How can i pick my rabbit up if he doesn’t like being picked up?

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Hello! i have recently got my first rabbit, a small white and brown 5 month old rabbit called Glen

Glen is currently living by himself in a hutch. I know this isn’t ideal since he came from a large litter and rabbits are sociable but i was going to wait to see how he copes before getting a second rabbit. I also know that rabbits don’t like being picked up but i need to be able to pick him up to get him into his pen.

Glen has a hutch and an outdoor pen. They aren’t attached so i have to pick him up in the morning to put him in the pen. This is usually fine but when i have to pick him up in the evening to put him back in his hutch for the night, the problem begins.

He will run away, he will scratch, he won’t be bribed with food, he has charged at me and bit me, the list is endless. I’ve tried letting him come to me but he never does and just sits in a corner so i can’t reach him. It usually ends with me just grabbing him while he tries to escape or scratching about an hour after trying.

This way really isn’t ideal for either of us, he ends up more scared and i end up feeling very guilty and is all scratched up. Could this be boredom or loneliness? or is he just a nervous rabbit?

Either way, please give me any advice you have, it would be very appreciated !! 😊
 

Blue eyes

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He is being a normal rabbit! By trying to "catch" him and then pick him up and carry him back to his hutch, he is learning to fear and distrust you. This cannot continue. This would apply whether he is housed indoors or out. The exercise area should be in the same place as his hutch/cage.

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I have suggestions for a better way to handle this on the following page of my website. Just scroll down to the orange bar that is shown here.

Do you have a photo of the outdoor pen? That would be helpful so we could see if there are any concerns regarding its safety.
 
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Thank you for the reply!
The outdoor area cannot be attached to the hut at the moment simply because of the space around the hut and not having the correct equipment

i do not have a picture of the outdoor hut but it is about 2.5 meters long by 1 meter wide and is very safe as we have used this hut for chickens before and all has been fine, no holes or anything so the rabbit is safe and secure.

I have read through the link and found it very helpful and i can see that the rabbit is becoming fearful so i will try to use some of your methods to regain this trust.
 

FunBunMom

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Hello! i have recently got my first rabbit, a small white and brown 5 month old rabbit called Glen

Glen is currently living by himself in a hutch. I know this isn’t ideal since he came from a large litter and rabbits are sociable but i was going to wait to see how he copes before getting a second rabbit. I also know that rabbits don’t like being picked up but i need to be able to pick him up to get him into his pen.

Glen has a hutch and an outdoor pen. They aren’t attached so i have to pick him up in the morning to put him in the pen. This is usually fine but when i have to pick him up in the evening to put him back in his hutch for the night, the problem begins.

He will run away, he will scratch, he won’t be bribed with food, he has charged at me and bit me, the list is endless. I’ve tried letting him come to me but he never does and just sits in a corner so i can’t reach him. It usually ends with me just grabbing him while he tries to escape or scratching about an hour after trying.

This way really isn’t ideal for either of us, he ends up more scared and i end up feeling very guilty and is all scratched up. Could this be boredom or loneliness? or is he just a nervous rabbit?

Either way, please give me any advice you have, it would be very appreciated !! 😊
When I first got my 2 bun buns, they hated being held. So what I did is when he was snuggling, or sleeping I would put my hands in a holding position but wouldn’t actually pick them up. That way they can be used to u! ;D
 

Blue eyes

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Even if a rabbit gets used to being picked up, it should never be carried anywhere while being held. The risk is too great that a sudden squirm will result in the rabbit being dropped or that the person will squeeze the rabbit too tightly to avoid dropping the rabbit. Either result could harm the rabbit.
 
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When I first got my 2 bun buns, they hated being held. So what I did is when he was snuggling, or sleeping I would put my hands in a holding position but wouldn’t actually pick them up. That way they can be used to u! ;D
Thank you this is really useful advice!
My rabbit loved being held and being cuddled but just hates being picked up probably because of him being a prey animal so i think this could work 😊
 
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When I first got my 2 bun buns, they hated being held. So what I did is when he was snuggling, or sleeping I would put my hands in a holding position but wouldn’t actually pick them up. That way they can be used to u! ;D
I have just tried this and i has worked very well! thank you for the very useful advice 😊😊
 

BunLover

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Have the same problem about picking my bun up. He sits on me and lets me pet him so maybe just maybe he will let me pick him up soon.
 
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If you must pick up your rabbit use a towel or blanket. Put it on top of them and scoop them up.
Or herd them into the crate. That way you don’t have to pick them up. I use a crate to transport my rabbits outside on nice days. They are so used to it they get right in it when I put it in their pen.
 

BunLover

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If you must pick up your rabbit use a towel or blanket. Put it on top of them and scoop them up.
Or herd them into the crate. That way you don’t have to pick them up. I use a crate to transport my rabbits outside on nice days. They are so used to it they get right in it when I put it in their pen.
Thats great that you put it in their pen and they go in.
 
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If you must pick up your rabbit use a towel or blanket. Put it on top of them and scoop them up.
Or herd them into the crate. That way you don’t have to pick them up. I use a crate to transport my rabbits outside on nice days. They are so used to it they get right in it when I put it in their pen.

Both sound like good ideas, My rabbit loves his travel crate so i will definitely try that! thank you 😊
 
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Have the same problem about picking my bun up. He sits on me and lets me pet him so maybe just maybe he will let me pick him up soon.

Yes, this morning i sat petting him before picking him up which worked a lot better so i’m hoping that if i gain his trust more, he will find being picked up better 😊
 

samoth

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I gave up trying to pick mine up. It wasn't working well for any of us.

If I'm transporting to the vet, I'll chase them (they thump-run the second they see the carrier) into a corner & scoot them into the carrier. They know the drill by now, but they still don't make it easy for me.

If I need to get one up to a table, I'll wait until it's in a litter box & pick the whole thing up with the rabbit in it, then move it to the counter to clean, administer meds, clip nails, &c. (Note that this method can carry risks, so be cautious of how the rabbit will react, and how your body will handle the weight/size/distance of what you're moving.)

I know it's not always possible to just say one will never pick their rabbit(s) up, but for me & my rabbits, it was easier to find alternates to picking them up.
 

Orrin

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If you have not yet seen the Mary Cotter and Amy Sedaris rabbit videos on YouTube, you might give this a try. (All of their videos are good, IMHO.)

 

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