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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding 2 females - continues
Last Post by bunnymama at 3/29/2009 2:27 PM (82 Replies)
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User is Offline bunnymama
162 posts Send Private Message
6/22/2008 2:31 PM

Thanks for the bonding section ----

Last month I posted that I already had Baby (2+ yr old female netherlands dwarf, spayed) and was getting Gracie (2+ yr old female Lions Head dwarf that was spayed 2 weeks ago the day I got her).

Baby (first bun) has full run of the house when we are home otherwise she is contained in a bedroom but never locked in her cage. Gracie (new bun) has a large pen area with cage in  a separate bedroom and I just taught her yesterday how to go in and out of her cage into her pen (and she now will never be locked in her cage again).  I was going to start bonding this week but am wondering if I should wait longer for Gracie's hormones to settle down.  What does everyone think?  Wait longer than just slightly over two weeks?  I really want this to work.

 

Thanks ---love the site still --Bunny Mama


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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6/22/2008 2:38 PM
I think if you have the luxury to wait, I would wait a few more weeks and then start slowly.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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6/23/2008 7:05 AM
Agreed. If you can wait 8 weeks, it would be a good thing to do. You could start with the 'stunt double' though and have them begin to get each other's scent so when they come across one another, it won't be a complete surprise to them.

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

User is Offline bunnymama
162 posts Send Private Message
6/26/2008 1:46 PM

Thanks for the advice. Promise to wait for at least 4 weeks but I'm sure I won't be able to take 8 weeks since I'm stressed at having Gracie the new girl in a pen instead of roaming free where she should be.  When I get closer to starting to bond, I'm sure I'll have many more questions. Take care bunnny slaves....


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/27/2008 3:44 AM
once she is reliably littertrained, you might want to start allowing them separate runtimes. it will cut down on your first rabbit's outtime, but as long as she's getting the recommended 4 hours a day, i wouldn't worry about it. plus 1st bunny will be able to get used to the scent of the new bunny. this will also give you some time to start to bond and get to know the newcomer.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
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6/27/2008 11:43 AM

So Beka27 you suggest letting the new girl out to roam the house while bunny #1 is in her bedroom.  Interesting thought and I was wondering about doing that.  So it should help them get better acquainted with each others scent.  HMMMM. Maybe I'll try that a little this weekend.  Baby my first bun has been all over and I mean chinning everything in sight everyday, everytime she goes by something (long before bun 2 came into the picture).  I'm pretty sure that bun 1 - Baby will be the domainant bunny - she bullies me all the time -- I am a bunny slave after all.  Thanks --Bunny Mama


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/27/2008 12:38 PM
be aware their might be some territorial marking with poops... but i think it would be better to let them smell each other.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
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7/04/2008 6:51 AM

Okay so I've let Gracie bun #2 roam the house freely for about 5 days now. Baby bun #1 wasn't exactly happy about it. They both left poops and Baby pooped and urniated in the master where Gracie was not allowed to go.This was on day 1. Since then they've both sorta accepted the others scent. But it was getting harder and harder to keep them separate and give them ample run time so today we started bonding (neutral setting).  This session went for 15 minutes (which felt like 15 hours to me and my husband) and at first they ignored each other. Then came nose to nose and Baby was smelling Gracies #2 face.  Baby then showed some gently signs of domaince like sniffing at Gracie's butt and a very low key chase around a little. They separated and then Gracie ran over toward Baby #1 - Baby ran away and Gracie chased her and took out a chunk of fur! Spray bottle went into action on Gracie (about 3 squirts) to get them to stop since I could see that Baby was getting very afraid.  They separated for a bit and then Gracie ensured again they did a leap in the air side by side but in different directions.  Then Gracie ran toward Baby once again and was showing signs of aggression and Baby was quite scared so we sprayed the water bottle separated and returned them to the thier rooms.

Not too bad for the first go around. I can't believe the Baby #1 who has bossed me and my husband around for almost 2 years now is running from Gracie the newbie.  This is sooooo stressful. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks --Happy 4th of July you Bunny Slaves!  I plan on another session tomorrow morning again for like 20-30 minutes if all goes well.


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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7/04/2008 11:16 AM
was this their first meeting? i have a bonding thread in this forum about Max and Meadow. it takes time, but i'd suggest you try and do some bonding every single day. it's very easy to get frustrated... but if you keep your eyes on the ultimate goal, that will hopefully motivate you. it took me 3 full weeks of bonding (i did at least one hour per day). i started off where you are with fighting and fur flying. they both had bites on them and Meadow actually ripped Max's lip... but as of today, they've been penned together for 3 days straight with no fighting at all. so take it slow... you need a small neutral area. i was bonding in my bedroom and i gated off part of the room so we were in a space no bigger than about 3 x 6 feet. they need to be close so they cannot avoid each other.

Markus and Sarita helped me a great deal with the bonding, so if you continue to update in this thread, they will hopefully come by and offer more guidance.

if you happen to have a camera with a video feature, i'd suggest you take short videos (a minute or two) of how they are interacting. this was very helpful when i was trying to describe behavior. i have several videos saved on my youtube account. if you're interested in seeing the progression, you can either view them thru my bonding thread or thru my youtube directly (youtube/Beka27).

good luck!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
162 posts Send Private Message
7/04/2008 5:05 PM
Yes this was there first bonding session. I will stay commited but Baby #1 has been terrified in her room all day, not sleeping and just cowering all day long! She is normally so sweet but since she was being chased and nipped I'm afraid she thinks that Gracie #2 will come into her room even tho Gracie can't. I feel bad for Baby since she is so sweet she ran right over to Gracie and started to sniff her face and then Gracie backed away and seconds later Gracie started to chase Baby. Once domainance is determined will the aggressor back off? If not I'm not sure what I'll do since Baby #1 is very upset by all of this. Gracie #2 is just hunkie dorrie while poor Baby is freaked out. We are trying again tomorrow morning some time and will try to go longer as long as they are doing okay. When one is really scared should we stop? I know Baby #1 very well and can tell how she is doing. Thanks and I'll update again tomorrow after the session --wish us all luck....no video cam, I have a digital camera that I've not learned how to use in over 1.5 years I am sorry to admit. Think I'll jump over to utube - never been there but hear about it.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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7/05/2008 5:40 AM
so Baby is not territorial over her home at all? usually it's the other way around. the first bun feels they have to guard their turf. put them side by side and pet them constantly. you want to end on a good note. so if they start to fight, intervene... try to calm them down and then separate.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
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7/06/2008 8:24 AM
Baby has been territorial - pooping and urniated twice now siince Gracie #2 joined us. Yesterday we did another session -second session. We petted bot the them rapidly which really calmed them down. They were a good distance apart and eventually Baby got bored hopped over to about 2 feet from Gracie - paused and then hopped away. She went about her business for quite awhile just checking things out. She then circled back by Grace #2 again paused and then hopped away. After I tried to give them carrots to send the session on a good note neither one would eat. They did quite a bit of self grooming in the session tho. Graciie #2 went sorta charging over to toward Baby which she had done the day before but when my husband touched her back she just darted in a different direction and then we ended the session.
Both rabbits have been pooping all over the common areas of my house and chinning like crazy. I feel that Baby #1 definetly wants to bond but I'm sure about Gracie since I've only had her for 4 weeks tomorrow.
We might do 2 sessions to today and I'll post again. Keep the suggestions coming.....
Should I put them in each others rooms or wait awhile before doing that -- think it will freak Baby out --- was thinking maybe for just a few hours today since I'm home from work.
Happy Sunday to all bunny slaves......

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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7/06/2008 8:44 AM
i would move their cages into teh same room, so even when you're not bonding they can see and smell each other. keep 3-4 inches between the cages so they cannot bite betw/ the bars.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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7/07/2008 5:24 AM
I agree with Beka put them in the same room. Remember too that bonding is about forming trust and it can take rabbits awhile to trust each other. At least they will see each other and observe each other.

It does sound like the second session went well. But you do need to be persistent and keep up the routine. Don't be discouraged by the 2 day, it hasn't been very long really.

User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2008 5:35 AM
just wanted to wish you luck! i think each situation with buns is different from what i read on here. you might find that something helps you bond yours that causes fights with other buns. you should (with trepidation!) try lots of bonding techniques and find the right one for you.

one thing though that i agree on with beka is, definately put them in the same room. everytime you take them away from each other it is almost like being back at square one. maybe when they are out together through a lot of food down. they might munch at the same time and this is a nice way for them both to see that it's not all about being dominant? i'd maybe try herbs rather than carrots though. a pot of herbs can tempt even the most grumpy of buns to it

self grooming in front of each other is a very good step too!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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7/07/2008 5:47 AM
food is a great idea. i always had a litterbox with a bunch of hay and a plate of greens or herbs. a few times i would even mix in some little matchstick carrots. i believe that a bunny that is comfortable enough to eat is not worrying about fighting. at first they would take turns eating the greens or hay, after awhile they were eating together. food is a bonding activity all by itself. if their cages are next to each other, put their food bowls as close as possible so they can see the other bun eating at the same time they are.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bunnymama
162 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2008 5:55 AM
Thanks so much for all of the recent posts. Since both Baby #1 and Gracie #2 are free range bunnies each within their own bedrooms, would it make sense to put there cages in one room BUT ONLY FOR LIKE THE AFTERNOON WHEN WE ARE AT WORK AND THEN MOVE THEM BACK INTO SEPARATE ROOMS. I worked so hard to give them freedom I hate to lock them both back in each of their cages. Or would moving Gracie and her cage in and out of Babys room each day cause too much stress. I would only cage them in the same room, 4 inches apart for about 4 hours in the afternoon when they mostly sleep anyway. I'd use Babys room since ultimately that is where I want both of them to stay.

Bonding session #3 last night went for 50 minutes but they avoided each other, I need to make the space smaller. Baby #1 approaches Gracie very slowly but then Gracie #2 just goes at Baby at a fast speed and then Baby gets scared and runs by either me or my husband. Last night they both pooped everywhere and when Baby got scared she sprayed urine all over my new rug (not new anymore and that rug is coming out for next session tonight). Grooming and treats went okay but since Gracie nipped Baby on day 1 Baby runs from her every chance now. They did come nose to nose once and then both kinda ran off. Not too bad I guess.

Keep the advice coming........another session tonight.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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7/07/2008 6:01 AM
Can you put them in x-pens side by side? That way they could have plenty of room - see Beka's original set-up. I understand how you feel about giving them their freedom and not wanting to disturb that but I think that you should make bonding the priority instead of the freedom right now. I don't think you can have both in my opinion. Once they are bonded then you can give them the freedom again.

User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2008 6:03 AM
running and coming face to face and a nip is SO much better than some of the stuff mine have been doing. one of mine had a bleeding mouth and the other a hole in its ear. i thought it was a no hoper! now mine are at the stage where they are doing occasional nips and a lot of running away rather than actively fighting. sometimes avoidance is a step in the right direction. the eating thing will help. they will get hungry and see the food there and eat and then go "oo i forgot you were here and you're not hurting me so i won't run away".

also, i think bonding is a good enough cause that you can cage your buns for a bit. they will appreciate it in the long run when mummy and daddy go to work and they have a friend to get there bunny cuddles from instead.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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7/07/2008 6:38 AM
i absolutely second what Sarita and sazemoo said...

you need to decide what the priority is. is it freedom for two single buns? or is it reduced runtime but BONDING within the next few weeks/couple months? they WILL have less freedom, but the outcome is worth so much more for them both. they could potentially DOUBLE their freedom in the long run since they won't need separate times.

if there is a bunny room where you want them to be permanently, i'd suggest you move the current bunny out of there for a day or two and give it a thorough cleaning. wipe down the walls, clean the carpeting or flooring very well. throw away and replace old cardboard boxes, phone books, or any toys that are really "claimed" by the first bun. make it sparkle. then move them both in there and there they stay. switch the buns to the other cage everyday. they can still have playtime separately for awhile, but they always go back to that room.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny
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