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LafayetteJon
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Lafayette, LA
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I have always ignored the power of having a live animal in my shows mainly because my wife always told me absolutely no rabbits at the house.
I think I have finally talked her into it now but before I "hop" right in, I figured I would come to the experts and ask for suggestions and help.
I guess my first question is, are there breeds or types of rabbits that are better with kids (ie shouting screaming excited), I surely don't want Peter cotontail to bite the guest of honor or one of his friends becuase they got a little to excited while petting.
Second question is this, do they stink, I mean if I were to keep him indoors would that cause the better half to go insane. I know they are walking poop factories, but don't know much else about them besides that.
Third, I have rose colored glasses on at the time all I can see is the benefits of having a live animal production in my show. First of all kids will love it, second of all it gives me a perfect "out" if my show is running a little slow (who wants to come pet the rabbit again, anyone want to pose for pictures, ect.) What are the downfalls????????
Fourth, does anyone have a favortie way to produce a rabbit, I was thinking just a mirror production box or something, however I have a pretty large square circle that might work well without have to buy anything.
Fifth, when do you lode the sucker, I mean while you are in the car, or do you bring him into the show in his cage and put that into a duffle bag and just lode him when "no one" is looking.
sixth, do you ever have problems with kids that are allergic to rabbit "hare"?
Seventh, do you have to buy a white rabbit, I was loking at the pet stores around town and all I saw were brownish looking rabbits. I know that's a stupid questions, but I've never seen a picture of a magi pulling a brown rabbit out of a hat, anyone ever have problems with that.
OK, that's all I can come up with off the top of my head, any help is greatly appreciated and anything that you can think of tha ti might not have asked please feel free to throw it my way also. thanks.
Scott Ocheltree
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I don't currently keep or use a rabbit, but have in the past. My warning would be that animals require a huge personal commitment and should not be purchased on a whim.
There is a ton of information about rabbits, both their care and use in magic under the "Polly Wants a Cracker" forum. You would do well to search that group for the word, "Rabbit". It would probably be good to search the archives of that group too. You will find answers to all your questions, as well as things you haven't even thought of yet.
Good luck!
Smile
Dennis Michael
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Read all you can in the "Polly Wants a Cracker" section.

I have my three indoors because the weather is below freezing and even though they could survive in their boxes filled with hay, I have guilt feelings because I don't like the cold, and neither should my rabbits.

Yes, their urine really stinks, so they are cleaned often. Your better half must not be alergic to cats because my dauther is and she can't touch them. (She has moved out with her friends so that problem is going)

You should have full cooperation with your wife here, becausae if you're working, she might have to take care of them.

1. Yes there are different breeds, and I don't know of a mean breed, except they must be handled alot to get use to being touched. Their only defense is to stratch and their front paws are sharp. I hold them when a kid is petting them. I do not allow kids to hold them. (Over cautious, rather than under cautious!) Drawrfs are a little uptight and they work well in different boxes. Flemish Giants are loveable but they grow so big they can't fit into any of my smaller box tricks. (I love pulling one of these out of a hat because there is no way they can fit into one!) Flop ears are cute as well as the Angora ones. It really doesn't matter because I love them all.

2. Rabbits are clean animals and if they stink, its because of their cage and how they are cleaned.

3. The benefits of using a rabbit in a kids show are many. One, You instantly are associated with being a "real" magician, in the eyes of a kid, Two, you are hired more quickly than a person without a rabbit (considering both are good magicians). You can increase your fee about $25.00 if you add a rabbit into your show. Pictures with the rabbit and you are always nice, but the kid must be in it so the parent keeps it forever.

4. Both ways mentiontioned are good. This question on appearing a rabbit must be routined to highten the production instead of "Ta-da here is the rabbit." The Bunny Book offers several methods of rabbit production cheaply. My favorite is still out of a hat.

5. When do you load a rabbit? Unlike a stage show for adults I've gotten away with, "There's one more trick I left off stage because I thought the show would be to long, you don't want to see it do you?" Well the answer is obvious, and I quickly load the rabbit and bring it on stage.

I also load it before going on and produce it in the beginning of the show to establish in the mind. He's a 'real' Magician.

There are many ways to load a rabbit. An assistant can help. This is a topic in itself.

6. Do I have a problem with kids that are allergic? NO because I am going before I even find out!

7. The color of a rabbit doen't really matter. I have two pure white dwarfs and a mixed dwarf with black ears, nose, and tail. It looks like a vampire so my kids named it Bunnicula. Brown cannot be seen as easily as a white rabbit. I've had brown, black, mixed, but mostly white.

8. They go into heat very rapidly when stimulated by a male rabbit so if you have two they must be seperated all the time. Two Males fight, Two Females fight, and one of each mate in a couple of hours. Then thirty days later, you you have more bunnies.

I have mine on the dinner table (big table and we talk to them when we have our dinner.) Contrary to belief, rabbits do get sick eating lettace, they can die from shock, a dog cornering them, their teeth can grow so long it locks their jaws shut, and they can and often do get diseases which can kill them. A life expectancy is about 7 years, although many have lived longer. They drink a lot of water and eat a lot. What comes in must come out!
Dennis Michael
magic4u02
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Dennis covered off on almost everything I was going to bring up. Way 2 go Den. You always give great information and advice.

Dennis is right. The one thing you really need to keep in mind is that they are indeed a HUGE responsibility. You muist clean them at least every week because they do stink and are sort of walking "poop factories with fur".

They are a lot of fun and can add a lot to your show and is marketability. Read up a lot about them and do your homework before investing in one.

Kyle
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Peter Marucci
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Virtually everyone has said the same thing, although in different ways.
And Den's post is a particularly good one.
Rabbits, like any animals, should be a member of the family and a pet first, and only then should you consider them for inclusion in your show.
They are living, feeling beings -- not props -- and should be treated as such.
They have mood swings and good days and bad days.
They can scratch and bite if startled, frightened, or overly stressed (although all of that is rare).
Bottom line: Yes, a rabbit is a great addition to a show. But treat any animal they way you would a human assistant. No, treat them BETTER than you would a human assistant -- after all, they are totally dependent on you!
p.b.jones
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Third, I have rose colored glasses on at the time all I can see is the benefits of having a live animal production in my show. First of all kids will love it, second of all it gives me a perfect "out" if my show is running a little slow (who wants to come pet the rabbit again, anyone want to pose for pictures, ect.) What are the downfalls????????

Hi,
Well here are some things to consider,

You may well need more than one rabbit I always have 3, one who is retired and only used in emergencies
and two who work alternate show days or some times if I have time to get home different shows in the same day
if like me from june to september (for example)you are working shows 7 days a week I feel this is too hard on any bunny personaly I use netherland dwarf rabbits (smoke pearl which is basicaly like a siamese cat markings on a smoke grey bunny) their average life expectancy is about 6 - 8 years for this breed (though I know of a 14 year old) I would never use a bunny for shows until it is 1 year old (dwarfs are fully grown at 9 months) I then only use each bunny for about 3 years and retire it. Any bunny will become agressive if it is not used to being handled or if you mishandle it... bunny is not stupid if you hurt it .. bunny remmembers! Bucks are far less tempramental than Does and tend to be smaller too.

No disrespect but if I had read you post and you wanted to buy a bunny from me I would not sell you one, to me it reads like you just want it as another prop/marketing tool and that you will become dissenchanted with the bunny if things do not pan out the way you expect. Please think very carefully before you commit
Phillip Smile Smile
LafayetteJon
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THanks for all of the insightful post guys, I did go over to the parrot and rabbit forum and found lots of great information there. I am still a few months away (May) from being in a position where I can actually house a rabbit (live in an apartment currently), I was just doing some homework prior to getting excited about this. My wife and are are still not seeing eye to eye as to whether he will be a house pet or a keep on the back porch kind of pet, but I think we are both in agreement that no rabbit until we move to a house. Thanks again for all of the help. You guys truley are a priceless source of information.
Leo B. Domapias
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I use a white rabbit for aesthetic purpose. As most production boxes employ the black art principle, the appearance of a white rabbit in a box with a black interior produces a more visual magic owing to the contrast between white and black.

Ben Benjay
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wizardofsorts
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I don't want to rehash old things so I'll only point out a few things:

1. Rabbits can be litter trained. So yes, they poop alot but it's nothing more then dump, rinse, refill.

2. My current rabbit has been in the show for 5 years. She is 6 years old. When she does go, I will be as sad as when my first dog died. *sigh* Don't want to think about it.

3. My current rabbit is a dutch drawf female. My next rabbit will be white (for reasons mentioned above) and male. Beans, my current rabbit, loves to be petted but can get alittle skidish when too many people move in too close. I'm hoping a male will solve that. Beans is getting alittle grey hair on her head. (Well, white hairs, she is already grey). I'm actually glad that she got grey before me.
Edd
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NJJ
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I use a mini dwarf lop. Great personality and size!

Doesn't smell at all!
magic4u02
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Taste great and less filling too? Smile

Just kidding folks.

Kyle
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x303
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I was informed for allergies, a mini-rex is the way to go!

Bob
rsummer27
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I had a brown flop ear for years. When he died I never replaced him. Sam Smith wrote about the use of rabbits in one of his books. If you have a show that travels and plays several times a day then a rabbit can cause problems. You worry about leaving him in the car because it's too hot or cold, the cage will stink at the end of the day after sitting in your car all day and the ride home can be unpleasant, the rabbit spends a lot of time in a really small cage in a really small car before being stuffed into a dark box and sitting there till the end of the show waiting to be produced. It seems really unfair to the rabbit. I only used mine a few times before he retired and served as a wonderful pet.
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kenscott
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Currently I am on my 3rd bunny "snowball" I retired the other two. My new bunny is great. He can be seen on my video making the birthday dough. This bunny will actually pick cards from a deck cards. It really is a funny site to see.

Ken
Dennis Michael
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Rabbits in the wild spend most of their time in a really small hole in the ground, which is dark, dirty, and sometimes damp. Their major concern is the neighborhood cat eating them, killing her babies, and being chased by dogs.

To me this is not a life of kind, loving, care to a rabbit. Do not leave them in a car, the heat of the summer will kill them quickly, In the winter, they fair very well in the cold...It must be thier fur coat!...However, again do not leave them in the car!
Dennis Michael
Decomposed
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Just bought a 4 month old black dwarf. Hope it wont get much bigger. Looking for the right production box now.
Daniel Faith
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I second everything that Den said.

You do need to handle your rabbit alot.
Getting them young is a big plus too.

I use Netherland dwarfs because their size is an advantage in productions. Great temperment too.
Daniel Faith
p.b.jones
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Just bought a 4 month old black dwarf. Hope it wont get much bigger. Looking for the right production box now.

Hi,
it will get bigger until it is about 9 months old then that's it as long as you do not overfeed.
Does will usualy grow bigger that bucks.
Phillip
Decomposed
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Thanks PB and Guardian.....I think he is just a little overfed from breeder....he hasnt touched a pellet since I got him....the pellets are a different brand but he did eat some alfalfa...

Nervous parent

Was curious bout having rabbits fixed. I have a separated duel cage.

1) Is a solo male less aggressive if I don't buy a mate (separated with divider wire)?

2) DOes it matter at all if I get a Doe as far as taming this 4 yr old dwarf? Can't see getting him fixed...he isn't use to being picked up yet but does settle a little when held unless he gets startled.

3) I bought alfalfa flake and gave that to him and he didn't touch his pellets and still isn't eating the pellets even though I took the alfalfa out and left just coastal hay in the cage.

Thanks!!!

Wayne
p.b.jones
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HI,


There are no Guarantees when pairing rabbits gennerally

2 does (paricularly sisters) will live ok together

2 buck brother live together (sometimes this can be problematic)

buck and doe (obvious conciquences)

no real behaviour advantages to sole bunnies but bunnies do like company.

I keep my bunnies seperate (all bucks) but have my garden fence netted so they are sepperate but interact through the fence without bieng able to fight.


2.If you put a doe with him expect more bunnies

3.you would not normaly change a rabbits food overnight the breeder should supply you with their mix which you feed your bunny on for the first few days then dilute it down with the mix you want to use gradualy (over a week or two) adding more and more of your mix untill you have weened them over
Phillip
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