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 First time Bonding, M/F, First steps

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    Messages

    • dancerpjm
      Participant
      4 posts Send Private Message

      Hi!

      I am completely new to Rabbit bonding and I want to be as prepared as I can be before I start the process. This weekend I am planning to start the side by side living. I want to give them at least 3-4 weeks of side by side with swapping of the pens to help them get used to each other scent before even starting face to face. My problem is the the only place I can set up side by side is in my basement which is not rabbit proof and has concrete floors. Also my older rabbit, Kyoshi, can get very cage aggressive if she is in too small of an area for too long. My thought process is to build two pens side by side at about 6 ft by 14 ft. At night they would be enclosed in the same pen but only have access to about 4 ft by 6ft. Which is the size of the pen that Kyoshi goes into at night now. I can rabbit proof that space and have bought mats to give them cushion and waterproof blankets on top as I know this will likely start a marking war.

      Would this be effective? I am worried since right now Kyoshi has free roam of my bedroom which is 16 ft by 15 ft. I don’t want her getting frustrated and taking it out on the new bunny, Bumi.

      While they are living down there I was planning on cleaning my bedroom 2-3 times with white vinegar during the side by side living and then have bonding sessions in my room. That way once they are bonded they don’t have to move into Kyoshi’s original territory as it will become neutral for bonding.

      I don’t really have a lot of space as my roommates have a dog and a couple cats that get the rest of the house so any advice is welcome!

      Thank you!!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7577 posts Send Private Message

      Welcome to BB! It’s really great you are planning ahead!

      I have a couple suggestions. 🙂  First, I would not use your room for bonding sessions. No matter how much you clean it, it won’t be neutral enough as a starting point, especially since Kyoshi has had free roam of the room. Is there anyway you can set up temporary pens in your room? What some people do is build a pen for the new bun in the same room, and use nose-guards (https://binkybunny.com/forums/topic/nose-guards/) or a 2 fence buffer to prevent nose nipping, so original bun starts out still free-roaming and new bun is in the pen. Or the original bun can also be in a side by side pen. After new bun has had some time to settle in (a week or two with no side swaps), you can start swapping sides every day or two. Kyoshi will very likely be mad, but that is honestly kind of a part of the process. You want Kyoshi to sort of lose track of his territory, but also realize that the new bun is not hurting him and he’s still getting food, etc. Often after even a week of this you will see big changes in behavior and they will both become much more relaxed towards each other. It’s also OK if their pen size is a little smaller than you’d normally like during this time, it’s temporary!

      What I did when I lived in a studio apartment was I had both buns in temporary NIC cube condos, and then I would alternate who got free-roam time (so one bun got exercise in the morning, the other in the evening, for example).

      Then I think you should do your bonding sessions in the basement, since it’s completely neutral. You can set up a pen down there and put some protective flooring down, and it will work great.

      I think this will also be good because it will let you bond with the new bunny more easily, and Kyoshi won’t be lonely in the basement.

      Once they are doing well in bonding sessions in the basement (as in they are seeming pretty much bonded), then you can clean and rearrange the room again to be their final home together.

      I’m also not sure what you meant with this sentence, “At night they would be enclosed in the same pen but only have access to about 4 ft by 6ft.” I think I must be misunderstanding, but just want to clarify that they should never be together unsupervised until they are 100% bonded.

      Be prepared for Kyoshi to be pretty grumpy at first, and likely during the bonding process. But don’t worry, he will forgive you!

       

      . . . 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.  


    • dancerpjm
      Participant
      4 posts Send Private Message

      Hi, sorry for the confusion. I meant the same large pen, each on their own side not together. My biggest concern is that if one is out and one is in the pen they will get jealous of each other.

      Kyoshi gets very frustrated very quickly. She also gets extremely cage aggressive. To the point where putting her food down leads to biting and lunging at me if she is forced in a pen at 4 ft by 6 ft or smaller for longer than night time, or even if I just try to sit with her and comfort her.

      If it was just about being grumpy I wouldn’t worry about it but Kyoshi has had a pretty hard past with over caging in wayyy too small of an area and I don’t want to bring her back to that place while trying to bond her. Bumi was also over caged but due to his younger age it hasn’t affected him as much/ it wasn’t for as long of a time as it was for Kyoshi.

      The issue with using the basement is that I already have the second bun, Bumi, living down there as I do not have space for a second pen in my bedroom in any capacity and I am a tossing sleeper so I can’t have a bun free roaming at night while I am sleeping. Bumi also was down there as he still needed to be neutered when I first got him/picked him up from being dumped and Kyoshi was only two weeks post op of her spay at that time as well. Therefore, I did not want them living side by side when there were going to be hormones flying everywhere.

      I would also rearrange the furniture in my bedroom to make it as unfamiliar as possible. If Kyoshi wasn’t so cage aggressive I would try to make it work more in my bedroom but there is just no way that it would work without her attacking me and attempting to attack the new bun. I have only had Kyoshi for about 3-4 months so I am hoping that with several good cleans with vinegar, with more cleans in between, and open windows over the course of a month or more it could be neutral enough that it won’t be an issue. It does help that there is only hardwood flooring and I already have replacement rugs to switch out the old ones that look completely different and would not have her smell on them at all. A lot of my furniture is not cloth based so I hope that works in my favor.

      My only other option is to use the other side of the basement for bonding but I know that the scent will travel through the air which also takes away the neutral concept of the space.

      Sorry this is extremely long but I wanted to kind of explain my thinking some more.

      Thanks!

       


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7577 posts Send Private Message

      Ah, I understand!

      What about using a bathroom or kitchen for bonding? Bathrooms or bathtubs tend to work well because they are easy to clean and most buns don’t spend a lot of time there, and it would be easy enough to keep the dog out of there while you were working with them.

      I think the basement set up sounds find for temporary housing, and I do think once you are ready for them to live together your room will be fine, I just think for the first steps it would be hard. Plus during bonding sessions there can be tons of marking, so having a solid floor is nice!

      . . . 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.  


    • dancerpjm
      Participant
      4 posts Send Private Message

      I might be able to do a bathroom. The issue is my bathroom is attached to my room and while Kyoshi was not allowed in there but every once in a while she sneaks in with me when I go in. I can ask for my roommates bathroom but I’m not sure they would be okay with using it for bonding. The issue with the kitchen is it is not very big and there is an island in the middle so either they get a very small sliver of an area or they could go around the island and ignore each other.

      For the first few bonding sessions this might be okay but I am worried that as it progresses, as they spend more time together than 10-15 minutes that it will be extremely hard to keep the cats and dog away. The cats I worry about as one of them used to be a barn cat and so she has those predator instincts. I know the dog is very friendly and has no prey drive at all but he is a bigger breed and a loud breed. I just don’t want to stress out the buns too much and I don’t want to force the other animals into staying in their rooms for hours once it progresses that far.

      As the space expands as well it would be difficult to find area for that unless it goes to the bedroom and it can serve as a semi-neutral space with the fact that it will have been cleaned like crazy and it would have been about a month from the last time Kyoshi has been in the room.

      I am happy that you think the basement area will work for their temporary housing! I will be setting up what I have tonight, some is coming in tomorrow, and Saturday, or Friday night depending on the time, will be moving day for side by side.

      I really appreciate all your advice and I hope to learn even more from you!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7577 posts Send Private Message

      Even if you need to move spaces when sessions get longer, I think starting out in your bathroom for at least the short sessions would work well. Even if Kyoshi has been in there a couple times, it would still be more neutral than your room. Rabbits are super smell-oriented, and a bathroom can more easily be wiped down with vinegar and smell unfamiliar. In your room there is your bed, clothes, etc, all of which will smell familiar.  When I lived in a studio apartment, I used my bathroom and it worked well, even though the buns had snuck in a few times. But when I tried to set up a disguised pen in the main room (I blocked the view from the pen, had a tarp on the floor, etc), the buns definitely still knew where they were!

      I’m sure you could time your bonding sessions when people are at work/school, or when the other animals are generally sleeping.

      Bonding often has a lot of trial and error involved. So I think I would start in the bathroom (even the bathtub, bathtubs are really popular for early dates), and then keep some other options in mind for when sessions get longer or if the bathroom isn’t working out very 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.  


    • dancerpjm
      Participant
      4 posts Send Private Message

      So I have officially started the side by side living and I think it is going well. Kyoshi was a little scared of Bumi at first but she is getting better, won’t run away as fast and sniffs through the barriers. I did noticed however that her tail would almost wag? I know that sounds weird but I keep getting different answers on what a tail wag means for rabbits while meeting a new rabbit. Any ideas?

       


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7577 posts Send Private Message

      Thats great!

      I’ve always interpreted tail motions like that as maybe some uncertainty? Like they aren’t really to sure what to make of the other bun yet?

      . . . 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.  

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Forum BONDING First time Bonding, M/F, First steps