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Skittish Doe

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

Post Number:#1  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:47 pm


I am very new to raising rabbits. Last weekend I picked up a 9 month old buck, a 12 month old doe...both NZ...also a mixed doe...NZ / cal...13 months old...she is my problem child...both of the full NZ allow me to pet them...the mix just goes crazy when ever I open her cage...for that matter...whenever I get near her...I can gently stop her in a corner...so I can pet her...and I can feel her muscles quiver at my touch...she buries her face in the corner...her eyes closed...maybe I should just leave her alone...I certainly do not want to make this worse...and I have been very gentle and slow whenever I have made an attempt to touch her...the other 2 rabbits are OK with me....they just lay there and let me pet them...all 3 are waiting on me at feeding time...just the mixed doe seems to have an issue...I had hoped to breed both does this weekend...yet I am reluctant to do so with the mix....maybe that is best answer...not sure...any ideas for me...everyone seems to be eating, drinking, and droppings are OK...so I am at a loss.....Thanks
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#2  Unread postby ottersatin » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:04 pm


JT,
have you checked the Doe out?
Maybe she is ready to breed, I once had a Doe that was a bit jumpy
whenever she was not with a litter. Once bred she calmed right down.
When the Kits were weaned she was back to her nervous uneasy self.
I believe that if you handle and do whatever must be done while showing that YOU
are the Alfa she will come back into reality.
Hey, it just might work in your case.
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#3  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:13 pm


Thanks Ottersatin...that may be the case...when I bought her from the breeder he told me that he thought that they were jumpy and needed to breed...just wanting to be sure I am not doing anything wrong...as the other 2 seem pretty docile....and the mix is a maniac...none of them have made an attempt to bit me...yet..I am pretty laid back, and talk to them when I go into their area...hey...I have the most spoiled beagle on the planet...so...I am concerned when an animal in my care shows signs of being ...not happy...

__________ Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:09 pm __________

and...uh...how would I...check the doe out....as you suggested...not sure how that is done..

__________ Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:13 pm __________

and...uh...how would I...check the doe out....as you suggested...not sure how that is done..
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#4  Unread postby hoodat » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:16 pm


That's the ticket. Keep the bunrabs happy and they'll reward you.
Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem.

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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#5  Unread postby ottersatin » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:21 pm


Turn her over while holding the scruff and resting the rump on the grooming table.
Check genitals: She should be slightly swollen and bright RED to Purple in color.
This means she will be very receptive. Check the Buck to make sure he is carrying
a complete tool belt! If everything is in order, give a complete introduction.
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#6  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:24 pm


Ohhhh...that sounds like fun...but a guy has to do what he has to do...Thanks, I so appreciate the advice and help...
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#7  Unread postby eco2pia » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:36 pm


I think you are on the right track with the cornering and petting...just move slow and talk soft and start bringing her little treats. Leave her something tiny each time you go by. The top of a carrot, a piece of banana peel, a piece of lettuce or celery...like that.

As for the checking, I just put her in with the buck. If she breeds, great. If not, I just try the next day, until she does breed. I think being around the buck helps get them to cycle.

However, being pregnant may settle her down, but taking her in and out of the buck's cage WILL NOT--my girls always looked faintly peeved at me, so Ottersatin may have a really good point. :)

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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#8  Unread postby akane » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:46 pm


I found it better to just leave them alone for a week. I've gotten a few who were hauled to their first show and then to their new home and flipped. Chasing them around just makes their new home more stressful. My newest buck would wildly dash about hitting the corners of the cage and out the door to go splat on the floor if you weren't careful. After a few days he realized nothing was going to immediately attack him and went to hiding in the corner. When he started showing interest in his feeder being filled I started petting him when I fed him and gave him a doe to breed. Now he's mostly settled in and turning in to a calm rabbit I can just reach in and pull out with minimal fuss. I should try to pose him again now that he isn't 15lbs of spastic insane fur and talons.
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#9  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:51 pm


Well...sounds to me like I have fairly normal behavour out of her then...I will breed the 2 NZ on Saturday, and if all goes well, then breed the mix on Sunday...have my first breeders show to go to Sunday also...thanks everyone...bed time for me and my beagle...

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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Pickles » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 pm


Sorry to hear your doe has the skits... it could just be that she has had little to no human contact and she's just plain frightened- add to that a new environment, ect... and its a recipe for her being a little unnerved. Rabbits, just like people, all have different personalities and react differently to certain stimuli. A little attention everyday, wether she is receptive to it or not, should slowly wear down her defenses. Be patient... she'll come around for ya- just will take a lil' time. :)

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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#11  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:35 am


I am sure there was no human contact...she came from a very large breeder...so, I hope you are correct and she eventually settles in....that and breeding this weekend may help as well...thanks
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:43 am


I have found that skittish rabbits become more relaxed after a few days in a small cage. I have one of those solid-bottomed pet cages that is kept as an emergency cage for short-term use only. I had a very skittish doe who had a small sore on her neck where her claw had caught it when scratching. No big deal, but it was fly season so I brought her up to the house for a few days. This cage has a small hatch on top and I found that she soon accepted me patting her. I think it was because with no place to run, she quickly found out I was not going to hurt her. I've used it this way a time or two since, with similar results.

Please understand that I would never use such a cage long-term and that it is big enough for an adult rabbit to stretch out in. It is handy for housing single kits or for very short-term use for an adult. But it seems to work very well for taming down nervous rabbits too.
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#13  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:04 pm


Maggie you may be right...she is my largest rabbit and in my largest cage...30 x 36...I do not have a smaller cage to put her in...my buck is in a 24 x 24...the NZ doe is in a 30 x 30...I had thought about bringing her into the house...well...I live in a 37' travel trailer...and just let her loose for a bit to get relaxed...maybe not such a good idea...the only cage I have is pretty small...maybe 24 x 12...too small for her...she is a pretty big NZ / Cal mix...I plan to breed the NZ in the morning...and if all goes well...will breed the mix tomorrow night...tonight I gave all of them a small piece of carrot...and a very small bit of hay...both does took to the hay...but while putting the carrot into the cage with the mix...she lunged at my hand...yea...I got a small boo boo now...she did not try to bit...that I am aware of...she just is not settled...should I maybe consider putting off breeding her for a week...not sure...
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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#14  Unread postby eco2pia » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:17 pm


You could always switch her and the buck...temporarily.

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Re: Skittish Doe

Post Number:#15  Unread postby JT_Hunter » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:36 am


Hmmm...maybe switch the buck and doe after breeding them...just take the buck out and put him in the larger cage...that may work as he seems pretty laid back...Thanks, I may try that...I am a bit nervous about trying to put her in his cage for breeding any way...she will be a handful I am sure...I do have help for this adventure...wish me luck...my first breeding adventure
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