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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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Together for over 3 weeks but not bonded – help!

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    • MauriceandSnowy
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      I’ve been bonding Maurice (black) and Snowy (white) since February – taking things VERY slowly! We made it to their first successful overnight bond 3 weeks ago and they’ve been together since – however they’re still not bonded!

      During the day they are absolutely fine – grooming, sleeping, cuddling – and I’ve even left them for a couple of hours and there was no trouble

      At night though it’s a different story – after about 5am every night (when it gets light) Snowy won’t stop chasing Maurice and nipping him! The only way they stop is if I give them food – not ideal to reward them for this though! I’m not sure if she’s trying to play because she does do some binkies while chasing, but Maurice is a nervous wreck and has lost weight from the stress.

      I’ve tried bigger enclosure, smaller enclosure, moving the enclosure to a different room, separate litter trays, toys (maybe she’s bored), pet remedy, punishing her by picking her up whenever she does this… but nothing has worked so far

      They have both been bonded before – Maurice was my first bun and we rescued Snowy in Jan.

      Any ideas for how we can get over this hurdle would be much appreciated!


    • Wick & Fable
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      5am is a time rabbits can be active and it sounds like it’s close to when your rabbits are fed. Food aggression is not unheard of in rabbits. Does this happen around any other food related times?

      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.


    • MauriceandSnowy
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      No they’re fine at other feeding times, and they stop being aggressive once I put the food down – it could be a way of them telling me they want their breakfast I suppose!


    • Wick & Fable
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      It can be that one rabbit gets particularly energized for the first meal of the day and that energy gets re-directed to your other rabbit. If it becomes a huge issue and causes fights each morning, I would consider maybe getting a timed feeder for the morning or finding a way to separate them for that small period in the morning, whether that is a shared restricted space with a shared wall (so they are still together, but they cannot chase one another).

      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.


    • DanaNM
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      Hmmmm, I was having a similar issue when I bonded Bertha and Bun Jovi. The would be fine for almost all of a 24 hr period, then around dawn scuffling would happen. In my case it was usually due to a mounting attempt. Have you been able to see if anything specific initiates the chasing?

      Also, what is the main type of space are you using, and is it the same space you’ve been using for the whole process? I think in my case we were too close to the buns home turf. Neutral but still within smelling range. What worked for me was to take them to a friend’s house and do the marathon there. Within 24 hours they were great and we finished off cementing there.

      Another thing you could try is to plan to do some stressing at the time when the issue normally starts, so say at 4:30 or 5, take them on a car ride together. Maybe that would help them get past that phase?

       

      . . . 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.  


      • MauriceandSnowy
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        They actually haven’t done ANY mounting at all – Maurice didn’t with his last buddy either. Such a weirdo!

        I think maybe Snowy is trying to play or wants attention… She runs up to him and he freaks out and runs away which just makes her chase him more – she binkies while she’s chasing him which makes me think she’s enjoying the game! Although I spoke to a bonding advisor at a rescue and they said she might just be not confident in her dominance so she feels she has to keep asserting it.

        The timed feeder and bonding at a friends house are good ideas!

        I’ve separated them into side by side enclosures for now so they can have a break (and so I can get some sleep!)


    • pinkiemarie
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      Hey I’m right there with you! I’ve got mine in a bonding pen and we’re making slow progress and I always have worse trouble from Clover in the morning. The thing is she gets energized and bored and hungry all at the same time. So a few thoughts. Clover eats more at night than during the day and I actually have to refill her hay at like one in the morning and again right when I wake up to keep her happy and keep her eating hay instead of eating Ben. To avoid reinforcing bad behavior by rewarding with the yummy food, can you try refilling the hay first if it’s low to see if that helps? They don’t have to be out of hay to start freaking out and getting aggressive. Mine definitely like to always be topped off with lots of “fresh” hay and they are more chill about it when the pile is huge.

      She also gets super energized and starts jumping around and digging early in the morning. Is it possible your bunny is also trying to play at this time and maybe the other rabbit is getting in the way or getting freaked out by the energetic play behavior? How big is the area they are in in the morning? Could it help to have a bigger play area early in the day or a little separate play time? I know you said it stops when you feed them but it’s possible the food is just distracting them from something else that’s going on.


      • MauriceandSnowy
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        That’s a good idea about the hay!

        I’ve tried them with various sizes from about 4ft2 (so there was just enough room for their litter trays) to 8ft2

        Yes I think that’s it the food is just a distraction


    • Wick & Fable
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      As a note, binkying is not always an expression of positive affect. It can also be an extra evasion tactic as well, so binkying during a chase is not necessarily indicative of enjoyment or play.

      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 Together for over 3 weeks but not bonded – help!