boredom/bar biting

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odyssey~

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hello!

as I'm aware, bar biting is a sign of boredom/stress and Odyssey has been doing this a lot. even when she's out for free roam (which generally is 8 hours a day and she also has playtime for another 6 hours each day in a large pen), she'll go back to her pen, and start biting on the c&c grids. i've switched up the cage to make it harder for her to bite it but she keeps going to the same spot usually and is so determined to chew the bars there. her pen that she's in is 25 sq ft and the playtime pen is 80 sq ft and free roam is the whole house. when i go downstairs in the morning to let her out from the 25 sq ft pen, she's always in the same spot biting bars there. i also tried rubbing a little bit of garlic on the bar since she hates it and it worked, but not for long.
it's really odd. sometimes she'll be perfectly happy and binkying everywhere but then the next second she'll go back and start biting the bars again.

i've tried so many different types of enrichment, puzzle toys, and everything to keep her entertained. she has multiple cardboard boxes, all her food is fed through puzzle toys/snuffle mats, she has dig boxes, chew toys, throw toys and everything. my current only solution i can think of is getting her a friend, but the issue is my parents won't allow it.

any suggestions for next steps?
 

Blue eyes

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Zip tie some cardboard to the part of the pen she is trying to bite. She may chew it but it can always be replaced with new cardboard.
 

Catlyn

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She might just have a fixation with that particular spot.

If she's not the one to literally eat paper-esque materials, zipping a slab of cardboard to the problematic place might help. Grid-covering blankets might give an equally desirable result.

Might it be that your girl is just grabbing for your attention, or is there a hay/treat/toy stash nearby?
Storm would bite the pvc coating just because the hay bag was nearby, or if anyone was passing by without giving him a couple scratches. Iris is a good girl and would only do it if someone were to tease her with a treat.
 

odyssey~

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Thank you, I will add some when I get home!

No, there's no food stored near the spot. I tried blankets and she just dug holes in it.
 

odyssey~

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I zip tied cardboard, and it been working for a bit until she decided she wanted to shred it, and when she did, she ate it all...which isn't good since it was a decently large size piece (12" by 8") and she ate majority of it, which I've heard can be detrimental.

I'm thinking of switching and redoing her enclosure with the plastic NIC grids (something like this https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwjS3o_Ctu70AhUwbW8EHe9tDSMYABARGgJqZg&ae=2&sig=AOD64_23tncVZV3Fcra3b8Getk2EQTVh5A&ctype=5&q=&ved=2ahUKEwiD3IPCtu70AhVLHM0KHe-XBDUQww96BAgBEEE&adurl=) but I'm worried she could break those easily :/

Any suggestions?
 

John Wick

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cage_chewing_1.png

Bedsheet works for many rabbits since a signal for biting bars is the simple existence of something "unreachable" on the other side. You just need to be detail oriented and ensure the sheet is flush and there are no gaps.

Plastic NIC grids would be successful though some rabbits show a fixation for them. It is generally hard to get a good grip on their edges though as long as you snap them together firmly and face the folded, glue edge of the plastic cover on the outside than inside (this will make more sense when you see how the panels are constructed). In terms of actually destroying it via clawing, I don't know of any stories of rabbits doing that successfully. It's a smooth surface so getting the grip to do so is hard.
 

JBun

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It could be she's doing it to try and mimick natural branch chewing beavior. Do you have any rabbit safe branches you could offer, or maybe some plain 1x2,3,4 pine boards? You could also try timothy hay blocks. Just something natural for your rabbit to chew at with the incisors.
 

odyssey~

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View attachment 58663

Bedsheet works for many rabbits since a signal for biting bars is the simple existence of something "unreachable" on the other side. You just need to be detail oriented and ensure the sheet is flush and there are no gaps.

Plastic NIC grids would be successful though some rabbits show a fixation for them. It is generally hard to get a good grip on their edges though as long as you snap them together firmly and face the folded, glue edge of the plastic cover on the outside than inside (this will make more sense when you see how the panels are constructed). In terms of actually destroying it via clawing, I don't know of any stories of rabbits doing that successfully. It's a smooth surface so getting the grip to do so is hard.
Thank you! I've tried using a bedsheet before but it didn't work, but I will definitely look towards the plastic grids now!
It could be she's doing it to try and mimick natural branch chewing beavior. Do you have any rabbit safe branches you could offer, or maybe some plain 1x2,3,4 pine boards? You could also try timothy hay blocks. Just something natural for your rabbit to chew at with the incisors.
Thank you for the advice! She has willow branches, apple branches and pine in her enclosure to chew on but she always goes for the bars which is unfortunate :(
I've zip tied a hay mat (oxbow one) onto the bars and it so far is better than cardboard, since it's safer to eat more!
 
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