Seperating mother from babies

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Twila Animations

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I recently got a two year old Harlequin Holland Lop which I named Blossom. I actually got her last Monday and she is already having what I've heard as a false pregnancy. She was very calm and gentle the night she got here which is likely just from being tired. The next day, she was actually pretty aggressive and nippy and to make it worse, I picked her up. Of course, I had to pick her up in order to remove her from her cage and clean her poop and litter mess. I'd pick her up again to put her back. She seems happier inside the cage because inside it, she flops over many many times and clicks her teeth (purrs).
But my problem is, I'm worried she might be missing her babies. I'm beginning to feel bad for having agreed to take her if she remembers and misses her babies.
Please tell me.
I also want to know if she will ever grow to like me. The most she ever does is sniff me when I stay still and then go back to her hiding spot.
I'm only thirteen years old, so I haven't had any experience with a rabbit since she is the first pet who is actually mine. I do take care of our dog too, don't worry, I don't let him near her. e's a hunting breed, so I don't trust him near her quite yet.
We've had a bunny before, but he was my sister's, so I never took care of him.
Blossom is my first pet and I'm really worried I'm messing everything up by taking her from her babies and then picking her up to clean her cage.
I really want to know if it's a must that I ask my mother to return her to her babies and that we just find another person who will give us a bunny who has not had kits.



This is Blossom the night I got her;
75820037-25cb-582b-a568-05669d337033.jpeg
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Hey!
I’m not too sure about the first part but she’ll definitely grow to like you! I’m thirteen too! I’m sure you’ll do amazing with her (if you keep her) or any bunny you get.

Sit on the floor with her and watch a movie or read a book (practically ignore her, I know sounds weird but it works!). She’ll become inquisitive and will possibly come up to you, don’t touch her until she’s like right next to you and if she runs away, let her. You could also give her a treat when you go in the room (pellets work well but if you don’t feed pellets a small bit of fruit is good!). She’ll start to associate you as ‘nice food person’ as I say :p

If you know, When did she have her kits?

She’s adorable by the way!!!
 

Mariam+Theo

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Welcome to the forum! She is beautiful! If you do everything @Apollo’s Slave said to do, she should come around. Most female rabbits that have had kits are depressed after leaving them. You could give her a stuffed animal to cuddle with. I also recommend getting her spayed as females have a high chance of getting cancer by age 2.
Btw- I'm also 13 and Theo was my first pet.
 

Preitler

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Actually, my does seem to be quite relieved that their brats are gone.

Anyway, rabbits don't like changes, so you'll need lots of patience, she`ll adjust.
Sometimes it's necessary to pick up a rabbit, but I avoid it by letting them use ramps etc. to go where I want them. When I really have to pick them up, or to groom them, turn them on their back to check feet or private parts, I always give a treat right afterwards. Once they got the connection, when I put them down, they run two steps, turn around and insist on their treat. Keeps them from sulking over what just happend.

But as I said, patience.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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I agree with getting her spayed. It eliminates the cancer risk, helps with litterbox habits, and no more false pregnancies. Just make sure you go to a rabbit-savvy vet not a regular dog and cat vets, the rabbit savvy ones are usually the ones listed as "Exotic" vets.
 

Twila Animations

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Hey!
I’m not too sure about the first part but she’ll definitely grow to like you! I’m thirteen too! I’m sure you’ll do amazing with her (if you keep her) or any bunny you get.

Sit on the floor with her and watch a movie or read a book (practically ignore her, I know sounds weird but it works!). She’ll become inquisitive and will possibly come up to you, don’t touch her until she’s like right next to you and if she runs away, let her. You could also give her a treat when you go in the room (pellets work well but if you don’t feed pellets a small bit of fruit is good!). She’ll start to associate you as ‘nice food person’ as I say :p

If you know, When did she have her kits?

She’s adorable by the way!!!
Thank you so much. It relieves me to know she'll grow to like me eventually.
I have been just sitting there when I let her out and she has come over curiously and sniffed me before running off again. I'm also certain myself I'll do fine with a bunny since I have been taking care of our dog and raised chickens.

I'm not sure when she had her kits but my mother did show me pictures of them and I'd assume that the second litter would most likely be about 6 months or so..?
 

Twila Animations

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Actually, my does seem to be quite relieved that their brats are gone.

Anyway, rabbits don't like changes, so you'll need lots of patience, she`ll adjust.
Sometimes it's necessary to pick up a rabbit, but I avoid it by letting them use ramps etc. to go where I want them. When I really have to pick them up, or to groom them, turn them on their back to check feet or private parts, I always give a treat right afterwards. Once they got the connection, when I put them down, they run two steps, turn around and insist on their treat. Keeps them from sulking over what just happend.

But as I said, patience.
Thank you! I appreciate the advice a lot. I have fed her an apple slice about once a day to let her know I mean no harm. (I'm being very careful about how many treats I feed her 'cuz she's already fat. Makes me wonder what she was fed before being given to us.) She has grown a lot less aggressive despite having a false pregnancy. But that does make me happy.
 

Twila Animations

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I agree with getting her spayed. It eliminates the cancer risk, helps with litterbox habits, and no more false pregnancies. Just make sure you go to a rabbit-savvy vet not a regular dog and cat vets, the rabbit savvy ones are usually the ones listed as "Exotic" vets.
I have asked my mother about spaying and how much it costs, but she insisted we don't mess with her hormones, she doesn't know the cost of spaying a rabbit because we didn't have our previous rabbit neutered after finding out he was actually a boy. I didn't take care of him though, he was my older sister's 'cuz she wanted to name me what she had later named her rabbit while I was still in the womb. But anyhow, we don't plan on spaying her. I know it will be a bit of a pain, but I've raised 48 chicks all at once and I'm certain that Blossom will learn eventually how to behave.

But I will keep this advice in mind in case I ever do decide to muster up enough courage to confront my mother at all about spaying her.
 

Preitler

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I'm certain that Blossom will learn eventually how to behave.
Actually, you'll learn how to deal with that behaviour. :D

English boards are pretty dominated by repeated claims about cancer, some people with an agenda did a great job there planting memes , false numbers , fake news and propaganda. On german boards the discussion is closer to a draw between risks and benefits. Anyway, imho, keeping a doe intact is like putting the pedal to the metal in a Ferrari on idle (I do have 4 intact does). Breeding is what they evolved for, they excel at it. That has it's drawbacks, like false pregnancies and that cancer risk (which isn't as severe as people with no experience claim, but imho still is a very good reason to spay)

What you need most dealing with rabbits is patience. Don't get any ideas if she likes you, or not, they very well know that we are not one of them, they figure out how to deal with us. Treats and ear- and nose rubs help a lot.
 
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Twila Animations

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I'm sure I will! :D

I know it would be a good idea to spay, but I'm not one to argue with my parents when they've already given their opinion. I know she might die earlier on, she told me our previous rabbit had cancer in his leg and died at eight years old.
It does make me a bit sad to think of my rabbit dying, but I'll learn to live with it.
I know many people will be upset with me for allowing her to possibly get cancer and go through pain, but I don't like arguing with my own parents.

I am just determined to make sure Blossom is very happy and that I will give her a healthy life.
 

Twila Animations

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Welcome to the forum! She is beautiful! If you do everything @Apollo’s Slave said to do, she should come around. Most female rabbits that have had kits are depressed after leaving them. You could give her a stuffed animal to cuddle with. I also recommend getting her spayed as females have a high chance of getting cancer by age 2.
Btw- I'm also 13 and Theo was my first pet.
Thank you. I will see if I can possibly make a stuffed animal for her. I can't spay her without my parent's permission and my mother said we should just leave her. I'm not about to argue, as I have been raised to do as my parents say and for me, it's to the point that if they simply say my bunny's body should be left intact, I'm not going to tell them otherwise.
I will, though, do everything I can to make her happy and as healthy as she can be.
 

zuppa

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She's a beauty, congratulations and surely she will accept you sooner or later just be patient :)

If I understand correctly she is 2 year old and had two litters, how old are her babies, first litter was about 6 months ago?
I didn't get when she had fake pregnancy? Also you have her since Monday so less than one week, if she had any contact with a male she can be pregnant again, their pregnancy is usually 31 day so you can be sure she's not after she's with you more than one month.
Is she indoor or outdoor, can you post some photo of her setup and also what is her daily diet? If she's a bit overweight it can be corrected with healthy diet and exercise we can help you with some advice.
 

Twila Animations

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She's a beauty, congratulations and surely she will accept you sooner or later just be patient :)

If I understand correctly she is 2 year old and had two litters, how old are her babies, first litter was about 6 months ago?
I didn't get when she had fake pregnancy? Also you have her since Monday so less than one week, if she had any contact with a male she can be pregnant again, their pregnancy is usually 31 day so you can be sure she's not after she's with you more than one month.
Is she indoor or outdoor, can you post some photo of her setup and also what is her daily diet? If she's a bit overweight it can be corrected with healthy diet and exercise we can help you with some advice.
Thank you.

She is two years old, yes, and the latest I assume her second litter was born would probably be about six months ago.
She started having a false pregnancy about four days ago, I don't think she's been near the male she had her litters with, I don't know. I wasn't there when my mother picked her up.
She was an outdoor rabbit but I decided to make her an indoor rabbit. I don't have a photo of her setup, but she stays in my room in a reasonably large cage. I know many people would say I should make her free roam, but I'm about to get my tenth siblings, which means I have a big family and we have a hunting breed dog. (He's very friendly though, despite killing a few chickens when nobody's watching.)
Her diet is pellets from buckerfields and occasionally greens. I have been careful on the types of greens I feed her because I am very very paranoid about giving her something that might kill her.
I really don't want to make myself sound like I'm bad with animals.
I'm just really worried I'm doing something wrong.
I know I should probably get her spayed, but I don't know the costly price of spaying a rabbit and I don't even know if we have a rabbit vet nearby in our small town.
I'm really scared of messing up with her because she's two years old and I want to make sure she doesn't miss her babies and that she will eventually forget them so I don't have a depressed rabbit.
 

zuppa

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Thank you.

She is two years old, yes, and the latest I assume her second litter was born would probably be about six months ago.
She started having a false pregnancy about four days ago, I don't think she's been near the male she had her litters with, I don't know. I wasn't there when my mother picked her up.
She was an outdoor rabbit but I decided to make her an indoor rabbit. I don't have a photo of her setup, but she stays in my room in a reasonably large cage. I know many people would say I should make her free roam, but I'm about to get my tenth siblings, which means I have a big family and we have a hunting breed dog. (He's very friendly though, despite killing a few chickens when nobody's watching.)
Her diet is pellets from buckerfields and occasionally greens. I have been careful on the types of greens I feed her because I am very very paranoid about giving her something that might kill her.
I really don't want to make myself sound like I'm bad with animals.
I'm just really worried I'm doing something wrong.
I know I should probably get her spayed, but I don't know the costly price of spaying a rabbit and I don't even know if we have a rabbit vet nearby in our small town.
I'm really scared of messing up with her because she's two years old and I want to make sure she doesn't miss her babies and that she will eventually forget them so I don't have a depressed rabbit.
Doe can have false pregnancy even if she met a male rabbit or smell him, usually around day 17 then she just calms down in a couple days. I understand you don't know if there was a contact or not, you will know for sure after she's with you more than one month.

Does she eat hay? You said pellets and occasionally greens? My rabbits eat hay in the first place, about 80% of their diet, then a little bowl of high fibre pellets (check on package I choose pellets with min 19% fibre and low protein like 12%, and feed same pellets all the time, if I decide to change brand I do it gradually mixing old pellets with new ones for a couple weeks, increasing new ones and decreasing old ones. Also it must be plain pellets without any muesli-type parts, corn or grains, coloured flakes in them, no seeds no dairy, yoghurt etc) and a handful of greens, usually greens for breakfast (greens and I add some fresh hay) and pellets for dinner (pellets and I add some fresh hay), hay is everything to them and they have happy and healthy tummies. Most of people here feed their rabbits hay, some use grasses too but hay is easy to get and use so I would highly recommend. Here's some read on healthy diet with rabbit food pyramid check it out http://www.fosterbunnies.com/food.htm
You don't really have spend much money on rabbit food, keep it as simple as you can, hay 80%, pellets 5%, greens 10% and occasionally fruit/treats 5%. My rabbits get cilantro or mint or cauliflower leaves (1-2 per rabbit per portion) or cabbage leaves (1/2 per rabbit) or celery stick 1/2 -1 stick per rabbit, carrot green tops 2-3 long stems with leaves per rabbit, I give them a thumb-sized piece of carrot or a slice of apple once or twice a week as a treat

You don't have to have her free-roam, especially in the first few weeks, it is all good that she has her cage and you can expand her territory gradually over the next few months, but if you have a dog and lots of family and feel she's safer in her cage that's perfect just give her a couple hours of exercise but keep your room bunny-proof.

From your photo she looks a bit overweight so I would definitely give her less pellets and would add lots of hay to her diet. It is hard to say from one photo though, I have a rabbit she looks really fat in photo but she's not she's just very fluffy, beautiful very thick fur so just looks fat. She's also harlequin Harley's her name she's 10 months old now

P1080419.JPG
 
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Twila Animations

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Doe can have false pregnancy even if she met a male rabbit or smell him, usually around day 17 then she just calms down in a couple days. I understand you don't know if there was a contact or not, you will know for sure after she's with you more than one month.

Does she eat hay? You said pellets and occasionally greens? My rabbits eat hay in the first place, about 80% of their diet, then a little bowl of high fibre pellets (check on package I choose pellets with min 19% fibre and low protein like 12%, and feed same pellets all the time, if I decide to change brand I do it gradually mixing old pellets with new ones for a couple weeks, increasing new ones and decreasing old ones. Also it must be plain pellets without any muesli-type parts, corn or grains, coloured flakes in them, no seeds no dairy, yoghurt etc) and a handful of greens, usually greens for breakfast (greens and I add some fresh hay) and pellets for dinner (pellets and I add some fresh hay), hay is everything to them and they have happy and healthy tummies. Most of people here feed their rabbits hay, some use grasses too but hay is easy to get and use so I would highly recommend. Here's some read on healthy diet with rabbit food pyramid check it out http://www.fosterbunnies.com/food.htm
You don't really have spend much money on rabbit food, keep it as simple as you can, hay 80%, pellets 5%, greens 10% and occasionally fruit/treats 5%. My rabbits get cilantro or mint or cauliflower leaves (1-2 per rabbit per portion) or cabbage leaves (1/2 per rabbit) or celery stick 1/2 -1 stick per rabbit, carrot green tops 2-3 long stems with leaves per rabbit, I give them a thumb-sized piece of carrot or a slice of apple once or twice a week as a treat

You don't have to have her free-roam, especially in the first few weeks, it is all good that she has her cage and you can expand her territory gradually over the next few months, but if you have a dog and lots of family and feel she's safer in her cage that's perfect just give her a couple hours of exercise but keep your room bunny-proof.

From your photo she looks a bit overweight so I would definitely give her less pellets and would add lots of hay to her diet. It is hard to say from one photo though, I have a rabbit she looks really fat in photo but she's not she's just very fluffy, beautiful very thick fur so just looks fat. She's also harlequin Harley's her name she's 10 months old now

View attachment 45365
Thank you. This is so helpful!

She doesn't have hay yet because my mother hasn't been out to get any. She was given straw for nest making so she'd be happy and I've noticed her eating the straw, which I'm not sure is good or bad for her. Buckerfields doesn't seem to list ingredients on their stuff since they just come in these huge brown bags, but knowing Buckerfields, they make food that's safe for all animals. The only greens I've been able to feed her was spinach, but even then I had read not to give too much of that to rabbits. I could give her some lettuce, but I also don't know if that's okay for rabbits. I know iceberg lettuce is a big no-no, but we don't have that lettuce.

I've tried getting her to get exercise outside her cage, but she immediately goes into a hiding place, thumps her foot and grunts at her, and only comes out to either sniff me and hide again, or sniff her cage and try to find a way to get on top of it and get back in, which is the part that worries me most. She hates being out of her cage and always grunts at me, and I had expected her to at least want to explore and be out of her cage. But I also do know it's hard for an older bunny to move somewhere new.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Thank you. This is so helpful!

She doesn't have hay yet because my mother hasn't been out to get any. She was given straw for nest making so she'd be happy and I've noticed her eating the straw, which I'm not sure is good or bad for her. Buckerfields doesn't seem to list ingredients on their stuff since they just come in these huge brown bags, but knowing Buckerfields, they make food that's safe for all animals. The only greens I've been able to feed her was spinach, but even then I had read not to give too much of that to rabbits. I could give her some lettuce, but I also don't know if that's okay for rabbits. I know iceberg lettuce is a big no-no, but we don't have that lettuce.

I've tried getting her to get exercise outside her cage, but she immediately goes into a hiding place, thumps her foot and grunts at her, and only comes out to either sniff me and hide again, or sniff her cage and try to find a way to get on top of it and get back in, which is the part that worries me most. She hates being out of her cage and always grunts at me, and I had expected her to at least want to explore and be out of her cage. But I also do know it's hard for an older bunny to move somewhere new.
I don’t think that it’s because she’s an older bunny. She may just be less inquisitive. Leave the cage door open when you want her to play, and let her go out on her own. Don’t pick her up from the cage or close the door when she’s out of it. The cage should be her safe place and outside of it should be her fun place. Maybe place some treats on the floor outside of the cage and then go onto your bed or something, just let her explore. If she does something you don’t like, clap your hand (then look away) or say ‘no’. Don’t shout but say it sternly

Most dark green lettuces are good. Straw is okay for her to eat but it doesn’t have too much nutrients in it, so it doesn’t do much.
 

Twila Animations

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I don’t think that it’s because she’s an older bunny. She may just be less inquisitive. Leave the cage door open when you want her to play, and let her go out on her own. Don’t pick her up from the cage or close the door when she’s out of it. The cage should be her safe place and outside of it should be her fun place. Maybe place some treats on the floor outside of the cage and then go onto your bed or something, just let her explore. If she does something you don’t like, clap your hand (then look away) or say ‘no’. Don’t shout but say it sternly

Most dark green lettuces are good. Straw is okay for her to eat but it doesn’t have too much nutrients in it, so it doesn’t do much.
Thank you. I would leave the door open, but the door is on top of the cage. So what she does when outside the cage is she tries to climb ON TOP of the cage and then I have to get her off before she falls in and hurts herself. I might be able to get a piece of wood to hold the top part of her cage open so she can hop in and out as she pleases. I've been thinking of doing that because I hate forcing her out or into her cage cause it makes me feel bad.

I do hope she does explore a little because I didn't really want a young rabbit who just lazes off all day but I also don't want to just give her to the SPCA or just hand her back to her old owner like; "I don't like this bunny, take her back." because, truth is, I love Blossom like she's my own impish baby.
 

Twila Animations

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She's a beauty, congratulations and surely she will accept you sooner or later just be patient :)

If I understand correctly she is 2 year old and had two litters, how old are her babies, first litter was about 6 months ago?
I didn't get when she had fake pregnancy? Also you have her since Monday so less than one week, if she had any contact with a male she can be pregnant again, their pregnancy is usually 31 day so you can be sure she's not after she's with you more than one month.
Is she indoor or outdoor, can you post some photo of her setup and also what is her daily diet? If she's a bit overweight it can be corrected with healthy diet and exercise we can help you with some advice.
Oh, You also asked for a photo and I got some now.
HPIM7625[1].JPG HPIM7624[1].JPG
 

zuppa

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In pic #2 can you remove those corners and make the side panel swing while it still connected to top? I had similar problem once the door was fine but it was too small and my rabbit was uncomfortable using it so I just kept the whole panel out and locked it with carabiner clips on one (or both) sides. With your cage I would just cover it with a piece of plywood or heavy cardboard and would make a new door with this side panel. But I am not sure what red corners on top can you remove them or they hold the side panel in place? Anyway if they can be removed there are a few ways to connect the side panel with top panel, zip ties or metal key rings etc.
 

Twila Animations

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Oh my goodness, thank you so much! Yes, I can remove those and see if I can make it open so she can freely come out when I'm home. I'll try this when I get home.
 
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