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Last Post by jerseygirl at 10/18/2012 3:48 PM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline EMRabbits
37 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 12:52 PM

Hey, all. This is about my second or third account on here because I've, for some reason, deleted my other accounts. Anyway, I own two rabbits, a mini rex and, best I can tell, a rex. I need a couple of suggestions on some stuff.

My main problem is they are O-B-E-S-E. Marge, the rex, is 9.4 pounds and Essie, the mini rex, is 5.2. Their fat is just rolls on them. I know a large part of the reason is they don't get enough exercise. I can't let them out all day, and they don't run when they're out anyway. The other problem is diet. My family feeds my rabbits a LOT of junk food. Lots of bananas, almonds, and apples. I recently ran across that almonds are bad for rabbits, but the vet didn't seem concerned. I tried cutting all junk food out for a while, but my family couldn't stick with the plan. I feed them a lot of pellets. These pellets come in a 25 pound bag for 8 dollars and I'm beginning to question how healthy they are for them. I want to try but we once had a friend who told us you can't change a rabbit's pellets after it eats it for years because it will die. She claims it is what killed her rabbits. Will it hurt my rabbit to change their pellets? What is the recommended portion of pellets to give my rabbits each day? I usually fill it until the bowl is full.

Is there an alternative method to cleaning potties? I hate pulling out all the bags, toilet paper, vinegar, etc every two days to clean their potties.  Plus they fight me every step of the way on it. I have corner potties. Does anyone have any potty cleaning tips to make it a little better of a chore.

Essie keeps her cage dirty. Poop everywhere, no matter how often I clean it, and as a result she has sore hocks, which didn't start until her cage got really dirty.  Any suggestions?

They stay in the living room and that room gets very loud. They are next to the tv, people talk very loud, and just general noises. Do you think it would be better to move them to my room. As it is right now, I don't really have room, but if I strain my brain, I think I could create some. I just don't know if all the noise is bad for them.

User is Offline Hazel
1640 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 1:11 PM

Welcome, even though you're not new


First of all, you will HAVE to get your family to stop feeding them junk food, or any effort from you regarding their diet will be for nothing. What kind of food are you feeding them now? If it has seeds, nuts, funny colored stuff in it, it's no good, that's like feeding them candy. The Oxbow you found in the BB store is what rabbits should eat, just plain pellets. And no, they won't die just because you change their food, as long as you do it slowly. Over a 10 day period, slowly increase the amount of new food mixed in with the old, and watch for any signs of tummy upsets, like diarrhea. The amount of pellets recommended is 1/4 to 1/2 cup for every 6 lbs of rabbit weight. Since you want them to lose weight I would go with 1/4 cup, at least until they reach their ideal weight. Do they get unlimited hay? Hay should be their main diet and it's very important for them to have!

Do they get any veggies? Ideal would be 2 cups of chopped veggies per day, again for every 6 lbs of body weight. Here's the BB list of approved veggies to feed your bunnies:


What kind of cage are they in right now? The corner litterboxes are often too small, a bigger one filled with a good litter might improve litter habits. What litter are you using? Wood pellets are a cheap choice and do a great job.


About the sore hocks, is there a wire bottom in their cage? If so, that probably has something to do with it.


Also, how about some pictures of you bunnies?


"You ain't buna fide!"

User is Offline EMRabbits
37 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 2:35 PM
The pellets don't have anything in it right now, but we feed them a lot of nuts, bananas, and apples. Okay, I'll keep a close eye on their poop while I do it, I'll probably wait a couple of weeks until their current food runs out. (Which can't be fast enough, lately the food has been very dusty.) Yes, they get hay. Marge doesn't eat it well, though, and puts it in her house. They haven't been getting much veggies lately, but I'm going to stop at a local produce store very soon to see what I can get at what price and buy weekly veggies for them.

I have been looking at a larger potty, but they used to have a large square potty each and they both raked the potties over all. The. Time. It has to be attached to the wall, otherwise they dump it over.

No, my rabbit cages have plastic on the bottom, and their feet only bother them when they let their cages get in poor condition. Essie poops all over the floor of hers.

Sure, let me go find some pictures.

User is Offline EMRabbits
37 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 2:46 PM

"What do you mean you forgot the eggnog?!?!?!?"

 "Om nom nom nom"

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 3:39 PM
Ugh thats frustrating BB just ate my post so I'm going to Cliffnotes this -

Ok, so First, PLEASE cut their nails. If you aren't comfortable doing so, take them to your vet.

Second, they are probably inactive because they are so overweight. They need larger pens, those tiny cages are too small for any bun. I recommend xpens.
4x4sqft of living space for 2 bonded bunnies, + 24sqft of run time daily. Even if they don't run, the ability to stretch and move around freely matters.

Noise is the least of your worries, but I would move them to your room for the purpose of monitoring their food intake better. Everyone here can also give you great tips for bunny-proofing your room and possibly bonding with them more without the lure of treats.

Cut out treats completely. If your family NEEDS to give them a treat, they can give a pellet or 2 from the allotted 1/4 cup a day.

Feed 1/4 cup of pellets to each daily. The sole purpose of the pellets for house bunnies is to get the vitamins that they need, and the 1/4-1/2 cup recommended will do that. Always free feed hay and water.

I recommend you find a new experienced exotic vet because the one you have now has failed you and your bunnies.


User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
4366 posts Send Private Message
10/14/2012 3:50 PM
OMG They're gorgeous. They look like spoiled adored members of the family.
I have buns with bad litter manners. (pick up the tray and toss it round the hutch etc) I now have a rectangular tray that I line with newspaper and fill with hay. They love it, they can sit in there and poo and chew, lay in it and general have a wonderful time and afterwards I just pull out the straw and the paper and put in fresh.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20753 posts Send Private Message
10/16/2012 7:04 AM
Welcome back. I do remember your bunnies names but cannot recall your old screen name.

With the pellets, even if you don't change brands, reducing the amou t you give should help. Filling the bowl is too much. I would start reducing their portions now while still on their regular pellets. You don't want to do anything too drastic though. Weight loss needs to be slow and steady otherwise there is complications.

I agree about trimming the nails. These are older pictures though. Are their nails normally this long? It's so important to keep them short for Rex rabbits. It helps keep more even pressure on the hock and preventing sore hocks. Weight also contributes to sore hocks.
With shorter nails, you might even find they'll move around more.

At the moment it may be that one problem is compounding g the other and so on. I think starting reducing pellets and some weightloss, you might start to see the other things (toileting, activity level, sore hocks) start to improve.

With pellets, I sometimes think its like rich food. When we over indulge in rich food we can feel sluggish. By cutting back the pellets you should start to see the girls naturally becoming more active. They'll be running around looking for more pellets. . That's when hay or veggies can keep their tummies happy instead.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20753 posts Send Private Message
10/16/2012 7:05 AM
p.s. they're both beautiful! Such pretty faces.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline EMRabbits
37 posts Send Private Message
10/18/2012 3:14 PM

Thanks everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I replied.  Yes, those were photos from last Christmas. I keep their nails regularly trimmed. The photos were actually right before the nail trim.

Weight can cause sore hocks? 

Things are going well with my family agreeing not to give them treats. If we can keep this up.  I have decided to use the Oxbow pellets and Oxbow hay, so I'm hopeful there will be much improvement after that.  I really want to get the potties off of Binky Bunny also, but am still unsure if they will kick them around and turn them over, also.  

User is Offline EMRabbits
37 posts Send Private Message
10/18/2012 3:16 PM

Oh, and I would love to set up xpen instead of cages, but they aren't  bonded (nearly lost my sanity trying), so that is a lot if space. 

User is Offline jerseygirl
Forum Leader
20753 posts Send Private Message
10/18/2012 3:48 PM
Weight can cause sore hocks?

Yes. You probably already know Rexes are prone to sore hocks because of their fur. But they are also prone to easy weight gain. Being overweight can cause many issues but one is there's more pressure on those hocks.
A couple members with rexes posted about snoozy beds to put in the cages. Another mentioned a memory foam mat. These might be options for your girls if they aren't chewers.

It's good your family have agreed. If they know there are consequences with too many treats, I'm sure they'd cut back. Rabbits love attention and pets just as much as they like food treats.

Good luck with the food switch. I believe the packaging gives a guide how to transition them onto the oxbow pellets.

With my foster rabbits litterbox, I've drilled some holes at the top so I can wire it into the corner of his pen. Would that help with the girls? If they also dig, maybe the litterbox screen in the store would help also.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.
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