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I have 2 male/neutered Holland Lops (6 months old) that I bought from a reputable breeder a few months ago, they are wonderful, very friendly. The breeder emailed a few days ago and asked me if I wanted another Holland Lop (1 yr old - male/neutered). She had sold a bunny to a couple with a 2 yr old daughter back in December and now the husband is allergic. So I contacted the owner and she told me she was giving him away, so I went and picked him up yesterday. Anyway, I have him in his cage for now next to my other rabbits. In the upcoming weeks my hopes are to introduce him to my other rabbits, I do know this might not work out and his breeder is willing to take him back if it doesn't work out. The cage is fairly small so I wanted to let him out in my bathroom to give him some exercise. When I went to pick him up he flipped out, I know rabbits typically do not like to be picked up but holy smokes. Once I have him he calms down quickly, but he pins his ears back. A few hours later I go back to put him in his cage from the bathroom and again I have to pick him up and he starts trying to run for his life and grunting when I pick him up. He doesn't seem friendly in general, such as when I get his food bowl out of his cage, he runs to the other side of the cage and sits in the corner. My question is, is this behavior normal for a rabbit in a new enviroment? What things should I be doing to bond with him and help him calm down. I hope his behavior is just due to a new home or maybe he just wasn't interacted with much at his other home and they got tired of him as a pet and that was the real reason they were giving him away.
Thanks so much
I'm betting the new buns had some bad experiences with the 2-year-old and that is why the first family gave him back. If so, he is probably scared to death. My first buns was mishandled by two families with children before me, so she was really scared and mean. Some things I did to win her love:
1. Don't force it! Wait. Wait. Wait.
2. I put a day's old sock that I had worn in her cage, so that she learned my scent wasn't mean and wouldn't hurt her.
3. I never forced her out-- so if she hid in the back of the cage, I let her be. Sometimes, I would just sit with the cage door open and talk soothingly to her. Sometimes she never came out. Eventually she did.
That buns of mine ended up being the friendliest thing to me. We even slept together in my bed! (She was potty trained, of course!) The key is to be patient. The poor thing probably had it rough. A 2-year-old doesn't know how to properly handle a rabbit and, likely, neither does a parent who gets a 2-year-old a pet rabbit.