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NEED help with socilizing my rabbit!!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bubblesegg, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. bubblesegg

    bubblesegg In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2010
    Ok I have two five or six month old rabbits that need to be socialized. The rabbits names are Hazel Baby and Willow.

    .First with Willow (she is not spayed ), I usually take her out of the hutch at least twice a week and pet her and hold her but she keep wanting to jump out of my arms and scratching my whole front torso. [​IMG]

    .Second is Baby Hazel, He is a unneutard (I think in may be the reason). he wont let me come near him and when I go to feed him he usually runs away and backs to the corner of the hutch. [​IMG]

    If there is any way to socialize them like certain ways to pet them or massages or treats or whatever please help. you don't need to answer both. thank you!!! [​IMG]

  2. bubblesegg

    bubblesegg In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2010
    I also switch the uneutard rabbits out of ther hutches once a week and replace then with un spayed rabbits so they can stretch their legs and be out side.
  3. chickgals

    chickgals In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2013
    Feed them treats when they come near you.
    Hold them at least once or twice a day.
    Interact with them in their pen.
    Pet them.
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Most rabbits do not like being held, but they can get used to it. Frequent handling is the best way, starting when they are very small (I prefer to start even before their eyes open). Obviously, you can't turn back the clock on these two, so they probably won't ever be cuddly, but they can be better. Hazel's standoffishness has nothing to do with the fact that he has not been neutered - I don't neuter any of my rabbits (I am a breeder) and several of my bucks have been major love bugs. A certain amount of personality seems to be inherited - my friendliest rabbits tend to have outgoing offspring, and my "touchy" rabbits often have babies that grow up to be a bit cranky, too. Since a lot of my rabbits get sold as pets, really cranky rabbits do not get bred - I have seen truly vicious rabbits, and I wouldn't want to do that to anyone, especially not a child!

    The first thing to do is keep them in a cage that is small enough that you can reach all parts of it easily. You do not want to chase a rabbit around in its cage when trying to interact with it - that just makes it more skittish. It would be best if this cage is in a place where there is only limited view - the great outdoors may seem a relief to us, but a rabbit feels exposed when out in the open.

    Speak softly and move slowly around the rabbit. You need to be calm to keep the animal calm. Rabbits are small herbivores, and when you are a small herbivore, everything eats you! They need a calm and quiet environment to feel safe.

    Feed the rabbit treats by hand. Things like a small piece of apple or banana, a few dandelion leaves (make sure they haven't been sprayed with weed killer, of course) the list is long, but there is bound to be something that your rabbit will find irresistible. You want the rabbit to associate you with good things.

    When you go to pet the rabbit, put your hand close to the rabbit, and wait until it "hunkers down" before petting it. Stroke the head, scritch the cheeks, run your hand down the body. You need to do this several times a day, even if you don't pick the rabbit up. Being picked up is scary to a rabbit, at least at first.

    When you pick them up, keep their weight supported at all times. Turning a rabbit over on its back, feet side up, has a calming effect on most rabbits. If you can do it in your arms, great, but you may find it easier to sit down and put the rabbit in your lap that way. Stroke the head and ears - most rabbits go into a trance-like state when treated like this. When you go to put the rabbit back in its cage, you can carry it there cradled like a baby. With a little practice, you can learn to turn the rabbit out of your arms and onto its feet on the cage floor in one smooth movement - before the rabbit even starts to struggle, it is back in the cage. A lot of rabbits get really wiggly when they see the cage; carrying them facing away from the cage or even tucking the head under your elbow so they can't see it can help to keep them calm and keep you from getting scratched up.

    Good luck!
  5. Fly 2006

    Fly 2006 Songster

    Apr 28, 2012
    Hampshire England
    All of above [​IMG] You will hopefully find that if you get your bunnies tame by holding them like babies you will gain their trust so you can hold them up the right away without the scratching, I also believe that firm confident handling is the way to go, if the rabbit senses you are hesitant or nervous about picking them up then they think they need to worry about it, they need to feel 100% secure or they will want to get their feet back on the ground!

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