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WINTER BREAK &

BABIES DUE JULY 2014

Our rabbits are currently enjoying a relaxing Winter Break from breeding. This has allowed us to launch a newly designed website and prepare for the New Year. Sunflower Hotel is open as usual with bookings filling up the Easter period. We hope you enjoy our newly designed website and look forward to updating it with news of our babies in July 2014. More information will follow.

WELCOME TO OUR NURSERY

We specialise in the breeding of mini lionhead rabbits, mini lop rabbits and guinea pigs from our home in Manchester. Please take a look around our website and in our nests to see what babies we have available or will have available in the near future. We are always happy to hear from you so please contact us with any questions relating to our babies or to arrange a viewing.

Sunflower Nursery aims to breed friendly, tame and good natured, quality rabbits for good pet homes. We are proud of our status as a Family Orientated Breeder. Our customer service has received an abundance of positive feedback. As we only breed a small number of rabbits from our quality pet stock, our approach is more personal. We also provide a waiting list for future litters if required and people on this list will also receive updates of mating, pregnancy and birth of the babies and will be given priority in order of enlistment.

We are based in Manchester (M40).  All our babies are sold with a free care kit, comprising of care sheets, birth certificate and a starter food for the food change over period. We are proud to be in a position where we are able to offer 30 days free insurance with all our babies. We will have lots of information available about each rabbit and all our rabbits are handled daily so are extremely tame. See the Contact page for our contact details.

Please enjoy your visit to our website and don't forget to take a look around where you are able to see pictures of rabbits we have for sale. Whilst you're here why not take a look at our Media Page and meet Benny - Benny is our lovely Dutch buck who also starred as 'Leanne' the rabbit on Coronation Street in 2009. Professionaly we run an online pet supplies busines Bobtail Pets and run Dragonfly Pet Concierge, Manchester's premier pet service provider. We breed rabbits as a hobby in our sparetime around running our businesses.

Please Note: The breeding of our rabbits is for hobby purposes, any money made helps to feed and treat our rabbits who, although quality breeding rabbits, are kept solely as pets and not for show or as a breeding machine. We enjoy breeding and looking after our rabbits and are glad to be able to offer extremely tame family friendly pet rabbits of a high quality with ongoing support and guidance. Our rabbits help us to relax after a hard days work often looking after other peoples beloved animals.We are lucky enough to be able to spend a large amount of time with our rabbits as we are self emplyed. We feel that it is through this time and contact that our rabbits are extremely tame and friendly towards all visitors to our nursery. They are spoilt rotten and you will often find us outside in the garden with them when we're not elsewhere. We hope to hear from you if you wish to arrange an appointment to visit our nursery.

SOCIALISATION & HABITUATION

You may be aware that puppies and kittens have well defined "socialisation periods" when young animals learn to recognise and interact with the species with which they live - which needs to include humans, as well as their own species, and any other they are likely to come into contact with.

There is now evidence to suggest that rabbits have a socialisation period, although the exact timing and duration of it are not yet certain. This conclusion is based upon experimental work showing that handling baby rabbits between days 10 and 21 resulted in them being more willing to approach humans at 48 days of age; and early exposure to cats and other animals reduces their fear of them later.

Hence, breeders must start to handle baby rabbits before 21 days of age to begin the socialisation process. Many novice rabbit breeders are afraid of handling baby rabbits until they leave the nest, in case doing so triggers maternal rejection of the litter. Although this is a theoretical risk, with a few simple precautions there should be no problems, especially once the litter have opened their eyes at 10 days. Such early handling is vital, and in fact, if breeding does are relaxed and well socialised themselves as ours are, it does not usually cause any problems to briefly pick up babies even in the first week of life.

Our does are relaxed and are happy for us to help them with their litter, they allow us to touch and handle the babies whenever needed. Sunflower Nursery employs the Socialisation and Habituation method and in doing so are able to provide rabbits which are not afraid of human contact and life as a pet.

Along with socialisation comes "habituation", which has been defined as "the process whereby an animal becomes accustomed to non-threatening environmental stimuli and learns to ignore them." Baby rabbits should become accustomed to as many people and experiences as possible before they are sold. We bring litters into the house to hear household noises; our rabbits are handled by children of various ages (our family and friends) who stroke and carefully handle the young stock under close supervision; we even take them for a short ride in the car as this will take away much of the stresses involved in travelling to their new home and through out their life.

The brutal reality is that baby rabbits whose breeders don't bother with a program of socialisation and habituation are at higher risk of joining the thousands of other fearful, aggressive, unwanted and neglected pet rabbits that lead a miserable existence in back gardens across the UK. We are here to provide this much needed extra care, giving the best possible start in life to all our rabbits.

Nicola Daniels BSc Hons
Sunflower Nursery
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