How much time should we spend with our new bunny?

Discussion in 'Housing and Environment' started by kloppie8, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. Jun 5, 2012 #1

    kloppie8

    kloppie8

    kloppie8

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    We just got a new bunny, he is an 8 wk old Holland Lop. We are first time rabbit owvers, so I am trying to get it right. Currently he is set up in my daughters bedroom. We have only had him 3 days, he seems to be enjoying his new surroundings, but I want to make sure we are not smothering him too much, or worse not spending enough time with him. I have secured the room so that I can leave the door open, so he can hear us, but the other animals can not get in there, we are still working on introductions. The first day he was home we kind of left him be, but today we have spent about 3 hrs with him. Is that too little time spent with him? My daughter colored her build a bear box, made of cardboard, it is like a house...she gave it to him, he seems to enjoy hopping in and out of it, but if he decides to eat it, will it hurt him since there is crayon on it?

    Thanks everyone for any information.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2012 #2

    melbaby80

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    My holland lop is 7 weeks. We have had her for two days and she is already bonded. We spend tons of time handling her and cuddling her. She will even fall asleep on us and if we go to pick her up she will not run. Right now she is sitting on my shoulder. The more you handle them the more tame and loving they will be. You want them to bond with you so you never have issues with handling them once they are older. Cardboard is safe to eat, and crayons are nontoxic but I have no idea if it can still hurt a bun.
     
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  3. Jun 6, 2012 #3

    ZRabbits

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    kloppie8 wrote:
    Welcome to RO!

    Congratulations on entering the Bunny World with the help of that sweet Holland Lop. You will find that bunnies can be just a unique experience, and I think, with total oversight, your daughter will be given a gift for life. She will learn how to gain a trust of a wild animal.

    Bunnies, as prey animals, take a lot of time before they will completely trust. And it really work on our part to gain that trust. I think you started your bunny off really well. By giving him space that first day. Also the way you have planned the introduction of other pets, and your 3 hours of introduction today. I think was just the right amount of time. He's still a baby at 8 weeks so babies need frequent down time, also they need food because they are growing and also the knowledge that hay must be eaten for good healthy teeth and belly.

    I would start observing his poo. Bunny poo tells all. You will have to know his "normal" poo so when he gets older and other foods are introduce, you will see any abnormal. Also his drinking habits, eating habits. All this observing helps when you find your bunny out of sorts.

    When mine were that young, I would also start teaching them "bunny manners". During time out, I would start handling more, start light grooming, touch their paws to get used to when nail clipping is needed. Bunnies will dig at you with their front paws for attention, or nip while grooming. Though I'm thrilled they want my attention, I just ask that they do it a different way. No digging or nipping allowed. Believe me, learning these manners now, helps when the teenage months hit.

    Bunnies love cardboard. Also toilet paper rolls stuffed with hay. I'm not thrilled with the crayon though. It's not really good for bunnies to chew shiny, glossy paper, so I would think, though non-toxic, it still not good. Since he really likes the house your daughter gave him, maybe when he's out, put it on the floor and he can play while you watch so he doesn't chew on it.

    I was nervous for a while, but it does pass. Relax, It sounds that you are offering a loving, safe home for this sweetie. The Bunny World is awesome. Enjoy! And any questions, RO Library, or just ask. Lots of us have been in your position. And if not, always there to help.

    Look forward to hearing more stories of your bun. And would especially like to see a picture of your little guy.

    K:)
     
  4. Jun 6, 2012 #4

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    As much as possible--no such thing as "Too much!"
     
  5. Jun 6, 2012 #5

    kloppie8

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    Thanks everyone. I will increase the time we spend with the new bun, I want to have the best relationship possible with him. I was just a bit nervous because I am not 100% sure what he is thinking..lol..I am a dog trainer so I can read dogs very easily, but the bunny is throwing me off. I am going to read more on rabbit behavior, I just want to make sure I am not making him uncomfortable. He does not run from us, and when I am in his cage cleaning, feeding, and just hanging out he hops all over me, I really have not held him to much, but I will increase that. He is in a much different environment than he came from. He was well taken care of and handled often, but he lived outdoors with other baby buns, and was in a cage 1/4 of the size he is in now. Plus I have 4 dogs and 2 cats also...he seems very interested in them, and it is very cute but it will be a while before he will be hopping through the house.

    Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I am trying to get pics up but it says my files are too big.
     
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  6. Jun 6, 2012 #6

    melbaby80

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    Nancy McClelland wrote:
    :yeahthat::yes::bunnyhug:
     
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  7. Jun 6, 2012 #7

    melbaby80

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    kloppie8 wrote:
    Go to tinypic.com, upload your photo and choose message board, then copy the code for message board and paste it here. You don't have to make an account and it's free.
     
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  8. Jun 6, 2012 #8

    agnesthelion

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    Welcome to RO and congrats on your new bun.

    The only time we limited interaction a bit (just a bit) from Agnes was her very first night home. We held and cuddled for a bit but then let her get used to her surroundings for the night.

    The next day, however, i started holding, petting and being around her alot. Most of the time I would just be in the same room with her, let her come up to me and not pressure her too much but still.....contact as much as possible.

    Agnes is now 4 mths old and has bonded with us VERY well. I love seeing how comfortable she is with us and the affection she now gives (nudges, licks, jumping on my lap, laying by me) as compared to when we brought her home.

    Sounds like you have a great start. You get what you give with buns. And it sure sounds like you are eager to take the right steps towards a great bond with your bun. :) and this forum has been awesome for help and info!
     
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  9. Jun 7, 2012 #9

    kloppie8

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  10. Jun 7, 2012 #10

    ZRabbits

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    She is so sweet! Hoping the bonding with Flynn is going well.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    K:)
     
  11. Jun 7, 2012 #11

    Little_LongEared_Lover2931

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    I really dot think you could spend to much time with your rabbit. But you defintitly want to start handling there feet because it will make nail triming a lot easier. Also don't tolorate biting or scratching.
     
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  12. Jun 7, 2012 #12

    melbaby80

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    He is adorable! He's one week older then my little holland girl. When I first got her she was skiddish and unsure. Now she LOVES being with us, loves sleeping on us, likes sitting on our shoulders and will nudge us if we stop petting her, she comes to us and even follows us around when she is loose, this bonding all occurred in only 3 days of having her. We started handling her a lot the moment she came home.
     
  13. Jun 7, 2012 #13

    MiniLopHop

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    What a sweet bun! I agree that you can't really get too much time together, but I think it can get too intense. Many buns don't enjoy too much handling, but that is an individual issue. Babies tend to tollerate handling well so you can get them off on a good foot.

    I also suggest reading to the bun. I lay on the floor and read out loud to the rabbits because it helps them get used to your voice. I just ignored them and tend to get hopped on alot, but it's a nice time. Even now that we are securely bonded I still read them a chapter every night before bed.

    Since your baby is a lop, I suggest massaging the ears. By getting fresh air into the ears it helps to prevent ear infections. Ears have pressure points for all over the body so it's great to stimulate the energy all over the body. Gentle circles are great.
     
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  14. Feb 10, 2014 #14

    3willowsbunny

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    I love this thread, we are getting our new bun this coming Saturday and I was just going to leave him/her alone for a few days to get used to the wackiness in this house but I now think I'll start the bonding right away. I'll make sure feet and ears are touched, and played with to make nail clipping ear examinations easier in the future. One question, we are having a party for my husband's 50th Birthday the day after bunny comes home, I'm gating off the bunny/bird room and telling the little ones to stay out (hopefully my sister in law's two kids who don't listen to anyone will listen to me!). Hopefully all the noise will not stress out the poor guy. Thinking of putting a sheet over the crate so he/she feels secure....
     
  15. Feb 10, 2014 #15

    FreezeNkody

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    I have 4 rabbits. 2 of them just would rather be left alone. So I respect them. The other 2 loooove attention so i spend a lot of time with them. Just your buns personality, you'll learn what they like and don't like :)
     
  16. Feb 7, 2019 #16

    Bella-Sophia

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    What a great post. I've had my bunny for abt 2 months and she seems very happy. Maybe if I had interacted as soon as I got her I wouldn't be just now building a good relationship. I saw more posts from long time bunny owners that said let them relax for the first week then sit with them but don't bother them and that's what I've been doing. That seems to work with her because I think she is a "let me do me" type of bunny so she comes to me when she's ready! I do want her to be more affectionate but I know it comes with time. I am interested in a second bunny so maybe when I get the next one I will try the method you all are trying!
     
  17. Feb 11, 2019 #17

    Sunshine's Fine

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    Everyone is giving such great advice, I didn't feel like I had anything to add. However, I just read this post about reading to bunny. I'm SO glad you posted this. Now, I don't feel quite as crazy. :) I adopted my current 2 little girls 3 years ago from the SPCA. I had only planned on one bunny, but I fell in love with the pic of a little dutch girl and she had to be adopted as a pair with her bonded sister. The woman I spoke to when I was interviewed at the shelter spent a very long time telling me all their faults. They were biters, they had chewed up many things, they were doing well with litter training at the shelter but had been problematic with others. It went on, it seemed forever! I felt like she was trying to talk me OUT of adopting. Thinking back on it, I wonder if they'd been adopted then returned. They had been at another shelter that was about to euthanize them because they'd run out of space, but when this large shelter heard about them, they took them in. When I got home with them, they were extremely skittish and frightened. They stuck together constantly. One seemed a bit braver than the other, but was still very distrustful. I ignored them..........and they ignored me. It had worked like a charm with my little lionheaded-lop, Hector, when I first got him. He would climb all over me when I ignored him and especially if I was bothering his poop! These girls were so different. The smallest one has the tips missing from her ears. I don't know if she was fighting with other rabbits or if maybe they froze. I know that happens with cats, but either way, someone was very unkind to her. They bit me so many times that first year or so. I had to give one of them meds and she bit me SO hard. I would put her down, and her teeth were still clamped onto my finger! The meds were on the floor, on my clothes, on her fur, but very little got into her mouth. Every night, after I chased them all over my apt, I would close them into their pen. It's 2-story, and 2 ft x 4 ft, and 4 ft high. They were usually wound up from me chasing them; they would NOT let me pick them up, so I would sing to them. For about 30 minutes! I haven't told anyone that before. It seemed to calm them down, and I just would go through all the songs I could think of. Some were baby songs, but some were rock songs, just any I could remember the words to. I don't do it anymore, but occasionally when they've had a hard day (like a trip to the vet), I will sing to them. They instantly start lying down and closing their eyes when I start singing. I guess maybe I should go back to doing it every night. Sorry this is so long! Welcome to the group, and your little white lop girl is very sweet. Lops just have the sweetest little faces. I miss my Hector honey bunny so much. These little girls of mine have helped to fill some of the hole he left when he crossed the rainbow bridge. Good luck with your little girl, I know you'll do great because you're already asking for advice, you're an animal lover, dog trainer, and are talking about reading up on bunny behaviour. My little girls send yours gentle nose bonks and thumpy thumps. I was going to add a pic of them, but decided to attach a pic of Hecky since it's been so long since I've done that. Also, thank you for letting your daughter keep her bunny in her room. When I was young we had bunnies, but they weren't allowed in the house. Your daughter will absolutely love that little bun. <3 2014-12-11 14.39.05.jpg
     
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  18. Mar 26, 2019 #18

    Kristin McCann

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    My bun is abt 3.5-4 mos old now. A friend bought him from a pet store as a gift. Her heart was in the right place but I’ve never owned a hunny before so I’m still learning how to properly care for him. His name’s Chewy & he’s a Lionhead. He lives attention & I give it to him-a lot he loves to be petted underneath his eyes like along his cheeks & jawbone & loves his nose rubbed. You said to not allow biting or scratching-how do u teach him to not do this? I have scratches all over me just from trying to handle him. His lil nails are so sharp! How do I train him to not scratch me? He doesn’t do it just to do it but it’s when I pick him up & put him in my chest, when I go to put him down his back legs go crazy which is how I get scratched. Also, he licks my fingers, face & has nibbled a couple of times on my fingers, it doesn’t seem to be an aggressive thing & it’s a very light like almost live nibble but he has, 2 times, bitten a little harder, didn’t hurt, & that seemed like he wasn’t wanting me to mess with him as he wants to check out his surroundings when he’s out of his own. Oh, also, a couple of days ago, he tried eating one of his poo balls? Is that normal? I keep it pretty clean throughout the day but I’d never seen him do this before? I keep fresh hay & water constantly & some pellets so he had food. Thanks so much for help!
     

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  19. Mar 27, 2019 #19

    VioletRose

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    Hello! It is perfectly normal and necessary that buns eat their poops, which are a special kind of poop called cecal poops. They are partly digested foods that then get re-digested so that the bunny gets the most nutrition possible from it. Bunnies eat low nutrient high fibre foods like grasses, hay etc, which they need to eat a lot of to get the available goodness and the amount of fibre necessary to keep their gut working well. Here is some info for you!

    From

    https://www.sandiegorabbits.org/health.php

    THE SCOOP ON POOP
    Cecal pellets (aka cecotropes) are a special food made by bunny, just for bunny. They are partially digested foods that are passed from the bunny and then reingested. You may not see bunny do this, but when she appears to be bathing her belly and she comes up chewing, she's probably just taken up a cecal pellet. It is from these cecal pellets that a rabbit gets the majority of her nutrition, not from the first passage of food through the gut.

    Unlike most other mammals, rabbits produce two types of droppings, fecal pellets (the round, dry ones you usually see in the litterbox) and cecotropes. The latter are produced in a portion of the rabbit's digestive tract called the cecum. The cecum contains a wild brew of bacteria and fungi that are normal and beneficial for the rabbit. In fact, the rabbit cannot live without them, since the cecal flora produces essential nutrients (e.g., fatty acids and vitamins) that the rabbit cannot produce on her own.

    How does the rabbit get those vitamins? She eats the cecotropes as they exit the anus. Sound disgusting? Not for a rabbit. When she's enjoying her favorite, home-made snack, she'll tell you how delightful it is with that blissful, soft-eyed face and butt-twitch that signals all is well with the world.

    Cecotropes are not feces. They are nutrient-packed dietary items essential to your rabbit's good health. A rabbit usually produces cecotropes at a characteristic time of the day, which may vary from rabbit to rabbit. Some produce cecotropes in the late morning, some in the late afternoon, and some at night. In any case, they usually do this when you're not watching, which might be why some people refer to cecotropes as "night droppings."

    Normal Intestinal Products

    Anyone who lives with a bunny has seen a FECAL PELLET. These are the small, brown "cocoa puffs" that we all hope end up mostly in the litterbox. They are round, relatively dry and friable, and composed mostly of undigested fiber. Rabbits do not ordinarily re-ingest fecal pellets, though a few bunnies seem to enjoy an occasional fecal pellet hors d'ouevre. A normal CECOTROPE resembles a dark brown mulberry, or tightly bunched grapes. It is composed of small, soft, shiny pellets, each coated with a layer of rubbery mucus, and pressed into an elongate mass. The cecotrope has a rather pungent odor, as it contains a large mass of beneficial cecal bacteria. When the bunny ingests the cecotrope, the mucus coat protects the bacteria as they pass through the stomach, then re-establish in the cecum.
     
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  20. Mar 29, 2019 #20

    Kristin McCann

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    Ok sheesh, thanks so much for this. I did notice the difference in the 2 poos he produces! Very helpful & informative
     

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