Tag Archives: bunnies

Silly Wabbit, Jokes are for Judges!

Laughter is good for the soul.

Laughter is good for the soul.

When we go to a rabbit show I am always very eager to hear what a judge has to say about our rabbits. I’m interested in all the comments, because if I can start seeing what a judge is seeing when they evaluate, I will only get better at breeding toward the Standard of Perfection at home.


There are many times I begin to feel a little sorry for a judge, however. When faced with a table of multitudes of rabbits that are practically identical, how on Earth do judges come up with something to say about every single rabbit?! Those judges who come up with creative descriptions get my kudos – and a nod toward a legacy with their words being immortalized in the blog-o-sphere!


Here are some of the most memorable judges comments shared by other rabbit breeders:

“This buck poses like a football player because he leans forward and braces like a linebacker.”

“This doe has shoulders like a quarterback.”

“Flat as road kill…”

“The head is just horrible but behind that, it’s Disneyland!”

“This doe just isn’t wearing her party dress today.” (with fur flying from molt)

“(I’d) only like Lionheads if they had a long tail with a broom type fur at the end & fangs!”

“(She’s) so little she still had milk on her breath.”

“Very nice buck, but the color is Yuck!”

“Nice arse.”

{Rabbit molting} “An outstanding individual but just needs a fresh coat of paint.”

“This rabbit would look great, (big pause) in a big pot right next to some potatoes & carrots.”

“This is a movie star rabbit – she’s got the body of Marilyn Monroe and the head of Phyllis Diller.”

English Spot who was congested: “And the hunter didn’t quite get him.. The pellets all hit here.”

“You can bounce a quarter off that rabbits back.”

A judge kissed one of my Florida Whites and asked her, “As cute as you are, I wonder if you would be just as tasty?!”

“This one seems to be a little over conditioned.”

“This doe has a butt ‘SMOOTH AS BUTTER!”

“This guy has such incredible fur, I just want to rub him all over me.”

Years ago someone asked a breeder how she got such nice, big rear ends on her Satins after winning BOB and BOS. Her response: I walk down the barn and tell them “Look at momma!”

“Really nice coat and not a lick of sense.”

“Lacking color…” (on a REW!)

A judge back a {my rabbit} and said “pick another one to love.”

“Looks like moths got to this one.”

“This animal’s coat is so dense that if I stuck my face down next to it, it would literally punch me in the face!”


Thank you, judges, for keeping us entertained – we look forward to the next round of fun descriptions!

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

ilco / stock.xchng

ilco / stock.xchng

As silly as it may seem, sometimes rabbits don’t… breed like rabbits.

I often hear complaints about a doe that won’t lift or is otherwise reluctant to breed. This is not necessarily uncommon and can be a factor of age, weather, or general temperament. Most often a buck is more than willing to oblige but occasionally you run into troubles with your mister refusing to be a “kisser.”

There are some fairly standard recommendations for getting your rabbits “in the mood”:

  • Add Apple Cider Vinegar to their water or wheat germ to their feed;
  • Make sure they have at least 16 hours of daylight each day;
  • Put the doe and the buck in one another’s cages for 24 hours;
  • Table breeding;
  • Breeding by moon calendar.

But just this month we came across a totally new (to us) method – breeding by moonlight.

Since rabbits are fairly nocturnal it’s not a surprise that they are more active at night. In warm weather we sometimes sleep with our windows open and the noise the rabbits make playing with their toys and thumping around can be quite noticeable. (They’re no match for an antsy barking dog or a cat in heat, but for a rabbit they’re loud!)

Rabbits are lively at night!

Just this month we got home late and remembered that we needed to breed a few rabbits in order to plan their due dates around some travel plans next month. So, even though it was fully dark, we decided to head out to the rabbitry and see if we could get some dirty business started.


Oh. My. Goodness.

What a shock! Those girls were so ready it was as though their backsides were attached to rockets! We had such immediate success by moonlight fraternization we even attempted to breed a few of our most reluctant ladies — and they were quite happy to oblige!


This was such a blatant change of pace that it’s another trick we’ll be adding to the options for what to do when your doe isn’t interested. After all, everybody loves a little late night romance, right?!


*We will continue to use the moon calendar for our breeding programs. Here’s the link to a 2014 moon breeding calendar!*

Get the Blues

A few drops of blue food coloring per gallon of water has inhibited algae growth in our water bottles.

A few drops of blue food coloring per gallon of water has inhibited algae growth in our water bottles.

Until we have an automatic watering system we will be best friends with our flip-lid water bottles. I love these bottles and especially the flip top lids – it takes so much less time than unscrewing the nozzle of each bottle to fill with water!

One thing I DO NOT love about water bottles is that they can get “ew!”-stuff inside of them – algae, moths, dirt, etc.

Earlier this year I complained about this at the feed store and one of the workers suggested putting blue food coloring in the water. She told me the blue coloring would inhibit the growth of mossy-type things in the water bottles.

We tried putting 1-2 drops of blue food coloring per gallon of water for months and didn’t think much of it, it was under the category of “can’t hurt, might as well try.” We saw only minimal algae growth over the following months. When we ran out of blue food coloring we tried green for about a week – but that actually seemed to encourage growth in the bottles!

When it was all said and done, space was at a premium I was being cheap. I didn’t want to buy all the other colors of food coloring from the box of four colors I could buy at the grocery and only use the blue, so we finally just gave up on it and for several weeks we haven’t put anything but our normal Apple Cider Vinegar in the water.

Granted, it’s summer time and our bottles spend a few hours a day in direct sunlight, but the algae growth has been impressive! I could scrub those bottles every other day and they’d still not be clean. (If only I could figure a way to market algae – we have been able to produce it!)

Last week after examining the cuts on my hands from scrubbing the bottles – yet again – I broke down and ordered blue food coloring off of Amazon. It arrived yesterday and I’ve been happily dripping the coloring in the water again. I have no scientific proof that this works, but from our real-life assessment, a few drops of blue could be what you need to fight the algae growth in your water bottles, too!

Toxic and Poisonous Plants for Rabbits

I have just spent more than an hour searching for the infographic that shares which green things are most certainly inedible for rabbits and come up empty handed.


Because I never want to go through this again, I’ll simply post what I have found about the naturally occuring substances our rabbits should not consume. This particular list is courtesy of Adoptarabbit.com:


Toxic Plants

Following is a partial list of plants that rabbits should not eat. This list is a compilation of lists from various sources.


  • Where available, the parts of the plants to be avoided are included enclosed in parentheses.
  • The exclusion of a specific plant from this list does not indicate that the plant is safe. For a list of fruits and vegetables suitable for rabbit comsumption, please see our ABC’s of Rabbit Safe Vegetables and Fruits.
  • Plants commonly known by more than one name may occur multiple times in the list.
  • If you suspect your rabbit has ingested an unsafe plant, please call your vet and/or your local poison control center or the National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (credit card charge).
  • For more information, please see our links at the bottom of this page.



Agave (leaves)
Amaryllis (bulbs)
Angel’s Trumpet
Apple (seeds)
Apricot (all parts except fruit)
Asian Lilly
Asparagus Fern
Australian Nut
Autumn Crocus
Avacado (leaves)
Azalea (leaves)
Balsam pear (seeds, outer rind of fruit)
Baneberry (berries, roots)
Barbados Lilly
Betel-nut Palm
Bird of Paradise (seeds)
Bitter Cherry (seeds)
Bittersweet (American & European)
Black Nightshade
Black Walnut (hulls)
Boston Ivy
Buddhist Pine
Busy Lizzie
Buttercup (leaves)
Black Locust (seeds,bark, sprouts, foliage)
Blue-green algae (some forms toxic)
Boxwood (leaves,twigs)
Bracken fern
Branching Ivy
Buckeye (seeds)
Buckthorn (berries, fruit, bark)
Bull Nettle
Buttercup (sap, bulbs)
Cactus Thorn
Calico Bush
Calla Lilly (rhizome, leaves)
Caladiur (leaves)
Carolina Jessamine
Castor Bean (seed, leaves – castor oil)
Chalice vine (all parts)
Cherry tree (bark, twig, leaves, pits)
China Doll
Chinaberry tree
Chinese Bellflower
Chinese Lantern
Chinese Evergreen
Choke Cherry (seeds)
Christmas Candle (sap)
Christmas Rose
Climbing Nightshade
Clivia (a.k.a Kaffir Lily)
Coffee Bean
Cone Flower
Coral plant (seeds)
Corn Plant
Crown of Thorns
Cuban Laurel
Cuckoopint (all parts)
Cutleaf Philodendron
Daffodil (bulbs)
Daphne (berries, bark)
Datura (berries)
Day Lily
Deadly Amanita (all parts)
Deadly Nightshade
Death Camas (all parts)
Delphinium (all parts)
Devil’s Ivy
Dieffenbachia (leaves)
Dumb Cane
Dutchman’s Breeches
Easter Lilly
Eggplant (all but fruit)
Elderberry (unripe berries, roots, stems)
Elephant Ear (leaves, stem)
Emerald Feather
English Laurel
English Ivy (berries, leaves)
False Hellebore
False Henbane (all parts)
False Parsley
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Flamingo Plant
Florida Beauty
Flowering Maple
Flowering Tobacco
Foxglove (leaves, seeds)
Garden Sorrel
German Ivy
Ghostweed (all parts)
Giant Touch-me-not
Glacier Ivy
Glory Lilly
Gold Dust
Golden Chain (all parts)
Golden Pothos
Green Gold
Hahn’s Ivy
Hairy Vetch
Hart Ivy
Hawaiian Ti
Heartleaf Philodendron
Heavenly Bamboo
Hemlock, Poison (all parts)
Hemlock, Water (all parts)
Henbane (seeds)
Holly (berries)
Horse Chestnut (nuts, twigs)
Horsehead Philodendron
Horsetail Reed
Hurricane Plant
Hyacinth (bulbs)
Indian Hemp
Indian Rubber
Indian Turnip (all parts)
Iris (bulbs)
Ivy, Boston & English (berries, leaves)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (all parts)
Japanese Euonymus
Japanese Show Lily
Japanese Yew
Java Bean (uncooked bean)
Jerusalem Cherry (berries)
Jimson Weed (leaves, seeds)
Johnson Grass
Juniper (needles, stems, berries)
Laburnum (all parts)
Lace Fern
Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lady Slipper
Lantana (immature berries)
Larkspur (all parts)
Laurel (all parts)
Laurel Cherry
Lily of the Valley (all parts)
Lima Bean (uncooked bean)
Lobelia (all parts)
Locoweed (all parts)
Lords and Ladies (all parts)
Macadamia Nut
Madagascar Dragon Tree
Manchineel Tree
Marbel Queen
Marijuana (leaves)
Marsh Marigold
Mauna Loa Peace Lily
Mayapple (all parts except fruit)
Meadow Saffron
Medicine Plant
Mexican Breadfruit
Mescal Bean (seeds)
Milk Bush
Mistletoe (berries)
Mock Orange (fruit)
Monkshood (leaves, roots)
Morning Glory (all parts)
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms (some)
Mustard (root)
Narcissus (bulbs)
Needlepoint Ivy
Nightshades (berries, leaves)
Oak (acorns, foliage) Oleander (leaves, branches, nectar) Oxalis
Parlor Ivy
Patience Plant
Peace Lily
Peach (leaves, twigs, seeds)
Pear (seeds)
Pencil Cactus
Philodendron (leaves, stem)
Plum (seeds)
Plumosa Fern
Poinsettia (leaves, flowers)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Poison sumac
Potato (eyes & new shoots, green parts)
Precatory Bean
Privet (all parts)
Purple Thornapple
Queensland Nut
Red Emerald
Red Lily
Red Princess
Rhododendron (all parts)
Rhubarb (leaves)
Ribbon Plant
Ripple Ivy
Rosary Pea (seeds)
Rubrum Lily
Sago Palm
Self-branching Ivy
Shamrock Plant
Silver Pothos
Skunk Cabbage (all parts)
Snake Palm
Snowdrop (all parts)
Snow-on-the-Mountain (all parts)
Solomon’s Seal
Split Leaf Philodendron
Star of Bethlehem
String of Pearls
Sweet Pea (seeds and fruit)
Sweet Potato
Sweetheart Ivy
Swiss Cheese Plant
Taro Vine
Tiger Lily
Tobacco (leaves)
Tomato (leaves, vines)
Tree Philodendron
Tulip (bulb)
Umbrella Plant
Vetch (Hairy)
Violet (seeds) Virginia Creeper (berries, sap)
Walnuts (hulls, green shells)
Water Hemlock
Weeping Fig
Western Lily
Wild Carrots
Wild Cucumber
Wild Parsnip
Wild Peas
Wisteria (all parts)
Wood Lily
Yam Bean (roots, immature pods) Yellow Jasmine Yew (needles, seeds, berries)

For more information…
University of Illinois Toxic Plants Database
ASPCA Poison Control Center
San Diego chapter of HRS Poisonous Plants Page


Keeping Rabbits Cool When It’s Hot Outside

saflora / stock.xchng

saflora / stock.xchng

Remember the Nelly song in the 90s? “It’s getting hot in here so I’m gonna take my clothes off!”

Well, sorry, Nelly, rabbits can’t take their clothes off. They’re stuck wearing a fur coat while temperatures soar.

I’ve been believing, hoping, that we would escape the worst of the heat since we’re living at about 8,000 ft. in elevation. Just this weekend we did a backyard campout and all of us ended up in a huddle in the wee hours of the morning because it got so chilly!

However, today’s temperatures moved into the high 90s and we lost the runt of our Silver Marten litter to heat stroke. I’m a believer in natural selection but I’m mad about the loss and we’re going to do our best to make sure we don’t lose this battle against summer time heat!

We’ll be trying a few different ideas to cool our rabbits down. This afternoon we filled Ziploc baggies with ice and distributed a bag to each rabbit. Tomorrow I have prepared bananas, cut in half and frozen solid. All of my friends are scrounging around for glass jars and bottles I’ll fill with water and freeze over night – I’m hoping by two days from now we’ll have enough to cycle them in and out of the freezer.

Though we have the ventilation of our rabbitry working in our favor – open air hutches are good for catching the breeze – we do still have to take precautions against heat stroke for our rabbits. The ideal temperature in a rabbit’s mind is in the low 50s – so anytime temperatures soar over 85° it makes sense to incorporate some cooling techniques into your animal husbandry tool bag.

Rabbits don’t have the ability to sweat, so their entire cooling system is coordinated by their ears. A cold rabbit will keep their ears close to their neck, a hot rabbit will have their ears high and wide open to cool their necks and catch any breeze that comes by. There is actually a phenomenon called “summer ears” – where a rabbit born in the summer will have longer ears than a rabbit born in the winter!

Rabbits suffering from a heat stroke will have glazed eyes, be relatively motionless, and may have spit coming out of their mouths. This is very bad stuff and can cause permanent brain damage or death.

In a quick, easy to read list, in order to cool your own rabbit(s), you might consider:

  • installing a mister system outside of your hutch.
  • wetting their ears with a washcloth to turn them into swamp coolers.
  • freezing water bottles they can lay next to.
  • giving them ceramic tiles to sit on (this can be a cause of hutch burn so watch and remove if they’re urinating on the tiles).
  • spraying the buns with water.
  • (in extremely hot weather) dunking a rabbit’s body in a bucket of cool water.
  • spraying down the roof of your hutches with a hose.
  • soaking cheesecloth or a burlap bag in water and draping it over the cage.
  • moving them to an air conditioned area.
  • moving them to a well-shaded area or installing a sunshade over their cages.
  • pulling the hair off of babies in the nestbox.

What other suggestions do you have for keeping your rabbits cool in the summer heat?

Games Bunnies Play

Richard Dawson hosts - Games Rabbits Play!

Richard Dawson hosts – Games Bunnies Play!

Thanks to M. Marshall for sharing this via the ARBA Facebook page!


We’re talking mind games here, folks, not binkies.

Here are a few that my bunnies like to play:

Are there Buns in my Oven? A simple guessing game that does like to play. She shows no signs of pregnancy up until the very last moment… and then when you figure she’s not pregnant after all, she presents you with a fine litter and a bunny smirk of satisfaction.

The Dead Buck Game. You go into the rabbitry and your favourite buck is flat out on his side, seemingly not breathing. No amount of calling his name or prodding seems to get a response. Just when you’re ready to go dig a hole out back, he stirs slightly, gives himself a shake and asks what’s for supper.

Nya-nya! You Can’t Make Me! A game enjoyed by all rabbits of all ages. The object is simple: drive the bunny caregiver crazy by refusing to do the simplest things. Can be applied to eating, drinking, breeding, caring for kits or any other aspect of daily bunny life.

Cold Butt aka The Great Bunny Snit. You do some small thing that offends one of your rabbits. The rabbit immediately turns his back on you and shuns you for hours or days, depending on the degree of offendedness. Half the time, you don’t even know what you did wrong.

What Sex Am I This Week? A fun little game played by youngsters. They really enjoy this one when you have a waiting list of buyers.

Escape Hatch Hurry up! “If we get all of this food eaten, we can squirrel our way out through the J-feeder! That crazy woman LOVES to play chase!!!”

Are there Buns in my Oven? Version Two. The object is to drive the bunny caregiver mad with frustration. Bunny lifts for the buck, acts pregnant for the next month getting away with all kinds of crankiness, builds a lovely nest, pulls fur… and then nothing.

How’d They Do That? To keep you guessing, they accomplish impossible things that have no explanation. A good example of this was when we found one of our youngsters roaming around the flower pots one morning. The hutch door that closes with barrel bolts was open, and all the other youngsters were leaning out of the doorway. At least in “Escape Hatch,” there is an explanation!

What Color Am I Going To Be When I Grow Up? In this game,  a black bunny decides that it needs to turn into a rabbit with tipping, or an agouti, or who knows what?!
“I am the Guru Bunny.” One of the kits sits all by itself, eyes closed, usually in a corner, while all the rest of the kits come running up to see ya when you arrive, all bouncing and acting like…well..bunnies… ..ya can almost hear the “Ohm…Ohm….”coming from that back corner.
How Many Ways Can We Waste Feed? This includes digging in the feeder, throwing hay out of the rack, pooping in the feeder….tipping bowls of treats, etc. (My response is to cut back on the amounts. If they aren’t hungry, they can afford to play with food!)


Big thank you to M. Marshall for sharing the creativity!


Carin / stock.xchng

Carin / stock.xchng

To Whom It May Concern:

I am seeking a bunny ribbit, preferably a dough that is bread or already peruvian, with legs. This dow will be the start of my heard and I would love it if she could be a loop-eared bred. Would prefer the animal to come with it’s own bowel and food for at least a moth. I am not interested in a spade do, as she will be used mostly for bredding. Am also open to a Rex, both the velveteen and regular kind, for the pellets. Please let me know if you are sailing your bunnee, as I would like to have it run free in my pastor as soon as possible.

Tank U.

(This post was inspired by the many classified listings for rabbits filled with misspellings and the humor of my fellow rabbit lovers! This is intended to be humorous, not mean-spirited!)



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