BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Eating Paint & Chewing cement
Last Post by DrMarie at 9/13/2012 11:55 AM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Furbrats' mum
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5/09/2012 10:25 PM

I'm desperate for some advice here. 

I have 2 rabbits - a 9 month old lion head & a 6 month old Jersey Wooly..

The lionhead has always been into chewing & eating my floor skirting which is cement - has no problems digesting it- he eats it until the old flooring which is marble is showing & then he moves on to a new area

Recently, we had some water leakage from the next door renovation & caused the paint on the wall to be 'soft' & easier to peel, both rabbits have now gone into a frenzy, eating & digging whatever paint they could. 

My husband is so frustrated that he has taken to swatting the air and chasing them when they come into the house (they both have a pen each at the courtyard which is rabbit proofed & not accessible by outside preys. They are rarely caged these days, instead they have access to the whole courtyard when we are at work & the whole house when we are in. 

They are now super frightened when they see/hear my husband coming but it doesn't deter them from continue destroying the house. 

I've tried punishing them by banishing them into their pens. Tried rubbing pepper water on the areas. Tried holding them down and loudly say NO...nothing seems to work..

I'm at my wits end, i dont want my buns to be afraid in their own home, yet i do not want to see my house being torn apart literally. 

Anyone has any suggestions? 

User is Offline Sarita
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5/10/2012 3:19 AM
Welcome. First off, rabbits just don't understand what they can and cannot do and when faced with the temptation, they just give in.

I think part of the problem is the indoor/outdoor situation. If it were me, I would bring them indoors full time and when not at home keep them in a pen.

When you are at home and let them out to roam, you are going to need to rabbit proof the areas that you allow them in and you don't need to allow them in the whole house.

Much of this behavior is also age related - are they altered yet? Young rabbits do tend to be more prone to chewing and destruction at this age.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
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5/10/2012 11:12 AM
I would be concerned about the paint eating being a health hazard.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline bmt87
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5/10/2012 11:38 AM
I agree about the paint eating being a health hazard.

I don't necessarily agree with the rabbits not knowing what's right and wrong/where to and not to go - they know...they just choose to do it anyways. Sarita was right about the temptation. They just have that look when you catch them underneath your bed when they know that the bedroom is the one room off limits.... or maybe that's just my bun. They are not stupid animals.

I also agree with Sarita about the age-related thing. If they aren't already fixed - I wouldn't be surprised if after they are spayed/neutered they become less destructive.

Is there a way you can purchase a baby gate to block access to the area? Or surround it with an opened up xpen?

User is Offline LBJ10
Bunny Name Master
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5/10/2012 11:47 AM
I don't even want to know how much paint my buns have actually eaten. o_O It wasn't intentional, of course. For some reason, buns just think paint and drywall are tasty. I really have to watch them to make sure they don't find a new spot to start digging into.

User is Offline Sarita
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5/10/2012 2:49 PM
Eating paint is obviously not something you want to encourage but I imagine it is not enough to be toxic since most paints are water based. It would take alot of paint eating for it to be toxic.

I really don't think rabbits truly understand "right", "wrong", "good", "bad", these are human concepts - rabbits live by instinct and survival - you must change your behavior and your rabbit's environment when your rabbit is "acting out". That's not to say they aren't intelligent, they most certainly are or they would not have survived this long.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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5/10/2012 4:06 PM
As an ex-painter for a living, I would say keep the bunnies away from the paint. If it's toxic and can kill fetuses, it can kill your bunny.

User is Offline Furbrats' mum
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5/17/2012 12:33 AM
The bun thats eating all the cement & scraping the paint is healthy - no health issues AT ALL. He's altered, had him neutered/spay 2 months ago because he started humping the female bun (we were initally told that he was actually a she until we brought back a female bun & he decided to hump her)
THe female bun on the other hand is docile, mild & not destructive, doesnt eat cement or scrap of paint - but she has multiple health issues which is causing me so much hard ache- at the moment she cant use her hind legs and her jaw has been nipped to remove pus from the abccess and she has not been eating since yesterday.

They do know how to differentiate outdoors and indoors - they know they cant do it because if they hear me coming, they will stop & look all innocent and cute - which i then know they were up to no good

User is Offline DrMarie
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9/13/2012 11:55 AM
My rabbit eats paint and baseboard too. I've been trying really hard to think of a genius way to protect the walls that won't look atrocious. I have a ton of white coroplast and I was wishing there was a way I could attach it to the walls without nailing it in (though, nail holes will be easier to patch up when I move out than massive chew spots and missing paint). My other idea was to find something really heavy that she can't just shove out of the way, and just line the walls with it, like cinder blocks for lack of a better idea, except that would look horrible. If I ever come up with a brilliant plan, I'll report back.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Eating Paint & Chewing cement