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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BONDING Bonding Advice Needed for Female Bunnies

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    • Vaszya
      Participant
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        Hi everyone,

        I have two bunnies that I’ve been trying to bond using steps that I have read here, however I don’t think they’re particularly working in my case. I’ve been using a slow & steady approach for about 8 months now.

        Bunny#1 (Penelope) is free roam, female, 4 years old, spayed, dominant personality and a rescue that I’ve had since she was very young. Previously bonded to a male bunny who passed-away of old age last summer.

        Bunny#2 (Zarah) is free roam in a separated part of my house but still has contact with Penelope through a gate, female & about 2 years old, spayed, submissive personality but very curious. She’s also a rescue that I’ve had for about a year now.

        There has been grooming given by Zarah towards Penelope, but the favour is never returned. When the gate that normally separates them is removed, there’s no fighting per-se but Penelope always ends up chasing Zarah who’s naturally skidd-ish. There is some nipping from Penelope but it’s more chasing at this point. After being chased, Zarah always quickly comes out of her hiding place to come seek out Penelope again (Game?). This running around normally ends quickly and each go back to their respective parts of the house to relax… even if the gate is still removed.

        Question: What if I switch their zones around? ie: Putting Penelope in Zarah’s part of the house & Zarah into Penelope’s? My thought is that they get more familiar with each other’s scents.  Good idea? If so, how long & how often should I swap them around?

        Any other thoughts?

        Much appreciated!

         

         

         

         


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
        8859 posts Send Private Message

          I think it would be helpful to rethink their housing, but I would go a step further than what you are considering. If possible, I would set them up in side by side pens in the same room, and then swap who is in which pen every day or two. Alternate who is out for exercise (so maybe one bun gets the morning and the other gets the evening). Be sure they can’t nip each other through fencing. This can be done with either a double walled fence with a 6″ buffer, or using smaller mesh to line the fence wall.

          Just interacting through the gate isn’t really enough in cases where the bond is harder. Females are territorial so the goal is to make them lose their sense of holding a territory.

          At this point they really shouldnt be interacting directly outside of neutral territory that you are using for bonding sessions. Can you describe the bonding space a bit more? How neutral is it, how large is it, etc. How long have sessions been and how frequently have you been doing them?

          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


        • Vaszya
          Participant
          4 posts Send Private Message

            Thanks, I’ve re-designed their areas. I’ve confined them into smaller spaces within my living room & plan to swap them every day or two & give them exercise time outside their pens,

            Their previous bonding space was the boundary between their previous spaces. I’ve been doing these sessions as frequently as possible (ie: most evenings). It wasn’t very neutral as Penelope would mark Zarah’s space whenever possible.

            Thanks for your insight!


          • DanaNM
            Moderator
            8859 posts Send Private Message

              I think that will work out well! And def use the most neutral space possible for bonding, ideally somewhere out of sight and smell range of their home turf.

              Remember to aim to have sessions end on a good note, even if that means the sessions are shorter.

              . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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          Forum BONDING Bonding Advice Needed for Female Bunnies