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New to Rabbit keeping!


New Kit
My daughter and I attended a Fiber Festival near our home in Virginia last fall 2023. We loved the Satin Angora Rabbits! We studied, read and researched the breed for 3 months before reaching out to adopt two females from the woman who had them at the festival. We brought them home in January. We have now had them 3 months. After giving them a couple days to adjust we slowly started combing/brushing them as we had learned they needed to be brushed out several times a week to avoid wool blocks and matting. The first two months they were fine with it but recently they are very resistant to being combed/brushed. We are super gentle and patient. We trim mats with a blunt nose safety scissors and make sure we are careful to never pull fur or stress the bunnies. But they are more and more resistant and I worry we are not grooming enough… they have also stopped wanting to be held? The women we got them from says this is their defiant teen behavior? Is this what others have experienced? We very much want to care for them in the best possible way but I am at a loss for how to proceed (other than to keep trying). I have never had Rabbits before and no matter how many tutorials we read and watch it doesn’t help us navigate our girls. I am hoping for a bit of kind guidance. Thank you and I have learned a lot from others posts and responses.


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Aw, yeah, it does sound like it's typical teen rebellion, to be honest. Very young bunnies tend to be really easy going, but once they get hormonal in puberty, that usually ends and they start to develop a stronger personality, which often means they'll let you know when they don't like things! Most bunnies don't like to be held, I'm afraid. Getting pets while they're on the floor is usually fine, but being constrained is normally not a fun experience for rabbits, being prey animals. Will they be distracted by yummy food while you groom them? You may find that after they're spayed they become a bit more easy going again. I'd recommend spaying anyway, as it's not uncommon for two girls to start fighting when puberty starts, so keep an eye on how they are with each other. Something that can help with grooming is to just keep their fur trimmed short. That's what I did with my dwarf angora and it made things a lot easier.
I use a decent quality double sided metal dog comb to groom all my long haired furries, which has included fur like yours have. Brushes just don't get right down into the fluff, so you tend to get more mats to deal with. Many rabbits don't like to be held, but long haired breeds must be groomed. They are always better when they have all 4 feet on something. I sit with them on my lap and groom a quarter at a time - front, back, left, right. Underneath can mainly be reached from the top by gently working fingers underneath, and the last bit by holding them up in whatever position works for them. Armpits and trousers are the main bits to make sure you check properly as they will knot up. Mine get done thoroughly once a week unless they are having a heavy moult, in which case it's more often.

Have you been back in touch with the breeder for advice on grooming, and maybe a demonstration? The rabbits will be used to her way of doing it, so may settle a bit better with a familiar method.

I totally agree on the neutering. It's most likely that 2 adolescent girls will fall out big time. They can be neutered from around 6 months (check with your vet) and hormones will settle down over the next few weeks.