The other day I had a discussion with Phoebe.

Does this fur coat make me look fat? she asked.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.29.38 PM

Ahem. Well. To be honest, I said, although it is a very thick and lovely coat, you have been the only one eating that pumpkin. Let’s just say that you are well-insulated from the winter’s cold.

Phoebe sniffed. This is the best season. Dressed properly, one can enjoy it fully.

Agreed, I said.


Thank you to Melissa who sent me the screen shot.

For more about keeping a rabbit with your flock, read this post.


  1. I am grateful you didn’t wait too long to get Phoebe. She is great to watch during this cold weather. Thanks for this post.

  2. She is so sweet :-) My bunny lives outside also & loves ‘his’ hens :-)

  3. I have an intact male mini lop. He is fine with the hens once in a while he gets, well we shall say it appears he tries to make Cadberry Eggs, but that’s but once every blue moon. he loves to run and tease and play with them, much like how you described Candy to be. Also once in a while he tries to mount my dogs also… He has no aggression with still being intact and is really a gentle guy, tough he does not care to be held..

    • I’ve had four rabbits. All have been friendly. Some more playful than others. None have liked to be held, but all were older when I took them home. My guess is that handling as babies makes a big difference with that. Experienced rabbit people out there – please chime in.

      • Hi,
        I’ve had a few house rabbits in my day, none kept outside. My experience is that many folks don’t actually know how to pick up and hold a rabbit properly. (In a way that makes them feel secure….that whole prey animal thing.) I don’t pick them up by wrapping my hands around their bodies and lifting. Instead, I scoop one hand underneath them and let their legs –not their bellies—sit on my hand, and use my other hand to steady their bodies, bringing them immediately to my chest and letting all four paws rest on my torso, facing me, with my one hand under their bunny-butts, and the other across their backs to steady them. If they don’t have all four feet instantly on your torso/chest, they panic, can kick so hard they break their backs, and resist being picked up in the future. Also helps to give them a tiny treat as soon as they’re up on your chest (which you have to have in your hand before you pick them up). And it goes without saying that, you can never ‘punish’ a rabbit.

        Being very predictable in movement, actions and handling helps acclimate them much faster. Because I picked them up exactly the same way every time, eventually I could rest my hand palm up on the floor and the rabbit would hop over and hover over my hand, waiting to (get a treat) and be picked up. And as is true with working with young dogs, I also find it easier to work with any rabbit after they’ve had a good exercise period, gotten all their ya-ya’s out with many mad dashes, high kicks and had a few minutes to settle down.

        Hope this helps!

        • Thanks for that advice. Predictability and rewards are cornerstones of training any species. Nice to hear how you’ve applied that to rabbits.

  4. Hi Terry, I’m Jess and I live in the uk. I’ve been living with pet rabbits for years, I generally have 2 or 4, mine always come from the local rescue, I’ve never had one from a baby but all mine have been human-friendly. I get to know them by lying face down with a carrot in my hand regularly, something like half an hour a day. This can take 2-3 weeks at least of daily perseverance with a shy one, but well worth it I’ve found.

    I have wondered why you only have one rabbit Terry, as our rescue won’t let a rabbit go unless it’ll have a companion, though there is an occasional rabbit that doesn’t mix with others well, I’m told that’s rare. Like chickens, they love the company of their own kind and mine cuddle and have long mutual grooming sessions. I’ve got 2 pairs at the moment. I doubt that they’ll meet my chickens though as I have a very over-protective cockerel.

    I enjoy watching Phoebe on the hencam as much as I like checking in on the hens most days :) and that screen shot is very lovely!

    • My rabbits were at rescues where they were kept individual caged, so I wasn’t advised to get pairs. The buns have always bonded with the other species, (Phoebe has long conversations with the goats) but I imagine the ideal situation for them would be to have another rabbit to hang out with.

  5. I had an intact lop that lived inside our home when I was growing up. He used a litter box and never sprayed anything. We had a dog and two cats too, but never bothered each other. He was fine with being held, but I did get him as a baby, He was constantly chewing on EVERYTHING, including electrical cords and my mom eventually banned him from the house.

  6. Gah. Usually, when you title a post just a name it’s an obituary. You scared me :P

  7. It is time to go to bed, the ladies are on the roost, but there is Phoebe…just one more bite of that yummy pumpkin she says, and then maybe I’ll be ready for bed.

  8. Phoebe knows a good goody when she sees one. Enjoy the pumpkin with gusto girl!

  9. I love Phoebe! Great photo!

    About 15 years ago, I adopted a huge rabbit I named Cinnamon. He was very funny and loved having his ears scratched. He had a hutch outside on our patio and he was let out to run and play in our fenced-in yard. He and our dog got along very well. One day, we found the rabbit laying next to the dog in the grass. The dog was licking the rabbit’s ears. Whenever anyone came over with another dog, ours would walk them right over to the hutch as if to say, “Come, look at my rabbit!”

    In the early morning hours, we would let the dog out and we would hear loud clanking. We soon discovered that it was the rabbit – stacking his empty food dishes, one inside the other. We would find the stack pushed into the corner of his hutch, near the door. I guess it was his way of telling us he was running on empty. :)

    Thank you for the posts about Phoebe. Love seeing her in action!

  10. Phoebe is a great girl and love to watch her, but Candy rings the bell as you note.

  11. Hi Terry! Phoebe is beautiful. I haven’t seen you pick her up is she scared or just shy? I have two bunnies but the rabbits are always inside in a very large dog crate just off the family room. They enjoy runny around in our family room in the evening but I have to watch them. Baxter likes to chew & pull up the carpeting around the edges. I tried a weak dish soap & water solution in a spray bottle. It works well but has to be reapplied to the edges of the carpet every month. Our bunnies get along very well with our Beagle, & Shih Tsus & our cat. We got Baxter @ a rural farm store. He was so cute. We went there to look for baby chicks & came home with baby Baxter. Then I found out about the local House Rabbit Society & learned so much I never would know if not for this group. I did not realize I could “rescue” a rabbit that was already neutered or spade for $85.00. Instead, I paid a vet to neuter Baxter as soon as he was old enough costing $300. Bunnies live much longer if fixed & do not spray or become aggressive. When I adopted Blossom from the Humane society she was already spayed. Before I could adopt her I was required to bring Baxter for a “date” (on a love seat) with Blossom to see if they would get along & “bond”. That was two years ago & they are still very much in love. They groom each other and are never separated. Another thing I learned was instead of buying the paper shredded litter for their litter box is to use packaged wood pellets instead. This is large bags of wood pellets for wood stoves costing less than $4.00 a bag. Much cheaper & less smell. Hope this helps so more people will adopt a rescued bunny.