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Thread: Picking up flighty rabbits

  1. #1

    Default Picking up flighty rabbits

    Hi there

    We recently purchased 2 baby rabbits. We have had them since Christmas and they’ve are 14 weeks old. The male has recently been spayed and the female is going in a couple of weeks

    They hate been picked up and will bolt as soon as you try, the breeder we bought them off said to handle them everyday which we have tried to do but I’ve read off other forums not to as they won’t bond with you
    The male particular seems to go in the huff after you try them will come round again in a couple of days but next time you try he just seems really jumpy again

    They seem to have settled well in the house and will seem really relaxed on certain days, but then as soon as you try to pick up again it’s back to square one

    Do i preservere or just leave them to get them to bond quicker ??

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Hello

    Very few Rabbits enjoy being picked up once they are no longer babies. In the wild the only time a Rabbit would be lifted off his/her feet would be when he/she was about to be a predators dinner. That fear instinct will remain hard-wired in the psyche of our Pet Rabbits.

    Whilst handling Pet Rabbits is necessary to carry out health checks etc, on the whole it's better to interact with Pet Rabbits whilst they have all four paws on the ground. We have to get down to their level. If you sit on the floor and just wait, a Rabbit will almost certainly eventually come over to investigate. Rabbits are very inquisitive.

    So if you are looking to optimising your Rabbits ability to bond with you then these links would be useful to read :

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-c...dling-rabbits/

    http://www.therabbithouse.com/behavi...-rabbit-up.asp


    The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF)- The UK'S biggest and best organisation for Rabbit lovers

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

    Rabbit Health and Diseases, a list of useful online information

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...ealth-Problems

    Myxomatosis, RHD1 and RHD2- VACCINATION IS ESSENTIAL

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...60#post7041560

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livluke2 View Post
    Hi there

    We recently purchased 2 baby rabbits. We have had them since Christmas and they’ve are 14 weeks old. The male has recently been spayed and the female is going in a couple of weeks

    They hate been picked up and will bolt as soon as you try, the breeder we bought them off said to handle them everyday which we have tried to do but I’ve read off other forums not to as they won’t bond with you
    The male particular seems to go in the huff after you try them will come round again in a couple of days but next time you try he just seems really jumpy again

    They seem to have settled well in the house and will seem really relaxed on certain days, but then as soon as you try to pick up again it’s back to square one

    Do i preservere or just leave them to get them to bond quicker ??

    Welcome to the Forum

    I do recommend that you get your rabbit used to being picked up and handled, as there will be many times that this will be necessary.

    There's some tips and tricks in these videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAhVqtx2MXI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke8XCOJjMp8


    I tend to pick a rabbit up when it's facing me, if that helps

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks guys.

    Will have a look at the links.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livluke2 View Post
    Thanks guys.

    Will have a look at the links.

    Welcome

  6. #6
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    I have rabbits that are half wild and have always been flighty.
    When it comes to handling them I would recommend doing it at exactly the same time every day. That way they will trust you more at other times of the day when you don't pick them up. If you bring them food at the same time each day, and never pick them up at that time of the day, they will trust you and have a good relationship

    It's all about how much time you spend with them really. The more time you spend with them not picking them up, the more they will trust you.
    If you stick to a routine and only pick them up once per day for their daily checkup then it won't be so bad. They will run away to begin with, but after a few months or years they won't bother running away because they know you always pick them up whether they run away or not.
    It also helps if you give them a little treat after every checkup. A fenugreek crunchie or similar.

    When you break the routine and take them to the vets or whatever then it will upset things for a day or two, but they will settle back down again.


    Another thing to note is that rabbits that are scared and flighty will behave completely differently if they were completely immersed in a human environment. You might not think they would be happy in doors but they actually do very well in doors. (although maybe not in a chaotic household). If you spend 6 hrs a day they will come to trust you and may even adopt you as a friend. They will come running towards you for food and may jump on your lap etc. If you only spend 1 hr per day with them they will never trust you in the same way and will always be flighty.
    Tim

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