Need help with Rescue Bunny

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by CorBuns, Dec 5, 2019.

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  1. Dec 5, 2019 #1

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

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    Hey all. So we adopted a beautiful , not sure breed ,female Rabbit in Oct. She been a little skittish, slowly becoming acclimated (she was a rescue from an owner surrender and was in not the best situation) Would lick our fingers, sometimes face, seemed happy. I had her spayed a little over 2 weeks ago. She in process of being fully litter trained. She has a large cage and hutch as well as a large pen to run and play. Buttercup has toys, plenty of fresh greens/vegetables , hay. Honestly spoiled I think. She seems to have gotten more aggressive. she nips all the time, sometimes chomps hard. Today she bit my side as I was sitting with her in the pen, scared the bejesus out of me as I was totally not expecting it. I yelped louder than I should, but I have a ridiculous reaction to most things
    I said “No, Buttercup” and she legit freaked!!! Running in circles, sliding into the cage and then started thumping her feet! Loud and for a long time. She seems legitimately terrified of me. I left her alone, but closed her cage because she was freaking out. After 15 minutes I tried to put some fresh greens in and she lunges at me, started thumping again. Im so sad Is there something that I can do to reassure her, calm her down, make her happy???
    Any kind advice is welcomed
     
  2. Dec 5, 2019 #2

    Apollo’s Slave

    Apollo’s Slave

    Apollo’s Slave

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    She’s probably really scared. You may not have done anything to accept her. I had a cage aggressive Netherland dwarf who took literal months to calm down but once he did he was the best and most rewarding pet. Take it slow with her. You did you had her spayed 2 weeks ago? She still has hormones. Leave the cage door open when you have playtime but stay in the room. I’d say sit as far away from her as possible (Watch Netflix on your laptop or something) but not blocked off. If you feed her pellets, scatter a few of them in the room, but not too far from where you sit. You could also get her checked by a vet to make sure that there isn’t a physical problem with her.
    Try to spend as much time with her as possible - And beware you will probably have many more bites in the future. Make sure that she always has a place to run and hide from if she feels threatened. My bunny Apollo learned to love me because I sometimes came with banana. She might like that too.
    P.S. Don’t feed her every time you see her! She might expect food from you all the time and that may make biting worse because you aren’t giving it to her!!!!

    Good luck
     
  3. Dec 5, 2019 #3

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Nipping (as opposed to biting) is often a rabbit's way of trying to communicate. It could be "hey, you're in my way" or it could be "why did you stop petting me?" or "groom me" or a few other things. Context helps you learn to understand her language.

    Rabbits use their body language to communicate. Subtle changes of posture or ear direction are how they "talk." They can get frustrated if you aren't understanding. That can escalate their reaction (with nips).

    Biting usually doesn't occur until utter frustration has set in.

    The lunging and biting when she is in her cage is different. That is "cage aggression" and isn't all that uncommon. She is protecting her space. For now (especially since she's only 2 weeks after spay and has had quite the trauma with that surgery and a new home) give her her space. Don't reach into her cage. Or, if you must reach in, distract her in some way before putting your hand in. I like to consider a rabbit's cage as their own personal space and a place in which they know they will never be disturbed (I save cleaning for when they are not in the cage). This gives them a feeling of security. They need to know that they have a retreat, a place of safety. I never pet my rabbits while in their cage and never reach in there to grab them out.

    There are some good sites and charts all about bunny body language. It would be well worth it to take a look.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2019 #4

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

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    Thanks for your reply. She’s so funny and I adore her. So she has this large cage with a wooden hutch, when it’s open she has this large attached pen in the middle of my living room. It like she wants me to come in, and then when I’m sitting in there , she’s like nudging me to move!
    I just think she was treated badly and I need to just keep loving her and wait until she falls in love with me
     
  5. Dec 5, 2019 #5

    Apollo’s Slave

    Apollo’s Slave

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    That was the same thing with my old bunny. He wanted to be pet so much but it was like the second you touched him he would remember when someone/something hurt him and would react to that. He was the best. Buttercup will become your best friend. Just give her time.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2019 #6

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

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    thanks for your reply and insight. I just want to reassure her. And I know that it will take time. I don’t fully know her beginning of life situation , tho I think it may be sadder than I know. She is about 14 months old, already had a litter of babies, which were removed from her so I know that she needs some security. I really appreciate the link. I took the day off to chill and this will help.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2019 #7

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    The litter being removed from her probably wasn't a big deal. At 14 mos, she's fully adult now. All of my rabbits have been from rescues. They can bounce back in a loving home. Some just take longer than others to adjust -- regardless of their background.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2019 #8

    CorBuns

    CorBuns

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    She was with her babies...brown sugar, salt and pepper (Cutest names) ...right until the rescuers got her, so she’s only been alone for about 3 months ....do you think that’s part of it? Sorry for being so ignorant but I am researching and reading but it’s always better to hear from real people with Rabbits. Tx
     
  9. Dec 8, 2019 #9

    Ivythelionhead

    Ivythelionhead

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    Rabbits can't talk to us with words so they communicate with nips and stomping..my rabbit Bucky is the sweetest boy but when he's under my bed I won't go near him cause that's his place where he can go and I won't bother him and if I do go near him when he's under there he will stomp and growl at me but as soon as he's out and running around my room I can touch him and pick him up whenever I want to..my point is all rabbits are unique and different so listen to your rabbit and watch she may be telling you something and you just can't figure it out yet and above all be patient, rabbits are prey animals so they are going to be afraid and wary of us but if your patient and calm your bun will come around cause if your tense your bunny will feel that through you..you can do it
     

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