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Forum BONDING HELP! Only 2 of 3 of my rabbits are bonded

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    • Samie
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      2 years ago I got Skittles (gray) and Luci (tan), my Holland Lop girls. I got them both spayed and after a month started on the bonding. I tried everyway I read about and kept their cages close, did bunny dates, swapper x-pens, etc. Even after 2 years they still do not get along. About 8 months ago we bought Loki, our Dutch boy. He is amazing and docile and bonded really quick with Skittles. Luci was more hesitant but she now will tolerate him grooming her, she’s still very guarded though. Every day Luci stays in the X-pen while Loki and Skittles have free roam, at night Luci gets free roam while Loki and Skittles stay in the x-pen. We do allow Loki to have one-on-one time with Luci after we switch and before we head to bed, but if the girls cross paths at any time during the switch they fight. I’ve even tried to bond all 3 of them together hoping Loki would calm the girls a bit, no luck.My problem is that I am worried about Luci. Shows many signs of depression; lack of grooming, not as interested in food, leaves some pellets behind. I haven’t seen her do a binky or zoomies in a LONG time. I am very worried about her and I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve bought so many toys and she has no interest in any of them. We pet her, which she acts like she hates most of the time. We’ve even thought about buying another boy but what if she doesn’t like him either? Does anyone have any ideas? I am desperate to have her happy like my other 2.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
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      This is how you end up with 4 rabbits (like me! lol).

      So, I would just treat Skittles and Loki as your bonded pair, and stop having Loki interact with Luci face to face. Since it’s pretty clear the girls are not compatible and a trio wont work, there’s no real point to having them interact regularly.

      In my experience, F-F pairs are tough. There are cases where it works, but it is often really challenging. So I don’t think your girls’ failure to bond means that Luci isn’t bondable.

      Do you have space/time/resources for a fourth rabbit (including during the bonding process)?  Are there any rescue organizations near you that do bunny speed-dating or allow people to do “foster to adopt”? Some rescues will let you try out a bunny for bonding and then swap if the pairing isn’t working out.

      I had a somewhat similar situation where I had a pair, then fell in love with a foster (Bonnie). Tried to bond a trio, that didn’t work (the girls weren’t getting a long at all) . Then tried to add in a fourth to be a quad, and then boys weren’t getting along AT ALL, so I ended up with 2 pairs, which are both very happy.

      . . . 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.  


    • Samie
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      Dana,

      Thank you so much. It’s reassuring to know this is kinda normal. Yes we do have means and space for a companion for Luci, but the last time I checked for bunny speed dating at the rescue about 90 min away, they weren’t doing it due to Covid. I will check again, but in the chance they do not do it, should I just look for a bunny with a more calm demeanor or one who shows more energy to possibly cope with Luci’s timid behavior?


    • DanaNM
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      That’s tough. Most pairings do work out though, especially male-female. Maybe if they can’t do speed dating, they would still allow a foster-to-adopt trial period?

      I would inquire about neutered males that generally do well with other bunnies. It’s really hard to gauge how personalities will blend, but they should have an idea of how the rabbits are with other rabbits.

      I think you’d have a good chance of success with another male, since Luci did eventually start to warm up to Skittles.

      . . . 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.  


    • Samie
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      Dana,

      I reached back out the the rescue yesterday and they said I CAN bring Luci in for a speed dating session. All their males are neutered and I requested 5 to meet with that are kind and tolerant and good with other rabbits. We are scheduled for next Sunday. I will keep you updated, thanks again!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7605 posts Send Private Message

      Excellent! I hope Luci finds a good match! Keep in mind she may not behave normally due to the drive. Letting her chill out in the carrier for  ~ 30 min before the first date should help a bit too. In speed dates, I usually am just looking to make sure they don’t HATE each other.

      If in doubt, pick the bun that YOU like the most. It’s going to be a bun for you as 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.  

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Forum BONDING HELP! Only 2 of 3 of my rabbits are bonded