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!