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Bandit: rabbity antics

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Azerane

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Hello all,

I've been reading through a few blogs lately and thought it would be fun to start one about my new bun, Bandit. Today has been a tale of highs and lows, but I'll begin with when I first brought Bandit home, which was only a few days ago.

Bandit is a Smoke Pearl rabbit, who I got at about 16 and 1/2 weeks of age. I picked Bandit out from his siblings because he was a male, not that I was bothered by it either way, but as we're renting, when I let my rabbit out in the exercise pen on the lawn, I didn't want a female digging divets all over the place. After a haphazard start which involved me getting 2 minutes away from the breeder's house before getting a phone call that I'd taken the wrong rabbit! (She'd accidently mixed the cages up when moving them to get some hay out for me), so back I went before driving home again with the 'right' rabbit. Funny thing is, as it later turns out, it may have been right the first time...

Day 1 with bun was interesting. His hutch is outdoors, he spent about an hour in his hutch while I went out for a few supplies, before getting to spend the whole day inside in the laundry (which is quite large) as it was too hot out for him. Which worked out because it enabled me to spend some time with him, I left him alone for a little while I washed dishes so he could get settled and then tried to tempt him with varying treats, with little success. Though I discovered that he absolutely loves pellets, so I put some in a treat ball. Turns out, he's super smart too and figured out how that worked in about a minute. My previous rabbit who I had for about four years, couldn't figure it out.

On top of the treat ball smarts, he seemed to almost toilet train himself! What bliss. I set up a box with wood shavings and hay in the corner of the laundry and when he did his first couple of poos outside the box, I put them straight into it. About two more poos followed outside the box (which I quickly deposited into the box) and after that, not a single one. Everything was done in the litter box.

Day 2 and 3 involved lots more free run time in both the laundry and the exercise pen on the lawn, he quickly learned how to best make the use of frozen drink bottles and tiles, and very much enjoyed nibbling away on the lawn. In addition, his laundry litterbox talents seem to be transferring to his hutch litterbox use, even though the litter box is a quite small corner one, he still somehow manages to get his little bottom on it!

Day 4: today. It seemed that Bandit was definitely becoming more relaxed around me, I could go out to his hutch and open it without him running into the sheltered part. He would stay where he was and even not shift away when I pet him. He had a vet appointment scheduled for the afternoon, and since it was raining, I brought him inside for play time in the laundry again. It was a happy time of many binkies, which was great to see, because I hadn't seen many of them yet. I thought I also made progress with bonding too, although it was hard to tell.

At half past 4, we loaded up and headed off to the vet. Bandit was unceremoniously coaxed from his crate and onto the exam table. Unfortunately, there's a huge low point for me here. I was holding onto Bandit, who was very scared, and he got free of my grip, before I knew it he was making a jump off the table. I tried to catch him but to my horror only ended up making his landing on the floor worse. I was beside myself for hours after the vet appointment and cried. I felt like such a failure to him. After his leap for freedom, we scooped him back onto the table for his exam. The vet poked and prodded and poked some more, ummed and ahhed before informing me that Bandit was in fact a girl! A big surprise to me, I was a little disappointed, but not overly worried about it, I mean, I'm already attached to the dear little thing! So, after a check of her teeth, and a jab against Calici, I was sure that Bandit absolutely hated me.

When we got home, I brought her back inside (because I felt so guilty) and simply set the crate down in the laundry, opened the door, put some fresh basil leaves at the entrance and let her be so she could relax. About an hour or so later, I sat down in the laundry with her, at first she wouldn't come out but I think her curious nature got the better of her (my shoes seemed to smell funny). I pulled out the bag of pellets (knowing she loves them) and started coaxing her towards me with them. I feel like we made huge progress here, because at first she was just putting her front paws on my legs and reaching for the pellets, then at one point she was sitting completely on my lap eating pellets while I was petting her. I was so grateful that she seemed to forgive me for what happened (the power of the pellets) and it helped me to feel not so guilty about it. It was also good to see her happily eating and moving around after her fall and calici virus vaccine.

So it's been quite a dramatic day today, but I know as a whole that we are making progress. She's trusting me more, being much less shy and generally seems to be happier than when she first arrived.

Here's an image for those who may not have seen it in my re-introduction thread:
 
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Loopsy

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She's so pretty. Looking forward to reading more about her.
 

Chrisdoc

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She is so gorgeous. Glad you decided on the name, it does suit her and I´m sure she´s forgiven you already and the main thing is she was fine afterwards and she seems to be settling really well.

I will look forward to reading more about her and her new home.
 

Azerane

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Thanks guys, I appreciate it. Thanks for getting through such a long first post.

Day 5: Taste preferences.
Here I was, trying to be a good person. I went out of my way to get some bok choy for Bandit to try. She's never had it before, and I want to slowly start adding some more greens to her diet. So I pull off a nice juicy leaf, give it a rinse and take it out to her. She has a sniff and seems quite interested. Then she has a nibble, gives me a funny look and has a smaller second nibble. That must have done it because not a moment later she's trying to thrust it away with her forehead and push it to the furthest corner of her hutch. It's like she was trying to tell me something...

I get the feeling my Bandit doesn't like bok choy. :laughsmiley: Still, I left it in her hutch so we'll see if it's still there in the morning.
 

Azerane

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Haha true. We had some success this morning as I tried putting another bok choy leaf in the food bowl, and amazingly, it was the first thing she ate! Put another one in this evening without any luck though! Just temperamental I suppose, getting used to the new food. Probably just mad that I didn't take her out for playtime today, but I'm going to make up for it tomorrow.
 

missyscove

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She is a beautiful bunny. I'm not aware of any differences between males and females in their digging habits. My two live inside but occasionally go out into the yard on a harness and leash and my boy is actually the only one that does any digging.
 

Azerane

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Thanks, I suppose I'll find out whether she fancies it or not as she gets a bit older.

When I went to pick her up out of her hutch today, she actually nipped me, not hard at all. I'm assuming she just didn't want to be picked up, but I persisted anyway because I was picking her up so that I can let her have some time in the play pen on the lawn.
I've had her for exactly a week now, so I figured it was time to celebrate with some more pictures!

Relaxing on a warm day with frozen bottle and tile. Didn't take her long to figure those out.


More relaxing:


And playing in the pepsi box!
 

PaGal

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She's a very pretty bun! Thumper is funny about trying new veggies. The first time I give him a new veggie he gets a small piece and over time I slowly increase the size. The first time I give him a veggie I have to put it in his food bowl. If I try to hold it he will sniff but refuses to nibble. After he has tried the first piece out of his food bowl, after that I can hand feed him a piece if I choose to. He's silly!
 

Azerane

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A gender-bending update:
So I decided that today I would have a go at sexing Bandit myself, since there seemed to be some conflict between the vet (girl) and the breeder (boy). It's been a long time since I had done it and wasn't sure if Bandit would tolerate it, but we fared quite well. I picked her up, held her upright against my lower chest/stomach, sat down in the chair, then lightly held her scruff while I slowly leaned forward to tip her back onto my legs. It worked really well and Bandit handled it like we were both pros (thank goodness). I had a look around, couldn't find any testicles, but to me s/he seemed to have a round opening, not the slit like on a female. I didn't want to overdo the experience for her so I sat her back up, gave her some parsley and put her back into the play room. This afternoon, after doing a bit of extra research in what to look for in terms of the shape, I gave it another go. Bandit didn't relax quite as much as the first time, but still easily let me tip her back to have a look. Again, when applying a little pressure, the thing that popped out looked all male to me, then just as an afterthought, I had another look for testes. 'Lo and behold, I found one. Which is good news for two reasons: 1- I have a boy like I originally wanted/thought I had, and 2- it means I do have some idea of what I'm looking at when trying to sex rabbits from their genitals! Yay!

So from now on, I officially have a boy! Which means that whole last paragraph is incorrect where I'm calling Bandit a 'she', lol.

It could also be bad news that the vet didn't know what she was looking at, but I will double check when I ring to make my next appointment that I get their best rabbit vet, as I know they have a few there that see rabbits, but some may obviously have more experience than others.

In regards to the bok choy, he seems to be on and off with eating it, one day he will the next he won't. I'll put it in his bowl with his other greens and he'll go crazy eating everything else, and an hour or two later he'll come back to eat the bok choy. He's silly.
 

Chrisdoc

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Glad you´ve managed to figure our the sex...it is sometimes difficult but I remember when I did it with Bandy, I pressed and his the thing that popped out was definitely all male so I was really sure...gave me quite a shock but there you are.
 

Azerane

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Thanks, it is good to finally know for certain.

I bought a bag of meadow hay yesterday and have started adding some to his oaten hay so that I can transition him to it. I also bought a wire ball to stuff hay into, it seems to keep him more occupied than simply eating a pile of hay.

I also bought him a new toy yesterday that I've just tried on him today, it's like a more complicated version of a treat ball. He seems to like it so far. I had to get him some new things because he started being destructive to his tunnel. A tunnel which I had for four years with another rabbit and he never once bit it. Now there's already a whole in it after two and a half weeks with Bandit, lol.
 

Azerane

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Day... something or other. Almost two weeks in any case :p

I've started transitioning Bandit to meadow hay, instead of the oaten he was being given. As it turns out, I'm super allergic. So that's a fun fact. Tell you what though, I love the smell of the meadow hay, it's much stronger than the oaten. Probably why I have so much trouble with it. I'm hoping I can pick up some zyrtec tomorrow and be done with the allergies to it. My rabbit fur allergy isn't too much of a problem, really only at moulting, but this meadow hay is something else. If it doesn't make Bandit a super rabbit or something, I'm claiming damages to me, lol.
 

Azerane

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Thanks for the tip, though I'm not really sure it's available here. Taking allergy meds seems to work really well though. I had been sneezing up to 20 times within 10 minutes of dishing out his hay. After taking a zyrtec the day before, I sneezed once, then two days after I sneezed twice and had to blow my nose a couple of times, so really not bad.
 

MILU

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Awww he's so sweet!!! Cool Pepsi toy house you made for him!
I had the same question about my MILU, he switched from being a male to being a female to being a male back again. Then he stayed male... hahah
 

Azerane

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Well, can't say I made the pepsi toy, it's just the box the cans come in and I widened the hole on one end. He made the hole big enough on the other ;)

Captain's log: Stardate March 14, 2013. xP
I had Bandit out in his pen on the lawn today (supervised time only), it's a really good set up. Yesterday when he was out there I was thinking that I may need to invest in some taller panels. Today, he had already been in there for a couple of hours when he suddenly decided that one particular corner looked quite jumpable. He didn't make it, got his front legs over the threshold but then didn't have anything to push off on with the back (thank goodness!). Gave me a real fright and am definitely going to have to look for taller panels or a way to extend mine. After his near escape, I brought him inside to run around in the laundry instead. He threw a complete tantrum when I put him in, lol. Threw his toys around, tipped his box over, I stood it upright, he tipped it over again etc. He seems to have settled down now.

Otherwise though, we had a nice moment outside, I was sitting in his pen with him and he came over and lay down against my back, he's never done that before, so that was nice. I've discovered, that he also seems to get a kick out of putting his wire hay ball into his water bowl, sometimes when there's no hay left, sometimes when there is so he ends up with green water :p
 

Tauntz

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Bandit is a beautiful bun! Has good taste too, I prefer Pepsi myself! lol Love reading about your adventures with Bandit! Oh, I'm a Star Trek fan too!
 

Azerane

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I'm not really a Star Trek fan, the saying just popped into my head and I felt I had to use it :p

The box-tipping from his tantrum the other day has turned into quite a fun game, he seems to quite enjoy tipping it repeatedly over now. I also sexed him again, because although I know he's a boy, I just had to double check again (gave me a chance to just check him over too), and also, I want to make sure I'm still able to hold him and tip him onto his back like that should the need arise, so I feel like it's good to do every so often to keep him used to it and to keep my confidence up in my ability to do it.

Cute bunny time! Here's a photo Bandit's breeder sent me of when he was little. He's so cute and adorable, it just makes me want to squidge him. :)

 

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