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Thread: Scared new bunny

  1. #1

    Default Scared new bunny

    Hello everyone. I have brought our new rabbit home today. Heís only 8 weeks old. I put him in his hutch and stroked him. He seemed fine. I left him alone for a couple of hours to get used to his new home. When I went out to see him he ran in his sleeping area and wouldnít come out. He kept thumping. He was obviously very scared. Itís years since I had a rabbit and he wasnít scared like this. Iím not sure if I should start handling him from tomorrow like I planned or just leave him in the hutch and let him get used to us more slowly? Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Mama Doe TheBee's Avatar
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    Yes, definitely just leave him to get used to you I don’t ever handle my rabbits, it’s not necessary and is a stressful experience for them to be picked up and handled etc. Sit by his hutch and read or scroll on your phone and talk gently to him, then start to feed him from your hand once he gains a little confidence. I wouldn’t start to stroke him until he’s comfortable with you and wants you to. Good luck with him

  3. #3
    Forum Buddy Craig 1965's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome.
    Ok, your new bunny is relatively young - only 8 weeks old. He's been used to different surroundings for the last 8 weeks and now he has a completely new surrounding, different smells, sounds, and senses. Whilst you have provided security and warmth and comfort, to him, it's all a huge emotional upheaval. His sleeping area is his security blanket - it's a place where he can feel secure. His thumping is his way of demonstrating his uncertainty of the situation. He's not tuned in yet to the new world you are providing him so every sound, even though it is normal for you, is not for your bunny. So he is unsure and needs some time to adjust.
    My advice would be to reasure your bunny - talk to him, stay with him so he can see and smell you. You are going to be his life, his guardian and best friend and he has to give himself time to trust you. I would leave him for tonight, and then spend time tomorrow as much as you can and let him adjust to the new world he is in. Pick him up by all means as long as you feel comfortable with it, and he is comfortable with it. Most rabbits aren't really happy being handled but if you can get him used to it in a slow and gentle way, then great.
    Your rabbit has alot to process and he's still quite young and he's also alone so he's going into emotional overload. Perhaps if you can, try to find a suggle toy for him - maybe a small furry rabbit or similar that he can snuggle up with. It may also be worthwhile looking at perhaps a partner for him. he will benefit from a companion and you still have alot of relatively neutral territory so bonding could be helped by that.
    I'm sure that my RU friends will bounce on with some more advice but hopefully I've given you a few bits to look at.
    Good luck and please put photos on when you get a chance. We love to see the new bunnies. xx
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  4. #4

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    Thankyou both for your advice. Iím feeling really overwhelmed. Is this normal? The excitement of getting him has turned into a feeling of uncertainty. Poor little thing must be so scared. Is he likely to bite if I try and lift him out? I will leave him for now. But I will need to lift him out eventually to put him in his run. Iím going to move his hutch right next to our patio doors. Do you think that is a good idea? It will be noisier, kids and dog in and out all the time, but maybe this will help him get to know us. Funny enough, I had put a cuddly toy rabbit in his hutch. I wanted to get 2 together but he was the only one left. If I get another now would they bond easily? Would another boy be okay? I plan on getting him neutered as soon as itís possible.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Yes its normal. Personally I think his hutch is best in the quietest area but if you & family members spend time quietly in his space he should get used to you in time. I'd def recommend boy & girl (neutered & spayed) as the easiest bond

  6. #6
    Forum Buddy Craig 1965's Avatar
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    Absolutely normal. Your both feeling overwhelmed. Your excited but you also appreciate your responsibilities and your new bun is confused and overwhelmed too. It’s important to give your new bun time. It’s a whole new world and he’ll be scared and just trying to work out what is what. He has to learn that his hutch is safe, you are safe and tune into the world where you are.
    Putting the hutch closer to your house is a positive in my opinion. He can see you all and not feel so isolated. Maybe give him a few quiet days but spend time with him. Talk to him, stay close and gentle nose rubs if you can.
    Soft cuddly companion toys if possible and defo another companion bun. Speak to your vet about when to neuter but remember that after neutering it takes between 5 and 8 weeks for his hormones to subside so any possible companion should be considered after that period. And a female probably best and one that is spayed and around the same age if possible.
    Hope this helps and feel free to throw any questions on here. We’ve all been there.
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  7. #7
    Mama Doe bunny momma's Avatar
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    Welcome. If the hutch has a lot of window/wire areas, you may want to cover part of the hutch with a blanket or towel so your new bunny can hide.
    Are there any wild animals around the hutch?

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper
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    It is very normal for your new bunny to be frightened as others have said, but he will learn that his new surroundings are not as threatening as he thought and will eventually become more confident. Male rabbits can be neutered around 4 months and then he will be able to have a female friend, preferably one which is spayed. Why not have a look on the Rabbit Welfare Association's website for loads of advice on diet, housing etc, etc. Rabbits also need to be vaccinated against Myxo/RHD1 and RHD2 and try to ensure you have a Vet experienced with rabbits.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper susie bun's Avatar
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    Hope your new bunny has started to settle.

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