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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > all of a sudden the chewing is rampage!!!!
Last Post by BB at 8/17/2007 7:27 PM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 6:23 AM

so, about a month ago Fujoe and Patina started to chew on the furniture- hard core. I mean, I had a really bad problem with Fujoe chewing on the baseboards, so I have cardboard stapled to all of the baseboards.

So around the apartment I have cut peices of 2x4's, cardboard boxes, strips of cardboard stapled to all exposed baseboards, 5 phone books, pt tubes, and plastic toys. They always have unlimited hay- so it's not like they are hungy, and they shouldn't be bored.

The thing is, that it's been really bad starting like a month ago. Nothing has changed in that month. They get plenty of attention and are free range except for at night where they are caged in their bunny condo.

So far, nothing has deterred the bunnies.. perfume does NOTHING (i've tried 5 different types), neither does garlic, ivory soap, lemon oil or any type of spray. Spraying the bunnies with water doesn't work either. They both know the command "no" and freak out when I say it (i'm italian, and somehow became an Italian mother with my bunnies), they both know "cage" as I have been herding them towards the cage when they do something bad.

The thing is I can't be there everytime I hear chewing. If anyone has any suggestions that I HAVE NOT tried, please help me out. Using perfume and putting more stuff out isn't something I want to hear. I've done the perfume and I prob. have more chew toys and such out than most people on this forum. I'm sorry if I sound mean, I'm just going really crazy.

 


User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 7:18 AM

Wow what a pain! You must be at your wits end! Bunnies beware of your Italian momma! This sounds to me like a behavioral issue rather than simply being exploratory like normal chewing usually is. On a slightly related note, do you switch the toys out? Bunnies can get bored wtih them. Otherwise....

Since it seems you have ehausted and thoroughly explored the perfume, lemon oil, board, carboard etc. Have they ever shied away from your hands when you've had a particular scent on them? I do have other suggestions as well but will only offer them up upon your request, totally respecting your wits end of putting stuff out. So, I would suggest confining them in a penned-in bunny-safe area (like an x-pen) with short visits outside of it and if they chew, put them back into the pen. Often times we do need to treat our bunnies just like kids because they can be cute and sweet but also like a two year old child too, who also needs time outs as well.

If however you do not want to confine them then we would need to explore other "things to do" like taking some hardware cloth, screening, NIC panels and placing them over the areas where they chew, clapping hands loudly or even shaking a can of pennies at them (careful with the pennies as some rabbits are more frightened from it then it working as a disciplinary tool). But the idea is also for them to associate corrective action not with you, but with an object, otherwise the relationship can be strained between you and your bunny (they'll often run away and will be afraid of you). I'll think some more about this and if I can think of anything else, I'll post more.

Has anything around the house changed besides what you are trying to do to stop them from chewing? New vacuum cleaner, new aerosol, new carpet, new noise....?


User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 7:51 AM
The toys are switched out- cardboard boxes changed, new 2x4s, ect. I might get some new cardboard now and see if that helps.

I dont' wear perfume or scented lotion or anything and they don't shield away from me. I mean, the only time is when I cook meat Patina gets freaked out- but not Fujoe.

Right now they are in their pen and I don't think that they are going to come out till at least tomorrow. I had to do this with Fujoe last year- I confided him for three-four days, and it helped. But the thing is that he was really crazy back then and had never been calm. Like I said, they were great till like a month ago.

The apt. is bunny proofed. I have the NIC panels and pet gates around areas. They are going after 3 pieces of furniture that aren't covered up. There's just somethings I can't cover.. I might just cover the legs with cardboard? But I mean, I really don't want to. The place looks bad enough with the baseboards covered.

The clapping never worked either. It did for a little bit, but it doesn't bother them now- I live by three bars and they are used to loud noises. I have mixed feelings about the jar of coins. I can try again, but it wasn't successful.. they got really scared, but then as soon as I stopped shaking they would go back to chewing.

The only thing I can think of is that we have had a few more people over at the apt. But have they gone after the furniture? The other thing YESTERDAY they completely chewed the legs of one of my tables. It's just really bad, really fast

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 8:07 AM

Hmm, did the visitors have any animal scent on them? That's very interesting that they chewed more fervently after visitors, almost as if they are insecure about their place in your apartment and are trying to reaffirm and re-establish that the place is "theirs." When you have new people over you may want to consider confining them or do you already when newcomers are in your place? Then keep them there a while longer after they have left (if they are visitors). If these newcomers are more a permanent fixture in your household, then you might want to try to get your newcomers to formally introduce themselves to your bunnies and show them that they are not there to threaten their territory. Do any of your visitors smoke?

Making your place still look nice while still being bunny proofed can be a challenge. In lieu of cardboard, you can try plexiglass as well but it is also more expensive too. For sofa legs I've seen many who "skirt" around the bottom with wood to hide the legs and keep them from being destroyed while others simply unscrew them from the bottom and rest the couch on the floor. Table legs are more challenging and often a deterrent is placed on them, grapefruit oil, orange oil (some bunnies adore the orange oil), lavender oil and even some bath oils work as well. Something I think you really might want to give a go with is Murphy's Oil Soap. Just clean up your table legs with a slightly strong solution of it (it's bunny-OK and even repels pests like fleas and ticks too).

The confinement method that you've tried before works well and not only provides you with instant relief but gives you time to recollect yourself and plan your next course of action as far as bunny proofing goes. I've been very lucky with my two, they never chew baseboards, just any kind of cord, shoe or sock.

That's funny you mention the meat cooking, my two are the same exact way about it, they freak out or are more tense than usual.

Anyway let me know what you think! I'd be glad to help you figure out your next course of action.


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8682 posts Send Private Message
8/11/2007 10:06 PM
Fujoe, Egads, I'm sorry you are going through all this again. I wonder what's up?!! Scarlet has given you some great suggestions. Can you refresh my memory - Didn't you move recently, or were planning on it? Is the furniture new too? It is strange that this started happening after your visitors. What kind of animals do they have, if any?

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 8:29 AM
I'm still in the new apartment. I move into the new one aug. 31. I haven't started to pack yet, so I don't think it's that. The furniture isn't new- it's the same stuff I've always had.

I mean, but a few new visitors it's like 6 the past month, and they have visited mulitple times. But they all have given the bunnies lots of love and attention- pets and treats (ranging from cilantro to raisions). so it's not like they have been ignoring the bunnies.

I don't know if any of them have animals... wait, only one does- it's a family cat whom he doesn't like and doesn't pet. That's it, and he's been over only twice.

What else could have triggered the bunnies??

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
4371 posts Send Private Message
8/12/2007 12:33 PM
Any change in the enviroment and even bunnies repond heavily to the owners too. Say if you are stressed, so are they, if you're tense, they know that too. I find that most bunnies usually reflect how the owner is feeling or as a response to that. They could very well know that they are moving again too, which is stressful. Bunnies tend to like things to stay the way that they are, they're just more comfortable that way. Perhaps your neighbors are fighting or creating a ruckus and tense environment for them? If I am particularly stressed my two bunnies will become destructo-buns so I be sure to give them a few more chewing toys and love on them to let them know that everything is OK. It's really tough to say and it really could be the scent of the cat that has them going. Cats and bunnies are alike in that they like to mark their territory and the scent of cat rubbing from a pant leg off onto furniture etc would set off an episode with them.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8682 posts Send Private Message
8/17/2007 7:27 PM

hmmmmm. Well, Scarlet brought up some good points. Also, even if your guest has a family cat that he doesn't interact with, just by living in the same place, he will have the cat's scent on him.

How are they today?

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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > all of a sudden the chewing is rampage!!!!

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