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attack rabbit

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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attack rabbit

Post Number:#1  Unread postby akane » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:02 pm


My youngest doe is just reaching maturity and has gone off the deep end. I separated her from her brother when he started to show interest about a month ago and housed her in a split 2x4 next to an older buck. Each rabbit had 2x2' of space with a hay loft, resting board, and flat oval food dish. A week later I went to pick up her food dish to fill it and she attacked me from under the hay loft. I had to throw a towel over her to accomplish feeding her. I figured she was adjusting to being alone and spent the next week feeding her treats and letting her have her space with occasional handling but she did not improve. After her teeth connected with my finger I decided to change her setup. I moved her to a separate 2x2 top opening cage with no hay loft and a removeable plastic house so she had nothing to hide under and attack me from. We also started petting and handling her multiple times daily. At first she was better and while we got lots of squeaks and grunts she did not attempt to attack anyone for reaching in her cage. The past couple days she's quickly gotten worse again. Today she just attacked the water bottle tube when I went to pull the bottle off the outside of the cage and refill it.

What do you do with an attack rabbit? You think she'll grow out of it? She has good type and color or I probably would consider culling her right now and letting someone else deal with her. Even if she settles down I'm leaning towards selling her as soon as I get a good doe or 2 from her. I'm hoping my really laid back buck with temper her personality and I won't go through this with her offspring.
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#2  Unread postby bunny_freak » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:33 pm


hmm... not sure... if it were a dog.. I would not breed her.. but I´m not sure about temper in rabbits getting down to offspring..

do you think she´ll mellow down when she gets kits?.. do you think you´ll be able to handle them with her in the same cage?.. probably she´ll be more temperamental.. maybe not.. but I tend to think she´ll worsen...

maybe the setup you´ve got makes her feel invaded?.. I´m new to bunnies.. but as with any other animal.. she might feel the need to defend her "turf" even from you..

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#3  Unread postby ottersatin » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:42 pm


Hello Akane,
Rabbits especially Does are very territorial
This is the reason the Doe is always taken to the Buck
and not the other way around. A very territorial Doe could
quite easily choose to and Kill the Buck/intruder to her territory
rather than breed with him. Many Does do calm down after being bred
and raising their kits to weaning. Some others never calm down,
those are the ones that go into the stew pot. NEVER sell nasty/mean rabbits to anyone!
This could ruin any further sales in the future. Any nasty Rabbits
should be sold as a food source for either animal or Human consumption.
I would not breed nor keep in my barn a truly nasty attack rabbit
regardless of the type or color there is no spot available for a rabbit of such persuasion.
As always, JMPO and how I would handle the situation.
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:34 pm


I would not sell her without explaining her situation but if she actually becomes dangerous, such as do not handle without heavy gloves, she will probably be dog food. I know does are territorial but there's a difference between the unhappy thumps and grunts I get from the others or being defensive over an object and outright attacks just for opening the cage door. I was even willing to accept grunting and pawing at me from under something out of defense if it didn't go any further but she bit me when I didn't even reach for her and then attacking an inanimate object that already existed in her cage...? That seems rather extreme even for a female rabbit and it's happened after trying her in different cage setups. Making her more comfortable and confident about her cage only seems to make her more territorial over it so I'm not sure what else I could do. It reminds me of a few dwarf hamsters we culled from breeding programs as kids because they'd even attack food items dropped in to their cage.

Even before this her personality and intelligence was occasionally the subject of a joke. I actually did a few vision tests on her thinking something might be wrong with her but it seems to be an issue between her ears and not with her eyes. She's cute, she's pretty, she's a color I really like, and she would add good type to my herd but if she were a larger animal she'd have been gone before she even got violent because of the risk of accidental injury from unpredictability and poor common sense. Lack of common sense in a small animal is amusing and sad but not of great importance since at worst they'll just get themselves injured. Lack of common sense plus violence.. rather concerning...
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#5  Unread postby arachyd » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:34 pm


You say you separated them about a month ago. Is it much more than a month? I ask because it is quite possible she's pregnant and this may be her normal pattern of behavior when pregnant. I'd wait a week or two beyond a month separation before culling just to make sure she isn't preparing for a litter.

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#6  Unread postby randtrabbitry » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:15 am


I have a rabbit like this. I have managed to calm her down mostly she still lunges if something excites her. I have breed her and so far her temperament has not changed ether way. I will know in a month when she has babies if shes a keeper or stew pot worthy. I figured i would give her a chance to prove herself to me.

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#7  Unread postby curlysue » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:21 am


Temperment is hereditary.chances you will get anything with a nice temperment are low.its not right too sell this nut job too someone else.

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Half Caper Farm » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:35 am


Stew! :lol:

Life's too short, and there are lots of nice rabbits out there.

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:01 pm


Update on demon rabbit. I let her loose in the 12x24' stall with the 2, 9lb champagne does. She tried to pull her tricks and the bigger doe just ran right over her sending her rolling. After that she seemed to realize she was outmatched and everyone mostly got along fine. Demon rabbit just keeps thumping when they walk near her and the big does ignore her. They do not find her very intimidating. We'll see if she chills after getting put in her place and in about 2 weeks I'm going to attempt breeding her. She'll be 5 1/2 months so a little early but I don't care since she's most likely just going to be dog food after we get a few doe kits out of her to replace her. I'm not selling something that psychotic to anyone and no one needs lots of her offspring about so 1 or 2 litters is it.
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Anntann » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:11 pm


:) Sounds like she'll do just fine. "THUMP!!" <ignore> "I said THUMP!! LISTEN to me!!" <ignore> "well piffle. I"ll go over here and sulk" ... <the others saying "yah, whatever">

As to personality. You may well find that she goes from psycho to total darling with that first breeding. I have 2 like that. An angora who was a DEVIL..and then got pregnant. She turned into this sweet, darling gentle rabbit. Even after the weaning the kits. And Mama-san, who really doesn't like much of ANYTHING...until she's pregnant or nursing. Holy Cow. what a change. She actually SMILES! I swear!!

Then there is Chocolate Bunny. She WAS my pet sweetie until she got pregnant. After that...EVIL! pure EVIL. However, not ONE of her kits learned the evilbunny bit. They're all really nice kits.

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#11  Unread postby akane » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:42 pm


Demon rabbit had a falling out with the colony. She did fine with the d'argent who are as concerned about her as a speck of dirt but she terrorized the other mini rex. Since I have to take care of her in a cage right now I decided to try to get a litter out of her instead of waiting for spring. I bred another doe so I can foster kits if necessary. Then demon rabbit is going to be my first pelt and probably dog food come spring. After much effort and me having to lift her tail for Mocha we got 2 good breedings.

Today demon rabbit just sat in the corner sulking... She didn't try to bite me or attack me for recovering the feeder she'd tossed around the cage. She sat there and squeaked some. I'm not sure if she's just traumatized over being bred or if she's beginning to act more sane... I decided I didn't want to try to touch her to find out. :roll:
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:29 pm


Well, if you're waiting for her to kindle, you'll have plenty of time to find out if she's had a change of heart. She sounds... confused. :stars:
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Anntann » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:45 pm


When she kindles you should know if it's a hormonal thing or just EVIL rabbit. My devil girls all seem to be hormonally driven. Pregant=happy. After the kits wean..back to devil rabbits. Although....they've never just out and out attacked, I have to say.

Good luck with her :) If she's truly going to be nasty at you when she kindles, check out welding gloves. I wouldn't suggest them normally, since it sort of sets up the rabbit (Oh..huuuuman is wearing evil gloves..she's go9nig to pick me up). BUT....just for her, since she's going to be going off soon....

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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#14  Unread postby akane » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:47 pm


She's attacked me from the ground twice now which really shows her seriousness. She hasn't tried to bite or paw me the past couple days though and for some reason it's making even more cautious around her. She's still acting rather insane and crams herself in weird positions in her cage while squeaking at me but even when I moved her away from the feeder she didn't try to attack me. I still don't think she'd ever be safe enough I'd feel confident selling her to someone. If she can raise sane kits she does have a reprieve for awhile. Since she won't get along in the colony though I doubt I'll have a reason to keep her through next winter. I'm going to be careful mixing her blood in to the herd by only keeping the best doe kits and no bucks. If this turns out to have too much of a genetic component I want to be able to easily remove the entire bloodline from my show stock and only consider them for pelt and meat.

Besides having attack rabbits is occasionally useful. Despite my warning my mom decided to feed the rabbits a whole bunch of fresh alfalfa and got bit by demon rabbit for it. Then when I had demon rabbit running around the stalls my mom and sister wouldn't go in there. :lol: She's better than padlocking the doors.
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Re: attack rabbit

Post Number:#15  Unread postby ottersatin » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:59 pm


I am sorry akane,
But if I was in possession of a rabbit as nasty as you paint this one to be
she would be gone already. It would not matter about her color or type,
there is just no open hole for a rabbit as you described:
She would be out the door after the first bite.
There are just too many m,ore well behaved rabbits out there.
My hat is off to you for putting up with such Shenanigans.
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