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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 Help! Bunny playing up.

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    • Jazz_Sky
      Participant
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        Posting on here as I really need some advice…

        We’ve recently homed a year and a bit mini lop. Fully neutered. He was my friend’s and they asked if we could take him as he was fighting with his brother.

        He’s been here for almost a month now, and up until now has been an absolute gem. He’s had full reign of the house during the day and at night when we’ve been awake.

        However, he’s playing up all of sudden.

        He was sneaking under the sofa beforehand and popping lots. So we blocked off the sofa as it was causing an issue for us to clean. I’ve tried so hard to keep him mentally stimulated. I’ve got toys for him, including a treat ball. He’s also got a dig box that I made for him. I put paper, hay, pellets etc in there. If this is to do with him wanting to hide. Then I’m at a loss as he has said box and also he sometimes likes to hide under the coffee table which is fine.

        But all he seems to spend most of his time doing now is digging at the carpet in two spots. The primary one being by the side of the sofa. I assume he wants to get back under there. But it’s just not ok for us. Not just the mess he causes, but also we sit on the sofa and if he’s underneath it, it causes a potential risk to him.

        He’s seemingly very stubborn and doesn’t seem to understand being told no.

         

        I’m unsure what to do now as my husband is talking about giving him up and this is the last thing I want to do. But this isn’t something I can cope with really. I understand they have natural habits which is why I have a box for him.

         

        Any advice would be very appreciated.

         

        Many thanks.

        Sincerely,

        A very sadly confused bunny owner. 🙁


      • Wick & Fable
        Moderator
        5793 posts Send Private Message

          First, in case it is something priming anyone’s opinion of this rabbit, fighting amongst rabbit siblings is not surprising. There is a very common misconception that rabbits have the same concept of family as humans, but that’s incorrect– they will often fight and mate between family, so please know him fighting w/ his brother is not an indicator of what kind of rabbit he is, but rather a natural dynamic between two male rabbits, siblings or not.

          A picture of the set-up would help in users being able to provide specific feedback. In general, what I’m interpreting is it is difficult to find what are the “toys” he is specifically interested in. No two rabbits are alike, and similar to children, this includes taste in what they want to do when bored. Across several rabbits, some different “toys” that have been successful include:

          1. Apple Wood Sticks – actually 100% successful, but not the pre-packaged ones in the pet store; I order from Binkybunny or Etsy businesses. They do not last super long, but many rabbits (once they realize it) will enjoy chewing and stripping the bark off the sticks: https://store.binkybunny.com/products/apple-nibble-sticks
          2. Willow-based Toys – Some rabbits really enjoy willow; across all my rabbits, I usually need to cut up the baskets/toys into smaller pieces, and then they all nibble on the smaller sticks rather than destroying the thing intact. I had one rabbit who would destroy them indiscriminately.
          3. Palm-based Toys (plates, bowls…) – If a rabbit has a taste for it, these will keep them occupied overnight or for a solid part of the day: https://store.binkybunny.com/collections/palm-leaf-toys
          4. Fleece Digging Corner , cardboard toys… – specific things I created for my late Fable, who was a huge carpet chewer and needed lots of stimulation: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/p8bwbb/fleece_digging_corner/  , https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/pkyue3/behavior_diggingadjusting_fleece_blankets/
            1. Here are some other potentially helpful posts I’ve made starring Fable: https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/tc5b81/behavior_toy_preferences_toss_toys/
            2. https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/sr694b/owner_bonding_10min_of_engagement/
            3. https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/v5lx61/cardboard_hanging_toy/
            4. https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/s5l02b/behavior_bunstruction_chewing/
            5. https://www.reddit.com/r/Rabbits/comments/pae597/redirect_carpetdigging_energy/

           

          I hope this is helpful!

          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.


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          8972 posts Send Private Message

            I suggest you should modify his living situation before resorting to rehoming. So many rabbits end up in shelters because people expect to be able to free-roam them when in reality some rabbits (maybe most rabbits) need at least some supervision to be able to free roam completely. Are you 100% sure he’s fixed? Could “he” be an unspayed female?

            As a first step I would try blocking off the trouble areas with NIC cubes. I also have a bun that is obsessed with getting into trouble behind the sofa so I just put some NIC cube grids on each end so he can’t go behind. You can make short lengths of fencing to suit your needs. “hot spots” for carpet digging can be blocked with heavy ceramic tiles. Add some cardboard cat scratchers and grass mats as safe alternatives for chewing.

            Spring time is also a very active time for buns, lots go through a more destructive streak in the spring time, even if castrated.

            If you don’t already have a pen or something similar set up for him, I would recommend that. Most bunnies do really well with 4-6 hours of free-roam time if it’s timed when they are active, so if you can let him out in the morning and evening when you are able to supervise more closely that would probably help.

            Another thing my bunnies really love that satisfies their urge to tunnel and destroy (lol) is the maze haven from the BB store. You could try making a makeshift verson with cardboard boxes as well. I will often stuff it with brown paper and they love just tunneling around in there. I think you are on the right track with the digging box but the urge to tunnel can explain his obsession with the tight space behind the sofa.

             

            . . . 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 Help! Bunny playing up.