chewing and digging

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Marc, Apr 26, 2018.

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  1. Apr 26, 2018 #1

    Marc

    Marc

    Marc

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    Hello,
    wondering if anyone could advice me. we have a bunny, male, recently spayed, aprox 6 months old. he has had a recent obsession with trying to get behind the sofa, an area we dont want him as we cant see what he is up to. to stop him getting there we have shoved a pillow between the sofa and the wall, however every time he is let out of his cage he goes straight for the pillow and start biting, digging and trying to pull it out.

    currently im trying to stop him by doing this by spraying him with water when ever he does this. also keeping him distracted by playing with him, but as soon as i stop paying attention to him he goes straight over.

    is there anything else i can do to stop this behaviour?
     
  2. Apr 26, 2018 #2

    JBun

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    Rabbits have a natural instinct to look for escape routes, even pet rabbits that are completely safe. So they always want to go under or behind things. You will either need to prevent or accommodate.

    To prevent you need to completely block it with something solid like a piece of furniture or plank of wood. To allow the behavior and keep your bun from causing any chewing damage back there where you can't see, you could provide a tunnel that your rabbit can use to go behind the couch and still keep your couch safe. There are round cardboard concrete forms that can be used and bought at home improvement stores, or you could diy and make a triangle or square one out of cardboard pieces. Though this won't be as sturdy as the concrete form and you will want to inspect it regularly to make sure bun hasn't chewed through any part of it.
     
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  3. Apr 26, 2018 #3

    Blue eyes

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    Jenny has some great ideas. As she stated, you can either block off the area with something solid or allow them to go behind. My rabbits also wanted to get behind the couch. I opted to allow them to do so by pulling the couch further from the wall. I also had to block off the baseboards back there to prevent chewing. In our case, allowing them access worked just fine. It became a favorite resting spot for one of our rabbits...

    upload_2018-4-26_14-41-45.png
     
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  4. Apr 26, 2018 #4

    Popsicles

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    My bunny was exactly the same - mainly she wanted behind there because she wasn’t allowed behind there. As soon as I let her, she soon got bored of it, and looked for something else I would tell her off for haha
     
  5. Apr 27, 2018 #5

    Bennie_bunny_mom

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    Does he have a little house or something in the open area he runs around in? Like a nesting box that would be in their cage? I found setting one in the living room where my buns run around gave them a place to hide when they wanted peace and quiet and it has pretty much ended them wanting to go under the couch. I started it out next to the couch where my baby insisted on going and once she started to go inside of it instead, I moved it to a quiet corner of the room.
     
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  6. Apr 28, 2018 #6

    Marc

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    @Bennie bunny. hi, yes he does have a area, he has a hutch and 4x4 ft area ive built, we lock him in there when we are not around and more recently when he is missbehaving. in this area he can get under the hutch, and it also has a dark area. in this area we have lots of things to bite and dig, tubes, bridges, wood etc.

    we have let him get behind the sofa now. he cant go far, about a ft, as there is a radiator in the way. but he goes straight there and digs.

    he is also generally being less well behaved since we got him neutered 2 weeks ago, any correlation?
     

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  7. Apr 28, 2018 #7

    Marc

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    @ blue eyes, i have taken your advice and moved the sofa further out, seems to be ok. he has takn to running laps around it and, oddly, thumping behind the sofa.
     
  8. Apr 28, 2018 #8

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    It can take up to 6 weeks (some say 8) after a neuter for those hormones to fully dissipate. So his behavior may be off for a little while.

    Nice set-up. Is there a reason for putting shavings on the floor, though? It shouldn't be necessary especially with a litter box. In fact, it can confuse a rabbit as to where to potty since they want to go potty on soft places. It also makes more work for you.

    I'd suggest putting hay in the litter box (on top of the litter) and also consider getting a larger, rectangular box -- they seem to like those better. Removing the shavings would be a good idea as well and makes things easier for clean up.
     
  9. Apr 28, 2018 #9

    Bennie_bunny_mom

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    Bunnies can be stubborn babies. Lol hope his future hiding places aren’t too stressful. As far as the behavior after neutering... I think that can be a little normal. The vet told me it could take several weeks before all of their hormones calm down. Bennie went through the same thing. He is 3 or 4 weeks post neuter and has calmed down a lot! Before he was still pretty aggressive toward my other rabbit and even acted out a little after his surgery. So hopefully your guy will do the same. Not sure how helpful or comforting that is, lol, but hope it helps a little.
     
  10. Apr 28, 2018 #10

    Marc

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    Thanks for the advice, he has been much better today now he can get behind the sofa. though im sure he will find some more annoying places.

    that is actually quite an old picture, i dont use the shavings anymore, that was just what they did at the pet shop.

    He has been really good with litter training. he has a habit of kicking poo out of the litter tray but it only leaves it in his area, so really not a problem.

    Ive been wondering if there are any good toys for him to dig at. any suggestions?
     
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  11. Apr 28, 2018 #11

    Blue eyes

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  12. Apr 29, 2018 #12

    Popsicles

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    Good link from @Blue eyes i have made digging boxes in the past out of give boxes filled with shredded paper and some hay
     
  13. Apr 30, 2018 #13

    Marc

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    thanks for your help guys, he has been getting better the past couple of days, im hoping its just post neutering anger that has caused this behaviour. id be misbehaving too if that happened to me.
     
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