online site builder

Caring for your Jersey Wooly

Posted May 4, 2019

Jersey Woolies are a beautiful breed of rabbit. Their general care is the same as any other rabbit, but their beautiful coats require some special consideration.


I feed my Jersey Woolies Mana Pro Sho. I have also fed Mana Pro gro, but my buck did not like it as much. The pellets contain all the nutrition your woolie will need. My adult buck eats about 1/3 cup of food a day, my adult doe eats about twice that. Many people free feed their woolies, but I prefer to feed them as much food as they will eat in a day so I can tell if one stops eating. If you want to switch what brand of food you are using, be sure to do it slowly. Gradually add in a little bit more of the new food every day. Changing too quickly can cause diarrhea and make your bunny very sick.

I also feed timothy or orchard grass hay. I feed about a handful a day that I put in a hay rack for them.

It is important to not feed greens or snacks if your bunny is not used to it. A sudden change in diet can make him very sick. If you want to introduce greens, feed a tiny bit, about the size of the end of your finger, or maybe a single, tiny dandelion leaf. Do this for several days, then gradually add in more. This should only be done if your rabbit is over 6 months old. The greens are fun treats for your bunny, but the pellets are what he should be eating.

Adorable baby Jersey Woolies


Woolies need fresh water every day. I prefer to use a ball water because I find the water stays cleaner . In the winter, I've used both a heated waterer and crocks of water. Water in the crocks or bowls will need to be replaced twice a day in below freezing temperatures.


I keep my woolies on wire bottom cages with a resting mat. The wire bottoms help keep their fur clean. The pull-out tray makes it easy to keep the cage clean. I put pine animal bedding pellets on the bottom of the tray to absorb urine and reduce the smell.

My bunnies live in metal 24x30 cages. Some people use 24x24 cages, but I thought they were a bit too small, especially if you need to fit a huddle box when it gets cold. You can also use a hutch.

I keep my rabbits in cages in a shed. If your rabbit is outside, make sure he is out of the sun, rain, and wind.

 Temperatures of over 90 degrees are tough on rabbits. In the summer when it gets hot, I put in a ceramic tile that I keep in the freezer. The bunnies like to sit on the cool tile.

Nibley in his cage.  You can see the feeder, the hay rack, waterer, and resting mat.

Wool Care and Grooming

Most Jersey Woolies have an easy care coat, but they still need some attention. For me, their coat needs to be blown out about once a week. Blowing out is where you take an animal blower or even a small shop vac, and blow air into their coat. The air helps loosen tangles and mats that may be in their wool. If you do not have a blower, a slicker brush can also work.

After blowing, I like to comb using a wide tooth metal comb. If I find a mat, I try and break it apart with my fingers. If that doesn't work, I carefully use a seam ripper to cut through the mat.

When woolies molt, they lose most of their coats and grow a new one. Some lose it all at once and some a little at a time. This loose wool tangles easily, so it is important to blow or brush more frequently.

Rabbits also need their nails trimmed. When they get too long, I use a pair of cat nail clippers and trim just the tips to avoid hitting the quick and making the rabbit bleed.


The best way to keep your wooly healthy is to feed it a healthy diet and give him fresh water. Also, wash your hands before and after handling the rabbit.

I keep Critical Care, Bene-bac, and canned pineapple juice on hand in case my rabbits get sick. Critical Care is a dry powder you mix with water. I syringe feed it to my rabbits if they've stopped eating. Usually once they start eating again, they're fine. Bene-bac is probiotics for rabbits. I give them if the rabbits have soft poo. The canned pineapple juice is if the rabbit stops urinating. Bunnies love sweets, so the sweet juice encourages them to get the water they need.

Jersey Woolies can develop what's called wool block or GI stasis. They get a hair ball in their stomachs. Unlike cats, they can't throw it back up. They feel full, so they stop eating. If a rabbit stops eating for too long, it will die. In general, if a rabbit is still pooping and urinating like normal, it is fine. (I have one buck who I swear happily exists on nothing but air and the tiniest amount of pellets.) I know there's trouble if the poops start getting tiny or if he stops eating and urinating all together. I force feed critical care to get them eating again. Some people feed small pieces of papaya to help break down the hair.

Make sure you know a vet that will treat rabbits before your bunny gets sick. Not all vets will treat them.


Jersey Woolies are known for being gentle rabbits. My children enjoy holding them on their laps while they read or watch a show. My woolies sometimes sit quietly and other times look around to see what else is going on.

In my experience, most rabbits do not love to be carried and held. In the wild, the only time something holds them is when they are about to be dinner. It takes time and patience to get them used to it. Instead, bunnies will like sitting on your lap while you pet them, but their favorite thing is to be on the move.

I don't pet my rabbits in their cages unless they come up to the door. I offer them a treat and if they come up they get the treat and a pet. If they don't come up, I put the treat in their feed dish and leave them alone, especially if they're in a back corner feeling scared.

I let my woolies out frequently to run around. I have a dog pen I use when the weather is good, and I let them run in the bathroom if the weather is bad. They will come up to me to see what I am doing. Rabbits will chew on anything, so keep an eye on them when they are out and about.

I love having my woolies out running around enjoying being a rabbit. I love setting them on my lap and petting them. Giving them treats and seeing them run to the front of their cages when they see me is so much fun. As long as you respect and care for your rabbit, you will have a gentle friend that will enjoy keeping you company.