Just got a new bunny! Super nervous...

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lavendertealatte

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Hi everyone! I just got a new bunny :D He or she (I can't tell) is 3-4 months old (wasn't able to get an exact age). I brought it home yesterday and I'm trying to potty train. I'm super nervous that we finally have a little one! How long will this process typically take? I've just been putting the poops and pee into the box and its hay and food is there. I'm unsure of whether I need to do more than that. Also I'm nervous and don't want to bother it too much since it just got to us but it seems to be doing fine, not too scared. Wonder how much I should interact or not interact with it ... will it be bothered if I reach around in its enclosure? But since it's not a teen yet I wonder if it will even be territorial?
 

Blue eyes

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First 48 hours should be strictly hands off. Only reasons your hand should be in the cage is to refill water, food, or hay. I wouldn't even worry about picking up stray poos. Let him/her mark its new territory.

Bunnies hide their nervousness-- that's instinct. So don't let appearances deceive you. Let him have 48 hours undisturbed. Well, go about your normal business so he can get used to the new normal sounds, sights, and smells. Just leave him/her alone.

A rabbit savvy vet should be able to give you a better estimation of age. Then you can also find out the sex and how soon he/she can be fixed. Potty training is more easily done once they are fixed.

Potty training when hormones are acting up can be impossible. Even younger bunnies that do litter train may forget that training with the onset of hormones, so don't stress about the training.

Rabbits are adult by 6-7 months of age, so 3-4 months is certainly within the realm of when hormones could start affecting behavior.

Rabbits typically train themselves once fixed. Just be sure that the cage floor is bare and the only litter/bedding is in the litter box.
 

lavendertealatte

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Ahhh okay I'll stop picking up the stray poos then eeps >< this is what the enclosure looks like right now but I really want to put something soft down when I'm sure it won't get peed on
yFXiHto.jpg
 

Bribble

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Congrats on the new bun! As stated above, litter training probably won't do you much good right now. Either wait until after it's fixed or until hormones settle out if you don't plan on getting it fixed. it shouldn't take too long when you do begin litter training. Just keep the cage floor bare so that they will feel uncomfortable peeing on it (they don't like to get their bums wet with pee). They should honestly train themselves this way. My two indoors were in this process until one decided to have babies so now she's got a bedding floor again and the other is on my carpet. I wouldn't worry too much about the poops. While you should clean it up and throw it in the box, it's not too big a deal personally. As long as I can keep the pee contained I'm happy. I actually just vacuum out any poop in the cage/floor (my rabbits are very desensitized . . . ) If you decide to expand the cage or let her free roam do it very slowly in small spacial increments.

As for handling, when you do begin handling him I'd be there as much as possible. Maybe don't pick him up too much at first but definitely pet and feed treats as often as possible. When I got my first baby I was in 6th grade and just let her run around the floor while I laid on my stomach and did homework. When they get comfortable they'll start to climb all over you and lick you. As much exposure as possible while he's still young and manageable will do wonders for him in the future.
 

lavendertealatte

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Thanks Bribble! Outside of the enclosure is carpet... I should wait until bun is at least peeing in the litter box regularly before I just let bun run around outside right? Or should I sit with it in the enclosure?
didn’t realize it would already be experiencing hormonal changes! So far bun only peed once on the plastic floor last night and I wiped it and put it in the box ... I’ll see what I come home to after work.
 
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Bribble

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I would definitely let her master using the litter box in her enclosure before moving on to any new spaces. Sometimes they have minor setbacks in training when they get more territory they feel they must mark as theirs. I would not sit in the enclosure if shes gonna be free range. They understand that whatever areas they get access too arent just theres so they need a space they can go back to and call their own .You should refrain from even trying to pet them in their space at that point. I'd try hooking a pen up to the cage and sitting in that with them. That way its not crowded ans they can go back to "safety"if they feel the need to
 

Lucky_2017

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You definitely need somewhere soft so it can sleep on it, rabbits don’t really tend to like hard, tile floorings. If you’re not sure about the gender, try and get a pic of his/her ‘underside’ so maybe we can identify. [emoji5]
 

Blue eyes

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Bare floor is fine for now. If the litter box is large enough for bunny to lay in (it should be that large), then bunny can always lay there. Just top the litter with hay. (I couldn't tell in the photo whether or not there is hay in the litter box.) The litter topped with hay will provide a soft spot to lay if bunny so chooses. During potty training, a pet bed may only confuse him. They like to pee on soft surfaces.

Since the cage is so roomy, you don't need to be in a rush to let him out of his space for exercise. If you do, I'd agree with Bribble to use an x-pen to limit that space initially. That's the ideal place to sit and let him approach you. (You get to ignore him to show him that you are "safe." Later you can start petting him as/if he allows.)
 

lavendertealatte

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Yup there’s hay in there.
Could I use a hidey house that can be marked as theirs?
I’m not sure about free range which is sort of why the enclosure is so large... was hoping to treat it as a sort of x-pen and be able to sit in there with it. I may eventually free range to possibly to a part of the den but only under supervision... because carpet and baseboards and other tempting chewables.
 
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Blue eyes

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Once litter trained, most rabbits can do fine on carpet -- especially while supervised. All of mine have done well on carpet -- I even used it inside a few cages. Only one rabbit chewed the baseboards so we put a 1x3 in front. That doesn't mean that yours will not chew carpet, but the odds are that he won't (especially if neutered).

If you aren't comfortable free-ranging, an x-pen can still come in quite handy. It can, as mentioned, be used as a play area and an area for you to sit in without violating bunny's personal space (ie. cage). The photos show how an x-pen can be attached near a cage opening and create a large play area. This is what we did with a new bunny that was a potential bondmate for an existing bunny. (that's why the cage is small. just temporary)

You'll see how bunny is exploring the space and also (2nd photo) how my son was letting bunny investigate him. He did not reach out to pet bunny in these early stages so that bunny could see him as "safe." ((old photos. my son is married now :)))

upload_2018-4-18_15-57-43.png

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Using a hidey house should be fine. Just keep an eye out that bunny doesn't decide to use that area to potty. I no longer use corner litter boxes. I have found that the larger, rectangular ones are more appealing to bunnies and give them more space.

The hay can completely cover all of the litter. It serves as a barrier between wet litter and bunny paws. It also entices them inside. Just refresh it a couple times per day.
 

lavendertealatte

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I wanted a rectangle one as well, but the corner litter box had a nice dip.. was worried bun wouldn't hop over a tall-ish edge since he's still pretty small, and it was bigger than the other corner litter boxes I've seen which aren't recommended so I decided to try it. I haven't found any stray pees since yesterday night ... could that mean he is using his box? He sits in there quite often and munches on hay and the hay is all spread out over the surface now. I think I would see it if there were a puddle somewhere else, I hope.. I don't think it would have dried by now after coming back from work. I did put the box in the spot where he peed first since it seemed like that must be the corner he preferred.
 

lavendertealatte

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:):) either that or that area is now the best place for traction and that's where he hangs out all the time so it's just chance!:rolleyes:
 

lavendertealatte

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so he peed in the other corner next to the litter box, maybe I should put another box there to catch it?
it's day 2 and he seems to have no interest other than eating hay so I'm doubting if he'll even come explore and check us out
 

Bribble

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so he peed in the other corner next to the litter box, maybe I should put another box there to catch it?
it's day 2 and he seems to have no interest other than eating hay so I'm doubting if he'll even come explore and check us out
I would just clean it up and make sure to get rid of the scent (you can't smell it but he can). If he continues to pee in other corners put litter boxes there too. Eventually he'll pick a "favorite" one and you can one by one remove any others
 

Bribble

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I wanted a rectangle one as well, but the corner litter box had a nice dip.. was worried bun wouldn't hop over a tall-ish edge since he's still pretty small, and it was bigger than the other corner litter boxes I've seen which aren't recommended so I decided to try it. I haven't found any stray pees since yesterday night ... could that mean he is using his box? He sits in there quite often and munches on hay and the hay is all spread out over the surface now. I think I would see it if there were a puddle somewhere else, I hope.. I don't think it would have dried by now after coming back from work. I did put the box in the spot where he peed first since it seemed like that must be the corner he preferred.

I just use one of those long and low Tupperware boxes. It's perfectly sized for my rabbit and there's no problem jumping in and out
 

lavendertealatte

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bunbun also eats lots of hay but doesn't seem to be making much dent in the pellets...

also if you buy a bale of hay where do you typically store it? I was thinking garage but I saw a huge roach in there the other day so now I'm hesitant >__<
 

lavendertealatte

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Bunbun is sitting like a loaf with his ears pressed down .. is he mad? :( cause i've cleaned up his poops and stuck them in the box with him?
 

JBun

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Peeing next to the box can sometimes just be them hanging their butt over the edge if there's a low edge, and missing peeing in the box. Solution is to get a higher edged litter box. I prefer the rectangle ones too. They are more accommodating for bun to hang out in and eat, especially as they get older and bigger.

If he seemed comfortable being around people and not scared, I would probably just invade his space and sit in his pen with him. I wouldn't bug him but would give him a chance to come check me out and get comfortable with me. If you don't want to sit in his area, you could pen off an area around his cage for him to come out and explore with you in there. If you are concerned about accidents on the carpet, put a blanket down or I've even used a tarp. Sitting quietly with your bun in a smaller area, and not trying to pick up or force contact, is the best way to form a bond with your bun and let them learn they can trust you.
http://flashsplace.webs.com/bondingwithyourbunny.htm

If the pellets are a different kind(brand, type) than he is used to from his previous home, then that could be why he's not eating them, different smell and taste. It's always best to keep a new bun on the same food and then gradually over a couple weeks at least, switch them onto a different pellet if you intend to change the brand/type of pellet. This minimizes digestive problems occurring from the change, something that rabbits, baby rabbits in particular, are prone to. It also gives them a chance to get used to the taste of the new pellet.

If he's on the same pellet as he was getting in his previous home, then maybe he just really likes the taste of the hay you are feeding. You aren't feeding alfalfa are you? If you are feeding a grass hay, then it's perfectly fine for him to be eating lots of it. Rabbits should always be free fed grass hay. Eventually he should take an interest in the pellets and start eating them, unless they are spoiled in some way, then you don't want him to eat them and should throw them out and get a new bag/batch of pellets.

I store my hay in an enclosed storage closet where rodents and other critters can't get to it. Though if we had roaches here they would be able to. If you live in a humid environment, the most important thing with hay storage is making sure there is good air circulation so the hay doesn't mold, which can be dangerous for rabbits to eat(moldy hay). It's also good to store it somewhere where critters can't have access and contaminate the hay(indoor closet in a cardboard box or old duvet).
 

JBun

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He could be sleeping? If he's not and is awake(they can sleep with eyes open) and seems off(not moving, not wanting to eat when he normally would), there could be a problem and something could have upset his stomach, which can potentially be a serious problem when it comes to rabbits.

Maybe open up his cage and see if he's interested in coming out and exploring. That can be a good way to see if a bun is feeling alright, unless they are a nervous or scared bun.
 

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