View Full Version : Fighting sisters - advice please

Bavarian Bunny
18-10-2008, 02:56 PM
I am not quite sure what to do at the moment. I have had my foster bunnies for 6 weeks. They are sisters and about half a year old. They had been getting along fine, apart from a few small scuffles. Last Wednesday they both got spayed (we wanted to rule out a pregnancy first), and they have been indoors in a dog crate until today.
A few hours ago I let them back outside. They have a big hutch, and I close off the side passage along the house and they can run around there and jump in and out and on top of the hutch. I gave them fresh litter trays and the hutch and the run area must still smell of both of them.
I was just cleaning some other litter trays, when I heard noise, and the two girls were having a really serious fight, there was fur everywhere. I went in and tried to separate them (and had my ankle bitten). I calmed them down and then left again. About 20 minutes later the whole thing started again.
So what should I do now. Should I bring them back indoors where I can watch them better? Should I let them settle their issues? They are still recovering from their operations, so I don't want them to get too stressed. Should I keep them just in the hutch and not let them run around for a while? But what if they still fight then? They are reserved to go to a new home in two weeks, and the plan is to bond them with a male bunny.
I know their hormones are probably changing at the moment, but I am scared that they will cause each other some bad injuries. They are lops, so their ears are ripped easily. If I bring them back in and keep them indoors for another 2 weeks, they might lose some of their winter coat or not grow a thicker one. And they will be outdoor bunnies in their new home.
What to do, what to do...... Please send vibes that they will become friends again. Does anyone have a bonded pair of sisters or are they often hard to keep together? I know one person who adopted two sisters and their brother, and that seems to work fine.

Bavarian Bunny
18-10-2008, 03:40 PM

After more fighting outside, I brought them both back in, but as soon as they were in the dog crate, they started again. This was not just chasing and fur pulling, but serious kicking at each other and biting. Janice's magic broom trick didn't help, either, so I had no other choice but to separate them. :( With their shaved tummies they are not very well protected against the kicking, and I can't risk the scars getting ripped open or other serious injuries.

Tigerlily is now outside in the hutch, and Mousy is here with me in the dog crate. Maybe it will be better to just take one of them to the new home, as the future bunny parents want to attempt the bonding themselves, and I fear this would be a tricky one. I'll see what they think.

Poor Mousy is quite exhausted and has pieces of fur sticking out of her everywhere. :(

18-10-2008, 03:41 PM
Ooo-err :shock: I think I'd be inclined to bring them back indoors where you can keep an eye on them - also the smaller territory that they were recovering in might help to calm them back down. I'd guess they're just a bit grouchy after their neuters and maybe the new, bigger territory and the smell of other bunnies started them off. Hopefully things will settle down again soon.

Edit: arrr posted at the same time as you! What a shame :cry: Hopefully it's just a little glitch and things will sort themselves out :?

Bavarian Bunny
18-10-2008, 03:47 PM
They are quite far from the other bunnies, so they should not be able to smell them.

Mousy is scared of Tigerlily now, and ducked as soon as she approached her. Which didn't stop Tigerlily from attacking her. She runs straight at her and bites. Not just a bit of nipping, but proper biting. It was quite painful even through my trousers and socks.

I tried with food, but even then they would start to fight. :(

18-10-2008, 04:06 PM
When you put them outside did you give them hutch and run? I suspect the sudden increase in space is what has upset them. I am always warey of increasing space too quickly as this can happen.

My only suggestion would be to reintroduce them in a smallish area in a few days and then slowly increase the area over the coming time. Making sure the hutch is thoroughly cleaned out int he meanwhile and only giving them that space for a few days.

18-10-2008, 04:25 PM
That's such a shame Gisela and also such a worry. I would have thought that they would get comfort from each other after their ops and like you, I'd have put them in the same space as before.

It isn't sounding good:cry:

Bavarian Bunny
18-10-2008, 06:44 PM
Mousy is quite relaxed and flopped out now, and Tigerlily has eaten her veggies quickly, too. I guess I should not have opened the hutch. They were chasing each other in there, so I thought it might help to give them more space, and I could get between them more easily than if they were in the hutch. They had a small scuffle in the dog crate yesterday, too, but it was over after a few seconds. Today they just wouldn't stop. :(

18-10-2008, 09:32 PM
I have 2 mini lops sisters that have always been together. They've both been spayed but still Merry (the bigger one) will chase Pippin, especially when food is about. They've never had a major fight, but I do get upset for poor Pip! They do still groom however - so they must still love each other!:lol:

Sorry to hear your girls are fighting and that I can't add any solutions - hopefully their hormones will settle some more!

18-10-2008, 09:38 PM
Hi Gisela. One of my girls started really going for the other the day after they were spayed and it was awful with their scars and trying to limit their exercise, one really bullied the other. It was the worst fighting ever, as soon as Elsie's bum went anywhere near Jess it started. I put up a partition of weldmesh in their cage, which Jess tore down several times and in the end I had to seperate as Elsie looked so scared :(. I left it a few weeks with them living side by side before rebonding which took several days with nightly fights :roll: In hindsight I should have tried sooner but I was too scared :oops: I hope things work out ok :(

ETA - they do love each other again now and have been rebonded over a year with no more than 2-3 little disagreements but never anything remotely as bad as the post-spay fighting.

Bavarian Bunny
18-10-2008, 09:49 PM
I have given the people who want to adopt the girls, an update on the situation. If they still want to adopt both and dare to bond them into a threesome with their bunny boy, then it might be best to keep them separate until then. And bond them with the boy on neutral territory. I can never have totally neutral territory here. The hutch can be cleaned, but the run is just too big and too complex to be cleaned of all smells.