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View Full Version : help please bonding my bunny to new bunny



bunlover
01-10-2007, 08:46 AM
ok guys needin a bit of help and to make sure am doing this right. last night we took our bun t o a rescue where after several speed dates our bun was not interested as a last attempt we tried cage to cage with a rex bunny who was smaller than her (both are female) immediatly she nuzzled noses through the bars...surprised as us ?(and rescue were as thought shed want a husbun) we then tried them in a run together with supervision..... both buns played in tunnels and were quite happy eventually my bun was licking new buns ears! astounded as we were happy we hav taken new bun home and are trying to continue the bonding at home before they are let into the garden (her territory) together. last night they slept seperatly but in same room where could see each other. we tried them last night in a neutral room but they seeemed to panic at each other (not fight) but chelsea our rabbit went for new bun and we seperated them and decided enough for one night. we are ready to try again today but want to do it right after so much promise yesterday.... any advice?!!!!

bunlover
01-10-2007, 09:12 AM
little bump...please a bit of advice if you can even if its good bonding vibes!!! feelin apprehensive at the moment!

TheGaffer
01-10-2007, 09:28 AM
Don't worry, it sounds ok. Just make sure you put them in neutral territory again today, and don't separate them once you start.

Chasing, fur pulling etc is normal and par for the course. Only physically separate if they lock on to each other. A spray water bottle is a favourite with some people if they start fighting, give them a little squirt and they should stop.

Nicola

Phill
01-10-2007, 09:30 AM
You need to get them back into neutral territory and stick it out. A bit of chasing fur pulling and humping is fine, it's normal for them to do that as they are working out whos boss. Once you have put them together do not seperate them unless an all out fight breaks, ie they are clinging to one another or drawing blood. Good Luck xx

bunlover
01-10-2007, 10:56 AM
further to earlier have let both zena(new bun) and chelsea out today together for about half an hour. with supervision of course...both buns hopped around and nibbled grass cleaned themselves. they came nose to nose twice with zena trying to be submissive. however chelsea is very protective of her run(which is triangular and open both ends so she just runs in and out of it or sits inside it (we used it before to let the hamsters out!!) every time zena goes into here to say helloo chelsea shoos her out. this happened twice then zena tried it a 3rd time and chelsea went for her and we split up what seemed to be a fight breaking out. we separated them now to give each a cooling off period(neither bun was hurt but they did go at each other) as i said befor chelsea was fine in garden with her and fine to let her hop around garden past her etc but its just that part of garden she nudges us out if we go there too.. how can we stop a fight from happening here when other signs are so encouraging.

TheGaffer
01-10-2007, 11:34 AM
So, are they out in the garden?

Do you have a room indoors where they could bond, because you've potentially got to leave them in the neutral area for several days.

I would remove the run you mentioned because Chelsea see's it as hers and it will smell of her so she will fight to defend it.

bunlover
01-10-2007, 12:15 PM
well we tried in the house and it was very difficult to do inside. they seem happier and more at ease(both of them ) in the garden and as i said when together outside we dont seem to have a problem apart from the run agression bit when both hopping around its nose to nose and washing eating as normal. so i dont think bonding inside is the answer here also the temp differences are apparently more difficult for rexes to adjust to so we will carry on as we are.

Sooz
01-10-2007, 12:45 PM
I would add that it is possible your garden is offering them too much space, bonding is better carried out in a confined environment.

Also moving them from place to place and spliting them up at night can damage the bonding process so unless you plan to sit in the garden with them all night for approx. 3 days it would be better to use a room indoors with the heating off.

bunlover
01-10-2007, 12:49 PM
i dont think iv explained properly. in the garden they are only outin the day under supervision together for bout 30 mins at a time., they have established a dominant/submissive and are happy in each others company under supervision. at night they are being kept in a room where they can see each other but cannot touch other than through bars. so they are not separated its an 8ft x 4ft room which chelsea lives in which has a hutch in it(which chelsea doesnt go into but is shut which they happily are sat in together but separated apart from through the bars when not supervised.

chloaster
01-10-2007, 04:13 PM
The thing is by seperating them you are causing the bonding process to be restarted everytime you then put them back together. You need to make a time when you can supervise them for a significant period, like a weekend, and not keep spliting them at all. The area needs to be neutral too, girls are especially territorial and unlikely to accept a stranger onto their turf and by letting them spend time together but split by runs they are able to establish boundary lines between themselves too. I had two buns that would practically lie on top of each other when seperated by a thin wire fence but put together it was a "to the death" situation - buns don't get to know each other like we do, they need time to establish their hieracrchy and then be left to it.

Sooz
01-10-2007, 05:58 PM
The thing is by seperating them you are causing the bonding process to be restarted everytime you then put them back together..

Thats the point I was trying to make....you cant keep switching them between garden and house and splitting them at night. If they are getting on during the day then leave them together over night....even if it means sleeping next to them (most of us have been there :roll: ) to keep an eye on them!

bunlover
01-10-2007, 06:30 PM
yeh mayb but they get along in the garden mostly... i do take on board what oyu say im not trying to be stubborn promise!!! basically the bunny room leads to the garden and chelsea has access to both all day then goes in at night this is normal for her. thats her routine bear in mind she is 9.... im not happy leaving them overnight yet.... but maybe sleeping with them is a good idea. not sure how they would cope together overnight as are fine until get nose to nose...(so they sit about a foot to 3ft from each other cleaning themselves or eating but when nose to nose both try and be submissive(yes not dominant like most) both are trying to get under each other ...eventually zena wins and gets under but then they both have a funny panic and run away from each other.... have let them have another 20 mins toghther... they can always be next to each other just sometimes cage to cage sometimes togethr free....will try in neutral territory tommorrow...(but chelsea is not defending her territory is just happy to let zena hop around its only when zena trys to be submissiive she gets scared i think) ...can i add the history of both buns is that each has been a submissive before as chelseas sister was quite bossy and zena has been bullied very badly by another rabbit in the past so both are very scardy cats of being the boss!!!..thankyou all for your advice will let you know how it goes... we wanted to try the car ride together thing...but not sure it would work as chelsea has travelled in car lots and this does not scare or faze her anymore!

TheGaffer
01-10-2007, 06:34 PM
I understand what your trying to say, but you've got to leave them together somewhere neutral overnight or they'll never bond. Even if it means you have to sleep with them :lol:

bunlover
01-10-2007, 06:37 PM
of course but today is the first day...isnt that too soon?! iv heard it must all be gradual specially since they older

bunlover
01-10-2007, 06:53 PM
oh and other prob of putting them togethrr is been told other bun zena must a have science selective and chelsea is on amix(but she does not selective feed and excel (half and half)... hmm dilemas dilemas...as you can see this is my first bonding!!!!!!(well tried once a long time ago with 2 other rabbits and it was hatred at first sight with blood and fur everywhere.....very nervous of this happening again so am watching out for every little nip.....

bunlover
01-10-2007, 06:54 PM
I understand what your trying to say, but you've got to leave them together somewhere neutral overnight or they'll never bond. Even if it means you have to sleep with them :lol:
if we leave them somewhere neutral over night would this mean that another night or when fully bonded could go into chelseas room together happily? as that is waht we want eventually as couldnt sleep in house forever!!!

Sooz
01-10-2007, 07:04 PM
Right this is how I bond:

I clean my kitchen (provided neither of the bunnies has used this room before) with bleach so it smells neutral. Once dry I put towels on the floor, a couple of bolt holes (carriers, boxes etc.). I give hay and a bowl of water and if neither bun is known to be food aggressive I scatter veg and pellets on the floor as a distraction.

Both bunnies go in at the same time, owners are 'banished' and I sit on the sideboard with a cup of tea, book and a water spray.

Bunnies will either blank each other or start to chase, humping and pulling out fur. If it gets out of hand or a scrap breaks out I jump down making a loud bang and spritz the offender with water. They seperate but are still free range together.

Within two hours I can usualy leave them to their own devices but always stay in ear shot of them.

They then stay together overnight and the next morning they are fed together using a bowl and if all is still well I remove all the bolt holes to force them to spend time together. They spend another night in the kitchen. By day 3 they are usually cuddled up in the morning and eating side by side. There may even be some grooming. When i have got to this stage they will be put into a neutral garden run. I will clean and neutralise there new hutch and that night they will go to live together. I will watch themf or 30minutes after placing them in the new hutch and then leave them too it. Its normal for humping to start again for a bit. I will check on them for the next few hours and if all is still well I am confident they have bonded. The best sign though is when you see mutual grooming!

Some bonds can take longer, 5-7 days and my Bobby & Pippa took 3 weeks but they were living together in my living room under constant watch from day 3.

bunlover
01-10-2007, 07:17 PM
thankyou for your advice this all sounds in practise very easy (tho im not sure we can do this to perfection...) have you ever bonded a rabbit of 9yrs old? we are worried she is set in her ways and by changing everything (to make it neutral) she will become distressed although she was licking other bun on intial contact yesterday(which we took to be promising) it is 3years now she has been alone(since her sis died).(though has seen young bunnied at a pet shop where we took her to talk to them.)

sillyrabbit
01-10-2007, 07:21 PM
Keep them together somewhere neutral like the others have said and dont seperate them :D I sat on my kitchen floor for 4 days without sleeping when I was bonding Buu and Beau. They needed longer on neutral territory though because they were fine until they went somewhere Buu had been before, and I had to go back to work after a few days so had to seperate them again. But im trying again soon :shock: :lol:

Good luck, it all sounds normal and it will be so worth it when you see them playing together and snuggling up :D x

sillyrabbit
01-10-2007, 07:23 PM
thankyou for your advice this all sounds in practise very easy (tho im not sure we can do this to perfection...) have you ever bonded a rabbit of 9yrs old? we are worried she is set in her ways and by changing everything (to make it neutral) she will become distressed although she was licking other bun on intial contact yesterday(which we took to be promising) it is 3years now she has been alone(since her sis died).(though has seen young bunnied at a pet shop where we took her to talk to them.)

Meeting a new bunny is going to be fairly stressful so I dont think moving her stuff about will make any difference? I might be wrong though :oops:

When they are seperated at night, is this where your bunny used to live? They should really be somewhere that no bun has been before :D

Sooz
01-10-2007, 07:51 PM
The oldest bun I have bonded was 6. Living with another rabbit is very natural, they are sociable animals. It will be less stressful for her to just get on with it so her life can maintain some routine again soon.

bunlover
02-10-2007, 11:06 AM
we tried the bonding in a neutral place today and they actually had a fight and chelsea got hurt. so we are taking new bun back to rescue, dissapointed but i think a she is too young for chelsea and b too bouncy i knwo you all think i did it wrong. but i have tothink of chelsea first as my first buny. never mind. she is happy with our company as she licked me lts today after i took new bun away and separated them. never mind im sure im not the first who has failed eh.

chloaster
03-10-2007, 07:20 PM
Maybe you should ask the rescue to bond them for you as it sounds like you're nervous and that wont help the rabbits. Abbymarysmokey has just bonded a 7year old, who'd been on her own all her life, to a 10 year old so why not pm her for some advice?

bunlover
03-10-2007, 08:00 PM
well the new bun turned out to be 3years old not the original 5years the rescue lady said and was very bouncy and i think being older chelsea just wants somebunny to love and sit next to not to hop loads and play which zena wanted. the rescue did offer to bond them for us but wanted us to wait 3 weeks keeping them separated but so could see each other... we decided that zena beutiful and lovely as she was wasnt the right rabbit tho someone will have a treat when they get her as shes great! and so we took her back (we did have her mxyi jab done so i guess we helped with the costs for them that way) chelsea seems her normal self again and we may try again another time but will give her a chance for her paw to heal first. might be worth me speaking to the person who bonded the 8 and 10 yr. old... i jsut may try and pm them!! for future of course!