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 Male-Female Bonding

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    Messages

    • miwilk339
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      About a month ago I adopted a female rabbit to try to bond to my male rabbit. They had a date and it went well so I took her home with me but after she got set up in her new area the process has come to a complete halt and I don’t know how to go about it. This is my first time trying to bond so I don’t really know what I’m doing and could use the advice. So first off both rabbits are fixed, my male rabbit Thor is 5 years old and the new female rabbit Snowball is 3 years old. After I brought her home I tried giving her time and space to get used to the place but I set her up near Thor so she could also get used to another rabbit being there but it seems she either still isn’t used to it or she just simply doesn’t like it. She used to growl at Thor quite a bit, it’s calmed down a great deal but I do still hear her growl at him from time to time, I’ve also been doing the pre-bonding where I switch them in eachothers pens so they can get used to eachothers scents and stuff but I haven’t been able to move past that due to the fact that Snowball bites at Thor if she’s able to get close enough and reach through the gate, she pulls his hair (which I am aware of being a sign of dominance) but I can’t even put the gates next to eachother because she keeps trying to bite at him which I was told by the organization that I got her from that I need them to be able to have the gates next to eachother and them being fine with eachother before I can even move on to bonding but no matter how much time I give her she just can’t accept Thor and tries to bite at him. Now keep in mind this whole time Thor has been an absolute sweetheart, I don’t think he’s doing anything that would really set her off, I mean at times he gets curious and will go over to the gate closest to her but he just sits there or will sniff through the bars but that’s it. When she growls at him she seems to spook him though because then he’s running all over the place by the gate which she then continues to growl and follows him which seems like chasing which I have read about as an aggressive behavior.

      I mainly just need advice on the best tactic to move forward because the pre-bonding doesn’t seem to help all that much but I also don’t trust her enough to put her in with Thor, he has a bit of a head tilt and is therefore at a slight disadvantage if it came to a fight so I want to avoid that as much as possible but she can’t even handle them being near eachother with a gate in the way so I can’t even imagine putting them in a space without one.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5058 posts Send Private Message

      Hi there,

      Sorry you are having a tough go of it. Thanks for all the background, but I’m not sure of the timeline. How long did you allow Snowball to settle in before starting pre-bonding, and how long have you been working on pre-bonding? Also, how long has Snowball been spayed?

      For pre-bonding pen set-up, I usually like around 4-6 inches between the fences. 6 inches is usually enough to make sure they can’t reach each other through the fence (assuming it’s a typical x-pen or cube grid). If the mesh is smaller, you can go a bit closer. Sometimes I’ve had to put a block or something between so they can’t push them closer together.

      All of that said, sometimes it helps to start with a visual barrier between the pens, like a towel hanging up. Then they get used to the scents first, and you can slowly reduce how much fence is blocked.

      It does sound like you’ve made progress though, even though it can be slow. So more simply more time may be the answer, even though it’s not a super satisfying one.  Will she accept pets from you, or is she still too afraid? If she will, one thing you can do is to pet Thor to get his scent on your hands, and then pet her. This mingles scents and makes the bunny think the other rabbit is grooming them (on some level). Other things people have tried (but I haven’t done personally) is to put a stuffy/surrogate in with Thor, get his scent all over it, and then put it with Snowball. She can take any aggressions out on the stuffy and sometimes this seems to help, because the stuffy doesn’t fight back.

      Remember they did have a good first date, so I doubt they completely hate each other. Interactions near a bunnies home turf can be very different from interactions in a 100% neutral space. She is in a new home, so may feel extra territorial trying to defend her lovely new home.

       

      . . . 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.  


    • miwilk339
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      Thank you so much for the response and the suggestions, I’ll make sure to give them a try! To answer your questions, I have her about 2 to maybe 3 weeks to fully settle in and then I’ve been trying to stick to the pre-bonding every other day and have been doing that for maybe a month now, the people I adopted her from didn’t say when she got spayed, I’m not sure even they know, they’re a rescue group that takes in and fosters bunnies.

      For the enclosure they’re both in regular moveable pens but I’m slowly buying and putting together x-pens for each of their enclosures to make it easier because Snowball tends to move her gates around quite a bit, but usually away from Thor, I still have a barrier between though so she can’t move it towards him.

      Again, thank you for the suggestions, I was worried maybe it was going to be working out, I didn’t want to give up so easy, I just didn’t feel like too much progress was being made but I’m hopeful that the new ideas will help them get used to eachother and I’ll be able to start moving forward with their bonding!


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5058 posts Send Private Message

      Ok gotcha, so that is a pretty good amount of time for pre-bonding, but some bunnies do take a long time to settle in. I think since they are running the fence, restricting the area where they can actually see each other might help.

      Have you tried any actual sessions since their first date?

      I don’t want to go against what the rescue told you, but I don’t think it would be a terrible idea to try a short date in VERY neutral territory, just to see where they are at. If it goes very badly, then you know to do more pre-bonding and/or try a different type of session (like a stress session or a different space).

      . . . 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.  


    • miwilk339
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      I haven’t tried any other sessions, how the rescue did it for their date was basically the neutral area but there was still a gate separating them so I haven’t seen yet how they would react together without a gate, do you think I should do a session of my own in neutral territory with the gate between like what the rescue did or try it without?


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      5058 posts Send Private Message

      It might be nice to try. You could start with a gate and see if their behavior is different than in their normal pens. If things look calm you can remove the gate.

       

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

Forum BONDING Male-Female Bonding