Handling rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by 2horses, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

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    Is it an acceptable practice to pick up a rabbit by the scruff of it's neck? I feel bad doing it, but I have a doe that that's the only way I can get her out of her cage. She doesn't seem to mind, and is perfectly still while I do it, but I was wondering if it is acceptable or if I run the risk of hurting her. I prefer to scoop them up like little footballs and tuck them in like I'm running for the goal line....

    Pam :cool: <------------- wishes this one doe would cooperate
     
  2. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We hold the scruff and a hand under the back legs just behind the nails so's not to get scratched, with a finger wrapped around so they can't kick. They're find with that.
    They seem to hold still if you then hold them close to you.
     

  3. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the rabbit. I have some I can slip a hand under the stomach and others that have to be scruffed. Usually the ones that have been shown are tamer than those who have not. I will scruff brood does, but animals in show I try not to. It stretches the skin, and isn't a good thing on animals to be shown. At a show when I'm toting one around, common practice if to hold your upper arm along your chestwith the rabbit's head under the upper arm. The lower arm supports the body and they don't resist. It's sometimes hard to find someone at a show with two free hands.
     
  4. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The heavier the rabbit, the less you want to totally scruff them. For example, Flemish Giants you'd never want to lift only by the scruff. They are just too heavy for that. You can catch them by the scruff and then get your hand underneath them, too. I think it's probably just a matter of common sense on how much they weigh, etc.

    Jennifer
     
  5. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

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    I have discovered (totally by accident) the most absolutely wonderful thing. I have a small plastic box, like a Rubbermaid container that is about 10" wide, by maybe a foot to 14" long, and probably 8-10" deep. It fits through the door of my cages. I can hold this box near the door of the cage, grab the rabbit by the scruff and pop her into the box. Then all it takes is a hand at the ready over the top of the box while I carry it with the other arm. When we get to the buck's cage (or back home when we're finished), I can put the front end of the box through the door of the cage, tip it up, and she hops right out!!! No more resistent toes caught in the wire, no more (or not many) scratched arms, and much less stress for the rabbit.
     
  6. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I always grab the scruff. Just make sure to support under the butt while doing this. My son accidentally broke his rabbits back because she kicked out with her back legs. Very rare but it can happen.
     
  7. lyceum

    lyceum Well-Known Member

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    It is ok to pick meat rabbits up by the scruff of their neck to get them out of their cage. I would not do it with a smaller show rabbit, it will hurt them in the long run on the show table to have their neck scruffed.

    Lyceum
     
  8. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

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    Thanks everyone!! I use the scruff grab on this one doe just to get her to the front of the cage so I can pick her up properly - I know, thus the argument for smaller cages. But I like mine to have room, even if I do have to crawl into the cage with them to reach the far back corner! I will be careful to not let her get her back feet free, so she can't accidently hurt herself.

    I appreciate y'alls input!

    Pam :cool: <----------- feels better about handling this doe now
     
  9. doodlemom

    doodlemom Well-Known Member

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    I put on my rabbit coat so I can pick up the rabbits without getting scratched. Most like being picked up because it means there going to the playpen for grass, snacks and new toys :)
     
  10. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Funny how fast they pick that up, hey? With one notable exception, all of mine went from "NO!NO!NO! You're not picking me up! HELP!HELP!HELP Evil person alert!" to "Pick Me up, pick Me up, hurry, hurry!! Treat, TREAT? Where's my treat? Ahhh - I like to be picked up" in less than 2 months.
     
  11. 2horses

    2horses I'm a silly filly!! Supporter

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    LOL!! That's exactly what I'm doing - carrying her out to the playpen. I guess she'll eventually figure it out... I know my buck sure has, he practically jumps out of the cage at me!

    They're all just pets, anyways. No breeding for babies here!

    Pam :cool: <-------------- has two playpens they rotate through