Once you have brought your new bunny home, introduce him/her to his/her new hutch or cage and leave him/her to settle in for 24 hours. This is less important with adult owners but it is preferable when moving to a family environment with lots of noisy young children. This settling-in time helps young children learn their new family member is a living animal and not an animated toy!
Your rabbit should be handled at least twice daily and will probably enjoy joining you to watch a TV film in the evenings. Some rabbits are happy to lie (with full body and head support) on their backs and allow you to gently stroke their chest and belly.
Most rabbits enjoy a nose-rub (either using the backs of your fingers or rubbing his nose with your own - be warned: it tickles!!) or neck massage behind their ears.
All our bunnies are used to regular handling and many younger rabbits like to sit on shoulders and nestle into human necks. Many of our babies will happily sit on your shoulders and remain there while we walk around the garden, clean out hutches, greet the Postman.... We just have to try to remember not to head into town wearing our furry fashions!
Support the rabbit's chest (not stomach or abdomen) and rear end. Grasping the scruff of their neck and supporting their rear end with your other hand may be easier for larger rabbits or pregnant does. Then hold the rabbit close to your body for support.
Especially tame rabbits will lie on their backs, cradled into your elbow, with their head back and mouth dropped open - almost like a hypnotic trance, allowing you to rub their chest and nose. Some prefer to snuggle up to your chest while others stand on your bent forearm and 'hide' their head between your arm and ribs. Most of ours like to sit on our shoulders and nibble our ears. Our larger bunnies stretch across our shoulders and drape themselves behind our necks like a head-rest - but we recommend sitting down before tackling this with a generously-proportioned French Lop!