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Handling rabbits Do's and Don'ts!

Discussion in 'Behavior and Handling Techniques - Rabbits' started by Livestock lover, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Dec 1, 2016
    Hens and Roos

    Hens and Roos Herd Master

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    maybe a pair of gloves would help. In our experience it seems that the rabbit is trying to get you to back out of their area. When we handle and carry rabbits we like to tuck their head under our arm(like a football hold) it seems to help them stay calmer.

    you should probably separate out the male so you don't have more litters then you are ready for at this point. The humping behavior is probably a show of dominance.
     
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  2. Dec 1, 2016
    mygoldendoe

    mygoldendoe Loving the herd life

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    Yeah I'm working on their hutch, they'll be seperated but on the same platform.. the whole thing should be complete this weekend. I don't mind them having babies right off. My husband is used to the whole thing but he works so I'm in charge of them during that time. he thinks I'm a scary cat lol. I did wear long sleeves during this morning's feeding. It made me feel lil better so I'll definitely try out gloves when i check on there water in few hours. only 2 will use the water bottle. The all prefer the hummingbird type feeder water set up
    The one that lunged last time came & stood in front of the door and made weird noise so I waited til she was distracted by food to finish cleaning. The wood&wire travel cage I bought them in is too small to displace one until this weekend (at least i know I wouldn't want to be in it for two days if I were a bunny)
     
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  3. Dec 1, 2016
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    @mygoldendoe - to a rabbit person, the scenario you are describing sounds most like a dominant doe (you were told it's the mother of the others, so it fits) that may very well be pregnant. Any rabbit can be territorial about its cage, but does seem more prone to it, and even a normally easygoing doe can get grumpy when pregnant. I don't blame you for not wanting to get bitten; I have a scar on my wrist from a rabbit bite that happened more than 15 years ago - those teeth are sharp, and some of 'em don't play around!

    Rabbits have a 'pecking order,' and this rabbit thinks she outranks you. Rabbits can growl when threatening; I'm betting this animal was standing up with her head up and maybe ears laid back - that's rabbit body language for "If you don't get out of my space, you're gonna get it!" Height is dominance; crouching low is submission. If you are putting your hands low in the cage, or approaching her from a lower position, she thinks she's "higher" than you. If you have to put your hands in this dragon rabbit's cage, come in as high as you can, and don't move away if she comes at you. Put your hand on top of her (if you can do it without getting bitten!) and hold her down and away from you as you do what you need to in the cage. As I said, she may be pregnant, so she may have an excuse for being nasty, but I don't put up with rabbits that are just cranky by nature. A certain amount of personality is inheritable, and I find dealing with such animals too unpleasant to want to risk creating more of them.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2016
    mygoldendoe

    mygoldendoe Loving the herd life

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    Thank you so much for this information and technique! I will definitely apply it to try avoid another issue.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2016
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    My neighbor wears kevlar sleeves that have thumb holes to handle her rabbits, and that makes for fewer places that they can bite and scratch while you're handling them. We have always culled rabbits that bite, even territorial moms, because I was so terrified of rabbits that bit.
     
  6. Apr 27, 2017
    I❤my Flemish Giant

    I❤my Flemish Giant Exploring the pasture

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    Do you have any pointers on how to get rabbits out of their cages? Front opening cages.. thank you
     
  7. Apr 27, 2017
    samssimonsays

    samssimonsays Milo & Me Hoppy Tail Acres

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    I have found that grabbing the scruff of the neck and supporting their butts and pulling them out sideways or backwards has helped with French Lops. It seems the bigger they are, the harder it is to find a way THEY prefer and they all like things done certain ways.
     
  8. Apr 27, 2017
    mygoldendoe

    mygoldendoe Loving the herd life

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    I will say the scruff in one hand then holding ankles with other hand while their butts sit btwn that arm and my side works for my older ones. The ones I had commented on on page 1..I had got those meat mutts from unknown housing and handling as it was at a livestock outdoor market. It took a month for them to completely warm up to me and be tolerant of being held. Time and some "treats" (dandelion flowers and leaves by hand if picked long enough, wild violet flower and leaves) are your best friend. As for all their babies, they come running to the cage door for letting and love being held bc iv held them from day 1.
    However we got more since then. They are pure breed from breeders who showed their rabbits so they got handled a lot. They are the best temperament and will crawl out for you to hold them if you hold your hands out just right. Only took a week for them to adjust to me and i don't have to hold their back ankles hold like my mutts, just under belly by back legs with butt sit btwn arm and side.
    So practice different holds on them since I have to do different ones on individual ones.. and I think knowing background of their handling is important when considering new ones. Definitely makes cutting their nails easier when they tolerate/love being held. To me I already learned to avoid ones who answer the question of "how well do they handle nail trimming" with "I don't know I haven't tried it" even meat raisers want healthy happy rabbits and nail/teeth/ear checks/care is apart of that.
     
  9. Apr 27, 2017
    mygoldendoe

    mygoldendoe Loving the herd life

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    Sorry for such quick crude drawing, just didn't want u to misunderstand what I ment by ankle hold. (Bc some ppl mean upside down by ankles.) That's not what I mean..See how hips are sit btwn my arm and side. That's the one they like best. Alot of times I don't even have to hold scruff after they relax. I move to support chest..
     

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  10. Apr 27, 2017
    animalmom

    animalmom True BYH Addict

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    Good, CLEAR drawing!