Sweetie, English Butterfly Bunny & Tour Guide

Sweetie, English Butterfly Bunny & Tour Guide
Hi and welcome to "Fairy Castle Farm" I hope you enjoy your stay! I should introduce myself, my name is Sweetie and I am a resident of Fairy Castle Farm. Well it's not actually a farm, but a suburban home in the southern suburbs of South Australia. I am a rare Old English Spot Bunny, and absolutely love life here with all my family and some good friends too... let me take you on a tour ....


My photo
You have entered the Kingdom of "Fairy Castle Farm" I hope you enjoy your stay! Please have a good look around and let me know what you think!

Fairy Castle Farm : Global Visitors


Bunny Care and Rare Old English Spot/Butterfly Bunnies

A Bunny, like any living creature is a big responsibly needing many hours of daily commitment and engagement. Bunnies are hard work, very social yet timid (yes contradiction is a favourite in the bunny vocabulary!) and costs more than a dog or cat to keep. If however, you surrender to the duties of being a bunny slave then in return you will be rewarded with unlimited love and devotion!!!  Think hard, research well and if welcoming a bunny into your family is truly the right thing for you....
Miss Sweetie, Princess and Spokes-Bun of Fairy Castle Farm
(revised 16 November 2012)

Hi it's me, Sweetie. My Yollie will be along soon to add information on bunnies here on this page.... I'll get things started.... We are know as English Spot or English Butterfly Rabbits....
Here I am, here in my burrow (under the fairy castle). I live here with my family, Angel is my dad, Teegee is my mum and Patches is my brother....
Oops, looks like we woke dad..... Angel needs a big Stretch

Ok Yollie, we are ready......
Rare breeds, 
Old English Spot/Butterfly Rabbit :
Thanks Sweetie. I'll take it from here..... 
 (Yollie the human of Fairy Castle Farm)
The English Rabbit is one of the oldest breeds, and my very favourite, originating from England as early as1838. Also known as the Old English, English Butterfly or the English Spot. 
Angel displaying his loveable nature and distinguished spot markings, with a bit of mischief for good measure.
A medium sized rabbit with erect ears. Distinguished by unique markings; white coats with patterned  black, blue, chocolate, tortoise shell or grey markings. Typical marking pattern consist of a butterfly mark on the nose, circled eyes, coloured ears, a herring boned spine marking, a spot on each cheek and a chain of spots along the body. English Rabbits which are all one colour are known as Charlie's or Selfs (incomplete markings). Rabbits generally have a life expectancy of up to and over 10 years.


English Rabbits are friendly, active and lively, with a very inquisitive nature, they are known as the "larakins" or "comedians" of the bunnies world. One thing with my bunnies is I have a golden rule. "Do NOT pick up any of my Bunnies, ever."  this goes for all members of my family and friends.  The only exceptions are if it's medically necessary or a life threatening situation. Our bunnies are hardly ever picked up. It may sound harsh or strange and may not be true for all breeds but I have this rule because all rabbits are prey animals and do not like being controlled.  This does not mean my bunnies are not affectionate or tame, quite the opposite is true.  Because they do things on 'their' terms you cannot move freely when you enter their kingdom they have you in their sights!  You cannot take normal steps as they are over you like a rash!!  Because they do not feel threatened that they will be "captured" (picked up) or "restrained" (cuddled) they just can't get enough of us.  Your ankles are fair game to my bunnies, they will lick them or nibble on your pant legs or socks just to get your attention. When we sit down they jump onto our laps, (so long as we do not put our arms or hands around them) they will happily sit there grooming us because they do not feel trapped and they know they can flee in an instant should they feel the need.
Bunnies in the right environment who trust their humans are very affectionate.  They are most active at dawn and dusk (my favourite times to share with my bunnies). English Rabbits are extremely intelligent and responsive, they can be taught their name, simple routine, where to go to the toilet and much more. 
Exercise is a must! To get adequate exercise in their day, to stay healthy, rabbits need space.  
Teegee showing her "Bunny 500" moves
This 'need' is what started our project "Fairy Castle Farm". I persuaded my (lovely, fantastic, dear and wonderful) husband to build their haven.  
We've tried to give them as close to a "natural" environment as possible. Our project paid off. Our bunnies absolutely thrive in their home. Also, building this home allowed us to provide items necessary to allow burrowing and climbing, as if in a warren. This gives exercise, enrichment, interest and amusement to all (us too!).  
Apart from the physical, they also need mental stimulation ... I give my bunnies 'enrichment rolls'...  they are simple to make: 
Take an empty cardboard roll, (clingwrap/foil/toiletpaper rolls all work). Fill it with meadow hay mixed with fresh/dry herbs, citrus peel, lavendercamomile (dried or fresh) and tiny bits of dried fruit (no more than a finger nail amount in total).

 Carefully make a few holes in the cardboard and you are finished.  Bring this to bunny and watch the antics unfold.  Try hanging it to get bunny stretching or hiding it in a pile of hay to get bunnies' nose working.  The possibilities are endless as are the hours of entertainment. 

As my bunnies would say, nom, nom, nom!!!
Water, water, water is a MUST!!!
They drink a lot, contrary to popular belief, they must have FRESH CLEAN water every day.
I provide water from multiple sources if possible; ie bottle dripper and dishes. I use plastic and terracotta, cleaned regularly.

Food:   Fresh Green Sweet Smelling HAY is the one thing a bunny cannot be truly healthy without!!!!

So....all bunnies must have unlimited supply of HAY, HAY, HAY... okay?  Good!

Most important ingredient to a happy, healthy rabbit is providing unlimited meadow hay (NOT just straw or lucern please ask your supplier). In Australia we supply Oaten Hay, it is the best quality hay we can provide our bunnies without overloading calcium or calories into their diet.

This is vital, as they need to graze most of the day. The hay keeps their gut moving and their teeth trimmed. It provides nourishment and avoids overfeeding with high calorie/carbohydrate foods.  The next vital food to their health is dark green leafy grasses and herbs. A rough guide to quantity is twice the size of bunnies head in 24 hours.
Commercial Foods: 
I am commonly asked about commercial food, this is a tricky one.  I personally avoid it.  I do however think that if you do need to use shop bought pellets, go for a variety made mainly of hay, check they are higher in protein and low in calories. This will be the closest to their natural diet. Steer clear of 'muesli' style mixes (usually derived from bulk horse feed), alfalfa and Lucerne based varieties. I especially dislike the sweetened varieties (mixed with molasses), not only is it like giving sweet breakfast cereal to your bunnies it is a mosquito magnet!  It attracts the insects to their blood because of the sugar in the diet. Also can cause dangerous bloat.

Treats:  Anyone who has owned a bunny, knows they will jump through hoops, fetch the paper and do the ironing for treats!!!  So treat them, but only ever with healthy 'bunny-treats' herbs like basil and parsley are great to treat bunny, remember they are not human (as hard as this can be at times) and certainly do not need our human treats, no matter how much they beg.  I make up my own from my garden..(watch this space - coming soon for purchase).. .. but safe options in tiny amounts (size of your bunnies front paw) are;  fresh coloured vegetables and occasional fruit to supplement.

Patches enjoying 'litter time'
Environmental Hazards:
Urgent Health problems require vet assistance immediately. DO NOT WAIT. Bunnies are prey animals and hide pain, illness and discomfort very well!!  Waiting to see how bunny goes can mean bunny becomes much worse possibly even beyond medical help.  DON'T WAIT CALL FOR HELP/MEDICAL ADVICE ASAP!  When calling your vet, ask if they specialise in rabbits (many are not rabbit savvy).
Some (but not all) signs to look out for are a dis-interested, withdrawn, unusually inactive bunny, possibly hunched up/over. You may hear tooth grinding (louder than purring) or flinching.  Some alarming symptoms are; soft frequent stools or Diarrhoea, not using litter box and refusing food and water (gastro-intestinal stasis where the passage of food through the intestines has slowed/stopped), indicating possibly your rabbit has a blockage. Wet or discharging nose, stained front paws (indicating discharge from nose dirtying paws), discharge from ears or rear end. All indicate bunny needs possible medical assistance. DO NOT WAIT MAKE THE CALL NOW.

Rabbits are susceptible to extremes in weather. Especially if kept permanently outdoors.
You must try and keep your Rabbit’s environment at a consistent temperature and check on them and play with them regularly. This means for a minimum of 3hours EVERYDAY of the year.

General health checks to perform yourself at regular intervals: feel over their bodies, there should not be bumps, lumps or sore spots. Check overall condition of coat should be clean and odour free, soft, smooth and neat.
Patches enjoying a quick bunny-nap
 Bunnies should be alert and content. Check for tooth length and alignment, nail length and cleanliness of feet (hocks). 
Happy family, L-R Patches, Angel, Teegee and Sweetie

I hope you find this useful, however it is written from my personal expressed views and opinions and does not provide specialist advice.

Always consult a professional for specific specialised advice. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, 
feel free to contact me if you have any questions and please, 
enjoy your visit here at Fairy Caslte Farm....

If you enjoyed reading this and would like to know more about bunnies in general please visit our friends at : 
Boing ....  
click here : you won't be disappointed!!

If you would like to buy that something special for yourself 
or your bunny 
visit our Friends at 
Bunny Boutique 
Once again, thanks so much for stopping by, goodbye.


Lisa H said...

I think you helped identify what my Biscuit is - Thank you :)

Fairy Castle Farm said...

So glad to have helped Lisa, take care from all the bunnies here at FCF and Yollie :o)

Kelly said...

What a fabulous page!!! Love it

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your page, very much! What happy and beautiful rabbits you have, ya'll are lucky to have each other...

Fairy Castle Farm said...

Thank you!