Possibly Rescuing Senior Bunny - Advice Wanted

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Feb 1, 2023
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Howell, NJ
Hey all! Been lurking here for awhile, really enjoy this community, and have been considering a rabbit. I currently have a GCC parrot, and five coturnix quail, so exotic prey animal pets are nothing new to me.
So here’s my opportunity. My stepfather used to raise rabbits for meat purposes. This was when I was a teenager, and I’m 24 now. They have one remaining who’s been stuck in a small hutch outside for the past decade or so. He’s anywhere from eight-ish? to over ten. Next month, me, my boyfriend, and his mother will be moving from their home state of IL to my home state of glorious NJ, where my parents still live, and my mom is offering me this poor guy.
I feel like it’d be really nice to let him retire somewhere warm, and loved. He’s not mean at all, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be a cuddly lap bunny. This is fine for me, since my main goal here is to just give him some good golden years, or days, or months, or however.
I’m a little worried about him being stressed moving into our townhome, and the change killing him. Of course, he’d have to get to a vet as well, but money should be of no concern since we’re all moving into pretty good jobs. I also imagine he’d need monthly medication due to typical senior ailments.
Anyways, anyone have any thoughts/considerations/experiences to share? Have never had a rabbit before, so anything is welcome!
@Nancy McClelland I’ve seen your posts around here a lot! Hello! :D
55! That’s amazing! Your heart must be huge after letting all those fuzzy buns in! Do you have any tips for the first few days I have him?
I’ve talked with the boyfriend and his mom, they’re on board. I already have a play pen I had for my quail (i’m a sucker and just let them free roam supervised for awhile instead of ever using it, lol) plus extra litter boxes (use them as dust pans for the quail) and timothy hay, although I think I’ll need a bigger litter box.
I wish I had a picture of the guy, but he’s real sweet. Will always come up to you for a sniff and to see if you have any goodies. His name is “Rabeeeeet!” lol that’s what my mom calls when she brings him his veggies and he goes wild!
Last month he was attacked by my sister’s friends dog, didn’t suffer any damage thankfully. He’s a real survivor and I’m looking forward to giving him somewhere nice to retire!
For the first few days, leave him alone so he can settle in--just make your presence known but don't try to handle him unless he comes to you. I used Cilantro as a treat to get them to come to us at first. Some were very friendly while others succumbed to bribery.Make all intros slowly and stress free. Also get any and all books from library so you can develop an understanding of bunny behavior--ALL animals have different and distinct behaviors.
For the first few days, leave him alone so he can settle in--just make your presence known but don't try to handle him unless he comes to you. I used Cilantro as a treat to get them to come to us at first. Some were very friendly while others succumbed to bribery.Make all intros slowly and stress free. Also get any and all books from library so you can develop an understanding of bunny behavior--ALL animals have different and distinct behaviors.
For sure - do you think he’d be better off in our bedroom or our living room? We do have the cat, and I get worried about him getting into Rabeet’s cage at night.
I’ve been researching a lot about rabbits, especially on this site! I’ll pick up some books too, that’s a great idea!
I’m looking forward to have another animal to spoil. Even if he never lets us pet him, I just LOVE spoiling my animals! My quail hate being pet, but I love making them new treats and activities. :)

Ahh I have to wait until March 25th until we move - now I really can’t wait!!
Not your bedroom unless you sleep like the "deceased"--rabbits can be very active at night and do keep some people awake. If he's a large rabbit, you probably won't have to worry about the cat, but it would be a good idea to keep the cat out of his area. House Rabbit Society is also a good source for info and help--have been a member for more than 2 decades.
@Nancy McClelland Ahh okay maybe I’ll keep him in the office then. Both my boyfriend and I spend most of our free time on our computers, so he’d be able to hang out with us, but have his own room I can secure when needed. I’ll check out the House Rabbit Society today!
@HalaBuns I agree I think the old guys and girls are just as cute if not cuter than the younger buns! ❤️
Our elders can be pretty quiet during the nightime hours, but it depends on the situations. I saw this thread initially and am happy @Nancy McClelland hopped on quickly to reply. Our sanctuary crew and special needs' buns involve time that keeps me from quickly responding. Hub rescued three loose abandoned rabbits in 2006 and the 2 females and one male adjusted readily to their quiet indoor environment. Thread link below.

@itsronni , Make sure your office room cords are protected. House Rabbit Society and local chapters will offer lots of suggestions to hep with his transition also. The agoutis have a special place in my heart!! Please continue to update. In previous years we aligned with high-vol shelters and bun-loving rescue humans in the Chicagoland area.

Over 45+ rabbits in the past decades who came thru rescue-type situations via our help. My shelter experiences have taught me many things wrt elders surrendered there! He will enjoy all the TLC you provide in his devoted forever home. Seniors can steal your hearts! And again, I love the agoutis and disregarded or no longer wanteds.

@itsronni , an alumni adopter traveled with his bonded pair from WI to NY so when the time approaches you can ask here or on House Rabbit Society forums for ways to make the trip most comfortable. You are very caring to seek a reputable rabbit-savvy DVM in the NJ area you live, too.

Don't be surprised if he turns out to be a cuddly lap rabbit. As rabbits develop trust, they understand who is going to care for them and will bond with that individual. Speaking from our experiences with Flemish intakes, strays,, and various smaller breeds.

Lots of love to your senior boy. Thank you for your kind actions.
@TreasuredFriend Brown Guy is sooooo cute! I love the agoutis as well, have always been partial to wild-type colors in my critters. Those three buns were so lucky to come across you guys!!
Wow, 45+, people like you and @Nancy McClelland are my (and countless animal souls) heroes. The bond between a rescued animal and its rescuer has the potential to be stronger than any other, imo.
I think I’ll run the cords through PVC + elevate them if we do keep him in there. Once we get to the new place, I’ll be able to visualize it better.

Thank you all so much so far!! Wish I could get him sooner but I will definitely keep everyone updated.
@itsronni , so true about the bond between rescued and rescuer.

Although, I will add a spayed 3-yr. old diva lionhead in our hone still attacks our hands if our hands smell like another rabbit. Sending good vibes as he awaits your love and affection. You inspire with your empathy and compassion.
Great suggestions so far. I might also add that if you can take something with him from his existing home, that scent will make him more comfortable in his new home. Our rabbit seems much less stressed on visits to the vet if we put a small mat or even a bit of hay from his cage in the carrier with him. Also providing a smallish hiding place like a box in his new home, so he has a safe base he can leave to investigate his new home on his own terms. You are doing a wonderful thing for him and for yourself! Best of luck.
Hey all - sorry for not responding for awhile, I’ve been digging hard into my research, but all of your advice is being taken to heart! Only 25 more days… :D I’m not sure if I told you all his name, but it’s Rabeeeeeet (with the eeeeeeet being high pitched, almost sung, if that makes sense lol!) My mom calls that to him every time she brings him his greens, and I kind of love it because it’s so simple (it’s basically rabbit lol) yet unique!

@Rabbitman steel wool is a brilliant idea. I’ll probably end up putting him in the living room over the office anyways, however, since me and my boyfriend have very expensive gaming PCs, and I’d never hear the end of it if fuzzy butt chewed the cords. :p
I’ll remember to bring something from his current home as well (if he has anything… :( )

@Blue eyes thank you so much, that website is amazing! I’ll be adding that to my growing folder of bookmarks. ;)

@TreasuredFriend Lol that bun sounds like my parrot, Beepers! He’s a real jelly belly! I hope Mr. Rabeeeeet! will accept some cuddles sometimes, I’ve been reading about the amazing bonds people form with their buns on this forum and it’s truly a magical, almost spiritual, experience. ❤️

Anyways, I’ll update you guys more as we get closer to the move. The waiting is killing me!!!
Ours had the run of our downstairs when we lived in Calif. Our cords were blocked by furniture and floor tiles. The computer and phone lines --had to build a 3 sided box and bolted it to the wall. Once I got Nancy trained to tuck her chair in to the desk when she was done with the computer, our sound system and modem were safe--only had to rewire sound system once--the second time it needed to be replaced--and, the same bunny each time. Always remember that "bunny-proof" may take a few tries!
@Nancy McClelland for sure! Our cat likes to get wires so we have a little experience there. The three sided box is a really good idea, I’d like to do that with our computer cables. Thinking we’ll try NIC panels around the wires in the living room?
A day shy of two weeks till I get him - will go down to my mom’s on the 26th after we’re settled into our apartment. I’ve also decided to start calling him Bucky. 😄
One thing I’m trying to plan ahead for is that I don’t think my parents give him any hay. They give him rabbit pellets from Walmart right now, which I’ll do a very gradual change off of into a better pellet brand.
I’m hoping he picks up on hay quickly, but does anyone have any tips for getting him to eat it if not?

Thanks in advance!!

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