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View Full Version : How much handling?



megansmummy
25-10-2011, 02:12 PM
:wave:

Our girls have been home since sunday morning and since then we have just sort of left them too it ion their hutch to settle in...they are really friendly and gentle and have been taking food from our hands etc.. but how much 'picking up' do they really need? someone I know who has bunnies said that they need to be handled to keep them friendly so that they get used to it etc but is that really true? Daisy and Poppy have both been inquisitive and climbing up on my lap etc when im sat with them in the run and come straight to the door of the hutch when i open it etc...

The place that they came from handled them...I held daisy the morning we picked them up so i know they have been handled but i just dont want to over do it if thats makes sense?

I havnt yet picked them up since I put them in their hutch on sunday...they have come to me if they wanted to when I have been out there with them :) They are both nibblers of my clothes too! :lol: I was sat cross legged and Daisy was nibbling my joggers! They are also quite enjoying snacking on their hutch!!

So how much picking up and handling do your bunnies get?

chul
25-10-2011, 02:15 PM
Mine get minimal! Bunsk hates being picked up full stop. Belle is ok, but she likes to know where Bunsk is!

GrahamL
25-10-2011, 02:16 PM
i very rarely handle Biscuit, as he hates it. I only do so when its absolutely necessary. I can do all the health checks i need to do without really touching him. I can make him stretch so i can see under him, i can make him run and hop around to make sure his legs are okay, he'll let me check his ears as long as i'm giving him a noserub, but thats pretty much it. He's not a people bunny so much, but loves to groom me and my wife. He's a bunny bunny.

Ginger, however, asks to be held, cuddled, stroked etc, so it is easier to do health checks on her.

I personally dont think its necessary to hold them lots and lots.

Greenleaf Animal Rescue
25-10-2011, 02:19 PM
The natural state of a bunny is on the ground- minimal handling is generally best. Rabbits being prey animals prefer this.

Hugo's There
25-10-2011, 02:22 PM
I think it depends on the bunny. Some of ours don;t get handled at all unless absolutely necessary, where as if I didn't pick Humphrey up around every 10 minutes for a kiss and cuddle there would be trouble!

susie bun
25-10-2011, 02:28 PM
Spenser used to hate being handled, but while he doesn't enjoy a cuddle he will now let me carry him from hutch to run/house without hyperventilating. Spenser was 7 months old when he came to me, and whilst he had been loved by his previous owner I think her poor health meant that he wasn't used to being handled. I've never been able to do a proper health check, and if I had young rabbits I would probably want them used to this at an early age.

As Liz and Graham said though, everybun is different!

LionheadLuver
25-10-2011, 02:42 PM
I think its best to handle them as much as possible when they are young. Its vitally important that you can pick your rabbit up safely and with as little stress to the rabbit as possible for veterinary visits, and health checks (eg toenail clipping, bum checks etc).

I have handled my rabbits from the day i got them (when they were 9 weeks old), and I can handle them safely and they are not stressed being held. I pick mine up twice daily to move them from their hutch to their run. I am glad that I got them used to being handled, because I have to check, clean and treat Molly's sore hocks daily, so if she wasn't happy with being held, this task would be so much more difficult and stressful for her than it is. Both of mine need their nails clipped every 3-4 weeks, and again handling early meant that this is also an easy task.

Although rabbits are prey animals, they are also pets, and pets need to be used to being handled for veterinary visits, so getting them used to this when they are young is far better for the rabbit in the long run, especially if they go on to develop a chronic health problem that needs constant treatment, which requires handling.

ninny40
25-10-2011, 02:50 PM
My 10 year old mini-lop, George, is brilliant for being handled and loves a cuddle with his mummy! He goes off to sleep when I cuddle him and is very settled. He loves laying on my lap in the Autumn sunshine (now that the sun's just warm and not hot) and he just relaxes and often nods off! I've handled him since he was 12 weeks old, and he never objects to being picked up, carried or kissed constantly! I'd be really upset if my buns didn't want to be picked up, or handled, as it's part of our daily routine for him to to have kisses and cuddles with his mummy. He loves it because he licks me all the time. I would suggest lots of safe handling, so as your girls get used to it and enjoy it! Happy cuddling!

Fayelou
25-10-2011, 03:10 PM
Simba gets moved from bathroom to living room when I get in from work and back to the bathroom to exercise at night time, when I go to bed. She is really affectionate with licks and kissesm but was so shy at first. Didn't like being picked up and when we did looked so nervous, that she was tolerating rather than enjoying it.

Now is a different story. She jumps up on my lap loads when I sit on the sofa, so I don't have the need to pick her up :)

All buns are different.

My bunny I had when I was little (so so so special, he was). Peanut, used to go MAD if you didn't pick him up, insisted on being held like a baby, licked and ran up to you and jumped up at your legs! I miss him so much. Friendliest rabbit that ever lived. So lovely

Jenova
25-10-2011, 03:10 PM
I don't handle mine much as they don't like being picked up. But it's important that I can pick them up when I need to so I get them used to it by picking them up every few days or if I need to.

My sister on the other hand believes in getting rabbits used to being held. She picks her rabbits up daily for cuddles and has got them used to it. She had Dexter from a baby and got him used to being held on his back. This would stress most rabbits a lot but because of where we rescued him from his back legs were very matted and we needed to do this to comb him daily. It turned out to be a life saver as a couple of weeks ago he was bitten on his private parts. We rushed him to the vets and we were able to hold him on his back while the vet examined him and cleaned him up. As a result he did not need a general anaesthetic or anything. She has had to check the wound and clean it daily and has been able to do this due to him being fine with being handled.

My rabbit Grimlock often needs his chin cleaning. He has bad teeth and dribbles and the skin under his chin folds and it can get quite damp and sore. But I really have to fight to clean it which stresses him out and I often wonder whether it's worth the stress. :?

So I think if you can handle them and they don't get too stressed it's a really good thing to do. As long as you understand that rabbits generally don't like being picked up and can get them used to it by doing slowly and working up to longer times being held. And also it's important to put them down before they get stressed so they think of it as a good thing.

megansmummy
25-10-2011, 05:53 PM
Oh yes i can see that from the point of health checks and vet trips, moving runs etc etc etc..perhaps I ought to work on that a little more :)

shell1805
25-10-2011, 07:08 PM
i dont overly handle my two, but they dont mind being picked up really that much. when they were young i spent a few weeks picking them up and putting them straight down and slowly increasing the length i held them so they knew i would still put hem down in the end :wave:

however for general 'cuddles' i let them come to me and both will jump on my lap when they want affections :)

of course there is the odd exception ;)

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff202/shell1805/004-42.jpg

xxx

happybun
25-10-2011, 07:33 PM
depends.
when i had them at first they had fifteen minutes each, daily, because they were nine weeks old and needed to get used to it. they're five now, and know what it's all about, so they manage with the half and hour to an hour each it takes to brush them and have a good look at them at the weekend. if i had more time, i'd do more.

megansmummy
28-10-2011, 03:41 PM
Thanks everyone! :)

I think I had been a little nervous at handeling them and so hadnt done it really but last night was their vet check up so I got them into their carrier which was a bit scrabbly and then the vet asked me to get Poppy out for her jab and i think he must have thought I was a bit daft when I said I was nervous about handling them! :oops: He showed me about 10 times how to pick them up and hold them and got me to do it myself infront of him :lol:

When we got home I got them out of the carrier and it was all MUCH calmer than when i put them in and then today I had them both out of their permenant run and carried them down to the big seperate run on the grass and it was fine :thumb: dont really know what I was worried about :roll::oops:

Jenova
28-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks everyone! :)

I think I had been a little nervous at handeling them and so hadnt done it really but last night was their vet check up so I got them into their carrier which was a bit scrabbly and then the vet asked me to get Poppy out for her jab and i think he must have thought I was a bit daft when I said I was nervous about handling them! :oops: He showed me about 10 times how to pick them up and hold them and got me to do it myself infront of him :lol:

When we got home I got them out of the carrier and it was all MUCH calmer than when i put them in and then today I had them both out of their permenant run and carried them down to the big seperate run on the grass and it was fine :thumb: dont really know what I was worried about :roll::oops:

It's the same with every new animal. You have to learn their body language and then you feel much better. I can pick any rabbit up but ask me to pick up a ferret and I'd have no idea! It just takes time. :)

madcatwoman
28-10-2011, 03:51 PM
My buns dont like being picked up but they are better if i pick them up and I stay low down if you see what i mean, they freak a bit if I stand up properly with them, they have always been picked up once a week at least to 'bum check' them and now my new girl has realised that picking up means a cuddle so is more positive about it. but they always loved a stroke even if they werent 'lap' bunnies