Hoppin' Popp Rabbitry


- What are the parts of the rabbit called?
- What do "junior," "senior," "buck," and "doe" mean?
- Is the tattooing process painful to the rabbit?
- How often should I clip my rabbit's nails?
- I clipped my rabbit's nail and it started bleeding...What do I do?
- Do rabbits bite?
- I saw my rabbit eating its own poop!
- What is molting, or shedding?
- Is it okay to keep more than one rabbit in a cage together?
- What is the ARBA and how can I join?
- Can I bathe my rabbit?
- What is a "peanut" kit?

What are the parts of the rabbit called?

What do "junior," "senior," "buck," and "doe" mean?
These are terms used to tell the age and sex of a rabbit. If it is under 6 months, it is a junior. If it is 6 months or older, it is a senior. A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female rabbit is called a doe.

Is the tattooing process painful to the rabbit?
This is a very controversial subject. If done properly, the rabbit experiences only a quick sensation of pain, and then it is over. If the tattoo is done in a space relatively clear of blood vessels (you can see these when you shine a light behind the rabbit's ear, or, if it is a light colored animal, without any additional lighting) there will be little or no bleeding.

In the UK, the most popular form of rabbit identification is through ringing. A metal ring imprinted with an identification number is slipped over the foot and past the rabbit's hock joint. The ring stays on for the rabbit's entire life.

How often should I clip my rabbit's nails?
If your rabbit's nails make loud clicking noises on a hard surface, poke through the wire on the floor of their cage, or leave scratches on you after you hold them, it needs its nails clipped!
You could buy pet clippers specially made for this, or, if none are available, human toe-nail clippers will do.

Care should be taken during this procedure. On a light colored rabbit with white toenails, a pink triangle (the quick, a large blood vessel) can easily be seen inside the nail. Never clip into this or even close to it, as this will cause bleeding. It is difficult to see the quick on a dark rabbit with black nails, so it is best to clip only a small amount off.

I clipped my rabbit's nail and it started bleeding...what do I do?
Put pressure on the tip to help stop bleeding. You can buy an astrigent called styptic powder (containing alum) that constricts the blood vessel and stops the bleeding. You could also use talcum powder, because it basically does the same thing.

Do rabbits bite?
Rabbits will bite if they are frightened, hurt, or frustrated, but most do rarely, or just a little nibble. If your rabbit bites, tell it "No" in a quick, sharp tone and then close its cage up without giving it any treats or petting. This will discourage any future biting.

I saw my rabbit eating its own poop!
This is normal, if it is the rabbit's night droppings (otherwise known as "caecotropes"). This behavior is known as pseudo-rumination or coprophagy. Rabbits do this in order to extract vitamins their digestive system may have missed the first time around. If your rabbit is eating another's droppings, or if the droppings are setting in its cage (on top of a chewing-board, in a nest box, or coming through the wire in the bottom of the cage from the tray underneath) the droppings should be removed as soon as possible.

What is molting, or shedding?
Molting is when a rabbit's coat gradually comes out and is replaced with new fur at the same time. Some rabbits may shed large amounts of fur, but others will seem more subtle. Rabbits usually molt a few times a year, more often when they are younger.

Note the line between the eyes. Most rabbits molt from the nose back.

Is it okay to keep more than one rabbit in a cage together?
This is another controversial subject. If the cage is big enough, two female rabbits can sometimes be kept together, as long as they are introduced at an early enough age. Male rabbits can never be kept together because they are territorial and will fight. Female rabbits may also fight, even if they have been together since they were young, and they will have to be separated. Of course, male and female rabbit's can't be kept together either, for the obvious reason that they will reproduce. Male rabbits cannot at any time be kept with a female rabbit that has a litter, because the male's constant attempts at mating will cause the doe undue stress and she may kill or abandon her litter.

What is the ARBA and how can I join?
The ARBA is the American Rabbit Breeder's Association. It is a nationwide club, and is also represented in Japan, Canada, and other countries as well. Anyone can join, even if they don't have rabbits. They offer many publications and other services through membership. You can become a part of the ARBA by visiting their website.

Can I bathe my rabbit?
Unless some kind of harmful substance is covering a large portion of the rabbit's body, it is not recommended that a person bathe their rabbit. This is because soaps can remove the fur's natural luster and texture, and also because water left on the body can cause chills and sickness. If it is absolutely necessary, however, warm (but not hot) water should be used, and great care must be taken that no harmful detergents are used, or any kind of soap gets in the animal's eyes. If soap is needed, the best kind to use is Baby Shampoo. The rabbit must then be thouroughly dried before it can be taken outdoors or left unattended in its cage. A towel and electric hair dryer may be used, making sure that the dryer on not too high of a setting and is kept moving over the rabbit's body and not being held in one place too long, which could burn the rabbit's sensitive skin. Rabbits groom themselves regularly, similar to how a cat does, so regular baths are not needed nor should be considered a common solution.

What is a "peanut" kit?
A peanut is a kit which inherited two dwarfing genes from its parents. The dwarfing gene is necessary in breeds such as the mini rex and Netherland dwarf in order for the rabbits to be the proper showable weight as seniors. If the kit inherits one dwarfing gene, the rabbit is properly sized. If it inherits no dwarfing gene, it will usually exceed the senior weight limit by the time it is full grown.
Peanuts usually have very tiny ears set far back on a domed, swollen looking head. The hindquarters are usually shrunken looking and the kit may have other deformities as well. Peanuts usually die soon after birth, and rarely live longer than a week. The double dwarfing gene is fatal, and no peanut will survive. Their internal deformities cause a slow death, and because of this, some breeders choose to euthanize peanuts when they discover them in the nestbox.

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