Struggling With my Bunny?

Discussion in 'Housing and Environment' started by Zoe Franchino, Mar 20, 2019.

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  1. Mar 20, 2019 #1

    Zoe Franchino

    Zoe Franchino

    Zoe Franchino

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    Hi everyone! So I haven’t had my bunny for too long, about three weeks. The first few days I had him home, I had him in his cage, just so he could get used to it and know that it’s the place where he’s fed. “Home-base”, if you will. After that, I let him out and he’s been free roaming in my room ever since. This has all been going great, up until a few days ago. Suddenly he’s become a bit destructive. He chews on the wall frames, the dressers, and pretty much anything else he finds interest in on the floor. He didn’t do this before. I also have a giant variety of toys spread out all across the room for him. He constantly has what bunnies need- food, water, toys, hay. He also has started to leave droppings and pee on the floor outside of his cage. Another thing he didn’t usually do, he’s always been good about doing his business in his cage, as we’re still working on the litter box.

    Tonight he chewed up a cord for the first time, and so I put him back in his cage with all his toys and had to lock it. I really don’t want to keep him in a cage, as he’s so much happier out of it. When he’s in his cage, he just sits and chews on the side of it.
    I would prefer to keep him out of the cage, however I’m kind of at a loss, as he’s making messes and chewing on everything but his toys it seems.

    A bit more info- he’s a two year old Netherland Dwarf buck. I know a logical option would be to have him neutered, but I planned to show him this coming spring.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Mar 20, 2019 #2

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

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    Yeah, bunnies will find their own fun even if they have a lot of toys. They a taste of everything. Its them being curious.

    What you could buy is bitter apple spray, I find it too be to pricey. Or you can make your own. You can use 1 cup of apple cider vinegar,( you don't have to buy anything expensive) and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Or you can use 1 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Put it a bottle shake it up and spray and reapply once or twice a week. What I find with these bitter sprays they work for a while but get use to the taste.

    You can also try double side tape in an area where your bun is chewing, but I've seen that work for little bit. With cords if you don't have cord protectors, unplug them when your bunny is out and raise them up higher where you bunny cannot get to them. I found out of site out of mind works. With furniture like table or chair legs, you can use table leg socks. But if you have a rabbit that loves soft things, it may entice your bunny to like the furniture socks and start chewing.

    For walls you can get wall corner covers. They are relatively inexpensive to buy.

    For roaming I would start off slowly. Its a whole new interesting world for a bunny. They are going taste testing on everyone. What I have found with some bunnies, once they find a spot to chew they will go back to it. So with free roaming I what I did was give my bun more room over time. I use wire grid shelves for a pen and expanded it as I trust my bunny. With peeing an pooing on the floor that is obviously territorial marking. I would probably have pen around him and place a little box where he is going in the pen. I've even had multiple litter boxes in the pen to get my point across. Where he is peeing and pooing you can place towel, or rug or spend you money on pee pads if you don't want to laundry.

    I had one male that actually agreed to do all his territorial marking on one 8 x 5 carpet. I had all his belonging there and he claimed that area of the home to be his.

    When your bunny pee or poops. What I've done is wipe it up with paper towel and put it in the box to say, hey this is your area. The best method I've found is the pen, grid shelves or a baby gate to block off the areas for my bunny not to go into.
     
  3. Mar 20, 2019 #3

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    If it isn't put up or boxed in it will get chewed--just in their nature and will happen no matter how many toys are around. I had one boy that loved phone cords while the other bunny just liked the air vents and never chewed cords. I had to put up 1/2 inch plywood in the laundry room where the Great Danes sleep as one chewed up all the trim while the other chewed thru the wall--yum, gypsum. The other 4 we had previously didn't chew up anything.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2019 #4

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

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    Also to, you can try a toy box or a dog bed, (my bunny had a dog) and let you bunny pull toys out of it. My bunny get bored of toy but I find with him picking out toys reduces boredom. Also you can make a cardboard chews like a cat scratching toy, or buy them, and place those around. My bunnies loves them. With purchase cardboard cat scratching toys, make sure they aren't glued together. Some of the glue may not be safe.
     
  5. Mar 20, 2019 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    You have to bunny proof if you want a rabbit to free roam. The sprays are mostly useless, in fact many rabbits actually like the taste of them. Rabbits are rabbits, meaning that it is in their nature to want to chew and dig. He likely didn't do it at the start because he was just getting to know the new area and it wasn't 'his' territory yet, but now that he is comfortable he is starting to claim it as his own(marking) and do what rabbits do best, remodel(chew, dig, etc) their environment to their liking.

    Not being neutered is also playing into his marking and possibly also his destructive behavior. Intact males are very inclined to want to scent mark their territory. Sometimes they can also be destructive and maybe also become somewhat aggressive because of sexual frustration. Neutering almost always will improve the marking behavior, usually quite a bit with the peeing part and also to some extent with the poop marking as well, but will depend on the individual rabbit on how much it improves. Whether or not the destructive behavior will improve depends on if your rabbit is doing it because of sexual frustration or because of natural instinct. If it's from sexual frustration, then neutering certainly should improve the behavior, but not necessarily if it's just his natural instinct driving the behavior.

    I would suggest scheduling a neuter with an experienced rabbit vet if you want the territory marking to improve. If you don't want to neuter, then it's possible that as he gets more settled in that the marking behavior will subside, but you would just have to wait it out and see. I would also bunny proof the room or add an xpen around the cage(bunny proofed area inside the xpen) so he isn't confined to a cage all the time.
    https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/
    http://bunnyproof.com/
     
    Blue eyes and somebunnylovesme like this.
  6. Mar 20, 2019 #6

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

    somebunnylovesme

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    JBun I agree, sprays are useless. They may work for a bit but then bunnies get use to the taste.
     

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