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How to Imitate Digging

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How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#1  Unread postby bunnychild » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:38 pm


So I let Truffles on my bed today and she LOVED it. Her and my cat, Bobbie, seem to really like each other (but that it for another post)
Anyways, I noticed some interesting behavior. She did the normal scratching and pulling that I am used to seeing when a rabbit has a blanket, but she also would place her front paws down and kind of skid along using her back feet to propel her. I'm thinking maybe this is how rabbits travel in their tunnel systems in the wild but I am really not sure. Does anyone know for sure what she is doing or have any other ideas?
Also, since she loved it so much I want to make that a more accessible activity for her. Is there something I can set up in her cage? I was also considering a sandbox (the idea came while I was daydreaming about having a colony). Suggestions?
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:54 pm


Not sure what your rabbit was doing, but I once saw a young cottontail doing that on a newly dug flower bed. He was having a blast - clearly just playing. :cute:

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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#3  Unread postby bunnychild » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:59 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Not sure what your rabbit was doing, but I once saw a young cottontail doing that on a newly dug flower bed. He was having a blast - clearly just playing. :cute:

It is definitely adorable. I wish I could have gotten it on video.
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:07 pm


Rabbits push the dirt around with that, to get the dirt away from the front of their burrow or to cover up kits or such.
https://youtu.be/lrRV9t6av6A?t=5m40s
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#5  Unread postby bunnychild » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:47 pm


SableSteel - it's not so much a patting but more of a scooting. Imagine a rabbit with skis on the front paws using their back paws to push, that is more what she was doing minus the skis lol.

__________ Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:47 pm __________

But the more important question was how can I incorporate this into her cage?
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#6  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:23 am


I have a rabbit who loves to burrow in her outside run, especially when she's pregnant. She digs a huge hole, and she does exactly what you describe all the time! It's adorable!

About the cage, I have never tried anything like that, but if it's big enough maybe put in a box filled with shavings or sand. If you use sand just make sure it's not irritating her eyes or nose. Maybe put it in for an hour or so and take it out, like bunny digging time.
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:12 am


That way they distribute the earth around the tunnel entrances, so there is no noticeable hill which would be a "Dig Here!" sign for predators., also they need to move the dirt away because it would get difficult to get fresh dirt out.

In the tunnel they move dirt by throwing it behind under their butt, outside they shove it around forward with the front paws, there were about 1.5m diameter patches of dug up earth around some of my rabbits tunnels.

On the picture on the right you can see the fence disappearing in the dirt, no hill, but the ground did rise about 10cm there:
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Re: How to Imitate Digging

Post Number:#8  Unread postby SixGun » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:23 pm


SableSteel wrote:Rabbits push the dirt around with that, to get the dirt away from the front of their burrow or to cover up kits or such.
https://youtu.be/lrRV9t6av6A?t=5m40s


I second what SableSteel has said. They're using their front paws like a shovel to move the dirt that would have been dug up. My house bunny does this as the last step whenever he digs a hole, and again when he wants to make the hole cool again by taking it down another layer.

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