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John Zander
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Downey, CA
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Hi Guys & Gals,

So, who is using a bunny? I have been throwing around the idea of buying a bunny for years. The down side is I hate to pack heavy, I mean really hate it. I use one case and a stand for kid and adult shows, unless using my guillotine.

But one prop that I have always wanted and have had a lot of ideas for, is a Rabbit Wringer... which I understand requires a rabbit Smile

On the other hand, and on the plus side, I would have a rabbit! My son and wife would love a rabbit. My friend Tina Lenart just purchased a rabbit for her new act and it is just adorable. She was letting it run around the living room, it was so cool.. and cute!

So, are they hard to care for? Are they hard to transport? I don't want that to be hard on the rabbit either, taking it from show to show.

Any advice would be most welcome. Thank's a bunny bunch!

P.S. Should not be hard to find a rabbit with Easter just around the corner!
Thank you,



John Zander







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The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net
Tom Cutts
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Rabbits can be litter box trained but keep this in mind. EVERYTHING below your knees is open season for gnawing and chewing.
p.b.jones
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Hi,
Are you planning to keep the bunny indoors or out?

Generally speaking magicians use small breed rabbits, Netherland Dwarf (2-2.5 lbs), mini lops (3.5-3.8 lbs). Though you can keep these indoors. (I had a very sickly one once and after treating him, thought that the change of temperatures here in the U.K. would kill it, so I kept it indoors.) These breeds need a lot of exercise, they are more active and get bored quicker. This means more wire and furniture knawing.

Here is a quick run down on rabbit breeds/sizes in the U.K.

French lop (10-26 lb)
A large breed with a superb docile, gentle, affectionate character and personality. Just like puppies & enjoy walks on leads! Make ideal house-rabbits. Due to their size and weight, they are less suited to being children's pets. They need a large hutch, ideally 6' x 3' plus a garden or house to run around for additional daily exercise. Unfortunately, they can have a relatively short (average) life-expectancy of just 4 years. French lop X are cross breed lops in an effort to lengthen their life span.

Dwarf lop (4 -5.25 lbs)
Medium-sized breed - and very cuddly. Can live indoors or out and make good pets for adults and children. They tend to be more active than the relatively lethargic French Lop breed.

Cashmere lop (4-5.25 lbs)
Long-furred breed of dwarf lop size, requiring daily grooming to maintain silky coat condition. Grooming is highly recommended for stress-relief and is enjoyable for both bunny and owner!
They have a similar temperament to dwarf lops - only their coat is different.

mini lops (3.4-3.8 lbs)
Small breed best suited to living in hutches.
Thoroughbred mini-lops may or may not be carrying the dwarfing gene - in those who don't, the bunnies appear approximately the size of a dwarf lop.

Dutch (4.5-5 lbs)
Small/medium breed with a noticeably firm body and short, dense coat. A Dutch bunny should have precise white markings on the collar and a white nose blaze. Dutch bunnies have a reputation for being superior mothers and make excellent pets.

English angora (5.5 - 7.5 lbs)
Woolly-coated breed with woolly feet and fluffy ear-tufts. Can be housed on a wire floor for hygiene. Need regular grooming. Pet bunnies' coats should be clipped for ease of maintenance. Usually have extremely gentle personalities. They can become excellent house-rabbits and their high-maintenance coats benefit from life on carpets rather than woodshavings! They are an extremely gentle breed.

Netherland dwarf (2 -2.5 lbs)
Small breed best suited to living in hutches rather than becoming house-bunnies (unless caged when not supervised). Being small, they have a definite 'cute' appeal and make good pets for younger children. Despite their small size, they are quite tough, sturdy and resilient and enjoy a long life-expectancy. We have a teenager and know of other Netherland Dwarfs aged 10+ years.
Netherlands tend to be more active than some other breeds and some have a reputation for being more timid or 'skittish'. However, this is largely related to their parentage and up-bringing, in our experience

Buying your bunny-I would like to take a moment to address the issue of pet stores.

Many people's first instinct is to visit the local pet store to find that perfect pet. Beware... buying from a pet store can be a very risky business. Most pet stores don't give out enough care information with animals. Often their employees are terribly uneducated about the individual animals, and their needs. When you buy from a pet store you take your chances. Once you leave the store you are on your own. There is no
"service after the sale". Most are unwilling or unable to answer specific health questions or concerns should they arise.

If you are willing to take the time and locate a breeder in your local area you will be much better off.

A breeder knows their animals, and can help stear you toward a particular animal that may be best suited to your situation. A breeder will take time to explain more than the basics. Most breeders are more than happy to educate the new owners. This is of particalar importance if you are going to keep your bunny outdoors. Here in the U.K. many bunnies die within days of purchase because petshops keep the rabbits indoors in warm shops. Somone buys it, brings it home to strange surroundings and puts it outside in a hutch after it has been accustomed to warmth. Breeders keep their rabbits in hutches outdoors so this climate change is not a problem.

Who is the bunny for? An adult, child or a family pet? Different breeds and different litters have different temperaments and personalities.

French Lops and French Lop X's make ideal pets for adults who enjoy their affectionate personalities, docile natures and almost puppy-like behaviour. They can be excellent free-range bunnies but, if housed in a hutch, will need one with lots of space - 5-6' long x 36'' deep x 24'' high as a minimum. They are especially suited to being house-rabbits

Medium-sized and cross-breed bunnies usually make very good family pets who will spend part of the day in hutches but join the family in evenings in the home to watch TV, enjoy a cuddle and fuss from their owners. They can also become very good house-rabbits.

Netherland Dwarfs can make good pets for younger children. They are not always the friendliest breed and can have a 'textbook' reputation for being 'skittish'. However, all of ours are handled regularly from birth to weaning so they are used to lots of human contact and this is not usually a problem with our Netherlands.

Netherland Dwarfs are more suited to living in hutches rather than being house-rabbits since they are small enough to hide beneath/behind furniture and appliances! I strongly recommend they are closely supervised when outside of their cage. Netherlands are less suited to being allowed complete 24/7 unsupervised freedom of your home.

Do you have young children who will not be handling the bunny too often? If so, a Netherland Dwarf, mini-lop, dwarf lop or small cross-breed might be the best match. Similarly, if your bunny will not have a lot of daily human contact then it can be a good idea to adopt two bunnies to live together - ideally sisters or a castrated brother and sister. Our bunnies are used to a lot of handling, fuss and attention. Our bunnies are companion pets rather than those at the opposite end of the Care Spectrum, ie the poor neglected rabbits who live lonely lives isolated at the foot of the garden, with food thrown in twice a day and are otherwise neglected.

Will the rabbit be hutch-sharing with a guinea pig? If so, then a small breed such as a Netherland Dwarf, Netherland-X or a mini-lop would be the only realistic options. A larger breed can bully the guinea-pig and a sharp kick could cause serious injury. It is always important to provide an escape tunnel into which the guinea-pig can retreat from a randy rabbit's inevitable amorous advances! A guinea-pig also has very different dietary requirements to a rabbit so different feeds will need to be provided and a young rabbit must not be allowed to nibble on the grass, greens and veg which are essential for a guinea-pig but could lead to (potentially fatal) diarrhea in a young rabbit.

Grooming: All breeds will require some grooming to remove loose fluff and ensure this is not swallowed. This can lead to furballs and blockages which can lead to life-threatening gastric stasis in bunnies. Immediate vet attention is required together with, probably, a motility stimulant to help restore motility to the gut. Longer-furred breeds such as cashmere lops or Angora will require daily grooming to prevent matts forming and to keep their coat in good condition. In the case of Angoras, it is advisable to clip this down to about 1" in rabbits who are not exhibited at shows. See also grooming.

Colour: Different coloured coats can be of a very different quality. Usually black coats tend to be the glossiest while albino are often the softest and silkiest. Blue coats can feel relatively coarse in comparison.

Adopting a pair has definite advantages. Rabbits are social animals and definitely enjoy rabbit company. It's wonderful to watch them interact together, they have a constant companion and young rabbits settle in very easily after adoption. If you are a busy entertainer then I would recommend more than one bunny. I have three which means even in the busy summer seasons the rabbits only have to do 2 - 3 days a week each.

You do, however, need to choose a pair or a partner with care. Two males together can fight, while a male and female together will have unplanned litters (potentially inbreeding) and two females can have more false pregnancies than solitary females. The ideal pairing being a brother and sister - but the male MUST be castrated at puberty, ie 3-4-5 months of age. The second choice of a pairing would be 2 sisters but, if you are choosing just one bunny for now with the intention of adopting another later, then we'd strongly recommend buying a boy first. He could then settle in and be castrated at 3-4-5 months and then meet his girlfriend shortly afterwards. As soon as
'filled' testicles appear, then it's time to take a male along to the vet. A mature adult can still be fertile for up to a month so it's important to ensure having him castrated ASAP. Females can be spayed which involves more major surgery but, once she's had chance to recover, she can be returned to her boyfriend.

These are generalisations only and each rabbit will have its own personality characteristics. Please take the time to discuss your preferences and requirements with the breeder who will be able to help and guide you choose the most suitable companion rabbit.

I hope that this is of help to you, if you have any more questions please ask.

If you are planning to use a rabbit ringer,
I think the rabbit is bagged. Generally they do not like this (they like to stand on things that are solid, no give and not slippery). Supremes Rainbow House is a far better and friendly bunny production for children and the birthday child can produce the bunny. The load chamber is good and large with plenty of ventilation. There are also many rabbit vanishes that do not need to bag your bunny and are much more convincing than the rabbit rinnger. But I love rabbits and it is your choice.

Phillip
Peter Marucci
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A rabbit is NOT a magic prop.

It is a living thing, just like you and me. So, in considering putting a rabbit in your act, remember that you are, in essence, adding a member to your family. Are you prepared to care for it on at least a daily basis, even when you are not performing? The rabbit should first of all be a pet in the family and ONLY then should it be considered part of a magic act.

There is absolutely no way to turn off an audience more quickly than to abuse an animal-- be it a rabbit, dove, or whatever-- or to use an animal that is obviously not happy at being there.

If you are considering adding livestock, be very, very careful! This requires considerable thought and dedication.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
:bunny2:
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p.b.jones
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I agree with you Peter,

Two years ago (3 Blackpool conventions), I was sat on table 4 right at the front for the British Magical Championships and an act by the name of "Christian" performed with doves. I had an exellent view and the doves looked in very poor condition. One looked as if it was confused or dazed and its feathers were in an awful state. A lady on the table next to me was going to go up on stage there and then to confront him (in the middle of his act). She was almost in tears; her husband and I persuaded her that this was not the best action to take and after the act the lady and her husband had words with him and the Blackpool committee. Needless to say there was no applause for this act from this table!

Here is a picture of me and one of my rabbits, Clyde, relaxing after a show!
phillip

Click here to view attached image.
John Zander
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Wow! Thank you so much guys for taking the time. Great info and I appreciate it! Not sure if I want a rabbit, but you gave me a lot to think about.

Quote:
Are you prepared to care for it on at least a daily basis, even when you are not performing?


So, Peter, are you saying that I have to feed it everyday? Even when not doing a show? Smile Sorry, but that really made me laugh out loud! Believe it or not... that much I did know! Thank you for your post and info, I do appreciate it.
Thank you,



John Zander







***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net
amagician
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John, I think you have got a wealth of info from these posts.
I suggest you check the breeder, housing conditions and parents (!) of your new rabbit before you buy it.
This may help to avoid getting a rabbit with inherited diseases or viruses like coccydiosis (sp?). I got a rabbit once which had this. It died 24 hours after I got it. Must have suffered but there was no indications I could see.
We only found the reason because I asked the vet to have a post-mortem done.
You can get something to put in their water which will help prevent it but if the parents are unhealthy or kept in bad conditions your rabbit may carry the virus without it showing.
This is different to bird or dog coccydiosis and the different viruses don't cross between species.
Have a Magic day
John Williams
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p.b.jones
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Hi,
When you first get a rabbit, it will be a bit uneasy in it's new home and this may cause your rabbit not to drink or eat when it should. Now, a rabbit's digestive system is a little unusal. most people know that a rabbit eats things twice. It re-eats the soft droppings that it makes, second time round there much harder. This keeps the rabbits gut flora (which is required for digestion and to maintain natural imunities)in a balanced state. you can buy a Probiotic which you add to their water to help keep this balance. I always give it to my new bunnies for about a month and on days they are in my shows. Just in case they are a little disturbed by the car journey/performance.

To be honest, rabbits are prey and as such, only show any weaknesses when it is often to late to do much about it, so preventitive measures are your best defence. I would advise putting a cat litter tray in the part of the hutch that your rabbit does their business, clean it every day and make sure they are passing fluids and solids each day.

When they molt, they suffer from constapation sometimes, which can kill them. Treat this on the first indications with a small amount of cat laxative or for a natural hair ball dissolver, pure pineaple juice (syringe it down their throat). Also, watch that they are eating properly. If they are not eating, go to the vets at once.

I could go on and on but I think that's enough for now.

Phillip
Scott O.
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I too have been considering the addition of a rabbit. Undecided at the moment, but I did find an interesting site that explains the care of a rabbit.

http://www.therabbithutch.com

It seems to contain some good tips for having a bunny in your home.

Scott Smile Smile
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
MagicRyan
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I have had a rabbit now for almost a year. I love Logan (the rabbit) very much and have enjoyed having him in my birthday show. My big thing is no one warned me how much they Poop and pee!!! Rabbits can be litter trained and will go in one corner of their cage... which does make clean up easy however because of the volume... it just has to be taken care of every other day!!!
The Simply Magic Ryan Mahoney
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VMC_Alex
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Some may disagree with me, but I bred rabbits and sold them growing up for my whole life. But I think the best rabbit for magic is a white mini rex. They are, however, EXTREMELY RARE. But you can get them free if you look hard. Also: Don't go for the first rabbit you see. If a rabbit is playful, then that can be good AND bad. Next is: If you're planing on using rabbits, it's best if you keep it inside and not outside. Hopefully this was helpful.
SpiffnikHopkins
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What is a white mini rex? Well, white is the color, but what's a mini rex and why are they so good? How could I go about tracking one down? In the next 6 months or so I think I'll be in the market for a rabbit. I have to wait until I'm living someplace that'll allow them.

I have a question...How much does a cage begin to smell? Could you keep one in the same room you sleep? I'm an apartment dweller and expect my own hutch as it were to remain 1 room for the next few years. Can I expect to be able to keep a rabbit friend? I'm sure it depends on how often you clean the cage. I plan on being very commited to my rabbit, but I know I can't clean the cage every other hour...

Spiff

If anyone would like to post or PM words of wisdom on what kind of rabbit to get for a smaller space but much love and some magic, please do so!
Magicduck
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If you live in the same room as the rabbit, you will have to be VERY committed to keeping him clean. Either that or you will be moving out, or getting tossed out by the landlord. What you suggest could be done, it would not be something I can recommend. My rabbits have always lived on my porch outside or in the yard, with opportunities to come inside. But everyone has different tolerances. I know someone who, seriously, had a pet duck in the house. It was trained to go on an old coat. Yuuuuuck...but it was better than the floor proper I guess.
quack
JamesinLA
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You guys are the rabbit experts! I am thinking about getting a rabbit for my act--and to love. I'm a big animal lover. Does anyone know how much room a rabbit needs in a hidden pouch before it is produced? How big are rabbit production pouches on average would you guess? Also, I like the idea of a rabbit running around my two bedroom apartment, however, I also have two cats who I rescued. Could the cats and the rabbit get along? Could the cats see the rabbit as prey! I will research this completely, but just wanted to see what you guys think also. Thanks.
Jim in Los Angeles
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Dennis Michael
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As for pouches, rabbits like tight areas and it makes them feel safe, but they do need air and shouldn't be there long. The pouch can be the size of a man's suit coat pocket. I made a really big pouch for my hugh rabbit many years ago, and needed a lot of 24 inch silks to hide the "steal".

Rabbits grow sometimes really big, so plan for their growth. Like magic books, rabbit care books are extremely helpful. There is also a lot on the Internet on this subject.

We used to have tons of rabbits in our neighborhood. I am in a remote location, and then the stray cats came in and multiplied. Now most of the rabbits have vanished. Cats will kill the young and eat them. Rabbits, like cats, have sharp claws and can cut but they are no match for cats and dogs. Rabbits can and do "scare to death" easily. Your cats can "torture" the rabbits, and cause them to die by fast heart pounding. Feel them and their heart will be racing and they freeze, in hopes the cats or dogs don't see them or will go away. (Their only real defense-mechanism.)

It's possible, cats and rabbits can co-habit, but I don't know of any, or haven't heard of any. Yes, Rabbits and dogs can get along well if raised together.

I don't trust my dog with the rabbits. She leaves them alone when I'm around, except when they start to run, then my dog chases them. Of course I'm there to intervien with a quick yell which stops the dog. I really don't think I can get my three rabbits and dog to co-habit, I've tried for a month, and the dog just wants them rabbits. The dog is a mutt but we think there is a hunter breed in her. Because of this, the rabbits are protected on my back porch. Away from any wild animals or stray dogs and cats.

Two of the three like to be held, and they all know me as the food and water man so now they are comfortable with me handling them. I do keep the male and female separated but have not chosen to get them fixed in case I decide to have a litter next year. Of the two males, one is clean and keeps his house clean, the other is dominant and will chase and nip at the other so I have learned that all three have their own uniqueness and
"rabbit-personalities".

There are sub-groups out there who don't believe rabbits belong in Magic, but they, like myself, have their opinion which is different than mine.

Have fun and enjoy them.
Dennis Michael
Dave Scribner
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Hey Dennis, I have rabbits and cats and birds. Maybe my cats are just dumb but I let the doves fly free and let the rabbits run through the house and the cats just sit and watch. I don't think I'd leave them alone without my supervision but as long as I'm around, they co-exit just fine.

Dave
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Andrew
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I too have doves and a rabbit and a cat.
The cat refuses to perform in my act, but that's another issue.

I have never let the doves fly free when Tiger (our cat) is about, but Tiger only had a curious interest in Bessie (our rabbit) the first time they were introduced. Ever since then, they both can be left in the yard and neither seems to have an interest in the other. Tiger is a good de-mouser, but seems to recognize that Bessie is an equal member of the family and keeps away from her.

Andrew
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SpiffnikHopkins
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What are Holland lops like? Are those French Lops? How big are Holland lops?

~Spiff
MagicRyan
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I also have Cats (2), Doves (4) and a rabbit. They get along fine and enjoy play time together... the cats treat the rabbit like another cat. They wrestle with it and bat him on the head (never with claws out). The rabbit jumps around and chases the cats and the cats love it! You have to watch though. I have a boy bunny and he tried to procreate with one of the cats!!! The cats have never bothered the doves but PLAY TIME IS ALWAYS SUPERVISED!! When I am not around the doves and rabbit are in their cage safe from any danger.
The Simply Magic Ryan Mahoney
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Zack
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[quote]I have a question... How much does a cage begin to smell? Could you keep on in the same room you sleep?
[quote]
I kept my rabbit in my bedroom for many years. (He is housetrained now and has the run of the house... no more cages) The smell is not a problem. Just:

(1) Line the cage with an oder absorbant litter. CareFresh is the best litter, it's available at most pet stores. Pine or ceder shavings are not so good, since they can damage a rabbits liver.

(2) Clean the cage regularly.

--zack

Rabbits and cats get along just fine. Many, many rabbit ownders also have cats. It's better to have a larger rabbit if they live with cats. A small breed like a Netherland may be percieved as prey, but a big rabbit won't.

Quote:

What are Holland lops like? Are those French Lops? How big are Holland lops?

~Spiff


Holland Lops are a DELIGHTFUL breed. They are fairly small, have big floppy ears, and snowshoe paws. They are one of the few rabbit breeds that are bred for personality. They are friendly and make terrific pets. They come in a variety of colors, and are mind-blowingly cute, which makes them great show animals.

I'm planning to get a Holland Lop to add to my growing menagerie.

-Zack
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