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My Rabbit Hates Me

 
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I read that a few years ago, a man in Britain had a stroke, and his rabbit thumped its back legs on the floor so many times, and so hard, that the mans wife came down the stairs, saw her husband in distress, and called the paramedics, in effect the rabbit saved his life.

That would NEVER be my pet rabbit...she hates me.

I have had rabitts all my life, and really adore them, but this rabbit has absolutely no appreciation for what I have done for her. She had a hutch out in the garage, but after a year we deduced that she should be in with the family, so we brought her inside into our living room. We decided that she should have run of the place, and just have a see-through tote with a door cut in the front. She does not have to hop out, or even climb out, she just has to walk out, and yet she won't.

We have treats, salt wheels, toys, grain and water always available for her, and yet she never eats or plays with them. She eats and drinks, but that is it.

We have a farm, so in the summer we constantly give her fresh clover, and alfalfa straight from the field, she eats it, but that is it. The same for the winter when we give her hay from the bales of hay for the sheep. She is ultra fat, and has a double chin from all the great fodder we give her, yet...

She refuses to get out of her tub. She will not play with us at all. And when we do hold her, she goes into a panic so bad that you think she will have a heart attack.

She is the most spoiled bunny I have ever had, and yet...nothing. I am watching her now, eating her fresh, 2nd crop clover picked this morning, and other then looking cute...no hopping around the house, no affection from her, NOTHING.

What is her issue?
 
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Maybe it isn't just humans that can be dicks...
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:Maybe it isn't just humans that can be dicks...



Yep! lol
 
Travis Johnson
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Trace Oswald wrote:Maybe it isn't just humans that can be dicks...



Well she is a female bunny, so I would like to say she is a "bitch", but that would actually be my dog, who is also female, but while that is her true identity, she is hardly fitting of the term. Now my ex-wife, that would be more appropriate, although I am kind and call her a "witch" instead. I also give her environmental credit, and always say that she gets about "34 air miles to the bristle flying around on her broom."

I found this nasty side of her out when I reprogramed her computer to autocorrect to the word "ewe" every time she tried to spell the word "you". She did that a lot as a 5th grade teacher, and so in about 2 minutes she was incredibly perturbed at me celebrating the fact that we were sheep farmers. No sense of humor from that witch for sure.

But I should not really be so hard on witches. All joking aside, my family was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials and endured every sentence possible. One family member, was accused of witchcraft, found guilty, and hanged for it. Another was found guilty, but never hung. And a third family member was exonerated at trial.

Now we had learned a long time ago that burning witches at the stake was not an appropriate use of all those BTU's. Goodness gracious, this is New England, and so all that firewood is better off being used to heat our homes then burn witches. Besides, the first Salem "witch" was actually stoned to death, but it took him 3 days to die, so after that they just used a rope. That worked well enough, but then we discovered tar, and that stuff is always fun to play with. And then...well if your are going to rub some on low-life's face, you minds well add some feathers you have kicking around from yesterday's chicken plucking just for good measure. Running them out on a rail only added to the indignation, and gave the railroad some subsidies from the Department of Justice for carting their hiney's away.

I suppose I could tar and feather my bunny for being a "dick"...and yes, if you read long enough, I eventually come back to where I started...but the PETA people would get mad at that, so I will just call her bunny, and give her some more fresh clover.
 
Trace Oswald
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Travis Johnson wrote:so I will just call her bunny, and give her some more fresh clover.



Much like I would.  I have animals that are dicks.  I can respect their "I just don't care about you" attitude.
 
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Breed the best, eat the rest.
 
Travis Johnson
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:Breed the best, eat the rest.




Are you talking about Bunnies or wives?
 
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Hasenpfeffer!
 
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I wonder if pet psychologists work with rabbits.
 
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What is her issue?


Maybe she's not a house bunny by nature and would like it better outdoors?
 
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The problem is the solution.  Beer braised rabbit!

 
Travis Johnson
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John Pollard wrote:I wonder if pet psychologists work with rabbits.




I think you are onto something. If Caesar Milan is the Dog Whisperer, then maybe I can find Elmer Fudd who would be the Rabbit Whisperer, Right? :)
 
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How old is she? How long have you had her inside? Her 'double chin' is called a dew fold, and is normal, for a female, not a sign of overweight. Some buns take a long time - months,  even - to begin to understand that they really are free, especially if they're been in a hutch, outside, for any length of time. Until then, she may not trust it. Rabbits are prey animals, therefore not naturally trusting, so she may or may not ever be comfortable with being picked up. It makes sense, when you think of them, in their natural role, as prey. To them, being picked up instinctively makes them think, 'I'm about to be eaten'. But, they're also naturally very social animals - and if you are gentle and loving with her, it will pay off, but, on her terms.
 
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We got bunnies.
Their attitude is half their charm.
To me,  they are like cats,if cats were not predators but prey.
I expect them to be techy, evolutionarily, being picked up and held would been the prelude to death.
It's amazing that we have been able to breed so much of that out of our domesticated animals.

I would consider a second bunny.
Our very first bunny, Cinnamon died, so we got a replacement so her surviving partner, El-ahrairah, wouldn't be lonely.
Our replacement bunny, Nutmeg , came to us with matted poop filled fur and a heart filled with spite.
She is happier and nicer now, even tolerating petting for the sake of treats.
Another bunny with a friendlier disposition might make your bunny nicer,  or at least happier.
 
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I have a super friendly male rabbit and an Evil Monster female rabbit (siblings, were supposed to be two sisters but I apparently still need to work on sexing young rabbits).
The male is super easygoing and friendly and will happily hang out in the yard in a run. The female is terrified and will stamp and even try to whack me with her front feet if I try to pet her. She literally growls when I open her house, petting her is not an option. (she lets my husband pet her, though, so go figure). If I put her in the yard in the run, she cowers, terrified, in the corner and refuses to graze.
It is my understanding that the meaner females are better mothers to their young, but I haven`t bred this one yet so I'm not sure if there is any truth to this old wives' tale. She is in fabulous shape, grew very well, I don't plan to breed her but I suspect she would be a great mama bunny.
 
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Oh, my rabbit hates me too.

She also loves me, but mostly she hates me.

I think it's a rabbit thing, or maybe a female rabbit thing. She's bitten me a half-dozen different times, at least (drawing blood), and nipped me countless other times. She often growls at me and charges when I am doing something she doesn't like, like corralling her for a pickup to trim her nails or put her in the kitchen, where she's confined (she has free-range of our not-tiny apartment kitchen).

That was more common in our first year. She's been with us since Valentine's Day 2018, and she's gotten markedly more relaxed. She will hop up onto the couch with us and demand that we worship her with skritches upon the head, behind the ears, and under the cheeks. She will stand on her back feet, looking in the direction of where specific treats are kept to indicate her interest, and she will binky around the kitchen when I get it right. She even tries to push her head, nose-first, under my foot while I'm standing at the counter, making coffee and oatmeal, so that she can get foot skritches while I do other things.

Maybe your rabbit is just frustrated that it's taking so long to get her humans trained properly.

-CK
 
Travis Johnson
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Maybe, Bunny (that is her name) is 5 years old now, and has never gotten very friendly...but has not bitten us however. She has had two liters of bunnies, and did well, but when a man wanted some bunnies the last time, he wanted the father too, so we let them go.

Maybe she is upset we got rid of her first husband, and her off-spring?

I say first husband, because when we tried to get her in a second committed relationship, she committed homicide and killed the potential bunny-husband.

So now we just let her be. I do love rabbits though, and will always have one. Maybe the next one will be more friendly, but we are not the kind of people to just get rid of an animal. If it is violent (like a ramy-ram, yes), but just because a pet is not overly sociable, we would never get rid of it. We just take care of it the best we can, and maybe after it passes (naturally), we will get a more sociable one.
 
Chris Kott
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Yeah. Sounds like you might have broken up a bonded pair, there. Just guessing, though, but that's the sort of thing, along with relocation, that can cause shifts in behaviour.

She killed husbun number two? You don't think of bunnies as the sort of animal that commits homicide, but there it is, I guess.

Maybe if you found her a friend that was less fragile, like a puppy or something, she might bond with it and calm down.

In any case, good luck with Bunnicula, there (she didn't drain her husbun's blood, did she?).

-CK
 
Travis Johnson
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Chris Kott wrote:Yeah. Sounds like you might have broken up a bonded pair, there. Just guessing, though, but that's the sort of thing, along with relocation, that can cause shifts in behaviour.

She killed husbun number two? You don't think of bunnies as the sort of animal that commits homicide, but there it is, I guess.

Maybe if you found her a friend that was less fragile, like a puppy or something, she might bond with it and calm down.

In any case, good luck with Bunnicula, there (she didn't drain her husbun's blood, did she?).

-CK




That might have been the case. The fact that she had two litters of bunnies with her first husband is obvious evidence they "bonded", but then again, they are bunnies, you kind of expect..."bonding". Although. I had a daughter with my second wife, and I can tell you with 100% clarity, we NEVER bonded.

Bunnies are actually known for killing though, they are insanely jealous animals, and very territorial.

If we sell our other home, we will be all done sheep farming, so we plan to bring our then-retired LGD over here. That will be interesting, a Great Pyrenees, a cat, a gold fish, and a rabbit….all inside a Tiny House of a family of six. It almost sounds like the start of a bad joke...
 
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With rabbits, when the doe is ready to breed, she'll let the buck "do her" almost immediately.  It takes 15 seconds from the time you put him in the cage with her to the time he's finished his business.  Usually less.  After that, you need to get him out or she might rip his balls off.  Seriously.  If she's not interested, you'll know it immediately.  She will not let him mount her.  No need to leave him in the cage with her --- that's asking for trouble.  The concept of bunny foreplay and getting her in the mood . . . nah . . . no such thing.

Bucks do not co-exist well with another buck in the same cage.  They'll fight and frequently kill.

At the end of the day, these are wild animals.  The traits that we tend to like (affectionate, needy, desiring attention) would not serve them well in the wild.  Those traits that we think of as anti-social are those that are most healthy, if you will.  Being largely reclusive and defenseless, rabbits that are wary and nervous have a much higher survival rate.  However, being outgoing and good humored never seemed to effect Bugs Bunny's survival.  That guy was tremendously resilient.  

So perhaps your rabbit doesn't hate you -- she's just healthy and independent.
 
Carla Burke
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Travis Johnson wrote:Maybe, Bunny (that is her name) is 5 years old now, and has never gotten very friendly...but has not bitten us however. She has had two liters of bunnies, and did well, but when a man wanted some bunnies the last time, he wanted the father too, so we let them go.

Maybe she is upset we got rid of her first husband, and her off-spring?

I say first husband, because when we tried to get her in a second committed relationship, she committed homicide and killed the potential bunny-husband.

So now we just let her be. I do love rabbits though, and will always have one. Maybe the next one will be more friendly, but we are not the kind of people to just get rid of an animal. If it is violent (like a ramy-ram, yes), but just because a pet is not overly sociable, we would never get rid of it. We just take care of it the best we can, and maybe after it passes (naturally), we will get a more sociable one.



Bunnies are not quite as promiscuous as humans tend to think. They bond for life - and not always easily. They're incredibly territorial, and will fight to the death. They should be first introduced through a fence, and have a full gamut of emotions and modes of communication, that their hoomans do well to learn. Here are a few tips, based on my experience &/or research(which helped us to not experience some of these things):

Bunny psychology:

* If your bun is growling at you, it's time to back off. This is a serious warning that they're VERY upset, and the next thing that happens is usually a lunge, boxing, or biting. It means you've encroached dangerously into their territory, and they feel extremely threatened.

* Buns almost never attack, without provocation or warning - the trick is learning their language.

* They're (usually) incredibly food motivated and schedule oriented - this info can be used to help you win their hearts, if you use it wisely** - If you mess with a good schedule, or never pay attention to this drive, you might keep them on edge, and it's possible they'll never learn to trust you.

* You're a GIANT to them - getting down to their level - as in, laying down on the floor - so they can get a closer look at your face can help with the trust issues

* They're PREY animals (this really can't be stressed enough, because it is a HUGE factor in their behavior), so they really are afraid of everything.

* Loud or shrill noises will terrify them, so your vocal tones and volume are very important - lower, softer tones and volume will go a long way toward that all important establishment of trust, just as the completely normal, noisy, bouncing activity and even more, the excitement of little ones is highly likely to terrify and destroy that hard - won trust.

*They're super social creatures, and need interaction with you, or another bun, to be happy and healthy.  They will follow you around, like a puppy, and are just as likely as a pup or kitten, to get underfoot, tripped on, and stepped on, so watch your step, when they're around.

Bunny Activities:

* They need room to run, jump, play, binky, explore, and forage, AND an enclosed, undisturbed, dark place, to hide, sleep, and feel safe.

* They need safe toys to chew, throw (yup - and it's adorable & hilarious!), hide, and sometimes even share with you

* They're crepuscular, so their most active times are right around dusk and dawn. Keeping this in mind, while learning to mesh your schedule with theirs will be more helpful than you (the general you) might imagine.

*They're foragers, and, while they'll be perfectly content with a plate of salad, they'll be even happier, if there are bits of things to eat spread around, for them to find, as they forage around their habitat.

• Rabbits are of the notion that a good offense is the best defense, when it comes to snakes. They attack first, and don't bother asking questions, later. In a domestic bun, this translates to 'DEATH TO ALL ELECTRIC CORDS!!' Hide them, or expect to spend loads of money, replacing things, lol. Yup - ask me how I know. ;)

Bunny Physiology & Health:

• House buns have an average life expectancy of 10 - 12yrs, depending on breed, overall health, and how they're cared for. They're not a 'starter' pet, but a long term commitment, and if a child is to be the primary caregiver, they should be old enough to truly be responsible, and a responsible adult should be very closely involved, too. Wild buns have a life expectancy of about 3yrs, mostly because of predators. Please don't 'release' a domestic bun, to 'free' it. Releasing a house bun into the wild isn't kind, it's turning into food. If you can't care for it, there are many people who will love it, and rescue organizations, specifically geared for rabbits.

* Rabbits will do their level best to hide it, if they're not feeling well. They're prey animals. The sick, slow, weak, young, & old are always the first ones singled out, by predators. In the wild, this can be lifesaving. But, for domestic buns, it can be their death, because you may not know, until it's too late, that they're sick (this is what happened, with our precious bun, Lola, just this past spring). So, learn their poop, learn their habits, learn their personality, and watch vigilant, for any deviation from their norm. It might just mean something is wonky, in their habitat, like visitors, loud noises outside, etc - or it could be your first, and maybe only - clue that they're sick.

* They must have constant access to hay (preferably Timothy) and water. They are ruminants, and have delicate digestive systems, that will shut down, without something going through it - or if something gets stuck. The hay can fix or even prevent this. (What happened to Lola, was new carpet. The fibers got tangled, formed a blob the hay couldn't push through, & stuck in her gut. She couldn't digest anything else.

• Not all Bunny poop is created equal. Bunnies are vegan, and their poop should be small, firm, barely moist pellets. If it's runny, wet, doesn't hold it's shape, etc., they may not be getting enough fiber/hay, they may be eating too many fresh, watery-type or sugary fruits/veggies, or inappropriate ones. Sweet fruits are great treats, but only in tiny amounts. Hay should be the biggest part of their diet, but, if their poop is hard, dry, crumbly, or too pale, they may not be getting enough fresh veggies. Alliums (garlic, onions, leeks, chives, shallots...) are toxic for them, as are raisins, so avoid those. It's best to look up what's ok, and what isn't. Bunnies also create, expel, and eat what looks like tiny, oily, little poops, that are very stinky. These cecotropes are vital to bunny health, so please let them eat those!

• Their ears are extremely sensitive, multifunctional pieces of equipment, for rabbits. These little, independently-moving satellite dishes can pick up sound at distances far greater than the human ear, and many other animal ears, which is why volume and pitch can be terrifying for them. But, bunny ears are also their primary means of temperature control. A healthy, comfortable bun should have slightly cool ears. If your bun's ears are cold - so are they. If the ears are hot, so are they, and it can signal a fever, overheating, or heat stroke. Your bun is far more sensitive to overheating, than being too cold, unless the cold is extreme. There are lots of nerve endings in bunny ears, too. So, they're sensitive to the touch, and if you're gentle, bunnies usually love their ears being petted - But, picking your bun up by the ears would be even more painful to them, than you being picked up, by your ears - so please, Please, don't do that.

Picking up your bun:

• Bunny bones are incredibly fragile, and their back leg muscles are even stronger. This combination can prove fatal, because they can, especially if in a panic, kick so hard as to snap their own spine. Supportring their back legs and tummy, when lifting them, can help.

* Some buns, usually those who have been picked up, socialized, and loved on, from a very young age) might be ok, being picked up. Others, might not, ever.

* Some human folk think it's incredibly adorable, when their bun is turned over onto its back, and it 'goes to sleep'. Unfortunately, what is happening, is that their system is going into shock, and preparing them to die. More sadly, rabbits *can* be scared to death, and turning them over like this can, in particularly susceptible bun, turn into a fatal incident. Please, don't turn your buns on their backs....

*Rabbit skin is also very fragile, and tears, easily. Kits (baby buns) are tiny, and very lightweight, but even then, a mama will only pick up her kits by the scruff, to move them, in life threatening situations, because the risk of treating their tender skin is to be avoided, if at all possible. As they mature, that skin becomes less elastic, and their body weight increases, so the danger of torn skin plus the pain from being picked up by the scruff increases, greatly. Picking a bun up by the scruff is also how most predators grab them, so if a loving, trusting bun is your goal, you're not helping achieve that goal, if you're picking them up, this way. Instead, try gently scooping them into your arms, maintaining support under their chest & back legs.

• They are very much individuals, with wildly individual personalities. They can be extremely loving and affectionate, or independent and aloof, or anywhere in between. They have individual likes and dislikes,  can be playful, obnoxious, sweet, or bratty, and incredibly funny - and they are more than just 'worth' every second of trouble and attention.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:We decided that she should have run of the place, and just have a see-through tote with a door cut in the front. She does not have to hop out, or even climb out, she just has to walk out, and yet she won't.

...She refuses to get out of her tub. She will not play with us at all. And when we do hold her, she goes into a panic so bad that you think she will have a heart attack.

She is the most spoiled bunny I have ever had, and yet...nothing. I am watching her now, eating her fresh, 2nd crop clover picked this morning, and other then looking cute...no hopping around the house, no affection from her, NOTHING.

What is her issue?



It's a nice idea to bring your bun inside with you, and it sounds like you give her top care. From her perspective, the inside of your house could be very intimidating with new sounds, lights, and smells. How was her behavior in the hutch? Did she move around then? She might like to have a piece of her hutch that she is familiar with as a transition.

A see-through tote sounds very exposed. She may like a den or shelter that is dark with a roof that she can retreat to. A safe home base can give shy animals more confidence to explore bit by bit knowing they can retreat if needed.

If she is five years old, then she has been learning and forming associations and habits for those five years. It may take just as long to reteach her the things that would make her the friendly pet you are hoping for.

From a training perspective, when an animal isn't getting what I am trying to teach them, it means I'm asking them to make too many mental leaps. If you can break the problem down into as many small steps as you can, you can teach each one easily. Anytime you can eliminate distance in space and time, that makes learning easier.

For example: your house might be too big for her to handle all at once. Make a smaller pen for her inside, maybe use pieces of her hutch, and slowly make it bigger.

Carla Burke wrote:
* Some buns, usually those who have been picked up, socialized, and loved on, from a very young age) might be ok, being picked up. Others, might not, ever.



Carla gave great, comprehensive advice, including ruling out a medical problem. Being picked up is a huge deal for a lot of animals especially if they weren't handled much when they were very young.

The first step to getting an animal to let you pet them, in my opinion, is to gain their trust by showing them that you won't touch them if they say "stop". If you show the animal that you understand their body language(refer to Carla's post) and respect it, they will trust you. This is often the hardest and longest part especially for older animals.

This is getting long, but I will just say what I would do if it was my bunny and I wanted to get her used to being picked up.
When/if she is comfortable with you touching and petting her, you can start habituating the picking up. Break it down into many small steps with short durations.

First only stick your hand underneath her for a few seconds, not moving so fast as to startle. When she gets used to this increase duration. Then add gentle upward pressure for a few seconds. Next move her just a couple inches at first. Eventually add height. Start with onto your lap while sitting on the floor. Slowly add time and distance.

Always pay attention to her body language and mood, if she's not into it, try again later. It depends on her personality as others have said and it may take a long long time to get past step one.

If you must move her, she might like a pet carrier.

Sounds like you are willing to accept her as she is, which is nice!



 
Travis Johnson
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We actually did try to increase her hutch size. We took two totes and cut back to back slots in them so she could hop from one to another, but she never did, she stayed in her old tote.

We have tried everything to give her a better life; another bunny-husband, treats, salt wheels, toys, about the only thing she really likes is fresh clover; she will eat her weight in clover in a day I swear.

Back in the other house, when we kept her tote next to the hallway, she used to get out and hop down the hall, but when we moved her tote, she went back to remaining where she was 24/7. In this Tiny House, she has never got out of her tote except when we make her so we can clean her tote.

Our new cat bats at her, but cannot get to her, so I told Bunny yesterday, "be patient, in a few weeks the Great Pyrennes we have will retire, and come in the house, and you can watch from your tote as the dog puts the kitten in her place." That will be interstesting; a Great Pyraneese in a Tiny House! I can guarantee this, we will NEVER have to lock the door (not that we ever have anyway). Whoever knocks on thsi door is going to get a face ful of dog in the window.





 
Travis Johnson
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Here is a picture of "Bunny"...

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Carla Burke
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Travis Johnson wrote:Here is a picture of "Bunny"...



Same breed as my Lola...

She obviously feels safest in the tote. Unfortunately, it's probably not the healthiest housing option, for her, due to the airflow. I think what saves it, is no top on it, and the cut out. But, maybe draping a lightweight piece of dark fabric over it, to give her that feeling of a warren, might help. Going by what I know of bunny logic, she doesn't feel entirely safe, because it feels so open, but, it's the safest spot she's found, so she stays in it, but on her guard.

I still don't think she hates you. I think she just hasn't yet come to the conclusion that she's safe enough to venture out.

There is so much more to share about bunnies, but in a way, too much info - especially in a short time, is almost worse than not enough.
 
William Bronson
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Our beloved Nogah protected the bunnies with exaggerated care.
Our current dog, Blue,  had harassed the bunnies,  until she met the replacement girl.
One supervised sniff resulted in a nip on the nose.
Now Blue has a respectful fascination with Nutmeg.
She seems to love her, sitting and watching her with a stillness that is unusual for her.
Bunnies can be ferocious.
I think she made her self clear concerning bunny companions, but I hope she will find some peace another way.

I'm with you on the unsociable animal front.
We keep our animals and work with them.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:We actually did try to increase her hutch size. We took two totes and cut back to back slots in them so she could hop from one to another, but she never did, she stayed in her old tote.

We have tried everything to give her a better life; another bunny-husband, treats, salt wheels, toys, about the only thing she really likes is fresh clover; she will eat her weight in clover in a day I swear.

Back in the other house, when we kept her tote next to the hallway, she used to get out and hop down the hall, but when we moved her tote, she went back to remaining where she was 24/7. In this Tiny House, she has never got out of her tote except when we make her so we can clean her tote.

Our new cat bats at her, but cannot get to her, so I told Bunny yesterday, "be patient, in a few weeks the Great Pyrennes we have will retire, and come in the house, and you can watch from your tote as the dog puts the kitten in her place." That will be interstesting; a Great Pyraneese in a Tiny House! I can guarantee this, we will NEVER have to lock the door (not that we ever have anyway). Whoever knocks on thsi door is going to get a face ful of dog in the window.



You have done so much for her! It would be really cool if she could bond with the Pyrenees. And the Pyrenees will probably enjoy having the small job of defending her.

It sounds like the cat is strongly reinforcing Bunny that it is best to stay where she is. Hopefully the dog will sort it out. Keep us updated!
 
Travis Johnson
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We actually spoil all our animals, even the sheep. We really look into what THEIR needs are, and try to take care of them. Like our barn; many would scoff at its design, but it is designed 100% for sheep and goats. And I can back up what I say with statistics. Since we built it, despite lambing in the winter, our lamb mortality rate dropped from about 10% to less than 1%. I think we have lost 2-3 lambs in the last few years just because the barn is designed to be draft free, yet highly ventilated. The sheep thrive in it, because it is designed around THEIR needs.

But we spoil the cat, and the dog too. Some would argue that point for sure, just because our dog is out with the sheep 24/7/365, but how many dogs do you know that have a 22 acre kennel? If we opened gates, she could have more. Again, we try to look at what the animal thrives with, not what we want. We are a little concerned about bringing the dog inside, but she is getting old, and is really slowing down, so we hope she will adopt us as her "flock" to protect, and enjoy her final days in our home (but with an outside kennel). I never thought about the dog protecting bunny. She might actually do just that.

But the cat...oh my, she is a short-haired Russian Blue. She is getting better, but about 40% of the time I would like to kill her. She is WOUND all the time. She really tries our patience, with her only saving grace being that she is cute.







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Misty: A Russian Blue
 
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Ha!    I had colony and breeding rabbits for several years.  They were so docile and easygoing!   They could move from colony to barn hutches,  back to groups with no drama.    They were curious and social and rushed to me a feeding times.   A couple days of going into grazing pens and they didn't mind getting picked up to get moved to new grass either.   Even at processing time, they were a little confused about what was going on but didn't panic or get scared.   They were pretty laid back and happy and content with life!  

Fast forward a few years to my new urban place and I pick up a young doe a couple months old.  She is most definitely NOT content.   She bosses my dogs around.   It doesn't matter if she's in her hutch or her grazing runs or a nice big pen on grass.  She wants OUT .  It doesn't matter how many times I bring her treats or food,  she is not friendly.   She bites my arm when I pick her up to carry her short distances.   She immediately tests any new pen for weaknesses and tries to chew her way out before she settles and eats anything.   This is not at ALL like my previous experience with rabbits, LOL .

In the end it doesn't really matter that much.  I don't NEED to graze her, I just thought she'd like it.  and I don't care if she is friendly,  I only got her to produce some compost additions.    And she's super clean and only uses her box of shavings for urine EVER so her hutch stays dry and clean.   I can live with it!
 
Tereza Okava
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thank you all so much for sharing your wisdom. this thread has taught me so much about rabbits, and I wish I had had it when I first started.
(like Heather ^^ i got my rabbits just as garden workers to make manure. now I'm thinking I will never farm without them, it's been an excellent experience.)
 
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I read a fair portion of the posts and saw her photo, but didn't catch the breed.  She looks like a broken newzealand to me?   NZ's are meet breeds.  Any meet animal = dumb dumb, from my experience.  So take, for example, my beautiful prize buck Ice Cream (aka Scar Face).  Ice Cream was a California.  He was MASSIVE.  And so sweet and docile.  I had high hopes for bringing his big genes and dopey personality into my mixed meet rabbits.  For one, Ice Cream was so dumb that I couldn't house him in a run next to another buck (I do outdoor colonies on the ground).  He would smush his face as far through the fencing as he could and just HOLD IT THERE while the other buck LITERALLY ripped parts of his face off.  He had no lower lip, no nose...  he was a mess, and he never learned.  He would sleep prone, out in the open; like, lay on his side and look dead, totally limp.  I would walk up to him and poke him to make sure he wasn't dead and he'd just look at me like "excuse you?"  without even getting up.  Zero predator concern.  
So Ice Cream died this winter.  He was in a 30' circular outdoor run with the ladies.  They have underground burrows and a 100 sq ft coop to be in.  I also leave totes out and around with holes cut in them so they have 'hiding places' to get away from one another or run to if they feel frightened.  Well Ice Cream decided to spend the night in one of these totes one night, it snowed like a foot, and he simply sat in the tote and suffocated.  I've never had a rabbit do that, they dig themselves out.

I had a California doe one time, too.  Buttermilk Toast.  She had the DUMBEST babies.  One just sat out in the rain one night and died, right where it was sitting.  Just sat their and shivvered to death, instead of going in out of the rain.  Toast was a fantastic rabbit; never agrressive, and she followed me around and got under my feet just like Ice Cream did.  She was a fair bit smarter than Ice Cream was though.  But she died of a pregnancy complication on her 3rd litter.  I've only had 2 does ever die from complications.

So in lieu of Ice Cream & Buttermilk Toast, I've decided against the California genes.

I also had a broken NZ once, Sprinkles.  I was stoked when I got Sprinkles for free once day.  She was the bitiest, bitchtiest, crankiest rabbit I have ever kept, hands down.  She killed another doe one time; literally bit her nose off and the other doe died on the spot.  For not other reason than this NZ wanted to bully the other does.  (she didn't live long after that).  She was a terrible mom and had horrid fertility.  She didn't turn me on to NZ's, if that's common for them.  They're pretty rabbits, but WOAH.  I'd hesitate to try em again just based on that one experience.

Anyway.  All that said just to say "hey, if she's a meat rabbit, she's probably just a dumb dumb and it can't be helped".

 
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Your rabbit might hate you but I have not laughed out loud literally in a long time when I got this thread in my inbox!  Thanks...

PS--I rescued a cat and he hated me for months, as in scratch marks all over hate...but in time he has chilled even without
getting snipped.  

May the Bugs be with you...
 
Travis Johnson
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Joe Stevens wrote:Your rabbit might hate you but I have not laughed out loud literally in a long time when I got this thread in my inbox!  Thanks...

PS--I rescued a cat and he hated me for months, as in scratch marks all over hate...but in time he has chilled even without
getting snipped.  

May the Bugs be with you...



It could be. When we were kids my father brought into the house a "kitten" he had found in the basement of the barn. Oh to give that kitten a good home, poor thing lost her mother!

That kitten practically killed us the three days we tried to keep it. A Game Warden finally came and deduced it was a bob cat kitten.

Just in case anyone is wondering, NEVER bring a bob cat kitten into your home. It will not go well!
 
Tereza Okava
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Travis Johnson wrote:Oh to give that kitten a good home, poor thing lost her mother!


Made me think of this:


I was about to say yesterday that my rabbit has been a lot calmer and nicer lately since I've been trying not to see her as a monster. Then she growled at me when I tried to feed her again this morning, didn't even try to pet her, just put the hay in. Still a ways to go, apparently.
 
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