Category Archives: Rabbit Management

Preventing Sore Rabbit Hocks – Learn how to prevent sore hocks in rabbits and how to treat rabbits with the condition.

Sore Rabbit Hocks

The other day my brother showed me some photos he had taken in the woods near our home. They were pictures of bear tracks. Black bear tracks. Yes, we live that far north.

One thing he pointed out in the photos was that some of the tracks were deeper than the others. Evidently bears rest more weight on their hind feed than they do on their front feet – just like rabbits. The back part of a rabbit’s hind foot is called the hock, and this area supports most of the bunnyweight. The hock is normally covered with a thick layer of fuzz, but sometimes this fur wears away, and the skin on the hock and break and bleed. Average rabbit owners call this condition “sore hocks,” though vets might term it pododermatitis or ulcerated foot pads. I’m not sure what you call it in bears.

Sore hocks can develop on any rabbit, but certain ones are more susceptible. Those would be the Rex-furred breeds (since they have short fine fur), the very large breeds (since they have more weight to bear), and excitable rabbits that stamp their feet a lot. It’s also more common in rabbits that are housed in cages with wire floors. Put two of these factors together (i.e. rex fur + wire floor) and you will need to be proactive if you want to prevent ouchie bunny feet.

Unfortunately, once sore hocks have developed, they’re very hard to treat. If the fur gets worn away, it will seldom grow back. Plus, since rabbits spend so much time on their feet, the skin doesn’t have much of a chance to heal. So it’s worth the trouble to institute a Pododermatitis Protection Plan.

That plan doesn’t have to include moving your rabbits to solid-floored cages. I don’t even recommend it. The reason why most rabbits are housed on wire floors is because wire floors are best for them. Cleanest. Safest. Healthiest. In fact, I read a study from the World Rabbit Council (summarized several years ago in Domestic Rabbits magazine) that said rabbits seemed to actually prefer wire floors if given the option.

So how can get all the benefits of a wire floor with none of the disadvantages?

Enter the EZ-Mat

Plastic resting mats (also known as EZ-Mats) are extremely popular with rabbit owners, and for good reason. They’re simply hard plastic mats – made of quality, non-toxic ABS – that lay over the top of the cage floor, giving your rabbit a place to rest off the wire. They have very smooth surfaces; all the edges are carefully beveled to prevent wear on your rabbit’s feet. And they are super sanitary. They have slots punched out that allow waste to fall right through into the drop pan. And if the mats ever get dirty, they’re easy to wash with soap and water. You can even put them in your dishwasher! (My family has never been cool with that idea, though.)

Ask around to your bunny friends, and you’ll probably find that most of them use resting mats. If you don’t have any yet for your bunnies, today is a great day to go EZ-Mat shopping, because a popular rabbit supply company is offering a three-day sale on EZ-Mats right now.

Sale on EZ-Mats

Follow the below links to save money on EZ-Mats from Premium Rabbit Supplies.

Individual: http://www.premiumrabbits.com/ez-mat-cage-floor-mat/
Pack of Twelve: http://www.premiumrabbits.com/ez-mat-cage-floor-mat-pack-of-twelve/

While you’re at Premium Rabbit Supplies, check out the other supplies we offer: cages, carriers, nest boxes, dishes, toys, and lots more. If you have any questions while you’re there, just call 1-800-809-8752 or sign into live chat. We’ll be happy to help!

But wait, has your rabbit already developed sore hocks?

If your rabbit already has sore hocks, resting mats can definitely help. Additionally we recommend that you apply some Bunny Balm (also used during rabbit tattooing) on the sore area to help get rid of the condition. I personally apply the KBtatts All Natural Bunny Balm when my rabbits get sore hocks.

You can grab some for use via:
http://www.premiumrabbits.com/kbtatts-bunny-balm/
.

Have a hoppy day!


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Every rabbit deserves a sturdy, well-built home. One made of 16-gauge wire that will protect them from predators. One held together with heavy J-clips or C-rings, so there’s no danger of it collapsing on them. One that has a tight 1/2″ x 1″ mesh floor – mesh small enough to provide excellent support for their weight, but large enough to stay tidy by letting droppings fall through. Every rabbit deserves a cage that’s large enough – that has at least one square foot of floor space per pound of rabbit-weight – and one placed in a location that’s protected from heat, cold, rain, sun, and wind.

Give your rabbit all these things, and he’ll have a cage that will keep him safe and healthy. But what if you want to take it to the next level? How do you go over and above what’s required to let your rabbit languish in luxury?

Enter the cage trimmings.

Accessories to make your rabbit’s house into a home

Surprisingly, it doesn’t take a lot of money to turn your rabbit’s basic cage into a place to be proud of. Here a few quick accessories you can add to transform your rabbit’s house into a home:

-Door Guards. Rabbit cages are made of wire, and wire can have sharp ends when it’s cut. Cage manufacturers are careful to grind and galvanize these edges to prevent scratches, but a little extra protection never hurts. You can buy plastic door guards in five-foot lengths that clip on to the wire and protect both your arms and your bunny from scratches.

-Urine Guards. Also known as splash guards, these 4″ guards wrap around the lower walls of the cage. Perhaps more for your convenience than your bunny’s, keep your rabbit’s urine from spilling outside the drop tray on to the floor. Splash guards work especially well for stacking cages, protecting rabbits on lower levels from getting dripped on by rabbits up top. Plus, they just look snazzy. The Supreme Rabbit Home line of cages comes with urine guards and door guards already installed, but if you’ve already purchased cages that don’t have them, you can buy them separately as well.

-Resting Mats. In general, wire floors work great for rabbits. They’re clean; they’re sturdy; they’re shiny. But they aren’t perfect. Although most breeds can live on wire floors without issue, it’s always nice to provide a bit of relief from the metal mesh. Slotted resting mats are brilliantly designed to lay on top of the wire, protecting your rabbit’s feet while still allowing waste to fall through into the drop tray. The tops of the mats are very smooth and beveled just right to prevent any sharp edges that could catch on your rabbit’s toes. They’re made of high-quality ABS plastic, so they’re completely washable and hold up fine to rabbit teeth (that is, as well as any plastic can).

Newsflash! Resting mats are on sale at PremiumRabbits.com

Individual: http://www.premiumrabbits.com/ez-mat-cage-floor-mat/
Pack of Twelve: http://www.premiumrabbits.com/ez-mat-cage-floor-mat-pack-of-twelve/

-Hay Racks – Have you heard about hay racks? All the cool rabbits have them. Rabbits should have constant access to good hay. It’s like, pretty important. And it’s also important that the hay is clean. That doesn’t just mean that the hay isn’t musty and moldy: it also means that it hasn’t been thrown on the cage floor, where there’s an 85% chance rabbits will play with it, lay on it, and/or pee on it before eating it. Racks sit on the outside of the cage and allow the rabbits to pull wisps of hay through the bars, both promoting health and preventing a lot of waste.

-Nesting Boxes. Surprise! Nesting boxes aren’t just for nests. Although boxes are essential for babies, they’re pretty popular with adult rabbits, too. Many rabbits enjoy the feeling of being in a burrow that a nest box can provide. Others prefer to perch on the top of the box, as if they were playing King of the Mountain. One thing’s sure: if you offer your rabbits a box full of straw to play with, they won’t neglect it.

Not only that, but a nest box can save your rabbit’s life. I’ve heard lots of stories about raccoons breaking into a barn and killing rabbits through the cage bars. I’ve seen it happen in my own rabbitry. A friend and I were discussing it just today, and she said she keeps boxes in her rabbits’ cages to give them shelter in case of an attack by raccoons or dogs. Better to be safe than sorry!

So how are those ideas for a few low-cost improvements to your rabbit’s home? There’s a lot more I could add, but to save us all time, how about you just take your bunny shopping at PremiumRabbits.com and see what he likes? Premium Rabbit Supplies has Resting Mats, hay racks, nest boxes made of both wood and metal, and lots more. If you have any questions while you’re there, just call 1-800-809-8752 or sign into live chat. We’ll be happy to help!


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How to Build a Rabbit Cage – A Step by Step Tutorial to walk you through the Rabbit Cage Building Process.

Building a Rabbit Cage

The Right Supplies for Building a Rabbit Cage

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar:  Your kids wanted a rabbit.  You agreed — as long as they just got ONE rabbit.  I mean, a rabbit is cheaper than a dog, right?  You could pick up a bunny from a local breeder (it’s only $20), build a quick cage for it, and then have a new little critter keep the kids busy for a while.  Call it a responsibility lesson in a cage, right?  Sounds easy.  And then you actually have to build the cage.

Suddenly, when you start looking at wire guages, mesh sizes, and prices; j-clips, c-rings, and pliers; door-latches, urine guards, and drop trays – building a cage becomes exponentially more complicated.

Supplies you need to build a rabbit cage

It’s not that tough, really: you just need to know where to start.  If you browse around our blog and website you can find articles that go into detail on different types of wire and clips, but in case you’re in a hurry, I’ll give you a cheat sheet here.  (That rabbit can’t live in a cardboard box forever, right?)

The right wire to build a rabbit cage

Choose the right wire for your cage.  Don’t compromise on cheaper wire.  It won’t last nearly as long, and won’t protect the rabbit nearly as well.  The wire for the cage sides should be:

-14 or 16 guage

-Galvanized, GBW (galvanized before welding) is fine

-1 x 2” Mesh

I recommend buying a 1 x 2” mesh roll of wire that is 18” or  24” wide.  Making your cage dimensions in multiples of six inches will ensure that standard sized urine guards and drop trays will fit in them.

The wire for the cage floor should be a little different.  Floor wire has a tighter mesh and is sometimes galvanized after welding to produce a smoother surface.  The wire for rabbit cage floors should be:

-14 or 16 guage

-Galvanized (GAW is a little better, but GBW is fine, too.)

- ½” x 1” Mesh

As you see, the main difference is the ½” x 1” mesh.  Do not keep rabbits on anything larger than a ½” x 1” mesh for the floor.  Anything larger will not provide enough support for their feet, and presents a greater risk of feet or toes being caught in the wire.

Pliers and Clips for Building Rabbit Cages

First off: the clips.   You’ll need something strong to hold the pieces of wire together.  The common clip-of-choice is the J-clip.   It’s a small pice of galvanized steel bent into a J-shape, that wraps around two pieces of wire and holds them securely when bent with special pliers.  J-clips are very strong; you usually only have to use 3-4 per side when attaching the cage pieces together.  PremiumRabbits.com sells J-clips in one pound bags.

Another option is the C-ring.  This is a lighter duty ring that’s often used for attaching cage floors.  If used in enough quantity it’s still very strong, and it’s preferred for floors because it won’t catch as much debris in it as a J-clip will.

Both C-rings and J-clips need special pliers.  At least, you’ll probably want to get special pliers  — I’ve tried it with both specialized and needle-nose pliers, and the special ones are about 500% faster.  You can usually buy those wherever you buy the clips.

Lastly you’ll need some wire cutters, available at Menards or perhaps in Dad’s old tool box.  Ready to get started?

Drop Trays and More

Think that was all?  Oh no, there are a few more things you should grab to round out the cage.  Try a door latch, for instance.  You can use either a simple spring or a fancier one, as long as it holds very securely.

You’ll also need to decide if your cage will need a drop tray.   This depends on where you’ll be keeping the cage.  If it will be in the house or garage, you’ll need something to catch the droppings.  Even if your cage is outside, you might prefer a tray to keep things neat.

There are many more do-dads you can add to a rabbit cage,  but I think that covers the most important ones.  A couple of goodies to check out are urine splash guards, which help keep your floors clean, and plastic door trim, which wraps around the edge of a cage door to soften the wire edges.

Building a Rabbit Cage Step-by-Step

Got everything together and ready to roll?  Great!  Let’s get started.

1. Plan your cage.  Plan out and write down what size wire pieces you will need to make the cage you want. Purchase the wire and supplies.

2. Cut your wire.  To make a 24×24” cage, you’ll need:

-One 24”x24” pice of floor wire ( ½” x 1)

-Four pieces of 1 x 2” mesh wire that are 24” times the hight of your cage

-One piece of 1” x 2” mesh wire that’s 24” x 24” for the cage roof

-If you want to make a “slider” cage so the drop tray can slide in an out of it, you’ll need an additional 24” x 24” piece of the 1” x 2”

-One piece of 1”x2” mesh wire that is at least 8” x 10”, for the cage door.

I sympathize – it’s not easy on your hand to cut all that!  When you’re done, check back here for step number three.

3. Lay out all your pieces on the ground in the way you want to clip them together.  Make sure all the pieces of wire are flattened after coming off the roll.  Jusing J-clips or C-rings, clip all four sides of the cage floor.  Then raise the sides up and clip them together.  Lastly clip on the roof.

Important – if you are making a cage with a slide-out drop tray, you’re going to add an extra step in here.  Instead of attaching the floor to the bottom of the cage sides, you’ll want to attach it about two inches up the cage sides, leaving enough room for the drop tray between the floor and the bottom of the side wire.  You’ll also need to cut down the piece of wire that will form the front of the cage to make a gap where you can slide the tray out.  Then attach your extra 24” x 24” piece of 1”x2” wire the the very bottom of the cage sides, to hold the tray in.

4. Cut out a door.  I usually like to cut the cage door before I attach the roof of the cage.  The size of the door hole you cut depends on the size cage you have and the size of the rabbit you intend to go in it.  But an 8” x 10” door works for most small breeds.  Go a few inches larger for big breeds.  The door hole should be slightly smaller than the piece of wire that will actually form the door, so the door will overlap.  Attach the cage door with J-clips or C-rings on one side so it will swing, and attach it on the other with a secure latch.  Rabbit cage doors can either swing up or swing out; whichever you find easier.  Cover the edge of the door with plastic trim for safety

5. Attach the roof w/ J-clips or C-rings.  Add the urine guards, drop tray, stand, or whatever else you need, and your new cage is all ready for your bunny.  Congratulations!

Building a good quality cage definitely requires more time and money than you might initially think, especially since you have to buy two different sizes of wire, but it’s definitely worth it.  A cage that you can make from supplies at Home Depot simply won’t offer the kind of protection as an all-wire one will.  By ordering actual rabbit cage wire, you can both provide the best housing for your critter, and have the pleasure of making it yourself.  That said, if the math comes out to be too much when you consider buying the raw materials, you can always consider pre-built cages also.  The Supreme Rabbit Homes from PremiumRabbits.com are shipped “knocked down,” so all the pieces are there; they just need to be clipped together.  These cages can still offer you and your kids a little time of “building” a rabbit cage together, while providing you with all the supplies in one package.


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How to Tattoo a Rabbit – A Step by Step Tutorial to walk you through the Rabbit Tattooing Process.

Rabbit

10 Steps to Tattoo a Rabbit Using a Battery-Operated Handheld Pen

A handheld electric pen is by far the best option for tattooing your rabbits.  It’s much safer, neater, and less painful than methods used in earlier days.  When done correctly, the battery-operated pen can give you wonderfully clean and legible tattoos.  Here are ten steps – plus a special secret—to help your tattoos come out first-class the first time.

1. Prepare your kit.  Before you even go get the rabbit, lay all your tattoo supplies out in easy reach.  This ensures that the process will be as quick and fluid – and therefore as successful – as possible.  You should have your ink in your inkwell, your inkwell in its spill-proof holder, your tattooing and stencil pens in easy reach, and your Bunny Balm open and ready to go.  (You can get all these items in the KBtatts complete tattoo kit.)

Rabbit Tattooing Pen

2. Prepare the ear.  Rabbit ears, just like ours, can accumulate wax and dead skin.  In order to get a clean tattoo, you want to clear all this away with cotton balls and alcohol before beginning your tattoo.

3. Secure the rabbit.  Go and get Bunny from his cage, and then make sure he is held securely before you begin working.  The best option is to have someone else hold him for you.  You’re looking for a hold that is firm, but not too tight, and will not put too much pressure on Bunny if he starts to struggle.  Rabbits feel safer if their heads are covered, so have your helper tuck Bunny’s head under his or her arm.

4. Stencil the tattoo.  This is a step that many breeders miss, but it makes for a better tattoo in the end.  Take a special skin marking pen and stencil the tattoo in the ear before you go over it in permanent ink.  This way you can make sure it will all fit, and look balanced and neat.  Remember, if a judge can’t read your rabbit’s tattoo, he or she can disqualify it from competition.

5. Balm the ear.  Many breeders coat their rabbits’ ears in special balm or petroleum jelly after tattooing.  But here’s the secret – balm the ear prior to tattooing also.  The jelly will control the flow of ink, making it come out smoothly and evenly without running.  Try it!  You’ll be surprised at the difference.

Bunny Balm

6. Ink your pen.  Once the rabbit is held securely, get your pen ready to go.  (You don’t want to ink it too early or the ink will dry out.) Turn the pen on BEFORE dipping it in the ink well.  This will get the ink all up in the needles evenly.  Dip just the end of the needles into the well!  The motion of the pen will draw the ink into the center of the needles, where it should be.  Never dip it in so far that the ink gets on to the pen head.

7. Tattoo Away!  Now you’re ready for action.  Hold the rabbit’s left ear open and against something solid, like your finger.  Hold the needle at a slight angle to the ear and tattoo with a gentle pressure.  You do NOT want to push the needle all the way through the ear; you’re just trying to insert ink right below the surface of the skin.  Re-ink your tattoo pen whenever it runs out until you’ve finished the tattoo.

8. Smear the ear.  When you’re done, wipe away any excess ink.  Then cover the tattoo with a balm or jelly to hold the ink in.  Using a special all-natural balm, like KBtatts Bunny Balm, can help prevent infection as well.

Bunny Balm

9. Clean your kit.  When Bunny is all settled back in his cage, it’s time to clean your kit.  Always, always wipe the excess ink off of your needle right away; it will give it a much longer life.  You can buy a special cleaning brush for the best results.  Pack up the rest of your kit so it will be ready for next time!

10. Record the tattoo.  After you tattoo a rabbit, write it down.  Make note of every rabbit you tattoo – its parents, color, and date of birth.  You may often find this list to be of great help down the road when a buyer contacts you about a certain rabbit, and you need to remember quickly which one that was.  You can download free record keeping sheets from RabbitPedigrees.com.

I hope these steps gave you some pointers to help your tattoos come out better than ever.  But wait, there’s one more step!  If you haven’t purchased your tattoo kit yet, I guess you should start there!  You can get all the supplies you need for successful tattoos from the KBtatts complete kit, which contains a pen, a replacement needle, ink, an inkwell, bunny balm, a cleaning brush, and more!  Check it out on PremiumRabbits.com.

Rabbit Tattooing Pen

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Grab the KBtatts Complete Tattoo Kit from PremiumRabbits.com!

This is part 3 in our series on rabbit tattoos.  Don’t miss Part 1 –“The Why’s and How’s of Rabbit Tattoos” and Part 2 — “Choosing your rabbit’s ear number.”

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Choosing Your Rabbit’s Ear Number – An article on Rabbit Ear Numbers and Rabbit Tattooing.

Rabbit Ear Numbers

Both new and old-timer rabbit breeders often scratch their heads wondering what to tattoo in their rabbits’ ears.  Is there any system you need to follow?  Are there things you can and things you can’t use as a rabbit tattoo?  Well I’ve got good news for you:

You can tattoo anything you want in your rabbit’s ear.  It’s your rabbit.  You can tattoo a butterfly perched on a Ferrari in his ear – though I don’t in any way recommend it.

But if you’re going to show your rabbit, your options become slightly more limited.  To explain, let me tell you a story.

Back in the early days of rabbit tattoos, people used clamps.  The clamping tongs had a slot where you could slide in letters and numbers.  Most people only had a set with one tile for letter and one or two tiles for each number – so their options for ear numbers were fairly limited.  For instance, you didn’t have enough tiles to give your rabbit the ear number BOBBY.

But nowadays, most rabbit breeders (wisely) have switched from the clamp to the battery-operated tattoo pen.  This electric pen is not only safer than the clamp, but it allows you to tattoo anything you’re capable of in your rabbit’s ear.  And breeders loved it.

Rabbit Tattooing Pen

People started showing rabbits with all kinds of interesting tattoos.  They sometimes used special characters – such as a heart or smiley face— that, if not practical, were definitely cute.  The problem is that show secretaries had to enter those tattoos into their computer systems….and I can’t find the butterfly-perched-on-a-Ferrari key on my keyboard.

So the ARBA – that is, the organization that governs rabbit shows – made a new rule.  A couple of years ago they came out with the rule that all rabbit tattoos have to be alpha-numeric for the rabbit to be entered in an ARBA show.  In other words, you can only use the letters A-Z and the numbers 0-9.  (No bicycles, dollar signs, or hawks – sorry.)  They also mentioned that the letters you choose can’t spell anything profane or distasteful – but hopefully not too many people were doing that anyway.

So the bottom line is that it’s up to you.  You can tattoo your rabbit A1, Z9, OKLAHOMA5582684383, or anything in between – as long as you’re only using letters and numbers.  (And as long as it will fit in your rabbit’s ear.)

Does the ARBA assign rabbits tattoo numbers?

So that’s it, you might ask.  You don’t have to register your rabbit with the ARBA to get an official tattoo number?  I wondered this myself when I was starting, but the answer is no.  You get to choose your rabbits’ ear numbers.  The ARBA does NOT assign which number goes in your rabbit’s left ear.

So you’re free to develop your own system.  Many people like to spell out the rabbit’s name in the ear. Their tattoos look like LILY and LUCY and LOU.  Other people like to use a fancy code that gives some information about the rabbit.  A common example is that people use the parents’ initials in the tattoo, so like Fluffy and Puffy’s babies are FP1, FP2, and FP3.  You might also use a number to indicate the month the rabbit was born, or whatever information is relevant to your breeding project.

The rules don’t say you can’t get fancy.

Even though you’re only allowed to use letters and numbers in your show rabbits’ ears, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the tattoos pretty.  Some people will put flourishes on the letters, or, if they’re very talented, write the tattoos in a fancy font.  (I mean, Lucida Calligraphy is going to exude more class than Arial any day.)  So, if you’re a creative person, get creative.  Its flexibility is one of the beauties of the battery-operated tattoo pen.   My only caution is that you must not let your creativity get in the way of legibility.  If the judge cannot clearly read your rabbit’s ear number, he or she is allowed to disqualify it from competition.  Other than that, have fun!

Lastly, for those of you who don’t have an electric tattoo pen to play with, come and join us!  I recommend the KBtatts Complete Rabbit Tattoo Kit.  It contains the battery-operated pen (in a snazzy choice of colors), a replacement needle, and all the accessories you need to make your tattooing experience a breeze.

Rabbit Tattooing

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Grab the KBtatts Complete Tattoo Kit from PremiumRabbits.com!

This is part 2 of our series on rabbit tattoos.  Don’t miss Part 1 –“The Why’s and How’s of Rabbit Tattoos” and Part 3 — “10 Steps to a Great Tattoo.”

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The Why’s and How’s of Rabbit Tattoos – An introductory article on the subject of Rabbit Tattooing.

Rabbit Tattooing

My first-ever rabbit was named Bumper.  And if I had put a name tag on him, he would have chewed it off.  Immediately.

It wasn’t a big problem, because I wasn’t going to forget who my Bumper was.  But what if I had taken him to a show, with lots of other opal Mini Rex?  What if the judge had shuffled the bunnies around, and some stranger had claimed Bumper as theirs?  How could I have proved that he was really mine?  And what would I have done without my bunny?

All the sudden, Bumper needed a name tag.

And so I gave him one — but not one of those paper stickers that say “HELLO MY NAME IS.”  This tag was a tattoo in his left ear — a permanently one, so that nobody could confuse my bunny with theirs.

Much like cattle ranchers put plastic tags in their cows’ ears, or like people microchip their pet poodles, rabbit breeders identify their rabbits through ear markings – also known as tattoos.  This greatly helps with record keeping, and helps us keep our rabbits safe by not confusing them with one another.  Although most breeders can tell their brood stock apart by looks, a permanent ear mark ensures that we keep it straight, and can track the health history for each bunny, or don’t accidentally breed rabbits that are too closely related.

If you want to show your rabbits, the American Rabbit Breeders Association requires that they have a permanent tattoo in their left ear.  If you register your rabbit, the registrar will put an additional tattoo – either the registration number or that funny registered trademark symbol you see on packages — in their right ear.

How do you tattoo a rabbit?  We’ve got a new answer.

When rabbit tattoos were first invented, the popular method was to use a pair of tongs called a clamp that you could slide tiles into.  The tiles had needles in the shape of letters and numbers.  You would puncture the ear, then spread ink in the holes, then seal it with petroleum jelly while it healed.    Although it didn’t last long, this method caused a sharp, sudden pain to the rabbit.  But now, thankfully, we have a new way to tattoo bunnies that is much less painful and much more safe.

We have the battery operated tattoo pen.  This pen has a cluster of needles at the end which– with a very similar motion to that of an electric toothbrush – inserts ink just below the surface of the skin.  The needles do not go all the way through the ear, and seem to cause no pain greater than a tickly irritation.

The process is very safe and controlled.  If you have a partner hold the rabbit while you perform the tattoo, it’s very quick, and the result is usually much neater, cleaner, and more legible than that of a clamp tattoo set.

These battery-operated tattoo pens took the rabbit world by storm as soon as they were introduced.  If you’d like to get one for yourself, there are a number of brands to choose from.  If I may make a recommendation, I’d suggest the Complete Tattoo Kit from KBtatts, available at PremiumRabbits.com.

First of all, the KBtatts pen was designed by a tattoo artist/rabbit breeder team, so it draws on experience in both areas.  Second, the complete kit comes with a pen, a replacement needle, ink, an inkwell, and multiple other accessories at a lower price than you could get them for separately.  In fact the whole kit costs under $50.

Rabbit Tattooing

If you’re new to the world of raising or showing rabbits, I want to assure you that –due to new and innovative equipment– tattooing rabbits is a humane and low-stress way to help keep them as safe as possible.  If you’re an old hand at rabbit breeding, and are still using the clamp method, I’d strongly encourage you to check out the KBtatts kit.  In addition to being safer and neater, it gives you much more flexibility.  You might even find yourself getting a little artsy!  For instance, I tattooed a heart in Bumper’s right ear.  I definitely loved him permanently.

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Grab the KBtatts Complete Tattoo Kit from PremiumRabbits.com!

Be sure to watch for parts 2 and 3 of our series on rabbit tattoos, “Choosing your Rabbit’s Ear Number” and “10 Steps to a Great Tattoo.”

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