Rescuing a baby vs adult: opinions?

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Amaretti

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Hi I’m new here! So I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading around the forums before now joining. I am thinking of rescuing a bun. There’s a shelter nearby with adults and babies. But there’s some things about rescuing an adult vs a baby maybe some here could give some insight on.

I like the idea of getting an adult because it’s personality will already be known. It won’t be a mystery like with getting a baby, who’s personality may change as it grows up.

BUT I’d also like to have one that is well socialized and is more tolerant with new people and places, like going to visit nearby familys house instance, or stuff like bunny fest, or be used to physical contact and being petted. Thing is I’d not think a bunny in a shelter will be all too well exposed and be tolerant of. I’d think getting a baby would be better for getting it used to those kinds of things as it matures.

So to my question:
Is it possible for an adult to be acclimated to being socialized and less skittish to new situations? Do you think if I got an adult, it could ever get used to things and be at all like a rabbit that was exposed to all these things from a young age? I’d like to get an adult preferably because of knowing the personality, but what’s everyone’s thought on all this?

thanks for reading :)
 
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Mehidk

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It's all based on a rabbit's personality. As a baby rabbit gets older, their personalities can totally change. I've heard of people who have chosen a baby rabbit, thinking that they could train him/her to be held, or be trained like a dog but then it backfires on them. Then there are others who have continued to stay the way they were. Plus, litter habits can change as they reach adulthood and you have to retrain them to use the litter box. It's really a 50/50 chance.

In my opinion, I would select an adult rabbit because like you said, their temperament is already in place. The main thing is to work on the bonding and get your rabbit to trust you. For example; my rabbit is more likely to listen to me than her rabbit dad aka my boyfriend lol.
 

Amaretti

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It's all based on a rabbit's personality. As a baby rabbit gets older, their personalities can totally change. I've heard of people who have chosen a baby rabbit, thinking that they could train him/her to be held, or be trained like a dog but then it backfires on them. Then there are others who have continued to stay the way they were. Plus, litter habits can change as they reach adulthood and you have to retrain them to use the litter box. It's really a 50/50 chance.

In my opinion, I would select an adult rabbit because like you said, their temperament is already in place. The main thing is to work on the bonding and get your rabbit to trust you. For example; my rabbit is more likely to listen to me than her rabbit dad aka my boyfriend lol.
Thanks for the reply Mehidk!

I’ve been leaning towards adult too, plus I think adults would probably have a harder time finding someone else to take them so would be nice to give one a home. Do you think an adult would be stuck in its un-exposed ways permanently and not likely ever be open to the things I mentioned above? I haven’t gone to meet any of them so I don’t know their individual personalities yet, just seen the online profiles.
 

Mehidk

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Thanks for the reply Mehidk!

I’ve been leaning towards adult too, plus I think adults would probably have a harder time finding someone else to take them so would be nice to give one a home. Do you think an adult would be stuck in its un-exposed ways permanently and not likely ever be open to the things I mentioned above? I haven’t gone to meet any of them so I don’t know their individual personalities yet, just seen the online profiles.
I don't necessarily think so. They can be tolerant of certain things. Watching their body language is really important and helps to not stress them out too much. For example: I decided to test out the vacuum cleaner on my rabbit. Instead of putting her in a crate in the next room, I wanted to see her reaction when I turned it on. Of course during the first time, she was utterly terrified of the loud noises. It stressed her out a lot and I felt horrible (gave her treats and foliage to help ease the stress afterwards). I would run the vacuum twice a week and I would watch to see where she would run to, and she always ended up in the corner by my bathroom. I figured out that was her "safe zone". I then put a cardboard tunnel over in that area and every time the initial start up of the vacuum would go on, she would run into the tunnel. It's now been about 2 months and I've gotten to where I can vacuum every 2 days and her demeanor has changed. There has been times where she would run out in front of the vacuum just to check it out. She now knows the vacuum won't hurt her but she does jump still when I first turn it on. After that, she's fine.

Definitely appreciate the time you have when you meet the rabbits. That's how I was able to decide that Trixie was the one to take home for me. I spent almost two hours there and out of all the rabbits I saw, she was the only one who gave me kisses on my hand. I had originally gone there to visit a different rabbit but she was too cute to ignore. Now she's my spoiled floof baby lol.
 

Mariam+Theo

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I think you should get an adult for a handful of reasons. You won't have to deal with the diet change, you won't have to deal with the teenager stage, the adult rabbit can be spayed/neutered before you get her/him, the rabbit can be litter trained more easily, and you don't have to worry about the personality change. I think that if you spend time bonding with your bunny (see link: https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-with-your-bunny.html) you will be able to bond perfectly. When you go and look for the rabbit make sure you look at all of them because rabbits have a tendency to choose you.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Welcome to the forum! I always opt for adult rabbits, because my budget is pretty tight :confused:. So it means that I don’t need to neuter a baby or get vaccinations until the next year! It’s nice that your leaning towards the adult rabbit to give it a home! I adopted my rabbit in November and he was supposedly really introverted. But he warmed up almost immediately, and he’s still pretty introverted but he’s met a bunch of people and they all love him! I’ve taken him to so many places with me and he’s never had a problem! I was probably more stressed than he was! When he was in the shelter he wouldn’t go near me at all in fact he went as far away as he could. And now, he comes running up to me almost begging to be pet. Many rabbits will be able to adapt to a new home. They’ll be able to adjust to new homes and situations. Set an appointment with the shelter to visit the rabbit your looking at. They’ll tell you how their temperament is. Once you see one you like, I think you should be able to reserve them (at least that’s how it works near me) and I would go to visit them a few more times before taking them home. I would keep an open mind, the rabbit you go to look at might not be the one you want. When I went to the shelter, I was going to see a black mini lop, who was extremely friendly, and two weeks later, I had an introverted, Rex in a carrier and I was taking him home.
The main thing is bonding, once you build a strong bond with the rabbit, you will know what they can and can’t handle.
 

Blue eyes

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The others have said it all well. :)

Thought I'd just add this too...

Founder of Bunny Bunch rescue, Caroline Charland, states, "People often think a rabbit must be held a lot as a baby in order to like being held as an adult. I don't find this true at all. Over the years, the Bunny Bunch rescue I founded has saved many mother and baby rabbits from shelters. All the babies were treated the same. When they became adults their personalities varied-- some liked to be held, some hated to be held and some tolerated being held."
(Rabbits USA 2014 magazine)
 

Amaretti

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Thanks @Mariam+Theo , @Apollo’s Slave , @Blue eyes and again @Mehidk for all the replies! This is very helpful information

so it sounds like as far as being okay with going out in public and being touched and all that, it’s more personality than exposure that decides. I’m glad to know that, if I can skip all the diet change and fixing and all that like Mariam said, I’d rather!

As far as the whole “once you are bonded with an adult you guys will be great” thing goes like some of you said, does that mean an adult rescue will possibly not like strangers they arent bonded with much? Like not like being pet by them, nip? Are they likely to be a one-person animal and dislike everyone else, like a parrot?
 

Mariam+Theo

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Some rabbits are that way, while others are friendly with everyone. My rabbit loves people and after he sniffs them he will let them pet him, but he is not the kind of rabbit that likes being held.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Thanks @Mariam+Theo , @Apollo’s Slave , @Blue eyes and again @Mehidk for all the replies! This is very helpful information

so it sounds like as far as being okay with going out in public and being touched and all that, it’s more personality than exposure that decides. I’m glad to know that, if I can skip all the diet change and fixing and all that like Mariam said, I’d rather!

As far as the whole “once you are bonded with an adult you guys will be great” thing goes like some of you said, does that mean an adult rescue will possibly not like strangers they arent bonded with much? Like not like being pet by them, nip? Are they likely to be a one-person animal and dislike everyone else, like a parrot?
It’s not very likely. But as the owner, you’ll begin to tell when he’s getting stressed and should take the initiative to calm the situation. Apollo has never bitten or nipped anyone and I have a really big family with young kid that I babysit. And by babysit, I mean, sit them on a beanbag in my room with a packet of crisps and peppa pig. But that’s not the point, some rabbits might be like that. But often it’ll be when they’re scared. So if the rabbit doesn’t bite you when you come to visit it in the shelter, it’s not likely to bite anyone else. I had an aggressive rabbit who calmed down like crazy after a few months, he got so calm, he would sit on my lap for pets.
 

Blue eyes

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... does that mean an adult rescue will possibly not like strangers they arent bonded with much? Like not like being pet by them, nip? Are they likely to be a one-person animal and dislike everyone else, like a parrot?
Not at all. I've had over a dozen rabbits -- all but 1 or 2 were adults from rescues. They may take some time to get used to a new home, but they get used to people. They are not one-person animals by any means. (I will clarify that to say that occasionally, a single rabbit in a home with a human couple will decide to be jealous of one human partner concerning the other. But that is the exception.)

As far as nipping, I find it extremely rare for a rabbit to nip. They will retreat (rather than nip) if they don't want to be bothered. Unless they are being persistently pestered, they aren't likely to bite or nip. In over 30 years of having rabbits only 1 ever bit me and that was because I put my hand between 2 rabbits that started to fight during a bonding session.
 

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