I get this question on a daily basis so that always means it’s time to blog! The number one quality families want in a bunny is for them to be snuggly. You will see in our videos we post on Instagram of us holding and handling the buns and they are calm. I’m always asked… “Which bunny is the most snuggly out of the litters?” So let’s get into the nitty gritty of what to expect when adopting a baby bunny.
First off, rabbits are a prey animal but did you know that domesticated rabbits are not even the same species as wild rabbits? Those cute cotton tails you see hopping around your backyard are apart of the hare family. Domesticated rabbits belong to the Lagomorpha family. Although rabbits are prey animals, there are many ways to socialize domesticated rabbits to have them living happily in your home.
The first and most important stage in bunnies lives is how they are raised from birth, which is the breeders job. Here at Blue Clover our bunnies live indoors in the most realistic home style environment. We have individual solid floor pens that are spacious enough for each mama and her babies. Aside from a clean and spacious environment, socializing is the most crucial part of a bunnies development. Every breeder or person has their own opinion and I respect that but this is my point of view from raising rabbits since 2011.
When babies are born here they are handled from day one. Did you know domestic rabbits eyes don’t even open until around 10-11 days? Wild baby bunnies are born with their eyes open for obvious reasons. Otherwise there probably wouldn’t be very many wild buns hopping around due to predators! So since domestic bunnies eyes aren’t open, they cannot associate anything with sight yet. They are also born deaf. So this leaves “touch”. They can most certainly feel everything around them. It’s so important to make a bond with them at this early stage so they are familiar with being handled and pet. Once their eyes open, they can associate you handling them with sight now and you are not a threat to them. This is a crucial step in development and one of the main reasons why we are not a “hobby breeder”. This is a lifestyle and it’s every single day for me. Occasionally I have helpers come too!
So all that being said, no breeder can ever guarantee personality traits in baby bunnies. We can give you a description of what they are like currently, which is usually easy to handle and sweet, but things can change and most likely will change. Some change more than others and it’s not always bad changes. Just normal bunny behavior changes! I've seen it where people have had super snuggly babies and then a few months pass by and they are still very social but don’t like being handled. Sometimes it is honestly human error and I have actually helped numerous people just tweak and adjust the way they pickup and handle their bunnies and everything is ok after that! And in rare cases, sometimes the buns just do not want to be picked up. So yes, you can have a snuggly baby bun (and you most likely will) but it “can” change.
Rabbits go through a hormonal stage and it can start as early as 8 weeks which is right when you would be getting them. That doesn’t mean that every rabbit that leaves changes the day they get home. But it’s just to educate you that it is possible that the hormone levels could increase that early. A hormonal rabbit will usually be “testy” or have an attitude like a teenager. Males will tend to run in circles around your feet and almost all male buns will spray pee once they start getting hormonal as well. Both genders can get attitudes and you may notice them stomping their feet because they don’t approve of something or they are irritated. This is all normal behavior to expect and the solution is getting them fixed sooner than later. Call to ask your local exotic (experienced with rabbits) vet to see what age they spay and neuter rabbits. Some can do it as early as 3 months while others will wait until 6 months old.
All in all, when you see cute tiny baby bunnies online, be sure to keep this information in mind when making a decision whether to get one or not. Baby bunnies are cute and snuggly and adopting them from responsible and reputable breeders will definitely increase the odds of having a social and hopefully snuggly bunny. But the reality of it doesn’t always turn out that way. We are in contact with SO many families that have adopted bunnies from us and a lot of them have snuggly bunnies still to this day. It’s not too common that we’ve had families have difficulties handling their buns but it has happened as with every other rabbit breeder in the world.
If you are completely set on only wanting a snuggly bun then your absolute best option is to get one that is at least 6 months old and already spayed or neutered. Those buns will mostly be set in their ways by then. So if they are easy to handle at that stage then you probably got yourself a winner!
This blog wasn’t to scare you out of adopting a baby bunny. But more so to educate you on what you could possibly encounter. Like I said above, if you find a responsible breeder that handles their babies daily, your chances will definitely be higher of getting a snuggly bun!
Giving back to the community
The reason I chose to list this as the first reason is because it's the most meaningful to me. We started taking our bunnies out in the community last year and we've recently been blessed to find a few more homes and a nursing home to bring them to! There is nothing like seeing the look on families faces when they come to pick up their bunnies. Don't get me wrong, it's such a good feeling. But to see the residents in these homes smile and say that it made their whole week is simply priceless. I've heard so many stories that break my heart such as families never coming to visit them anymore because they are too busy or "not themselves" anymore due to their condition. I could rant on about my opinion on that but I won't. But I will say we only get our family once and once they're gone, they're gone. Be there for them and spend time with them.
Also we recently just started doing bunny therapy session in our home! I love watching people oh and ah over our animals. It brings joy not only to them but us too! I'm so thankful that God has opened a door for us to be able to do this. We are in the long process of finding a new home that is bigger to accommodate larger groups and more activities for our community to come to! Can't wait to see what the future holds for Blue Clover!
Here are a few pics from the adult family homes we've been to! I wish you could see the looks on their faces but unfortunately due to confidentiality, we can't post their faces. They all have the biggest smiles though!!
We raise boxers as well and it still amazes me to this day that Bailey and Bo do SO well with our bunnies. I remember how good Bailey was when she was just a puppy and when we got Bo I said to myself...there is no way I will have two boxers that are good with bunnies. Well lo and behold Bo loves the bunnies as well! They are so gentle with them and Bailey is such a nurturing dog. I almost think at times she thinks they are her babies! From some of the pictures below you'll know what I mean! Boxers are high energy dogs but with the proper training they can be very well behaved. I've been considering writing a blog post on how I socialize our dogs with the bunnies so you may see that in the near future!
I frequently get emails from families that just send me updates on their bunnies. A lot of the time the emails start out as, "I know you're busy but..." or "I don't know if you'll see these but...". I am a very busy lady but I LOVE getting updates and I see and respond to every one of them! Never hesitate to send me pictures or updates! Some of my best days start out with messages I wake up to of families who are sending me selfies with their bunnies or letting me know how well they are doing. Some people even have questions or concerns and I never want you to feel like you can't ask me! The fact that you are reaching out and concerned or just wanting to see if something is ok gives me comfort that you care about the well being of your bunny! If you have a bunny from us than you have bought into a life time support system through us so don't hesitate to use it!
Below are pictures I've received from families! These are so valuable and they're all saved to my computer!
When you are passionate about what you do, there is no telling how far it can take you!
It's very important that your rabbits get the right amount of nutrients every day. Feeding your rabbit incorrectly can lead to obesity, dental issues, and possibly even death. Rabbits are more sensitive animals than a cat or dog so making sure they have the correct diet is vital to their well being.