View Full Version : Not sure what to do - suggestions gratefully received!

13-05-2012, 03:37 PM
We have a bit of an issue. We had three sisters who had a falling out after one of them went to the vets. It has now become apparent that we can't re-bond them (one tries to fight the other two, the other two are now very nervous, even when the other one is not around).

We were going to try to bring the single rabbit indoors and have her as a house rabbit, but now that doesn't seem possible either (not enough room - she'd end up shut up inside a space 3 foot by 4 foot most of the day, which isn't fair either).

We don't really feel that we can get her a husbun, due to finances (we'd rather look after three buns properly than have four and risk us not being able to afford to look after them - although the three we have are insured, it's still jabs and any unexpected illnesses that are less than the 50 excess - they can easily mount up, especially as we have a cat as well).

We really, really don't want to have to give her up - that is a last resort and would break our hearts.

This might be a daft question but how would we know if the single rabbit is really unhappy? She is eating and drinking as normal.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

13-05-2012, 03:59 PM
Can you give us a bit more information about your rabbits so we can maybe help you.

How old are they?
Are they all neutered?
Are they all in good health?
How did you try and put them back together following their visit to the vets?
Was this on neutral territory?
How long had they been apart?
Had all 3 bunnies gone to the vets together?
Do you have any other animals about?

13-05-2012, 04:03 PM
I take it they are all spayed?

Personally I would think about rehoming her. She may be ok on her own but it's not very fair for her to live her life completely alone after being bonded previously.
The only other thing I would suggest is to create/buy a bigger indoor pen for her but if you are out most of the time this will still not be ideal for her as she will be on her own most of the time.

13-05-2012, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the reply. In answer to your questions......

The girls are all 2 years old and spayed. They were all from the same litter.
They're all now in good health (the one that was ill had gut stasis about 2 months ago).
Their hutches have been next to each other since the vets visit, so they can see and smell each other.
The bonding was attempted on neutral territory with several dates first - we built up the time they spent together gradually, until they spent 2 hours together and ended up fighting.

Unfortunately they didn't all go to the vets together and it was impossible for us to take the other two to the vets when we picked the ill one up (my OH had to go on his way home from work, as the main vet's surgery for overnight stays and operations etc is an hour away from us). They were apart for 2 nights.

We have a cat too, but she wasn't around when we tried the bonding. The cat and the buns have never seemed bothered by each other. In fact the one who was ill (Phyliss) even quite likes the cat.

Hopefully that helps - we really are at a loss as to what to do next.

13-05-2012, 04:21 PM
When you did the bonding and ended up with a fight a few hours later was this a one off fight? Did you try and continue after this happened?

13-05-2012, 04:32 PM
Did you try rebonding them in a small area? Have you got a small cage or something similar that you can divide into 2. Put the 2 bonded ones in one section and the third in the other section. When they seem happy to be close together maybe in a day or so, remove the divider annd see what happens. If they don't fight keep them together in this small area for say 3 days and then enlarge the area and go on from there. Try not to touch them during this time. Hoppefully this will work.

13-05-2012, 04:41 PM
We haven't tried again since (this was over Easter), as one of the pair has only just stopped thumping and growling every time I went anywhere near her. I took that as a sign that she was really quite scared by the whole experience and as I didn't want to scare her anymore, we stopped.

All three were very timid when we got them a year ago and we've worked really hard to get them to a stage where we can handle them and they will come to us for treats and nose rubs. However, since the fight all three have become quite timid again and we're having to re-build trust again. I'm reluctant to try bonding again, as I don't want to keep breaking the trust we've built up.

However, ultimately we just want the girls to be happy.

Do you think bonding is worth trying again?

13-05-2012, 08:18 PM
Just a shameless bump to see if anyone can help.................

14-05-2012, 04:13 PM
What are their reactions when they meet through the bars? Was there any serious injuries when they fought? Buns will chase and hump and sometimes pull fur from each other but this is normal for most bondings and as long as it isn't very aggressive it's a normal process but can be quite scary to see. When I bonded Fiver and Xena, Fiver would grab hold of Xena's fur and hump her so when she ran off he'd be stood with a huge clump of fur in his mouth. It worried me but she didn't seem too bothered and there was never any injuries so I just let them get on with it. They are now bonded and quite happy together but they still hump and chase each other as well as snuggle up together and happy flop next to each other. All bonding are different and it depends on the personality and status of the bunnies. I'm sure you know all of this but I just want to make sure it wasn't a normal "scuffle" as opposed to a full blown fight.

It's up to you if you choose to try bonding them again. You know your bunnies more than anyone. :)

14-05-2012, 04:18 PM
Meeting through bars doesnt always give a true reading of how they are going to be when they meet properly.
I would PM Janice...the lass in Green, who has already been on this thread.
Top bonding advice from her everytime.xxx

14-05-2012, 08:35 PM
Thanks for all the advice.

Vegan Bunny - the reactions between the bars range from indifference to slight interest with sometimes a bit of a spat through the bars, so it's not really helpful :?
When they had the fight, it wasn't just the usual chasing and fur pulling (although that had happened a few times before the fight). This was a definite trying to bite and hurt kind of fight. However, it is my first time bonding, so I could well be misreading the signs (despite having read up on it - in particular Sky-O's website, which was really helpful). It's all so difficult :(

We might have solved the problem - my OH has spent the evening moving things around several times and we seem to have a bit more space in the dining room / kitchen, so Phyliss might be moving inside. Although I'm not 100% sure that there will be enough room for her. We can now fit in a 6 panel circular run, which she can be in whilst we're out (which is most of the day) and just let her free range when we're in. It's not ideal, but it might be our only hope....

14-05-2012, 09:08 PM
Maybe you could film what you think is aggressive behaviour and we could help you judge it?