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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Home Forums BONDING Getting my rabbit a friend!

  • This topic has 3sd replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by DanaNM.
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  • #1321469
    Maggie
    Participant

    Hello friends! I’m finally in a position in which I am able to get my rabbit a friend. My boy is somewhere over a year old and after months of bonding with him (he was never handled before I got him) I can definitely say that we’ve come to a point where he understands me and I understand him. Now I am finally able to and comfortable with getting him a friend! In about two months I am planning on getting a spayed female rabbit about the same age or older than Floyd. I’ve read up on bonding bunnies but I want to make sure I’m not missing anything. I’m going to be adopting a rabbit from a rabbit shelter and it’d absolutely break my heart if Floyd didn’t get along with it and I had to return the rabbit back to the shelter. I’ve read up on bonding techniques and what behaviour I should look out for but I wonder if you guys have some tips and tricks of your own. What are the chances of successfully bonding two rabbits? How often is it that two rabbits are unable to bond? I really want this process to go as smoothly as possible. If let out in the same pen, will they fight over food? Is nipping okay? If the rabbits do bond, will they later be okay with sharing the same space the first bunny had for himself? I’m planning on going to the shelter on “bunny dates” with Floyd, should I introduce him to one bunny each day or is it okay to introduce him to a couple different bunnies (one at a time) in one day? If I end up deciding to finally take home a bunny from the shelter, should I transport Floyd and the other bunny in the same transporter on the way home or should they have separate transporters? How much does it matter that I am compatible with the new bunny in comparison to how much they’re compatible with Floyd?
    I know it’s a lot of questions but as mentioned, I want to make this a smooth process without stressing out any bunnies. Thanks a lot!


    #1886163
    vanessa
    Participant

    Im going to try to answer your questions in order…
    1. You have no idea if they will bond successfully. So b prepared to have 2 single bunnies. U will definitely have 2 singles until they bond, which can take up to a year or more.
    2. I dont know percentages but there r members on this forum who Have rabbits that were unable to bond. I have had 4 buns that r bonded after knowing eachother for 5 years. My quickest bond took 2 weeks.
    3. They don’t fight over food like dogs do.
    4. Some nipping is ok. Biting hard is not.
    5. Once they r bonded, change/rearrange the original buns space and they should b able to live there.
    6. Iv never done speed dates, but bunnies often react differently at home than they did at the shelter.
    7. I would take them home in the same SMALL crate, and have someone with incase u need help on the drive.
    8. I cant really answer u about u being compatible with a rabbit. I can only assume that whichever rabbit u bring home, u will fall in love with.

    U mentioned not wanting to take a bunny back if it didnt bond. The trouble with that is u don’t know how long it will take. What if u give up too soon and take the bunny back when they would have bonded the following month? I would commit to making it work. No one can really say how long it will take.


    #1886171
    Maggie
    Participant

    That makes sense. I will definitely commit to bonding them then. If I end up having two separate bunnies then so be it, but I’ll definitely try my absolute best to bond them first, however long it’ll take. Thank you for the help!


    #1886359
    DanaNM
    Moderator

    Hi there, welcome

    Just wanted to add that with time and patience, it seems like most buns can be bonded. There are cases where one bun has medical issues that prevent this, or the person bonding them just doesn’t have the right space or time, or the buns just really aren’t compatible. I think the last case is probably the most rare, but this is just a sense I’ve gotten.

    When I’ve speed dated, I usually go in ahead of time and pick our 3 bunnies that I personally really like, that the shelter staff thinks would be a good fit. Then I’ve had my bun date those three. The idea is usually to rule OUT bunnies that absolutely do not like each other, not necessarily to find the “love at first sight” fit.

    Ignoring each other, or tentative interest is often the best you can hope for in a speed date. Even a good first date with grooming doesn’t mean the bond will be super easy, but if they just flat our attack each other, that tells you that is probably not the best match!

    The basic idea with bonding is you give them a safe, neutral space to trust each other and sort out dominance. Then you transition slowly to semi-neutral, then to non-neutral (the permanent living space, likely where the first bun lived before). Vanessa is right in that you will want to clean and rearrange the permanent space as best you can to make it seem as new and neutral as possible.

    Every bonding process is different as no two pairs are the same, so it can help to read through bonding journals to see what types of processes people go through. Some have a pretty easy time of it, others take longer.

    Typically if something isn’t going well in the process, it helps to change up your strategy. So try a new space, try stressing, increase the size of the space, etc. If things still are spiraling to worse and worse behaviors even with new strategies, that’s usually when people decide to either take a break from bonding, or stop altogether. But again, patience is really important, so getting feedback from others (like us on the forum) can help you make the call.


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