I feel like I'm neglecting my rabbit..

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

that.escobedo

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
US
So I got a holland lop around 6 years ago and to be fair I was very young only 7 at the time. The rabbit was mainly for my brother who is three years older then me (making him 10) I wasnt really allowed to hold or do much with the rabbit (her name is minka) considering my young age of course. but as the years progressed my brother soon lost interest and the rabbit became mainly my mothers responsibly. Seeing as she has a full time job and as my father didnt want anything to do with the rabbit she definetly didnt get out of her cage as much as she needed. Although she has hay, fresh food, water, toys, and was checked on everyday (only to see if ahe had these things) she was definetly not bonded to us and didnt get outside or to exercise everyday. She is kept in the garage and my father WILL NOT ALLOW her inside. As Ive grown older I feel awful for her and want to change how she is handled but I fear it is to late...she is 6 now and I feel like we've wasted her entire life. It saddens me so much that it brings me to tears.. she is very skittish and scared when picked up but she will allow us to. And she has no other rabbits to socialize with I'm afraid she is bored and depressed and I really want to change that..I've come her for advice but mainly support any thoughts?
 

alexjc.1

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi, I can understand why you feel the way you do. As you've gotten older your ability to empathise and understand the experiences of others has evolved. It is absolutely normal that at a young age you didn't have the capacity to do this. I am so glad that you want to change the way your rabbit lives. If your father will not allow here inside the house you may have to get creative with spaces outside of the house. If you have lawn perhaps you could put an outside run up. You could secure an area inside the garage where the rabbit can play. There are plenty of toys you can buy for your rabbit, but also many that you can make yourself or get for free. Pine cones are great for throwing and chewing, a large paper bag is a fun hiding place, boxes provide endless entertainment (make sure you remove any sticky tape), paper lunch bags scrunched up and placed inside another paper lunch bag with treats hidden amongst the paper is one of my rabbits' favourites. Toilet rolls stuffed with hay or lucern (treat food only) are great too and scrunched up balls of paper, or shredded paper are fun to dig in. There is a lot you can do to improve your rabbits life, while respecting your father's wishes to keep her out of the house. Do not feel bad about the past, you were too young to know better and physically your brain had to mature and create the pathways required for you to think from the rabbit's point of view. I think it is fantastic that you care so much and want to do the right thing now. To recognise a problem and seek ways to solve it, instead of ignoring it shows great responsibility, compassion and thoughtfulness. Good on you, I wish all the best because the world needs more young people like you.
 

Hermelin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
1,315
Reaction score
914
Location
Sweden
It’s never too late for change, she’s only 6 years old. Myself own a 6 years old, when I got her she was 4. She was extremely thin and I could feel all her bones, her ears was dirty and she smelled urine.

After 2 months she got up to a healthy weight but I struggled with her dominant personality. She will turn 7 this year and just a big fluffy nice lady.

Even though I had no idea she would still manage be alive to 7, because it’s quite common giant bunny breeds don’t have a shorter life span than smaller breeds. I still worked with her and hope I will have a few more years with her.

You can start with just spending time with her, let her come up to you and give pellets. Always have pellets in your pockets and she will later build up a bond.

Don’t pick her up until you start to build a bond, you can only pick up if you have to. But try to avoid it.

So slowly interact with her and calmly earn her trust.
 

Pots+Potter

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
11
Location
Andover, NH
It's never too late to have her bond with you, and it would be a fun rewarding challenge for you. I just lost one of my rabbits, but both even at the age of 9 never liked to be picked up. Just work on offering treats and try to rub behind her ears, they tend to love it over time. Is there a way you could get a small exercise pen that you can buy for dogs? It doesn't have to be big but something you could sit outside in with your rabbit? When we had our first rabbit, she was pretty mean, we had her spayed which helped, but we had to find a way to bond with her, and that is how we did it, we would use a blanket to pick her up and carry to the outside pen, then we would sit in it with her and just let her explore, we put an upside down cardboard box with a couple doors for her to hide in if she felt nervous. I'm sure you can get creative, you may find that you need her company as much as she needs yours. ;)
 

Pots+Potter

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
11
Location
Andover, NH
If your pen is big enough, rabbits love to dig in boxes filled with crumpled paper, its kind of like a hamster wheel for rabbits. It gives them exercise and can relieve stress. Our female still uses boxes and will dig for hours hiding under the pile of balled up paper. Also they love destroying old phone books! Put one in whole and watch her shred it to pieces by digging.
 

Pots+Potter

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
11
Location
Andover, NH
I had another thought, do you have a 4H club around? Could be fun joining one with your bunny. Also if the pen idea doesn't work out, you could always try a bunny halter and leash.
 

TheSketchyBunnies

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
45
Reaction score
29
Location
With My Rabbits... Where Else Would I Be?!?!
If you do try and bond with her I definitely recommend getting a book, or laptop to distract yourself and pretty much ignore her for a good twenty minutes or so. I know that kind of sounds mean to ‘ignore’ her, but your rabbit will gain some confidence if she doesn’t see you moving a lot and talking. Sooner or later you can move slightly as she gains confidence and eventually she will be totally comfortable with you! Tip: If you get down on her level laying down on the floor and letting her jump on you will help her trust you more! This worked with both of my rabbits phenomenally!!

I hope this helps! -Kaylor
 

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top