Forum

OUR FORUM IS UP BUT WE ARE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF UPDATING AND FIXING THINGS.  SOME THINGS WILL LOOK WEIRD AND/OR NOT BE CORRECT. YOUR PATIENCE IS APPRECIATED.  We are not fully ready to answer questions in a timely manner as we are not officially open, but we will do our best. 

You may have received a 2-factor authentication (2FA) email from us on 4/21/2020. That was from us, but was premature as the login was not working at that time. 

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.

What are we about?  Please read about our Forum Culture and check out the Rules

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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Confused about current bonding state

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    Messages

    • eamador
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      Hi! I have a male, neutered 1yr old bunny (Daxter), and we recently adopted a second bunny, a little 7 month old female named Ori (she’s spayed as well). We’ve been bonding them for 2 weeks now and so far it’s gone like this:

      Week #1:

      For the first week, we set up a large x-pen for Ori in a separate room, so that she could get comfortable and used to us. For a couple of days, we didn’t let Daxter access this room, and we swapped their bedding, their litterboxes and also some stuffed animals that they had marked with their chins. After a couple of days, we let Daxter go into her room and watch her and smell her through the pen. He also pooped-marked like crazy, but that behaviour only lasted for three days or so. As there were no signs of aggression, that same day we put their dinner dishes close apart so that they could dine while watching each other and both of them eat everything without any visible issues.

      After this first encounter went well, we introduced them in a neutral reduced space in a blocked section of our hallway. They seemed to ignore each other and Ori particularly flopped quite a lot. Daxter was more occupied trying to figure out how to get out of the space but didn’t seem to mind her. We had 3 more sessions in this reduced space and there were no big issues, Daxter would sometimes chase her a little and she would grunt a bit at him.

      Week #2:

      As they seemed to be doing alright in the small space, we gave them a bigger neutral space so that they could run and stretch and play. Also, we moved Ori’s x-pen to the living room, which is Daxter’s territory. He didn’t react aggressively to this change, so we have been swapping their spaces for a couple of hours each day: he would stay in Ori’s x-pen for a bit and she would free-range in the living room and they would poop on each other’s litter boxes.

      The thing is that, in these bonding sessions, the chasing has not subsided. We have noticed that Ori seems to enjoy ‘playing hard to get’, as she briefly flicks her tail before running before him, and then she binkies or flops or just relaxs. So, I don’t think he’s scared of her. He, on the other hand, gets close to her and nips her butt a bit and then chases her for a few seconds before also relaxing or flopping close to her. They both have no issues with grooming, eating, relaxing, flopping, etc. in front of the other, but Daxter still chases her sometimes and, so far, there have been no kisses.

      We’re now halfway into week 3 and I just wanted to know whether we’re really moving forward or just stalled.

      Thank you!


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5046 posts Send Private Message

      I’ll mention that binkies are not exclusive to positive affect– binkying is also a flourishing movement to better escape and get away too. This interpretation doesn’t really change what your next steps are, but it can just be helpful for you to consider that Ori may be “playing hard to get” or is genuinely trying to evade a rabbit who is nipping her consistently. I have two rabbits who at their best can free-roam together, but aren’t bonded, and often the female will binky around the male, but it is not out of play and likely more out of “sorry I’ll get out of the way”, based on context.

      Two weeks into bonding is actually quite short. Are the bonding sessions where the chasing happening in Daxter’s territory? If so, I would recommend against doing that. Even if he is not reactive to it as it seems, having dates there is not going to be productive. Especially this early on, I would leave dates to 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.


      • eamador
        Participant
        3 posts Send Private Message

        Thank you for your answer.

        Yes, the chasing is happening in the neutral territory. I didn’t know that binkies had that meaning too!

        She just runs a little from him and then flops or stretches, hence why I think she’s not scared…she was also previously bonded to another rabbit, but for Daxter is the first time he’s been near another rabbit. I know that it’s still very soon, but I wanted to know whether I should let this little chases happening (I’ve read mixed things about this) or if I should separate them.


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5046 posts Send Private Message

      My personal opinion is to let chases happen but be ready to intervene if they seem to escalate or are so frequent they are not being productive– it’s a slippery slope and also depends on how much room there is and everyone’s agility (including yours). If it is set up and factors are in the way that if a chase happens and you cannot stop it if it gets bad, then yes you don’t want to really have space for them mentally or physically in these dates. Some of these interactions do need to play out for a few seconds so a hierarchy is established, but if they are creating too many opportunities for negative, unproductive experiences, then they should be reigned in.

      I will add that if there is a reactivity on his part to chase her, more shared but divided pen time may be helpful– more exposure to her and her movements but no chasing options available.

      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.


      • eamador
        Participant
        3 posts Send Private Message

        Thank you once again for your reply. The space is long enough so that they can be apart if they want to, but small enough so that they can always see each other and so that I can see both of them.

        The chases are quite short and there is no negative reaction from Ori, he chases her and then she comes back close to him and flops or rests, that what confunses me the most. I think that they somehow have their hierarchy kind of figured out, but Ori is not grooming him so that may be what’s bothering Daxter. These are all my suppositions, cause at the beginning they tried to place their heads under the other’s but now only Daxter does that. Ori also used to grunt at him but that has also stopped.

        He is always exposed to her as her xpen is inside his area, but as you suggested if the chasing escalates we’ll keep her in the pen and him outside and wait for a couple days before introducing them again in the neutral area 🙂

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Forum BONDING Confused about current bonding state