View Full Version : Rabbits USA

04-01-2002, 02:05 PM
Yea, that's the magazine I bought today at Orscheln's. MAN I LUV THAT PLACE! I SO want a parakeet now. Hehehehe. There this one that is white with an aqua breast. SOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! Anyway. I was reading this magazine right and they wrote something about a condition called "sludgy bladder". It's where your bun gets too much calicium and is not absorbed and makes their urine a white to yellow milkly color and when it dries it's a white powdery substance. Well, I remember before I got a dropping pan for their indoor hutch that, that is the exact description of MY buns' urine. Oh gosh. I think the reason why they have it is because I only feed them pellets. I need to feed them vegetables every day, timothy hay everyday, and restricted pellets. I told my Mom about it and how this condition can cause kidney and bladder stones. YIKES! So when she gets paid we are going to buy some brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce, califlower, and some broccolli (spelling?). My next project is to find someone that sells timothy hay (just one square bale is all I need), get a big container from Wal-Mart to store it in, and then get a hay thingy that hooks on the side of their cage to eat. *Sigh* A lot to do. But it has to be done, and fast. It may be awhile before I can get the hay and things, but this week (hopefully) we'll go grocery shopping and I'll get some veggies for them and restrict their pellet consumption.
So, I would encourage other people to note the color of their buns' urine. Other than that, everything is great!

Heather Wallace
04-01-2002, 02:19 PM
Meg, thanks for that. I was wondering if you could email me that article if I give you my email. Send me a private message.

I have noticed to some white stuff to on the floor sometimes, but I feed my buns everyday with veg, hay etc.

04-02-2002, 09:14 AM
Yes, you are correct about the sludge being caused by pellets made from alfalfa. I was just going to post a message about it. We had an emergency at the bunny sanctuary late last week and it turns out our little Victoria had bladder stones !!!!
which are also caused by too much calcium in the diet. :( The vet, who has always said absolutely NO pellets should be fed to bunnies, was nice about it but said we have to stop the pellets altogether or risk serious harm to the bunnies.

We have approx. 65 buns at the sanctuary and used the pellets as a back up food in case the more aggressive bunnies chased the timid bunnies away from the feeding stations. We are also switching from buying "hay" from the local farmers to pure timothy hay. It's going to be so much more expensive, but it's not worth sacrificing the bunnies health. Fortunately they think Victoria will be able to pass the stones and not need surgery. She IS acting spunkier so we are hopeful. :)

So please everyone with bunnies, take this notice seriously. Just because your bunny may not exhibit signs of the sludge or bladder stones (so painful!!!) do attempt to cut way back, if not completely off, rabbit pellets. Thanks.

Heather Wallace
04-02-2002, 10:18 AM
I was awake most of last night worrying about this. I noticed a couple of times this white stuff that was mentioned. I feed the buns veg and hay everyday but I think I was going wrong with the hay, it is ordinary field hay. Timothy west is virtually non excistant in the UK, but a site called


has some but like you Daisylover find it is extremely expensive. 1kg costs 8.50 approx which is around $12.00 I think. My old hay only cost 90p per bag, $1.40, so as you can see there is a great price difference. I also have 4 buns as well. But I have ordered some from the site as no shops here sell it unfortunately. Thanks to you both Meg(bunnicula) and Daisylover, thanks for the info on the subject. I only feed the rabbits a small amount of pellets anyway, so I am hoping changing there hay will make a difference.

04-03-2002, 08:45 AM
I certainly didn't mean to keep you up at night worrying about your buns. It sounds like you have been giving them a good basic diet. Yes, it is a pain that the timmy hay is more expensive and the veggies tend to add up after a while too. I am hoping that as timmy hay becomes more popular, they will plant more of it and price will go down. I was on bunnybytes.com and they also offer oat hay and orchard grass. I have read in several different bunny magazines and on other websites that these are also an excellent food for bunnies. You might check to see if anyone in the UK grows them.

I found the most cost-effective way to buy the timmy hay is to spend a lot of money all at once and get the largest size available. So I buy a 50 pound bale and although it costs $50 plus shipping, it will also last 3-4 months for 5 bunnies. Of course my pocketbook doesn't like that kind of expenditure but neither do I end up having to go out every week or two and buy the smaller, more expensive bags. Let me know how you do finding timothy and the other hays. You also might check with other bunny owners or rabbit clubs there to see how they are dealing with these problems.... Surely they must be aware of the complications of a calcium rich diet and are finding alternatives. Good luck!

04-03-2002, 09:50 AM
From your veggie list, I just wanted to mention that the buns should not get a lot of broccoli ....it causes gas and that can make them sick and cause a lot of pain. Likewise green beans are a no-no as well.

Good veggies are the romaine and boston lettuces, endive, green or red leaf lettuces, lots and lots of dandelions, radicchio, collard greens, beets, radish leaves, and of course their very favorite carrot with tops...most any lettuce except iceberg. Herbs...dill, parsley, watercress, cilantro, etc. Many buns like kohrabi, bok choy and napa cabbage too. Red clover is great if you can find it.

The following can be given out but should be limited due...these are high in some mineral, the name of which I have forgotten:
kale, which I am convinced all buns love dearly;
mustard and turnip greens, spinach, only the dark green outer leaves of cabbage (the pale inside leaves have no nutritional value and for my buns too much can cause loose poop), broccoli,
cauliflower. They can have a small amount of fruit once in a while: apple, strawberries, blueberries preferred. An occasional raisin or grape but they are high in sugar and can cause runny poop. I hear a little fresh corn is ok but then I hear it's not a good idea...it is also high in sugar. Absolutely no bread, rolls or cereals... yeah that sounds strange but I was at my vets and this woman came out with 2 huge, horribly overweight rabbits and she was bragging about how they loved hot dog buns! Some folks have no sense.

I'm sure I've left things off but hope this helps you get some ideas of what they can have. I've been meaning to mention too that I'm so pleased you've got the bunnies inside and i hope it works out for you. Take care!


04-03-2002, 10:06 AM
I've been trying to switch Sophie to an all hay diet...problem is, she doesn't/won't eat that much hay! I've tried cutting back on pellets and also, completely taking them away but....she'll eat a few pieces of hay and then start on her bedding. (I've ALWAYS had problems with her & bedding--she eats it. She did this when she was tiny as well. The vet told me Soph was taken away from Momma bun too soon & didn't learn all the 'bunny things' she needed.)

Sooo the big question: how can I make the switch when she is so picky?

She does seem to like oat hay better than anything but I only give it to her in limited amounts. How does oat hay compare to timmy hay in the scheme of things?

Soph also gets a daily amount of parsley and/or cilantro. I feed her half a carrot every other day. Wkly, I feed her pineapple juice. Then of course the occasional treat of broccoli, banana, apple, strwbry, yougurt drops, etc.

And yes, I love RAbbit USA too...did you see the article on Agility for Rabbits?! (I think they call it rabbit hopping.)

04-04-2002, 09:48 AM
Oh yea! Rabbit Hopping! I SO want to try that. Maybe my AG. Advisor can help me make some jumping poles and a stand. Hehehe. Even if I dont get in any shows, it's good exercise for both of us!
I have to wait until Friday, tomorrow, to get my buns some vegetables. I got this magazine called PAWPRINTS The Ferret Store, and they sell timmy hay, but SO expensive for just a little bit. They also sell brome which you get more and is similar to timmy, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if I had some timmy. I'm also going to ask my Ag. Advisor if he can get a hold of some timmy hay. In that magazine they also have hay mangers, which all buns should have to keep their hay off of their cage floor.

04-04-2002, 11:05 AM
I just ordered Rabbits USA over the web...I haven't been able to find it in stores and now you guys have me all excited waiting for it to come in. Thanks so much for mentioning it.

Since buns love to eat (the vet refers to them as little eating machines) I'd just perserve in trying to get your bunny switched over to the timmy hay. First my buns ignored it, or they would only poop or pee on it.... then ate only a little at a time and now they seem to prefer it. I'm guessing it is 50% of their daily diet. This conversion took me MONTHS :p but now I will occasionally see them go to they hay first even when I put the veggies down (unless of course there are parsley or carrots :D ) Also I really do think the brand makes a difference so you might experiment if you can find more than one company selling it. As I'm sure you've heard me say before mine do not like the Kaytee brand but love the Oxbox. I've noticed ads in the 2001-2002 Rabbit Annual for other timmy brands as well.

I find it sooooo amusing and a little charming that the buns will sort through all the hay just to get to the perfect strand. They are just too cute!