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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Suggestions for raising my pet rabbit, Tigger.

Hi, I am new here. I have a 7 week old bunny named Tigger. He was born on April Fools day. I also have a wild cottontail bunny named Tiny that lives in my back yard. Every year the Mom comes back and has 3 or 4 kits and they live in a nest she built on few years ago under a pile of wood in my back yard. Which I now leave alone. Even though it is an eyesore. Usually the cottontails leave after about 7 weeks and come back every Spring and early Summer. She usually has two litters a year. But, this year Tiny has stuck around. He is the only kit left and after 10 weeks, he is still here. He comes out several times a day to eat. Usually they only come out in the evening or a night, but Tiny seems to sleep during the night and is up all day. I feed him grass, hay, some treats, and he knows I give his food now and will come close and even smell my hand. But that's as close as I can get. I never do anything to upset him. I hope he stays.

Tigger is my pet. I keep him in a very big cage by the kitchen table. He is box trained, except any time I let him on the bed. He pees and drops some pellets every time. That is the only place he goes that is outside of his litter box. I have tried everything to get him to stop, but no matter what, as soon as he gets on the bed, he goes. Now, I just don't let him on it, but he loves being up there. He loves to be "up" anywhere. He loves to climb and will climb to the ceiling if I let him and he could figure out a way to get there. He loves to be where I am as high as he can get. He absolutely loves to be petted and sit on my lap, but hates to be picked up. Now, I have a small box, 5 by 5 inches that he gets in and then I can pick up the box with him in it. No problem. But pick him up, and he will fight me all the way, no matter how supportive or gentle. He knows when I point to the box he is going up and likes it that way. He is a terror on the corner of walls. He likes to chew on the wall corners. I have tried everything I can think of to get him to stop. I have tried spraying the wall corners with vinegar water, pepper, hot stuff, mustard, anything I can think of that I know he doesn't like the smell of. He knows what NO is, and hates water. I say no a couple of times and then give him a small shot of sprayed water, but he just comes right back to it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. His cage has a canvas floor which is easy to clean after some trial and error, and he has a small house that he can hide in and a large litter box, plus his food, a piece of clean untreated wood to chew on and his toys. He likes his cage clean. He doesn't seem to dig very much but likes to scratch on corners of things, like there might be something in them. He loves to run at full speed around the house when he gets floor time and jump, sometimes he jumps and runs at the same time. It's very funny. He loves to jump up on things and launch himself off them or up them at top speed. He is very smart, but is very stubborn and won't stop chewing on the wall corners or scratching at them. Plus I need to cut his nails and no way, no how. Even when I try to put him to sleep, he fights it all the way and won't go to sleep on his back rubbing his around his nose, he gets groggy, but won't sleep. Any suggestions on trimming his nails would be appreciated and the wall thing. He has a lot of strange quirks but I love him and he seems to love me.

Tigger would sell his momma for some lettuce, parsley and alpha sprouts, but doesn't like carrots or fruit. I use them as treats and for training. I don't feed him this other stuff, but let him tastes things to see what he likes and doesn't. He likes chips, crackers, bread sticks, bread, cinnamon buns, peanut butter, soy sauce, cheese its, cheerros, vinegar, and chocolate. He doesn't like apples, fruit, carrots, cabbage, onions, mustard, pepper. He eats Pfau feed and Timothy hay as his main food, but won't touch it unless I am eating. I sit down to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack and that is the only time Tigger will eat his food in his dish. He won't touch it unless I am eating by him at the kitchen table. He eats his hay and treats anytime, but nothing from his dish unless I am sitting down and eating at the kitchen table.

I still haven't found a toy he likes yet, though. Doesn't care for balls, stuffed animals, paper towel rolls, small plastic trays, matchbox cars. Any suggestions?

I have tried to do a lot of research on pet rabbits, but any owners out there that can help and make suggestions is appreciated. It's great having a place to go to talk about it with other owners and animal friends. It's great to read about all of the things everyone else is going thought and getting information. Thanks, All of my friends call me Doc as my nickname.

Last edited by Doc777; 05-28-2010 at 03:50 PM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 04:54 PM
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Get him nuetered. That should solve the bed thing.


As far as the wall corners go, all you can really do is block it off with something. NIC grid panels work really well for blocking things off, so I would definatly reccomend those.


For nail trimmings, Ive found 2 methods that work pretty well: One would be to sit down with your bun on your lap hald snuggly against you, and gently pull out the foot that needs to be clipped from under him. Thats how I do Smudges nail. You can also put them on a grided surface so that their nails stick through the holes, and just clip them from under there... They dont even realize that their nails are being cut!


And NEVER feed them chocolate, cheese, or any of those other things you listed!! Rabbits are lactose intolerent, and dont even get my started on the chocolate, cinnamin buns, peanut butter, ect that you listed! Its very possible that you could have killed your rabbit by feeding him those things! Please dont ever do that again!


Its fine that he doesnt like those other veggies though... They arent really very good for buns anyways (And Im pretty sure that onions are toxic/poisinous). Mine get romain lettuce, parsley, and a small piece of carrot every night. You can try collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, cilantro, ect too.


Have you tried giving him a blankie or towel? Those are both big hits with my 2!



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 05:13 PM
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You should never feed wild animals. You feeding the cotton tail is probably the reason its schedule is completely reversed; rabbits are generally most active at dawn and dusk. Feeding wild animals, no matter how good your intentions, can rob them of their natural instinct to find food, and instill trust in humans that they should NEVER have. Please stop feeding the wild ones, and leave it up to them to find their own food. That's the best thing you can do. They are perfectly capable of handling, and feeding themselves, without you.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 07:32 PM
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I agree - the wild rabbit will do just fine on his own. He needs to be able to provide for himself and act like a normal wild rabbit, or else he is at greater risk of becoming another animals dinner.

My rabbit Ziggy was born on April fools day too, or so I was told by his former owner. Ziggy is 3 years old though. Your rabbit is only 7 weeks? Baby rabbits really shouldn't even be taken from their mothers until they are at least 8 weeks old.

Getting him neutered should improve his litter box skills. However, you have awhile to wait until he's old enough. Most vets recommend they are neutered around 6 months of age. For now, I would just recommend keeping him off the bed.

Hating being picked up is normal. As for the chewing, you need to rabbit proof the areas you let him out in. You should block off the wall corners with something so that he can't get to them, or else get or make him a pen that's big enough for him to run around in, to keep him safely enclosed.

Not all rabbits can be tranced by putting them on their backs. They don't actually go to sleep when you do this, they just stay very still. Be careful doing it if he struggles a lot, it's possible that he could hurt himself. To trim his nails, try the ideas Jess mentioned.

You need to stop feeding him junk food. Obesity is common in rabbits and can lead to a lot of health problems. Not to mention the junk food you are feeding him could really mess up his GI track. GI problems in rabbits are very serious and can often be deadly.

For toys, try a cardboard box fort. Cut holes in a box so he can run inside. My rabbits love to hide inside the box and chew on it too. You can take paper towel rolls, stuff hay inside them, and hide a few rabbit safe treats inside the hay.


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestions, What are nic cubes? I only let him have a taste and smell of the junk food to see what he doesn't like so I could put it on the wall corners. so don't worry, he has a fine diet. With Tiny, the wild cottontail, I only give a little bit of food which is mainly grass, which is what he eats on his own. A little carrot and kale. Tiny mainly eats and provided for himself. He has since his mother left him. I don't disrupt him much. He mainly get curious when I am in the backyard and he will come up to me, and even smell my hand, but that's about it. I talk to him in a very calm voice, but for the most part, I leave him be as I have with the wild rabbits for years now.
The trimming the nails on the grided surface is a good idea. I will try that.
When I got Tigger, I thought he was a little too young to be sold, but he is doing great and the vet said he is in excellent health. The vet suggested I neuter him after 6 months too. I have tried the box thing and toliet and paper rolls. I just can't seem to find a toy he is interested in. Again thanks for your comments. We appreciate them. Doc
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 09:08 PM
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If Tiny, the wild cotton tail is coming up and sniffing your hand, you still have got him FAR too tamed. You need to stop putting food out for him altogether. What you're doing is really very dangerous, and if he starts walking up to you, you need to either turn around and walk away, or chase after him to get him to run away. You need to cut off physical contact with him. Wild rabbits were designed to thrive off of the vegetation that was available to them - and if you're feeding him, then he's gonna be opportunist and start depending on those goodies instead of what may be widely available there, or somewhere else - that'll lead to malnourishment, and then a dead bunny. He needs to scavenge for his own meals, by himself, without your help, or you're just signing his life away to malnutrition and misery. He's wild for a reason.

My fiance's parents have been feeding the wild deer and turkey and rabbits and foxes around here, despite our earnest pleas to get them to stop. The foxes are getting to the point where they're becoming less afraid of us, and because I can't verbally stop my fiance's parents from doing this, I chase the critters off any chance I get.

There is a lot of harm in feeding wildlife, despite how innocent it may feel. They're out there in the wild because that's where they're meant to be. Please; just leave Tiny alone. He'll find food to survive, and if he doesn't, then he'll hop his little bunny butt to someplace where he can. No harm, no foul. You have your own rabbit to take care of and be amused with, you don't need Tiny, too.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Tigger's cage is 36 by 48, is that still too small? He still fits in the palm of my hand. He looks bigger in his picture than he actually is. I'll back off on Tiny, but I haven't tamed him, he comes to me. All I do is kneel down and talk to him, as I have with the others for years. Thanks for your help. Doc
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 12:44 AM
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If he's approaching you, he is tame. Interacting with him in a positive way (ie, teaching him that humans are not something to be afraid of) is 'taming' him, and as the others said, you're doing him a huge disservice.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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If Tiny wants to stay, I will take care of him for the rest of his life. I don't think this is the case, He is just staying longer than the rest is all. He zips to his hole at the first sign of anything, including other humans. Except me, he runs to his hole when I am out there, but comes back out after to see what I am doing. I came to this forum to get to meet other rabbit owners and get suggestions about Tigger and learn, and I am willing to listen to anyone that has rabbit experience. I love all animals. But instead I am just be criticized about Tiny. Except Jesse. There is a difference between suggestions and help and criticize. You guys can now blast me all you want or you can help. I basically live in the wild because I love animals. My backyard even though it is fenced, is two feet from a mountain in Montana. I help and support animals every day. I just happen to have a special place in my heart for bunnies.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:19 PM
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I dont think anyone is horrible critisizing you... Every one just cares alot about bunnies, and we wouldnt want anything to happen to Tiny. I mean, if Tiny learns that Humans = Food, then what would happen to him if he goes up to the wrong kind of person? There are some pretty nasty people out there who would happily shoot him, run him over, throw rocks at him, let their dogs kill him, ect. You dont know that he will never associate other people with food. If he is used to being fed, and he is desperate enough, then he will. :/


Im sorry that you are getting the wrong impression from this forum, but every one is telling you to do what is best for Tiny.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I told everyone I will back off from Tiny and I won't feed him anymore. I have listened to everyone. I want what's best for him too. They all go to the mountain when they are old enough. The Mom comes back every year though, twice a year and has for 5 years now. She knows she is safe here and the woods are on the other side of the fence. They all have a patch of rust on the back of their necks, that's the only way I can tell them apart from the others in the back.
Is Tigger's cage big enough and what are nic cubes? Thanks, Doc
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:12 PM
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Patch of rust is normal. It's general agouti coloring. My rabbit has the same coloring, and she's an agouti/wild-bunny color pattern; so unfortunately, you can't tell from that if they're the same rabbits, 'cuz all rabbits with the "wild rabbit" coloring have that.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 10:37 PM
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NIC stands for "Neat idea cubes".

These...

http://yuppish.net/wp-content/upload...1014cubes.jpeg

They are sold at stores like Wal*Mart and Target as storage cubes, but a lot of people use them to make custom rabbit cages or to help bunny proof rooms. Try doing a google image search for "Neat Idea cube cage" and you can see pictures of some of the cages people make with them. They can be very impressive!

Cages should be at least 4 times the size of the rabbit. Bigger is always better, especially if your rabbit spends a lot of time in his cage. It should be tall enough that they can stand up on their hind legs comfortably without hitting the top of the cage. They should get at least a few hours a day of time outside their cage so they can get exercise and explore.


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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 12:35 PM
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You cage size sounds fine to me. Its 3' X 4', sooo thats 12' square of room. How much time does he get outside of his cage every day?
Smudges enclosure is 7' X 2' and he is free range during the day, and Oreos hutch is 8' X 2'... Bigger is always better, so you can include lots of toys and tunnels and things to play with so they dont got bored.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 03:43 PM
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My bunny Akina came to be with serious obesity to the point she couldnt eat her cecals (food matter passed through the tracts again to obtain extra nutrients and are vital to a bunnies health. They eat them directly from the anus). Her last owner dropped wal mart food down for her to eat and graze on all day, no hay and poor Akina had no toys either. The cats would go in the room (bc she wasnt caged) and they would hump each other. There was also a rat cage in the room and the rats ate canned ravioli and garbage canned processed food which they wuld toss out of the bars and Akina would eat them leading to her obesity. Her coat was dull and might have been patchy- I dont remember- and she took a while getting used to a small handful of food a day, bowl of fresh veggies and unlimited hay. So as long as you keep your bunny off these junk foods- EVEN JUST TO SMELL- you should be fine. Im just sharing my experience about obesity with you.
The tame wild guy out back, yes, Im not attacking you but leave him alone.
NIC are found at wal mart type stores for like 20$. Theyre wonderful bc you can design a cage and they can stretch and jump and you can add tunnels and shelves. It's totally versatile and IMO theyre better than cages.
Good luck!
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