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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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Bonding process and next steps

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    • Skybun
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      Are your bunnies spayed/neutered?

      yes
      If so, for how long (for each)?

      Female 8 weeks

      male 6 weeks
      Are you aware of reproductive cancer risk in females? Yes

      Housing
      Please describe your bunnies’ current housing set-up (living together, as neighbors, etc.).

      they are house side by side in pens with a board between them in a neutral room for 1 month

      Bonding background
      Did you allow the bunnies to “settle-in”?

      female has been with us for about 4 months and male 1 month
      How would you describe your bunnies reactions towards each other (answer for each bunny): shy, scared, curious, calm, aggressive, excited, affectionate, etc.?

      Curious, During their first date (at the rescue) the female was asking to be groomed and the male was interested in her and would have tried to hump her without intervention

      2nd date was chasing, grunting and nipping. I ended it very quickly lol

      this date (3rd 2nd at my house, 2 weeks after their 2nd in the bathroom with a blanket down so they had traction ) they both were asking to be groomed, they did some circling and nipping, the male humped the female, she thumped, I separated and petted them both, let them be and then they each kept asking to be groomed.
      update- they now lay next to each other and both have groomed the other.
      Have you done any “pre-bonding” (cage or litter box swaps, etc.)? Not really but they share the same littler box and toys in their play area and bonding pen

      If so, for how long? 4 weeks
      Have you started sessions yet? Yes
      How long have you been working on bonding your bunnies? 2 weeks
      How frequently do you have bonding sessions, and how long are they? Once a day 2-3 hours and want to increase to all day
      Have you tried any stressing techniques? No

       

      now that the buns are cuddling, sharing water, a littler box, and grooming each other I want to increase the amount of time they spend together. They have done 2-3 hours so I wasn’t sure if jumping to all day with a break at lunch (I take a walk so I couldn’t supervise) would be too much. Any input appreciated! I also don’t know the signs of when they are true li bonded


    • DanaNM
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      Sounds like amazing progress!!

      I think trying a 4-6 hour session (or longer if you’re up for it) would be fine at this point. Sometimes you might notice they get antsy after several hours. Having new toys to add to the pen at that time can help, or other things to chew (new sticks, fresh hay, some greens to share). If you do decide to cut the date short because they are getting feisty and you feel like everyone needs a break, just be sure to end on a good note (so wait till they calm down again).

      The general guideline for fully bonded is that they can spend at least 48 hours together with no negative behaviors needing intervention (fur pulling, scuffling, lunging, hard nipping, chasing), and lots of positives (cuddling, grooming, sharing litter box, etc.). Most important is to trust you gut! With my pairs, once they were finally bonded it was like something ‘clicked’ and they just seemed really relaxed with each other. Sounds like you have the positive behaviors already, so now it’s just about increasing the length of the sessions. Sometimes problems pop up overnight, so once you get through a 8 hour day time session or two, you can either choose to work on “cementing” them by marathoning (24 hr supervision), or by doing some overnight sessions. I’ve done both strategies and both seem to work well.

      . . . 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.  


    • Skybun
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      Update- they have done several 8 hour sessions. I decided to try them in the area they will be living. Went great for about 3 hours then the boy was face humping my female. I separated them, let them settled and then ended it after petting both for a few minutes. Before that there was cuddling, sharing of toys, water, and their litter box. Should I go back to the neutral room or can I continue their bonding in the room they will be living?


    • DanaNM
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      That sounds very positive. 🙂

      What is the neutral space like? Would it be possible to do an overnight or some other longer session there first? It’s also a good idea to try some dates during different times of day. Some buns will get along great all day, then in the evening things get feisty.

      If not, the humping doesn’t sound like a huge issue, so they would prob be able to work through it with some additional time.

      I’m thinking you could start out in neutral (maybe for an hour or two), then move them to the shared space together and see how it goes. When you plan to “cement” them, you could put them in neutral, clean, deodorize, and rearrange the final shared space, and then move them into it together. You prob wouldn’t want to go that route until you are for sure ready to full cement the bond, because it would be annoying to do all that work and then have to separate them again.

      . . . 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.  


    • Skybun
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      The neutral space is my office so I can’t sleep there. They have been together 8 hours for a few days so I though I would try the final living space.
      I can work from home so I could try them in the final space (our living room) during the day I just wasn’t sure it I had to go jack to neutral space.
      they been been so good but the sessions haven’t gone past 6 pm in the neutral space.

      when I tried the final space we started at 8pm because that is what worked best for me yesterday.


    • Skybun
      Participant
      39 posts Send Private Message

      I also increased the space size for the first time in the neutral area (I didn’t think about that until now) I may have them in the full pen this whole week in my work office. Has anyone used baby monitors for when they are ready for their over night? Idk if that would wake me up or not.
      also they seek to be chinning everything this morning. I’m hoping the increase space was not the problem. They have both done some zombies and binkies this am but that’s been followed by humping in the past so fingers crossed


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      3781 posts Send Private Message

      Chinning is fine! It’s just marking the new things. Sometimes new couples will mark a lot to stake out “their” new turf. Zoomies and binkies together without it leading to a scuffle is very good! 🙂

      The issue with a baby monitor is that if something serious happened you might not get there in time.

      If it isn’t feasible to sleep closer to them (I have usually sleep on the floor next to the bonding area… but I know not everyone is as crazy as I am), then it would prob be OK to have them live in the office while you are in there, then separate them at night, until you are ready to try them in non-neutral. Then when you are ready to take the plunge and supervise for 48 hours, you could move them into their final home (cleaned, reorganized, deodorized as much as possible), and see how they do. If they do well right away, then you are on the home stretch!

      It really sounds like they are almost bonded and you just are working on cementing at this point!

       

       

       

      . . . 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.  


    • Skybun
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      Ok, that is pretty much what I’ve been doing they are with me all day in the office 8:30-12 then 1-6 and they go in their cages for their own cages until it’s play time. They have been sharing everything so I was shocked there was humping in the non neutral home. We went back to the office today with the increased space. Some chasing and humping to start but then they were fine all day. Idk if it was the space but I’m hoping to keep them in the office all week then try 48 hours in the non neutral this weekend


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      3781 posts Send Private Message

      Some bonded pairs will mount as well, so as long as the humping doesn’t lead to a scufffle it’s OK (but you will want to see the chasing die down). And sometimes the might go through the chase-hump thing whenever you move them to a new area or increase the space, and then will die down again.

      . . . 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 process and next steps