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Ask the Breeder Jan/Feb/March 2009 Issue

What can you do to prevent sore hocks?

From Kevin Hooper:
Sore hock prevention in most breeds comes down to the density of the fur on the rabbit.  A thick, dense coat will mean the rabbit has thicker fur not only over the body, but also on the foot pads.  Thicker foot pads means no sore hocks or rarely having to deal with them.
Short term, If I do get one with sore hocks, I just put a board in the pen for them to sit on, and that usually alleviates the problem.  Long term, cull out animals with thin coats and thin foot pads
From  Dennis, Barb & Megan Kline:
Our rabbits have always been on wire bottom cages and we have never had sore hocks.  We bred our rabbits to be a heavier boned animal.
From Julie Hume:
We have not had a problem with sore hocks, but we do put a board about 8” by 5.5” in the cages for the rabbits to sit on. Some of the rabbits like to chew the wood, we just replace them when they get too narrow. The adult rabbits rarely make a mess on the boards, the babies usually do. When the board is messy, it is either power washed to clean or replaced with another board. We usually have a lot of spare wood around.

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