Lionhead rabbits, one of the newest breeds, are recognised in the United Kingdom as a breed for show purposes. These rabbits' gentle disposition and endearing appearance have made them popular pets. Lionhead rabbits require much the same care as their short-haired relatives, and less maintenance than many of their longhair kin.
Lionhead rabbits should always have access to water; water bottles accommodate longhair breeds better than dishes do. Bunnies younger than 4 months should be given only Timothy hay and pellets to eat. Mature bunnies tolerate lettuce, grass, oatmeal and carrots given sparingly. Occasionally dole out raisins or fruit slices as treats. Fully grown lionhead rabbits weigh about 1.35 to 2.25 kg. Feed about 30g of food per pound of rabbit each day. Rabbits kept in cages gain weight easily; don't overfeed them.
Lionhead rabbits require the same gentle, consistent combing as longhair breeds. Their hair doesn't mat as easily as that of breeds such as the Angora, but it should still be combed a minimum of once a week. The mane and the bunny's rear are points of special concern; also watch for matting around the feet and under the rabbit's chin. Lionhead rabbits not raised for certification purposes sometimes have their stomachs clipped. Shaving a rabbit, except in case of injury, is not recommended. Rabbits groom themselves, so bathing is not recommended except in case of injury.
Lionhead rabbits are gregarious; friendly bunnies can be housed together. Separate the sexes during mating season if additional bunnies are not desired. Put the hutches of rabbits not housed together close to the hutches of other rabbits. Don't put two male lionheads in the same hutch.
Lionhead rabbits succumb easily to heat. Place hutches in cool locations. Use fans to create indirect breezes during warm weather. Hot days might require additional cooling or moving the hutches indoors. Raised hutch bottoms that allow waste to fall through aid lionheads in their grooming.
Lionhead rabbits have sensitive stomachs. Symptoms of digestive upset include diarrhoea. Putting bunnies on a diet of oatmeal and water cures most stomach problems.
Self-grooming by longhair rabbits causes wool block, often signalled by loss of appetite or hair in the stool. A few days of eating only hay generally cures this condition; persistent cases might require adding fruit juice or olive oil to their feedings.
The teeth of lionhead rabbits grow quickly and throughout their lives. Chewy foods and chew toys wear down teeth naturally; an occasional clipping may also be needed.
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