UK Pet Forums Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi iv had my female rabbit for about 5 months.she is an outdoor rabbit with a big hutch and run attached. i dont know what i expected when i got a rabbit but she hates been handled iv tried sitting and talking to her and giving her treats after been handled but it doesnt seem to make a difference.once i manage to hold her shes fine and sits nicely and has a good look around.am i doing something wrong or do some rabbits prefer not to be held? Also iv read up alot on rabbit behaviour because she sometimes thumps which i know is if they hear a noise or something upsets them, but one night i was sat in my living room and she thumped at least 3 times outside so i went out to make sure she was ok and she just came down into her run and seemed fine. i dont know if shes just a bit stroppy or i need to be doing something? Any advice would be great. thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Quite often a lot of rabbits don't like being held and prefer for you to interact with them at their level. Is your rabbit neutered? This can make a big difference and could be why she's acting stroppy. For un-spayed female buns it can be a bit like having almost permanent PMT so not nice for anyone! There are also health benefits to having her spayed as many develop uterine cancer by only a few years of age if this hasn't been done.

She could be thumping for attention or in frustration. As with all social species she needs a lot of interaction and could probably do with having a friend of her own kind to keep her company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi no i havent i will get her booked into vets asap and hope it helps.she is not aggressive at all. how would i introduce another rabbit at this stage? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
my two rabbits don't like being picked up and they've been inside since we had them and are generally friendly , i think its fairly common for rabbits to not like being picked up , can you just sit on the floor with some food and let her hop over to you :) , the thumping , my two do it when theyre scared or when they are annoyed with us , if we have to pick them up they normally stomp and run off when we put them down ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have thought about bringing her in to be a house rabbit but its not ideal really for that to be an option.im happy with her been outside.but i suppose they have more interaction been inside.im not overly concerned about the thumping it just sounds awful.but i suppose its their way of showing their annoyed.shes so sweet i just want her to be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,746 Posts
Most rabbits don't like being picked up, its a common misconception that they are cuddly pets!

Spaying her should help, it helped 2 of my 3 girls, one is still horrible :p

One she is spayed, you could look at a rescue centre, and look for a neutered male (or female if you prefer, but getting a male will be easier to put with her). The process of putting them together is called Bonding, and there are a few ways of doing it, but this way seems to work best for most.

THE INITIAL ENCOUNTER

This should take place on territory not known by either rabbit, using an existing territory only if that particular individual is extremely nervous and submissive towards other rabbits. You usually get a very good indication whether or not the new combination has a chance of working within the first 15 minutes, although it is normal for both rabbits to ignore each other for a while to start with.
and onwards...
CottonTails Rabbit Rescue - How to Stop Your Bunny Match-Up Becoming a Punch-Up!

All of my rabbits have become friendlier towards me once having company. Just one of my girls is a grumpy so and so but I think that's just her personality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
940 Posts
  1. How big is 'big' - what's the size of your hutch and run? If it's too small, she could have 'hutch aggression.'
  2. Rabbits DO NOT like being handled. They are prey animals and they'll think you're going to do something bad to them.
  3. She's thumping because by picking her up, you've made her scared of you.
  4. Neuter her. She could also be hormonal.
  5. GET HER A FRIEND! Rabbits NEVER bond to humans in the way they bond to other rabbits. (Look at my sig)

I've always found that does hate most human contact. My current doe growls at me when I pick her up (only for brushing etc). However, my buck is quite happy to sit by me and lick me. :p He still panics when I pick him up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
You would need to get another neutered rabbit if you were going to do introductions. Mixed sex pairs tend to be the easiest, but if you haven't done it before often local rescues will do this for you, especially if you are thinking of doing the bonding with one of their buns :)

About picking up - I only do it when I have to. My rabbits will tolerate it but i wouldn't say they enjoy it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
I had a female rabbit and she was lovely until about 6 months ish.

She just hated being picked up all of a sudden and I still have scars on me that she gave me nearly 4 years ago.
She was a house rabbit though.
I did a lot of research and found she needed to be spayed!
The hormones in female rabbit can go crazy as they reach maturity and this is what was causing her to be so aggressive.
Honestly getting her spayed worked wonders for me!
I honestly would get her spayed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone i feel like iv done it all wrong.guilt is starting to kick in.i think my first move is defo get her spayed.and not to try and hold her.i thought the more i held her the tamer she would become.i think il have a good research session on bonding her with another rabbit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
Thanks everyone i feel like iv done it all wrong.guilt is starting to kick in.i think my first move is defo get her spayed.and not to try and hold her.i thought the more i held her the tamer she would become.i think il have a good research session on bonding her with another rabbit.
Please don't feel guilty. You have asked for advice and you are trying to take that advice on board. That's a very admirable quality. If you need any help feel free to ask or pm me as I've done quite a few rabbit bondings over the years and know at first it can be very worrying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
940 Posts
Thanks everyone i feel like iv done it all wrong.guilt is starting to kick in.i think my first move is defo get her spayed.and not to try and hold her.i thought the more i held her the tamer she would become.i think il have a good research session on bonding her with another rabbit.
No, don't feel guilty! I promise you, A LOT of people make this mistake including myself. Our aim is to stop more people making the same mistake. :D

If you are willing to change to do the best for your pet, you are a very good owner. :)

There will be times when you have to hold her e.g. health checks and grooming. But on the whole, just don't pick them up for a 'cuddle' etc.

Rabbits will never become tame. It's not in their nature.

I promise you, bonding isn't easy but there's nothing more rewarding than seeing two bunnies snuggle up together.

If your bunny is a doe, your best move is to get a neutered buck. Still neuter your doe though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,146 Posts
Spaying will make a huge difference. I have an ex breeding doe (rescued her from a horrible woman) and she was going to be pts for being agressive. She would bite, kick, growl, lunge, every agressive trait she had. I had her a week to let her settle then got her spayed, within a fortnight of the spay she was a completely different rabbit, she's now 8 years old (was only one when I got her) and is the most gentle rabbit ever.

Remember though that rabbits are prey animals and being picked up to them feels like a bird of prey has swooped down on them so the try to escape by kicking. I've had many rabbits and only one has ever liked being picked up, he would come up to me and meercat in front of me to be picked up so I'd pick him up as you'd pick a child up and he knew what was happening rather than going in from above to panic him.

I only pick mine up for a quick health check and bum check each day, I don't pick them up unless really needed. I do sit with them with a few treats and they'll climb on my lap though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,287 Posts
Don't feel guilty - you are on a learning curve. We've all been there one way or the other, and we are all still learning if we are honest.

I agree - spaying could make all the difference to her temperament, as she is now at the hormonal stage. It will also protect her from uterine cancer when she is older.

We have many bunnies who come to us for a nose rub and a stroke, or to just to sit with us, but not one of them likes to be picked up. That is just their instinct, not that they don't like us. So we only pick up for health checks, snipping nails, etc.

As said, rabbits are a prey species, ie hunted in the wild; their basic instinct is to get away from the hunter, eg bird, who often approaches them from above. So it all makes sense really.

Rabbits thump if alarmed. It may be because a cat has gone past. It is their way of communicating. In the wild they would warn each other. It is also a way to try and see something off by making a noise.

I can recommend researching bunny language - they may not speak, but they sure can communicate a lot, once you understand them - it's fascinating.

Once she is well recovered from her spay and her hormones have died down - several weeks - do try and get her a husbun. A rescue should help you choose the right friend - tempermaant is more important than pretty colour - and with the bonding; also the bun should come neutered and vaccinated.

Your bunny should be then much more content, and you will have 2 bunny friends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Instead of picking your rabbit up, try sitting on the floor near her. It will take some time but will be worth it. My rabbits will only let me pick them up but are happy to climb all over my other half when he's sitting or lying on the floor. Minion will even try to clean him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I'm not an expert and I am in no way saying what I've done is right. But my bun is scared of being picked up. I only pick him up to let him have a run around. Any other time I put my hand in with food and over time he has come to trust me and lets me stroke his head. I don't chase him when I go to pick him up I try to copes him with food because it'll just back track what we've done already.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top