Rabbit Survival Behaviors... ?


Loving the herd life
Aug 26, 2020
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I thought this would be fun to talk about and bring up.

Today I brought one of my younger rabbits that was a bit more tame into the house. I put her sort of on my lap and under my coat while wearing it. The interesting thing about this is that she'd sort of try to dig through my coat and the couch. She sort of moves around, looks for a place to hide and dig, tries to dig, rinse repeat. This is quite frequent and happens several times in a 2 to 5 minute period with breaks between the spurts.

Anyway this kind of behavior is interesting.

When they are outside I can't observe this much and hadn't much until now.

But I think it is survival instinct, survival genes, etc whatever you want to call it. I'm guessing you can say this is even healthy behavior that should be promoted in breeding because in a natural environment this would allow the doe to survive.

But what's also interesting is that this behavior was in an ordinary white new zealander that you wouldn't guess to have these behaviors.

It seemed interesting to bring up.

And I wondered also what other survival characteristics and behaviors others are observing? What do you think? What have you seen?


True BYH Addict
Nov 26, 2020
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Salisbury Maryland
Well they are diggers for one. Could be that she was just investigating a new environment or scared and looking for a way out. I pile up hay or straw in their hutches just to watch them dig and root thru it. Any change to their home will get a response. Move or add something they get inquisitive. Figure they lead pretty boring lives so I try to add some stimulation. I put mixing jiggers in the hutch as a toy. Being metal it makes noise when it hits the wire. I put on the radio when I'm out with them for xtra noise.
Far as survival, they run and hide if a loud noise is too much. I clapped my hands to flush a huge flock of starlings they were so loud. One rabbit freaked, kicked his food bowl out and cowered in the corner.
Neighbor lights a fire and they hide cuz of the smoke. On the radio I play alot of country, bluegrass, blues. Let a song come on with a harmonica and one acts flighty. He has a plywood sitting on sawhorses porch. He runs back in real quick and gets in a corner if something spooks him, harmonica gets him quick. None act scared when our dog is with me. He doesn't pay them any attention but they watch him. Stick their heads out and watch him go by. They definitely don't like a lawn mower,lawn tractor or gas weed eater. Get in the corner, or in the boxed end of their hutch.
I've got 6 all but two are different breeds. 5 mos to 5 yrs in age plus the 4 that died for different reasons and they all pretty much acted the same. Some just ain't into getting picked up, nails clipped, and try to kick loose.
I will say your brave bringing her in the house. I've been peed on and I'd swear it was revenge.

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