View Full Version : Kicking and biting

Aspen and Misty
01-15-2003, 08:28 PM
When I go to pick Jilly up she will kick wildly to get away. I always let her sniff my hand before picking her up and then go under her tummy slowly so I don't spook her. But once I get her off the ground she begins to kick. I havn't been lettign her out cause I was told the chasing might get her upset and not to be hedl, btu I think its more of she LOVES to be on the ground. She just loves to have that free open bunny hoppin space. Any sugestions on what to do? Also Jilyl will just walk up to me a bit me for no reson, it doesn't hurt but it kinda freaks me out and now eery time she goes near my face I freak out a little and she goes running back to teh end of the couch. If there a way to stop biting???


Aspen and Misty
01-15-2003, 10:45 PM
Also, I've been gettign toys for Jilly and she doesn't seem to play with any of them. I don't want her to get bored in her cage cause she is in there so much. Any ideas would be welcome!


01-16-2003, 10:38 AM
Most rabbits do not like to be picked up and held, they are a ground loving animal. You must remember that they have been (still are) prey animals for thousands of years, so their fear is instinctive.

Jilly knows she can get away from danger when on the ground. However when she is held she knows she is vulnerable and could be hurt/killed. So most rabbits will struggle to get away. You have to be really, really careful when you pick them up and hold them firmly, with one hand under her butt and the other around her chest. Their bones are very fragile. Many rabbits have broken their back, neck or legs in their struggle to get away from something(one) which is so much bigger and louder than they are. The absolute best way to play and communicate with your rabbit is for you to get down on the floor. There you are are their level and most buns will interact more readily with their humans.

When you say you haven't been letting her out, do you mean out of her cage? Exercise is essential for all rabbits, especially young ones like Jilly. They should get a minimum of 2-3 hours twice a day. Ideally the cage is on the floor so you should be able to open her door, walk away and let her come out on her own. The cage is her place where she feels safe and by forcing her in or out she may become aggresive thinking she has to protect her space. So never force a bun in or out of their cage.

It's not unusual for a baby bunny to bite. It's one of the ways they explore how things taste and feel and is also one of their limited defense mechanisms. I'd guess if she is nipping at you she wants you attention. However if she bites you very hard she's telling you to back off and leave her alone.

Bunnies DO NOT learn correct behavior via punishment like a cat or dog would. There are only 3 correcting responses I can think of. One is to squirt her with a stream of water from a water bottle but it has to be immediately when she bites, not 30 seconds later after you have gone to get the bottle. The second way is to yell OUCH (or whatever) loudly, again the second she bites. The last way is to GENTLY push her head down to the floor so her chin in resting on it. Keep it there 5-8 seconds. In bunny language this tells her you are the boss. All 3 ways take several repetitions before the bunny finally gets it. Buns don't have long memories so if you don't respond every time she bites she won't connect the punishment with the biting. Most bunnies do outgrow the biting stage unless they are abused or frightened.

Baby rabbits are a lot of work but so darn cute they are worth it. Good luck with Jilly and let us know how the two of you are doing.

Aspen and Misty
01-16-2003, 06:19 PM
I know, we alow her out. I don't know what I was saying. She still gets her 2 hours of exercise every day, latly she has been getting more since I've been home all day. Thanx for the info.