Yes, sorry to say it has been a while since the last blog... very very busy these days!
Lots of you are asking what do you need to start off with a bunny. Good question. The basics first, will this be an inside or outside bunny, or both?
Inside bunnies... my first suggestion is to make sure you either have a feed with yucca plant extract or use 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon drinking water of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. Either or a combination of both will keep the smell of the bunny pee down, poo does not smell. I would also brush an inside bunny especially for change of season when bunny hair is shedding.
Outside bunnies need a protected area from the wind and a place to get into that gives them a secure feeling. It does not have to be big, just easy to get into and out of for them. Keep the floor clean, do not fill with chips, that way you can keep an eye on the poo created to know if there is any problem. Yes, they will most likely leave some in there or possibly try to use it for a litter box, depending on the bunny. Just please clean it out for them. Best cage door size for a Flemish Giant is 16" X 16" for easy access when you move him/her out when necessary to do it manually.
Definitely have an area to protect their feet from wire, either a piece of plywood or plastic mat that is sold in the stores. If they stay in the rabbit pee the acid from it can attack their hocks, very painful, very difficult to heal.
Fresh water, clean living areas, a handful of hay at least every other day is preferable. But lots of feeds have hay in them and it may not be required, though I give it daily anyway and plenty of it to help control boredom. Fresh feed daily, try not to overfeed and have leftovers that go stale. Try to have a toy for playtime, possibly a shelf to jump up on (which increases the square footage of the cage). Please watch there is nothing soft they can chew and ingest that is not food.
Rabbits are like puppies. Have fun with them. What you put into your rabbit is the enjoyment you will also get out of your rabbit. It does take time to build trust with them. Picture yourself in their position, small, delicate, vulnerable to the giant that has just captured them! Make friends, they will give you so much pleasure and expand your being with them as your new sidekick. Unique pets, so many people are surprised at how great they really are and how long they have been overlooked.
Respect their feelings, try to understand what makes them tick. And please please please don't kill them with kindness... their tummies are tender to food changes and new foods need to be slowly introduced. Double check on the internet for what is safe... no lettuce!!! Keep an eye on their ears for crusting and use the ear mite drops when necessary and can also as a preventative. What makes taking care of them hard is that Mother Nature teaches a rabbit to hide something wrong until it's difficult to hide, so keep an eye on them and pay attention to small changes for the best of your bunny's health.
Hopefully that helps give you a better understanding of what is needed. You will be sent home with a bag of transition food from here to mix into the feed of your choice for your new pet. At least two days of mix, use as a 50/50%, but I give you far more to play it safe. And remember, you will become the new bunny Mom or Dad to this animal, to protect and care for it.
Have fun and enjoy, they do grow up so fast!