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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Unmanageable Agression
Last Post by Elrohwen at 5/11/2012 8:46 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Tunnelvision
3 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 12:01 PM

I got my "Bunbun" (We started calling her that and it stuck) about a month ago shes now approx. 3 months old, shes 1/2 Lop 1/2 Hotot, when I first got her she was timid but was well mannered and seemed happy (licking me on occasion) but for the last week or so shes been biting at her cage and shaking it angrily, I do take her out once a day and give her lots of attention through out the day, also in the process of building her a big playpen in the back yard, I still haven't been able to litter train her and now when ever I try to get near her she grunts and get extremely frightened and ends up breathing extremely fast and tries to bite while running around like I am trying to kill her.

This just started happening out of nowhere and I don't know what to do? should I leave her alone? or keep trying to handle her to "train" her but I don't wanna traumatize her, her living area is plenty big for her size its a 3x3 square.

Shes just so anxious and angry .


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
18104 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 12:08 PM
It sounds like she is going through rabbit puberty, she's about the right age for this.

What size is her cage that she is in now? That could also be a factor, it may be too small for her.

User is Offline Tunnelvision
3 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 1:26 PM

Its about 3.3 feet all the way around, I have yet to get her spayed its on my to do list, please in the mean time is there anything I can do for her?

I built her cage myself with these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...00_s00_i00
planning on adding a second story for her soon.

As long as her attitude is temporary I'm not to worried I just don't want this phase to change her temperament for life.


User is Offline CocoVermont802
103 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 3:04 PM
My rabbit did this also.... i just recently got her spayed so we will see if this helps.

Maybe just give her some free roam time it seems to help my rabbit calm down lol, she is also a cage shaker!

User is Offline KytKattin
California
1194 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 3:51 PM
Are you giving her lots of activities? Things to dig/chew/etc? Is there any reason you absolutely have to pick her up every day? Do you have to stick your hand in the cage?

Generally it is best to not pick them up. Obviously sometimes you need to do this, but try to do it only for necessary things like nail trims. Rabbits like to have all four feet on the ground and lifting them up is a scarey thing! One way to avoid having to pick them up when you need to move them is to train them to come when called or follow a stick. Clicker training is great for bunnies!

Another thing is that rabbits like to have their own space. You are still going to have to clean things, so the best way to get around this is to let your bunny have free roam in a safe, bunny proof area while you clean the cage space. I try to never put my hands in the cage while Nova is inside.

Don't move towards your bunny, let her come to you. Try sitting on the floor and ignoring her. Chances are she will come over to investigate! When you do try to pet her maybe try just using two fingers on her face between her eyes. I can always get Nova to let me pet her this way, but the moment I try to pet anything past her ears she zooms off!

While 3x3 seems like a lot, it really isn't if she is locked up most of the day. People think that little bunnies need less room, but personally I think they need the most! They are very, very active! Ideally she should have 6+ hours of free roam time during the day with a cage that size, but if that isn't possible she can be entertained with projects such as treats inside paper bags or toilet paper rolls, phone books, a digging box, etc. Just like animals at the zoo that are given enrichment, she need something to keep her mind occupied!

And of course get her spayed when you can. You can't expect her to act reasonably or use the litterbox consistently with all those extra hormones. Her aggression is the only way that she knows how to communicate with you, so when you get frustrated with her, just stop and try to understand what she is trying to say. Did you go too fast? Are you in her space? Does she have a lot of pent up energy?

User is Offline Tunnelvision
3 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 4:21 PM

I am not frustrated with her, I am WORRIED for her as far as the cage goes I am building her a big pen in the backyard, although her cage is not extremely huge its about 1/3 of my bedroom. I DO NOT stick my fingers in her cage and prod at her, when I speak of "Picking her up" I meant just to move her not to hold her like a baby.

There was no precursor to gauge why she is acting the way she is, her temperament changed in the span of 2 days and now she does not even want to come out of her cage and grunts when I get near her.


User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 4:41 PM
Bunnies can be pretty tricky to read sometimes..we've all been worried for the sake of our little buddies when they begin to act differently. I'm glad that you already know the bunny dos and don'ts though!

What do you mean by pen in the backyard? How long are you planning to let her out, and is it under supervision? I think she would be somewhat placated by having a bigger cage, but sometimes once bunnies have been "out there" in the room they won't be happy being cooped up no matter how big their space is. You could try some diversions like compacted hay cubes (not to be a substitute for loose hay of course)...I usually give my bun a bit of food right before putting her up in her pen when I have to leave so that she's distracted for a little bit.

As for the growling and aggressive temperament, I'd say spaying will definitely help, as you said you are planning to do.
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline Stickerbunny
3861 posts Send Private Message
5/09/2012 6:25 PM
Stickers my female rex was AWFUL before her spay. She would grunt, charge me, nip me and run away, act like I was coming to eat her every time I went into the room. I started giving her a treat (usually a baby carrot cut up in to a bunch of tiny pieces so I had lots of treats without over feeding her) when I came into the room, got her spayed and stopped trying to touch her and just let her come to me. Now, she still nips me (today she ran up and bit me on the seat of my pants when I was picking something up, brat) but she's mostly over the acting like I am trying to kill her and she doesn't grunt much. She'll even run up to me sometimes for pets, she always runs up to me when I enter the room to see if I brought her anything (if I didn't, it's bunny butt or a thump and then disinterest until I start to pet Powder). Without the spay though, there wasn't much to be done for her, she was a big ball of hormonal territorial mess.

For biting on the bars wanting out, if you can't give her a larger cage, spreading out her feeding over the day may help. Stickers is in a bedroom all to herself (well, she shares it with her husbun) but she still chews on the door to get out if she gets bored, so I spread out the feedings for her and it keeps her from doing it. Half pellets in the morning, half at night before bed, half veggies in the afternoon, half in the evening. Lots and lots of chew toys helps too - willow is her favorite. She has a willow ball when I go get some (she eats them in an hour though, so I can't afford to keep them all the time, they are $5 each!), willow sticks (bark on), a willow hidey hut, cardboard, phone books, cat balls (bell removed). As long as I keep her schedule she doesn't chew, but if I forget a feeding or she's out of some toy she'll chew like a mad bunny to get out of her room, even though it's the master bedroom and she has tons of space. *rollseyes*

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
5/11/2012 8:46 AM
It really does sound like hormones. If that's the case, there's probably not much you can do until she's spayed - she's not responding to anything you're doing, she's just very territorial and hormone crazed right now.

One thing you can do right now is just leave her alone completely and let her come to you on her own terms. Maybe drop a yummy treat into her cage as you pass so she'll associate you with that instead of wanting to get rid of you.

Don't worry, tons of female buns go through this and they become horrible to live with, but 99% go back to being sweet normal bunnies a month or so after their spay.
- Elrohwen
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