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New bunny drew blood

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New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ipoGSD » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:13 am


Some might have seen my post about the adult holland female i brought home last sunday that is very underweight. Ive been pretty happy because she is gaining weight. Been spending all my extra time with her, talking baby talk and offering tiny pieces of treats.

Up until today when i went to feed her she would run to a corner and freeze very frightened.

Earlier today i gave her some pellets and i thought it seemed like she lunged at me. But then i second guessed it and thought she was just hungry and wanter her pellets. I have several buns that rush towards me when its feeding time.

Well tonight she sure did lunge and she drew blood as i reached for her food bowl.

I got her with the prospect of breeding but i want to produce friendly pet bunnies. Not ones that attack your hands and draw blood. I dont even want to deal with timid bunnies as pets/breeders.

I know does can be moody but none of my does that i have do this. I had one NASTY doe but we didnt keep her for long, she went on a cold camping trip..

So my question is, because she is still new to my home how much time does she deserve before i give up on the idea of breeding her? My thoughts (please correct me if im wrong) but the way im seeing it, when she first came she was nervous and didn't move. Now she moves alright, right at me and its not just threats. Could this be her true colors showing already? I know it could still be stress. But has anyone actually been thru this where they calmed down and turned into a sweet bunny after they settled in more?

Part of me is now wondering if the reason she was so skinny is because maybe the little girl was afraid to feed her?

At this point, i want to give her a chance. She deserves it. But i also know i have zero tolerance for aggressive biters as my pets and in what i am trying to establish as a healthy and friendly breeding stock.

Thoughts?

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MeadowView » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:13 am


After bringing my himalayan buck home he raised a number of red flags. He lunged at me when feeding, he boxed me whenever I reached into his cage, sat in the back looking angry. It threw me off, because my experience with himmies, especially bucks, has been nothing but good. I've had some moody does, but I only had skittish bucks when they came from large rabbitries, where they got lost in the shuffle and didn't get the attention they need/deserve.

You have to decide if she's worth putting time into. This is an unpopular opinion, but I believe you can turn any rabbit around. Some breeders would have you believe that it's all genetic. Some of it is. You won't ever convince me that all of it is. You just got this rabbit from a crappy situation. Give her some time. If she's worth it to you, bring her out and spend some time with her on neutral territory. This can be as simple as putting a towel down and sitting with her next to you or on your lap while you watch tv or a movie. Build a little trust. Try your hardest not to react when she lunges at you. A pair of gloves comes in handy for this, but it's worth it. Knowing that lunging and biting doesn't phase you sometimes stops the behavior all together. She may never be the perfect rabbit, but she can be tolerable. You can learn to work with her, and she can learn to tolerate you.

When you breed her, handle the kits every day. Give head rubs, give names, and hold back one or two to make sure her disposition isn't genetic. That's the only way you'll really have your answer.

Rabbits have to be handled to be tolerable. I believe that, I stand by it. I've never met a rabbit that was naturally aggressive. I've met plenty that were made that way by circumstance.

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#3  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:37 am


for one, I'm not sure you needed to make a new thread again, I didnt say anything last time, but your last 2 threads were all about this doe. Just continue those threads insted of making another. What's more, what I'm about to say is basically a repeat of what I said in your previous one.

Now, I've mentionned in your other threads how I have some bunnies that came from bad situations. Eva, her owner couldnt pick her up cause she wanted to kill them, now she's a doll. Nikita wanted to kill me when I got her, now she's my spoiled princess. Working on Chipit a new boy I have and he's starting to open up. Just give her time and work on her. Pick her up when she lunges at you or when she hides in the corner terrified, take the time to calm her down before you put her back, gently pet her when she boxes you. Show her she is safe now, she will be fed and treated well, she doesnt need to be worried and defensive.

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#4  Unread postby a7736100 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:13 am


I feed once a day. Most of the time that I get bitten I was late with their food. It's possible they're so hungry that they will bite at anything. Couple that gave me bad bites did it only one time. That's why I think it may be due to hunger. However some were deep bites.

Edit: double posted

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#5  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:51 am


She still sounds frightened to me. I'd give her 2 weeks to a month to calm down, while doing what has already been suggested by others. If she keeps it up after a month you might want to try placing yourself as boss bunny. Others can probably explain how to do this better than I can so I'm honestly not going to try. I know how to do it, but I'm terrible at explaining it. I've had a doe that was nasty during her pregnancy stay temperamental with me because I let her get away with her moodiness during pregnancy. As soon as I placed myself as the boss again she went back to being a sweetheart. You should give her more time before deciding on if you need to show her who's boss though.
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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Dood » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:54 pm


I'd give her a chance and see how the kits turn out

I've had my fair share of nasty rabbits as in the 80's I got all my NDwarf show stock as discarded pets - most because of bad attitudes ;)

Many times the kits turned out fine because of the gentle handling, kindness and respect I gave them but other times the kits would be as crazy as mom and i wouldn't continue breeding those does

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#7  Unread postby KHoward » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:02 pm


I agree with the other posters - give it time and be consistent. If you think it's food related, is it possible to feed her twice per day instead of once (normal amount 1/2 at a time)?

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#8  Unread postby shazza » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:47 pm


invest in some kevlar gloves. they're not that expensive, you can get them on amazon, and they'll save your hands and arms from rabbits who don't want to be held or messed with. your fingers are still exposed, but when my nasty doe was in her biting phase, i would enter her cage with one hand in a fist, the back of my hand facing her, so she couldn't hit flesh, and block her from my other arm with the protected arm. fortunately she calmed down after being bred, but she's still a flighty, somewhat aggressive rabbit. not biting, but definitely the one that stomps when i walk by her cage and growls when i have to pick her up for any reason. i had another that wasn't aggressive, but he was just...nuts. if i moved the wrong want he went into a panic and nearly killed himself and injured my other rabbits by startling them with his antics that he ended up gumbo. they both passed it to their kits too. i still have the doe because i need her body and coat, but i'm definitely going to be picky about which of her kits i keep. so far it's been none ;P

there's also someone here, i can't remember, who enters their moody does' cages with a cup of water. when she boxes or lunges at them, she gets a faceful of water.

may not help her not see you as necessarily a threat, but personally i have little patience for a rabbit aggressive enough to draw blood. she may calm down after she's bred, but she may not. i wouldn't keep her if she keeps biting and especially if her kits remain unfriendly even after plenty of handling and interaction.
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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:46 pm


Imho, it makes such a big difference how they spent their childhood and youth. My oldest doe, Fury, isn't exactly friendly, is mean to other buns, and has a very strong opinion of what needs to be done. But she was in my apartment for months, and always comes to demand noserubs now, years later. My second old doe was never that close, pawed me for years, but came around anyway.
Offspring of Fury is incredibly diverse, from totally sweet and unconcerned to extremly skittish, to the point I'm actually happy to send them to freezer camp. (Even an otherwise quite nice doe I kept will post #metoo if I ever touch her for more than one second :? ), from inquisitive to never-leave-the-hutch. Those of Magda, the other doe, are all more offish, very independent and great outdoor (out-hutch, out-fence...) bunnies, fences are pretty use- and pointless. No chance for petting, but in the end they accept being picked up in the woods and being carried home (-> Treats).

It's hard to tell, but when judging their character it's more how they look at me or in which way they flinch than if I get a scratch now and then when they get outraged for whatever reason (I got bitten several times when breaking up a fight, but well, can't blame them for that). Some of the spitfires are great characters when they mature. It may be that I like difficult characters better than bland ones.

I feel their teeth every day when feeding, but that's just that they can't see the treat in front of their nose, and it's harmless, also being nibbled when they don't want to be picked up. Protective clothing helps to ignore it. Interesting thing is - my rabbits do not care or even notice if I wear gloves or not, it's all the same to them.

I don't have much experience with new bunnies settling in, but I would estimate that it takes 2-3 months. Imho they go through phases, and your bunny attacking might be that she's now unsure of the status of her new territory and trying to make a point.

When dealing with animals, I try to just act normal, continuing, no matter what reaction. Most times they get the clue.
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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Stephanie » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:52 pm


When I first got my rabbits, the doe would huddle in the back of the cage, terrified, with her 2nd eyelid nearly covering her eyes. If I opened the cage she would lunge at me. She never bit, but she'd bump me hard. I had the same concerns you expressed in your OP. However, after she was bred, she calmed down a lot. She had been bred once before, several months before I got her. In fact, when I got her I also got 4 of her offspring. Apparently, hormonal fluctuations were driving her nuts. After she calmed down a bit, I'd reach in and give her small treats to gain her confidence. Now, she's one of my sweetest does.

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#11  Unread postby ipoGSD » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:52 am


Just thought id give an update.. Clover is still a psycho bunny any time you put your hands in. Especially if you're feeding her, everyone is afraid of her. I trick her by dropping a few pellets in her litter box. While shes eating i have a few seconds of safe time to put some in her dish lpl. Ive never even had a dog be food agressive but i sure do have a bunny that is lol

And yes kimitsu, i do feel it was best to start a new thread about this issue even if it was the same doe from my other posts. Someone could be having this issue and a search might not bring anything up. Or a member of the forum might have helpful advice about one thing and perhaps not the other. If all in one thread, that person might not bother reading the thread they know nothing about missing their chance to help on a subject they know about :)

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Re: New bunny drew blood

Post Number:#12  Unread postby akane » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:11 pm


It's easier for people to not guess at the backstory though both when trying to help and when getting information. I have googled to find myself loading page 4 of an 8 page thread because that's where the relevant part was. I still have to go back to the first page when that happens to see what the initial situation was in order to know how much it differs from mine. I would not search a whole forum to find every related thread on a particular person or animal in order to know what led to the situation. It's more efficient to find a more complete thread. Even now I don't remember if I read the past of this rabbit and can only go off vague comments that it might not have come from a quality breeder that handled them well. If I knew a rabbit had always been well handled I would not give the exact same advice. I haven't started a thread in awhile but you could edit titles here by editing your first post unlike many other forums and it's quite useful if done correctly. Aside from some having a time limit to editing a past post the reason it's often specifically blocked is wanting to make sure the title is not changed to the point people fail to realize which one it is. I have frequently kept the main title and tacked on additions. There's some I've just kept changing the end I put on it for current events. Especially sticking non-rabbit animal threads in that section of the forum when it's not as active.

Scared rabbits often strike out when they start gaining confidence. They are still scared but now they are bold enough in their environment to defend it. It's possible it's just a phase of settling in for a rabbit that has a reason to take extra long to do so. I've had some that were still changing behavior 6 months later. While you want to consider their history and give them a fair chance I do think there are some genetics you just can't counter enough to have a good rabbit or good offspring for most situations and I would not send offspring from those rabbits to other homes on the risk they end up having even worse personality issues. I ran a genetics experiment with "demon rabbit"'s line by keeping a male from each generation to breed to stable females of the same breed. The does were too aggressive to want to handle and the doe I started with would attack from the ground and rip through leather gloves. Issues persisted for many generations and the other rabbits hated to be near or breed with the buck of each generation even when they didn't show aggression. Since I was making dog food and had a purpose for even mini rex that I didn't want to curse other people with it was an interesting thing to test. I decided that unless I couldn't get anything better I would not persist with aggressive rabbits unless they turned around on their own after several months because the odds of the offspring needing at least slightly more careful handling or specific homes that kept their fearful/aggressive temperaments down was too high. Now if they have a questionable past for positive handling and they go through the stages to turn from fearful to confident rabbits I would give them a shot even if aggression does show up in there. It's quite common for animals that have not learned humans are safe to go through a defensive stage of their space or resources and often passes with ongoing consistent handling to result in perfectly fine offspring when handled correctly. Some just take longer. If their behavior is still changing it's still progressing even if it seems to go backward temporarily. In the case of "demon rabbit" she started out as a sweet little rabbit I got at weaning with her brother and consistently only got worse over the year until she could not be handled without blood loss even wearing gloves or leaving her loose on the floor of a colony.
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