Getting to know your bunny and what they do/don’t like can really help build bonds with them and can be an indication of how much they trust you etc.
Binkying: This is a sign of happiness and excitement. This action is known as a ‘Binky’ and is presented when a bunny will run, jump and twist mid-air. Your bunny is very content
Buzzing: This ‘buzzing sound’ usually indicates that your bunny is ready to mate, it can also mean that your bunny is very happy. A neutered/spayed bunny can still make this buzzing sound, although of course it isn’t relevant to ready to mate.
Chinning: ‘MINE!’, if you look closely, rabbits have scent glands under their chin. So, when they are chinning objects, they’re marking their territory with pheromones. This smell isn’t strong enough for humans to smell.
Licking: If your bunny licks you, this is a sign of love and complete trust <3
Circling: This is a behaviour that is found when your bunny is ready to mate as a way of courting, although it may also mean your bunny wants your attention. Therefore, I recommend to give them more quality time/fuss/a treat which will get them to stop; for now!
Flopping: This is so entertaining to watch! Your bunny will ‘flop’ (usually after stretching) very dramatically to one side, or even a full roll! Rabbits do this when they are feeling really comfortable and relaxed. It’s so cute to witness!
SPLOOT: Your bunny’s hind legs will be stretched out behind your bunny as they are lay down. This looks very comical and means that your rabbit Is feeling safe and relaxed.
Nose-Nudging: When your bunny nudges you, it either means ‘get out my way!’ or it can be if your bunny wants more pets. For example: you could be giving them fuss, stop, and then they will nudge your hand for you to continue.
Playing: Bunnies play by throwing around and picking up objects. My bunnies love to throw around seagrass balls and wooden chews. They also love empty toilet rolls to play with, so don’t throw them away!
Tooth clicking: This sound is similar to purring and means that they are content. This sound will usually be heard when you are stroking your bunny as they will likely be calm and relaxed.
Honking: This usually means your bunny, regardless of gender, wants to be bred. It’s a indicator for maturity as it’s a act of courting. Although this can sometimes just mean that they’re happy.
Biting: a sign of aggression. This means that they are scared or angry. Biting may be triggered if they do not want to be messed with and/or they feel threatened by you. Sometimes your bunny will bite out of fear and this can be hard but not impossible to break the habit. If you have been bitten give you bun some space and after a while slowly approach your rabbit from the side (so they can see you and aren’t startled) with a treat and pets. After reading a lot of different advice, I would NEVER EVER encourage or recommend you hit your bunny. This will not only will make it harder to bond with your bunny: But will also consolidate for them that you are a threat and the negative behaviour will worsen.
Grunting: Indicating anger or unhappiness about something going on around them. They may scratch and bite whilst grunting; this can be due to feeling threatened by something in their environment or being territorial.
Lunging: This generally happens when your bunny is feeling territorial of their space, a potential way to get them used to this could be giving them a treat so that they associate the cage opening to something positive. Also, approach them slowly and from the side so that they are able to see you as you approach so that they don’t get startled.
Screeching: If your bunny screams (very high-pitched noise) it usually means they are extremely scared or in excruciating pain. This is horrific to hear. This could be due to a bunny being extremely unsocialised. Please always make sure that you approach your bunny slowly and NEVER wake them from sleeping. They must be awake and alert to their surroundings.
Mounting: Of Couse in the case of un-fixed of the opposite gender bunnies mounting indicates intercourse. Although, bunnies of the same gender will usually mount one another, this is very common and is a sign of dominance. In some cases, though, be sure to make sure that you truly have the gender of bunnies you were told as sometimes even the best breeders make mistakes. So, it is always best to get your bunnies gender confirmed by a rabbit Savvy vet when they have their first check-ups in their new home.
Nipping: This is different to biting as it usually indicates then want your attention although this behaviour should still be discouraged. A bunny could also nip you accidently whilst trying to groom you. Nipping is a softer, and more gentle bite which isn’t due to aggression.
Thumping- Usually expresses anger or irritation to something going on around them. for example: Un-neutered males will thump when with a female to show dominance as well. Although, this can also be a way of your bunny telling you they want more attention.
I'm Aimee. Owner of Old Garden House Rabbitry. I have created this blog to put together some information of bunnies into one place to help pet owners & other breeders
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