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Biter at 6 weeks.

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby a7736100 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:21 am


Out of a litter of BEW lionhead ND mix one is a biter. The 4 others are fairly mellow. He is the smallest in size. He's not scared of being handled but just annoyed if I don't handle him the way he likes it. He would push my hand away with his head or bite my finger to move it away. Is this genetic or will he calm down with more handling? Should I even breed him? I want to produce tiny pet rabbits. Both parents do not like being caught but are OK with being held an stroked. They were both CL freebies.

How many bites does it take you to cull a rabbit? I've been bitten by rabbits that loved to be held and stroked. Others have bitten me if I'm very late with their feed. The really mean biters who bites deep and hard I do cull.

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Re: Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby wamplercathy » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:37 pm


One of my does gets a bit nippy at times. I find a firm thump to the nose stops the it from becoming a habit. :P :lol: :lol: How firm will depend on the size of your rabbit but enough to get their attention. If the bun has a pension for aggression then this could cause the nipping to get worse.

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Re: Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Zinnia » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:10 pm


So far, I have found if a rabbit is aggressive when very young, it's going to be aggressive. Just butchered a perfect buck today that I wish I'd have culled for aggression when I noticed it as a kit. I cannot tolerate an aggressive rabbit.

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Re: Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Zass » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:23 pm


I'd guess this is not genetically aggressive. (Not wild/fear behavior, hormonal, or libido-driven.)


It's possible he just learned that a little nip will get your hands off or away from him, or maybe it leads to him being put down or left alone and that is exactly what he wants.
My method of handling that is to never let nipping get him what he wants, and make sure it always leads somewhere unpleasant.
I don't physically strike my rabbits, because I feel that can escalate the relationship towards fear driven aggression.
Instead I choose to make a VERY loud unhappy noise when nipped, loud enough that a rabbit will not want to hear it again, but I NEVER MOVE MY HANDS BACK out of the way, and I do not put the bunny back in the pen until it's been calm and tolerant for a while.
Last edited by Zass on Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby TF3 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:05 pm


I find some bunnies are more energetic with their nips at this age.. exploring things, trying it out.
Like Zass, I just don't give in.
Most stop.
The one doe I have kept, that kept on nipping at about 8-10 weeks, would nip for attention, or to control the attention she got.
I just withdrew and ignored her until she was calm and the behaviour has disappeared~ she still begs for attention but no nipping.
Unless the kit is forward aggressive~ seeking to 'attack' or fearful biting, I'd see how he goes along with firm responses as suggested above.
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Re: Biter at 6 weeks.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Ramjet » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:52 pm


If they are nippy around here at 6 weeks , they become honey roasted rabbit not long after.

I generally have a three strikes and you are out rule .... Once or twice it might be my fault or an accident but 3+ in a short time I consider chronic behavior ....

If the parents are difficult to handle and their offspring are difficult to handle / biters .... You may have taken home someone else's problems. There was a reason they were free ...

I'm with Zinnia ... I don't tolerate mean , aggressive or hard to handle rabbits , just too many nice easy to handle bunny's to bother with them.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back its still a bit fuzzy.

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