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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

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 BEHAVIOR Bunny ripping fur out of the other :(

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    • GipsAndLenn
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        I have two bunnies who live together,a spayed female (Lennon) and neutered male (Gippy). I’ve noticed that Lennon has been chasing Gippy around and ripping his fur out creating bald patches, she also growls and chases him away when I feed them, and in general just chases him around grabbing at his fur a lot. Just recently I also found a scab in the area that Lennon grabs him :(. Is she being  too aggressive? I’ve heard of “barbering” as I sign of dominance, is it just that or does something need to be done? There is a lot of Gippy coloured fur all around their cage, could he also just be molting?


      • Wick & Fable
        Moderator
        5800 posts Send Private Message

          She is being too aggressive, to an extent that sounds like their bond may actually be broken. Have there been environmental or scent changes recently? Did you separate them for any given time?

          For their safety, I would recommend keeping them separate for now and go through some rebonding tactics so they can work this out safely and while supervised.

          Bonds can also break when something is wrong with either rabbit, and considering one has scabs at this point, I recommend a vet visit for both to check for any injuries you cannot see as well as just a general exam.

          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.


        • GipsAndLenn
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            They haven’t been away from each other much, how would you re-bond them? Since they are perfectly fine with each other majority of the time and lie next to each other and groom each other?


          • DanaNM
            Moderator
            9038 posts Send Private Message

              I agree with Wick&Fable that the bond has been upset somehow, and that a check-over at the vet is a good idea. That level of fur-pulling is not normal in a bonded pair. When do you notice the scuffling? Is it only when they are anticipating food, or did you notice it other times as well? Did a particular behavior trigger a fight (such as a mounting attempt or an un-met grooming request)?

              You should separate them if you haven’t already for now, but can keep them housed next to each other. Since you are still seeing some positive behaviors between them I don’t think it will be too difficult to re-bond them. Essentially you will let them “cool off” for a bit as neighbors, and then you will have them go on “dates” in neutral territory.

              How long have they been bonded, and can you describe a bit more about their history (did you bond them yourself, how long since they’ve been spayed/neutered, etc.)?

              . . . 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.  


            • GipsAndLenn
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                Sorry I hadn’t answered,  we got them from a friend who’s bunnies came from a pet shop, they were supposed to be 2 females but one ended up being a male, they then had 2 litters and I got mine from the 2nd litter. They had a child who was a bit rough with Lennon (cradling her like a baby on her back 🙁 )  but I don’t remember her being dropped. So we got them as sibling “prebonded” you could say. Mine were also suppose to be 2 males as well but them Lenny ended up being a girl , once we realised, we got Gippy neutered but later got Lenny spayed as well.

                Do you think it will break their bond more if they are completely separated? She mainly does it around food/ hearing me coming to give them food, she also does it if Gippy comes up behind her. When I give them breakfast she kinda protects the area that I feed them, she’ll scared Gippy away and if he comes back up she’ll bit him and chase him away which isn’t good, i try to say “No Lennon!!” Which does work mostly.
                I noticed Gippy has been moulting and has clumps of thinner fur around his back, maybe since he was moulting that the fur came away quite easily and she wasn’t so rough as I thought?


              • DanaNM
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                  So, bunnies don’t recognize sibling relationships and once they hit puberty they will often fight. I suspect they were never fully bonded and were more at the “tolerance” phase.

                  A little chasing around food is OK, but having fast chasing, grunting and pulling fur are signs that they are not bonded. Especially since Lennon will also chase if Gippy comes up behind her. Truly bonded buns have no concept of personal space and are completely relaxed around each other when they are close to each other in all types of interactions.

                  Unfortunately, I do think you need to fully separate, but it’s lucky you saw these signs rather than waiting until an all-out brawl, which can happen in a flash and be very dangerous for the buns. I think since you are seeing some positives still you will be able to fully bond them, but you should separate and work with them in a neutral territory.

                  . . . 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 BEHAVIOR Bunny ripping fur out of the other :(