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Dang Doe.

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

Post Number:#1  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:44 am


I have 3 does that I kept back from my first ever litter. 2 Black Agoutis, and 1 Siamese Sable. The 2 Agoutis I kept, because their growth rate was amazing. Like 3 times that of the rest of their siblings, and the Siamese I kept, because I loved her color, and she was the sweetest little doe I had, had so far. She loved to licked your fingers, and face, and demanded you cuddle her.

They are 5 months old now, and I have some questions/concerns. I know very well that young rabbits go through a "teenage" phase, and get a little tweaky during that time. (Hyper, mood swings, pretty much as crazy as a teenager, haha.) The 2 Agoutis have evened out for the most part. There is a day here, and there that they are like "Eh, don't touch me," and that's totally fine with me. 90% of the time they are pretty "normal." :lol:

The Siamese Sable on the other hand is still quite strung out, I almost want to say that she is getting crazier each day. Nothing awful, or anything, but I spend A LOT of my day/night in the garage, and very often walk up to each cage about 100 times, and pet the buns. Either by sticking my finger through the wire, and giving them a scratch on the head, or opening the door, and petting them. While I am sticking my fingers/hand in the cage sometimes a rabbit, or 2 will just simply hop away from my hand. No big deal to me, I just close the door, and try again later. Most of them do run up to me as if I hadn't pet them in 100 years. Yeah like I NEVER show them affection, haha. :roll:

Coffee though (the Siamese Sable) acts like I am about to kill her, or something. About 2 weeks ago I had to separate her from her sister, because while she is smaller than her sister she became so high strung that she would basically run over her sister. Darting all around the cage hopping all over her, and even some times nipping at her. They were together in my 4 hole stacker cage, and she would literally jiggle it so much from running around that she has almost knocked the whole thing over! :x

Now back to the point. I put her in her own cage which is just a single converted indoor dog kennel. I thought maybe she just wanted her own space, but it has not slowed her down. There are days where I can walk up, and pet her nose through the wire, and she is okay with it. There's other days where if I even walk by the cage she runs around her cage desperately trying to escape the sight of me? OR when I open the door to pet her she does the same thing.

So here I am starting to wonder IF she is taking her sweet time coming out of that phase, or if this is really how she is going to be? Which is something I don't want. I have no problem with the rabbits simply not wanting to be touched at a certain time, but having 1 that is seriously starting become a struggle to interact with, or even get ahold of is something sort of don't want around.

The ONLY thing that makes half sense to me is the fact that her mother had cage issues when we first got her. She was more fearful of a hand rather than aggressive towards, or would try to hide from me, not like Coffee's whole darting around acting like OMG OMG OMG!!!! After some time, and being breed her mother did calm down quite a bit.

I don't want to be too hasty about culling her, but I also don't want it to take forever for her to start calming down.

Opinions, please?

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Re: Dang Doe.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:15 pm


I'm going to guess you like to wait a bit longer for the first breeding?

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Re: Dang Doe.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby HansenHomestead » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:53 pm


I'm just not sure IF I should wait.

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Re: Dang Doe.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ladysown » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:10 pm


She's a meat bunny?

Is she at 75% Of her expected adult weight?

I'd be breeding her to see if that settles her down.

If you don't want to do that.. give her a month to settle down. See what her temperament is like OR breed her. What she is like post kindle will give you a good idea if she's worth keeping or not.
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Re: Dang Doe.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Zass » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:02 am


:yeahthat: Mine tend to get bred if they are asking for it that seriously.
I actually just had a junior magpie doe go through something similar, racing around, acing all jumpy, thumping at me, growling and everything. If she'd have actually attacked and drawn blood, I'd have never bred her... Thankfully, she didn't take it any further than the behaviors listed.
Got her bred and brought her inside to help desensitize her to people, since the juniors really don't get that much interaction when they grow out during winter months. I put her in a cage that opens from above, which I feel helps with territorial behaviors, since buns really can't defend from that direction. From above, I can place a hand gently on top of her head to restrain her before messing around in the cage.

I've really latched onto the "habit breaking" idea when it comes to rabbit aggression, but, taking it a step further, I'd like to be able to prevent negative habits like cage aggression from forming to begin with. I guess that takes observation and daily interaction, so that I can tell when one starts to go "downhill." I've noticed it most often stars during that first pre-breeding hormonal phase that does have.

Laying down and allowing me to place my hand on her became her habit whenever the pen was opened, instead of bracing to defend or flee.

I also kept her on a limited (but more than sufficient) amount of pellets, and required her ask nicely for treats and goodies if she still wanted more (like greens, or the occasional carrot piece.) A pregnant rabbit? Of course she always wanted more to eat. ;)
Thankfully,it seems to have worked this time!!! She learned to beg, and she learned to get over herself and take food from us nicely, first through the cage bars, and then from our hands. She's calmed down, and never did develop full on cage aggression. She has been doing wonderful with 10 lovely kits that I can safely handle right in front of her. I'm breathing easier, not having to cull an animal I drove 5 hours away to get..

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