"Nesting" type behaviour in male rabbit?? Help!

by Sue
(UK)

My 1 yr old 'male' rabbit is scratching vigorously at his cage floor and gathering up mouthfuls of hay and seems quite frantic. he wont let go of the hay and runs around the room with it and then backwards and forwards to his cage with it in his mouth. I have had him for only two months and I'm not 100% sure it is a male. This is the second time he has done this, the first time he stopped after 3-4 days.


Any ideas on why? And anything i can do to ''help'' him?

***** Karen Sez *****
Yes, I'm very dubious about this 'buck's' buckhood too. Because, you're surely describing a female rabbit. The first time it gathered nesting materials was probably a false pregnancy. And perhaps this episode is as well.

Why don't you go to https://www.raising-rabbits.com/sexing-rabbits.html, and see if you can figure out for certain if the 'he' is really a 'she.'

So let me ask: does this 'buck' live with or have access to any other rabbits? If you happen to have another intact buck, the rabbit in question, if female, may be pregnant. If it has access to a dominant female, the act of humping can bring on a false pregnancy.

How to help 'him?' Determining the true gender is a start, and from there you can decide what the next step(s) should be.

--If female and pregnant, you need a nest box stat.

--If female and not pregnant, a false pregnancy will work itself out without problem.

--If male...wow, I'll be very surprised!

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Aug 01, 2019
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Castrated buck is nesting
by: Pam

My buck has started nesting. He is 3 and lives with his neutered wife. She has done some nesting too but quite some time ago. They have run of garden and he has taken hay to a hole they dug. Can understand females get phantom pregnancy but why would he do this?

***** Karen Sez *****
That's a little bizarre, eh?
I'm not sure I have a solid answer for you, but here's what I think, since you've written this query in August. Late August or early September is when rabbit hormones drop into the basement and rabbits, both male and female, enter a several-month resting phase.

Here's what I suspect. Given that Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit are both enjoying a burrow in the garden, and given that he is already low in hormones due to the castration, perhaps the Mister is no longer feeling any hormonal drive and just wants to chill with the Missus. What think? Please do let us know if and when the dude comes out of his interest in nesting!

Many more details here.
Enjoy your rabbits.

May 14, 2018
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Nesting male rabbit
by: Anonymous

I too have a 7-month recently neutered rabbit. The other day I thought he was choking with a mouthful of hay and straw. Today was the same with frantic scratching in his bedroom. After looking on here I feel a bit happier that I know what he is doing and that he is not alone in this behavior. But he definitely is a 'he' - so very strange!

Mar 12, 2018
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Male rabbit gathering hay
by: Anonymous

My 6 yr old Flemish Giant just recently started doing this, we recently bonded him to a female rabbit, Walter our male was rescued from humane and neutered there and we had our female spayed at vets before we officially bonded them ... I’ve had many rabbits thru the years but never seen a male make a nest before, it’s actually quite cute. Haven’t been able to find much info about this unfortunately.

Dec 26, 2017
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Male rabbit nesting
by: Anonymous

Well I'm totally baffled. I have a male who is frantically nesting, hay and fur ... in all my years with rabbits of many breeds I've never seen this with a confirmed male. (Boys are visible, ha ha, and he has sired litters for me so no doubt there.)

May 23, 2017
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My male neutered rabbit does this
by: Michelle

My male rabbit is eight years old, and definitely male as I had him neutered, he has started carrying hay in his mouth, making a lovely nest in the hay. He was a bonded rabbit but unfortunately his female bonded friend passed away due to old age. I've had rabbits 40 years and it's the first time I've seen this. Maybe missing the other rabbit.

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