Why do rabbits pull out their fur?Interesting things you should know

Why do rabbits pull out their fur? Interesting things you should know

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Why do rabbits pull out their fur

Owners are frequently perplexed when their rabbits pull out their own or another rabbit’s fur. 

It appears to be painful, and it can result in unsightly skin exposure. It appears that your rabbit is under duress based on his actions.

Stress, boredom, and skin irritation are all factors that cause rabbits to pull out their fur. Fur from pregnant rabbits is used to construct a nest for their offspring. When one rabbit barbers another rabbit, it’s usually a sign of dominance on the part of the first.

Observe your pet’s behaviour and try to figure out why they are acting in this manner. An explanation will be provided, whether it is physical, medical, or emotional. Once you understand what is going on, you can respond appropriately.

Rabbit Constructs a Nest with Her Fur

Nesting is a frequent reason for female rabbits to pull out their own fur. 

This behaviour begins during pregnancy. 

She is instinctively motivated to provide a safe, warm environment for her young.

This may be illogical. 

You were able to fix your rabbit. Why would a spayed rabbit attempt to remove its fur? Your pet is suffering from a condition known as phantom pregnancy. 

The rabbit is convinced she is pregnant as a result of her hormones fooling her.

False pregnancies can happen to any female rabbit (doe) at any time. They are less common in spayed rabbits, but they are still possible.

It’s more likely if the rabbit has previously given birth to a litter. 

Once ovulated, a rabbit is never out of season.

In most cases, a false pregnancy is caused by one of two factors:

Taking a mount from another rabbit. This could be a dominance act or an attempt at breeding. In either case, sexual stimulation will elicit a response from the female. The same effect will occur if you are mounted by another female.

Stressful situation. If the rabbit is under extreme stress, she will ovulate. Rabbits are instinctively motivated to ensure the survival of their species. Without the presence of another rabbit, a female can experience pseudopregnancy.

Your rabbit will exhibit all of the pregnancy-related behaviours. She’ll become more hungry and territorial. Do not be surprised if your pet exhibits unusual aggression for a few days.

A phantom pregnancy typically lasts approximately 18 days. 

Pregnancy at full term lasts closer to a month. The final stage of a phantom pregnancy will be nesting.

Hormone levels in the rabbit will quickly return to normal following this procedure.

Why is my male rabbit pulling out fur

Your male rabbit may be pulling out fur due to a few reasons 🐇💭:

  1. Stress or Boredom: Rabbits are social creatures. They can become stressed or bored if they lack companionship or stimulation 🐰🚫🎡.
  2. Illness: Skin issues, parasites, or other health conditions can cause fur pulling. Look for signs of discomfort or changes in behavior 🐇🌡️.
  3. Nesting Behavior: Even male rabbits can show pseudo-pregnancy behaviors, building nests with their fur. This is often hormone-related 🐇💕👶.
  4. Allergies or Dermatitis: Irritants in their environment may cause them to pull fur 🐇🏡💥.

It’s always wise to consult a vet if you’re concerned 🐇👩‍⚕️💼.

A Rabbit Pulling Fur from Another Rabbit

The reason for this behaviour is similar to the reason for solo barbering. The rabbits may be bored, or they may be confined in an insufficiently large space. 

Even bonded rabbits are capable of turning on one another in this situation.

What you’re more likely to notice is that one rabbit is more likely than another to barber another. 

This is a hegemonic act. One rabbit tugs on the fur of another to establish their pecking order.

Lagomorphs require hierarchy. Each pair consists of a dominant and a submissive rabbit. 

It is critical to establish this order when bonding two rabbits. Both rabbits will desire to be dominant until they have established their respective statuses.

Being the dominant rabbit has a number of advantages. They are entitled to eat first. 

While their dominant partner is sleeping, a submissive rabbit will guard them. At any time, dominant rabbits may request grooming.

Even submissive rabbits, however, have their limits. Rabbits occasionally like to gamble. 

The submissive rabbit’s fur may be yanked out. This is a leadership challenge. At times, roles reverse. Often, the animals simply fight.

As a form of punishment, the dominant rabbit may pluck out their subordinate’s fur. 

This could be due to their envy. You may have upset the rabbit hierarchy by petting the submissive rabbit first.

Whatever the cause, this behaviour must be stopped. Temporarily separate the two rabbits and allow them to cool off. Reintroduce them and be prepared to receive an apology.

Things will be fine if they apologise to one another. Otherwise, the bond may be lost. It’s difficult to re-bond two rabbits that have separated. They will almost certainly need to live in separate hutches in the future.

When a Female Rabbit is pulling a Male Rabbit’s Fur

In all mixed-sex pairings, female rabbits are invariably more dominant. 

If you introduce a male rabbit into a female rabbit’s hutch, they will almost always be submissive.

Regardless, this dynamic must be established. The female will almost certainly use her authority to stamp out this intruder. 

At first, this is likely to involve tugging on fur. This behaviour should resolve itself.

Another possibility is that the rabbits mated or that the male caused a pseudopregnancy. Females encase their nests in their own fur. They will not shy away from requiring males to contribute their fair share of fur as well.

When a male rabbit is yanking fur from a female rabbit.

This is less likely than a male barbering a female. Male rabbits typically submit to their female counterparts. It is possible, however. 

The male rabbit is most likely un-neutered, which is the most likely explanation. Male rabbits are territorial, frisky, and aggressive until this process is completed. Neutering significantly reduces their anxiety.

If the rabbit is fixed, you should keep an eye on its behaviour. 

They may be bothered by something about the female. They could simply be a big bully. In either case, the hutch share may not be a long-term viable option.

My rabbit eats the fur that they pull out.

Rabbits constantly consume small amounts of their own fur. 

It’s a natural part of their grooming routine. They will, however, only consume small amounts. This is reflected in their waste. Fur will be woven into their poop.

This is because the hair was small enough to avoid digestion. 

It passed right through. Larger clumps of hair will be unable to accomplish this. They are also difficult to digest. 

They’ll be found in the rabbit’s digestive tract.

This may result in a digestive blockage. This is dangerous, if not fatal. The rabbit is in danger because it is unable to eat properly. Consult a veterinarian as soon as you notice the first signs of gastrointestinal obstruction. These are some of the symptoms:

Diarrhea, or unusually small bowel movements
Having difficulty swallowing and, as a result, failing to eat
Belly distension and swelling
Lethargy, which may result in collapse when attempting to exercise

Why would a rabbit eat their own fur?

There are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, They are concealing evidence. This is possible if the rabbit is barbering due to stress.

Secondly, they don’t want to be in hot water. If they’re barbering because they’re afraid of predators, their presence will be hidden as well.

Alternatively, your rabbit may be lacking dietary fibre. They feel something is lacking in their food and seek to replace it. Pile up more hay in their hutch to rectify this behaviour.

A rabbit will always pull out a little of their own fur. They’ll do so by accident, while the groom themselves. They’ll also do it deliberately on occasion though, for a variety of reasons.

If your rabbit is pulling out their hair, there will be a reason for the behaviour, and often they’re sending a message. Try to understand what this message is, and take the necessary action.

Why is my rabbit pulling her fur out not pregnant

Rabbits pulling out their own fur when not pregnant can be attributed to a few reasons:

  1. False Pregnancy: Even when not actually pregnant, hormonal changes can trigger a pseudo-pregnancy, leading to nesting behaviors like fur pulling 🐇🌸.
  2. Boredom or Stress: Lack of mental or physical stimulation, or changes in the environment, can result in stress-related behaviors such as fur pulling 🐰😟.
  3. Health Issues: Parasites, skin conditions, or other underlying health problems can lead to fur pulling. Check for other symptoms 🐇🌡️.
  4. Allergies or Dermatitis: Environmental irritants or allergens can cause discomfort, leading to fur pulling 🐰💨.

If your rabbit continues this behavior, a vet consultation is advised 🩺🐇.


The Rabbits by John Marsden

Manual of Exotic pet Practice

About Content Reviewer & Vet Expert OnBoard: Dr Maya Zamir Malvern Vet Clinic. Dr Maya is passionate about pets and loves sharing her knowledge and research with you.

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Why do rabbits pull out their fur?Interesting things you should know

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