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Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Back Feet **2024**

Why Do Rabbits Flick Their back Feet

As general rule rabbits flick their black feet indicating several possible messages. 1) They are irritated 2) Showing dominance 3) Protecting from predators. Rabbits are known for their powerful back legs, which allow them to move quickly over short distances. However, rabbits can also use their powerful back legs to kick their human companions, causing injury to humans or themselves. They can use that behavior for escape or defense

Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Back Feet

Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Back Feet. Rabbits are known for their powerful back legs, which allow them to move quickly over short distances. However, rabbits can also use their powerful back legs to kick their human companions, causing injury to humans or themselves. They can use that behavior for escape or defense. Flicking in rabbits is a behavior that many rabbit owners observe. Owners should understand that kicking is an indication of how secure a rabbit feels when being held. Proper handling is the best option to help prevent this unwanted behavior.

Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Back Feet / Rabbit Flicking / Rabbit Swearing

What Does My Rabbit’s Behavior Mean?

A rabbit’s body language can be subtle, therefore it’s not always easy to understand how a rabbit’s feeling. A good place to start is with a rabbit’s ears. If they are close together, facing upwards and pointing outwards, the rabbit is likely to be relaxed and happy.

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Alternatively, a worried rabbit’s ears will be flattened against their back. Other indicators are a rabbit’s eyes and body posture. Additionally, their behavior can indicate how they are feeling, for example, a rabbit may be anxious if they are hiding. Rabbits’ body language can be subtle, meaning that it’s not always obvious how they’re feeling. Use this guide to help you recognize important body language signals.

Rabbit Kicks a goat

Rabbit Body Language / Prey Animals

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what our rabbits are thinking. As prey animals, the way they behave is different from other common pets and changes to their body language can be quite subtle. If you know what to look for, their body language can be a huge giveaway as to how your rabbits are feeling.

It can help you recognize if they are stressed, unhappy, or if they’re just chuffed to be a rabbit. As rabbits often try to hide any signs of illness, their body language can also indicate if there is something wrong with them. Keep an eye out for the signs below. Always take your rabbits to the vet if you notice an unexplained change in their behavior to rule out any illnesses or medical causes.

Rabbit Protects Baby Rabbits from Snake / Kicking / Flicking

How Can I Tell if My Rabbits are Happy?

If they’re in the right environment allowing them to express their natural behaviors, with the right company and diet, your rabbits should be happy most of the time unless something is bothering them. There are some clear indicators in your rabbits’ body language which can help you recognize if they are feeling happy:

  • Relaxed body. Your rabbits won’t look tense when they are happy. Their bodies will look relaxed and comfortable and they won’t seem on edge. There are lots of ways your rabbit might show they are relaxed, usually when lying down. They might sit with their legs tucked under their bodies (like a little rabbit loaf!), or lie down completely stretched out (superman Pose).
  • Curiosity. Rabbits who are hopping around, exploring their environment, and munching are happy bunnies! Even the shyest rabbits are naturally curious and when they feel safe, they’ll want to explore new objects.
  • Happy hopping. When your rabbits are happy, you might notice them do a little ‘binky’. This is when they hop in the air, twist a little bit, then land back on the ground.
  • Nose twitching. Happy and content rabbits will be constantly wiggling and twitching their noses, whether they’re bouncing about or relaxing.

You can also Read our Guide –18 Ways to Make Money by Rabbit Farming—Extensive Guidelines for Rabbit Farmers

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why does my rabbit flick his back feet

How Can I Tell If My Rabbits are Unhappy?

If your rabbits suddenly stop behaving ‘normally’, or aren’t showing many signs of being happy, then you should first take them to your vet. They will be able to rule out any medical conditions that could cause a change in your rabbits’ behavior. They’ll also be able to chat through your rabbits’ living situation and give you plenty of top tips on how to improve it to make your rabbits happier, even if they don’t find anything medically wrong.

There are lots of signs to look out for in your rabbits to recognize if they are unhappy.

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what does it mean when a rabbit kick its back legs

Stress in Rabbits

Rabbits can become worried or anxious if they’re put in a situation they don’t like or if they’re feeling unwell. Signs to look out for include:

  • Ears. Your rabbits’ ears are a big giveaway as to how they are feeling. If they flatten their ears tightly against their body, this could mean that they are feeling stressed or anxious.
  • Tense and ‘down’ body. Rabbits will usually tense up if they are stressed or worried. They might go into a crouched position, or flatten themselves against the ground – like they’re trying not to be seen, but are also ready to run if they need to. You’ll notice a split-second version of this if your rabbits are startled by a loud noise and freeze, but if they seem immobilized this is a really strong sign, they’re unhappy.
  • Lack of nose twitching. If your rabbits look tucked up and quiet with their chins tucked in and noses not twitching this can be a sure sign of them feeling unhappy or stressed, as this is not a normal position for a rabbit.
  • Moving or running away. Your rabbits may turn and move away from you (or each other) if they’re unhappy. Sometimes chasing each other is a form of play, but sometimes a rabbit will be trying to get away from the other or from you, so watch for other signs of happiness or unhappiness to judge which it is.
  • Hiding. Worried and scared rabbits will hide away a lot. If you notice your rabbits hiding, don’t try to move them. Instead, make sure they have space to come out when they feel ready. Pop a few exciting Toys or their favorite Veggie down to try and coax them out.
  • Thumping. Thumping would originally have acted as a warning to other bunnies nearby that there’s danger about. If your rabbits are unhappy or feel threatened by something, they may thump the ground with their back legs and make lots of noise.
Rabbit Body Language

Angry and Unhappy Rabbits

Your rabbits will show clear signs if they’re very unhappy and feel threatened enough to become aggressive because they’re so scared or worried. Signs to look out for include:

  • Tense and ‘up’ body. Rather than crouching and tensing, like a stressed or worried bunny, your rabbits may tense in a more aggressive stance if they’re unhappy. They might crouch and angle their head up, rather than having it flat against the floor.
  • Rabbit turns and moves away flicking the back feet. Ears may be held against the back.
  • Boxing. If they are sitting upright and their front paws are ‘boxing’ at you, they are likely very unhappy.
  • Vocalizing. Rabbits don’t tend to make much noise and when they do it’s a sign, they’re feeling very threatened. You may hear them grunting or growling and in extreme cases, they can scream.
  • Showing their front teeth. If they show you their teeth, this is an extreme sign of fear and a ‘final warning’.
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why does my rabbit kick his back legs

What to Do If My Rabbits are Unhappy

If any of your rabbits are showing signs of stress or unhappiness, there could be a number of reasons for their behavior. If you can clearly see something is causing them to be anxious or unhappy, such as an unfamiliar object or something you are doing, take it away or stop if you can. It’s important to speak to your vet if you notice any changes in your rabbits’ behavior and body language so they can make sure there are no medical reasons for it. They will be able to advise you on the best action to take.

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Why Do Rabbits Flick Their Back Feet

Prevention – To Keep Your Rabbits Happy

The easiest way to make sure your rabbits are happy is to meet their 5 Welfare Needs

Rabbit Meat Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits BornLbs Meat / YearAverage Price / LBTotal Revenue Possible
184252$ 8.00$ 2016
2168504$ 8.00$ 4032
54201260$ 8.00$ 10,080
108402520$ 8.00$ 20,162
2016805040$ 8.00$ 40,320
3025207560$ 8.00$ 60,480
40336010,080$ 8.00$ 80,640
50420012,600$ 8.00$ 100,800
100840025,200$ 8.00$ 201.600
20016,80050,400$ 8.00$ 403,200
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14

Rabbit Giant Angora Fur Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits Born / Yr0z wool / Year
40 OZ / Rabitt
Average Price / oz
Feed Cost / Yr
$ .30 per day / $ 110 per Year

Total Revenue Possible
1843,360$ 33,600$ 9,240$ 24,360
21686,720$ 67,200$ 18,480$ 48,720
542016,800$ 168,000$ 46,200$ 121,800
1084033,600$ 33,6000$ 92,400$ 243,600
20168067,200$ 672,000$ 184,800$ 487,200
302520100,800$ 1,008,000$ 57,200$ 950,800
403360134,400$ 1,344,000$ 369,600$ 974,400
504200168,000$ 1,680,000$ 462,000$ 1,218,000
1008400336,000$ 3,360,000$ 924,000$ 2,436,000
20016,800672,000$ 6,720,000$ 1,848,000$ 4,872,000
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14
Average Giant Angora Weight 10lb
40 Oz shaved Fur per Rabbit per Year
Feed $ .30 per day for 10lb Rabbit

Rabbit Poop Profitability Table

Number RabbitsManure / day / .5lbManure / lbs WeekManure /lbs Year
Manure per Rabbit ranges from .5 - 1 lb per day. We used .5 for Calculations

Breeds of Rabbits FAQ

Breed of RabbitOriginWeightPurposeKits / LitterBreed association
New ZealandsCalifornia5 kg
11 lbs
Meat8American Federation New Zealand Rabbit Breeders Assoc
CaliforniasCalifornia3 kg
7-10 lbs
Meat6 - 8California Rabbit Breeders
RexFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4National Rex Rabbit Club
SatinsMichigan4 kg
9.5 lbs
Meat2 - 4American satin Breeders Association
PaliminosAmerican5.4 kg
12 lbs
Meat6 -8Palimino Rabbit Breeders Association
English AngoraEngland2-3 kg
5-7 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
French AngoraFrance4.5 kg
10.5 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Giant AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
9 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Satin AngoraTurkey4.5 kg
6 - 10 lbs
Wool6 - 8National Angora Breeders
Mini LopUK3 kg
5.5 lbs
Dwarf2 -3American Mini Lop Rabbit Club
Dutch DwarfNetherlands1 - 2 kg
2,5 lbs
Dwarf2 - 4American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club
Pygmy RabbitNorth American500 grams
1 lb
Britania PetiteUK / Polish700 grams
1 1/2 - 2 lbs
Dwarf2-3American Britiania Petite Rabbit Society
Litter Size
Breed Association

Rabbit Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
American Breeders AssociationUnited StatesARBA
House Rabbit SocietyCaliforniaHRS
Ohio States Rabbit Breeders AssociationOhioOSRBA
Livestock Conservancy North CarolinaLC
Rabbit Welfare Association and FundUnited KingdomRWA
British Rabbit CouncilUnited KingdomBRC
European Association of Rabbits....EuropeEAP
Australian National Rabbit CouncilAustraliaANRC
Australian Rabbit House SocietyAustraliaARHS
ARBA - Rabbit ShowsUnited StatesARBA - Shows
Resource List of Rabbit Breeder Associations

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  • Gregory Gaines

    Darlene and I have Lived on a 500 Acre farm, we lived there raising our 3 children and 6 Foster Children. On That farm we and our Children Raised Rabbits Chickens Hogs Cattle Goats Gaines Gregory