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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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Help Getting My Bunnies to the Next Stage

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    • MrBunny&PrincessPotato
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        I have two bunnies named Mr. Bunny and Princess Potato. Mr. Bunny, our first bunny, is territorial and took some time to warm up. The shelter informed us he is a hard bonder, but he has become very social and even allows strangers to pet him. Since we are often away, we thought he might need a companion. Six months later, we adopted Princess Potato, who is his complete opposite and loves attention.

        We gradually introduced them, using stress bonding techniques in a cardboard box and on a table. Eventually, they became so close that I worried they might accidentally bite each other. We then moved them to a smaller pen, no larger than 2×2, and they have been fine. They occasionally nip at each other to assert dominance, and Princess Potato enjoys grooming Mr. Bunny, though he rarely reciprocates with a kiss unless I put treats on her head. They nuzzle each other voluntarily, and there are occasional mounting episodes, about one or two times per hour. After I separate them, they are fine, but Mr. Bunny persistently tries to mount her head, which is not acceptable. I also rotate their pens and toys daily, and their cages are adjacent, which they tolerate well, even overnight.

        However, when I place them in a larger shared space with a litter box and hutch, such as moving Mr. Bunny into her primary area or into a cage with only their shared blanket, Mr. Bunny becomes aggressive, nipping and trying to start a fight. What should I do?


      • GlennTheLionhead
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          Hey!

          What sweet names. It sounds like the sessions have been going okay generally. Bonding can be tough.

          I think you are probably just doing too much too soon. The buns should remain in a neutral space, with just hay and water at the most until they are pretty much bonded. Things like blankets etc and Mr. Bunny’s primary space are going to bring about a lot of territory issues and possible lead to fights. I find as they get more comfortable together and show less negative behaviours I can add a neutral litter box and maybe a hidy hole.

          It sounds like they are showing some positive behaviours. Where are you doing the sessions?

          Different methods can work for different people but I have had success by introducing short dates of 15 mins in a small bathroom sized space and increasing by 15 mins each day. When negative behaviours become much less frequent then I consider then next step. Usually I do a minimum of a week of this up to 1 month of this depending on how the buns are. I’d be happy to help you work out when they are ready to move on based on their behaviours.

          Following this I move them to a larger semi neutral space and do long sessions, overtime adding the litter tray and hidey hole. – this could be too soon for them currently but ultimately you are the best judge of your own buns.

          If a bun face mounts you should orientate them to the hind to prevent injury.

          As a final note bonds can take anywhere from a week to several months with most falling somewhere Inbetween. But trust me the patience is worth it.

           


        • cappuccino/cappo
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            Hello
            Have your bunnies been fixed yet? That usually eliminates the problem.


          • DanaNM
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              I agree they aren’t ready to move into any space that isn’t neutral. I would try doing a larger space that is neutral first. Litter boxes and hides can also cause disputes, so keep it bare bones for now. My experience with small spaces is that they often have more problems with moving to different spaces, so I recommend working with them in a larger space if you can. You may see some increased chasing and mounting at first, but the idea is to let them work through this while preventing fights.

              Also I couldn’t tell from your post how long the sessions are? You want to work up to long sessions in neutral space, and wait until they can spend 48 hrs together in neutral without any aggression, and lots of positive behaviors, before moving them to a less-neutral environment.

               

              . . . 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 Help Getting My Bunnies to the Next Stage