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Too much room for my rabbits?

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Jolie

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Feb 20, 2021
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Hi,

I have a neutered male rabbit and a female rabbit both about 8 months old. They love each other so much!! I have their hutch in our sunroom with a rabbit door so they can go directly outside to a large inclosed area of about 18' by 7'. Their hutch is large also with an attached poopie room:). I have handled them from when they were young, although the mail was about 3months old when I got him.

Here's the problem, they act deathly afraid of me. I talk to them gently, sit in the sunroom and try to pet them on the head and the will allow it only for getting a blueberry from me and they take it and turn their backs on me.

They will tolerate me petting them a few times in their pen as long as they are eating. But not for long. Is it possible they have too much room, so they feel more like their wild? I have to work during the day, but when I come home they know they'll be fed and run up to me in their cage for a treat.

Is it possible they are "playing" off of each others' behavior? I just want to pet them and play with them and they could care less about me. Also, could it be that they bonded with each other and don't need me? Please tell me what I should do. Thanks!!!
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
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With rabbits, it's all about patience and time to form a bond with them. Some rabbits are more shy and slower to trust than others. It's just sitting there with them so that they can learn you aren't a threat, and then become curious about what you are up to. Sit and read, be on your phone, work on a pad or laptop(no chewable cords), and eventually they will grow comfortable with you and start exploring around you, and eventually you and then asking for attention from you. But it's a process.

You could use xpen panels to restrict their space while you sit with them. A large area is less conducive to bonding, because they can just move away and leave instead of sticking around to get to know and feel more comfortable with you. So yes, too much room can be an issue when trying to get to know and form a bond with your rabbits.


 

Jolie

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Hi Jenny,

Awesome ideas! Starting tomorrow, I'm going to try to just sit with them in a small enclosure, daily. Thank you so much! :p Loved the video!
 
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When I got my bunny, he was returned back to the breeder because he was being mishandled and not taken care of properly by children. When I finally got him home, he was very unsure of me and really wanted to be by himself. I spend a majority of my time just sitting in the room with him. I would make sure I did force him to connect with me or pet him. I would get down to his level and lay flat on the floor. This can make you seem less like a threat as well. After doing this for a couple weeks, I bonded so well with my baby. He would come up and groom me and love to be pet. Some rabbits aren't huge on interaction, and that is okay. They are prey animals, and they each have their own personality. I hope this helps.😚
 

Jolie

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Hi Hannah,

Yes! Just hearing that makes me feel so much better. I'm really looking forward to sharing some good news about bonding with both of my buns! It's good to know it's not me. Thanks!:)
'
 
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