BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Looking for an older male bunny
Last Post by MarkBun at 12/14/2007 5:48 AM (29 Replies)
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User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/05/2007 2:48 PM

So, with all the data I have collected with the speed dating of my bunny, I have come to the conclusion that the bonding process will be about the same no matter which man I bring home for her.  So, I figured for the best match, I'd see about getting a slightly older bunny for her.

I am looking for a dwarf breed or a small (5-6 pound) male rabbit that is around 5 years old.  I know that older bunnies are a little harder to adopt out so I figured I'd give some fella a nice place and a great gal to spend his 'golden years' wtih.

I am searching the local (as in Bay Area, California) shelters at the moment but if anyone who works with a rescue group knows of a neat, good natured bunny guy, feel free to contact me.

Thank you.

Mark

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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12/05/2007 6:32 PM

Mark,

We have this little boy who might meet your specifications.  His name is Donahue.  He was recently returned to us after being adopted a few years ago.  He recently lost his bonded mate, and he is lonely without her.  Here is his picture:


User is Offline DustBunneh'sMama
Milltown, Wisconsin
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12/05/2007 10:35 PM

He is just darling!  And, lonely to boot...maybe it could be a love connection?!  Mark, please keep us posted and let us know if you meet him!

Proud mama to my 2 month old, 9 lb. bouncing baby Flemish Giant bunneh, "Ole Sven Joseph Gigantica, Earl of Niblet"

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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12/06/2007 3:59 AM

We also just got a black and white spot name Bosley.  He is about 5 years old, and just lost his home because his human Dad has cancer, and is on immunosuppressing treatments.  His doctors are afraid that he'll catch something from Bosley, so Bosley has to find a new home.  I do not know if he has been around other rabbits or not.


User is Offline FredsDad
41 posts Send Private Message
12/06/2007 5:17 AM
Posted By osprey on 12/05/2007 9:32 PM

Mark,

We have this little boy who might meet your specifications.  His name is Donahue.  He was recently returned to us after being adopted a few years ago.  He recently lost his bonded mate, and he is lonely without her.  Here is his picture:

 

 

OH MAN IS HE CUTE! Too bad he's so far away....


User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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12/06/2007 5:36 AM
OMG I am in love with Donahue
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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12/06/2007 5:43 AM
They are both so handsome - hopefully one of these cuties can work out!

User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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12/06/2007 8:48 AM
Wow! I am sooo in love with Donahue...what a cutie patootie!

Poor Bosely, he is absolutely darling too! I hope they get into their forever homes soon.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/06/2007 8:53 AM
I have made an appointment to see Donahue this Saturday. I will probably not bring Maryann with me as it would be a three hour round trip drive and she's been giving me a lot of attitude and pity looks about having taken her on so many car rides for the last month. I understand that Bosley will also be around for me to look at as well but I'd prefer the smaller Donahue as I have such a small place. After such a long time of taking her on dates, I feel that I can sort of judge the personalities that she prefers.


I have also been looking in other places as well, including craigslist, but I think those that have been helped thus far by the rescue shelters should get that last step up.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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12/06/2007 8:59 AM

Bummer, I will not be at this week's show.  Say Hi to Auntie Heather for me.  Here is another picture of Donahue, it gives a better view of his coloring:


User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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12/06/2007 9:49 AM
Oh my! he just gets cuter and cuter with each pic! Mark, keep us posted. Good luck!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/07/2007 4:19 PM

Markus I hope it works out! Do let us know!


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/08/2007 5:49 PM

Well I am happy to announce that Donahue has made it home with me just fine.  Although he is still a bit uncertain about me as he's currently hiding in his cardboard house I made for him.

The bonding process by those 'over the hills' in Santa Cruz is a bit different than what the HRS has been doing.  First though was my 1.5 hour drive down there.  I decided to open up the carrier as I couldn't imagine having Maryann cooped up for that entire drive.  I should mention the carrier I have for her is somewhat 'short' as it is meant to go under seats on airplanes (I had thought I wasn't going to be in the area long after getting her).  Immedately she went from frightened to curious mode.  Soon, she was on my lap or cuddling up next to my thigh while we drove down the highway.  The only thing she didn't like was when we began to go through the twists and turns of the mountain but after 90 minutes we arrived at the shelter.

I met Heather immediately (who was hoarse from, I believe, her all day discussions with people) and Donahue's forster mom, Linda.  Maryann was all wired up (as was I) from the travel so I sat with her for a little while.  We then began the first introductions.  Putting Maryann into a shopping cart lined with blankets, we waited for her to calm down and then put in Donahue.  We then went for a trip around the inside of the store, pushing them along.  Donahue was a bit more nervous than Maryann (who was just done with a long ride) but there were alot of what Linda calls "Eskimo kisses" without Maryann showing any hint of agression.

I then took her out of the cart and held her on my chest while they tried to put Donahue next to her on my chest as well.  Well, the lil' bugger began digging and nipping at me and my shirt immediately.  Guess he doesn't like the guys.  So then it was into the pen they set up for the bonding.  There was no box used although there was litter box that both used after the trip (to me a good sign).  Then, there was constant exploration of the pen and each other.  Maryann would go to him, he would go to her and there was almost no negative reactions between them.  He tried to mount her a couple of times (even once in the cart) and she only did the nip/lunge thing when he snuck up on her butt once.  Other than that, it was more eskimo kisses and so on.

Donahue became so happy that not only did he do a couple of binkies but he also did the power flop.  Maryann just did her usual 'you don't even exist' thing but during one pass, when they did the eskimo kisses, Donahue began to groom Maryann!  Her nose, her cheek, even her ears - and Maryann let him!  No signs of pulling back of jerky motions.  We extended the cage to about a 4x10 foot size, put down more blankets and left them alone.  There were a couple of chases and it was hilarious seeing Donahue with a mouth full of black maryann fur from one nip passing but 99% of it was nothing more than them approaching one another, sniffing, then exploring on their own.

The grooming sealed the deal for me.  The fact that there was never a single circling/nipping argument in the whole 2.5 hours they were together was just futher proof.  I got a new carrier to fit the both of them, put them in it (with Donahue digging and nipping my chest again - we're gonna have to talk about that) and shaking a little like a new dad, we got into the car and went home.  At the end of the 90 minute car ride home, I caught the two of them snuggling.

On the advice of Heather and Linda, I have set up an X-pen next to Maryann's cage (which I will probably lower down to ground level - it is on 6" risers), laid down a blanket, litter, food, water and his preferred oat hay.  I also included toys that Maryann rarely plays with and Maryann's cardboard box/vacation home - which he occupies while I am around and he's not hungry.

My first home bonding session will be happening in an hour or so.  I am going to do it in the bathroom for tonight as I still need to do some serious work in my bedroom to get it ready (I really didn't expect to bring him home today).  Upon the suggestions once again of Linda, I am just going to do the same setup as before, except include both litter boxes, and see how it goes.

I'll be scheduling the free check-up exam with Dr. Harvey on Monday but other than not having pooped yet (and Maryann's poops being a little smaller/sticker at the moment) they both look fine.  And I think the poop issues are just from the stress of today.  If they remain throughout tomorrow though, we'll be going to the doctors a bit earlier.

I'll take some pictures at tonight's bonding session so you can see the two of them together.  Although trying to to be overly optomistic, I don't think that it will be a long bonding process.  Maryann is currently quite relaxed in her cage, even when she sees Donahue (from now on to be referred to as Tona as he just doesn't look like a Donny to me and I don't want the rabbits to have the same number of syllables in their names).  In addition, neither have left any marking poops along the sides of the cages where they touch.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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12/08/2007 6:24 PM

I am happy that things worked out for you, Maryann and Tona.  Hopefully the bonding will go smoothly.

We had a good day today, Bosley found a home too!

 


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/08/2007 6:43 PM
If it means anything to you, Osprey, let me say that all the bunnies I saw today looked healthy, cute and extremely sociable. You guys appear to do great work there in Santa Cruz with your buns.

If I had brought my girlfriend, I'd have had to turn my car into one big rabbit carrier. The three young bunnies though stole my heart when a volunteer went into their area to clean up a few things and all three ran from their little huddled position in the corner to climb all over her legs.

Heh, and someone also asked if Maryann was available as she loves the people.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/08/2007 7:19 PM

Well my extreme optimism just left.

I got a small little space prepared for them and put the two in.  Within 15 seconds, they did the nip & spin and when I got them seperated, there were a couple of clumps of maryann's fur on the ground.  When I let them go again, it was the old tale of Maryann out roaming about while the boy was sitting stock still in the box afraid to move.  The couple of times that he did, it resulted in another lunge match.

I'm not discouraged though.  The space was small and this was the first time on Maryann's home turf (eventhough she doesn't go into the bathroom as she hates the linoleum, she still thinks of it as hers).  I'll be moving stuff around in the bedroom to make a much larger area for them to move around in so that if this happens again, they have places to retreat to.

Now begins the hard work.  I'm glad the holidays are coming up so I can spend some extra time with them.

Oh, here's a pic of them after the session.  You can see Maryann through the bars checking out Tona.  I wouldn't say she's giving him the stinkeye though - just curious.  I think Tona isn't too upset either else he wouldn't have immediately hopped over to her after I put him back in the pen and then began grooming himself.

 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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12/08/2007 7:50 PM

Thank you for the kind words, Mark.  All of our bunnies live in the homes of our volunteers, we have no shelter building.  The bunnies are well cared for and handled a lot to make them more attractive to adopters.  I am glad that this comes across at our adoption events.

Good luck with the bonding!  Donahue/Tona lost his mate and his home in the same week, I am so happy that he has found a home with a caring bunny person.

 


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/09/2007 7:32 AM

congrats on the new addition!  he is a very handsome guy!

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/09/2007 10:49 AM

I'm glad MaryAnn found a suitor Mark but at the same time sorry it might take a little work, but overall not bad.  I think they will make a beautiful pair once they get things sorted out!


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/09/2007 1:00 PM

Well now it's REALLY hard to be optomistic.  Apparently, my apartment is so small that there is no place that Maryann doesn't consider her place.  I tried to use the box, but neither one would stay in it, even when I was pushing them down.  When I let them loose, Maryann latched so hard onto Tona that when I went to pull them apart, she dragged him along with her.  The really sad thing is that Tona hopped right back to her without any agressive body language to see her again - which earned him a nip on his nose.  No blood though so their fur is doing its job.  I wanted to leave it on a good note but there was no way to do it.  The best I could do was hold them at 4 inches apart from one another for two seconds.

I think I'm going to have to use the HRS's "Bonding Bootcamp" where they take both rabbits from me and do a week of intensive bonding.  I am going to try another car ride a little bit later.  For now though, I'm going to focus on bonding with Tona and myself.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Thumpers_Mom
New York
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12/09/2007 1:52 PM
I'm sooo happy Tona is with you. Don't get discouraged. I know the feeling all to well with my bonding adventures of thumper and peaches (which is still in progress).

I find things go smooth when I put out food for them so they have a HUGE salad...and a papaya tablet. At first, I would situate the food about 4-5 ft from each other, now, they are eating out of the same plate at times. I also make sure that I am right there with them and do a lot of patting and ear rubbing. There have been a couple of bad scuffles but i won't give up. It'll just take time. You saw that they have it in them to be the best of friends...it will be worth it in the end.

(((((hugs)))))))

*Jackie

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
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12/09/2007 5:23 PM
It sounds like things started out great so they must be a very compatible pair! I find that in the beginning there are always a couple scuffles esp. due to the "territorialness" of the existing bunny. Have you considered using the bathtub to bond them in? You can put a towel down so they get some traction - thats likely to be a place where neither bunny feels like it is their territory

Also - a few people have recommended to me putting both bunnies in a carrier or crate on top of the dryer so that the rocking motion makes them snuggle together. Obviously you'll need a fan or something so it doesn't get too warm, and also don't leave them unattended lest they rock right off the machine - but I've heard a couple different people have had success with this.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/09/2007 8:00 PM
There are a lot of what I call 'scare tactics' that I could try - vacuum cleaner, car rides - heck one guy suspended his carrier by bungee cords so that if they'd fight or run around it would begin to shake and bounce so they'd have to remain still. I'd rather try to not use them. I don't have a bath tub, only a very small shower stall.

My current plan is to put her into the same room with Dono (still not sure of the name yet - we'll see what sticks) so that she has to see him all the time but can't get to him. I"m also going to put her into his pen while he's out romping around the living room exercising so that she can get used to his scent. A third tactic is to put down a blue tarp on the ground. It will help to hide the scent, be a different tactile feeling and give Maryann something else to focus on besides the intruder. I"m also going to do the giant salad move too as they both LOVE the greens.

It's just going to take time. I'm not discouraged, I just hate to see anybun gettin' hurt - even if it is just fur...

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/10/2007 8:05 AM

wow.  i hope things get better for those two.  it sounds like Tona/Donahue is pretty anxious to have a friend.  a safe scare tactic may be your best bet really.  others have done it and claimed to have success... it's worth a try.  and chances are good you would've gone thru this with anybun you brought home for her, so don't feel too bad.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/10/2007 9:14 AM

markusdark... just saw this thread today... what a story!  glad you're not discouraged by maryann's territorialness (is that a word?).   dono will certainly appreciate your efforts when he can get back to grooming her.  sounds like the poor guy's been through a lot & its so sweet that you're going through this effort for him.  my bun has ALWAYS reacted to being held against me my digging & biting, even now that she's 7 and bunny grunts & binkys when i'm near her (so i know she doesnt hate me.. lol).  i always have to hold her either with her back to me (one hand on her chest & the slide other under her tush & then to brace her thumpers)  or in bunny trance position.   maybe dono will not stay this way once he adjusts, but just thought i'd mention it

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/10/2007 12:02 PM

Just a quick update. Dono will be seeing Dr. Harvey on Thursday and both of them are eating and pooping normally again. I currently have Maryann's and Dono's cages near each other but with about 2 inches in between them. They can hop up, look at each other but not get close enough to trigger unwanted reactions. I am a little bit at a loss though because the HRS says that they shouldn't be caged near each other while SaveABunny says that they should be close enough to groom through the bars.

Just one day at a time. Today, I'm not going to try any bonding but I am going to stick a big pile of leafy green in between the cages so they can be snacking while looking at each other - hopefully associating nummies with the other bunny.

Hmm, someone at work just asked if I could bring the buns in for them to see and I just realized - my office is neutral territory! (Maryann has been here twice but I don't think she's that clingy to it). hmmm....

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/10/2007 4:13 PM

Hmm, the HRS says they should not be caged near each other? Where is this at? They should actually be caged next to each other, just be sure to keep them far enough to where they can't nip noses.


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/11/2007 5:34 AM
Well there are two minds to this. Caging next to each other has the belief that they will become accustomed to each other through seeing one another the entire time. Those that think they shouldn't see each other believe that the first bun will constantly see this invader and since she cannot chase him out of her territory, will begin to develop a greater animosity towards them.

If it wasn't for the insistance of Dono's foster mom, I would have left them in seperate rooms. But I can tell Dono really likes having her around, even if it is just to look at.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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12/13/2007 9:03 PM

I think caging near each other is good, but I'm the one who also says to be a bit cautious. Scarlet is right about making sure the pens are far apart enough that they don't nip.  I am always worried that they can hurt each other. I know Rucy got her eye bit, and her bottom lip ripped off by Bailey through the xpen. It was sewn together, but that scared me enough always advise to be careful about putting them "right" next to each other. I prefer to keep an inch or so separate until I can see that they are not being aggressive with each other - supervising their behavior for awhile first. 

ALSO, I too have caution on my site in the bonding tips section that if you begin to see them getting territorial with each other and aggressive along the borders then to watch how it progresses. If it doesn't die down over time, ( a couple of weeks) and only increases, then you may need to think of a different route. Each pair really has their own little issues that you have to work through. What's great for one pair, may cause aggression in another.   However, they bond bunnies all the time at SaveAbunny so their advise is from tons of experience.

Another tactic is to switch cages everyday. So they get used to the other space, and scent.

Also, ehen they were in the bathroom and they would fight, did they seem to get territorial over a certain space? Like did you have a litterbox there? Sometimes bunnies will get territorial over a box. Also how long is each bonding session right now? Do you end it when they fight or ??

SaveABunny also uses the "strainer" technique that I really like. Use a kitchen strainer to stop a lunge or to separate them before they get into a fight. That way they can still sniff and smell each other though strainer, but they are blocked from full aggression.

Also, be sure you are petting them and keeping them calm. Human interaction to calm can really help, but if you are afraid of getting bit, wear gloves.

And, of course, car rides and those stress methods can really help. I know it's throwing them into a crisis in hopes they'll cling to each other for comfort, and that may seem like a bummer way, but the stress of bonding and not get along is just a ton of mini crisis.

Bonding can really be stressful. On average it takes about three weeks. That means there will be some that are shorter, and some that are longer. It should soon become more apparant what will work for these two. Like switching cages or not, or offering food and affection, litterbox in bonding sessions or not. It can take a few days to figure out what works. And in the meantime, be careful your back doesn't go out from trying to bond them on a small bathroom floor.

Peace to you all! I'm sending easy bonding vibes your way. Keep us updated!

EDITED:  I forgot to say - I know you mentioned that your place is small and so not much is "neutral"  to your bunny.  I know that feeling.  When my husband and I lived in the city, our place was small, and our bunnies owned every inch.  So we CREATED a neutral place.  Check out the bonding section and scroll down to close to the bottom to the BONDING TIPS AND TRICKS and see the first section that says "Don't have a semi permanent Space? Create one:


User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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12/14/2007 5:48 AM

BB,

Thanks for the words of encouragement and the tips. Maryann just seems to attack whenever Dono begins to move. There doesn't seem to be an exact territorial thing other than he's just there.  I believe it is just her being bossy as in - "Hey, I didn't say you could move!".  I am not afraid of getting bit mainly because I have never been seriously bit by a bunny in my life (an accidental nip but that has only been once or twice).  I also handle buns differently than most because I feel more secure that way and it doesn't seem to bother the buns.  I know that personal confidence is needed and that it translates to the rabbits.

I have been thinking about the building a neutral area with a large dog kennel/crate that I have at home. I had planned to use it as an outdoor shelter that buns could hop around in (it is about 4'x3'). I had thought about draping sheets over the sides and making pretend it is a new room so I am glad to hear I am on the right path.

I want to do the car rides but unfortunately I don't have any real friends in my area (all of them are down south in San Jose). I just have to take it a day at a time and hope something works. I can only imagine what this would be like if I had adopted one of the other buns that Maryann actually had attacked at the shelters. I am just hoping that I don't mentally/emotionally scar Dono by the end of this. He just wants someone to love.

I think Maryann might just be another Bailey.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Looking for an older male bunny

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