Frequently Asked Questions

Devoted to the questions Hot Cross Buns receives regularly. 
Feel free to contact us with additional questions!

Question #1

How does Hot Cross Buns' application/adoption process work?

*Please note that this process is only for new clients. If you have already been approved through our application process and would like to adopt another Bun, please send us an email and let us know what's going on and how we can help.*

Our matching process for Buns of all ages is not meant to be onerous or complicated, but is designed to help us learn who is ready to care for a rabbit and what type of rabbit personality would best be suited for each particular home. We want our Bun placements to be successful and joyful for all involved.

The length of time from submitting the New Bunny Questionnaire to approval, to picking up your new Bun varies greatly. We have had a new client apply in the morning, get through the entire application process by early afternoon (her references were really on the ball), and seated in our living room by 4pm the same day to meet her new Bun who was waiting to be matched. Other clients have taken days, weeks, or months to be matched, depending upon their timing, how specific the "look" of their desired Bun, and the temperaments and genders of the Buns who are born. Our motto is: God brings the right person for the right Bun at the right time.

The steps to working well with us and your future Bun are as follow:

Step One: Read through our website to make sure you like what you see and can support what we do.

Step Two: Read the following information by clicking on the links.

Are You Ready to Commit?

Hot Cross Buns' Placement Policy

Rabbit Placement Contract & Spay/Neuter Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are confident that you are ready to care for a pet rabbit at this time and are comfortable with Placement Policy and the above Agreement, please proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Thoroughly complete and submit the New Bunny Questionnaire (NBQ)

The more details and info you can provide, the better we will be able to serve you and understand your what type of Bun would best fit into your life.

Step 4: We will review your NBQ and reach out to you with any additional questions or information that may be helpful for your situation. If we have any concerns, we will express them at this time. Once we communicate back and forth, answering any questions you have and getting your replies to ours, we will ask your permission to contact your references, if you have decided to move forward with Hot Cross Buns.

Step 5: We will contact your references at the emails addresses you provided on your NBQ and will let you know as we hear back from them. To help speed up this process, you might want to let your references know to check their email inbox (and Spam folder) for the questions coming from If all goes well and we are comfortable moving forward, we will notify you of your official approval as an HCB client.

Step 6: Upon approval, you are able to be matched with any older Bun waiting to be matched or a baby Bun who has not been matched after we work our way through the Waiting List, if we all agree that particular rabbit would be a good fit for you.

If you would like to be added to the Waiting List for babies who are listed at six weeks of age, we will send you the information about placing the $25 Waiting List Deposit (non-refundable) as a sign of your commitment to working with us. Once your deposit is received, we will write a description of the type of Bun you desire and add it to the Waiting List page on the Hot Cross Buns website. When you are on the Waiting List, it will be your responsibility to remain in contact with us from time to time (at least once every month) to continue our communication and show your commitment to working with us. More frequent communication is, of course, very welcome as we love to get to know our clients. If we don't hear from you at all for 90 consecutive days, your name will be removed from the Waiting List.

Step 7: When new babies are listed, we will contact the families on our Waiting List in order and one at a time with our best suggestion for the Bun/Buns we feel would be the best fit for you, based upon our observations and interactions with each Bun and the information provided on the NBQ and subsequent correspondence. Each Bun will have its own listing page containing information about his/her personality, pictures, and a brief video. Once contacted, you will have 24 hours (from the time of our email being sent) to respond to our message. The clock is stopped while we work with you and answer any questions that will help you determine if you wish to be matched with the suggested Bun. If no response is received within 24 hours, we will move on to the next client. The times of contact will be noted on the Waiting List page.

If you are offered a Bun you would like to adopt, let us know ASAP. You are welcome to take some time to ask questions to make certain you are comfortable with your choice.

Once the decision is made to adopt a suggested Bun, we will move its listing to the "On Hold" section of the Available Buns page. You will then have seven (7) days to place the $25 Reservation Deposit to reserve your Bun. Information to do so will be sent via email.

Once reserved, we will work with you to schedule the Bun's Pick-Up Date and will send out a Pick-Up Day information page which contains our address and my cell number in case you need to contact us while on the way due to any delays that will affect your arrival time.

If the timing is not right for you to be matched with a Bun, please let us know and we will make a note of when to contact you again with information regarding future litters. As long as you keep in touch with us, you will not lose your place on the Waiting List.

If we don't have a Bun we believe would be a good fit for you, we will be honest and tell you why the Bun(s) we currently have wouldn't be advisable for matching with you. We will ask you to wait for a future litter to have a better fit for you and your life.

Step 8: Set up your Pick-Up Day Appointment with us and get ready for the Big Day! Ask us any questions you may have about preparing for your Bun. You may find this page helpful in selecting rabbit supplies for your new Bun. Bunny Care Supplies

If you would like to order additional resting mats to have ready on your Pick-Up Day, take a peek at the HCB Shoppe.

Step 9: Come for your appointment and fall in love with your Bun! There will be plenty of time to for you to ask questions, so bring a list if you have any. :)

Step 10: Email us any time you have a question, concern, or an adorable update to share about your Bun, We love to keep in touch and know how you are all enjoying life as a Bun-loving family.

Question #2

I need help deciding between a buck (male bunny) and a doe (female bunny). What are the main differences in behavior?

Does vs. bucks is a huge area of personal choice. Generally speaking, bucks tend to be more mellow and laid back, especially after being neutered, but waiting until that point can be interesting. Bucks can spray, display courtship behavior like circling their favorite person in an almost herding-like fashion, and, of course, hump anything they can hug to their bodies.

If we have a buck who sprays, that behavior usually begins around 7-8 months of age at the earliest. We tend to see it more in our older herd sires who are telling us they want to breed. Since we find homes for our babies when they are young, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact percentage of bucks who would actually spray prior to being old enough to be neutered. We have had a few bucks stay with us until they were 6+ months of age before finding their forever homes, and they did not exhibit spraying tendencies. I would conservatively guess that 15% of bucks would spray before 6 months, while about 60% of un-neutered bucks will spray after 12 months of age. Neutering makes a huge difference.

When does reach sexual maturity, they tend to display behaviors indicating their need/desire to breed, as well. Digging in the corner of their cages, lunging when you reach into her cage (as though protecting a litter of babies), nipping, and pacing (hopping around in circles) tend to be the more obvious issues. These, too, will dissipate after being spayed, so they wouldn't be long-term problems.

Does can become nippy at 4-6 months, if they are going to develop that tendency at all. One day, you could have a perfectly lovely, well-behaved little girl, and the next day you could be wearing a bandage on your hand because her body started producing hormones that make her vigilant in protecting herself and the babies she could be carrying (in her mind). Plum Bun and Molly are rabbits we have to watch carefully before handling in their cages, even when they are not pregnant, because they are cage defensive. When they are out of their cages, they are totally fine, relaxed, and sweet, but they have very strong mothering instincts that we need to be aware of at all times. Again, since we find loving homes for the majority of our babies who are spayed when they reach 6 months of age, it is difficult to estimate what chance a doe kit would have in developing this tendency. Based on the numbers in our own herd, our best guess would be 25%.

It's mainly a matter of what you can deal with until they are old enough to be altered. Bucks can be messier and more embarrassing, but does can be a bit more unpredictable and can nip. It is very important to note that not all bucks and does will develop these issues.

One more thing to note is that vets usually charge less to neuter bucks because it's a much less invasive procedure, and is less risky. Bucks tend to bounce back more quickly following neutering, as well. It can cost a bit more to have a doe spayed and her incision site will need to be monitored carefully for signs of infection. It can be difficult to entice a doe to eat and drink within 24 hours of the procedure, but she will do much better if you have some special herbs on hand, like parsley and cilantro, to entice her to take a few nibbles and keep her GI tract moving.

Generally speaking, no. We prefer for each bunny to be placed separately so he/she has the best possibility of happily bonding with his/her new family. After the first bunny has been altered at six months of age and has time to recover from surgery, we invite you to contact us to begin the placement procedure for a second Bun.

We don't place two bunnies of the same gender at the same time because they often end up fighting and causing injury to each other, especially as they mature into adult rabbits and have hormone flare-ups. Even same-gender litter mates become bickering balls of fluff shortly after placement and may end up needing to go to the vet due to injuries. Bonding same gender rabbits who have been altered can be a very long, difficult process, and we find that bonding opposite gendered Buns goes more smoothly and typically has much happier results.

The only exceptions to our "one Bun at a time" policy are if you are:
*adopting an already bonded pair who are being re-homed together
*adopting an already spayed/neutered rabbit who is being re-homed or retired from our rabbitry at the same
time a baby rabbit of the opposite gender is being placed with you
*adopting two already altered, opposite gender rabbits to bond after placement

Question #3

Am I allowed to get two bunnies at one time?

Question #4

Does my Bun need a companion?

The answer to that question will depend upon how much time you are able to spend with your bunny each day and what type of temperament you bunny has. If your bunny has a lot of time on his/her paws, you may want to consider adding a companion Bun to your lives. If your bunny is blessed to have your attention for the majority of the day and loves to hang out with you, chances are you Bun is perfectly happy with your company and thinks of you as his/her companion.

A more quiet, reserved Bun might benefit from having a more outgoing friend to encourage bravery and confidence. A more outgoing Bun might do well with a calmer friend who could teach him/her about the joys of cuddles and snuggles.

Question # 5

We know we want to have two rabbits eventually. What would the process to get them look like?

If you would like to be matched with two Buns to bond, the process would look something like this...

*Complete the New Bunny Questionnaire, receive approval, and join the waiting list (if necessary)

*Adopt your first Bun and enjoy bonding with him/her. Have your bunny altered at roughly six months of age and allow him/her to recuperate and get accustomed to his/her new hormone levels.

*Once your Bun has been spayed/neutered, please contact us via email, notifying us of your desire for a second bunny and telling us all about your first Bun's likes/dislikes/quirks, etc. and let us know when you will be ready for your second Bun. We will communicate with you about which temperament should be the best fit to compliment your first Bun's personality.

*We will work to match you with your companion Bun of the appropriate temperament and you will take your second Bun home, but he/she should not be bonded to the first bunny until after the second Bun has been altered.

*When the Bun has successfully been spayed/neutered and has had a couple of months to recover and heal, it's time to work on the actual bonding process. Our favorite bonding resources are listed below.

Question #6

We want to learn more about bunny bonding. What resources do you recommend?

Bunny bonding is a very exciting journey to undertake, but it does involve time and careful planning for a truly successful bond to form. We recommend a slow and steady approach when possible, but acknowledge that there is a time and place for "speed bonding" or "stress bonding". 

Below are links to some of our favorite bonding resources. › resources › GAHRS-Bonding-Bunnies.pdf

This PowerPoint link has wonderful information about bonding rabbits. It is quite comprehensive, so have a snack and beverage handy before starting to read through this one! :)

Question #7

I need help finding a rabbit knowledgeable veterinarian. Where do I look?

Our first stop in finding bunny savvy vets in Ohio is

This resource was complied by the Buckeye House Rabbit Society. I do not know how frequently it is updated, so please call any potential vets to make sure they are still with the practice listed.

If you live in another state, use your search engine to look up the House Rabbit Society for your state. You should then be able to find information leading to a veterinarian listing.

Rabbits are considered "exotic pets", so if you cannot find a vet near you on the vet listing, you might want to let your fingers do the walking and look for listings in the yellow pages or online which advertise a doctor who works with exotic pets. Be careful and make sure he/she knows the proper types of anesthesia and antibiotics that are rabbit safe before you are in an emergency situation.

Word of mouth recommendations by other bunny owners can be a helpful way to go.

If you have a county extension office with an active 4-H organization, you could call their office and ask if they know of a good rabbit vet they rely on for their programs, or if they could direct you to the person in charge of running the rabbit show at their county fairs. It may take some legwork on your part, but your county extension office can give you a wealth of information.

Question #8

Do you ship rabbits? Do you meet people partway?

No, due to the nature of our personalized bunny-matching process, our schedule, and homeschooling commitments, we do not offer shipping, nor do we work with transporters, nor are we able to meet people partway. We meet each client face-to-face and make certain they are comfortable with their new rabbit, have them fill out paperwork, and watch them interact with their new pet before accepting payment.

Question #9

What kinds of treats are safe for my rabbit to eat?

Hot Cross Buns follows the belief that treats (other than old-fashioned rolled oats) have no place in a rabbit’s diet until after he/she turns six months old. We prefer for their new families to have the joy (and responsibility) of determining which foods are the right treats for their Buns.
We recommend starting with the treats on the Green Light List. Work your way through it slowly to learn what your bunny likes, and what sits well in your bunny’s tummy. Give a small amount. Holland lops are small and shouldn’t weigh more than 3.5-5 lbs, so a little goes a long way. If you see any signs of abnormal or mushy poo balls in your bunny’s cage, stop feeding whatever treat was introduced most recently and cross it off the list, so you don’t give it to him/her again. Just give your bunny hay and water for a day or two until his/her tummy settles down and the poo balls are back to normal again.
There are some important things to remember about a bunny’s diet. Conventional wisdom says that 80% of the diet should be made up of hay and pellets, leaving 20% for foods that fall into the “treat” category. I tend to lean towards 90% hay and pellets, and only 10% treats. Another thing to remember: Too much sugar, calcium, and phosphorus are very bad for rabbits. The vast majority of foods on the Yellow Light List are high in at least one of these. Pick your Yellow Light List treats very carefully. Choose one fruit per week and one veggie/seed/herb per week to keep your bunny happy and healthy. Again, introduce only one treat at a time so you can see any negative reactions and adjust the list accordingly.
Occasionally you may find a treat that leaves your bunny with painful gas. Bunnies can’t burp or vomit, so whatever is hurting its tummy has to work its way through the entire digestive system. We strongly recommend that all bunny families keep a bottle or two of infant gas relief drops (a brand like Mylicon drops) to help settle bunny’s tummy. Give the bunny the dose recommended for smaller babies and gently massage your bunny’s tummy. Try to keep your bunny moving to help the gas work its way out. A bit of fresh parsley may help settle the tummy, too. If you ever have questions or concerns about your bunny’s health, please feel free to email us and we will do our best to help. 
If your bunny reacts badly to a food on the Yellow Light List, cross it off and add it to your Red Light List so you remember to not feed it to your Bun again. 

Green Light Treats
The treats listed in this section are safe for bunny’s daily consumption. As always, when introducing a new treat, give a very small amount and observe the bunny for any gins of digestive distress (diarrhea, teeth grinding, acting “off”) for 24 hours before giving that treat to the bunny again. 

  • Basil - any variety

  • Blueberries (fresh) - give only one or two berries per day

  • Bok Choy - for bunnies over six months only

  • Carrot tops

  • Celery and celery leaves

  • Cilantro

  • Dandelion leaves and flowers (if not chemically treated)

  • Lavender plant

  • Lemon balm

  • Oatmeal - rolled old-fashioned variety (raw, never cooked) - this is the only treat approved for baby rabbits

  • Oats (whole, unprocessed) - Rabbits over six months only

  • Oregano (fresh)

  • Parsley

  • Rocket

  • Rosemary (fresh)

  • Zucchini

Yellow Light Treats 

The treats in this section are for very occasional giving only. Many fruits are bunny-safe, but they are high in sugars, so need to be limited carefully. Choose only one of these treats to give on one special day each week. Watch for signs of tummy upset.

  • Apples (do not give bunny any seeds, which can be toxic)

  • Arugula

  • Asparagus

  • Bananas

  • Bean sprouts

  • Beets - greens, tops, and root

  • Bell peppers (green, yellow, red, orange, and purple are safe)

  • Blackberries

  • Broccoli Leaves are safe (never give bunny broccoli, which causes painful gas)

  • Cantaloupe

  • Carrots and carrot tops

  • Cherries (remove pit and give only one or two cherries)

  • Cherry tomato

  • Collard greens (tiny amounts only)

  • Crab apples (no seeds)

  • Cranberries

  • Cucumber (tiny amount as it has little nutritional value)

  • Dill and dill flowers (avoid seeds, though, and give only small amounts every few days)

  • Eggplant

  • Grapes (no more than two at a time, washed and cut into small pieces)

  • Green beans (may cause painful gas, so observe carefully if you choose to feed)

  • Hosta 

  • Kale (tiny amounts to rabbits over six months only...high in calcium)

  • Kiwi (peeled)

  • Lettuce (dark green or purple varieties)

  • Mandarin

  • Mango (fresh)

  • Mint

  • Orange peels (better than oranges)

  • Orange (tiny amount)

  • Peach (remove pit)

  • Peppers (remove seeds carefully)

  • Pineapple (fresh only)

  • Plums (remove stone)

  • Pumpkin seeds (very rare treat)

  • Radish and radish leaves

  • Raisins (very rare)

  • Raspberry (fresh) and raspberry leaves

  • Romaine lettuce

  • Spinach (small amounts)

  • Squash

  • Strawberries

  • Sunflower seeds (high in fat, so go easy)

  • Tomato (do NOT give tomato plant leaves or vines to bunny...they are toxic)

  • Turnip and turnip greens

  • Watermelon and watermelon rind

  • Wheatgrass                                                                                                                                         

    Red Light Treats

    The following treats should NEVER be given to your bunny, as they are toxic to rabbits or your bunny will be unable to digest them, causing him great pain and distress. 

  • Almonds

  • Avocado - poisonous to rabbits

  • Banana peels

  • Bindweed - poisonous to rabbits

  • Bread

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Candy

  • Cauliflower

  • Cheese

  • Chocolate

  • Clover

  • Corn

  • Crackers

  • Garlic

  • Iceberg lettuce

  • Jicama

  • Meat

  • Mushrooms

  • Nuts - all varieties

  • Onions

  • Peanuts

  • Peanut Butter

  • Peas

  • Popcorn

  • Potatoes and Potato Skins

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Tomato leaves/vines

  • Walnuts

  • White bread

Question #10

Why do you require your rabbits to be spayed/neutered?

Early in our rabbitry's existence we knew that we wanted to be a reliable, knowledgeable source of information, support, and encouragement for our bunny-loving clients. We realized our favorite people to work with were those seeking pet bunnies to adore and pamper. Far too many people think that breeding rabbits is a quick way to make a buck, but it really is not. They fail to understand how much time, attention, and veterinary care is needed for breeding rabbits, so they fail to provide the necessary care. We don't want that kind of a life for any of the Hot Cross Buns, so we decided to require spaying/neutering at six months of age for all of the baby bunnies we place. Every older rabbit we retire from our breeding program will be spayed/neutered prior to being listed, to ensure that they are in the very best of health before going to their new homes.

Spaying/neutering makes litter box training easier, opens the door to having multiple pet bunnies, and has increased health benefits. We want the very best life imaginable for each Bun and this includes finding responsible homes who will commit to having their pet bunny spayed/neutered.

My younger daughter, who is the co-owner/operator of Hot Cross Buns, suggested the spay/neuter requirement when she was 10 years old. I admit to being concerned that it would be a turn-off for perspective clients, but we have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received from people who are glad we implemented such a requirement.