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I’m new here, and have a sort of dilemma with my two buns, Rusty and Elias. When they are in their cage and want to come out, they will chew the wooden lip that is along the bottom edge of the cage. they always chew the part that is in front of the doors, and i don’t want to have to replace it. i tried rubbing dove soap, which i read is safe for them and a deterent, but each time i do, they just lick it off like it’s candy and then proceed to chew again. is there any substance that would work better?
and one more question: how old is old enough to get fixed? i’ve been finding conflicting information online, one place says 4 months old, another 12 weeks. is later better? is there a way to tell by looking at the bun’s junk to see if they are ready for the big snip?
oh, and i put break-away cat collars that have little bells on my buns so i can actually find them. i almost stepped on one of them because i didn’t know he was following me! are their ears sensitive to the bells? will that sound hurt their ears at all?
any and all advice please!!!
those breakaway cat collars should be ok. I made an elastic thingy and sewed material around it and put a bell on it. Only used it once cuz I was afraid they would hurt themselves. I might try that breakaway collar. I know Cotton will have it off in no time.
Usually 4 months for males and 6 months for females is the altering age.
Welcome here I am speaking for us all and we want pics of your bunnies. We love looking at pics of bunnies or videos of them. And sharing stories about them as well as questions we welcome questions.
I’ve heard that putting the breakaway collar around their tummies is safer than their necks in case it gets caught on something. Just a suggestion! I wish my bun had a bell on him sometimes … he sneaks around so quietly and turns up in the most unexpected places 😉
And I agree with BT, pictures please!
Regarding putting the collar around their belly… my only concern would be is if they try to scratch themselves with their hind leg, it could get caught in it and possibly tear a nail out… I’d really recommend against using collars, even the breakaway ones… bunnies should not need them at all.
Can you attach an additional piece of wood to the inside that they can safely chew on? It’s going to be difficult to break them of that habit, especially if they’re young, it will likely get worse before it gets better. I wouldn’t put soap or anything on their pen that has a very strong smell, since they’re confined, they cannot get away from it. The bitter apple sprays don’t work with most bunnies, so that it out too.
Males can be neutered between 3 and 4 months (or when the testicles become visible/drop) and females can be spayed at 6 months. Some vets will do it sooner, but it is an invasive surgery, so you’re better off to wait the full 6 months. I would recommend getting them spay/neutered as soon as you and the vet are comfortable doing it. If you do it sooner, there is less of a chance of the bad bunny behaviors becoming habits, plus you don’t have to deal with a hormone-driven bunny as long… ;o)
there are some options that are like bitter apple sprays but they’re different flavors so that may work. one is called “bitter yuck”. it comes in soapy flavors. if that doesn’t work, adding a piece of wood like Beka suggested may work too!
I’ve never heard of that one! What flavor is “bitter yuck”? It certainly sounds yucky… :o/
it is, but it works for sure. i know petsmart sells it in the dog potty training section (i work there so i get the inside scoop haha).
i’ve never tasted it, but you can probably smell it before you buy it. i think its soapy, though.
Could you fix and aged branch of apple wood beside the lip or elsewhere in the cage? The chewing is good for them so directing them to an alternative chew spot may work.
thanks for all the replies and so quickly too! much faster than my tortoise forum that i am on. (it must be true what they say, that we tend to take after our animals). =)
so i will try to find something at the pet store that Rusty and Eli don’t like, since the soap doesn’t seem to faze them. i have nailed down an additional piece of safe wood to the front of the cage, on top of the lip that they like to chew, so we will see if they chew that instead. they also have apple twigs, newspaper balls, and cardboard that has no ink on it that they can chew on as well, and tons of timothy hay. i am slowt ly building up on their toy collection, so as of now they have stainless steel spoons, a metal measuring bowl, and some kitty jingly balls. any other suggestions on inexpensive toys for their cages? outside of their cage they have more newspaper, mutliple boxes with holes cut into them, with carpet and timothy hay inside them as well. they are pretty much potty trained, aside from the random poopy, but i don’t mind those so much.
i will be calling around to find a vet in my area to get them fixed as soon as they are old enough, now that i know that info! is there a specific way to post pics on this forum.
Here are pics of my babies! Rusty is the orangey-brown lop and Elias is the White with Black ears. for those that have not looked at my profile for what types they are, here ya go: Rusty is a holland Lop, his birthday is March 20, 2009. Eli is 1/2 Checkered Giant, 1/4 Californian, 1/4 New Zealand and his birthday is April 15, 2009. they are such the handful!!! oh, and i have no way to get rid of the red-eye in Eli’s pic, but his eyes are a grey/black color. Eli is already significantly larger than Rusty! it’s crazy how fast he’s growing!
a phonebook is really great toy for chewers. the ink is soy-based and who doesn’t have a million of them lying around their house?
thanks for all the replies and so quickly too! much faster than my tortoise forum that i am on.
Ah ha! The irony!
Great pictures Elias has quite a mix in him. I wonder if more spots will appear as he grows? Rusty’s expression is so funny!
With nailing down the wood, make sure you punch the nails down below the wood surface. You may have to re do that down the track if they chew down to the nail.
Rabbit.org has some recommended vets and tips on finding a good rabbit vet.: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/vet.html
oh, ps, i’m loving the collars! my little guy sneaks around quite a bit as well so i may invest in a breakaway cat collar too.
Bunnies dont’ like the smell of menthol. Once I put some like Ben Gay on the wires and they stopped chewing for a week or so til the smell wore off.
My son would come in and say oh Mom you put too much the whole house smelled like Ben Gay. However be warned it does ware off. I found out when I found my sleep number bed wire to the pressure control and pressure box chewed in 4 pieces.
menthol, huh? i will have to see if i can find some. i will be splitting my phonebook in half so that the buns can split it. they are currently separated since they aren’t fixed and we are completely sure that they are both boys. just trying to keep from having babies!!!
They do look exceptionally cute in those collars, mine went mad when i tried putting them on a lead and Georgie is not the same with me since, she sometimes growls at me even when she is taking a treat from me. I am starting to feel quite offended by it actually xx
yeah, they sort of wiggled the first time i set the collars on them, but after i got them adjusted to the right tightness on the collars, they were fine. Eli tried to chew his a little, but he can’t reach it, so they just ignore them. i think it helps that they are still babies, so they are still getting used to their new life. i haven’t tried putting them on leashes yet, since they still don’t trust me to pet them too much, but i think with time i will be able to put leashes on them.
peppa, i felt the same way after i got my rabbit neutered because i had to grab him and give him icky medicine and he lost a lot of trust in me. i just laid on the floor with treats near me and didn’t try to touch him and we’re back to normal now
okay, i’ve got a new problem with their chewing now!!!
i have nailed down pieces of wood that are okay for them to chew, and they chew that along with everything else. i’ve decided that i don’t care anymore what they chew, as long as there is some way to keep them from eating all of it! they eat everything that they chew on! is it safe for them to be eating all of this stuff (wood, paper, cardboard), or should i just take it all away and just give them different varieties of hay to chew? how do i keep them from having to go to the vet and getting their stomachs pumped or something from all the crap they are ingesting?!?!?! please please please help!!!
Do they like hay? Certainly different varieties are a good idea.
Chewing is very normal rabbit behavior. They aren’t necessarily ingesting what they chew either and I think wood and cardboard are fine for them. If you take anything away they are still going to find something to chew.
Sometimes too this behavior will decrease as they get older.
Throwing in my 2 cents about the collars. From your picture, the collars look like the same type we had put on our cats, which makes since of course because its a cat breakaway collar. The kind that arent smooth, with the weave pattern material (sorry if your not following me here). Well we put them on our cats and everything was fine for a few days, so we left the house later to go run errands or something. When we got back out cat tiger was choking, because she decided she wanted it off, and had scratched at it. Since cats have sharp claws she was able to snag the material on the weave pattern and pull some of it away from the actual collar, making the collar tighten with every snag because less material=smaller collar. Then with it tightening she tried to bite it, and it caught in her mouth, so her head was stuck down to her chest and jaw unable to close, running blindly threw the house until we got home. So with buns being unpredictable, having sharp claws like cats and even more powerful hind legs, id at least get a smooth surface collar. Not sure if breakaway collars come in anything but that material though. But id really think about the second part too with getting it stuck on her teeth, because buns just love to groom. So just wanted you to be careful. And Welcome!
Okay, thanks I was worried about them getting impactions or something from eating all that stuff. Oh and that’s a good idea on the collars. Rusty doesn’t even notice his but eli just about chewed his off so he doesn’t have a collar anymore. Maybe I will see if a halter will work better for him. I am just always afraid if stepping on One of them cuz they are so sneaky! I have to have the bells or else they come up on me from behind, begging to get squashed.
Some of my bunnies have eaten anything and everything. When Sara Jane and Pinky were younger they would eat their dog beds. They have finally stopped. Five years later! But, thank god it never hurt them. I always worried about that.
Geez, the dog bed?!?! I really hope they grow out of it, it’s very stressing!!! I keep thinking, what will they eat next…. I have to watch them like a hawk when they come out for exercise so they don’t eat my carpets bare!
I don’t think a collar or a halter is necessary for rabbits – I think they are better without anything like that.
After they’re fixed you may find the chewing will lessen. Also, consider attatching a pen or “run” to the cage so they can come and go from the cage and put some chew sticks down in that area.
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