.I get a lot of questions about if XYZ is normal or if a bunny should be eating certain things, so here is a small compilation of questions and answers:
Q. My bunny isn’t eating their hay. Why?
A. Depends on a few factors. I always ask what else they are being fed if they are not eating their hay. Think of hay as a salad. Some people love salad, some people don’t. If your hungry, you’ll eat your salad, but if mom gives you pizza, and ice cream then that salad may just sit there. Hay should always be free fed, but pellets and treats need to be kept in check or most rabbits will fill up on pellets and treats.
Q. My bunny is pooping mushy clusters of poo. Is this normal?
A. Yes! These soft clusters of poo are called caecotrophe poop aka “cecals”. This poop is made of food that was fermented and then is expelled and is grossly enough, full of nutrients. (Yuck!) So yes, you may also see your cute bundle of fluff eat these soft pellets and is actually healthy for them. If your rabbit is producing a lot of this then check their diet to make sure your are not feeding them too many treats and they are eating their hay.
Q. My rabbit is peeing orange/red or cloudy pee! What is wrong with them?
A. Many times, nothing is wrong. Rabbits pee tends to be high in calcium and produces cloudy pee that is a pain to clean off of flooring and cages. One thing to watch for is an extremely sludge thick pee which can indicate a buildup of calcium in their bladder and should be addressed. As for the color changes, what have they been eating? Diets high in plant pigments (carrots, kale, spinach) can cause discoloration and red pee. If you see spots of blood or dark reddish brown clots then there is an issue and should be addressed with the vet.
Q. My bunny nips me. Why?
A. Rabbits can be like children sometimes and try to seek attention any way they can. What were you doing when they nipped at you? If you were holding them or reaching for them it is a way for them to say “not now” or “leave me alone”. Just like a dog, rabbits can growl and nip to show displeasure. I find it best to issue a stern tap to the nose and then if needed to pin them to the ground so they know they are not in charge. Then leave them alone until they are in a better mood. Do not let aggressive behavior continue or your rabbit will learn it is acceptable.
If you were just chilling on the floor and they come up and nip you and look at you, its a way for them to say “pet me, love me, play with me”. For some this is endearing, but it should be “nipped in the butt” so they don’t develop a bad habit of getting attention through biting. When they nip you next time, try shrieking at them. Yes, your family will probably look at you like you’ve lost it, but the startling noise should teach your bunny that it is not a pleasant experience.