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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BEHAVIOR Cage Biting, but not what you think.

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    • Freja
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      2 posts Send Private Message

        Hey everyone,

        So, I am a reasonably experienced Bunny owner, and I’ve completely exhausted my google searches, which aren’t weak.

        We have two bunnies, Schneeglöckchen (brown/black, 1-year-old, female, lionhead, will be sterilized on Monday) and Bun Bun (black/white, 1-year-old, male, mini-rex, castrated).  They live inside the house with us, their run is 180cm x 60cm but is open 24 hours a day.  There are four doors in and out, 2 at the front and 1 at each side.  They have the entire run of the living room 15m x 8m, the Kitchen, 15m x 6m, and our bedroom 5m x 5m.  They have complete freedom of most of the house 24 hours a day.  The only rooms they don’t have access to are the tiny hall, our daughter’s bedroom, and the bathroom.

        They have 3 cardboard digging boxes, 2 tunnels, they love to hang out under or on our bed, on the sofa or under the blankets that cover the sofa.  They have little hidie-holes of an ikea cat bed, under my desk, under the keyboard, an upturned cardboard box with a hole cut in it, and a chair that has t-shirts around the legs that they love headbutting their way in and out of.  They also are allowed under our Kotatsu table (A Japanese style table with a blanket over it and heating unit underneath (bunny safe)), have a hanging bunny bed in their run, toilet, and their food and water bowls, which are always full.

        They get lots of love, attention, and affection, and are in turn very affectionate and loving in return.  Lots of licks, lots of chinning etc.  They flomp with us, sit with us, come up on the bed with us.  Binkys and zoomies are often and adorable.

        They get treats and have doggie games where pellets have to be strategically found for mental stimulation.  Parsnip Root, Parsley, Timothy Hay sticks, Hay pellets, Rabbit Mix, occasional little bit of cucumber, blueberry, and other bunny safe vegetables.

        So…..

        We have ruled out boredom, stress, confined space, lack of attention, they always have ample hay, they have placed to dig, they have treats and toys designed for biting to control teeth length etc.

        So Why oh why is Bun Bun, who is a very happy bunny, constantly going into the run, and chewing the bars, always in the same 2 places?  There is nothing hanging there or that has hung there like treats etc, there is clear and easy access in and out 24 hours a day, so he’s not trapped or trying to get to the other side.

        He’s happy and there’s no damage to his teeth, but the behaviour itself concerns me, but none of the traditional reasons for the behaviour seem to fit.  Does anyone please have any ideas?

        I guess we can spray something bitter on the bars, but we’re just worried we’re missing something.  Thank you very much in advance for your time.

         

         


      • Plumped Cuddly Bunnies
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        103 posts Send Private Message

          It doesn’t matter what things your bunnies have they will still chew things like the bars of there cage, unless they are at risk of hurting themselves or causing annoyance I would leave them to it.

          I bunny proofed my house and now the bunnies love tugging and pulling on the wire mesh I put on the door frames and baseboards to stop them from chewing them and make a racket at night so I now put them in there cage at night and let them out in the morning otherwise I’d never get to sleep at night.

          There are things you can try but whether that would stop them is another story. Ply wood sheets over the cage bars or maybe some clear plexiglass over the bars? I’ve always found plexiglass to be a good barrier to rabbits as long as the corners are not exposed for chewing. I use clear plexiglass around my house plants and works a treat.

          Another thing you could try is tying some willow bark to the bars of the cage or some willow twigs or branches with some wire.


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          9038 posts Send Private Message

            Buns have a tendency to get obsessed over certain spots! Bun Jovi used to do this… his pen would be open and he would still sit inside the cage and bite the bars of the wall right next to the door. It was in a very specific spot, like your bunny.

            It often helps to hang a sheet or towel over the wall in question with clamps. For some reason once they can’t see through the wall they are less likely to bite the bars. You can also hang some grass matts or cardboard on the inside to give him something safe to chew on instead of the walls.

            It sounds like you have some very lucky and spoiled bunnies!

            . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


          • Freja
            Participant
            2 posts Send Private Message

              Thank you SO much for responses so far, what I don’t think I made clear is that what bothers us is that it’s a NEW behaviour, he’s just suddenly started doing it.  It may be, he’s just turned 1, and he simply…. loves it.  So long as he’s not injuring his mouth it’s certainly not an annoyance to us, it’s just we knew that it’s commonly a sign of stress or distress.

              But thank you so much, we shall definitely cover those spots with some grass mats or cardboard and see how he finds it.


            • DanaNM
              Moderator
              9038 posts Send Private Message

                1 year old buns have a TON of energy, so even if you are providing lots of toys they can still get “stuck” on one thing.

                Does he actually use the toys he has? If not, some experimenting to find somethings he will actually like might help. I know my destructo-buns like to shred phone books (if you can find one) and cardboard cat scratchers.

                Another thing I’ve noticed with my own buns is that when they have 24 hr free roam they seem to get more bored. Now I keep them penned for part of the day (usually just overnight) and let them out while I’m awake. I have different sets of toys in their pen vs. out in the room. They seem more interested in exploring and playing with their “new” toys this way and seem to get more exercise.

                . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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            Forum BEHAVIOR Cage Biting, but not what you think.