Shy New Baby Rabbit

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Bunny Pumi

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Hello everyone,

I have coming here for any questions I have about our new rabbit that I adopted a month ago. This community has been very helpful, I love that everyone is looking out for everyone and their buns! My fiance and I adopted a neutered 4 month old rabbit from a rabbit rescue society mid June. He was very stressed out in the beginning and it seems like he is still stressed. We live in an apartment and he gets half of the kitchen with a cxc cage that is 4x6 panel which is quite big. He has plenty of toys and hidey homes. We try to feed him treats like fruits but he takes a bite and jumps away. We let him free roam in the apartment yesterday while we watched t.v. He ran around doing zoomies and it made me so happy! Today he has been hiding from me all day, sitting at the window sill. He still eats and drinks water but I do not see that many poop droppings compared to the first few weeks we brought him in. He is currently moulting and refuses for me to his groom him. He runs away everytime I try to pet him, since day 1.

I know he is very shy and still afraid of me where everytime I come up to him, he bolts. I cant help but feel heartbroken that he doesn't want to bond with me. I understand that he is still scared and that he is young so there is plenty of time for us to get to know each other. Do you have any recommendations on how to bond with him so he wont hide from me all day? Thank you everyone!!

p.s. here is a picture of him hiding from me all day :)
 

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zuppa

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

In my experience sometimes when we bring a new rabbit home we want to give him maximum attention and love especially when we know that he was at rescue so we just give him too much attention, too much room and this is not what he needs at the beginning so he simply gets scared and confused.

All rabbits are different, I know a few very brave rabbits but some of them would need a small covered place at the beginning just really small like a box placed somewhere under desk or covered with a blanket, and it is advised that you just leave them alone for 24-48 hours, just bringing water, food like twice a day, say hi but don't try to touch etc. Then gradually you can add more space, like attach a small playpen to his cage, but it is not advised to let them free roam too soon. It depends on your rabbit but sometimes it takes time.

So I don't know how it was in your case but I think maybe you just wanted him to be happy and gave him too much attention so he didn't like it.

There are some exercises how to bond with your rabbit, firstly you should get to his level, sit or lay on the floor and don't pay attention and just stay there for hours reading or playing but not looking so he can see you're not trying to get him so he can watch you and see you're not dangerous. This really works, it can take a few days or weeks, but he will come to you sooner or later.

I think there was a site with many tips on bonding with your rabbit, and more tips on housing, food etc, check it out.

Bringing new rabbit home, bonding with your rabbit and more

>>Bonding With Your Bunny
 

Bunny Pumi

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Hi Zuppa!

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me! I have had him for almost a month now and had plan to have him free roam since the beginning. The first few weeks I got him, I would sit in his cage for hours talking to him. He would come up to me, since i'm in his cage, and he would walk around and chill with me. Now that he sits on a window sill and hides behind a curtain, it would be hard for me to hang out with him. I am not sure what to do at this.

I sit on the couch to watch t.v. in low volume hoping he would come by but he just sits there are all time. He would come down to eat pellets, hay and drink water but then go back to the window sill. :( I will definitely check out that page for tips. Thank you!
 

zuppa

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Hi Zuppa!

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me! I have had him for almost a month now and had plan to have him free roam since the beginning. The first few weeks I got him, I would sit in his cage for hours talking to him. He would come up to me, since i'm in his cage, and he would walk around and chill with me. Now that he sits on a window sill and hides behind a curtain, it would be hard for me to hang out with him. I am not sure what to do at this.

I sit on the couch to watch t.v. in low volume hoping he would come by but he just sits there are all time. He would come down to eat pellets, hay and drink water but then go back to the window sill. :( I will definitely check out that page for tips. Thank you!
Oh so you've tried a lot already. What worked for me was that I just wasn't talking or interacting at all, just doing something completely like he's not here and I am not interested at all. With one girl I had really hard time, she was very defensive because in her previous home she had horrible life so she was a nightmare tbh. I didn't know what to do, I've tried everything and no results. Then I took my sleeping bag and just slept next to her cage a few nights. I was so surprised it worked. So she just saw I am there and I feel safe enough so I can sleep next to her and she watched me I was not dangerous I don't know what she actually thought but I've noticed some changes in how she looked at me, It was summer and my floor is nice wooden floor I don't remember how many nights but after that something really changed. She's about year and a half with me now and she's so much better but she was a nightmare because she was not only scared but she was defensive and she's very strong and her teeth so sharp I've so many scars on me lost so much blood and it was very unfair most of time 😭
 
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Hermelin

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Sometimes it take a lot more time to bond with bunnies.

Myself let one of my really skittish bunny move outdoors, he was so afraid of humans that he needed a space of his own. I interacted with him every day and then just let him be alone, every time I was interacting I would fill up my pockets with pellets. I would sit in his area and throw pellets to him, if he came close to me he got pellets and later he learned I was a portable feeding station that was safe, only took over a year to get to touch him. And two years later I can cuddle with him whenever I want and he will come boinking me for attention 🤣

I didn’t get any scars but the first year I got new scratches and bruises every day.

While my other bunny, I also worked with food to interact with him. I let him be up on my double bed while I watched movies and he would explore the place while I played a log. He would spend many hours up on the bed while I was lazing around studying or watching movies. If he came to me I gave him a treat and just spoiled him with pellets, took around a month to get him to cuddle up in my arms.

I always go with the hand feeding or going around with food on me. Sometimes I forget I have food in my pockets and will wash my clothes. But a lot of positive reinforcment and treats work the best in my opinion then it can take whatever time the bunny need ☺
 

Bunny Pumi

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Hello Zuppa and Hermelin,

I appreciate your replies and I definitely feel less stressed about my bun, that I'm not the only one where my bun currently hates me haha. It is so scary to hear that they can draw blood (that's why we didn't get a cat), but you both are great bunny owners and are very patient with your buns which i'm sure they appreciate. I have a lot to learn, especially patience! He actually came over when we watched a movie in the evening when it was getting dark. I wonder if he prefers hanging out with us when its night time compared to the afternoon. We will leave him be and pretend he is not there so he gets use to the surrounding first (all bunny proofed). Can't help but want to pet and hug this cutie! Here's a couple pictures of him hanging out with us last night.

What treats do you suggest I purchase that aren't veggies? We currently have these called Nutrinoms but he usually takes a bite and leaves. Thanks guys!! 😌
 

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Hermelin

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I love using dried banana or apple as treats to spice up the treats I have but pellets work really well as treats for bunnies. I like using apple because I can take two slices and just make it to small pieces as treats for the day. If you know how much pellets your bunny can eat during a day, you can use that instead. It will be a lot more healthy and you can often make pellets bit smaller ☺

I understand wanting to pick up your bunny and cuddle with them, my bunnies can't escape me after they have gotten used with me. I'll often pick them up and cover them with kisses, I know the spots where they will start to bunny purr. It took a lot of time and patience to get where I am with my bunnies but it's totally worth building a bond with your bunny and learn more about their quirky personality.
 

judybarry70

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Hello everyone,

I have coming here for any questions I have about our new rabbit that I adopted a month ago. This community has been very helpful, I love that everyone is looking out for everyone and their buns! My fiance and I adopted a neutered 4 month old rabbit from a rabbit rescue society mid June. He was very stressed out in the beginning and it seems like he is still stressed. We live in an apartment and he gets half of the kitchen with a cxc cage that is 4x6 panel which is quite big. He has plenty of toys and hidey homes. We try to feed him treats like fruits but he takes a bite and jumps away. We let him free roam in the apartment yesterday while we watched t.v. He ran around doing zoomies and it made me so happy! Today he has been hiding from me all day, sitting at the window sill. He still eats and drinks water but I do not see that many poop droppings compared to the first few weeks we brought him in. He is currently moulting and refuses for me to his groom him. He runs away everytime I try to pet him, since day 1.

I know he is very shy and still afraid of me where everytime I come up to him, he bolts. I cant help but feel heartbroken that he doesn't want to bond with me. I understand that he is still scared and that he is young so there is plenty of time for us to get to know each other. Do you have any recommendations on how to bond with him so he wont hide from me all day? Thank you everyone!!

p.s. here is a picture of him hiding from me all day :)
 

judybarry70

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Awww, so cute, so shy. I saw the last picture of her coming out of hiding to look at you, soo cute, looks like he wants to come closer, but is still scared. Sooner or later he will get over his fear. Poor shy baby.
 

Diane R

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Fruit is not good for bunnies - far too much sugar. Why not hand feed him everything other than hay instead? Pellets, a few sprigs of fresh herbs.
 

Bunny Pumi

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Hello Diane! He gets unlimited hay to eat and 1/4 cup pellets in morning and another 1/4 cup pellets at night. He is 5 months old and was recommended this amount from the rescue society where I adopted him. Since he gets pellets, he doesn't pay any attention to it as treats but will eat it ever so often when he visits his homebase.

I also provide greens for him everyday and a small piece of fruit as treat every few days. Do your rabbits have any favourite brand treats that they love? I am looking to widen my treat variety for him to find a favourite!! Thank you!!
 

zuppa

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I personally don't use treats at all, my rabbits have greens daily (when I have them) and fruit or an inch of a carrot once a week but it's just like food and they just have it it's just mandatory. Interesting that they perfectly understand what I ask them to do even without treats, they react to my voice, like she escaped the fenced area once and was exploring area behind my furniture and I couldn't get her out even offering a carrot or shaking a pellet bag, honestly i worried so much because there was a TV under the table and all cords, she wasn't expected there, and I was completely lost since treats didn't work. So I sit on the floor and think what do I do, then I said in my best honey voice Arnie! Arnie my pretty girl, come here Arnie you're my good girl you're my beautiful girl come we'll brush your coat now. She came running! 🤣

Oh well, I do use treats with Smokey, I had a small bag of carrot-shaped treats got as a gift and offered her once when she used her toilet, she liked it, so I kept giving her one every time she used her toilet and after some time when I showed her that carrot she ran to her toilet lifted her tail and ran back to me for a treat, was so funny 🤣 I regret I had no camera at hand.

carrotys.jpg

They are small carrots but you can also use your usual pellets as a treat or dry some carrot slices and use as a treat. Dried bananas have much sugar in them I think
 
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Diane R

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Hello Diane! He gets unlimited hay to eat and 1/4 cup pellets in morning and another 1/4 cup pellets at night. He is 5 months old and was recommended this amount from the rescue society where I adopted him. Since he gets pellets, he doesn't pay any attention to it as treats but will eat it ever so often when he visits his homebase.

I also provide greens for him everyday and a small piece of fruit as treat every few days. Do your rabbits have any favourite brand treats that they love? I am looking to widen my treat variety for him to find a favourite!! Thank you!!
That's quite a lot of pellets. I would gradually reduce that to 1tbsp. Don't give him pellets in a bowl, just handfeed them. Bunnies think of pellets and fresh herbs as treats. There is really no need to give any other treats. Don't give fruit either, it's really not good for them. Other good treats are a bit of dried plantain (the weed, not the banana type thing!), dried dandelion, dried coneflower, chicory root, etc.
 

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