How long to tame rabbits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sabz, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    I know this is probably depending on the breed and personality, but on average is it easy to tame rabbits?

    The rabbits I have were in cages all their lives. They are about 8 months old.

    I put them together in a colony. I know some people don't agree with this and that's ok. I want to do it only for winter, and in spring I will build a rabbit hutch with a pen.

    Anyhow, when I touch the door of the rabbit house, they go crazy. They run and I am afraid they will break a leg or even their necks if they bump in to a wall. I try to enter really slowly, and now I talk to them before I even touch the door, so they know I am there.

    I've had them only a few days. I sit with them and feed them. One comes to me, but just one.

    Will they eventually come around?

    I speak to them in a soft voice, I try not to startle them, I sit with them, feed them fresh greens..

    I guess just the adaptation to living on the ground and being able to dig, run, climb and live together is already a big stress for them, I assume the human is the least of their worries for now..

    EDIT: The proper word isn't "tamed" I think. More.. used to humans? I just don't want them to stress when they see me, and not hurt themselves when they run away from me!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I've only had pet rabbits as a kid, but i'd say you are doing the right thing.

    I used to have a Netherland Dwarf that would lay across the back of my neck when i sat on the sofa and move around so he was on his side, back and front and he seemed to house train himself (i only brought him inside the house occasionally).

    All the best
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Talk softly, bring some greens or treats on each visit, move slowly and methodically - they should gradually become more accepting of your presence, but since they have never been socialized as young animals they will most likely not become completely 'tame'.
  4. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    That's fine :) I don't want to pet them and play with them, just don't want them to get hurt.

    I know that chickens get accustomed very fast. I remember my first ones, when I came in to the coop they would fly away and hit walls and such. It lasted maybe.. a week or so. They were also about 8-10 months old and in cages for all their lives.

    I'll continue to bring them greens! It is so fun to watch their little noses, we can almost "see" what they are thinking.

    Can they get.. indigestions or anything bad if I give too much greens? is there a limit?
  5. happylife05

    happylife05 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Whitesboro Texas
    Yes introduce them very slowly to greens. One type of green at a time. They do eventually get used to you. My 2nd bunny was like that. And he still startles easily. But he is friendly now and comes when he is called. For him, he always has a safe hiding place that e can get to fast. I have had him a year now and he started coming around after about three months. And he is right in the middle of my kitchen. So people were always walking past
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    If you want to know why your rabbits are running, try lying flat on the floor and have family members walk around you. Or better yet, try lying flat in a pasture and have horses or cows walking around you. Now imagine that rather than just worrying about getting stepped on, you are programmed to think that those things towering over you intend to eat you. Scary, huh?

    Colony rabbits seldom become really "friendly" to humans, but if they at least can hear and see you coming, they are less likely to freak out (I speak to my rabbits before I go into my rabbitry for this very reason, even though mine are all in waist-high cages). Are all of your rabbits the same gender? If not, do you at least have a place to house the buck separately? You may live in Canada, but I'm betting that at least some breeding has been/will be taking place even at this time of year.
    1 person likes this.

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