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Forum BONDING Trio Advice

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    • Graeme27uk
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      Ok, this I don’t understand…

      We had 2 bunnies that were bonded, and we decided to introduce a third. We let them into the bathroom (bonding room) and left them over night and all seemed fine. All three bunnies were licking and eating with each other and even cuddling up with each other.

      We hoovered, shampooed, etc the carpet in the room we use as the bunny’s permanent room. Wiped down all bunny surfaces with water/vinegar mix and all the usual descenting stuff.

      We then put all three bunnies in the room and we now have an odd situation.

      Smudge (the older female) is happily roaming about, Frosty (the male) is hiding in the box…

      Cookie though has been confined to a small area by Smudge and if Cookie moves out of that area then Smudge goes for her. As long as Cookie stays in that area then all is fine, Smudge will even go up and wash Cookie.

      Both Smudge and Frosty have had the chop to remove hormonal urges. Cookie is a baby and so needs to wait for her snip.

      If we take Cookie out of the area ourselves then Cookie dashes back to her “safe zone”.

      Is this going well?

      How do we solve the issue so that all 3 bunnies can roam about?

      Is it safe to leave them in the room together over night?


    • Graeme27uk
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      Another problem is that Frosty gets involved. When Smudge goes for Cookie they run about then Frosty wades in and Frosty and Smudge start fighting and fur pulling each other. Cookie runs back into her den.

      Spray bottles dont stop them which is unusual.

      We have tried the neutral territory before hand as usual and they were all fine in that, even when left over night unattended.

       

      Cookie is wandering out now and again, and we have progressed to the point where Smudge is licking her outside the “allowed area”… but Smudge is still being a bit territorial.

      Frosty is beginning to assert himself but no where near as much. Its only when food is involved that he asserts himself… typical bloke!


    • Sarita
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      I would not leave them overnight until they are properly bonded and that does not sound like the case here. You cannot just put rabbits together and expect them to get along unfortunately.

      The best thing to do is to do small introductions with Cookie with each rabbit instead of sticking all three in there together – you don’t want any of them to get hurt.

      How old is Cookie too? If she’s a baby then you could risk her getting hurt by the older rabbits especially since the Smudge is being territorial.


    • Graeme27uk
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      Cookie is only 8 weeks…

      I don’t want any of my bunnies getting hurt!!

      The vet said to put Cookie in an enclosure within the territory so that they can sniff each other without actually getting to each other over night.


    • Sarita
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      I think I would wait until Cookie is a little older to start the introductions since Smudge and Frosty are older and are being aggressive towards her – at her small size she is probably an easy target for them.

      I’m not entirely sure that putting her in an enclosure in their area with them being aggressive is good for her – she sounds frightened to me.


    • Graeme27uk
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      My gf says go with the vets advice of leaving Cookie in a safe area within the bunny room (we have a HUGE carry-case to use). So they can sniff each other and see each other.

      She also is of the opinion that it will make no difference as when they are eventually in the bunny room Smudge will always be territorial and so fights will happen.

      Others have said that we should go back to neutral territory for a week or so so that they form stronger bonds.

      I am worried that Cookie is getting scared and frightened of the other two and this will just increase the time it takes to bond. Or worse mean that no bond will form. Smudge nips Cookie sometimes but then this is normal in asserting dominance (isn’t it?) Not sure whether this is scaring Cookie or not…

      How do we decide what to do?


    • Sarita
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      I don’t think a huge carry case is enough room for Cookie to eat and drink.

      And you are putting Cookie in their territory and I don’t think that is good either.

      If you are going to introduce them at her age, which I think is too young being that you have said the other 2 are territorial and they could hurt her, then I say do very small supervised bondings with you supervising in a neutral territory – do not leave them alone unattended.

      You never ever wanting a bonding episode to end negatively and Cookie is getting frightened, this is not good.

      I think you should step back and stop the bonding for a little while too – you don’t need to rush these things.

      Also as I recommended introduce Cookie one on one with Smudge and Frosty – otherwise they are going to keep ganging up on her.


    • Graeme27uk
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      We have put them back in the bathroom on neutral ground. Relative calm is restored as all bouncing about around each other with no hostility. Supervision over night and then probably stay in the bathroom for a while until all are bonded.

      Cookie is still a little jumpy, though I hope that she gets used to the other 2 quickly.


    • Graeme27uk
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      Back in the bathroom they are snuggled up with each other…

      Bunny logic at its best…..


    • MarkBun
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      If you leave them in the bathroom for a couple of weeks without any outside time, they will bond. The issue comes with putting them into non-neutral territory without them being fully bonded. Smudge will continue to try and chase her out of her domain because Cookie isn’t part of the pack yet.

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Forum BONDING Trio Advice