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What have you used as a faux fur?

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:24 pm


Just curious what sort of fur substitutes y'all have used when a mother neglects to pull enough fur for her litter.

Here's a short list of what I've used so far:
-Fur brushed off a buck during the summer
-Fur pulled from a false pregnancy
-Down feathers from an old coat liner

Things I've yet to use but thought about:
-Cottonballs pulled apart
-Strips of fleece blanket
-Shredded tissue
-Dryer lint (cleaned of long debris)
-Wool roving cut into very small pieces

Items not recommended:
-Poly-fill: Stuffing from stuffed animals or from pillows.

What have YOU used? I'd like to add to the list. :D

I'm also thinking about using my dog's undercoat, she's a once a year shedder where she drops it all in the spring and then slowly gains it back over the fall/winter. She's starting her spring drop already so I've been thinking of utilizing everything I've brushed out so far. Do you think the doe may find this scent aversive being on her kits? Anyone tried this?
Last edited by 2CrazyFools on Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:39 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:29 pm


i had a rabbit blow her coat so dramatically i kept it in a jar and was able to use it for THREE separate litters before it ran out. i also pull out some excess fur from nests once the kits have developed fur and any large bits with mostly clean fur i save - it's never cold here so i don't feel they miss it. lastly, if i was desperate, i have a lionhead that i have to groom weekly and i save his little fluffballs - if i really needed to i could clip him and use that fur. he has plenty to spare.

i've used dryer lint before but i find it doesn't fluff that well, and i just worry about strings or other random things that could injure kits. fortunately the one time i needed to the mother pulled tons of fur the next day so i just took the lint out.

i wouldn't use the stuffing of toys, polyfill is very fibrous and i've heard horror stories of kits getting legs and heads wrapped up in it and getting amputated or worse. i think cotton batting is slightly better, but i would just avoid toy stuffing in general myself.
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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Zass » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:12 pm


Do not use poly-fill. That means absolutely no pillow or stuffed animal stuffing at all, as it can wrap around a kit's limbs and cut off circulation.
I've seen some pretty disturbing photos. O.o

I've used torn tissue paper, feathers, angora wool clipped short and extra fur that I've saved up from various rabbits.

I won't use my dryer lint either, as I have a very long haired dog (think 6-8 inches long) and that could also entangle a kit's limbs.

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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:48 pm


shazza wrote:i've used dryer lint before but i find it doesn't fluff that well, and i just worry about strings or other random things that could injure kits.


I agree with this, I've mulled about possibly using it but have always decided against it. Makes for great fire-starter though! :D

shazza wrote:i wouldn't use the stuffing of toys, polyfill is very fibrous and i've heard horror stories of kits getting legs and heads wrapped up in it and getting amputated or worse. i think cotton batting is slightly better, but i would just avoid toy stuffing in general myself.

Zass wrote:Do not use poly-fill. That means absolutely no pillow or stuffed animal stuffing at all, as it can wrap around a kit's limbs and cut off circulation.


This is great to know! Thank you both! I'll move it down to the "not recommended" part of the post. I hadn't thought of those issues, the reason I was hesitant about trying it was due to kits possibly ingesting it and I'm not sure how that would effect them. Glad to know there's even more pressing reasons not to attempt!

Zass wrote:I won't use my dryer lint either, as I have a very long haired dog (think 6-8 inches long) and that could also entangle a kit's limbs.


Wow! That IS a long haired dog! Thankfully the dog fur I'm thinking about utilizing is all fluffy short undercoat. To be honest it really reminds me of the fur rabbits pull naturally as far as the length goes. What I'm contemplating doing is going ahead and starting to add a little dog fur to the nest to get the smells of the pups in the area, that way when the does do kindle and I use the undercoat fur it won't be a shock of canine scent. I typically shelve my kits from birth for a few weeks because I enjoy how easy they grow up to be handled, plus I have yet to lose a kit. Which is one reason why I'm looking at additional fur options since each doe essentially has two nests, one outside with her and one inside where the kits live for most of their tiny stage. At about 2-3 weeks I leave them back outside with their mother, little more work but it's my favorite part about kits. :lilbunny: :love: But it takes a good amount of fur / fur substitute.

Torn tissue paper is a good one! I'll add that to the list.

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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby macksmom98 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:11 am


Out of everything artificial, the one I am most considering if ever needed is cotton balls. They seem to be the safest. But I will avoild using them too, because I wouldnt want the doe to start eating on cotton and have digestive issues. It seems like that could be a possibility, although not sure.....

The rest of it, I agree with what everyone else said. Possibly dryer lint if you could tell it was string free and not dangerous.....

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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Rainey » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:44 pm


I used wool roving once, but as was said about some other fibers you ned to cut it into short pieces. very warm.

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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:21 am


So dog fur is safe? I have a swiss shepherd cross malamute with a very thick undercoat that would probably make great nest material. It's soft and warm like a rabbit. And whenever I brush him I get piles, so it would be easy to get in a pinch. If I ever had to use it, how would I mask the dog scent? Could I just rub it on the doe or something? Or maybe if I get some now and store it with rabbit fur it'll lose the doggy scent...
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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby karenl » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:26 am


Untreated Lambs wool straight from the sheep :) just short lengths, angora goat fiber short lengths too. Keeps them toasty warm.

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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:50 am


LittleFluffyBunnies wrote:So dog fur is safe? I have a swiss shepherd cross malamute with a very thick undercoat that would probably make great nest material. It's soft and warm like a rabbit. And whenever I brush him I get piles, so it would be easy to get in a pinch. If I ever had to use it, how would I mask the dog scent? Could I just rub it on the doe or something? Or maybe if I get some now and store it with rabbit fur it'll lose the doggy scent...


I'm going to give it a shot and let you know! What I'm planning on doing is slowly add some to her cage about 2 weeks prior, introduce her to the scent of it, and filling her box with some of it about a week prior to kindle. My hands always smell like dog and they haven't minded yet so I'm hoping they've already made an association with that smell and the Food-Bringer.... :lol:

Also, I've got a nesting area inside the house that smells like kits, so I'm storing all the fur I've been brushing off my girl in there to hopefully mingle with the smell of babies and rabbits, and I've been mixing it with the fur stored from when a doe pulled fur for a false pregnancy.

I expect everything to go just fine through slow introduction, but I'll definitely let everyone know if it's a success or if she dispatches her babies because predators are near. :|

I'm not sure how long that fur is, but if it's undercoat I'd assume it wasn't as long as the guard hairs right? Swiss Shepherd x Malamute sounds beautiful! But also sounds like a long coated beast and I'd just try and make sure there weren't any long strands for accidents to happen. Though this should be easy to combat... brush your dog, get a bundle of fur, take scissors to the chunk and cut it up! Bundle it back up a different way, and snip, snip, snip! Check that all the fibers are short and you're good to go! I'm planning on doing this with my girl's fur just in case.

Karenl - Wool straight from the sheep?? Lucky!! That sounds absolutely ideal!
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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:52 am


Thanks! Yeah, his fur is pretty long, so if I ever use it I'll be sure to cut it up. His undercoat is so soft though, if it is cut short it'll feel just like rabbit fur.
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Re: What have you used as a faux fur?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Numbivory » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:12 am


My friend who is a breeder has used tons of paper bedding in the bottom of the nest topped with shredded cotton. Her doe doesnt pull fur all the time and when she does its sparse. This has seemed to work well for her as she has never had an entanglement issue. :)

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