Bunny suddenly afraid?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by ANCA_R, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Nov 17, 2016 #1

    ANCA_R

    ANCA_R

    ANCA_R

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    Hi everyone!
    I am the new mom of two baby bunnies. First I had Marshmallow, our diva-girl, an energetic 8 weeks old bunny. After 2 weeks, we got another male baby bunny, Snowball, because our vet recommended that we get her a buddy. The first day of them together was a bit tough, but she was not very agressive to him and made sure he understands that she's the leader and the boss. Afterwards, they became good friends, they cuddle, share food and cage and everything was going smoothly. However two days ago we realised that she feels a bit more afraid of us and generally of the noises she hears. She seems healthy, she eats hay and veggies and her poop looks fine. She does the bunny 500s sometimes and stretches her legs comfortably. We didn't change anything in the house, we didn't change perfume or got another pet. She sometimes smells me and then turns her back and runs. This never happened before. :( and it didn't happen the first week of having the new friend. I also noticed that she keeps her eyes wide open when I cuddle her, and before she was relaxed and almost fell asleep sometimes. Do you know what could be wrong? They also didn't seem to have any argument and are best friends.

    Thank you very much for making time to read my long message.
     
  2. Nov 17, 2016 #2

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Welcome :)

    Are they neutered?

    If not, puberty is hitting.

    Ahm, that remark sure is superfluous, but you know male + female coming to age= trouble. LOTS of trouble ( in the form of offspring)...

    If that is a new aspect to you, seperate them asap. Get at least the male neutered and reintruduce them after some weeks ( the vet wil tell, or read here).
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  3. Nov 17, 2016 #3

    ANCA_R

    ANCA_R

    ANCA_R

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    Thanks a lot for your answer! It helped a lot. Do you think she already reached puberty? She is only 8 weeks old. The baby boy is 7 weeks old and the owners told us the vet would neuter him only when he's older than 12 weeks. I have the feeling we rushed a bit getting the second bunny, but everyone around recommended us to take our bunny girl a friend as soon as possible, the best while she's still a baby because the likelihood that she will accept the new bunny is higher. We were also suggested not to get another girl, because they would fight much more.
    We have an appointment with the vet on Saturday, hopefully we can neuter them soon.
     
  4. Nov 17, 2016 #4

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    It realy depends on the breed, my meat mutts don't reach puberty before 12 weeks, but small breeds can be fertile from 8 weeks.

    Rabbits, premature, will get along most likly anyway.

    It's quite a mystery to me why your vets don't neuter males prematurely, it's commom practice here, anyway, you need to get him neutered. The doe, well. Read up.

    They will copulate premature, I've had that, but don't think you know everything they are up to...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  5. Nov 17, 2016 #5

    JBun

    JBun

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    You usually have until they are 10-12 weeks old before you need to separate until they are spayed/neutered. I waited til 12 weeks and was fine. Even if he does get his hormones in before 12 weeks, females usually can't get pregnant until at least 3-4 months old at the earliest. Though if his hormones come in and he starts pestering her too much, then you should separate. At the latest I would separate when she is 12 weeks old and him 11 weeks, though safest would probably be 11 weeks for her and 10 weeks for him, and I would put them in cages/pens next to each other to try and maintain their bond as much as possible. You won't be able to get him neutered until his 'plums' drop, and the exact time for that can vary with each rabbit, usually 4-6 months old.

    As for her being scared, it could just be her adjusting to having a new buddy, or sometimes when they get past their baby stage and reach puberty they start to get a bit moody about things, particularly females. It could also be that she wants to spend time with her bunny friend for now and is worried about being separated from him as he makes her feel safe. If that's the case I would just spend time with them by sitting with them in their area while they play, and not fussing her if she doesn't want it, in particular not picking her up as that is the thing most rabbits hate and picking up can affect their trust in us the most. This also might be why she has started running away from you if you pick her up very often. Just sitting with them and not bothering them when they don't want you to, will help strengthen your bond with both of them. Just give it some time. She may settle down as she readjusts to the changes and you spend more time with them, or it may be you will just have to wait out the dreaded teenage phase that some go through.

    This link also has some good tips on bonding with your bunny.
    http://flashsplace.webs.com/bondingwithyourbunny.htm

    Also reexamine any scented products you use: eg. lotion, shampoo, hand soap, etc. It could just be a scented item you are using that she has decided she doesn't like the smell of. Rabbits have very sensitive noses, so it's not uncommon for this to happen.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2016 #6

    Aki

    Aki

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    The vet seriously recommended you to take another bunny NOW when you had an unspayed immature female? Find another vet is my first advice. Don't keep those rabbits together. It's true it's rare to have them breed before 12 weeks, but it can happen and it will most probably kill your doe if it does. You will need to separate the two soon anyway - the hormones will kick in very soon, and thus will begin the humping / fighting / sprays of urine/teenage pregnancy which will end up with a frightened doe scattering bloody pieces of baby bunnies everywhere in her cage (I'm absolutely not joking here)... I don't know about where you live. Here we generally neuter males around 4 months (and you can't introduce him to a female again before 6 weeks after the operation as the sperm can still be potent for that long), females will be spayed around 7 - 8 months (when the growth spurt has passed). You will have to wait until the wound is healed to introduce her to a friend so it doesn't reopen. What I'm saying is that you'll need two cages / bowls / litterboxes and spaces to run around (4-5 hours a day each, at least) for your rabbits for the next 5 to 6 months. Then you'll need to introduce them to each other again. And they will have NO memory of being super friendly when they were babies so you'll have to do that from scratch.
    Your rabbit getting more skittish can just be the first signs of hormones, triggered prematurely by the presence of another rabbit. Almost all rabbits are nice and cuddly with other rabbits and humans until their 3 months. Then, they can become skittish, dirty or violent (believe me, I've had the most adorable plushy become a cross between Hannibal Lecter, Houdini and a pee vaporizer overnight). It calms down after the neuter / spay but most adult rabbits don't like to be held and some of them really don't like people (or other rabbits - some rabbits are real *******s ^^). I've yet to meet a rabbit who likes change, big noises or strangers.
    So, bottom line is separate those rabbits. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and neuter as soon as possible with a competent vet!
     

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