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We came home on Sat with three friendly, tame rabbits. Two days with my children and the mother is growling at me. Help.

(34 Posts)
Jumente Mon 28-Sep-09 17:42:00

They were perfect, very nice, sat to be stroked, etc etc...then mistakenly I took my eyes off ds2 and he dropped the run lid in on them, probably scaring them badly, and then ds1 climbed in the run this afternoon to 'see' them and kept mucking about with the ladder while I was dealing with a spate of phone calls, despite knowing he isn't allowed to, and when I went out to feed and stroke them just now, the babies were fine but the mum went to attack me several times sadsad

I am distraught.
I don't know if keeping the kids away from them for a few days will work, I justw ant my friendly bunny to let me stroke her again - she even attacked me when I was stroking the baby. (4mo)

PLEASE can anyone talk me through what I need to do now. I can't bear it - we only just got them and already the boys have buggered up a beautiful friendship. I am really really upset.

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 28-Sep-09 17:46:18

i'm sorry but your boys didnt bugger it up, you did so dont blame them they are children. i dont know what you could do but it will take time for the mom to trust you again.

Jumente Mon 28-Sep-09 17:50:09

Cheers for that.

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 17:56:37

Don't worry too much mum will get over it. My rabbit growls at me if he's in a mood and doesn't want to be messed with and he's a very tame house bunny. Try not to let the boys play with them unsupervised for now. Can they go in for a run round the house and get used to your smell?

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 28-Sep-09 17:57:51

no i wasn't being funny i was being truthful you need to set rules for your boys, such as not to touch when you are not there, be gentle and sit down when holding them, give them a book to read or read it together.

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 28-Sep-09 17:58:59

rabbit book i mean

Jumente Mon 28-Sep-09 18:00:25

We did all that

Do you have really well behaved children that never do anything you ask them not to?

Thanks Cornsilk. I hope she does get over it.

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 18:02:02

lol I don't. My ds's are really noisy and boisterous and our rabbit has had some near misses. Doesn't bother him in the slightest.

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 28-Sep-09 18:02:07

regards animals yes.

good luck anyway.

PinkTulips Mon 28-Sep-09 18:03:21

tbf, TSSB has a point, why are the kids able to access the rabbits without your supervision?

they sound like quite young kids if they're carrying on like that so if you brought pets into the house you should have ensured that they were in an area safe from unwanted attention from the kids.

southeastastra Mon 28-Sep-09 18:04:57

my female rabbit 'attacks' me if i try to pick her up or if she senses me above her. she is however a sweety when i stroke her and let her sniff me first.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 28-Sep-09 18:05:10

Can you secure the hutch / run so that the children cannot access it? You need to 'protect' the rabbits from the kids grin

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 18:07:15

Actually that's a good point SEA. Rabbits don't like being picked up from above as they're prey animals. Could be why she was so spooked if something fell on her from above.

Jumente Mon 28-Sep-09 18:09:43

Right ok, I will just go and walk under a bus now shall I?

The rabbit run is in the garden. The children sometimes follow me out into the garden, and have mainly been great, but I slipped up and they just got overexcited and this happened.

Ds2 should have been supervised better, i know that was my fault - the rabbits were not hurt and i didn't realise he was even interested in them until I saw him trying to put the lid back on.

Ds1 was just sitting in the run, trying to stroke them, he is 6 and we had sat and stroked them togethert he day before, I had told him he needed to be gentle and he WAS.

I am not even sure tbh why the mother has reacted so strongly to what was really not that bad stuff going on...the lid falling in yes, but she seemed Ok with me after that - it was only just now she started getting funny.

I'm sorry if I shouldn't have even got rabbits, perhaps it was just a huge mistake in which case I will just have to find them another place to live.

Thanks Cornsilk for trying to help rather than apportioning blame, albeit deserved. You lot must think I am really stupid/careless/ a total idiot. The reason I missed ds2 trying to take the lid off was that I was digging a fecking trench to sink wire into so they can have free range of the garden. I have spent the last 3 days putting up a massive fence for same reason. I CARE about them fgs, I had better leave this thread as I am too cross now.

Jumente Mon 28-Sep-09 18:10:22

Cross posts as well - thanks hec and SEA, i appreciate it.

babster Mon 28-Sep-09 18:14:42

You're not an idiot. IME female rabbits can be pretty narky - I had one who growled and nipped - and you might need to get her spayed to calm her down. My gorgeous male rabbit had to be neutered as he kept spraying me with pee - nice! They are cute but hormonal little beings.

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 18:19:06

Jumente mum may have become cross anyway. It might have nothing to do with the ds's who were behaving like perfectly normal children. At least they're interested in the rabbits. The babies probably loved having ds in the run! I know mine is nosy like that.

thesunshinesbrightly Mon 28-Sep-09 18:19:21

you blamed your children so i made you aware that it wasn't your childrens fault, sometimes the truth hurts.

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 18:20:30

Sunshines you are not helping.

southeastastra Mon 28-Sep-09 18:24:33

the mother rabbit will be ok, but let her sniff you first. they usually like being stroked on the bit between their eyes, it calms them.

but mine would attack if i touched her back or from above. if i need to pick her up it sometimes helps if i cover her eyes!

cornsilk Mon 28-Sep-09 18:26:46

Oh I do that as well SEA! My bunny also loves being stroked there. We are a pair of rabbit whisperers I think.

Northernlurker Mon 28-Sep-09 18:34:55

Jumente if you are still reading - at the end of a day with lots of things changing and new stuff happening and the kids running round like mad things I bet you are a bit grouchy. Same for your mummy rabbit - animals get stressed too. She won't hold it aginst you though - just take things slow and steady as others have suggested.

Of course you care about the rabbits and the kids are not rabbit savaging horrors! It's a new dynamic in the family and will take a little time to adjust for everybody but it's a really positive thing for your lads to learn to care for animals and they are obviously very keen. It's all good really smile

FernieB Tue 29-Sep-09 08:37:48

Babster is right - female bunnies can be a lot more aggressive than males anyway. She may just be in a mood. I wouldn't worry about what happened with the boys (kids are kids) - I don't think your rabbit will hold it against you. She will get used to the boys. It took ours a while but now whenever my girls pick her up, she just relaxes into it - she soon worked out that they always give her treats.

I've found with our female that she is more aggressive at certain times of the months (she has PMT). She also doesn't like being picked up from above (or at all really), but if you ignore her grunting and pick her up anyway, she'll probably be really lovely and cuddly.

Sounds to me like you've put a lot of thought and work into preparing yourselves for these rabbits. I think they've lucked out with their owners. Enjoy them, don't stress about them - sounds to me like you're doing everything right.

TheBalladofGayTony Tue 29-Sep-09 08:39:24

time for rabbit stew methinks

ChilloHippi Tue 29-Sep-09 08:54:56

You could put bolts on the run to stop the children opening it. That's what I've had to do and it works.
My rabbits (both female, kept separate) both growl occassionnally. In fact, one of them used to hate me and would go for me, growling, but would let DH pick her up. I persevered and she's fine with me now.
I wonder if it is having the mother in with the babies that is a problem?

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