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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > Welcome ! > I'm a new bunny mom and I need HELP!
Last Post by kinggoblin at 5/29/2012 9:37 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Serrra
7 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 1:55 PM

Rabbit names: "Punky"  My son named her.
Rabbit Age: About 8 weeks, born March 31
How long has your bunny been with you? 3 days
Spayed/Neutered? Not yet
Rabbit Personality Traits I'm still learning how she is, but currently she's either very skiddish or mostly just lays around.  I'm new to rabbits

I really need some advice/help.  I bought my bunny from a breeder... she told me to leave her in the cage for the first few days so she can get used to her new home.  Tonight (third night I've had her) I couldn't help myself and I let Punky out of her cage to explore my small living room.  Kids were in bed so it was just us.  I got down on floor level and watched as she hopped around apparently very happy to be able to run around.  Then, she went and squeezed herself between the cage and the wall and she was panting so heavily.  It scared me a lot, like maybe something startled her.  I attempted to pick her up and put her back in her cage, she wasn't having it, she ran away from me.  I have read you're not supposed to chase your rabbit so I waited a few minutes longer and attempted to pick her up again.  This went on for a good little while until I was able to get a hold of her and put her back in her cage.  She scratched me (I'll get over it, it's to be expected) but she seems terrified of me.  How can I bond with this baby bunny without scaring her the way I think I did tonight?  I want to be a good rabbit owner and I certainly want her to be happy and comfortable in her home.  If anyone can help me with how to bond with my bunny your advice would be greatly appreciated.  I hope I didn't ruin our relationship by what happened tonight

User is Offline Sarita
Forum Leader
17489 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 2:05 PM
With rabbits you just have to take your time and be patient. Baby bunnies though are just normally going to be more curious - you do need to confine her for awhile and really rabbit proof - rabbits this small can get anywhere and most of the time getting them out of the unwanted place is stressful for owner and bunny.

I think at her age, you should just keep her confined for a bit until she grows up some. Bonding just takes time and will probably happen later after she gets comfortable in her surroundings. Keeping a routine is also important....rabbits like routine and are not comfortable with change.

And one night of stress is not going to strain a relationship - don't worry.

User is Offline JustBun
24 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 2:41 PM
For the first few weeks of getting to know my bun, I blocked off an entry way where there was no place to hide and slowly expanded it to more space. I provided toys a litter box and and table he could run under to feel more safe if necessary. It was a small area, so he had no choice but to get to know me! I just sat in the area and let him run around and explore until he felt I was safe enough to get closer to. I hand fed treats such as carrot and bunny approved lettuces. If you can make your small area where the cage is, it might be easier to lure her back into her cage with a treat.

User is Offline Serrra
7 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 2:43 PM

Thank you for replying so quickly.  I cannot emphasize enough how much I want to have a successful relationship with my new bunny.  Everything I read was so different when I actually put it to practice.... kind of like all the reading I did before I had a baby LOL  

I appreciate you replying so quickly, you definitely helped put my mind at ease.  I don't know who was more stressed, me or my new bun.



User is Offline FrankieFlash
1715 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 3:38 PM
Welcome! I was in your situation numerous times having raised bunjamin from being a baby and thinking I was suppose to let him out but when I did he'd get into impossible places and I'd have to chase but not really chase him to get him back in and all that mess. Then I started letting him have short amount of out time in my walk-in closet (bathroom sized) and I kept it shorter times. It was really hard to rally him back up though when he was a baby. I think it's hard for babies to trust us and bond. But eventually he did calm down and let me pet him and we bonded but it takes time and A LOT of patience. And don't worry about him being mad at this one event, if you continue to treat him right, he'll forgive your mistakes

Also, when he gets a little more trusting where you can get him back with a treat, try the sit of the floor and ignore him method. Eventually he'll come explore you and that's a good bonding exercise- him seeing you on the floor but you not trying to pick him up or pet him. Maybe even give him a treat when he does come to see you.

User is Offline LBJ10
5547 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 6:27 PM
Don't worry, she will get over the "trauma" after awhile. I agree with the others. Let her become comfortable with you before letting her out. When you do start letting her out, keep the space small. Let her come to you. She is probably just overwhelmed right now, but she will eventually warm up to you.

User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
5/28/2012 7:44 PM
I am working with bonding with my foster bun (really who am i kidding everyone says she will be my fourth!) anyway she is about 8 - 10 week so I just get her on the couch with me, lie back and put her on my chest, i find them hearing your heart beat helps, and then just give her pats. once she gets comfortable she starts to explore my body and last night tucked herself up near my shoulders and went to sleep. This way there is no chasing and she knows that I am a safe place. I did this with Bugz and Anya and they both hate me and are happy to only see me when it is feeding time but if they are out and they get scared (like Bugz did the other day in the garden) they come flying to me and try and climb my leg! This way i know if they freak out they always come find me which is funny and cute.

User is Offline Serrra
7 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 6:54 AM
Have any of you guys tried those small animal playpens on Dr. Foster and Smith dot com when introducing your bun bun to your home? I was thinking of trying one of those, good idea or bad idea?

User is Offline LBJ10
5547 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 8:37 AM
How tall are those. Some of them aren't tall enough for those little spiderbuns.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 11:03 AM
Definitely set up her cage so she can get in and out on her own! Most rabbits hate to be picked up more than anything, so she'll trust you much more if she can come and go as she pleases. I like to feed dinner at the time I want them back in the cage, so they go back on their own with no chasing.

I do think she definitely needs some out of cage time! My buns have a plastic pet store type cage attached to an exercise pen. It's really too small as their only exercise space, but it works fantastically as a cage. I'd get a 36" tall pen meant for dogs - don't bother with the ones meant for small pets as rabbits can often jump out. The dog ones are sturdy and will last forever. They're also great if you need to travel with her because they can fold flat in your trunk.

For her exercise time, I'd block off an area of a room or even a whole room if you can bunny proof it well. Mine have always lived in the dining room (in multiple houses) and I find that it's a nice area without much to get into (no wires, minimal furniture, etc). Something like that or a spare bedroom would be nice. Just don't suddenly let her have a huge un-bunny proofed area to run around, but a small safe area would be great. Just sit there with her and read a book or something and she'll come up and check you out and you can offer treats.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline bunnyfriend
2343 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 1:03 PM
Hi welcome The best way to get a rabbit used to you is to ignore them and let them see that you're okay. After that let everything be on her terms.
RIP Tigger          Wilbur             Totoro

User is Offline Serrra
7 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 4:39 PM
Update: Tonight we got through 40 minutes of out of cage bonding time (didn't feel like much bonding was involved but hopefully that will come). I moved the cage to a hallway and blocked it off so that there was nowhere unsafe for Punky to go. I just sat there reading my BORING ethics text. Punky came up to me only a few times, sniffed me, and left quickly. I didn't try to pet her because she still seemed so nervous. She ran back to her cage every few minutes and finally she tuckered herself out. I knew she was ready to go back in her cage because she finally just went back in and flopped down. There was no trauma or panic attack for either of us tonight Also, I brought a piece of banana as a treat and I discovered I don't think Punky likes bananas. We're going to do the same thing until she feels more comfortable. What kind of activities do you guys do with your bunnies once they're acquainted to your home? I still feel very clueless as to what life is going to be like with a bunny. I'm not going to lie, I thought that rabbits wanted to be held, sit on your lap, next to you, etc but that doesn't seem to be the case. I know this might sound a little finatic, but I want my bunny to like me and right now it seems like the only reason she tolerates me is because I put food and water in her cage LOL.

This is definitely going to be an exercise in patience for me and I hope to build a lasting relationship with my new friend.

User is Offline JustBun
24 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 4:58 PM
I'm excited to hear there were no panic attacks the second time around! I also thought my bunny would want to sit by me a little more than he does, but we have found lots of little games to play. It took me quite a few months to figure out exactly what he liked to do, again practicing more patience. I have lots of toilet paper tubes he likes to pull out of my hand and pile up, a phone book he likes to tear and dig at when I hold a page up, he comes when I call him and lays down next to me to be petted and sometimes we play hide and seek but I always have to be the one hiding! We pretty much have a routine now of when he gets out to play, when he wants his pets and when he gets his greens, he knows it and will let me know if I'm late. I think learning how your bun communicates with you is one of the most interesting parts of being a bun mom! Good luck getting to know Punky!

User is Offline LBJ10
5547 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 5:14 PM
Sounds like you're off to a good start. I wouldn't worry just yet, I'm sure your bunny will come to love you in her own way. Each bunny is different. Mine will come up on the couch with me to check stuff out, but they will scurry off just as quickly as they came. Some bunnies do like to sit with their owners though and that might even be something that comes with age. As far as games to play, you can try handing her things to toss. I like to use sticks or toilet paper tubes. You could also try some interactive toys. Mine like their teach n treat and will "ask" me to put it together for them.

User is Offline kinggoblin
409 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2012 9:37 PM
I kept my lop in a cage the first few days, I sat in front of the cage for hours talking to him and would come into the room multiple times and talk and trying to offer him basil and other veggies ( since he never had greens before I was trying to tempt him ) but he wouldn't take them, but on the 3rd day he took the kale from me! Then the next day i blocked off the kitchen and made sure there was nothing for him to hide behind and opened the cage to let him out, I don't think he came out until the 4th or 5th day, he was confined to the kitchen for about a month.

Almost a year later and he is my sweetie and loves attention and pets, still wont let me pick him up though but oh well lol
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