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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.

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Forum BEHAVIOR New bunn asking me to play with him – all night – very loudly

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    • Fawn
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      Hello, I just recently got a new bunny. He is a rescue bunny and really young, he is estimated to be around 2-4 months old. I’ve had him for two days, and currently am letting him roam around his 60 ft playpen during the entire day. He has a hutch, which he is supposed to sleep in. It is a really large hutch, and he prefers to sleep in it during the day instead of sleeping somewhere on the floor.

      I’ve been teaching him to wiggle the door of his hutch when he wants to come out. He goes to bed fairly easily, and sleeps for maybe three hours. Then between 12:00 am and the morning he will wiggle the door of his hutch. It is really loud when he wiggles it. Since he is so new, not fixed yet (He’s not yet old enough – I’m still finding a vet so I can set an appointment next month), and the fact that there are two other pets (Guineas) that sleep during the night, that he likes to pester, – I can’t just let him free roam at night.

      But at the same time – I need sleep and 1:00 am isn’t the ideal time to come out and play. Does anyone have any experience teaching a rabbit sleep at night? I have a roommate and she is starting to get really annoyed. I can only deflect by saying her pets are just as annoying, for so long. How do I teach him to chill after lights out?


    • Hazel
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      2266 posts Send Private Message

      Well you kind of shot yourself in the foot teaching him to make a ruckus when he wants to get out. He’s just doing what you taught him. However you reinforced this behavior (treats or just by letting him out), stop doing that. At this point there isn’t much you can do about it other than ignoring him when he does it. That also goes for if he does it during the day. Wait for him to calm down, then let him out. Over time he will learn that’s the only way to get what he wants.


    • Jadeo09
      Participant
      31 posts Send Private Message

      I used to have my rabbit in a cage at night when she was a baby. This behaviour didn’t stop until I got a dog pen for her to stay in of a night. They become most active between midnight and 4am so they don’t do well confined during those hours.


    • Moonlightbunny66
      Participant
      375 posts Send Private Message

      I agree with hazel that it probably wasn’t a good idea to teach him that 😆. What I would do is put something in front of the gate like his hidey house, one of those bendy log houses, or his litter box depending on where he rattles it. You could try a piece of cardboard too. Or maybe cover the gate with a blanket or towel you don’t care about, and don’t let him out if he rattles it (cause then he’ll think it’ll always work to get him out).

      Is the hutch in the playpen? Not sure what your set up is but maybe you could keep him in the playpen at night too.


    • Fawn
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      I’ve been trying the towel tactic for the past two nights. The first night it worked really well, the second night he figured out how to wiggle between the towel and the cage and got stuck, twice. The second time, I accidently left the cage door open when I rescued him because I was half asleep and he slept under my dresser. The playpen is connected to his hutch, but I am not yet confident enough to let him play outside all night. He is a much better jumper then I thought he was going to be and I happen to have my sewing supplies stored next to the sofa in his playpen. Rory is currently in the habit of jumping on the sofa (Twice his height) and then onto the fabrics (Twice his height again) and then trying to sleep in them. I am sorting through them now, but I know there are needles and pins inside the fabric bins and currently, he shouldn’t be playing in them.

      I really didn’t expect him to be motivated enough to reach them, but he is. Once the bin is cleaned, and there is only fabric in it, I will be more able to let him roam around. Anyway, the towel method is working alright, assuming I manage to block off the entire front of the cage with the towel. I think I’ll free range him later, when he has better litterbox habits and my fabric bins are sorted.

      Another problem I’ve encountered, I want him to learn how to eat out of his hay rack. He prefers to eat out of the guinea’s hay rack, but that is not a sustainable approach. He has two hay racks, but hasn’t touched them. The same hay is being provided to the guineas, and he has been devouring it. I want to make sure he knows where his hay is and how to eat it, and not rely on eating the guinea’s food.

      Anyway – Thank you for your suggestions. Do you have any tips for getting him to eat his hay and not the guineas hay?

      The two hay racks are at the same heights, they are the same kind of racks, and contain the same hay. I don’t understand why the guinea’s is so much more palatable to him then his own.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      3781 posts Send Private Message

      I’m confused, why does he have access to the guinea pig’s hay? Or why can’t you use the same type of rack for him?

      Have you tried just putting hay in the litter box, not in a rack? Some bunnies really prefer it that way.

      . . . 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.  


    • Moonlightbunny66
      Participant
      375 posts Send Private Message

      Are you able to cover the top of the playpen with a bedsheet or blankets? That works with my bunnies, they don’t even try to escape it. I use heavy duty clothing pins from the dollar store and some binder clips to attach the blankets (dollar store blankets too).

      Oh and do you mean outside the hutch or outside like outside the house?

      And I’m not sure why he would be stealing the guinea pig hay lol. I would try to block off access to it. Not sure how he’s reaching it but you could zip tie cardboard to the pen where the back of the rack is. Or I don’t know if you mean he’s able to get into the Guinea pig enclosure, then I would cover the top. Also, it can be dangerous if the bunny is in contact with the guinea pig, just letting you know.

      I agree with DanaNM that you could put hay in the litter box too, maybe he’ll eat his own then. And you could try pulling out the hay that’s in the rack currently, then putting in some fresh hay. 🙂


    • Fawn
      Participant
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      I’ve been testing hay in his litter box, and I think he prefers it to hay in a rack above his box.

      The guineas’s cage is adjacent to his playpen, so when he is having floor time, he’ll hop over. Stand on his toes, and eat their hay through the playpen. The hay racks have an open top, and are open towards the inside of the cage. He has to reach higher to eat the guineas hay, because his only point of access is the top, where you put the hay in. The hay racks on both cages are the same style and it’s a lot more work to reach the guinea’s hay, which is why I don’t understand him insisting on eating it. I replace the hay from all the racks daily, and from the same container of hay, so I don’t think he prefers the taste of guinea hay.

      His hutch is inside, it’s in my room. Hence, why him wishing to play at 1am becomes a problem. The guineas and Rory don’t share an enclosure, Rory really likes watching them while stealing their hay though. They’re impartial to him.

      I’ll try moving where the guinea’s hay rack is, so it’s even harder for him to reach it.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      3781 posts Send Private Message

      Ahh, the forbidden fruit! The grass is always greener LOL

      . . . 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 New bunn asking me to play with him – all night – very loudly