I think it's about time we get down to the basics, shall we? Rabbits are fairly easy to care for. So let's dive right in!
Rabbits need a place to live. Obviously. My breeders live in cages. About 2x2. The bottoms are wire and all waste falls into a tray underneath. Very sanitary. Larger rabbits will need larger cages. And possibly resting mats to protect their feet. My pets have pens. 3x3 with outside runs. Plastic and wire cages work great. I use pine shavings. Never use cedar, it can cause respiratory problems. If you want to let your rabbit out around the house, make sure you keep an eye on them, and rabbit proof your house. They chew!! Electrical cords can cause big problems. Easy, right?
Rabbits news food. Rabbit pellets. Go to the feed store and buy a bag. I buy 50lb bags, for about $18. They will usually sell smaller size bags, 10lbs for about $5. You can buy it with different percentages of protein, 15%, 16%, 17%. 17% is good for pregnant or nursing rabbits. But any percentage is good. Just be consistent. Any change is rabbit food must be done gradually as to not upset the rabbits stomach. My Netherland Dwarfs weigh about 2lbs, so they get 1/4 cup of food a day. The larger ones get a bit more. Don't overfees them, they will get fat. Which is hard on their joints. And they may not be able to clean themselves properly. Also, if you plan on breeding, fat gathers around the ovaries making it harder to conceive, and harder to give birth. The food from the grocery or pet store is filled with fillers, thugs they don't need. Rabbits like hay. I give hay that I get from my mother for her horse. Just make sure it's not dusty. You can give as much hay as you want. Some say unlimited amounts. Treats should be kept to a minimal. Things like carrots are full of sugar, sugar turns to fat, etc. Don't feed them lettuce! It causes gas and rabbits cannot pass gas. Got that? Pellets from the feed store. Hay. That's it.
Rabbits need clean, fresh water. Either in crocks (bowls) or bottles. Both have pros and cons. I use bottles in the summer. They mount outside of the cage, which gives them more room inside. And the water stays clean, they can't pee in them or fling shavings in them. But sometimes they leak. And the spout is the first thing to freeze in the winter. I use crocks in the winter. That way if they freeze before I can change them, at least they can lick the ice.
Rabbits do very well in the cold. As long as they have somewhere dry and draft free, they do excellent in winter. Heat is another story. They can get heatstroke very easily. I find it's harder on the larger rabbits. I set up a fan for them in the summer. And windows are open. They need good ventilation. On very hot days they get frozen water bottles. You can also put water on their ears, it helps to dissipate the heat. Rabbits can't pant like dogs can. You can also throw a ceramic tile in the freezer and give that to them.
Attention. Rabbits want YOUR attention. Don't get a rabbit if you plan to put it in the cage in your back room and only go in when you feed it. They're not ornaments. And getting them a "friend" is not an answer. Most rabbits are highly territorial and will not get along with another rabbit. Not all, but most. They just want your love.
And that's it! Clean cage, good rabbit pellets, some hay, clean water, mind the heat, give them love. That's all. Rabbits can live up to 10 years with these simple things.
Here I've found a great link to rabbit care, straight from the American Rabbit Breeders Association!
Let's talk genetics. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no expert. This is the only colour gene I can tell you about. It's the gene responsible for blue eyed white rabbits. It should be treated like a breed all it's own. You don't want this gene in any other colour program. Ever. Blue eyed whites have come a long ways, type wise, but still need a tonne of work. So every once in a while you want to throw in a rabbit of another colour, something of very good type, to help with type and hybrid vigor. So, here's how it works:
Blue eyed white (BEW) x BEW = BEW Always. 100% of the litter will all be BEW
BEW x Self = VM or VC Vienna Marked or Vienna Carrier 100%
BEW x VM/VC = VM & BEW Chances are 50% BEW 50% VM
VM x VM = VM & BEW Chances are 75% VM 25% BEW
Blue eyed whites (BEW) are pure white with bright blue eyes.
Vienna marked (VM) are a mix between a BEW and whatever self you used ie., black, blue, black otter, etc. They could be dutch marked, white with spots, coloured with a white nose snip, coloured with a white toe. They could have blue eyes, or marbled, or one blue and one brown. Vienna carriers will look just like the self, but you know it has BEW in the backround and needs to be labeled as such.
I picked up a beautiful blue steeled otter buck for my breeding program. It is an unrecognised variety, but he's got great type, so that's good for me. Again, VM and VC are UNSHOWABLE. You only want to use them to improve your type. Make sure any offspring you sell is labeled as such, as to not mess up someone else's breeding program. It may not be obvious right away, but white spots can show up generations later.