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Thread: FIRST TIME RABBIT OWNERS 3.5 months old boy & girl rabbit now running away from us

  1. #1
    New Kit Easter&Bolt's Avatar
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    Default FIRST TIME RABBIT OWNERS 3.5 months old boy & girl rabbit now running away from us

    We adopted 2 young netherland dwarf rabbits (9wks & 10 wks) a month ago.
    We have two 10 yrs old children and one 6 yrs old.

    After the initial adjustment period the rabbits started bonded with the children and in particular the female. She was the most curious of the two and had no problems being picked up and cuddled.

    They live indoor and had the most amazing living accomodation. Their 'cage' is made by 3x4 c&c cage on 2 floor. It is position near a window so that they have natural light all day long. During the day they have the use of the children playroom ( a put a baby gate for them not to go into the kitchen) and they can round around and play. They do lack of stimulation or entretainment as I made sure they got plenty of things to nibble on or hide in.

    The children play with them before going to school and after they come back ( and they are very gentle with them and they don't force them if they want to do their things).

    During the day they tend to be alone (meaning people do not play with them) but there is always somebody in the house and they can hear me talking or going us and down.

    Three week passed and we went away for a week end (we had people checking on them and feedin them). We come back and the female come and sniff us and then run away.

    I haven't neutered the boy yet as the vet suggested I waited for a change in behaviour and I cannot feel his balls. I will take the female to the vet for a check up to avoid surprises.

    we have started to only give treats when they are being cuddled or being on our laps.

    Is there something else we should do?
    Are the rabbits offended because we left them for the weekend?
    Last edited by Easter&Bolt; 15-03-2017 at 12:03 PM. Reason: better title

  2. #2
    Mama Doe
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    firstly i wouldnt have them together at all. Read my post and see the trouble i have had, and am having now. my new bun has mated with my nethie and he was only 11 weeks old, i now have 5 babies. Nethies can be very skittish and with them being tiny i think they scare a lot easier than bigger buns anyway. None of my buns like to be picked up and i have 11 adult buns not counting the new 5 babies. i have had another 5 of these since birth and handled them too and they still dont like to be picked up. Just try gaining their trust while they are sitting on the floor instead of laps and they will soon forgive you for going away

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Now they are 14 weeks old I would definitely make sure the other one is a female as if not they might start to fight. It's also time to separate them in order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

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    New Kit Easter&Bolt's Avatar
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    Thnak you,
    I will definetly take them to the vet for a check up...fingers cross.

    However I don't understand why know they dont want to be picked up anymore while before they never had a problem.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easter&Bolt View Post
    Thnak you,
    I will definetly take them to the vet for a check up...fingers cross.

    However I don't understand why know they dont want to be picked up anymore while before they never had a problem.
    Do you all approach them and pick them up 'properly'?

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easter&Bolt View Post
    Thnak you,
    I will definetly take them to the vet for a check up...fingers cross.

    However I don't understand why know they dont want to be picked up anymore while before they never had a problem.

    Welcome to the Forum

    I would fully concur with all that W&S has said

    Added to which, bunnies do not like being picked up, as they are prey animals and this makes them feel very insecure. The reason they didn't mind before is because they were babies, and their 'instincts' for fear often don't kick in for a few weeks. Of course they could also have been put off by others coming in to feed them and perhaps wishing to interact with them?

    I find that rabbits are as they are - I only have rescue rabbits myself, and I know then how they are in their personality. I have one who is an absolute darling and can't get enough of human attention, but he's the exception. I only pick my rabbits up (unless they demand attention from me) when I need to. Not just because I want to have a cuddle with them. I hope that makes sense!

    Your rabbits sound really well loved and cared for, I hope you will stay and ask more questions if needs be

  7. #7
    New Kit Easter&Bolt's Avatar
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    thank you all,
    I will certainly use this forum a lot as we have much to learn.

    I pick them up properly (hand under their legs and very close to the body)...mayby Mighty Max is right and they have grown out of the cuddles, however when they see us the still approach us and if we are sitting on the floor they come close to us or on us.

    It is only when we get close with our hands they go away.

    As I said before we are trying with a very patient and gentle '"treats' approach".

    I hope the rabbit realise that "treats=human touch"...or is that too much to hope for?

  8. #8
    Mama Doe
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    As stated most buns do not like being picked up,my two bridge buns Rio and Cleo didn't.Cleo the girl would not tolerate being touched or petted even,though she would accept being hand fed food and treats.Rio the boy was more laid back he loved head/ear rubs etc,and would nudge you to continue when you stopped .All this though was on the floor,he would lie beside you.I think on their level (literally) is the way.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easter&Bolt View Post
    thank you all,
    I will certainly use this forum a lot as we have much to learn.

    I pick them up properly (hand under their legs and very close to the body)...mayby Mighty Max is right and they have grown out of the cuddles, however when they see us the still approach us and if we are sitting on the floor they come close to us or on us.

    It is only when we get close with our hands they go away.

    As I said before we are trying with a very patient and gentle '"treats' approach".

    I hope the rabbit realise that "treats=human touch"...or is that too much to hope for?

    You know, when I do yoga I get most interaction with my rabbits. They often jump on top of me, knowing they are safe from being picked up! They have no fear when I'm laying on the floor, or in pretzel pose

    That's the way to go - let them come to you, and resist all temptation to grab them or restrain them in any way. Just a quick stroke on their back, and if they run away, so be it

    The thing about rabbits is always - On their Terms

  10. #10
    Mama Doe
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    I have 4 buns, 2 will tolerate being handled, the other 2 hate it with a passion xx

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