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Rabbit over grooming herself??

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Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:37 pm


So my brother has a pet Holland/Mini Lop cross. And lately she has had missing fur on both front legs and now one hind leg. It does not look irritated and I'm sure it's not mites of any kind. Is she over grooming herself? If so how can we stop this? Or is her fur just not growing like it should?

-- Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:36 pm --

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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:37 pm


She might be overgrooming herself, but then you need to ask yourself why. Why do you rule out fur mites?

In chickens, feather eating (as opposed to simple feather pulling) can indicate a shortage of protein. Feathers and fur are both very high in protein. What does she do with the plucked fur?

Sometimes, does housed together or with only a wire wall between them will pluck fur from their neighbours to use in their nests. Not common, but I have heard of a few instances.

A very high-strung, neurotic or very bored rabbit may resort to plucking its own fur. For boredom, give it toys and exercise.

Is the doe pregnant or have reason to be experiencing a false pregnancy? The motivation would be obvious in that case.

Those are the possibilities that come to my mind. Maybe someone else will have some other ideas.

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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:37 pm


MaggieJ wrote:She might be overgrooming herself, but then you need to ask yourself why. Why do you rule out fur mites?
I don't think it is fur mites because this has been going on for 3 months, and I have never seen mites of any kind or flaky skin on any of my rabbits.

In chickens, feather eating (as opposed to simple feather pulling) can indicate a shortage of protein. Feathers and fur are both very high in protein. What does she do with the plucked fur?
I have never herd of that, it may be a possibility though. The interesting thing is the fur is disappearing very slowly, and I have never seen fur in her cage ecept for small amounts during false pregnancies.
Sometimes, does housed together or with only a wire wall between them will pluck fur from their neighbours to use in their nests. Not common, but I have heard of a few instances.
I had a buck who liked to pull fur and bite noses through the wire, her cage is not close enough to her neighbor though.
A very high-strung, neurotic or very bored rabbit may resort to plucking its own fur. For boredom, give it toys and exercise.
This is most likely the answer. My little brother handles her a lot but she doesn't have toys in her cage, maybe it would help.
Is the doe pregnant or have reason to be experiencing a false pregnancy? The motivation would be obvious in that case.
She has not been pregnant since January, and she was a bad mother. She does have false pregnancies sometimes, but not since last May, before this started happening.

Those are the possibilities that come to my mind. Maybe someone else will have some other ideas.
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:19 pm


When my son (MidnightCoder) was a kid, he had an indoor pet rabbit named Buffy. She had a wonderful enclosure (for our climate, no good in hot places) a 2" x 4" glass aquarium with a wire lid. We bedded her on shavings and it was easy to scoop out and keep clean.

One day I found she had cleared an arena in the shavings, right down to the glass. She was rolling bunny berries around the arena with her nose. Now that's bored! But it also showed me that she had a capacity for play. We got her some toys. Her favourite was one of those wire cat balls. It was easy for her to grab with her teeth and fling it around her cage. She became an excellent "basketball" player, slam-dunking the ball into her water crock whenever she tired of it.

Quite by accident, we learned that Buffy also enjoyed music, especially soft, sappy love songs. She would swoon whenever I played the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody. It was quite funny to watch how she hunkered down and seemed to go boneless as she listened.

One of the nicest things about enrichment for pets is that it provides entertainment for their people as well -- and a greater feeling of empathy for the furry members of the family.

:bunnyhop: :pancake: :bunnyhop:

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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:36 pm


MaggieJ wrote:When my son (MidnightCoder) was a kid, he had an indoor pet rabbit named Buffy. She had a wonderful enclosure (for our climate, no good in hot places) a 2" x 4" glass aquarium with a wire lid. We bedded her on shavings and it was easy to scoop out and keep clean.

One day I found she had cleared an arena in the shavings, right down to the glass. She was rolling bunny berries around the arena with her nose. Now that's bored! But it also showed me that she had a capacity for play. We got her some toys. Her favourite was one of those wire cat balls. It was easy for her to grab with her teeth and fling it around her cage. She became an excellent "basketball" player, slam-dunking the ball into her water crock whenever she tired of it.

Quite by accident, we learned that Buffy also enjoyed music, especially soft, sappy love songs. She would swoon whenever I played the Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody. It was quite funny to watch how she hunkered down and seemed to go boneless as she listened.

One of the nicest things about enrichment for pets is that it provides entertainment for their people as well -- and a greater feeling of empathy for the furry members of the family.

:bunnyhop: :pancake: :bunnyhop:


:lol: :lol: That is really funny! I think we will defiantly get her some toys! On second thought maybe all the rabbits want toys? I used to give some of them cardboard, but I can't stand shredded cardboard all over the cages! :angry:
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:06 pm


I think all rabbits benefit from toys, some more than others. If you buy a few different types of toys, you can rotate them every so often for extra variety. Consider cat toys and also baby toys and check your thrift shops as well as pet and toy departments. Have fun with your bun! :lol:

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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#7  Unread postby shazza » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:25 pm


one toy my rabbits love is empty soda boxes! sometimes i'll stuff them with hay and veggies and make them go hunting. but most of them just enjoy throwing them around and shredding them. i also have plastic whiffle balls and a hanging wood/cardboard chew in each cage. not all of them play with them, but they're there if they feel frisky. i work at a bar and when we get new beer shipments i'll throw three or four of the boxes in my car to give to the growouts in their big pen. they looooooooooove shredding them and peeing all over the pieces :p
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:44 pm


shazza wrote:one toy my rabbits love is empty soda boxes! sometimes i'll stuff them with hay and veggies and make them go hunting. but most of them just enjoy throwing them around and shredding them. i also have plastic whiffle balls and a hanging wood/cardboard chew in each cage. not all of them play with them, but they're there if they feel frisky. i work at a bar and when we get new beer shipments i'll throw three or four of the boxes in my car to give to the growouts in their big pen. they looooooooooove shredding them and peeing all over the pieces :p

I used to give them boxes. But I cant stand shredded cardboard in the cages, and it's a pain to pick every little piece out especially in my 7'x2' growout cages.
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#9  Unread postby SableSteel » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:05 pm


Switching the rabbit to a new cage has been very helpful when mine have overgroomed themselves. Maybe the excitement of that move got rid of their boredom? Maybe the change in environment got rid of any neurotic behaviors? or maybe they had a problem with their neighbors (not saying their neighbors ate the fur, but I've known some hormonal rabbits that stopped fur chewing when moved away from their opposite sex friends). I'm not quite sure why, but that's always stopped fur chewing for me.
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:06 am


SableSteel wrote:Switching the rabbit to a new cage has been very helpful when mine have overgroomed themselves. Maybe the excitement of that move got rid of their boredom? Maybe the change in environment got rid of any neurotic behaviors? or maybe they had a problem with their neighbors (not saying their neighbors ate the fur, but I've known some hormonal rabbits that stopped fur chewing when moved away from their opposite sex friends). I'm not quite sure why, but that's always stopped fur chewing for me.

She has been next to a young doe for a while now, but on Sunday I put a skittish baby Palomino buck next to her. She really does not seem to care who her neighbor is. It may help to move her just so she has something different to look at though :bunnyhop:
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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#11  Unread postby alforddm » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:25 pm



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Re: Rabbit over grooming herself??

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:13 am


Happy update! After moving her to a new cage and getting everybunny toys from MamaSheepdog I am happy to announce that all of Blue Flower's fur had grown back grown back a couple weeks ago. And she has not got bored enough to chew it yet. :D :bunnyhop: :pancake:
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