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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 Off site bonding-thoughts

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    • Felicity0118
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      Hi all! So I’ve started the ball rolling on getting my girl a boy-friend. I found a boy at a local rescue centre who’s perfect but now, bonding 😱

      the centre has said to set up two cages next to each other but my girl is free roam and I use x pens which I don’t trust the security, she’s offered for me to send my girl off for bonding and logically this is the best option as I can then use time to clean and to set up joint home, issue is, I don’t want to stress my girl out and sending her somewhere she hasn’t been before for a number of weeks scares me! Has anyone done this before? Am I needlessly worrying?

      many thanks in advance!
      f


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7805 posts Send Private Message

      Off-site bonding is often a great option! Bonding has to be done in neutral territory, so often things go a lot more smoothly when the buns are both in an unfamiliar location. Plus then someone is going to do the work for you! Personally I would take them up on the offer! 🙂

      Keep in mind there is sometimes some “cementing” that has to be done once you bring them home. You’ll want to clean and rearrange their living space so it is as neutral as possible (I usually get new litter boxes, new toys, wipe everything down with vinegar, and flip the set up so it’s a mirror image of how it was before), and you don’t want to give them full free-roam immediately because sometimes too much space too fast can cause some issues.

      . . . 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.  


    • Felicity0118
      Participant
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      Hiya

      thankyou so much for your reply! Are you sure it’s not going to like err (trying to not sound like a crazy bunny parent!) traumatise her or stress her to death or something?🙊😂😂


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
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      It’s normal to be a worried bun parent but I think she will be just fine! Rabbits are remarkably adaptable little creatures, despite them also being weirdly fragile. As long as the bonder is experienced with rabbits (which I’m sure she is if she’s bonding rabbits for people) then I think she will be just fine! You could ask some questions about the process and her experience as well, that might help put your mind at ease.

       

      . . . 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
      Participant
      314 posts Send Private Message

      I agree with Dana. I have heard many success stories of people using bonding services. I also follow a couple rabbit rescues on social media and they are alway posting updates about bunnies they have in for bonding and they are very knowledgeable. Some bonding services may even have your rabbits back and ready in a very short amount of time depending on their staffing and method. Your bun will likely be absolutely fine and adapt well!

      I have personally always opted to bond at home but thats more do do with me than the buns…. Theres upsides to bonding yourself such as getting to watch your hard work pay off if they do bond and the excitement of it… But there are also down sides, bonding can be exhausting and can consume you until its done. Also it can sometimes take months of work when done at home especially if it’s a first time bond due to inevitable mistakes – we all makes mistakes the first time around.


    • Felicity0118
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      Oh I just feel so mean though 😂 issue is now the new bunny they said they’re only holding for a few days as they need the space. How horrendous is this going to be if I opt to do at home given I have a full time job and can’t quite pick her up yet? I’m just thinking absoluty what’s best for her, I can put my big girl pants on…ish haha

      thank goodness for you guys and this forum, I am in official panic mode now lol


    • Felicity0118
      Participant
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      Aha! Bonding site has given a half way option, stage one at home and stage two with them, that feels a bit better, not to crack on and block off an area the bunny can no longer have, oh fun!


    • DanaNM
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      Sounds like a good compromise! Then you can do some pre-bonding at home and then send them off to the bonders to have them finish things up.

      Since one of your buns is free-roam, you will likely want to pen her during this process for simplicity. People seem to have the best success with setting up two side by side pens in the main room where the buns will live. For the first week or so they just live as neighbors (make absolutely sure they cannot nip each other through the fence or escape… you’d be surprised how high buns can jump when they have a new neighbor). This gives the new bun a chance to settle in and lets you get to know the bun a bit (and also make sure there are no underlying medical issues). Once the new bun seems relaxed in the space, you can start swapping who is on which side every day or two. Most people opt to do this for about 2 weeks before starting actual bonding sessions.

      Then after the pre-bonding you can start having them go on “dates” in a neutral area, so an area of your home where your current bun has never been and ideally cannot see (bathrooms are popular for this). During dates you will supervise and prevent fighting. Most times it’s nice to start with shorter sessions and get a sense of how they are together. If they are doing pretty well you can start increasing the length of the sessions until you get to a point where they can stay together several hours without fighting. At that point people usually opt to do some very long sessions (such as a full day or overnight), or they marathon bond (24/7) until the buns are bonded. Being bonded means they show lots of positive behaviors (grooming each other, cuddling, food sharing, litter box sharing), and have no aggression between them (light nipping and mounting is normal but nothing beyond that) for at least 48 hours. Once they are good for 48 hours in neutral territory you would transition them to a semi-neutral area and continue supervising for another 24-48 hours. If that goes well you can move them to their final home (cleaned, deodorized, rearranged to be less familiar) and supervise for another 24 hours (48 is better) to make sure they are still happy. Occasionally there are little hiccups when you move locations and they need a bit more supervision.

      I’m guessing that bonding service is sounding more appealing after reading all that!  My bonds have ranged from about 2 weeks for the easiest ones (not including pre-bonding) to 4 months for the toughest ones.

      . . . 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.  


    • Felicity0118
      Participant
      14 posts Send Private Message

      Oh Thankyou so much for your wonderful advice! The bunny place has been incredible and advised a lot re. Cage, I’ve now doubled her cage size so it’s like 6ft by 9ft and I think she’s likely to stay in there during the first week, I am SO nervous of locking her in tomorrow 🙁 poor girl and it’s hard to get in there so will need to make sure I spend lots of time in there so she doesn’t feel sad 🙁 picking her boy up tomorrow, good lord I am nervous! 😂


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      7805 posts Send Private Message

      Aww tough love is necessary sometimes for good things long term! It’s normal to be nervous but you’ve done your homework so you are well prepared! And please update us with how it all goes!

      . . . 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 Off site bonding-thoughts