Rabbit getting meaner

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KyleeB

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Hello all! About a month ago I purchased two sister New Zealand rabbits. They are kept exactly the same. One bunny is the calmest friendliest thing ever. One wants to eat my hand every single time I try to do anything. Including during feeding times.

My question is this. How do I get my other bunny socialized so she doesn’t try to bite me every time I feed or pick her up. We’ve been trying to handle her daily but it’s hard when she’s so mean.

I’d appreciate any advice.
 

KyleeB

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Spay, if it's a pet.
If a breeder, breed it.
Shes for breeding. I was trying to wait until she was a little older to breed her. All of my rabbits are handled daily by my kids but the meaner she gets the less they want to handle her.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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I would suggest waiting till 6 months to breed
You're not trying to keep them together, are you?
 

Buknee

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She most likely won't change. If she does, it's a long process with lots of bites and scratches. Been there, done that. I had sisters that were the same way. Unfortunately I lost the sweet one. (paralysis) So, I was determined to make it work with the mean sister. Well, it has worked, but not because she changed. I have learned how to deal with her. She rewarded me with a litter of 13 last round.
I have to be very careful of quick movements with her. She will still lunge at times, but I don't let her intimidate me. I don't move my hand and tell her no. She will actually cower as she knows she was bad. She is one moody female. LOL
I have grown to love this ole' girl and am glad I put up with her, but I don't think I would do it with another one.

I would not breed a doe early in attempt to overcome aggressiveness.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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I have to be very careful of quick movements with her. She will still lunge at times, but I don't let her intimidate me. I don't move my hand and tell her no. She will actually cower as she knows she was bad. She is one moody female. LOL
I have grown to love this ole' girl and am glad I put up with her, but I don't think I would do it with another one.
How did you not get bit lol
 

Buknee

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How did you not get bit lol
Right....
I did many times. I have learned to not pull my hand back. I put my finger up and tell her NO, Bad Girl! She then cowers and whimpers. A lot like a kid really. I then pet her and tell her good girl. It's been a process! I reward her often for not being aggressive. 2 craisins, her favorite treat. (no more than once a day)
She loves attention but not discipline. I have to be consistent and stay firm.
 

Cosima

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Right....
I did many times. I have learned to not pull my hand back. I put my finger up and tell her NO, Bad Girl! She then cowers and whimpers. A lot like a kid really. I then pet her and tell her good girl. It's been a process! I reward her often for not being aggressive. 2 craisins, her favorite treat. (no more than once a day)
She loves attention but not discipline. I have to be consistent and stay firm.
That sounds like my doe chilli. Expect she lunges at me every time I try to clean her cage.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Right....
I did many times. I have learned to not pull my hand back. I put my finger up and tell her NO, Bad Girl! She then cowers and whimpers. A lot like a kid really. I then pet her and tell her good girl. It's been a process! I reward her often for not being aggressive. 2 craisins, her favorite treat. (no more than once a day)
She loves attention but not discipline. I have to be consistent and stay firm.
I should try that with my Doe Pearl
But I will definitely wear gloves 😅
 

ladysown

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wear better clothing, and bribery. Honestly.. figure out what her favourite treat is and bribe her. MOST rabbits respond well to bribery. If she does not respond (takes up to two months, often less) then eat her. You don't want to breed that type of behaviour into your herd.
 

Buknee

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wear better clothing, and bribery. Honestly.. figure out what her favourite treat is and bribe her. MOST rabbits respond well to bribery. If she does not respond (takes up to two months, often less) then eat her. You don't want to breed that type of behaviour into your herd.
I agree. I did keep one of Penny's does. Very sweet and a big (10 lbs @ 5 months) rabbit. Well....yesterday she bit me out of the blue as she recently did once before. I am really hoping she doesn't take on her mother's aggressiveness. All my does are acting up right now so I hope it will pass, but I won't keep anymore offspring from an aggressive doe.

Trial & error! Learn & progress.
 

arachyd

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Many does go through that stage. She's old enough to breed. Breeding will calm them down most of the time. If she's one of those that doesn't settle down after having a litter she likely won't ever be a good pet. It is possible she could pass on aggression to her kits either genetically or by their learning from her how to act. I had only one rabbit that refused to calm down but her kits were calm and sweet-natured.
 

Tommy

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Hello all! About a month ago I purchased two sister New Zealand rabbits. They are kept exactly the same. One bunny is the calmest friendliest thing ever. One wants to eat my hand every single time I try to do anything. Including during feeding times.

My question is this. How do I get my other bunny socialized so she doesn’t try to bite me every time I feed or pick her up. We’ve been trying to handle her daily but it’s hard when she’s so mean.

I’d appreciate any advice.
My rabbits are all New Zealands. Most of my females are fine unless they have new kits. There’s one that was aggressive at first. The breeder I got them from told me to be firm but not violent. Grasp her by scruff of neck, press down and say no firmly. It’s worked. Anytime she lunges all I have to do is say no firmly and she lays down.
 

Zee-Man

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Dosiedoe has always been aggressive with me. Eventually I got to a point that I accepted that it was just her way. I feed 100% wild forage in the summer. So my hand always goes in the hutch with her. I have learned to let her make her charge at me, then lay the food down. Just as she begins eating, then she gets petted. She hunkers down all submissive while being pet. After such a long time, this year she is just beginning to not charge me. Patience kindness and longsuffering. Hey! Isn't that Galatians 5:22?
 

eco2pia

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In the case of the OP, I think the doe is just ready a little early for breeding--if she is adult sized I say go for it, fast maturity IS something I want to breed into my herd. The vast majority of the time does do settle once they are bred.

I have a scar on my upper arm from a doe that bit me through my jacket. She is a great mom and totally mellow now. I almost ate her immediately without even trying to breed her that day, believe me. Glad that I decided to give her a chance. However, I am very very far from biblical patience, and I make no apologies. :) If she kept trying to bite she would have been a lovely stew.
 

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