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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 BONDING Glenn and Nellie

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    • GlennTheLionhead
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      So the time has come… I am both excited and exhausted already at the thought of bonding again lol! As some of you will know Glenn, myself and my bridge bun Bella went through 4 months of bonding (successfully) November 21 – Feb 22.. So the bonding trauma is fresh for us all.

      I have successfully bonded 2 pairs before now with the help of this forum and this will be my third time bonding Glenn… So I am not sure how many questions I will end up asking or if this will end up being more of a bonding story.

      I am going to begin the process tonight starting with a ‘testing the waters meeting’ this is essentially a speed date, so I will put a pen grid in front of Nellies pen upstairs so its double penned and space between and I will invite Glenn to run upstairs and allow them to see eachother for a short time through the barriers…. I do this to see if there are any signs of outright agression.

      If they are not trying to attack eachother through the bars I will set them up in side by side enclosures to pre-bond

      Spay/Neuter
      Glenn neuters since puberty (age 5)

      Penelope (Nellie) spayed at the rescue in mid march (age 5-6)

      Housing
      If the speed date goes well they will pre-bond as neighbours for 2 weeks – 4 weeks behaviour dependant and until bonding is complete

      Bonding background
      I’ve done a lot of passive scent swapping, allowing them to smell fur of the other (molt), toy swapping for the last week or so. Glenn flopped on Nellies fur, Nellie was uninterested in Glenns.

      Glenn is a long time resident, very easy going personality and very dominant personality towards all humans and rabbits he’s met.. But friendly and not aggressive. Nellie came to us early April from a rescue, she received dental surgey, deworming and antibiotic eye drop treatment mid april. Nellie seems to have settled in now but is clearly lonley and anxious without a friend. She has only had interaction with one male whom she mated with at a young age and was then housed with her 4 daughters in a hutch… So she is not used to males or humans, hates to be touched but will eat out of our hands.


    • DanaNM
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      So exciting! Every pair really is different, but I’ve noticed that buns that have lived with other buns tend to be more “gentle” in bonding so fingers crossed for a smooth process for Glenn and Nellie!

      . . . 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.  


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      Speed date was okay!

      They both had an inital stare off and then when Nellie moved Glenn was initially very startled, thumped, ran downstairs and started darting around the house, eyes bulging… But he collected himself and went back up and after eating some plaintan through the bars together Glenn went to the complete flip side and was standing up on his back legs on the grids and trying to squeeze through gaps to get to Nellie lol! In an inquisitive and non aggressive way though. Nellie kept her cool pretty much the whole time, loafing, using the litter tray and being inquisitive… She was in the comfort of her own pen though.

      I didn’t see anything overtly territorial so on with the pre- bonding 😊

      I will need to split Glenns pen in half so they will have approx 30 sqft each (and free roam alternately) instead of Glenn having his usual 60 (a minimum space requirement for adoption in the UK believe it or not) and she will be smack bang in his space…. Should I expect this to cause a lot of upset or maybe I shouldn’t even house them like this at all?


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      So Glenn and Nellie have been neighbours since yesterday evening, so just under 24 hours.

      Nellie seems happy with the arrangement, in the first 30 minutes of them being neighbours Nellie has been binky at the sight of Glenn which she has never done before, she has been really excitedly rushing to mirror everything Glenn does and flopping up againt the pen closest to Glenn and grooming away….. I guess this would mean shes happy and excited to see a new friend? I have been suspicious that a lot of her anxiety stems from loneliness and her reaction seems to solidify that idea that she thrives in the presence of other rabbits.

      I cannot say the feeling was mutual. Glenn started pooping allllll over the place and chin rubbing everything and snuggling up to my legs in front of Nellie (not sure if he was claiming me or just drawing comfort as he was upset), we had an initial thump when he first stubbled on the arrangement (he was sleeping upstairs while I worked on the set up) but after a short while he kinda chilled out and they ate hay together and chewed toys together the rest of the night, I think its to be expected as he’s essentially just had an intruder take over half of his usual home base and theres nothing he can do about it (it was the only was the neighbours arrangment could work in our house) he seems to have settled down already today tho and hasn’t shown any aggression at all, just disapproval…. He’s always been pretty territoral for a male anyway.


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Happy to see that Nellie is mirroring him, that sounds promising!


    • DanaNM
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      Haha! Sounds good to me! Let the poop wars commence!

      The flopping and binkying always cracks me up. I my interpretation is the bun is saying “look how much I’m not threatened by 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.  


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Yes, I’ve read somewhere that some bunnies flop on purpose while meeting a new rabbit. Just to show how unimpressed they are. I think it was at the rabbitspeak website.


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      Maybe haha! Glenn went straight to thumping lol.

      They seem to be getting on okay through the bars, lots of mirroring and super dead bunny flops/sleeping … Could be them trying to be jerks to eachother lol but at the least they are pretty chilled out in eachothers presence. Glenn is still popping everywhere though, including places he usually doesn’t like our bedroom lol.

      From what I’ve observed, in comparision to Glenns late wives, Bella and Maggie, Glenn and Nellie appear more chilled and relaxed around eachother and the mirroring was instant whereas its took a while with the other two girls (although Maggie was the love of his life, they were inseparable).

      Im dreading the bonding already lol


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      AHHHH omg omg omg

      Just made a massive mistake! I was working from home and I gave the bunnies both a treat and SOMEHOW must have forgotten to close the gates to their pens… Anyway, popped to tge kitchen for 5 minutes…. Didn’t hear anything going on… Walked towards the hall and noticed both pens open, ran over in panic and Glenn is inside Nellie pen!! they were just there together unsupervised…. I cannot believe it…

      Is there anything I should do? I have no idea if they could have fought or what… They were just stood there kinda a few inches apart… They both look okay and Nellie is flooped noe and they both took a treat.

      Glenn was upstairs before so the interaction could have been anything from him having just stepped in her pen… To 5 minutes of humping and circling.

      Is there any advise to follow here?are there anything testers I can do to judge if they would have fought… Or do I just continue as normal since neither are injured and be super careful next time.


      • GlennTheLionhead
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        Update, Glenn is also now flopped…. Perhaps their first ‘date’ was a positive experience for them….

        Obviously I ran over shouting Glenns name in horror so they were both just frozen staring at me when I ran over.

        UPDATE:

        Both seem relax mirror grooming themselves and Nellies flopped right up against the pen and then Glenn done a little playful head flick and started eating hay and flopped.


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Whew, crisis averted it seems! 🙂 We’ve had a couple of breakouts too before we started bonding. (I strongly suspect that my boyfriend didn’t close the pen properly after feeding them.) Our bunnies would chase after each other and made a lot of noise. It seems like yours are already more adjusted to each other than ours were.


    • DanaNM
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      Haha! Things happen!

      But great they didn’t fight! Definitely a good sign for future dates in neutral territory!  If you didn’t find the room full of fur tufts then I’m sure nothing bad happened. If they had fought you would have also heard them… bunnies tussling make a ton of noise!

      . . . 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.  


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      Yes, tell me about it! I woke up several times to the sound of thumping feet and scrabbling nails. I could hear them chase each other from the other side of the house. Bas was in front of a computer screen, so naturally: he completely missed it while being in the same room… 🙄


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      You have both made me feel better about it, thanks. Everyone has calmed down from the panic now… Although it seems like the bunnies were un-phased anyway so it’s really just me that needed to calm down lol, they have just gone about their day as normal since, so there doesn’t appear to be any lasting grudes.

      Ellie my boyfriend is the same, nothing can break his focus from the computer screen lol!


    • GlennTheLionhead
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      So the babies have been pre-bonding for a day shy of two weeks now. It has gone swimmingly and they are both very calm in eachothers presence and have been mirroring since day 1! They are always hanging out by the pen grates and eating together! Its the calmest I’ve seen any of the 3 girls with Glenn… Glenn has been the same level of, territorial for a couple days to friendly floppy oaf with all 3 of the girls in the pre-bonding stage no he’s predictable lol.

      I think I’m going to bite the bullet and set them up for a date tonight! Second date but first official lol.


    • Ellie from The Netherlands
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      That’s so exciting! Good luck, and send pics ^_^


    • DanaNM
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      Sounds great! Fingers crossed for the date! 🙂

      . . . 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 BONDING Glenn and Nellie