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Thread: Rabbit biting advice needed

  1. #1
    Warren Scout Compass's Avatar
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    Default Rabbit biting advice needed

    Hi all,

    In october we adopted a 4 month old rabbit from the RSPCA, he has had problems with his bowels ever since we had him (very symptomatic of megacolon) and the RSPCA vets are in contact and will see him next month for a check up. The thing is ever since we've had him he has been quite aggressive when we try to go near him. He puts his tail up straight away and lunges at us often trying to bite
    (successfully to me today ). Unfortunately he hasn't bonded with his partner (oddly he doesn't seems to bite her but seems to put his tail up and runaway skittishly). We are persisting and determined to try to make it work. My concern is I really don't know what to do, I've never had any rabbits bite me before (I've kept rabbits for 8 years). I often read that it is because rabbits are mistreated and neglected and I don't believe this was the case with this bunny in his previous life (voluntarily given to the RSPCA by previous owner as had a number of baby rabbits).

    We have tried to pick him up and handle him daily but this doesn't seem to be working and i'm not sure if this is helpful or not. Other than the aggressive part when we go near him he otherwise appears very happy and healthy, binkying regularly round the garden, eating well and no other odd behaviour. He doesn't look in pain at all.

    Any advice on this situation is much appreciated, any tips etc.
    Many thanks
    A collector of Rescue Bunnies 'Brie', 'Biscuit', ''Bagel' and Newbie 'Pumpkin'

    Binky in Peace Pedney, Cheddar and Pickle

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I assume he is neutered? Does he live in a hutch or indoor cage?

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    Yes, he has been neutered. He is currently living in temporary accommodation (a partitioned hutch and top box) with daily access to the garden (usually 4 hours at least each day). The other bun to be bonded with has the attached run part. The hope was when they bonded we could remove the partition. Here is a pic of set up. He is in top two tiers of hutch and connecting pipe to top box.
    A collector of Rescue Bunnies 'Brie', 'Biscuit', ''Bagel' and Newbie 'Pumpkin'

    Binky in Peace Pedney, Cheddar and Pickle

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    A collector of Rescue Bunnies 'Brie', 'Biscuit', ''Bagel' and Newbie 'Pumpkin'

    Binky in Peace Pedney, Cheddar and Pickle

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    Wow! He should be well pleased with that! It isn't nice when they bite and I'm sorry not to have any useful advice.

  6. #6
    Forum Buddy Zoobec's Avatar
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    When was he neutered? If it was very recently maybe his hormones are still subsiding? Maybe he will stop once he is bonded and has a friend, perhaps hes being territorial with his space with the other rabbit in close proximity.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx
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  7. #7

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    Your set up is awesome!

    I don't have any advice as such, but I too have a rabbit that bites. Of a total of twelve rabbits, our Dottie is the only one that bites. It's like she makes a point of going for me, usually I'm putting food in and not even touching her and she bites. Not a little nip either, she often draws blood. She has been spayed and is bonded with Ziggy, but her behaviour has never changed.

    We've always assumed that it's due to her previous home, as she was unwanted and living in a tiny hutch. I don't think she'd had much handling. But it's pure speculation and it might just be her personality.

    I don't know if there's anything to be done, I just tend to work around it and hope she doesn't get me! x

    **created by my DD Lionheadlop**

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheThreeB's View Post
    Your set up is awesome!

    I don't have any advice as such, but I too have a rabbit that bites. Of a total of twelve rabbits, our Dottie is the only one that bites. It's like she makes a point of going for me, usually I'm putting food in and not even touching her and she bites. Not a little nip either, she often draws blood. She has been spayed and is bonded with Ziggy, but her behaviour has never changed.

    We've always assumed that it's due to her previous home, as she was unwanted and living in a tiny hutch. I don't think she'd had much handling. But it's pure speculation and it might just be her personality.

    I don't know if there's anything to be done, I just tend to work around it and hope she doesn't get me! x

    Yes, you have to be quick!

  9. #9
    Warren Scout JuliaW's Avatar
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    Hi. When we adopted Bob he was just under a year old and had been recently neutered. He was agressive and lunged everytime he was approached. He had been born and raised in the cat and dog shelter so was not used to much human company.
    Left to his own devices he was obviously happy and did seek our company on his terms. We just labelled him "independent " and although handled him when necessary largely left him to it. It took 2 years but he has lost his aggression and now readily accepts a pat. We adopted Boogie this year from the RSPCA at a year old and again, she will not be touched without a very vocal complaint (she grunts alot at approaching her) but she is happy, appears to be comfortable around us and loves Bob to bits. I'm around for the long game and hope that she will eventually succumb to our charms!
    It's easy to be disappointed when a rabbit makes it clear that any attention is unwanted. The cuddly stereotype does not often exist but I'm sure you know this. My advice is be patient, always remembering they are prey animals. Changes in behaviour are slow and subtle once they understand they can trust you. Have you considered wearing gloves for now so that you can be confident around them? Good luck

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  10. #10
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    Thank you for all your replies. It is reassuring to know we are not the only ones with a little nipper! The good thing is we dated them the other day and there was some mutual grooming and no fights! A bit of running away and ignoring each other but on the whole better. We are going to try them in the garden together at the weekend. Hopefully he may be a little less nippy if he finds love!
    A collector of Rescue Bunnies 'Brie', 'Biscuit', ''Bagel' and Newbie 'Pumpkin'

    Binky in Peace Pedney, Cheddar and Pickle

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