BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Rabbit won't come out
Last Post by Sarita at 11/12/2012 7:03 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline Buckley's Mum
Brighton, UK
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11/12/2012 4:23 AM

I'm sorry for being a neurotic new bunny mummy, but we got Buckley 2 weeks ago from a pet shop, he is 16 weeks old and is a Netherlands Dwarf.  Buckley must have been in the pet shop for 6 weeks

I'm trying to do everything for him that I should but he very rarely comes out his cage.  He has a large cage in the kitchen which I open when I get home from work, the kitchen floor is slippery for him so I've used the base mat of an old child's play pen as his rug for him to run on. I'm not sure if he has worked out that he is free to roam (the kitchen anyway), he looks like he is unable/unwilling to jump out of the cage so I use a box under the rug as a step and put spinach on it to encourage him out.  Sometimes he puts his front paws on the box, takes the spinach and runs back in.  He once came out and ran round the mat and did a binky, and I was soo excited, he then layed full stretch on the rug for a rest, he seemed to happy and content, but that was once, and ever since then, he won't come out.  I have put a small box of hay on the rug and he came out and then hopped into the box and stayed there munching until he decided he wanted to run back home.

He has licked the rug and as he's on his own, I bought him a teddy friend, but he just ignores it.

When I can catch him to pick him up, he doesn't scrabble as much as he use to and he lets me stroke him and brush him, I have no idea if he likes this or just tolerates me, but since Friday he will do anything to run away and now won't let me pick him up, I haven't pursued this as I don't want to scare him.  We have no other (big) animals in the house, we have a hamster and she has come out, but only in her ball and Buckley just ignores her.

I once managed to hand feed Buckley a piece of banana, he seemed quite content, ate about half and then hopped off.  I can't even coax him out with treats as he won't take them.  All he will eat is green veg (I admit I have only just started giving him veg, so he's only had spinach and greens so far as I'm introducing one veg a week so i can keen an eye on his digestion).

I want to make Buckey happy, but it's like he's got a split personality, the one I got a glimpse of, the happy one that runs around, does a binky, lays sprawled out on the rug and takes food from my hand -v- the neurotic rabbit that won't come out and would run at the sight of his own shadow!  Unfortunately the happy bun is one that I only saw once, and I want him back!

What can I do? How can I make my bun happy? Sorry, I've never had an animal before (except hamsters) and I want to do the best by him.

Any advice will be grefully received.

Thanks and sorry for being neurotic x


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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11/12/2012 4:29 AM
Just give him time - 2 weeks is not much time to get used to new surroundings and rabbits just take a long time to trust.

Sometimes just ignoring them and letting them come to you in their own time is best.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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11/12/2012 4:39 AM
It actually sounds like he is progressing nicely. I would notice the times of day that he has behaved the way you want him to. Was he out on the rug during the morning or early evening? Bunnies are called crepuscular, which means they are their most alert at dawn and dusk. So they will be reverting to their genetic behavior of foraging for food, playing, romping, during those times. They sleep deeply midday and late at night. They may be more energetic in the AM than the PM, so you might have picked him up at a time when he was more relaxed. It can be easier to play during their own 'playtime'.

Otherwise, just make sure he's eating and pooping normally, then let him gradually explore his environment and interact with you. As Sarita said, you can just sit nearby and ignore him (on the rug), maybe hide a treat in your pocket for him to sniff out, and let him come to you. He will want your companionship more than your lap as a rule.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Buckley's Mum
Brighton, UK
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11/12/2012 5:43 AM
Thank you people for your advice, I'm not sure what is normal for eating/pooping as I've only had him for 2 weeks, he seems healthy as far as I can tell. He was pooping in a corner that was the opposite end to his toilet, so I bought him another toilet to poop in and this moring he had filled his veg plate with poop instead!

I guess the times when he was "happy" was evenings and I was sitting on the floor "ignoring" him with my legs just on the edge of the rug (I didn't want to take up too much room on the rug as it's his space to run on) and he has sniffed me and then ignored me, at these times I haven't tried to touch him. I've put a trail of spinach up my leg and carried on reading, but his bravery only goes so far.

Unfortunately, I can't offer him treats as he won't take them/doesn't know what they are (

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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11/12/2012 5:52 AM
I would put treats down by his food so he can taste them - it's natural for a rabbit to be suspicious of someone trying to trick them by offering them "treats". None of my current rabbits ever take tricks from my hand. I've had rabbits in the past that would so I just don't think it comes naturally to all rabbits.

I guess imagine yourself a small little rabbit too and hands reaching out to you.

User is Offline Sarita
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11/12/2012 5:56 AM

I would go easy on the spinach, it's high in oxalates.

I suggest you follow this list from the House Rabbit Society (make sure you read the article in it's entirety as well):

http://www.rabbit.org/care/veggies.html


User is Offline Buckley's Mum
Brighton, UK
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11/12/2012 6:22 AM
Thank you, I have looked at the list of veggies, and to be totally honest, I haven't heard of most of these, I don't know if this is a US/UK divide, and I don't know what oxalates are, but I'll cut back on the spinach, shame as he seems to really love it, that just leaves "greens" that I've introduced this week.

What "treats" would you recommend I leave him? I bought him some carrot drops? Some kind of orange round things, I left one in his bowl and the following day, it was still there, so I think he is rather unimpressed with that. Are raisins considered treats? He liked mini shredded wheat, are they okay?

Thank you and apologies for being slow (

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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11/12/2012 7:03 AM
It is true that some of the veggies are named differently in the UK.

The article gives a very good definition of what oxalates are, so it's worth reading.

I would not give him any of those store bought treats or really any sweets - those are what are going to cause an inbalance in his gut flora. I do think one raisin a day would be fine if he likes that. Mini shredded wheat or any kind of grain is a no-no as those will also upset the gut flora.

There are some fresh fruits that are listed that are recommended (in small quantities) that would make good treats.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Rabbit won't come out

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