Does it Upset a Rabbit to Move it from Hutch to Hutch Each Day
The simple answer to this question is... it depends on the rabbit. If your rabbit has been handled since birth, they will be more comfortable with daily handling. If your rabbit has not been handled, it will become fearful when you reach into his cage.
Your rabbit will become accustomed to his space. He will mark his territory by rubbing his chin on things like his feeder, corners in his cage, toys, etc. Taking your rabbit from this familiar area and putting him in a strange place can be stressful for him.
Sometimes this is unavoidable, like when you need to clean his cage or take him to the vet. If you are simply wanting your rabbit to come out of his cage and play, there are ways to encourage him.
Some rabbits are not used to coming out of their cage. They tend to want to stay where they feel safe. Some things you can do to encourage your rabbit to explore is to leave the door open on his cage and leave the room. Always make sure before you do this that the room has been properly rabbit proofed. Cords should be put out of reach or contained in conduits away from the rabbit. Furniture that should not be chewed on should be moved.
Keep an eye on the bunny while remaining out of sight. This may take quite a while. Eventually you should see your rabbit sniffing around the open cage door. After a while, the rabbit may venture partially through the door. Depending on the timidity of your rabbit, this could take several days.
Once your rabbit feels safe, he will exit the cage. If you enter the room, all excited about your rabbit's big break through, he'll turn right around and run back into his cage! Try to contain your excitement. Eventually your rabbit will enjoy running about, even with you in the room.
If you simply need to move your rabbit, is it truly necessary to move him from hutch to hutch every day? Most rabbits will do fine when being moved temporarily as long as they know they have a home to return to. Rabbits do fine being transported to shows, being taken to the vet or being moved to another cage for breeding or when their primary home is being cleaned. Moving them every day may make them more timid or aggressive.
If you notice your rabbit is thumping his foot at you, he may be telling you he is frightened. This is a good time to leave him be. Most rabbits won't become aggressive unless they are afraid. Try to figure out what is causing the aggression. It could be a dog that is worrying him, new people in his environment or the fact that he doesn't feel safe anywhere. Moving them constantly can have this effect.
The best thing you can do for your rabbit is to watch his behavior. Learn to understand what he is telling you. If he is afraid, try to reassure him and let him have a place to hide. Check him over to make sure he is not injured or in pain. Once your bunny becomes used to you and the routine care you give him, he'll be more comfortable.
Donald Stuart provides more information about Rabbit Cages and Hutches on his website at http://www.rabbit-cages-and-hutches.com/** Attn: Ezine editors / Site owners **
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