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View Full Version : What to do for Buttercup now she's on her own?



helgalush
28-12-2012, 01:06 PM
Buttercup, Kenco's wifey bun, is now on her own after we lost him a couple of days ago. She is outside in their big kennel. She seems ok in herself and is eating, she is lively when she comes for her food, although she does look around the run for Kenco at first :cry: I think she is coping very well in the circumstances. Kenco is the only husbun she has ever had, they were bonded at the end of April.

She is warm enough because although the kennel is big, there is a snuggly house full of straw for her and we are giving her a snugglesafe heatpad at nighttime as she doesnt have Kenco to snuggle to. We also have wooden flaps that cover all the windows to the kennel and a tarpaulin that goes over the top. I am not worried about her eating or keeping warm (for the moment as it is mild) so much as I am about her loneliness, confusion and boredom out in the dark long nights.

In time I think we will try to see if she will bond with Zebedee, the little stray bunny we found at the railway station in November, who is living in our kitchen. However he can't go outside until spring when the weather is warmer, so this will be a few months away at the earliest.

Do you think while she is coping ok she will be alright outside on her own for the next few months? Obviously we are checking on her very regularly but we will not be able to spend quite as much time with them all soon as our human baby is due within the next 3 weeks. We were telling ourselves all would be ok because they are all in pairs (except Zeb but he's in the busiest room of the house), but obviously this is now not the case.

Should we risk stressing her out by bringing her in the house once baby is born (we can't do it before for various reasons)? At least then we can interact with her more and keep an eye on her more easily, plus she will have time to forget the kennel, so that if a bond with Zebedee does work out, when they both go out again it will seem 'new' to them both. (It will be deep cleaned, repainted, stuff moved around etc). But then what if the change of environment and temperature, plus a crying baby in the house stresses her out more than staying outside on her own?

What would you do?

Jack's-Jane
28-12-2012, 01:12 PM
I'd bring her in now to get her used to a new environment rather than having to do so with a New Born Baby about too. She would then only need to deal with one new experience at a time.

But you say you cant do that ??

Can she at least see other Rabbits from her outdoor accommodation ?

helgalush
28-12-2012, 01:17 PM
Thanks Jane. Space is the issue pre-baby, the reason being that Zebedee is in the kitchen, so she can't go there, there is nowhere upstairs as we have Starbuck and Muesli in the spare room, and then that just leaves the lounge. Now the reason we can't use the lounge is because *looks sheepish* we are hoping to have a homebirth and have a water pool to use in the living room, the midwives and me will need room for me to move around etc. Sorry bit embarrassing having to say that on a rabbit forum but suppose I set myself up for that one!

The only other option is the nursery but I don't think my OH would be happy about having a bunny in there because he has re-carpeted, re-decorated and made it all beautiful for the baby...is that really selfish? Also we would have to close Starbuck and Muesli off from that room, and Muesli is already weeing more on the landing I think because of Zeb being in the house and knowing that baby is on its way. So she may not get much more interaction from us if she was in there, purely because it will be difficult trying to keep the two parties separate, if that makes sense.

ETA: Once the baby has arrived, there is no reason why Buttercup can't come in the lounge, it would just be the practicalities of getting it set up for her while we have a new baby.

Also no she can't really see Twinkle and Star from her run, I mean she can just about but we deliberately put it sideways on so that there would be no referred aggression.

Georgeypudding
28-12-2012, 01:31 PM
Don't be embarrassed about having a home birth! I think thats pretty much the top reason for not having a bun in the room :lol: Could Buttercup go in the bathroom? :)

helgalush
28-12-2012, 01:37 PM
Don't be embarrassed about having a home birth! I think thats pretty much the top reason for not having a bun in the room :lol: Could Buttercup go in the bathroom? :)

Thanks Georgey. Our bathroom is only small, so that's not practical for her either I'm afraid. :(

kaths101
28-12-2012, 01:40 PM
I never knew you were expecting... congratulations :love:

I'm sure you will do what is best for buttercup, obv the best thing would be to get her a friend or have her indoors but if this isn't practical, all you can do is your best in the situation for now.
I agree in not putting her in the lounge for now is prob not a good idea. You need a relaxed atmosphere for giving birth and don't want to worry about her. It's not selfish. After the baby is born (you are only talking a few weeks) then reassess the situation.
You are right Baby might scare her, Charlie came from a family of a screaming baby and he was terrified. Also a baby is soooo tiring and time consuming don't put extra stress on yourself at that time.
Good luck xx

helgalush
28-12-2012, 04:31 PM
Thanks Kath :)

We are keeping a very close eye on her but I just worry about her being out there all by herself all of a sudden. Hopefully it will only be a matter of weeks until baby arrives and then we can see about bringing her in, but you are right about not wanting to scare her/stress her more with a crying baby in the house, the last thing I would want to do is make her more scared and unsettled. I'm already wondering how the indoor bunnies are going to cope but with Starbuck being deaf and Muesli being a lop I am hoping they may be slightly less affected, and Zebedee is in the kitchen which means he will hopefully get the least of it in there.

It will be easier if she and Zebedee can be bonded but I know that can't happen until spring so its just what to do in the meantime, I don't want her feeling sad and lonely and bored.

bethepoet
28-12-2012, 04:40 PM
Why can't she and Zeb be bonded until spring? I was going to suggest bonding them now, so that they can live together in the kitchen until they can go back out? Then you can have the lounge free (which, by the way, sounds amazing and I hope it goes well for you!).

Failing that I would be pretty reluctant to leave her alone for such a long time, and I'd be looking into finding her a friend now, with hopes to include Zeb later on.

helgalush
28-12-2012, 04:46 PM
Why can't she and Zeb be bonded until spring? I was going to suggest bonding them now, so that they can live together in the kitchen until they can go back out? Then you can have the lounge free (which, by the way, sounds amazing and I hope it goes well for you!).

Failing that I would be pretty reluctant to leave her alone for such a long time, and I'd be looking into finding her a friend now, with hopes to include Zeb later on.

Thank you. Well mainly because they would need to go outside to live together, but I guess they could be bonded first and then move out in the spring. Its just that I am no good with bonding and the lovely lady who usually does my bonding for me only has outside facilities so with Zebedee being an indoor bunny presently I would worry that would be too cold for him. I haven't asked her yet though. Also I am wondering if we get them bonded now then the stress of a new born baby in the house could upset the bond once they get back? And we wouldnt have the energy to supervise their settling in period as we will be distracted by the baby? So wondering if its better to wait til we are in some kind of routine (whenever that happens with a newborn! :lol:) so that we can make their transition home again as smooth as possible.

Hope this makes sense. I'm not meaning to keep putting 'but this' or 'but that', just trying to think it all through for the best.

bethepoet
28-12-2012, 04:58 PM
Thank you. Well mainly because they would need to go outside to live together, but I guess they could be bonded first and then move out in the spring. Its just that I am no good with bonding and the lovely lady who usually does my bonding for me only has outside facilities so with Zebedee being an indoor bunny presently I would worry that would be too cold for him. I haven't asked her yet though. Also I am wondering if we get them bonded now then the stress of a new born baby in the house could upset the bond once they get back? And we wouldnt have the energy to supervise their settling in period as we will be distracted by the baby? So wondering if its better to wait til we are in some kind of routine (whenever that happens with a newborn! :lol:) so that we can make their transition home again as smooth as possible.

Hope this makes sense. I'm not meaning to keep putting 'but this' or 'but that', just trying to think it all through for the best.

No no, best to think of everything.

Is there no way at all she could have them inside? Or you could find someone who has inside facilities? Or maybe even try it yourself? You never know, it may be a case of love at first sight.

If it were me, I'd wait until the very last minute when I'm about to pop, and I'd send them off to be bonded for a week or two. Then maybe move them into the lounge so you could be with baby and supervise the rabbits at the same time.

helgalush
28-12-2012, 05:39 PM
No no, best to think of everything.

Is there no way at all she could have them inside? Or you could find someone who has inside facilities? Or maybe even try it yourself? You never know, it may be a case of love at first sight.

If it were me, I'd wait until the very last minute when I'm about to pop, and I'd send them off to be bonded for a week or two. Then maybe move them into the lounge so you could be with baby and supervise the rabbits at the same time.

Its someone I trust very much and have a lot of confidence in. I have tried to bond once in the past but it was too stressful for me and I know I got things wrong, so its not something I feel able to do.

Also I am literally about to pop in many ways - when I said baby will be here within 3 weeks that is pretty much the maximum as I am due in a week's time, so it could really happen any day now. It wouldn't do to go in to labour in the middle of bonding! :lol::)

I'm worried about the impact a newborn baby would have on a brand new bond. The more I think about it the more I am inclined to wait a bit longer, just until the dust settles a little bit after baby. I know we wouldnt be able to supervise a brand new bond or deal with any fallouts, and suspect the new smells/sounds in the house could be enough to break up a new bond?

Jenova
28-12-2012, 08:21 PM
How warm can you make the shed? Could you put a dog crate or something bigger in there and put Zebedee in there. And do a very slow bonding?

bethepoet
28-12-2012, 08:26 PM
Its someone I trust very much and have a lot of confidence in. I have tried to bond once in the past but it was too stressful for me and I know I got things wrong, so its not something I feel able to do.

Also I am literally about to pop in many ways - when I said baby will be here within 3 weeks that is pretty much the maximum as I am due in a week's time, so it could really happen any day now. It wouldn't do to go in to labour in the middle of bonding! :lol::)

I'm worried about the impact a newborn baby would have on a brand new bond. The more I think about it the more I am inclined to wait a bit longer, just until the dust settles a little bit after baby. I know we wouldnt be able to supervise a brand new bond or deal with any fallouts, and suspect the new smells/sounds in the house could be enough to break up a new bond?

Ah right. It is a toughie. I personally wouldn't be worried about the baby, I managed to bond with a new, intact doe right next door and my two are still going strong.

I suppose waiting is the best solution for your situation. I'm just an impatient moo who wants everything done now :lol:

helgalush
28-12-2012, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the suggestions and thoughts. I don't think we can make the kennel warm enough for Zebedee to go out in to, although it has flaps which cover over the windows at night time, its still a cold place to be, and although we add tarpaulins that just keeps the drafts out, its a big space so would need an actual heater of some kind and we have no way of doing that in the short time we have before baby is due to come, especially as we have no mains electricity outside.

Also I wouldn't feel comfortable to do even a slow bond, that is how we started with Starbuck and Fay but it failed and I was stressed by it. Its just not something I can concentrate on and give my energy to as we are so close to the baby arriving and still needing to get a few things organised for that. Plus it really needs the refreshing/refurbing to remove Kenco's smell as much as possible before Zebedee moves in, because otherwise it won't be neutral enough to try bonding.

Buttercup is still doing ok in herself and eating, and running about, so hopefully she isn't doing too badly considering.

Jenova
28-12-2012, 10:54 PM
It seems like the best thing to do would be to leave her until things have settled with you and baby and then get someone to bond them for you. Just keep an eye on her behaviour to see how she's coping day to day and then you can adjust your plans accordingly.

helgalush
28-12-2012, 11:08 PM
Ok thank you Jenova. I think that's what I am thinking we will have to do, I just can't see a practical alternative at the moment. I know its far from ideal for her but just trying to do our best with what we have available to us and our current limitations. Hopefully once the baby is here she can come inside for some extra company with humans at least and hopefully we can all find a way to muddle through together until they can be bonded and go back outside.

Jenova
28-12-2012, 11:13 PM
It's not going to be forever and if you rush things then the bonding might go tits up and then she'll be on her own longer. This isn't forever just until you pop your sprog out. ;) But also we don't know if a rabbit needs time to grieve or if they want to be paired straight away, either way you'd only be guessing.

Georgeypudding
28-12-2012, 11:14 PM
possibly sending them away to be bonded once the baby has arrived might be a good move, time for you to settle into a routine with a few less mouths to worry about. Here its about 11c in the day and 8c at night so as long as it doesn't get too cold you could potentially have them bonded outdoors (I assume as RNGP?)

helgalush
28-12-2012, 11:19 PM
Thanks Jenova, you are right I have no idea if she needs time to grieve or if she would be ready for a friend yet anyway. I certainly still need time to grieve :cry: so it wouldn't surprise me if she did too. As you say I wouldnt want to rush things and it be stuffed up for good between the two of them. And you are right its not forever, I just bet it feels like a long time to her.

Georgey, thanks. I know it is quite mild at the moment but I know Jan and Feb can get very cold, even in to March and I would just worry through a very cold spell if he could cope. Yes I am hoping to ask Tracy at RNGP if she can help (no pressure Tracy if you are reading this!). I'll have to keep an eye on the forecast through January once baby is here and if we continue having mild weather it potentially could happen sooner. The kitchen is the coldest room in the house and I could start to turn the radiator off in there to help him start acclimatising.

Georgeypudding
28-12-2012, 11:36 PM
unless it becomes really obvious that she's in need of a friend (Sebastian was pretty obvious, he wouldn't move, he ate as though he really couldn't be bothered and all the shine went from his eyes) just try and keep everything as stress free as poss! If you were closer I'd take them in for a few weeks for you

helgalush
29-12-2012, 12:14 PM
Thanks Georgey, thats so kind of you. I agree, we will minimise stress as much as possible unless she goes very low for any reason. She seems to be holding up very well, considering, we will just make sure we keep a very close eye on her. Thanks for all the advice and suggestions xx

Barn Yard Bunnies
29-12-2012, 12:19 PM
Best of luck. I didn't know you decide to keep the stray bun. :love: Hope he has settled well.

helgalush
29-12-2012, 12:31 PM
Best of luck. I didn't know you decide to keep the stray bun. :love: Hope he has settled well.

Thanks Amanda, we hadn't made a final decision about it but also we hadn't found a home for him so were waiting to see what happened after the baby comes, and decide from there what would be best for him. He's only been neutered a couple of weeks bless him.

Barn Yard Bunnies
29-12-2012, 12:38 PM
Thanks Amanda, we hadn't made a final decision about it but also we hadn't found a home for him so were waiting to see what happened after the baby comes, and decide from there what would be best for him. He's only been neutered a couple of weeks bless him.

Glad he recovered from his neuter. Best of luck when the baby comes.xxx