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Home Forums HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Bonding with bunny issues ?

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
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  • #1322791
    Humphrey’s Mama
    Participant

    I’ve had Humphrey since September and he’s always been really confident, never an issue when petting him or going near him. A couple of days ago I bought home a new doe (called her Olive) .I’ve put their cages together and at first Humphrey was going wild and seemed very curious, he’s settled down and they’ve started lying at the fence together. I won’t be introducing them for a couple of weeks yet. Off topic but Humphrey is neutered , does olive have to be spayed? The lady said she should be okay for a couple months as she’s young but don’t wait too long to get her spayed because of false pregnancies etc, but they’ll be okay to be introduced before then.

    Anyway, back to topic, she’s started being calm with humphrey, but she’s absolutely terrified of me and my OH. If we go towards her or pet her she just runs off into her hide hole. She comes up to us when we sit on the floor and wait , accepts food and gives us a little sniff, but if we touch her she just darts away. She also thumps every now and then, she was thumping a lot when I first got her. I’m wondering if it’s something to do with being taken away from her mum and sisters ? She was in a cage with 3 other bunnies when I collected her, where as Humphrey was in a cage all to himself which I think is why he was so easy.
    She came out last night and ran around for a bit but even when I moved slightly she just ran off.

    How can I bond with her? Do you think she’ll ever like us or let us pet her ? It’s upsetting me a lot lately. Thanks in advance


    #1893315
    Sirius&Luna
    Participant

    If you’ve only had her for two days, shes probably very overwhelmed.

    For a start, I would move her into a room away from Humphrey so she can settle in without being scared of the big bunny who’s territory she’s in. Give her a month away from him so you can bond with her better, and she can get used to her new home. When she’s in her own room you can sit on the floor and let her roam around, give her treats etc. Don’t touch her yet if it’s scaring her. Try to avoid picking her up unless its essential. Lots of bunnies take a long time to warm up to new humans. Two days is no time at all.

    For bonding, both bunnies should be spayed and neutered. Female bunnies should be neutered anyway because of the high rates of cancer in unspayed bunnies. Please don’t introduce them until she is spayed. She can probably be spayed at around 5-6 months.

    Once you’ve given her time to settle in, you can move both bunnies into the same room, but ensure that there is always two sets of bars between them as bunnies will nip and mate (even if Humphrey is neutered, it could cause a false pregnancy) through bars. You can use the time before her spay to ‘prebond’ them, so they’re used to seeing and smelling each other, which should make them easier to bond after the spay. She’ll need a month to recover and drain hormones after the spay before you can introduce them for the first time. We can give more info on the bonding process once you’re closer to it.


    #1893327
    Asriel and Bombur
    Participant

    Agree with all of the above


    #1893447
    Humphrey’s Mama
    Participant

    Thank you ! I’ve moved her into the other room, she’s still so so shy and thumping a lot but she does a little run around every now and then. I’ll let her stay In there for a month then I’ll move their cages back together. Any tips for bonding with her myself ?


    #1893479
    Bam
    Moderator

    Human bonding with a bunny is a lot about just hanging out in the same room. Sooner or later the bun will be curious and feel confident enough to check you out. The initiative should be hers. Because rabbits are prey animals, they’re sensitive to predators even looking at them – and to her, you are still a potential predator.

    Treats will help, rabbits are, as you know, big fans of treats. Hand feeding part of the daily pellet ration can be a good method.

    Sometimes human-rabbit bonding can be very slow, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. Patience is key ?


    #1893516
    Humphrey’s Mama
    Participant

    Thanks so much. She’s eating out of my hand so we should be okay soon. Making progress


    #1894698
    Humphrey’s Mama
    Participant

    I’ve moved them back into the same room with 2 sets of bars. But Humphrey seems to seem different and I don’t know if it sounds silly but he seems sad and angry, it’s as if they just want to fight. Getting me very down as he’s acting strange


    #1894701
    Asriel and Bombur
    Participant

    It’s due to her hormones. It’ll get better-ish once she is spayed, not much though. Just going to have to be patient throughout prebonding.


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