Flemish Rabbits


Nov 23, 2015
I just got a Flemish rabbit. He is was the smaller of the 3 left of the litter, he doesn't seem to care for people. , I was holding him and petting him, and he was just chillin then he went to the other side of my neck and bit me. He was in a cage in an outbuilding, now he is in the house with a room all his own. I have read everything I could find he has a really large dog cage litter box in corner, food bowl, water dish, and a blanket for sleeping. He also has a stick and a cardboard box for playing and chewing. What should I do?
Rabbits by nature are not cuddly animals and at first often view humans as a threat. They are not creatures that naturally thrive on attention like a dog does, for example. Some can become pets but given a choice they will often retain their more wild habits and remain skittish. With that said, some are friendlier than others and can become tame when handled frequently. All of my rabbits enjoy human attention and regularly beg for it, mostly because I have handled them daily since they were a couple days old and they have lived at my house for their whole life (so they are not frightened by new noises/smells). I have handled the rabbits of other people who do not frequently handle them and the temperaments of those rabbits varied wildly. They were much harder to handle and were much less at ease with me than my own rabbits.

Your Flemish Giant may not have been handled much as a youngster. This can effect his temperament later in life. Since you just got him, he is not used to you or all the new smells and noises of your home. This can scare a rabbit because they are prey animals. I would give your rabbit a couple weeks to adjust to his situation. Talk quietly to him and gently stroke him several times a day. He needs to learn to trust you. This will not occur fast, but if you continue and do not give him any reason to fear you, he will likely become tamer.

I'm not sure how old your buck is, but sometimes younger rabbits go through hormonal stages where they can be bitey and temperamental. I know that my does and bucks often become moody when they are around 4 months old. He may have simply tired of being held and wanted to do something different.

It is possible, also, that he was not biting for a malevolent reason but instead because he thought your neck was something to eat. Rabbits sometimes bite fingers, for example, because they think the finger is food. This is especially true if they smell food on your skin. My rabbits occasionally try to nibble my skin or coat when they smell calf manna (a conditioning food I give them) but quickly learn that I am not edible.

If he continues to bite unprovoked, he will need to learn that you will not tolerate that. A friend who has been breeding and raising rabbits for years told me that when her youngsters nip her, she lightly taps them on their nose. The rabbits quickly learn that biting is not okay. You can also gently grab your rabbits head and shake it (not in a mean way, of course). Be aware that you would not want to use these methods if your rabbit is biting out of fear, since it could frighten him.
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