Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Binky Day is coming - 1st June 2012

It's almost Binky Day - please share this poster to help us show everyone that 'A hutch is not enough' and that Binkies are rabbit joy in a-bun-dance! If you have a facebook account, on Friday 1st June we would love everyone to set ' It's Binky Day' as their status and change their avatar to one of the fantastic binky shots that have been shared on our own wall, share one of the videos and RT our binky day tweets. Whatever other form of social communication you use, forums, mailing lists, or just messages to friends and family, please spread the word there too. Thank you to everyone that has shared their fantastic binkies, we have used as many as possible on the poster. This is also available to download on our website, it's called 'Try this at home' http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/ahutchisnotenough.htm

Friday, 25 May 2012

Forage Friday - Clover and plan for the winter

It's Forage Friday again, and since we're having such lovely warm weather after all that rain, everything's growing like....weeds! This week we want to tell you about clover. Clover is a member of the pea family and the whole of the plant is safe to be fed to rabbits. It is a good source of protein and very nourishing, and is believed to be a good tonic and useful for feeding during a moult. Rabbits love it, and it's often in hay; clover hay is thought of as one of the richest types of 'albuminoids' . There's plenty around just now, so now's the time to plan for winter when none of this scrummy, nutritious foraging will be around. Take small bunches and tie them together with string then hang them upside down somewhere that has a good air-flow and isn't damp. They won't take long to dry out, and when they're nice and crispy, you can store them in paper (not plastic) bags to keep them fresh. You can also try this (carefully!) with nettles, which rabbits will not eat when fresh, but love when dried out.
If you would like to read up on more wild plants and green foods, why not try this book? It's only £7.45 (including postage) from the RWAF shop. http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/catalog/product_info.phpproducts_id=207 If you can not find any wild forage, try Galen's Garden: http://www.galensgarden.co.uk/ They stock a wonderful array of seeds, so you can grow all the plants you might need

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Binky Day, its almost here

Binky day is almost with us! Please keep trying to catch your bunnies binkying and sharing them with us. On Binky Day, we would love everyone to share a binky photo on their facebook wall, or send out an e-mail and put 'It's Binky Day' as your status or title, to get lots of people thinking about rabbits. We will be doing a press release to try and generate media interest too, so that we can spread the word that 'A hutch is not enough' Please help us :-) Please be sure that your bunnies are fit enough to do binkies, and if your bunnies are having their binky sessions in the garden, they are safely enclosed, protected from predators and any birds of prey that might be around.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Forage Friday!

It’s Forage Friday! We all know that a rabbit's diet should be around 85% fibre, 5% pellets (not muesli) and 10% greens, but perhaps not many of us are brave enough to try to find natural and free sources of food for our rabbits. Grass and dandelions are the obvious things that we would go for, and they are an excellent addition to the diet, but over the next few weeks we are going to look at other goodies that we might find for our bunnies to enjoy. Starting with Plantain This is ribwort plantain, and it is commonly found, It usually flowers June – October. The good news is that the whole plant is edible, and is a good source of vitamins and minerals, and it's believed to have properties that help rabbits resist or fight off infection. There is also a broader leaf type of plantain called 'Greater Plantain' which is edible for rabbits too. The Bazaar Buns wereenjoying their forage baskets this morning in the sun, as you can see. If you just cant wait to find out what else you can forage for your buns, then why not treat yourself to ‘Rabbit Nutrition’ by Virginia Richardson – available from our shop for £6.50 inc postage. http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=38&products_id=982

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Giants!

http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pdfs/GiantRabbitCareGuidelines.pdf We've added some new information about giant rabbits to the website recently.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

May rescue pages

On our rescue webpage for May we feature Cuddly Critters in Essex and Animal Concern in Cumbria. Both work hard to rescue and rehome rabbits in their area and would appreciate your support. They have rabbits for adoption but also appreciate practical support. Please visit this page to find out about them: http://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rwf/?section=rescues.html We've also been contacted by Rabbit Residence Rescue who are in need of help. Rabbit Residence Rescue is situated in Hertfordshire. The Rabbit Residence Rescue is currently experiencing an emergency situation. Even with a steady stream of rabbits being rehomed to great new homes, the rescue has more rabbits than ever. Numbers have been pushed up by increased pressure for places and a number of emergency intake cases. Recent emergency cases include three baby wild bunnies that arrived at two and a half weeks old having been dug up in their nest at a building site, and a group of six baby cashmere bunnies that were, sadly, abandoned in a cardboard box in a field and were handed in last week. These bunnies will need to be neutered and vaccinated before they are rehomed. We already have an outstanding bill with our (very understanding) vets practice making these forthcoming costs a big concern. We are also desperately trying to repair sheds and improve weather proofing of enclosures. If anyone is able to help us in any practical way, please contact us at SponsorRabbitResidence@gmail.comor go to www.rabbitresidence.org.uk The Rabbit Residence Rescue is based in Hertfordshire and is run by the rescue manager/founder, Caroline, and a dedicated team of volunteers. We love all the bunnies in our care as if they were our own pets and are dedicated to providing the best possible care and to encouraging others with rabbits or wanting to adopt to do the same. We have a non-euthanasia policy and will never have a rabbit with quality of life put to sleep. This means we have many elderly and special needs rabbits that stay with us long term. We are a not-for-profit organisation.

Friday, 4 May 2012

New vaccine

We are still getting enquiries about the new combined Myxi and RHD vaccine. The main concern expressed with the vaccine is the potential lack of protection against Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, in rabbits vaccinated with the new vaccine, if they have been previous vaccinated recently against myxomatosis, or have been infected with it and recovered. This has been raised as a concern because some rabbits which had received previous Myxomatosis vaccination in trials in continental Europe did not develop immunity against RHD following vaccination with the Myxo_RHD vaccine. The vaccines used predominantly there are based on the myxomatosis virus, whereas the current one used here is based on Shope Fibroma Virus. This has led to some uncertainty until recently as to the level of protection so obtained, and the best vaccination protocol to be used in rabbits that have had previous vaccinations. Recent work has been collated by the manufacturers, and demonstrates that at lower levels of vaccine content, there is not sufficient protection. However, at the levels that the vaccine contains, the vast majority of rabbits developed antibody levels that are protective against RHD. The vaccine is also known to produce cell immunity, in addition to antibody levels, which cannot be measured by blood tests, and these results are typical of an effective vaccine as used in other species. The only way to examine the vaccine effectiveness further would be to perform challenge studies. This would entail taking vaccinated and unvaccinated animals and deliberately subjecting them to RHD virus, which would kill the unprotected ones. For ethical reasons this is not ideal, and would perhaps be especially unfortunate since the new vaccine has been made without the need to culture the virus in live rabbit liver, as is necessary with previous RHD vaccines. Without wishing to endorse a specific product, we feel that vaccination against these 2 killer diseases is an important part of rabbit preventative health. Any tool which allows us to prevent death and suffering, especially when this is made easier and therefore more practical to achieve, by only involving one visit to the vets per year, is to be welcomed. We will be covering this in more detail in the next issue of Rabbiting On, due out early May - to make sure you don't miss your copy please join and support our work, because A hutch is not enough: http://www.houserabbit.co.uk/join/index.php

Thursday, 3 May 2012

London Pet Show 2012 - Come to the Warren!

The London Pet Show, the UK’s largest event showcasing a range of pets, will open its doors to a wonderful world of creatures great and small on 12 - 13 May at Earls Court Two, London. Rabbit lovers are in for a real treat as the ‘Discover Small Furries’ section, sponsored by Burgess Pet Care, will be home for two days to some wonderful rabbits as well as guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, hamsters and gerbils...not forgetting Wood Green The Animals Charity, and The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund! The rabbits in The Warren will enjoy all their space in the connective run system provided by ‘Runaround’ and will be able to show the visitors that 'A hutch is not enough'. Nothing demonstrates that better than actually seeing bunnies happily living together in pairs and keeping busy, running, digging and foraging! The RWAF, Wood Green and Burgess Pet Care will be on hand to provide plenty of advice for rabbit owners and those thinking of taking on these wonderful and intelligent creatures as pets. Talks will take part throughout the show on how to look after each type of small furry pet to ensure they are healthy and happy. This will cover both days with experts to hand to answer questions on everything from the living environment your small furry friends need to how to feed them in the right way. For more details, please see http://www.londonpetshow.co.uk/timetables/show/8 You won’t leave empty handed either; with lots of specific information for each type of small furry in a handy care guide, samples and money-off vouchers. You know you’ll be leaving with all the tools you need to give your small furry the best care possible. There’s a whole range of exciting activities taking place,and you will even find out how to make your own foraging ball stuffed with a range of healthy tasty snacks from Burgess Excel. Your rabbits will love it – a great present to take home for your furry friends! We can offer a fantastic 30% discount off the standard ticket prices too if you quote RWAF2 when booking. Tickets must be booked in advance either on the website www.londonpetshow.co.uk or by phone on 0844 873 7332. The price includes a show guide and a goody bag. (This is the same discount as Burgess have offered so don't worry if you have already booked your tickets!) Don’t forget the show also features dogs, cats, exotics, avian and aquatics. Please visit the website for more details www.londonpetshow.co.uk