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    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 5:02pm (Feb 23rd 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    We brought our bunny girl home today; it has been both a happy and a sad thing.

    We got her from a breeder who was adopting her out because she is downsizing. Aubree (our name) is 7 months old and has never been bred from - she is absolutely beautiful!

    Now the sad part: she clearly has VERY poor eyesight or is completely blind.

    Usually I would think that was okay, but firstly I'm annoyed because we have either been lied to or (sadder still) the breeder didn't watch her well enough to know she was blind. I'm also sad because we wanted a bun that could free range a lot; play with toys, come see us etc. I don't know if she will be able to do that, or if such an open space would scare her a lot...what if she freaked out and bolted into something?

    The other huge issue is her cage, which is a two tier cage. Now the good thing is, because it's split into two levels, the continuous space is quite small (means she can't get lost so easily) the bad thing is obviously the ramp.

    She's nice and careful, she smushes her nose and face into everything and walks around the edge of the cage to try work out where everything is. She has already discovered the hole which leads to the ramp, but she hasn't been onto it yet (she's only been home 30 mins), we have since leveled the ramp out so it isn't as steep.

     photo aubree1_zpsds4ixgj3.jpg

    The whole idea with Aubree was that she would have access to a pen (currently 2ft x 3ft until she was litter trained, then would be 3ft x 5ft) when we were home, caged whilst we were out, and free roaming for 2-6 hours a day, averaging about 3-4.

    I have no idea how easy it is to litter train a blind bun (I've only potty trained ONE rabbit!) and I'm worried about giving her lots of space. I don't know what to do!

    Her eyes are healthy (no cataracts) but they look exactly like the blind dogs - pinky but with a very very pale iris.

    Now I love her so much and I WILL NOT send her back, because she will most likely end up being PTS. What do you think we should do? Can she live happily? Any ideas about free range time?

    Pics of our first cuddle (yes, I have crazy hair now, I know, I know, I match my hair :tooth: )

     photo aubree_zpsnzcxxrzz.jpg

     photo aubree2_zpsbvijqle7.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 5:30pm (Feb 23rd 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Someone on my blog has just reassured me Aubree will be fine and will easily be able to live a happy life :) This person's mum has owned rabbits for over 20 years, including blind ones, and the person who commented also had a rabbit that went blind as he got older. They said keep her in a small area for quite a while until settled, and just keep all cage and household furniture the same!
    *phew* feel better for her :)
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 5:32pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
    I agree that she will be put down if you take her back; I think her best chance at having any life at all is with you. She's a lovely girl, and it would be terrible if she were PTS. Animals are very clever and adaptable and I think she will respond beautifully to clicker training and to your voices. Can you ask a vet? It's just possible that her eyes might be treatable. As long as there are no risks for her (falling off a platform in her cage) I reckon she'll be fine.
    And at least she won't be scared by your hair :rolling: Just kidding, it looks fab!:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 5:37pm (Feb 23rd 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hey nobody has been scared of my hair yet...Raiden tried to eat it & I'm pretty sure the quail think I'm poultry now and have a comb :rolling:

    Thank you CC :heart: She is a beautiful girl and seems really sweet. It broke my heart when I could so instantly see she was blind, I was so angry! I know pink eyed rabbits, guinea pigs and rats can have really poor eyesight, but I've never seen one this bad. I think she can see very bright light (when I stood in front of the window she turned slightly) but she can't see anything else - I moved my hand side to side, forwards and backwards etc and she didn't react. She also had no idea I was feeding her kale and cauliflower leaves until she sniffed them out.

    Do you think a vet visit is a good idea then? I think I will phone them tomorrow.

    I asked the person's mum if she thought a hammock would be a good idea (to stop any potential falls) and she said the hammock might encourage her to just leap OR she could get tangled in it, so to leave it as it is, especially now the ramp is easier to get up and down. We will see how Aubree does, I'm not even sure she will use the downstairs, we will see. Thanks CC!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 7:13pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
    Awwe she is beautiful and CC is so right about you being the best person to care and look after her. She must be watched over by a guardian angel to have come to you and Lyle. I remember seeing a episode of Time Team a while back and Tony said we have to be really careful in this garden as there are two blind rabbits that live here... the camera panned over to them and they were happily hopping about sniffing and tasting the good things they came across. Animals seem to revert to their other senses when they need to. They adapt so much better than we do and just get on with their life. If you think about how dark their burrows must be yet the manage really well and bring their babies up down there in the dark. She will soon adapt to her new home. So glad you found each other xxxxxxx
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd, 2016 10:20pm (Feb 23rd 2016)
    I completely agree with NN and CC. A vet visit is a good idea so they can assess her vision and be aware of it in case you need to take her there in future. You are the best person to have her as you will enrich her life. I suspect the breeder knew but didn't tell you-dumped the problem. My brother's cat was blind and she managed really well (as long as they didn't move the furniture). She will be a challenge but I don't think you really want a quiet life!, :rolling:
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2016 10:12am (Feb 24th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Awww guys thank you so much, these posts had me welling up!!

    She seems to be settling in REALLY well. She's never lived indoors but isn't bothered by any noises. She seems to have the gist of her cage; she keeps coming out to explore a little but she mostly knows where everything is. I did have to seriously confuse her by a) swapping her food bowl, and b) tying it to the side of the cage!! She'd managed to knock her other 1/3 of the way down the ramp though, so by tying it to the side that can't happen and it will mean she can't ever 'lose' her food!

    I phoned the vets this morning and waited for a call back from 'our' vet. She said that if the eyes look healthy not to bring her in, leave it a few weeks and if there's any change bring her in for a check up, or just phone to double check anything (love our vet, really never makes us waste our money). She did say it's common for first of all pink eyed rabbits to have poor sight (which I did know - Kate I think it was you who told me that actually about rats!) and also said it's getting common in certain colours for breeders to produce and breed from poor sighted or blind rabbits :sad:

    Aubree herself is fantastic though and I really don't think she will have any fear, I'm feeling much better about her socialisation and free ranging now. My only issue is getting her out, I had hoped to train her come out herself but it will be tricky if she's on the second floor bwahaha...still I don't want her coming out for another few days up to a week until she is 100% comfortable, so maybe she will have worked her way down by then.

    Video footage:

    And a few cute is her little moustache?!?

     photo blindbunnylove_zps3er4qowe.jpg

     photo blindbunnylove1_zps6p7yxwdb.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2016 5:48pm (Feb 24th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    We think Aubree is deaf too :(

    We have been amazed how chilled she has been with various noises - she hasn't reacted to the vacuum, me opening her pen and cage, me talking to her, Rey squeaking toys and Kasper now appears she might be deaf or have minimal hearing

    I still think she has a good chance at a very happy and fulfilled life though, so we have NO thoughts of euthanasia. I'll probably phone my vet back tomorrow though to ask if any tests need to be done now she's possible blind AND deaf!

    I bought Aubs some new toys today, but I had to do careful planning to make sure she could use them and they wouldn't get lost / take up room hahaha. So I wanted her to have a toy to chew, and a toy to throw about, but they needed to attach to the cage so they wouldn't get lost.

    I bought her a light chew toy, which she can throw, and a heavier spin / chew toy - funnily enough I have wanted to buy this toy for years but have never had female pets that would enjoy it!

     photo bestday18_zpsa6cadinw.jpg

    Her current layout (I am removing the hay roller toy because it uses space and is pretty useless for her).

    Oh also, I swapped her normal ceramic food bowl for a metal balti dish! As it has handles I've been able to cable tie it above her (so she has room to hop underneath) AND it means it can't get thrown, tipped or lost!

     photo bestday24_zpsw0unasjj.jpg

    So bloody cute :heartsabove:

     photo bestday25_zpsczpw2vyp.jpg

    Also I did do a little training today, by touching her side and immediately feeding her very high value food. She startled, even though I was talking to her before and during, but I don't know how else to train a possibly deaf and blind rabbit!!!

     photo bestday22_zpsletxqykk.jpg

    I love her so, SO much!

     photo bestday23_zpsw8vuk8kt.jpg
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2016 7:36pm (Feb 24th 2016)
    She's fallen on her feet all right there! Perhaps you can alert her to your presence with strong smelling food? Cabbage is fairly pungent. Dandelions?
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2016 9:20pm (Feb 24th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    That's a good idea CC, I like that a lot. And thank you! :)

    Well, I was really getting myself stressed with the fact she was in a smaller double storey cage (larger all together but smaller for continuous floorspace) when she couldn't use the ramp and the hole took up so much of her floorspace, soooo...I swapped her with the quail and she is now in a much larger cage with continuous floor space :bigsmile:

    We put her in a small dog crate whilst we sorted everything and moved the quail over, and it took her aaages to jump out in the end...tired arms or what!

     photo newbun_zpsmlhizjrj.jpg

    You can watch the hop into the cage here, and see her doing her very careful exploring too...she looks so much nicer in there and she seemed very happy *yay* :bigsmile:

    CC have you ever had any pink eyed rabbits? If so, they didn't act this blind, did they? I've had two and never had one act like this, or one that wouldn't react when I waved my hands in front of them or put a blanket over the cage...just I emailed the breeder saying she was blind and they're trying to claim she just has the standard poor pink eyesight and needs to 'adjust' :/

    Few poor quality pics (lost my camera batter charger, have a new one on the way though!), she looks way better in this cage

     photo newbun1_zpsht3saeym.jpg

    She discovered the food!

     photo newbun2_zpsobistrnp.jpg

    And yeah, the quail are in a 200cm, double storey mansion now :rolling:

    Lower level:

     photo newquail_zpsh0zrxjk7.jpg

    Top floor:

     photo newquail1_zps3qqn6uzs.jpg

    All together...yeah I was mean and put them on the top floor and food on the bottom hahaha. Obviously if the ramp flummoxes them I'll move it up, but we'll see!

     photo newquail2_zpsmorg9fua.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2016 10:21pm (Feb 24th 2016)
    Yes, pink eyed rats do have poor eyesight - didn't realise it was the same for rabbits. Maybe she does have a tiny bit of sight, but it does make it really hard if she's deaf too. I assume you've checked her ears to see if they need cleaning?

    We had a deaf-blind cat at homing once. Gareth was lovely and very gentle. We would tap the floor or bed so that he knew we were around and it didn't scare him then when we touched him. We homed him to a lovely lady, but he had a seizure a week later and died. I'm glad he had a home for his last week though. Might work for her as the base of the cage will carry the vibration.
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2016 3:24am (Feb 25th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Sometimes I think she can see a little (for example I stepped in front of bright sunlight in front of the window once and she turned - didn't move, but turned her face) but she didn't shift at all when I waved my hand in front of her (done this half a dozen times now), put a blanket over her entire cage (surely that should have elicited some sort of response?!) and closed the curtains. Hmmm.

    I'm not sure if she is deaf either, or just can't hear very well. Her ears and eyes look fine, she seems healthy other than that. We had to pick her up for the cage swap and bless her she was terrified but did great!
    She's so much happier in this new cage, I am thrilled :) She has been clattering about all night, throwing things about, exploring, getting stuck down the side of her blue box (not properly stuck obviously haha) and grabbing at her toys. Makes me so happy to see because she did none of that in her other cage :heart:

    Kate I love the idea of tapping the cage floor too...tapping = treats, and eventually touching. I've had some good ideas now, tapping, using strong smelling foods and wearing an old jumper that smells a lot of 'me' so she can smell me there easily.

    I'm relieved to hear Gareth was gentle, too. I was worried she would become flighty and would be more prone to biting because she can't see or hear the world around her...we could deal with that, but I don't want her to constantly be on bite alert!
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2016 3:32am (Feb 25th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Oooh maybe I could get her to touch ME using tapping?!

    So it would be: tap the floor so she is alert, then wait for her to sniff out my hand and immediately feed her treats (no point using a noise as a marker if she can't hear!)...that way finding me becomes an awesome thing to do, and in time I could expect more, work in my hand moving, touching her etc. That could work...
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2016 10:42am (Feb 25th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Okay so I found some videos of white rabbits with pink eyes, could anyone watch just a few seconds of these videos and then watch one of Aubree's, and let me know am I mad or is there a difference? :bigsmile:

    These rabbits aren't face smushing, and they seem much more confident...they're able to see ahead, jump onto things, react to hands and not so much the touch etc.

    (you don't have to watch every one hahaha)

    *edited to add*

    Video of Aubree with me going into the pen area and moving several large blockades...the table is about 4ft x 4ft and the other wooden one is 4ft x 2ft. She doesn't react at all, not to the noise of me coming in or the movement.

    I understand eyesight will differ between pets of the same species / colour, but Aubree's is definitely NOT normal.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2016 5:34pm (Feb 25th 2016)
    Clover hasn't got red eyes, so she's not really relevant. 'I play with my cute bunny' (What, to leave it on the edge of a great drop is PLAYING??) doesn't seem to have eye problems. My Fred is red-eyed but seems to cope well with chasing chickens, etc. I sometimes wonder if he's a bit deaf but have decided he's just rude. Once the dogs are away see how Aubrey reacts in the whole room...I think that would be the test. But nothing will tell you like a good vet. She seems to be coping really well though - well done you!
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2016 6:22pm (Feb 25th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Wow, see there's not a chance Aubree could chase anything!!

    I phoned our vet back up and she still said to leave it a few weeks; if anything deteriorates bring her in sooner, but otherwise we both think Aubree was born deaf & blind. She said if there are no other symptoms and she seems healthy, yes they could check her eyesight and hearing but at this point it would only stress her out more. I was relieved with that because I'd feel terrible having to catch and uproot Aubree again.

    I had my first training session with Aubs today, it went really well, she is so sweet! Definitely blind though, no reaction to anything visual and I'm getting towards 95% certain she is deaf, but time will tell. I tried tapping on the cage and speaking to her loudly, but she didn't react at all (not even to me tapping hard on the cage base), but I expect it could be she's used to living in a shed housed next to other rabbits, so vibrations held no meaning to her.

    I sat by the open cage door and just waited and waited, and eventually she discovered me! She sniffed my arm and crawled her front paws all the way up to my shoulder :bigsmile: I have no idea if she knew I was a human, but I kept still. Then I fed her some carrot greens by hand, and some of her new food which she loves, and she took it from my fingers. I sat with her for maybe ten minutes before putting the door down, and she was trying to find me after bless her :heart:

    From what I have been told it is important to leave her in her base cage for at least several days before letting her out at all, firstly so she feels really secure and secondly so that it smells strongly of her. Then I have to begin by letting her roam in a very small area (eg. 3x2ft) and make it really easy to get back to her cage. Every so often (I thought every 4 days) I can increase her area by just a little, until eventually she has the entire room to explore. Furniture can't be moved, which will be tricky for me haha!!

    She had a really great night last night in her cage and was throwing toys about all night and just having the time of her life. Made me much happier because she did none of that in her other cage. She's also using the square mesh hay toy so I'm glad I left that in.
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 10:04am (Feb 26th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Had another brief 'hello!' session with Aubree yesterday - I love this girl so much :)

    We mainly just did what I did earlier, than I held out a sweetcorn treat stick which she nibbled on. I then hung it on the side of her cage, thinking she would be used to the smell after chewing on it, but after walking into it she spent the next ten minutes fleeing, danger thumping, warily sniffing it out, then running away again...I felt soooo bad, I thought she'd be fine because she'd already chewed it for a minute or two, but it really scared her! Still, she did recover and twenty minutes later was chewing on...not a complete fail, but a good reminder to be more careful in the future.

    Also, here's her pen (4ft x 2 or 3ft - see the scary corn in the corner?!), which we are planning to let her out in for the first time in a day or two!

     photo aubreespen_zpsrboybrkh.jpg

    It's ever so slightly larger than we had planned, but there are NO corners, gaps, or crevices for her to get stuck in and she should easily be able to find her way back to the cage - it's perfect :smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 10:54am (Feb 26th 2016)
    Both my white bunnies were pink eyed Red and they were different shades of pink in each rabbit. Luckily they didnt seem to have any sightloss or hearing problems but they were an old well established breed so that may have made all the difference. be careful when tapping to alert her as that might be similar to a warning. Dont forget they do thump their feet to alert all other rabbits when danger is about. It is a very good way to make her aware of your presence though as they are quite sensitive to vibration. Have a look on some rabbit forums as they will possibly have some info that you might be able to use to help you get going. So proud of you for not giving up on this sweet little one xxx
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 11:36am (Feb 26th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    NN what a great idea!!! I'd had a quick look and thought I couldn't find much helpful info, but that was when we only knew she was blind - knowing she was blind and deaf I found this amazing thread:

    Now not only does it have some really helpful tips (which I'll talk about below), but it was reassuring as a lot of the things suggested were things we are doing (like tapping the floor / cage - thanks Kate!) AND their rabbit does a lot of things Aubree does too...checking corners and sides with her nose, not responding to the vacuum was how they figured their boy was deaf etc etc :bigsmile:

    Some cool ideas I'll put here in case any other owners of deaf and blind rabbits turn up:

    ~ Ways to alert them to your presence: tap the floor (there was talk of 2 taps meaning food, 3 taps meaning strokes etc!!), blow very gently in their face, touch one whisker etc.

    ~ Toys a deaf and blind bun can enjoy: blankets (digging, somewhere to curl up etc) & stuffed toys...we are heading out today to find some for Aubree!

    ~ When you feed them wave your hand over the food to waft the scent, so he knows he has been fed

    ~ Tie as many things as you can to the side of the cage so things can't get lost - we have found a metal balti bowl makes for an awesome food bowl because both handles can be cable tied to the bars, but you can buy screw on pet bowls too

    ~ Keep the cage furniture the same for as long as possible, so that they aren't startled by things

    ~ Try to avoid picking them up, or figure out a way to communicate that they are about to be picked up - imagine how much terrifying it must be to be blind and deaf and suddenly be lifted into the air, especially when you are a prey animal!

    The funny thing is the rabbit in the thread is also very chilled, which is Aubree to a T when there is nobody petting / trying to pick her up etc. She sprawls anywhere and everywhere, whereas obviously rabbits with no sight and hearing problems that are new to a home tend to only relax in safe, private areas.

    Ahhh NN I'm so glad you prompted me to find this!

    Also I didn't know a bunny's diet was supposed to be 80%-90% hay, I feel terrible now...I thought it was supposed to be about 60% hay, 30% veggies and 10% feed!! Ooops, will sort that :smile:

    Posted By: nanny northSo proud of you for not giving up on this sweet little one xxx

    Thank you! After that first day I am more excited than anything else, to get to know her and make her life as good as possible...I can't wait for her first time out the cage!!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 1:03pm (Feb 26th 2016)
    Such wonderful news Red so glad it was useful info. It just came to me that one of the the very bestest things with you is if you find out something you always are ready to share it to help others and then I thought there must be others out there that are similar and like to share also. Look at the people who have been glad to use this site to help their hens surely it must work both ways. My Bunnies never ever liked being picked up but they were so tame and came charging over the minute they saw me for a fuss and sometimes a nice treat. I think I only ever picked them up twice Mind you they were huge and very weighty so I was quite happy not to have to. I so miss those girls but will be content to read all about your new little one.
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 10:17pm (Feb 26th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: nanny northIt just came to me that one of the the very bestest things with you is if you find out something you always are ready to share it to help others

    That is such a beautiful thing to say, thank you :blush:

    NN from what I have read and been told it is very rare for a bunny to like being picked up, and only a few tolerate it's why I always tried so hard never to pick my rabbits up, because as a prey animal to virtually everything else it must be terrifying them. I found teaching them to go in a cat carrier was a good alternative ;)

    Someone I know is getting a Continental Giant, I'm always amazed by the size of them! I'd love to meet one in person. I can imagine how much you miss them, we missed Iden so much since he passed last summer. And you can be sure I'll post A LOT of photos and videos of our new girl haha :smile:

    We went into town today and bought Aubree some extra toys. She did really well being introduced to them, she was only scared of one (and that was because she could sense movement but didn't know what it was) and she bounced back from her fear within minutes
    Look at her little face :heart:

     photo newtoys1_zpsmajc6ok6.jpg

    She has a litter box where I'll keep most her hay for eating now, makes it easier to clean out every evening and refill

     photo newtoys2_zpsiqztxmql.jpg

    Hey beautiful girl!

     photo newtoys3_zpsazump5gn.jpg

    The hanging chew toy in the upper left is the one she was very scared of, you'll see in the video below

     photo newtoys4_zpsssztumdo.jpg

    She soon got used to it though...

     photo newtoys5_zpszv8hso3w.jpg

    And omb she looooved playing with it!

     photo newtoys7_zpscae4tgqi.jpg

    *explodes at the cuteness*

     photo newtoys8_zps6f0vplfv.jpg

    She has a lot of things to keep her busy now but we've been careful none of them can trip her or take up much room in the cage

     photo newtoys9_zpsb7u155wb.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2016 10:20pm (Feb 26th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    And there's nothing cuter than watching an adorable bunny munch on some broccoli ;)

     photo newtoys10_zpsiy7o3a0t.jpg

    Those chocolate ears and that little nose!

     photo newtoys11_zpsoo1cviqf.jpg

     photo newtoys12_zpszjegezj3.jpg

     photo newtoys13_zpsev9ezaez.jpg

     photo newtoys14_zpst5giulwp.jpg

    I think she is doing really well.

    The flapping tip has been amazing already - not only does it help waft the smell of any treats I am holding to her, but her whiskers are amazingly sensitive and easily pick up the air current. If I waft fairly close by to her she senses it very quickly and usually comes over, it's awesome!

    She's so, so much happier still today - I saw her doing the proper contented bunny flop where she was sprawled right onto her side, all flattened haha :bigsmile: I snuck over and got a photo before realising there really was no need to sneak :rolling: I'll upload it tomorrow.

    Aubree loves her toys and has especially loved the stuffed football and the wicker hoop toy which scared her so at first. I am so excited because today we bought the materials in for the ramp, so I might see if she wants to come into the pen tomorrow.

    Video (terrible quality, camera's useless even though we were in front of a window AND the light was on!)

    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2016 2:49pm (Feb 27th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    She's a pretty relaxed rabbit :rolling:

     photo spawledbun_zpsrb6owokx.jpg
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2016 7:14pm (Feb 27th 2016)
    She is doing so well, Red - it's amazing! If you think tapping the floor is a bit too much like an alarm thump, how about scratching instead?
    She looks quite contented and, as you say, very laid back. I think she'll have the best life with you two!:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2016 11:03pm (Feb 27th 2016)
    My rabbit was ok with being picked up so long as I always had my hand under his bum and was held in close and tight, but he was heavy so I didn't pick him up much-used to sit in his hutch with him instead! Aubrey is so sweet and you're doing so well.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2016 1:37pm (Feb 28th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you CC! Scratching the floor's a good idea and worth a try, although not sure how much it will work as she pays NO attention to vibrations - doesn't even pause! I'm guessing she lived in a shed where lots of other rabbits were kept, and so the vibrations never meant anything to her - ? What I'm planning is blow gently in her face and immediately give her a treat. Then, when after the blow she is looking for the treat, I will touch-blow-treat, all as quickly and gently as possible.

    The first touch is going to freak her out, but I really can't think of a way around it...unless I tried to get her to walk into me, and then it was blow-treat...Thanks again CC!

    Posted By: KatebMy rabbit was ok with being picked up so long as I always had my hand under his bum and was held in close and tight, but he was heavy so I didn't pick him up much-used to sit in his hutch with him instead! Aubrey is so sweet and you're doing so well.

    Kate I've never had a bunny that's okay with being picked up, but then again the two I've had as an adult were rescues and both about 6 months old when we got them. I found teaching them to go into a cat carrier and taking them anywhere like that was easy enough, but that's a lot harder with Aubree and I'd rather just wait until she figures out the ramp to exit her cage.

    She really is a sweetheart, and so fun to just sit with and watch...I assume she knows I am there through smell, and I hand feed her treats and sometimes she walks on me - it's just hard to know how much she realises is human!

    My dad got to 'meet'Aubree on a video call today! He was smitten with her which surprised me, and he was amazed with how different she acted but also with how happy she seemed...that was really nice to here, and he got to watch her pootle about, play and rag her toys for a good half hour :smile:

    He put some music on by accident at one point that was really, really loud and was laughing how she didn't react, although the quail came over to see what was going on!!
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2016 1:52pm (Feb 28th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    This is what I have right next to me, a little sprawled bun :heartsabove:

     photo rampday3_zpsuslikvhc.jpg

    Have I mentioned how much she loves her football?! :tooth:

     photo rampday2_zps2kl36vtl.jpg
    Lyle's first time feeding her a treat :)

     photo rampday1_zpsm8dqrqrj.jpg

    This was our first attempt at a ramp for her haha - also she has semi-destroyed the toy in the background :bigsmile:

     photo rampday_zps1crmsvom.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2016 8:20pm (Feb 28th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Aubree has started sprawling more and more, which I have taken as a really good sign, and we're getting on really well...together we spent most the day lounging about with each other, and although she didn't fancy coming into the pen we interacted a lot and it was lots of fun :smile:

    I also started 'clicker' training her today, basically blowing in her face and then giving her a treat. I'll post a video from start to finish as soon as there's even a little progress :smile:

    I have some real cute photos of her napping - so long as you don't mind she sleeps with her eyes open!!

    Get read for a cuteness overload...

     photo bunny8_zpsnfe2dxrk.jpg

     photo bunny11_zpsqdjkfrs7.jpg

     photo bunny12_zps2yaqgzsd.jpg

     photo bunny13_zpsc4i3eowu.jpg

     photo bunny_zpssta600r5.jpg
     photo bunny3_zpsobphvuzx.jpg

    Her pen area where I spend a lot of time sitting :smile:

     photo bunny10_zpspgcpylv6.jpg

    And Kasper wanted fuss too!!

     photo bunny9_zps5e0fi0xe.jpg
    Check out this post for extra pics too :)

    And there are videos with clips of her snoozing here too:

    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2016 9:21pm (Feb 28th 2016)
    You're right, Red....cuteness overload..yes, when a bunny lays on their side and snoozes like that..they feel safe around you.
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2016 9:51pm (Feb 28th 2016)
    She is so pretty. It's heartwarming to hear she is happy as it seems such a sad situation. What a difficult life to live-I'm glad she's able to live if with you.
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 5:44am (Feb 29th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you Lynn!! I thought I remembered that being the reason they lie on their sides.

    If anybody is interested this is a bunny body language site, and the third one down is the 'bunnyflop' - it says that if a bun does this "Your rabbit is extremely relaxed and happy" :bigsmile:

    Kate, every day that passes makes me happier to have her, and more sure that she's happy and enjoying her life. On those first few days when we were just figuring out she was blind and deaf, I was so sad because I didn't think we would be able to look after her or that she would ever feel happy and safe...she's been here five days I think now and I can't believe what an awesome time she seems to be having - my dad kept saying over and over as he watched her that he couldn't believe how happy she seemed to be :bigsmile:

    Thank you Kate.
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 9:06am (Feb 29th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Aubree did her first binky that I saw!!

    She's had another good day - she already connects me blowing in her face (I have to blow hard otherwise she ignores it :sarcastic: ) with treats, which is awesome, and she's been eating her veggies, playing...and just now she was sprinting around her cage and doing binkies!!!

    (for people who don't know, a binky is when a bunny runs quickly and jumps into the air, usually flicking their head or back feet - it's an expression of pure bliss! :heart: )

    I called Lyle to grab my camera but she had stopped by the time I had the lens cap off and the camera focused she was sat in the litter box eating hay :rolling:

    I AM SO HAPPY :heartsabove:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 5:18pm (Feb 29th 2016)
    How brilliant, Red! She must be sooooo relaxed to do that. That Bunnyhut site is really interesting, isn't it?
    So glad she's settling. :heart::face-smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 6:52pm (Feb 29th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you so much CC!!! I couldn't believe when I saw her running about doing binkies, I almost welled up I was so happy :tooth:
    Yeah the bunny site seems pretty good from what I've read :)

    We had another good day with Aubree since this morning. I haven't seen the pets too much as we were out with Lyle's parents and when we got back I had a crippling headache so took some codeine and went to sleep. I had a niggler when I woke up, but it's faded now thankfully...can't stand bad headaches / migraines!
    Anyway, I started clicker training Aubree today :)

    I’ve spent a few days ‘charging the clicker’, whereby you do your marker (eg. clicker, thumbs up etc) and feed a treat, so the animal associates the marker with a treat, and now we moved on to actual training.

    I’ve read in a few different places that you don’t actually need to charge the clicker, and for training chickens / quail / certain dogs I don’t bother anymore, but I wanted to charge it with Aubree because she is deaf and blind so it seemed like a good idea.

    For us the marker is me blowing in her face - I have to blow quite hard otherwise she ignores it haha and she has not been fearful of me bowling in her face at all. As soon as I blow in her face she gets a treat, and now when I blow in her face she expects a treat…awesome.

    The first thing I am rewarding her for is sniffing me out and initiating contact – she was doing this already, offering it a lot, and it’s a good thing to do so I am rewarding her for it all the time. She earns the marker by touching me with her head / nose, putting her paws on me, climbing up my shoulder with her front paws etc…all those things earn her a blow and a treat.

    This seems a good thing to reinforce as it teaches I don’t always equal food; she isn’t coming up and immediately getting food, she gets food after the blow. Hopefully this means she won’t just start nibbling my fingers as soon as she finds them!!

    After this I might try work on me touching her = blow + treat. We will see :smile:

     photo bunnynoms_zps3j1j1fi2.jpg
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 7:01pm (Feb 29th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh also I emailed a company that sells bunny boxes today (you know like graze boxes for people or barkboxes for dogs, where they send out a surprise medley of food / toys every month?).

    I really like the ones I found because not only are they cheap (the classic box is £6.99, the premium is £9.99) but for most the ones I've found you have to buy them every month...well with this one you can choose a repeat order in blocks of two weeks, anywhere between one every two weeks to one every 12 weeks! So cool, and means I'll probably get a Premium box every 8-10 weeks

    I emailed them to basically ask if they could only send me certain toys, as you don't get to pick what's in them, and not many but a few of their toys wouldn't work too well with be honest even if they're not able to make sure we have blind & deaf bunny friendly toys, I still might get one as a trial before ordering more, because our other pets would enjoy any toys Aubree can't have I'm sure :smile:

    **edit to add**

    found this...Aubs is definitely an easy 6. dead bunny flop :rolling:

    • CommentTimeFeb 29th, 2016 8:51pm (Feb 29th 2016)
    I bet the rats would be OK with anything she doesn't want. (How are the rats?)

    She's obviously a very intelligent bunny and is happy with her 'lot'!
    • CommentTimeMar 1st, 2016 12:10am (Mar 1st 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    I think any chew sticks / thick wooden toys that sit on the floor would be suitable for most our other pets, excluding the dogs..kind of a good thing about having so many small pets, they can share! :rolling: Archie's doing great thanks, he's back in the Jenny Rat (elderly gerbils have moved, Kenny passed away a few weeks back and the other two are REALLY old now so small cage for them, I thought about putting Archie in the Mamble but he likes the Jenny Rat so). The degus are at the point where they eat from hands, will climb arms etc and Archie is at the point where he will eat from hands, step onto my hand to be carried from one side of the cage to the other, and when I hold a pet transport box up to the door he knows it's play time and he's going for a run around the bathroom! He's not the most sociable rat, but with his start and history I never expected him to be, and I'm bloody proud of how far he's come. He generally likes to keep himself to himself, but when I sit in the bathroom when he's out he runs up for treats, stands on my feet etc and is happy to explore, climb things etc.
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd, 2016 7:36am (Mar 2nd 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    It was shopping day tomorrow, so bunny girl and piggle boy got lots of new veggies in to try!

     photo bunnydiet_zpsyulyldmk.jpg

    I prepared our little cup of training goodies (sooo hard to find something she really likes for longer than 10 seconds!!) and then went to do more training

     photo bunnydiet2_zpsyb8dxssy.jpg

    Know what yesterday was? The first day I touched her, several times even, without her flinching!!

    She's rocking it :)

    And a few extra pics of the sweetheart!

     photo bunnytraining_zpscbohql9z.jpg

     photo bunnytraining1_zpstgr0mg9g.jpg

    And for the first time I caught her playing with her homemade toy...first time since I made the hole bigger :smile:

     photo bunnydiet3_zps3vy0mxvm.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd, 2016 2:01pm (Mar 2nd 2016)
    Awwwe Bless you Red she sure is one happy little bunny you have done her real proud. What a little beauty she is how could any one not fall in love with her. I must say that her eyes have that lilac tinge to them and one of my buns had eyes very similar colour I will try and fine a photo of her. thats the only way I used to know them apart xxxx
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd, 2016 7:24pm (Mar 2nd 2016)
    Clever girls - both you AND Aubrey! I can quite see why you've fallen in love...
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd, 2016 10:23pm (Mar 2nd 2016)
    Sounds like Archie loves his free ranging, and the fact he'll come for treats is fantastic!
    Looking at pictures of Aubrey always makes me smile - she looks so pretty, sweet and soft it just makes go "aahhh" and relax.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd, 2016 11:38am (Mar 3rd 2016)
    Thats such a sweet way of putting it Kate and yes she does make you feel just like that
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd, 2016 6:27pm (Mar 3rd 2016)
    Red, I'm so proud of you for not giving up on your sweet bunny, when you found out she could neither see or hear. Most people would have just have her PTS..and you have done your best to make her life a happy one.:thumbup:
    • CommentTimeMar 3rd, 2016 9:11pm (Mar 3rd 2016)
    At first I thought she was so unfortunate to not be able to see or hear but no, she is such a lucky bunny to have got to live with Red.
    • CommentTimeMar 4th, 2016 12:32am (Mar 4th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Awwww guys!!! Thank you so much *wipes away tears* :blush: Those are some wonderful comments right there, I'm going to save them away somewhere so I can look at them when I need a mood boost!

    Aubs had her first clean out the other day, and as I was cleaning her cage she was chucking bits of bedding everywhere - this is a very rabbity behaviour, something all my buns have done, and I've never known why so thought I'd look it up...guess what it is?!

    It's when they think their house is messy and they are trying to tidy it to their liking!! :rolling:

    Hahaha sooooo funny, she can't even see and she got annoyed I was messing her house up :rofl:
    Bless her :)
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 5th, 2016 7:03pm (Mar 5th 2016)
    Thats so sweet of her as long as she dont squirt wee over you. Mine used to do it to each other as a sort of bonding thing. She is sohappy to have such a lovely home xx
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2016 7:01pm (Mar 9th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    I just wish we could find a way to encourage her out of her cage NN, we've tried all sorts! A ramp leading down, books making steps, a trail of treats etc etc...she's so cautious of moving in new places, I assume because she is blind and deaf, that I don't think she will ever come out of her own accord. We thought about burning a hole in the side of her cage, so she wouldn't have to deal with the lip, but then that's a decent cage ruined forever :rolling:
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2016 7:16pm (Mar 9th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh no, a stampeding piggle herd!!

     photo piggles3_zpsp16kkee5.jpg
    Well okay, maybe not! :)

    We went out looking for two baby piggles today, and ended up coming back with three. The pet shop we like had four adorable baby piggles in; pairs from two different litters, same age but the Abyssinian girls were much bigger.

    We held each of the four and the one I fell in love with a week or so ago (white piggle with large brown splodge on nose and some pale patches) didn't make as much of an impression as the one we thought we wouldn't be interested in - she was feisty and vocal, the runt of the litter, and when I held her and she snuggled into me telling me about her day I fell in love!

    The other two were ginger and white Abyssinian girls and very sweet, happy to be held. We chose the more unique looking one that has a kind of dappled coat.

    THEN the staff member told us about a piggle they got in around Christmas, and who has a brain disorder - she will never get better, and the vets have no idea how long she will live, but they wouldn't have her PTS because she is happy and loving. Anyway, she is 5 months old now and they have been keeping her as a pet themselves but said they would be willing to let her go with us free because they know us well and know how much we love our pets...I held her for about half an hour as we chatted and she was SO CUTE!!

    So we have (Chelsea) Slice (tri colour smooth coat), Loaf (ginger & white Abyssinian) and Tilt, the oldest with the disability :smile:

    Originally we were going to keep them in separate cages for a day or two, but we put them together whilst we sorted their cages and there was no arse-iness at all. We had a chat and decided to just put them into the 48 inch dog crate they will live in...well, they've been in there four hours now and we haven't had a single squabble, no teeth chattering, bum wiggles, nothing!

    Loaf, Tilt and Slice:

     photo piggles16_zpsmm6fdeet.jpg

    If it carries on like this it would make it the easiest intro of any pet EVER!


     photo piggles15_zpszcwjpkf8.jpg
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2016 7:16pm (Mar 9th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    This is their sharing platter to help them feel bonded... :)

     photo piggles14_zpst2dl7kgp.jpg

    Loaf making fun of Tilt's condition :rolling:

     photo piggles17_zpsgt8z19xn.jpg

    Slice is soooo dinky!

     photo piggles13_zpsij5csunm.jpg

    So far Loaf has tried throwing her weight around, but Tilt shows virtually no interest and Slice gets vocal but otherwise doesn't care. Loaf has even stolen several items of food out of Tilt's mouth and she doesn't care!!

     photo piggles8_zpsnhqoedm8.jpg

    The cage looks a little big and bare at the moment, but once we know they are settled we can add hides and toys and such

     photo piggles12_zpsyrwowvaf.jpg

    We'd like to add a second level with an easily accessible ramp somehow to use the height, but not sure...

     photo piggles4_zpsjy42dacm.jpg

    Loaf again

     photo piggles2_zpsm6lpm62a.jpg

    :heartsabove: :heartsabove: :heartsabove: Size order too!

     photo piggles11_zps9odmsyvb.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2016 7:43pm (Mar 9th 2016)
    Firstly dont worry about Aubrey coming out she will when she is ready. At the moment she is so happy in her new home so no need to fret she is happy and comfortable. Its still early days with her as yet and you are making huge steps with her. Now second what beautiful piggies I do so love a guinea pig we had them as children and my boys had them also. When we had them as kids they lived in perfect harmony with our rabbits, Mind you they had a huge run with a big sleeping area. They used to run and hide next to or under the bunnies if they sensed danger.
    • CommentTimeMar 9th, 2016 10:40pm (Mar 9th 2016)
    Bunnies and piggies often seem to live together - do you think it could be a possibility? What's Tilt's condition? Sometimes rats can get ear infections when they're little and even though they recover they're left with a permanent head tilt but it doesn't shorten or impede their lives at all. The piggies are so sweet! Hope it all stays very harmonious!
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2016 9:18am (Mar 10th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    NN we always had bunnies and piggles together before we knew it was such a bad idea - oops! Never had any problems though...well actually one pig that had an injured leg did die young and I found her seriously flattened :rolling: but I always assumed that happened AFTER she died!!!

    Kate they're really not supposed to live together - different food requirements, behaviour and body language can cause serious issues, and rabbits can do a lot of damage to a guinea pig whereas the pig is helpless.

    The vets didn't know what Tilt's issue was (it's not an ear issue, they checked for and treated her for that just in case) they just said it is a brain disorder that she was born with. It gets much worse when she is excited apparently. They couldn't say how long she will live (could be weeks, could be years) or what future treatment she will need, but obviously if her symptoms get worse she will need to see the vet again. For now she seems a very happy and healthy little pig though, and so far I can't even tell she is holding her head at an angle.

    Day two, the pigs have been together for 18 hours now and still NO squabbling!! After sleeping in separate corners once they had scoffed all their food (which is a really good sign) the babies are now together whilst Tilt is in the closest corner. I'm not sure when I can add hides, you're supposed to wait until all the "I'm the boss!" squabbling is done, so I'll see what today brings. So far so good :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2016 10:07am (Mar 10th 2016)
    Lets hope they all stay happy together. The babies will be used to being together and Tilt is probably used to being by herself.
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2016 3:05pm (Mar 10th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Luckily NN the pet shop woman kept Tilt upstairs and rotated her between several of her own pigs, so Tilt's very much used to piggy friends...I think it's this that has helped her slot in so easily with the other two!!'?=[;]#

    Message from Raiden for you there :rolling:

    Still no squabbles today, they've been together 24 hours now and have finished off two sharing platters of food :smile:

     photo firstday_zps1uveg1f7.jpg

    Kasper has seen them whizz about and is very calm with them; Raiden can smell them but hasn't seen them yet - I think he'll be sliiightly more excited haha!

     photo firstday1_zpstuosbc8z.jpg
    Everyone snuggles with everyone haha :)

     photo firstday3_zps4vxbdnjk.jpg

    It's hard to fit all the cage in and show how big it is!!

     photo firstday2_zpskinxcayy.jpg
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2016 5:20pm (Mar 10th 2016)
    Tilt might have vestibulitis - it can pass. How long has she been like it? They're all beautiful.
    • CommentTimeMar 10th, 2016 6:34pm (Mar 10th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Since she was a baby CC. It's not gotten any worse but it hasn't gotten any better either. The vet put her on quite a few meds to try treat as an inner ear problem, but after more tests and when there was no change they said it was most likely a brain disorder she was born with, and there was no way they could find out what it was or would mean for her lifespan.
    Well they've been together over a full day now and are getting along wonderfully :)

    Look at this :heartsabove:

     photo firstday4_zpshktpydag.jpg

    Babies together :smile:

     photo firstday5_zpslmxdccti.jpg

    Tilt looking a little lopsided

     photo firstday6_zpsjrnzehtr.jpg

    Miss Chelsea Slice and Loaf

     photo firstday7_zpsz01rq0ao.jpg

    Tilt was too busy with the platter :rolling:

     photo firstday8_zpsgmjkbgov.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2016 11:06am (Mar 11th 2016)
    They are beautiful xxx
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2016 8:15pm (Mar 11th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks NN, they really are :) Tilt's had two moments today where she will zone out and nothing will bring her back - you can stroke her, lift her out etc - then all of a sudden she snaps back into herself and chatters away to you, eats her veggies etc. I'm hoping it's just part of who she is, her disorder, and isn't a sign she is getting probably isn't, but we will be keeping an eye on her.

    Tilt is my favourite I have to say; if I hang about the door she will wander up to me, give me a sniff and have a stroke...she's insanely cute and doing really well for day 2! The babies are still young so we need to handle them lots to get them used to it, and I can't wait for Slice's noisy cheeky character to come out :smile:

    I was going to move Aubree's cage through once they'd been here for a week but I've since read that rabbits can pass a lot of viruses on to guinea pigs by being in the same room, even if they're not sharing a cage...many of them rabbits carry naturally but they can prove very dangerous to piggles. Hmm, I need to research this more as otherwise bunny will have to stay in a different room permanently...
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2016 8:25pm (Mar 11th 2016)
    They're gorgeous and I'm so glad they all get on well. I think Tilt would be my favourite too.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 11th, 2016 8:54pm (Mar 11th 2016)
    Its interesting to hear about rabbits passing on virus to guinea pigs. I wonder if its just inside animals or if it out door ones as well ?
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2016 6:37pm (Mar 12th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Tilt is gorgeous CC, she just wanders up to you!!

    NN apparently it can be either, if they live relatively close to each other (eg. same room, same shed or same run)...I imagine it's really rare, but I just don't think I can risk it...

    Tilt showing how friendly she is!

     photo pigpics_zpsi6exf3ul.jpg

    And we had some piggle toys and hides arrive today so they had some things to play with for the first time...we have had more rumblestrutting since (when a guinea pig makes the low purring noise and wags their bum!!) but no squabbles so everything is going incredibly smoothly - *phew!*

    looks much better now :smile:

     photo pigpics6_zpsdv3mluty.jpg

    "thanks mum!"

     photo pigpics5_zpsv3w4uimj.jpg

    I LOVE this photo!!

     photo pigpics3_zps8t2fz6jy.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2016 7:25pm (Mar 12th 2016)
    awwwe they are lovely I like the two little noses peeking out xx
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2016 4:30pm (Mar 14th 2016)
    Just wondering how Aubree is doing Red xx
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2016 5:02pm (Mar 14th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    She's good NN, still hasn't come out of her cage...we've had slight progress with training but I'm not pushing her hard or fast because she's so happy with her lot anyway :bigsmile:

    We've started duo training to try get her out the pen AND get her used to interacting with us, too. Basically we sit by her cage and feed her treats for coming over:

     photo aubtrain5_zpstlmvbgbw.jpg

     photo aubtrain_zpsjfbeo7fd.jpg

    And she just has to come out and onto us more and more!

     photo aubtrain7_zpsifcdtfuu.jpg

     photo aubtrain1_zps9mpm0xx7.jpg

    She has no issue putting her front paws and half her body onto us (maybe she just doesn't realise what she's on though?!) so I think it will only be a week or so until she could use us as a step, if she wanted to :smile:

     photo aubtrain7_zpsifcdtfuu.jpg

    Still not gonna force her out though - if she's happy in her cage so are we, but I want her to know the option to come out is there

     photo aubtrain6_zpsipbrbmqg.jpg

    And because she is adorable!

     photo aubtrain3_zpsheeoarlk.jpg


     photo aubtrain4_zps9e40phu5.jpg
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2016 5:18pm (Mar 14th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Also, to update the thing I posted recently about rabbits & guinea pigs not sharing the same room, after a lot of research I've found the main illness mentioned is bordatella...well, guinea pigs can also get this from cats & dogs so if you were being really careful you would have no dogs OR rabbits near the piggles - RSPCA actually have info saying this is a reason to keep dogs away from piggles. As we have dogs in our house anyway, I think we will bring Aubree back into the living room permanently, and have pigs on one side bun on other. Passing diseases from healthy rabbits to guinea pigs is rare, and I miss having her in here 24/7. Some might think this is irresponsible, but we've weighed up the risks and as we have dogs it seems like a moot point :smile:
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2016 6:48pm (Mar 14th 2016)
    Excellent practice - carry out a risk assessment and make a judgement based on it. I suspect the incidents of passing the disease are quite low, and as you say if dogs are a risk too then it seems silly to just exclude a rabbit.

    Can mice get it too? Just wondered about when you lost them all at the same time.
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2016 7:35pm (Mar 14th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    No idea Kate, but I wouldn't think it was that as they all died within a few hours of each other - surely they wouldn't get it at the same time? - and there were no respiratory symptoms at all.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2016 10:55am (Mar 15th 2016)
    Awwwe what wonderful pictures Red she sure is doing well and such a little cutie. It is so nice to see her getting her confidence up in her own time. Bunnies adore treats. Mine used to come bounding up as soon as they saw us to see what we had they were also content if it was just a fuss which was nice. It was so nice when I was doing a little tidy along the flowers to have a soft furry nose push its way under my arm for cuddles one side and a feathery little body or two trying to "help" on the other.
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2016 3:24pm (Mar 15th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    She's adorable NN, I just wish there was a bit of an easier way to communicate with her...I want to reach out and stroke her when she's bunnying about so much, because it's what I've done with every rabbit and none have minded, and it's so hard to hold myself back! But obviously when you do touch her she startles because she has no idea you're coming, so it makes no sense touching her when it just sends us's like you say though, all my past bunnies would come rushing up for goodies or snuffles, and it's sad that Aubree can't. I'm please she's so happy but it's sad we might not ever have that "hi, so glad to see you!!" connection.

    She's coming back into the living room today, which means I'll get to see her pootling and playing more, so that'll be nice (:
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2016 3:28pm (Mar 15th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Safe to say the piggles consider themselves sisters now, too :)

     photo sisters_zpsffhwcea2.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2016 5:28pm (Mar 15th 2016)
    awwwe happy piggies xx Our Jo used to rescue piggies and they had the most fantastic life with her.
    • CommentTimeMar 16th, 2016 4:47pm (Mar 16th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    I love guinea pigs NN, such a soft spot for them :)
    • CommentTimeApr 1st, 2016 12:21pm (Apr 1st 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    I've put a lot of effort into litter training's difficult because she toilets in three different areas, but I've been slowly weaning her down to one - everyday I would clean two and leave one smelly, and we had four days where she only used that one corner.

    Once we got to that level I collected all the stinky litter and put it in a hamster cage base (this will be Aubree's litter tray, it's good because it's large). I then cleared her crate out of all other substrate, so that hopefully she will not want to toilet there. I did give her a bath mat last night, which I'm worried she will have peed on, but I didn't want her clattering about and interrupting our sleep! :smile:

     photo littertraining1_zpsarkk3dsj.jpg

    Her foraging tray is a cat's litter tray, so you can see how big the hamster base is!

     photo littertraining2_zpspy9ojqyy.jpg


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    I put her bottle puzzle feeder above the tray and scattered hay on top of the dirty substrate, so she has more reason to stay and toilet in there - that was very helpful in toilet training Iden!

     photo littertraining4_zpsqjirnuut.jpg
    • CommentTimeApr 1st, 2016 12:21pm (Apr 1st 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    And LOTS of happy floppy bunny pics ;)

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    I had to turn the panels around yesterday because when she's been out a few hours the little sod starts chewing the foam bits!!

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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 1st, 2016 7:28pm (Apr 1st 2016)
    She is so pretty - and I can't believe how relaxed she is! :face-smile:Good luck with the toilet training.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd, 2016 10:43pm (Apr 2nd 2016)
    You have given your bunny such a wonderful life, Red. :face-smile:
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2016 2:43am (Apr 3rd 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you both :)

    Well, it's been a few days and she hasn't had a single accident!! She has done ever single pee in her litter tray, which is great, and means all I have to do every day is sweep up her poops. Cutest thing is she will even take herself inside to use the litter tray while she is out playing!

    First, pic of her previous layout...she loved laying on the metal base :sarcastic:

     photo LITTERTRAINING11_zpsvgrncxcb.jpg

    We added a bath mat so she had somewhere soft to lay, but also so that she didn't clang about when hopping and wake us up!!

     photo litterbun_zpsofdsbei8.jpg

    Also, see that orange cushion to the left of her crate? She has started jumping on top of it to try get behind her crate!! How does a blind bunny get up there?!

    Cutie pie (wish my camera had focused faster here!)

     photo litterbun1_zpscgfcwpfc.jpg

    "Ahhh, this is the life guys!"

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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2016 8:31pm (Apr 3rd 2016)
    I'd love a vet to try to ascertain if she can see anything at all...she's so clever!
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2016 11:49pm (Apr 4th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    We're close to 100% sure that she's blind CC, I think her whiskers could just feel the top so she knew there was an end to it...since then she seems to think there's this hidden world above her that she doesn't know about, and she'll randomly stand on her back legs trying to find it, then fling herself into the air!!! She's done it in her crate (bad, bad idea :rolling: ) and you can see her preparing for a jump here :smile:

     photo bunnyplay10_zpssbi04c0s.jpg

    We've also done the cotton wool test a few times...because they're so light they barely make a noise as they drop, so a lot of people use it to determine if a rabbit's blind. She didn't react at all. Oh, I have a video of her not reacting to a vacuum I'll have to edit too...

    Preparing to jump!

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    Aubree had a little hidey hole in her pen the other day, which she enjoyed

     photo bunnyplay6_zps1wjk4jua.jpg

    She did run into it once, but after that she remembered it was there :rolling:

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    Purdy girl :)

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    I love love LOVE fluffy bunny tails!!

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    (sorry I took so many pics, will share the others in another post!)
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2016 11:50pm (Apr 4th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Climbing on me! :heart:

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    And her pen's got bigger too :)

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      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 12:23pm (Apr 5th 2016)
    She certainly got a far better life with you than she would have anywhere else - hardly anyone else would have put the time and effort into her that you have.
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2016 11:37pm (Apr 5th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    I've put the pen around the footstool we both sit on, and I'm really hoping Aubree will one day hop up and snuggle with us on there...that would just be too cute :)
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2016 10:31pm (Apr 7th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Aubree stuffs. Look who has started doing most her poops in the litter tray too - success! That pile makes me so happy hahaha!!

     photo littertraining12_zps1acm90gh.jpg

    Still gets a few on the rug, but about 90% were in the litter tray before I cleaned it out :smile:

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    It's okay Aubree, you definitely don't have food hanging off your face :rolling:

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    Grumpy face bun :tooth:

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    And a video of the bunny girl playing with the DIY tube balls :)

    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2016 12:19am (Apr 9th 2016)
    She is so clever - and cute!!!!
    • CommentTimeApr 9th, 2016 9:21pm (Apr 9th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Aubree's had an exciting day today!

    First she got a new puzzle feeder, so enjoyed rolling that all around the room to get the pellets from it!

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    Then we had the best day for litter training so far - look at all the poops in the tray!! That's in just 24 hours, I had literally five poops to pick up that had missed the proud!! :bigsmile:

     photo littertraining13_zpsy8lrjt8v.jpg

    And then finally her pen is bigger AGAIN! It's the least we can do when she's been such a star - takes up over half our room now :sarcastic:

     photo pets9_zpshvmy88te.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2016 7:22am (Apr 10th 2016)
    She is doing great, Red..I'm so glad she has you and Lyle for parents.:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2016 9:20pm (Apr 10th 2016)
    She is such a star!! It is amazing that a deaf and blind bunny can be litter trained so quickly - testament to your patience and her intelligence. I know we keep saying it, but she really is in the perfect home with you two. I don't know anyone else that would've put this amount of effort in - if they even noticed she was deaf blind in the first place. xx
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2016 11:27pm (Apr 10th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Thanks you two! It makes it so much easier now she's litter trained haha, I didn't think it would be possible when she originally toileted in three different places, but it only took a week or so. She's never had an accident around the room either, apart from maybe one or two poops! I do worry about her because she doesn't eat the cecotrope poops (well she does, just not all the time)...I dunno if it's because she's blind or what, but she has a wonderful diet so hopefully it won't affect her.

    We had a picnic today and picked Aubree and the pigs some grass and weeds whilst we were out. I had planned to try dry out the grass (and some of the weeds) to make my own readigrass, but they've already eaten most of them :rolling:

    And piggle pics of our remaining goofballs, but major opposites!

    First we have Chelsea Slice. She's still tiny, even though she's fully grown now. She's *incredibly* in, she talks almost the entire time she's out her cage haha. Sometimes it's to complain, sometimes it's just to tell you about her day. She's funny, and also a complete wrigglebutt :smile:

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    Loaf on the other hand is bigger, calmer and quieter. The girls are the same age, but Loaf is twice the size!! She's beautiful, and once you have her out she will just sit happily wherever you put her - sometimes she even dozes! She has THE CUTEST piggy lips (wait till you see them!) but did pee on me yesterday :rolling:

     photo pets2_zpszaywjnfp.jpg

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    Look at her leg - so laid back!!

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    Sister cuddles :heart:

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    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 11th, 2016 11:36pm (Apr 11th 2016)
    Wow, Chelsea is soooo much smaller than Loaf. Piggy are such sweet little things.
    • CommentTimeApr 11th, 2016 11:52pm (Apr 11th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Hahaha I know Lynn!!!! She sure makes up for it with her spunky personality though - I got this short video yesterday, Loaf is just sat in my arms and Chelsea Slice is giving Lyle the run around and chattering the entire time :rolling:

    The fuzzies got their weeds yesterday, I saved some grass to try dry it out but they loved the leaves...that face cracks me up every time I look at it :bigsmile:

     photo weeds2_zpsmgotjowe.jpg

    Going, going...

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     photo weeds3_zpsa4aloli4.jpg

    It took Aubree a while to find hers when I left it on the floor, but when I hand fed her she wolfed it down!

     photo weeds1_zpsnfjey7jb.jpg

    I took out her foraging tray today; she has a nasty habit of throwing it all around her crate at night, and keeping us up! I turned a spare log tunnel upside down and wedged it in real tight, so hopefully she can't flip it :smile:

     photo bowl_zpst3bc3uud.jpg

    She can still fit in it which is good

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    And some pics from her free ranging throughout the day...

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    She always has the DIY cardboard balls and she LOVES them! Once they're empty she pulls them apart and chews all the cardboard :bigsmile:

     photo chill2_zpswvbtjnxa.jpg

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    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 12th, 2016 8:20pm (Apr 12th 2016)
    I loved the video of the piggies, Red..Chelsea is a real talker and sooo cute!:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeApr 12th, 2016 9:11pm (Apr 12th 2016)
    Loaf looks like she's blowing kisses!!
    • CommentTimeApr 13th, 2016 10:07pm (Apr 13th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    Lynn, she never shuts up...they're on a three a day feeding schedule because Chelsea constantly screams about how hungry she is :tooth:

    OMB Kate she does!!

    I bought Aubree a cheap(ish) bed yesterday. It was supposed to be hers and then when she's in her crate Rey could use it too, but all Raiden did was dig at it, so nope, bunny only - at least until Raiden is older!

     photo bunnybed1_zpsvuswpope.jpg

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    And here she is with a dog puzzle feeder, I crammed a carrot into it :rolling:

     photo bunnybed4_zpsw11dzmlu.jpg
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 15th, 2016 1:12pm (Apr 15th 2016)
    She is so adorable xxxxx
    • CommentTimeApr 19th, 2016 3:00pm (Apr 19th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you :)

    Shuffled the room so Aubree can have virtually the entire room when she's playing now...she loves it, and it took her barely any time to get the layout down...within an hour she was sprinting and binkying everywhere, as you can see!

     photo bunnyrun_zps4hxs5pzm.jpg
    Plenty of binkies towards the end :)

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     photo luvbun_zpsvtxgnpzr.jpg

    Sometimes she has the craziest hair :rolling:

     photo luvbun2_zpsgmu9hp5u.jpg

    She has since discovered she can squeeze down the side and back of her crate, so we pulled it away from the wall a little and she does crazy laps around it.

     photo bunnyrun5_zpsszffwsha.jpg

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    • CommentTimeApr 19th, 2016 3:05pm (Apr 19th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    The pigs have a vet appt this evening because they've been sneezing more. Chelsea has always had a sneeze, but Loaf has started so best to have a vet visit and, let's face it, get some Baytril :bigsmile:

    These girls just get cuter and cuter. Slice especially is my little angel, we get on really well together...she will just sit and snuggle with me for hours, whereas she's wriggley and moany with Lyle!! Loaf is still her loveable self, she will sit anywhere and everywhere :smile:

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    They got this cool toy / treat yesterday

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    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd, 2016 7:28pm (Apr 22nd 2016)
    Lovely pictures Red xxx
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd, 2016 7:35pm (Apr 23rd 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    thanks NN :)

    We've had some right trouble getting Loaf to take her meds; not only does Baytril taste disgusting, but because her first experience was so traumatic now every time she smelt or tasted it she would freak out. We tried all our usual tricks to no avail, and then finally we mixed it with ribena and added it to some baby food, and finally she had it :smile:

    Hopefully she will continue to eat her meds like a good girl and we won't have to scare her all over again by syringe feeding her it!

    As for themselves the girls are doing good; they've just now started enjoying and being confident with their time out the cage again. It was so horrible; Chelsea went back to being vocal and wriggley and nippy, and both their eyes were bugging with fear...back to normal now though as you can see :smile:

     photo baytril1_zpsuzdycl0h.jpg

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    And in contrast to Chelsea here's Loaf right after coming out, see how her eyes are a little buggy?

     photo baytrilpig_zpswlgpdobg.jpg
    That's better! :)

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    And a short cuddle vid <3

    In Aubree news she really freaked herself out the other day by running full speed into her open crate door whilst free ranging, and then when she tried to escape to her safe place (her crate) she ran into the door again because she'd swung it shut!!!

    She was very cautious afterwards, but later she was binkying and running laps like mad and kept skimming the door - every time she ran past I was on the edge of my seat!! Anyway, we shuffled the entire room and now the crate door is in a position where it can't be ran into, and Aubree can have the whole room to explore when she's that's nice for her :smile:

    Currently she's sleeping under the table by the small dog bed, but every now and then she'll go and nibble Lyle's knee :rolling:
    • CommentTimeApr 24th, 2016 11:23pm (Apr 24th 2016)
    Loaf has longer hair than you now Red!!! :)

    Glad you found a way to get the meds into her. It's always a battle with meds and animals. Hope she feels better soon.
    • CommentTimeApr 25th, 2016 11:57am (Apr 25th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    :rolling: :rolling: she definitely does!

    Did you know in America they have flavoured Baytril Kate, and some rodents actually rush to the syringe for it?! I have to say the guinea pigs are actually sounding worse these past few days, but still hoping for a recovery...I know it can be hard to get rid of URIs...