BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > new bun, lots of questions
Last Post by RabbitPam at 9/05/2012 10:46 AM (32 Replies)
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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2012 6:29 PM

I swear I used the search function!


Why does Tofu always pee in his litter box but he poos all over the cage? 

Why did he poop on my floor the first day, not on the second and third, but now he poops everywhere?

Why does he "thump" when I put him back in his cage for bunny night time? Is he really that pissed?

Why do I never see him SLEEP?

Is it bad that he eats more fresh veggies than pellets? When I first got him he ate an entire bowl of pellets and wanted more. Now he eats his salad first and leaves pellets in the bowl the next morning. 

One of my neighbors has a large boxer dog. Tofu was out on the screened in porch when she walked by and he freaked. out. He ran around the porch looking so scared (and the lady just stood there telling me how much her dog loves to look at rabbits ) until he broke 3 of his toenails and I was finally able to catch him. How can I teach him to run inside when that happens? We leave the door cracked. 

For bonding I've just been letting him do his own thing. I don't pick him up unless it's time to go back into his cage. I sit on the floor and let him come up to sniff me. I feed him oats out of my hand. When can I start pushing the boundries? I don't trust him and he doesn't trust me. My boyfriend's brother's bunny is mean and bites like crazy. You can't sit on the couch if she jumps on it because she will attack you. With that being my first interaction with rabbits i'm worried they're all like that. Very very nervous of being bitten by Tofu. He caught the brother on the lip this weekend (In Tofu's defense, Eric grabbed him for "snuggles" after I told him Tofu wasn't socialized. I blame Eric 100% for getting bitten).


THANKS GUYS!

-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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8/26/2012 6:56 PM

double post 

-Jessy

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User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
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8/26/2012 8:57 PM
-rabbits can be litter trained, but they just dont do it on there own, id suggest looking up litter training videos on youtube or around this site
and you can tell the diffrence between just taking a poop or if they are marking poops, if its a single or 2 little pebbles just marking, but if they are all in a clump together its a a regular poop, as for the pee thing, not sure

-not to sure, again work on litter training and getting him fixed, it will solve that problem

-are you physicaly putting him in his cage? thats usualy not a good idea as his cage will become a prison more then his house and safe place, that could be why hes thumping

-rabbits can sleep with there eyes open(but dont always...the more your rabbit trusts you and the area he is in he will start to flop and sleep all spread out or at least my dakota does), but mostly sleep durring the day and are active durring the morning and night
the best way to tell if your rabbit is sleeping is looking at there nose, if its not wiggleing, prob sleeping

-depending on his age the majority of his diet should be mixed veggies(theres a list on the site you can find that are good for him) but should eat some pelts still, as for why hes not eatting his pelts, did you change his pelt choice after you got him? from what he was eating before? could be why

-uh well what I would do is not have him outside unsupervised or well that dog is around, youd freak out too if a giant thing came near you and you didnt know what it wanted
but a secondary option is to give him a hidey place he can go to outside if you arint around(but you should be), a box with holes in it, also gives him something to chew on, a plastic house you can buy from pet stores etc

and last , try to avoid picking him up at all unless for his own safety
but sitting on the floor is a good start, i made a post the other day about human rabbit bonding with my own things i do and for help with other things that other BB members might do
just hang out on the floor , read , play a game on your phone(on mute) let him come say Hey hey pay attention to me, give him quick oat and maybe a pet or 2 if he will let you and he will prob hop away and keep dong what he was doing before
one thing i did is sleep on the floor outside of my rabbits cage for about a week, that helped alot,
it can take months to bond , gonna take time, iv had dakota for about 4 months now and shes still a little iffy about me sometimes, just keep at it

-

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
8/26/2012 11:28 PM
Why does Tofu always pee in his litter box but he poos all over the cage?
Getting the poos right can take time. For my buns, it was laziness. If he was eating, he would poo right there. I learned to feed him hay in the litterbox. That way my little hay processor can eat and process out droppings at the same time. In the meantime, put the poos back where they go. As long as he smells it laying around, he will think that is ok. (You will always have a few random ones, I believe, even with a trained rabbit.)



Why did he poop on my floor the first day, not on the second and third, but now he poops everywhere?
It could have been marking his territory. Now, he may be marking his territory or just comfortable. See above about feeding him in the litterbox.

Why does he "thump" when I put him back in his cage for bunny night time? Is he really that pissed?
Yes. Rabbits remind me of small children. They hate bedtime. I give mine a treat to go to bed, and that helps.

Why do I never see him SLEEP?
Rabbits have multiple eyelids, with one being clear. He can sleep with his eyes open. My buns never sleeps with his eyes shut. It is weird. You'll know he is asleep by him not reacting to your voice or acting startled to see you.


Is it bad that he eats more fresh veggies than pellets? When I first got him he ate an entire bowl of pellets and wanted more. Now he eats his salad first and leaves pellets in the bowl the next morning.
Pellets should be limited, so I see that as a good thing. Too many pellets can lead to overweight rabbits (which come with a new world of problems) and issues with their GI systems. Look up the recommended feeding dosage on pellets and give him just that. Make sure your rabbit has unlimited hay throughout the day. They should eat mostly hay, then veggies, then pellets. (I believe the diet recommendations are pinned at the top of one of these forums: diet or house rabbit)


One of my neighbors has a large boxer dog. Tofu was out on the screened in porch when she walked by and he freaked. out. He ran around the porch looking so scared (and the lady just stood there telling me how much her dog loves to look at rabbits ) until he broke 3 of his toenails and I was finally able to catch him. How can I teach him to run inside when that happens? We leave the door cracked.
If he is still learning about his environment and is new to the house, he hasn't established a "safe" place to run for cover. I would keep him away from that area until he feels secure with his cage/litterbox or something, where he can run to feel safe.

For bonding I've just been letting him do his own thing. I don't pick him up unless it's time to go back into his cage. I sit on the floor and let him come up to sniff me. I feed him oats out of my hand. When can I start pushing the boundries? I don't trust him and he doesn't trust me. My boyfriend's brother's bunny is mean and bites like crazy. You can't sit on the couch if she jumps on it because she will attack you. With that being my first interaction with rabbits i'm worried they're all like that. Very very nervous of being bitten by Tofu. He caught the brother on the lip this weekend (In Tofu's defense, Eric grabbed him for "snuggles" after I told him Tofu wasn't socialized. I blame Eric 100% for getting bitten).

I would use something other than oats. If he loves veggies, maybe use that? It takes time to build the trust. I think rabbits can sense that you are on guard too.
You could always place your hand on the ground to show your are up for giving head pets (head only at first!). If he comes and puts his head down, he is asking to be pet.
You could try talking a lot to your rabbit to teach him you are non-threatening. With mine, I also liked to put a day's old sock in their cage, that way they could get used to my scent and know it wouldn't hurt them.
Bonding doesn't happen overnight, so be patient! Once they trust you, it is amazing!

User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
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8/27/2012 4:20 AM
could also try reading aloud softly for the voice thing

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
Florida
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8/27/2012 7:46 AM
Everyone seems to have answered your questions sufficiently. =] I agree with the others with giving Tofu an area to to hid in the linia. I would get a cat tent or a box with holes. I'm surprised you're letting him out. It must be cooler in Orlando than where I am. =p I have been dying to let Skipper out on our linia but it's just too darn hot. =[ Did you talk to the lady about maybe not bringing the dog around the house?

And to help with the socializing. Reading aloud really helps. Even if it is a boring text book. ;P I make sure to do my homework near my bun. Just so she's used to my presence and doesn't forget who I am. =p =] I keep my bun in the dining room area. The dining room, kitchen, and living room are all connected. The dining room table is situated near Skipper's cage so when we eat and talk it also gives her a chance to get used to us and socialize.

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
Florida
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8/27/2012 7:49 AM
Oh I forgot! My bunny Bible. =p http://rabbit.org/care/veggies.html It has a feeding guide depending on age on the site too. =]

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
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8/27/2012 8:53 AM
Litter training is primarily about the set up of the cage and boxes, not about any training per say. Can you explain his set up? Is he fixed? Territorial pooping is much more common among unfixed buns. If he's older and was unfixed for a long time, it could be that he's just in the habit of going everywhere, even if he's fixed now.

He probably thumps because he's upset at being picked up and upset that his run time has ended. Mine often thump after they've been picked up.

Bunnies often sleep with their eyes open. He's probably doing closed eye sleeping when you're not around.

I wouldn't pick him up at all if you can help it. I've found that picking up my bunnies too much is very damaging to our relationship, so I stick to times I must, like nail trims. Is your boyfriend's bunny fixed? Many unfixed females get extremely territorial and can become "mean" - I wouldn't judge rabbit behavior on an unspayed female. Neither of my rabbits has ever bitten me, so try not to be too nervous about it. They can also learn to inhibit their bites. My boy will put his teeth on your hand if you really tick him off, but he doesn't actually bite down. He's learned that giving me a warning makes me back off, so that's all he does. Just work on bonding by sitting quietly with your bun and letting him get used to you. It can take months (even years) to build up a really trusting relationship with a rabbit, so try to be patient and let him go at his own pace.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
8/27/2012 12:39 PM
Tofu is not neutered. He is getting neutered as soon as Issac passes and it's safe for me to drive to Sarasota. I'm hoping either Wednesday or next Monday. I know that when he gets neutered a lot of the problems I'm having now will be resolved. I just didn't know the difference between pooping and territorial pooping (Thanks, Almcv. Now I know he is doing it to mark his territory).

I believe Tofu is still very young, since a lot of members seem to think he is a lionhead rabbit who hasn't grown in his mane. I wouldn't be surprised if he was an easter present.

The only time I pick him up is to put him back in his cage. I wish I didn't have to force him back home, but if it were left up to him I think he would frolic around the house as long as he possibly could. When he goes back to his cage I always have his food prepared for him, so I am trying to show him that cage time = food time, not the end of running time. If one of us is home, Tofu is out and about. He's only in his cage at night usually.

I like the idea of reading aloud. My books came in late this semester so I have a lot of reading to catch up on for class. I might lock Tofu and I in the bathroom tonight and read to him :]

He gets 1/2 a cup of pellets a day. When I first got him he would eat the pellets in a hurry and knock the bowl over looking for more. Now he dives into the salad first, and then eats pellets. I rarely see him eating hay, and he does have it available to him at all times (in 2 places!) and I refresh it daily. I'm thinking I may look for a feed store in my area and see if I can get hay from them? it's probably better than the pet store stuff.

Skipper it's been so breezy with the storm coming that it's nice out on our porch! I don't let him out in the heat of the day, but I do let him and the cats out when I'm getting ready for class, and in the evening. I haven't talked to the woman, but I do plan on putting a hidy box out there. The door has been cracked all day (nice and overcast here) and Tofu has run in and out multiple times so I think he knows he has a retreated if needed.


The boyfriend brother's rabbit is a spayed female, and she doesn't live with us. Tofu will nip, but I think he is more "tasting" than trying to hurt.

Here is his set up
44BD9BF8-8F9D-4D71-AE2D-AEF4636D6FBC-31210-000017AC705DD293, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

-Jessy

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User is Online LBJ10
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8/27/2012 1:32 PM
That cage doesn't have a door on front? Could you make a ramp or step leading to the side where the second level is? Then you lure him into his cage at night by saving his favorite food for that time.

User is Offline IsabellaRobyn
Scotland
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8/27/2012 2:25 PM
You said he can eat hay from two places but I can only see the ball - what else does he eat his hay from? Maybe try putting some loose hay in his box he might be finding it difficult to get the hay from the ball so just not eating it. Putting loose hay in the box can be messier sometimes but it will also encourage him to do his poops in there instead of all over your floor and he'll be able to pick through it and eat the bits he's interested in.
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User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
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8/27/2012 3:45 PM
i usualy leave a clump hay right inside dakotas poopbox she munches on when shes in there, it works pretty good
rabbits like to eat and poop.....silly buns

User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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8/27/2012 5:51 PM
His cage does have a sliding door on the front! He's getting really good at hopping in and out.
I've tried making up his nightly food an hour before putting him up for the night but he shows little interest in it. Maybe I'll start leaving a trail of kale to entice him into the cage

He has the ball which is supposed be be good for him mentally (since he has to work to get at the hay) and he also has a basket on the left of the cage, right next to his litter box. I notice he only pees in the back of the litter box so I'll put some hay on the sides.

I tried sneaking in some hay with his salad tonight but he ate around it >.< little stinker.
-Jessy

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User is Online LBJ10
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8/27/2012 6:12 PM
Sounds like he's pretty full already if he isn't willingly going in the cage for food. My buns like their pellets, so I wait until it is bedtime to give them their nightly ration. They hear me getting it out and come running. They fly into the cage, I give them the bowl (sometimes Leopold tries to pull it toward him with his paws he's so excited), and shut the cage door. Perhaps you can rethink his food schedule and how much he is getting when?

User is Offline Mimzy
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8/27/2012 7:46 PM
Maybe find out his favorite treat and give it to him in his cage every night? My bun loves her cage, and she actually bonded very quickly with me, I think because I was most understanding to her. Everyone else wasn't very gentle and had no idea what to do with a bunny. So its really good that you're asking all these questions!

Sitting on the floor is a really good thing to do, I've also heard of people bonding with their bunnies by pretending to be one. Get down on the floor just like them, bunnies like to sit and watch each other and wiggle their noses. I know it sounds silly! But it could work. Sometimes if they're really watching you, you can change the speed of your nose wiggling and they will do the same lol. I've tried this with my bun but she usually runs right up to me before I get a chance to see if it actually works =/

As for the fear of him biting you, I can understand why you have that since you had a bad first experience with one. I know there are mean bunnies out there, and I've never had a bunny before mine right now, she's the sweetest thing ever! She's not spayed yet either but very soon she will be. She doesn't really bite, they're just nips and only does it when she's demanding more pets or by accident. If or when he bites, you can respond by doing a high pitch squeal, as bunnies do this as a sign of pain.

Just try to remember this...you are more able to comprehend things than your bunny is. Now, bunnies are very smart, but if you don't trust them, they won't trust you. So you have to trust him first, even if something goes wrong, he gets scared and nips you. Keep waiting for him to come to you first, try not to force him to do anything. Try putting the sock or shirt in the cage you wore that day, lay next to the cage, all those kinds of things, read, sing a soothing song. I know he'll eventually come around, it will take time but it's going to be totally worth it!
 photo KenMimSig_zps025abf4b.jpg Bunmom since June 4, 2012<3

User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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8/28/2012 12:52 PM
He gets fed 1/2 cup of pellets, 2 cups of leafy greens, and unlimited hay. Per the guidelines on this site. Is that too much food?

His favorite treat are oat seeds and I was told I shouldn't be using those as a treat, and instead should use veggies.

Thank you for the bonding tips and the words of confidence. I enjoy laying on the floor around him, I'm just nervous about him nibbling on my toes! Lol
-Jessy

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User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
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8/28/2012 1:35 PM
alot of the times they arint sure what will hurt and what wont
i know when i first got dakota she would give nibs and id just be like EEK! and she run away and hide
and over time she stoped all together cuz she knows it hurts me when she bites so she just nudjes me know.....might take a few nips to stop it....or i could be out in left field and be wrong

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
Florida
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8/28/2012 1:41 PM
It takes a while to get them into the routine. I have the same routine by the way. =] It took Skipper about a week or so to figure it out. I was meaning to ask you how it is down in Orlando! We haven't seen much of the storm up here. It's just frigin' mugging as hell and raining on off. Our classes yesterday were canceled because they feared that Isaac would us. Which I don't understand why they thought it would because nothing bad hits us over here. Then again I don't understand Florida weather. T.T

User is Online LBJ10
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8/30/2012 10:36 AM
Posted By zoologist on 08/28/2012 03:52 PM
He gets fed 1/2 cup of pellets, 2 cups of leafy greens, and unlimited hay. Per the guidelines on this site. Is that too much food?

His favorite treat are oat seeds and I was told I shouldn't be using those as a treat, and instead should use veggies.

Thank you for the bonding tips and the words of confidence. I enjoy laying on the floor around him, I'm just nervous about him nibbling on my toes! Lol
How old is he? I may have missed that. If he is old enough to have a daily ration, then 1/2 cup might be too much. What brand are you using? How big is he? I use Oxbow and it says 1/8 a cup for 1-4 pounds and 1/4 a cup for 4-8 pounds.


User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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8/30/2012 12:57 PM
The vet thinks he's at least a year. I dropped him down to 1/4 of a cup and 1 cup of veggies and he's still leaving food.

Putting hay in his litter box was a good idea. He seems to be eating more since its lower to the ground and more available.

He's still territory pooping and I caught him spraying outside >.<

The stupid lady with the big dog came by again when Tofu was on the porch. He came zooming through the door and hid under the couch and nipped me when I had to get him (I was leaving for class, and had to put him away!) he also grunted at me for the first time. it was the most upset I've seen him and now I feel like the bonding has taken a step backwards
-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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8/30/2012 1:00 PM
Oops, almost forgot. He eats kaytee pellets and kaytee Timothy hay. It's what came with him!

Nightly I give him dark lettuce, kale, parsley, celery leaves, a baby carrot, and a small piece of celery. Sometimes he'll get a little slice of apple or the odds and ends of the veggies we're making for dinner (ends of string beans, broccoli leaves, etc.)
-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2012 1:04 PM
Oh! And Tofu full out ATTACKED one of the cats today. It wasn't a game. Tofu went after the cat and tried to grab him and bite him and they got into a rolling scuffle and fur was flying. I had to pick up the cat to get it to stop. What the heck?
-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2012 8:04 AM
Posted By Skipper's Mama on 08/28/2012 04:41 PM
It takes a while to get them into the routine. I have the same routine by the way. =] It took Skipper about a week or so to figure it out. I was meaning to ask you how it is down in Orlando! We haven't seen much of the storm up here. It's just frigin' mugging as hell and raining on off. Our classes yesterday were canceled because they feared that Isaac would us. Which I don't understand why they thought it would because nothing bad hits us over here. Then again I don't understand Florida weather. T.T

We get worse sun-storms on a daily basis than what we got with Issac. I don't know if classes were cancelled, but I know it rained until noon and then was beautiful and sunny. I had the door to the patio cracked all day- the animals loved it. 

Whoever named Florida the "sunshine state" is a liar! It rains every afternoon at the same time like clockwork!


-Jessy

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User is Offline Hazel
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8/31/2012 2:17 PM
Posted By zoologist on 08/30/2012 03:57 PM
The stupid lady with the big dog came by again when Tofu was on the porch. He came zooming through the door and hid under the couch and nipped me when I had to get him (I was leaving for class, and had to put him away!) he also grunted at me for the first time. it was the most upset I've seen him and now I feel like the bonding has taken a step backwards
I don't think you should put him out there again, unless you can make it clear to that woman not to come near your porch. He was obviously in full blown panic mode. If he has to run for his life (in his mind) to get inside, that's unacceptable. Rabbits can die of fright.

"You ain't buna fide!"

User is Online LBJ10
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8/31/2012 2:32 PM
I just looked up the feeding instructions for that food. Wow, that sounds like so much! I don't know anything about that brand though, if it is any good or not. Oxbow recommends hay and stuff right in the feeding directions and this doesn't. Perhaps it is assuming someone isn't feeding their rabbit hay?

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
9/01/2012 2:57 AM
I used to buy cheap food, not knowing there was a difference out there. When I researched it, the food I was getting was really for breeders, who need to bulk up their rabbits quickly, but not concerned about longevity. Maybe the one you are using is the same? That one I used had a very large feeding allowance too.

Make sure when picking out a good quality pellet you look at the ingredients. You need high fiber, low calcium, and protein of around 12-14%.

User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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9/01/2012 8:41 AM
Kaytee is a crummy food all around in my opinion, not just for rabbits but for any small animal. The bag is almost empty and then I'm going to look for a better pellet. I have an unopened bag of kaytee hay that I'm going to see if I can exchange it for some oxbow.

Hazel, it's not like I am forcefully putting him on the porch. He's itching to get out there, and waits by the door for me to open it. He enjoys laying out there and gets upset when it's time to come in :/

Does anyone have any advice about him attacking the cats?
-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
9/01/2012 8:45 AM
TH004, Do you have any brand recommendations?
-Jessy

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User is Offline Hazel
888 posts Send Private Message
9/01/2012 12:36 PM
Posted By zoologist on 09/01/2012 11:41 AM
Hazel, it's not like I am forcefully putting him on the porch. He's itching to get out there, and waits by the door for me to open it. He enjoys laying out there and gets upset when it's time to come in :/
I wasn't trying to say that you force him, I'm sorry if you took it that way. My point was just that being panicked like that could easily give him a heart attack. I just don't think it's worth the risk, that's all.

"You ain't buna fide!"

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
9/02/2012 10:36 PM
I did a lot of research before deciding on a brand of food and Oxbow was the best by far, IMO. My rabbit LOVES it! I adopted him at two and he came with some food that he wasn't too thrilled with. He definitely likes the taste of this one better. I like the ingredients. Oxbow has different formulas for different age rabbits. Since my buns is now 4, he is on the adult version: http://store.binkybunny.com/bunny-b...7QodaWUArA

User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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9/02/2012 11:33 PM
I agree, he may enjoy it when the dog isnt around, but the risk is too high if the dog does show up. Keep him in, after awhile he will forget he ever went out

User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
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9/05/2012 5:38 AM
its been a week since Tofu went to the vet for his neuter and he is still pooping everywhere, spraying outside (or the cats), aggressive towards the cats, and humping his ball. I know it can take up to a month but I was hoping to see some sort of improvement by now. what gives?
-Jessy

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User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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9/05/2012 10:46 AM
Generally speaking, a neuter does not cause any change in behavior for at least a month. Often, there is a final surge of hormones (kind of a last gasp) that may cause a brief increase in the aggressive types of behaviors before they are totally gone for good. And a bunny's personality is a factor, so you won't necessarily see a change for the better for another 3 weeks. Hang in there!
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > new bun, lots of questions

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