Whisker eating >.<

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Imbrium, Sep 20, 2019.

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  1. Sep 20, 2019 #1

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    21c8f78a-ae30-406c-88bb-152fb9fe5c74.jpg

    This is the face of someone who eats whiskers. I recently noticed some short whiskers on one side of Barnaby's face and I was a little bit concerned but I thought maybe Harley just got overzealous about grooming and they'd grow back... But last night when I had them out, I noticed that ALL of his whiskers are now quite short.

    I always assumed that bunny whiskers were like cat whiskers... Quite important to them and painful if severed... but Barbie is clearly just sitting there and letting her eat his whiskers off his face and he doesn't seem bothered by it. I'm bothered by it though.

    Has anyone ever encountered this with a bonded pair and if so, any thoughts on how to thwart Harley Quinn's rotten new habit?
     
  2. Sep 20, 2019 #2

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    Ignore where it said Barbie instead of Barnaby, lol... Speech-to-text mishap while lazily posting from my phone!
     
  3. Sep 21, 2019 #3

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    I have a few whisker eaters myself - and a couple rabbits who voluntarily stick their noses into the whisker-eaters' cages to say hi and just sit their while their whiskers get 'trimmed'. My solution was to just move the whisker-eaters' cages further away but with a bonded pair I guess it's something they just have to live with. Can't much think of any other solution. Rabbit whiskers are sensitive like cat whiskers but all the nerves are at the base, in the skin. Rabbit teeth are very sharp so they can cut the whiskers without pulling the base too much. In captivity rabbits don't use their whiskers as much, they are most helpful for navigating burrows.

    This is the face of one of my whisker-eaters, Bambi
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Sep 22, 2019 #4

    Imbrium

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    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    I love the look in Bambi's eye there, like she just got caught eating whiskers :p.
     
  5. Sep 22, 2019 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Little Libby has chewed the whiskers off her mom and siblings since they were all bonded, so about 5 years now. It's always easy to tell her apart from her mom and Jake because she is the only one with long whiskers in the group. I presume it's some sort of dominance behavior, though she has never been the top bun in the group. She's kind of a bossy bunny regardless, and is always chasing the lesser bunnies around when she feels the inclination, so I'm guessing she's a wannabe 'top bun'. Even the top bunny would let her chew his off because she's a groomer and they all love to be groomed, so she'll get in there and start grooming them then sneak in for that whisker and yank. You can tell when she does it because you see the flinch and sometimes they jolt away.

    No way that I know of to fix it besides separation. But I don't know that it matters all that much as long as it doesn't result in causing squabbles. Like I said, it's been going on for 5 plus years with my rabbits.
     
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