... This can happen by pulling on a cage, a fall or from a congenital condition. They overlap, grow too long and can interfere with eating - to the point of death. These teeth need to be trimmed frequently, here's how to do it.

Bunny Baths

Giving bunnies a bath Giving Bunnies a Bath: 2 min, 42 sec.     Giving one rabbit a bath Bunny Gets a Spot Bath: 1 min, 17 sec.

Sometimes a rabbit needs a bath. Here I am bathing an entire litter of baby bunnies. We do it in a bathtub with the water level very low, dry on the high point of the tub, shallow on the deep side. Usually only their undersides need bathing. I use a mild soap, rinse three times and dry with a blow dryer. I keep my hand in the stream of the dryer air to be sure the bunny does not get too hot.

A bunny that has just one dirty area can be bathed by holding under a stream of warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes on a towel while damp and then continue washing until the dirty area is loose and clean, then dry. Do not put your bunny outside until dry to avoid fly strike.

Showing rabbits

Rabbit show, competition Typical Rabbit Show: 1 min, 11 sec.

Showing rabbits increases the quality of rabbits overall as each competitor breeds rabbits to meet or exceed the "Standard of Quality" set by the national or continental Rabbit Association. In our case it is the American Rabbits Association: Standards are agreed upon by committees and rigorous competition over a period of years. Rabbits must be pure-bred and not "fixed" as the purpose of judging is to pick the best rabbits to breed to create even better rabbits.

I have noticed that even a novice can pick out a show quality rabbit in my rabbitry because their roundness and quality of features is apparent in contrast to a pet quality rabbit

Rabbits are judged in a row of small "holes" where they are taken out by a judge, examined and then rated by their physical characteristics. They do not perform.

I plan to build a showing page detailing what goes into showing a rabbit on my Web site soon. Generally, there are shows put on by clubs in regional areas and the breeders who show flock to these events to compete to see who has the best rabbits in various breeds and categories within those breeds. Then there is a competition for the best of breed.

Fun videos about rabbits

Mama rabbit and babies  Nursing rabbit babies and full milk bellies  Rabbit babies before nursing
Baby bunnies and milk belly: 51 sec.

Baby bunnies nurse only once or twice a day, They fill up with a huge belly of rich milk that sustains them till their next feeding. Rabbits do not stay with their young except for the 5 minutes it takes to feed. In nature a mother rabbit that stayed with her young would be exposing them to predators. So, the babies of mothers that milked fastest, with the richest milk survived to create babies of their own. Natural selection at its best.

Angora Care

How to Groom an Angora Rabbit

English Angora rabbit before grooming Grooming an English Angora; Part 1: 2 min     English Angora: It's time to pluck this rabbit! Loosening Mats: 3 min. 23 sec.

Normal up-keep for an Angora rabbit, when their coat is getting longer, would include blowing or brushing three times a week for a few minutes. Give them hay after grooming to clear out loose wool. This will help avoid wool block.

Blowing an English Angora's coat with a blower, groomimg Showing an English Angora's coat that has been plucked, groomimg Brushing, Combing and Prime Wool: 1 min. 3 sec.

Regular brushing and blowing will keep the rabbits coat clear of mats and allow it to grow long. This makes a beautiful pet and creates a beautiful show rabbit with long wool for spinning.

grooming an Angora rabbit's stomach or belly Cleaning the Rabbits Undersides: 1 min, 57 sec.     Blowing out an English Angora Rabbit's coat in California Final Blowing and Blowing Tips: 1 min. 9 sec.

The blower keeps the coat more free of mats and cleans out dander and loose hair. Your local birds will love you! Always blow outside. It is well worth the investment. If you buy a "Shop-Vac" or canister vacuum that has a blower feature, this yields a multi-purpose piece of equipment for your home.

Finished grooming of an Angora Angora Wool colors Some Angora Colors Prime Angora Wool
About Angora Wool: 1 min. 38 sec.

Angora wool is one of the warmest wools on the planet, it is soft and moderately difficult to spin. Most spinners blend it with sheep's wool to make a garment that is not overly hot for the Northern climate.

Recommended Videos found on: YouTube logo

Video of two bunnies playing   Two house rabbits playing in a white carpeted house (proving that owning two bunnies can be fun and clean!): 1 min. 40 sec.

cat and rabbit grooming each other   A cat and rabbit grooming each other: 1 min. 36 sec.

dog kisses rabbit video   Bunnies and well trained dogs can get along: 3 min. 23 sec. (Dog licks bunny at about 2 min.)

rabbit show jumping   Competitive rabbit show jumping: 46 sec.

clicker training, rabbit agility training   Clicker agility training for rabbits: 8 min. 14 sec.

rabbits jumping obstacles   Rescue rabbits jumping obstacles, from 3 min. 34 sec.

I love house rabbits,bunny musings   The joys of relaxing with bunnies and some helpful tips of how to enjoy life, from the House Rabbit Society and Marlene Larkin of 9 min. 40 sec.

giving a rabbit / bunny a bath   Giving a bunny a bath in a sink: 1 min. 49 sec.

Upcoming Videos

Showing Rabbits

A Cautionary Note

Do not adopt a rabbit unless you are willing to give it the care it needs. Do not adopt a rabbit for a gift unless the recipient is willing to care for a rabbit and learn how to do it. Do not adopt a rabbit for a child's gift unless the parents are willing to have the rabbit and are willing to take over the rabbits care (if the child loses interest).

The responsibility for the care of your pet rests with you. Consider bunnies "people wrapped in fur". Treat them lovingly and carefully and they will return that love for many years to come.

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Lenny & Georgia with Mini Lop (left) and English Angora Rabbit (right)
Bunny Central is a small rabbitry run by Georgia & Lenny Williams, as well as our partners Cori of Buckskin Bunny Cooperative Rabbitry and Danny. We have an unusual 1/2 acre in the middle of a city in the San Francisco East Bay, California. Our bunnies are raised in large cages and are handled since birth. We use "earth friendly" methods such as composting, raising earthworms under the cages and wash down trays resulting in one of the cleanest rabbitries in the area.

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