PDA

View Full Version : What is your method of Bonding Rabbits



littleboots
30-05-2013, 08:15 PM
There have been many bonding threads latley and many disasters :(
Sometimes I read and cringe :(
I have bonded so many bunnies I have lost count and have never resorted to terrifying any rabbit or forcing them into a bond..
My method has always been... give them space .... and yet so many on here advocate teeny tiny spaces.... why??
Is this because it has to be a forced bond and owners havent got time to do a stress free bond??

Im just curious and interested in others views

Jack's-Jane
30-05-2013, 08:19 PM
I dont have fixed rules it totally depends on the characters of the particular Rabbits

I never use fear as a bonding method though.

littleboots
30-05-2013, 08:20 PM
I dont have fixed rules it totally depends on the characters of the particular Rabbits

I never use fear as a bonding method though.

Agree Jane.... depends of the particular bunnies.... Ive had some that have gone together straight away and yet some I know are just going to take time xx

Hugo's There
30-05-2013, 08:29 PM
As a general rule I use a 40 inch bonding pen with an open top. I wouldn't bond in anything smaller or more enclosed as I like easy access at all times. However I always step in before anything has a chance to kick off.
I sometimes do free range bonding in an entire room so I can sit it with them. It really does depend on what the bunnies are most comfortable with.

littleboots
30-05-2013, 08:30 PM
As a general rule I use a 40 inch bonding pen with an open top. I wouldn't bond in anything smaller or more enclosed as I like easy access at all times. However I always step in before anything has a chance to kick off.
I sometimes do free range bonding in an entire room so I can sit it with them. It really does depend on what the bunnies are most comfortable with.

:thumb:

Oonagh
30-05-2013, 09:41 PM
I have done quite a few bonds :) First I let the buns see each other through mesh. Then I give them both a blanket or towel for a few days. After a few days, I then swap the towels. (give bunny 1's blanket to bunny 2 and vice versa). And then I neutralize a run and let them at it! If there is any aggression, I would separate them and try again after a few days. Seems to have worked well for me! And have had all successful bonds! :D :wave:

littleboots
30-05-2013, 09:49 PM
I have done quite a few bonds :) First I let the buns see each other through mesh. Then I give them both a blanket or towel for a few days. After a few days, I then swap the towels. (give bunny 1's blanket to bunny 2 and vice versa). And then I neutralize a run and let them at it! If there is any aggression, I would separate them and try again after a few days. Seems to have worked well for me! And have had all successful bonds! :D :wave:

I usually have them side by side at first too.... never done the towel / blanket thing..... thats interesting :wave:

nessar
30-05-2013, 09:53 PM
I've only bonded once but tried to keep it low stress because Barney has snuffles.

I started with swapping items for scent and litter trays for a few days. Then I showed Barney this new rabbit, in a fairly neuteral (not completely but not his territory and sprayed with vinegar beforehand) area - with Annabella in her temporary cage and Barney in the hallway. I didn't let Barney go right up to the cage, I just wanted to check they weren't going to go into full-attack mode at the sight of each other before starting bonding. In hindsight I probably wouldn't do it again but neither showed signs of aggression.

Then I did 'dating' for a few hours each session in a medium neutral bedroom with them free-range so they could interact or not, however they liked. I provided a litter tray, a tunnel, a water bowl and after the first one I scattered some food about too, so there were distractions. They were getting along fine but mainly ignoring each other so after just about 3 I then had them in the same situation but 24 hours a day, for 2-3 days I think, can't remember.

That was fine so I introduced Barney's cage but neutralised with vinegar and halved it so they had only roughly 8-10sqft. Probably kept them like that for 36-48 hours. Then put them in a carrier whilst I moved the cage into Barney's territory (having neutralised the area the cage went in). Then after a couple of days I enlarged the cage to its full size and started to leave them unattended. Less than a day after I did this, they escaped the cage whilst I was at work! I hadn't even neutralised the whole room yet, but they were fine so I figured bonding was done! Although I did leave them in the cage for about 16 hours a day for the first week or so, as they still seemed a bit disinterested in each other.

It was the easiest thing in the world to bond them, not one speck of aggression, but they've always been more friends than best friends and as she has gotten older Annabella has decided she wants to be more dominant, especially when Barney is ill. Once they nearly split and I had to keep them apart but able to see/smell through mesh. I had to rebond in a way, although the bond wasn't completely broken. I neutralised everything and 'dated' them for lengthening periods of time and took them on a few vet trips together (I usually take Barney alone as Anna gets stressed but he doesn't), then kept them in the (large) pen for a week. Seemed to do the trick, but I do have to watch Annabella still when Barney is ill and make sure she doesn't 'claim' areas as her own.

littleboots
30-05-2013, 10:00 PM
I've only bonded once but tried to keep it low stress because Barney has snuffles.

I started with swapping items for scent and litter trays for a few days. Then I showed Barney this new rabbit, in a fairly neuteral (not completely but not his territory and sprayed with vinegar beforehand) area - with Annabella in her temporary cage and Barney in the hallway. I didn't let Barney go right up to the cage, I just wanted to check they weren't going to go into full-attack mode at the sight of each other before starting bonding. In hindsight I probably wouldn't do it again but neither showed signs of aggression.

Then I did 'dating' for a few hours each session in a medium neutral bedroom with them free-range so they could interact or not, however they liked. I provided a litter tray, a tunnel, a water bowl and after the first one I scattered some food about too, so there were distractions. They were getting along fine but mainly ignoring each other so after just about 3 I then had them in the same situation but 24 hours a day, for 2-3 days I think, can't remember.

That was fine so I introduced Barney's cage but neutralised with vinegar and halved it so they had only roughly 8-10sqft. Probably kept them like that for 36-48 hours. Then put them in a carrier whilst I moved the cage into Barney's territory (having neutralised the area the cage went in). Then after a couple of days I enlarged the cage to its full size and started to leave them unattended. Less than a day after I did this, they escaped the cage whilst I was at work! I hadn't even neutralised the whole room yet, but they were fine so I figured bonding was done! Although I did leave them in the cage for about 16 hours a day for the first week or so, as they still seemed a bit disinterested in each other.

It was the easiest thing in the world to bond them, not one speck of aggression, but they've always been more friends than best friends and as she has gotten older Annabella has decided she wants to be more dominant, especially when Barney is ill. Once they nearly split and I had to keep them apart but able to see/smell through mesh. I had to rebond in a way, although the bond wasn't completely broken. I neutralised everything and 'dated' them for lengthening periods of time and took them on a few vet trips together (I usually take Barney alone as Anna gets stressed but he doesn't), then kept them in the (large) pen for a week. Seemed to do the trick, but I do have to watch Annabella still when Barney is ill and make sure she doesn't 'claim' areas as her own.

Aww how lovely they had a stress free bond....
I always find the girlies the bossy ones too :roll: :lol:

Rufus
30-05-2013, 10:06 PM
I use the "quick, let's do it, don't panic" method.
Call me crazy but it has always worked. I just put them together straight away, no fuss, no sweat. I'm standby for 15 mins, then check regularly et voilą...

littleboots
30-05-2013, 10:17 PM
I use the "quick, let's do it, don't panic" method.
Call me crazy but it has always worked. I just put them together straight away, no fuss, no sweat. I'm standby for 15 mins, then check regularly et voilą...

Nothing wrong with that if youre on standby.... Ive done it myself.... just not in a tiny space..... infact my o/h is better at it than me if im honest.... :oops:

Hugo's There
30-05-2013, 10:24 PM
Just to add I always put the radio on and sing when i'm bonding! It keeps me calmer and then hopefully the bunnies too.

yaretzi
30-05-2013, 10:26 PM
Just to add I always put the radio on and sing when i'm bonding! It keeps me calmer and then hopefully the bunnies too.

That's probably a really good idea. The random noises/singing/talking probably distract them from any grumpy behaviour!

littleboots
30-05-2013, 10:28 PM
Just to add I always put the radio on and sing when i'm bonding! It keeps me calmer and then hopefully the bunnies too.

I do this too..... in the hope it covers my stress vibes :oops: :lol:

Elena
30-05-2013, 10:43 PM
I had music on with my trio bond too. :thumb:

I think you need a smallish space or they sit one in one corner, another in another corner, etc and not interacting. It's not about stress it's about getting them to interact with one another. When I started the trio bond initially, not long after Mischa died, I think I started too big and it ended up with the lionheads avoiding Mini.

I've done various things, ultimately I think you have to adapt to the bunnies. With Mini and Mischa I did it in side by side cages, then stuck them together and they were fine. Then I got Nutmeg and did a trio bond, that was a lot more work and I did that on the sofa for about an hour each time until she stopped being scared of them. Then I tried a quad on the sofa which didn't work (still have the scars!). Then I bonded Nutmeg and Smudge in the bathroom (NOT in the bath!). Then tried a quad bond again in pens which initially was good but then had a blip and never recovered. Then this trio bond I had them in side by side pens for two weeks, then three long dates in a cage, then into a pen which I gradually increased.

So some were successful, some weren't. Personally I don't find car rides or stressful situations help at all. They just associate the other rabbit or rabbits with negative things. However, having said that I think they can help strengthen a bond once it is established. The hard work needs to be done first though. My trio ended up going to the vet together about a month or two after the bond and I noticed they seemed slightly more comfortable with each other after, they were tolerant of each other already but it seemed to go from aquaintance to friend if that makes sense.

Snow-White
30-05-2013, 10:51 PM
This is interesting ive always opted for the small space but purely because thats what i have been taught by RU.
I have poppet and briennes bond coming up and dont know where to start with them as the throwing them in a small space and increasing wont work for these two they would both be out the playpen in seconds..

Bluesmum
30-05-2013, 10:54 PM
My method is to get someone else to do it :oops:

Elena
30-05-2013, 10:56 PM
My method is to get someone else to do it :oops:

:lol::lol::lol:

nessar
30-05-2013, 11:14 PM
Aww how lovely they had a stress free bond....
I always find the girlies the bossy ones too :roll: :lol:

Problem is they both want to be dominant! :roll: they never groom because they both want to be dominant and whenever Barney goes downhill (he has long term issues) she gets a bit big for her boots and starts grunting, fur pulling, chasing and claiming areas as her own. It settles down again when he is feeling better but I dread the day when he is seriously ill, I'd probably have to split them as he will never accept her dominance... He isn't aggressive back, he just ignores her or tolerates it, but he has a strong personality and won't accept anyone as boss.

natsusakura
30-05-2013, 11:26 PM
I adapt it to the buns needs
I've had more success in a smaller area than a large open area as last time they attacked each other and I had to abandon that bond.
Also found that side by side doesn't always work, as one bunny can get very agitated that they can't get to the other bun.
For example if I were to attempt to bond bailey and angel into a trio with another bun id need to introduce them in a smallish pen.
Bailey attacks angel when he can see/smell another bun as he gets annoyed that he can't go to see them through the bars.
Also car rides were essential fir angel and baileys bond.
not long ones, but short 5min to 10 min ones certainly helped.
As after he would always flop down next to angel, and be less of an **** to her.
My poor baby lost so much butt fluff whilst getting her bonded!

Different buns different methods.

natsusakura
30-05-2013, 11:27 PM
I also like to play classical music to calm them down :)
Angel and baileys fav track is the theiving magpie :lol:

halfpenny
30-05-2013, 11:35 PM
I have only ever done slow bonding, the rabbits eventually get introduced in a 6ft by 9 ft run, I can walk into at any time. I prefer to allow a rabbit the option to escape if thing kick off rather than fight, and to take their time if and when they interact with a new rabbit- it's worked about 75%, of the time, but I've never had a bond break down after its formed.

*lily*
31-05-2013, 06:23 AM
We have only ever done 1 bond. Hubby put them into a puppypen in the garden together. Bit of humping, no aggression, went into the hutch together a few hours later.

The garden wasn't neutral territory nor did we clean out the hutch to neutralise it either.

littleboots
31-05-2013, 08:22 AM
I have only ever done slow bonding, the rabbits eventually get introduced in a 6ft by 9 ft run, I can walk into at any time. I prefer to allow a rabbit the option to escape if thing kick off rather than fight, and to take their time if and when they interact with a new rabbit- it's worked about 75%, of the time, but I've never had a bond break down after its formed.

Same here... I much rather a rabbit be able to escape if unsure of the situation. If mine want to sit at each end of the room / pen then thats fine... They learn to be around each other and gradually gain confidence, while having an escape route if theyre unsure.
My latest bond was Daisy and Scooby... If Id have put Daisy in a small space and put another bunny in.... she would have had a nervous breakdown :( so i let them have the whole of her bedroom and she did as she pleased without being stressed or scared. They went together on day 2 with no problems at all, but the snuggling didnt come for about another week.... It was in their time.... not mine.

Crunchie
31-05-2013, 08:59 AM
There's an awful lot of assumptions and generalisations being made on this thread. What works for one pair will not necessarily work for another. :?

We've had to use differing methods each bond we've done.

Roly and Honey
Went to Fife rabbit rescue and were introduced there, came home after a day and all was well.

Unfortunately a few months later Honey required a stay of 4 days at the vet. When she came back she went for Roly and they required a re-bonding. This involved moving the pair of them into a neutral shed (we have 2 in the garden) and sitting with them for a good few hours until Honey settled down. Thankfully they were OK after this but having them in a large space didn't exactly help matters, Honey simply chased him about until she managed to corner him.

Honey and JayJay
This was relatively easy, we just split Honey's enclosure and they lived side by side for a week with Honey in the hutch and run and JayJay in the shed and the garden split down the middle. After a week we allowed them to free range together and they were fine.

Honey and Jack
This was an absolute nightmare. The pair of them went to Fairly Beloved rabbit rescue and by all means it looked like love at first sight. They stayed there for 3 days, came down and immediately after being allowed into the garden Honey went for Jack. A fight broke out which we weren't quick enough to stop (in a smaller area it might have been easier). Honey ended up with a massive wound on her shoulder and needed staples put in at the vet.

After this they lived side by side in the same manner Honey did with JayJay but she still displayed aggressive behaviour towards him whenever she saw him. Eventually I took them away to my flat so that they'd be in completely neutral territory and I could keep a closer eye on them. First off we tried them in the hallway and afterwards a smaller space than this. The only place Honey didn't go for him was in an indoor cage, they spent a few days in this and their space was gradually increased. Finally they got to move back home and were "rocky" for a month or so after doing so however they are closely bonded now.

Was it stressful - Absolutely
Would I have done it differently if possible - Yes
Was it worth it in the end - Yes
Would I do it again this way if required - Yes

littleboots
31-05-2013, 09:25 AM
There's an awful lot of assumptions and generalisations being made on this thread. What works for one pair will not necessarily work for another. :?

We've had to use differing methods each bond we've done.

Roly and Honey
Went to Fife rabbit rescue and were introduced there, came home after a day and all was well.

Unfortunately a few months later Honey required a stay of 4 days at the vet. When she came back she went for Roly and they required a re-bonding. This involved moving the pair of them into a neutral shed (we have 2 in the garden) and sitting with them for a good few hours until Honey settled down. Thankfully they were OK after this but having them in a large space didn't exactly help matters, Honey simply chased him about until she managed to corner him.

Honey and JayJay
This was relatively easy, we just split Honey's enclosure and they lived side by side for a week with Honey in the hutch and run and JayJay in the shed and the garden split down the middle. After a week we allowed them to free range together and they were fine.

Honey and Jack
This was an absolute nightmare. The pair of them went to Fairly Beloved rabbit rescue and by all means it looked like love at first sight. They stayed there for 3 days, came down and immediately after being allowed into the garden Honey went for Jack. A fight broke out which we weren't quick enough to stop (in a smaller area it might have been easier). Honey ended up with a massive wound on her shoulder and needed staples put in at the vet.

After this they lived side by side in the same manner Honey did with JayJay but she still displayed aggressive behaviour towards him whenever she saw him. Eventually I took them away to my flat so that they'd be in completely neutral territory and I could keep a closer eye on them. First off we tried them in the hallway and afterwards a smaller space than this. The only place Honey didn't go for him was in an indoor cage, they spent a few days in this and their space was gradually increased. Finally they got to move back home and were "rocky" for a month or so after doing so however they are closely bonded now.

Was it stressful - Absolutely
Would I have done it differently if possible - Yes
Was it worth it in the end - Yes
Would I do it again this way if required - Yes

I dont see "assumptions" anywhere on this thread.... The whole point is different peoples methods... Just shows there is not only one way to bond and it may help people struggling with one method, when another may work. As everyone has said.... different bunnies, different ways, what works for one - may not work for another.

Fellie
31-05-2013, 09:33 AM
I'm very inexperienced with bonding - only bonded 2 pairs - but from those experiences, I will always go slow and let the bunnies get to know each other - and more importantly LIKE each other - over a period of time. We did end up using the 'carrier and car ride' method for Sheldon and Holly but that was just to try and stop Sheldon humping Holly all the time and it did work but I did not like it.

If I was more experienced I might try the 'neutral, small space' method - but I would find that so stressful never mind the rabbits. I can see how it can be necessary though if you're short of space and time. Does depend on the rabbits too of course and how they deal with it all.

louise and Gus
31-05-2013, 09:39 AM
I have bonded quite a lot of buns and always start with the small, neutral space method..this may have to be adapted depending on the buns but generally I have found it works. But I do not buy on to the let them fight so they can establish dominance, I'll watch them like a hawk and make sure they don't come close to fighting...

little-laura
31-05-2013, 10:07 AM
With jake and Yuri I just stuck them I a small box puppy pen then once they showed good signs I made it bigger and bigger until I put them in their room together

They fought at first but jake submitted to Yuri lol she's boss lady but they are inseparable now

They weren't stressed in the small pen they were actually quite chilled

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p225/serenitydragon/null_zps82677f8a.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p225/serenitydragon/null_zps41c10dc6.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p225/serenitydragon/null_zpscf2e130b.jpg

Forgot to add that as I made it bigger I added toys to make sure the introduction of "things" didn't make them fight

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p225/serenitydragon/null_zps9d2829cb.jpg

Toffee pops
31-05-2013, 10:07 AM
What a fantastic thread:thumb::)

alio71
31-05-2013, 10:14 AM
I always bond in a 4ft pen, not sure if that classes as a small space or not :? I feel not, however, I also have no problem with reducing the space either if that's what that particular bond needs. I don't class that as forcing a bond as I know within about 5 minutes if a bond will not work due to the body language of the rabbits. I will only reduce space if I have a bun that is determined to chase just to change that behaviour, I don't find that the rabbits are stressed by this. I don't use methods to frighten rabbits as I feel this is unnecessary, I always use distraction. By using this method I have had success with many 'unbondable' rabbits, including 2 that had spent 4 and 3 years in rescue due to bonding issues. Not using a side by side method does not mean that I need a quick bond as buns will stay at least a week with me and more if needed until I am 100% confident they are fine in each others company. Likewise I read the side by side threads about how they flop next to each other etc and this can mean that they are stressed by each other and trying to hide their feelings to the other bun.

The method I use works very well for me and the rescue I bond for. I wouldn't dismiss side by side gradual introductions in certain circumstances. I think the key to bonding, whichever method you use is understanding rabbit body language and being able to step in before problems start. :D

Crunchie
31-05-2013, 10:15 AM
Just shows there is not only one way to bond and it may help people struggling with one method.

Exactly and yet the first post by yourself implies that a lot of the advice given on the forum is wrong (or that's how it reads to me anyway).

little-laura
31-05-2013, 10:28 AM
I always bond in a 4ft pen, not sure if that classes as a small space or not :? I feel not, however, I also have no problem with reducing the space either if that's what that particular bond needs. I don't class that as forcing a bond as I know within about 5 minutes if a bond will not work due to the body language of the rabbits. I will only reduce space if I have a bun that is determined to chase just to change that behaviour, I don't find that the rabbits are stressed by this. I don't use methods to frighten rabbits as I feel this is unnecessary, I always use distraction. By using this method I have had success with many 'unbondable' rabbits, including 2 that had spent 4 and 3 years in rescue due to bonding issues. Not using a side by side method does not mean that I need a quick bond as buns will stay at least a week with me and more if needed until I am 100% confident they are fine in each others company. Likewise I read the side by side threads about how they flop next to each other etc and this can mean that they are stressed by each other and trying to hide their feelings to the other bun.

The method I use works very well for me and the rescue I bond for. I wouldn't dismiss side by side gradual introductions in certain circumstances. I think the key to bonding, whichever method you use is understanding rabbit body language and being able to step in before problems start. :D

I don't think the side by side method is necessary in all cases but I can see where it would be effective with certain buns and in certain situations.

Like you said its more about understanding the rabbits and body language

Some buns are ok being put straight into the space together to bond others need gradual sode by side at the end of the day it's what works for you and the bun

I do think our emotions can cause issues though if we're to anxious heh pick that up and it makes things more difficult

A friend had me do her bond as she was a wreck she kept seperating them to much out of worry. If they she wouldn't let them assert dominance etc... Bless her

littleboots
31-05-2013, 10:29 AM
Exactly and yet the first post by yourself implies that a lot of the advice given on the forum is wrong (or that's how it reads to me anyway).

Maybe you should read again then....
I was interested in different views and other peoples methods.... ive never done it in a small space and if you read back.... i asked WHY people did that?? whats the reasoning behind it??? is it for the bunnies?? or the owners?? and as i said..... i was just curious.... so i dont see why you should be so rude.

littleboots
31-05-2013, 10:36 AM
[QUOTE=alio71;5936930]I always bond in a 4ft pen, not sure if that classes as a small space or not :? I feel not, however, I also have no problem with reducing the space either if that's what that particular bond needs. I don't class that as forcing a bond as I know within about 5 minutes if a bond will not work due to the body language of the rabbits. I will only reduce space if I have a bun that is determined to chase just to change that behaviour, I don't find that the rabbits are stressed by this. I don't use methods to frighten rabbits as I feel this is unnecessary, I always use distraction. By using this method I have had success with many 'unbondable' rabbits, including 2 that had spent 4 and 3 years in rescue due to bonding issues. Not using a side by side method does not mean that I need a quick bond as buns will stay at least a week with me and more if needed until I am 100% confident they are fine in each others company. Likewise I read the side by side threads about how they flop next to each other etc and this can mean that they are stressed by each other and trying to hide their feelings to the other bun.

The method I use works very well for me and the rescue I bond for. I wouldn't dismiss side by side gradual introductions in certain circumstances. I think the key to bonding, whichever method you use is understanding rabbit body language and being able to step in before problems start. :D[/QUOTe

Bonding many for rescues must be so stressful.. I think Id end up grey :lol:

little-laura
31-05-2013, 10:39 AM
Maybe you should read again then....
I was interested in different views and other peoples methods.... ive never done it in a small space and if you read back.... i asked WHY people did that?? whats the reasoning behind it??? is it for the bunnies?? or the owners?? and as i said..... i was just curious.... so i dont see why you should be so rude.

Lots of people do it in a small space I have found if I don't do this they just ignore each other.... Won't sort out their dominance issues and it just dsnt move along in the bonding... Tried a bigger bonding cage with jake and yuri. Yuri is the type of bun that avoids so she kept running away jake would do the same and they would chase and not bond

As soon as I put them in. The smaller cage they interacted

happysaz133
31-05-2013, 10:40 AM
I've been doing the dating method in the past, but recently tried the other method of keeping them all together and watching them. Neither has worked this time so looks like I'm getting another bunny for Ailsa.

alio71
31-05-2013, 10:42 AM
I don't think the side by side method is necessary in all cases but I can see where it would be effective with certain buns and in certain situations.

I do think our emotions can cause issues though if we're to anxious heh pick that up and it makes things more difficult

A friend had me do her bond as she was a wreck she kept seperating them to much out of worry. If they she wouldn't let them assert dominance etc... Bless her

I would never rule out any method, bonding for a rescue I meet rabbits from many different circumstances, some have had the most awful injuries inflicted on them by other rabbits and can be terrified of their own kind. :( I agree entirely about people being anxious making things more difficult. I currently have a waiting list of buns to bond and have had people travel over 150 miles to get me to do it for them as they can't stand the stress :lol:

little-laura
31-05-2013, 10:42 AM
I haven't actually didnt find bonding jake and Yuri stressful they fell in love so quickly

Grin
31-05-2013, 10:46 AM
I'm quite glad of this thread actually. I've only ever bonded my trio (bonded M-F to a F) and i had lots of (the same type of) advice from here.

It was an awful experience - for the bunnies as well as me!! I did the tiny space method - i tried to move them to a bigger space but i made a mess of it and was really had a go at on here - the only way recommended to me was squishing them into a tiny space as possible. I had no idea other ways were possible. When it seemed to take longer than expected, it was recommended i put them in a carrier together and go for a drive - i just couldnt inflict that cruelty on them so persevered.

If i could advise anyone thinking about bonding, i would tell them that there are many different ways and you really need to know your bunnies well to know how to go about it.

And Time - time is key - there is no quick fix and it takes lots of time and patience.

Elena
31-05-2013, 11:00 AM
Maybe you should read again then....
I was interested in different views and other peoples methods.... ive never done it in a small space and if you read back.... i asked WHY people did that?? whats the reasoning behind it??? is it for the bunnies?? or the owners?? and as i said..... i was just curious.... so i dont see why you should be so rude.

I don't think Crunchie was rude at all.

Someone mentioned distraction, I found this helpful too. When they chased I put in some fresh hay or forage and this diverted their attention away.

A disadvantage I can see with a big space is if they scuffle it takes longer to get to them. In a 3x3 pen I was able to pin the offender to the sides with my flat broom (gently obviously!) until they calmed. In the indoor cage all I had to do was lift the lid. In the sofa bond with MMN Nutmeg would shoot off down the other end of the sofa. I have no idea of her past experiences with bunnies but she was terrified, without cause. I sat with her, got her calm and let the other two come up to her, after a while she realised they weren't a threat. The home she was in before us had a small dog and I believe she didn't realise MM were rabbits, her same kind, I think she thought they were dogs.

I wonder if the key with small spaces is to know when to increase, to not do it too soon or too late. Too soon and they get possessive over the new space, too late and they get fed up being penned in and need some new stimulation.

alio71
31-05-2013, 11:01 AM
I'm quite glad of this thread actually. I've only ever bonded my trio (bonded M-F to a F) and i had lots of (the same type of) advice from here.

It was an awful experience - for the bunnies as well as me!! I did the tiny space method - i tried to move them to a bigger space but i made a mess of it and was really had a go at on here - the only way recommended to me was squishing them into a tiny space as possible. I had no idea other ways were possible. When it seemed to take longer than expected, it was recommended i put them in a carrier together and go for a drive - i just couldnt inflict that cruelty on them so persevered.

If i could advise anyone thinking about bonding, i would tell them that there are many different ways and you really need to know your bunnies well to know how to go about it.

And Time - time is key - there is no quick fix and it takes lots of time and patience.

I think this is a shame. I don't very often comment on bonding threads despite my experience as sometimes people feel their method is so right that they shoot anyone else with a different idea down in flames. I feel sad you were made to feel like that as messing up the more space move is so easily rectified and so easy to misjudge. Agree totally time and patience :D

littleboots
31-05-2013, 11:08 AM
I don't think Crunchie was rude at all.

Someone mentioned distraction, I found this helpful too. When they chased I put in some fresh hay or forage and this diverted their attention away.

A disadvantage I can see with a big space is if they fight it takes longer to get to them. In a 3x3 pen I was able to pin the offender to the sides with my flat broom (gently obviously!) until they calmed. In the indoor cage all I had to do was lift the lid. In the sofa bond with MMN Nutmeg would shoot off down the other end of the sofa. I have no idea of her past experiences with bunnies but she was terrified, without cause. I sat with her, got her calm and let the other two come up to her, after a while she realised they weren't a threat. The home she was in before us had a small dog and I believe she didn't realise MM were rabbits, her same kind, I think she thought they were dogs.

I wonder if the key with small spaces is to know when to increase, to not do it too soon or too late. Too soon and they get possessive over the new space, too late and they get fed up being penned in and need some new stimulation.

So.. picture the scene ;)
Youve had a bunny for four years or more.. never ever been caged and has always freeranged... Would you still stress that bunny out by confining it to a small cage/pen to bond it with another one?? if not how would you go about it? This situation seems to be the one arising most to members (including myself) ie: losing one of a bonded pair.

Amy104
31-05-2013, 11:16 AM
I use a relatively small pen so that the rabbits start to interact with each other, I find if the area is too big then sometimes they ignore each other and its hard to tell how its going. I use one of those soft fold up pens as I have easy access to the top and if there is a lot of chasing they don't hurt themselves banging on the sides.

I do allow them to chase etc and try not to interveen but must stress that I always step in if needed. I would not put anybun in danger or through unnecessary stress. I don't believe in forcing a bond and if I don't think its going to work I will find the bun and alternative partner.

I prefer to leave them together rather than dating as Ive always found they settle quicker and that when you date they have to keep re-establishing dominance which seems to prolong the stress if that makes sense.

alio71
31-05-2013, 11:21 AM
So.. picture the scene ;)
Youve had a bunny for four years or more.. never ever been caged and has always freeranged... Would you still stress that bunny out by confining it to a small cage/pen to bond it with another one?? if not how would you go about it? This situation seems to be the one arising most to members (including myself) ie: losing one of a bonded pair.

Very interesting and you are quite right this is now the scene for a lot of house buns. The way I bond my own buns is completely different to how I do the rescue or someone elses as I know them best. I have a group in the shed and a special needs group and I use 2 different methods with each. The shed guys have never done small spaces either so I always bond in the shed. I just add the new bun completely supervised to the shed. I spend the day in there with a book and see how it goes. If they are still being silly at bedtime I put whoever is being daft in the dog crate overnight for safety. Then start again the next day. I cannot confine them again in the shed as the buns go stir crazy so just supervise and generally after this they are fine. If I try enclosed space bonding for them they go mad :lol: Special needs group just need a couple of hours in a smaller space and they are done. :D I also think same sex bonds can work very well too!!

Elena
31-05-2013, 11:25 AM
So.. picture the scene ;)
Youve had a bunny for four years or more.. never ever been caged and has always freeranged... Would you still stress that bunny out by confining it to a small cage/pen to bond it with another one?? if not how would you go about it? This situation seems to be the one arising most to members (including myself) ie: losing one of a bonded pair.

Bonding is always going to be stressful for them, there's no getting away from it unfortunately!!

With my trio (who had been free range for at least two years previous) I did three dates of 2-4 hours each, probably nine hours in total in a small cage, then we moved to a bigger pen, then increased. By the end of a week the pen was removed and they had all of my bedroom. A week of that in my opinion is preferential to three weeks in a large area where there is potential for more chasing and therefore more stress.

Also on a practical level it's very difficult to watch a large area continually for several weeks.

But that's me and my bunnies. I know that in a small space it would only have taken Mini to get close to Nutmeg and then Nutmeg would shoot off, Mini would chase which would then make Nutmeg run more. It would trigger this stressful chain reaction which just taught Nutmeg to run when she saw them. In a small space Nutmeg got used to them being there, she wasn't able to shoot off so they didn't give chase.

ETA. Do they look stressed? ;) (This was effectively day two, there was a few days before this but I was doing it wrong and stepping in too soon, so this was day two proper.)

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x174/Elena-Schu/2012/6c41817ae3d1fde0d9358902fdd9a813_zps4b006d66.jpg

Kermit
31-05-2013, 11:32 AM
With jake and Yuri I just stuck them I a small box puppy pen then once they showed good signs I made it bigger and bigger until I put them in their room together

They fought at first but jake submitted to Yuri lol she's boss lady but they are inseparable now

They weren't stressed in the small pen they were actually quite chilled

Forgot to add that as I made it bigger I added toys to make sure the introduction of "things" didn't make them fight



This is basically what I just done with Herbie & Hollie. It took just under two weeks before I let them in the room together. I did have a hiccup when I lost my nerve at the start and separated them, but that only lasted a day then I got my nerve back!


So.. picture the scene ;)
Youve had a bunny for four years or more.. never ever been caged and has always freeranged... Would you still stress that bunny out by confining it to a small cage/pen to bond it with another one?? if not how would you go about it? This situation seems to be the one arising most to members (including myself) ie: losing one of a bonded pair.

Herbie was free in his room with Inca for 3.5years, then I bonded him in a small pen with Hollie.

little-laura
31-05-2013, 11:44 AM
So.. picture the scene ;)
Youve had a bunny for four years or more.. never ever been caged and has always freeranged... Would you still stress that bunny out by confining it to a small cage/pen to bond it with another one?? if not how would you go about it? This situation seems to be the one arising most to members (including myself) ie: losing one of a bonded pair.

I would still use the pen they are going to be stressed no matter what during bonding.

You do what works for you and the bun no matter what if thats putting a rabbit who isnt use to a cage in a cage then thats what needs to be done as it will benifit them in the long run they will have a life partner and enjoy a happy life after a short time confined.. the benefits out weight.

If they are free range and the bonding isnt working outside a cage/pen then you have to do whats best for them. I do think we are more upset seeing them in the small space for that short time than they actually are. My two were used to large space but were chilled and happy enough for that short time in the pen

if you can bond them in a large space outside a cage effectively then that's great but it dsnt work that way all the time.

I know several failed bonds due to too much space, they didnt interact enough, then I know some that did work because the buns interacted of their own free will. some buns need to be pushed others dont.

I personally do not know many bonds done in a large space but thats my experience and the experience of people I know

Hugo's There
31-05-2013, 11:46 AM
personally I think I choose larger spaces more for my own benefit than the bunnies! I like to be able to access them quickly before any hint of fighting begins and I find this much easier either sat in with them free ranging or with an open top pen.

I am guessing that the size of the space within reason doesn't matter a great deal to the bunnies as there focus is going to be " who the hell are you" when put in with another rabbit :lol: But I am very much against things like being put in carriers and car journeys, I just don't think its fair but each to their own if it works in the long run :?

Bonding is always to some degree going to be stressful to both bunny and owner. Some say doing it the long way reduces stress, others might say dragging it out is more stressful and its better to get them bonded and settled over a couple of days if possible.

At the end of the day not only is every rabbit different but every dynamic between a pair of rabbits will be different so what works for one wont work for another. For me the important thing is to have basic knowledge of the whats involved but to be flexible and to react to the situation in front of you rather than force a set way of doing things. :D

I really hope this thread stays on track so all of us can learn from it and have lots more happy bunny couples in the future :love:

Elena
31-05-2013, 11:47 AM
I would still use the pen they are going to be stressed no matter what during bonding.

You do what works for you and the bun no matter what if thats putting a rabbit who isnt use to a cage in a cage then thats what needs to be done as it will benifit them in the long run they will have a life partner and enjoy a happy life after a short time confined.. the benefits out weight.

If they are free range and the bonding isnt working outside a cage/pen then you have to do whats best for them. I do think we are more upset seeing them in the small space for that short time than they actually are. My two were used to large space but were chilled and happy enough for that short time in the pen

if you can bond them in a large space outside a cage effectively then that's great but it dsnt work that way all the time.

I know several failed bonds due to too much space, they didnt interact enough, then I know some that did work because the buns interacted of their own free will. some buns need to be pushed others dont.

I personally do not know many bonds done in a large space but thats my experience and the experience of people I know

:thumb:

In my case if they hadn't bonded I would've had to get a fourth rabbit and have two pairs which would've meant in the long run they would have a third of the space they have now. Nutmeg gets referred aggression so need some space between her and any other rabbits, not a problem now they are all one group.

Elena
31-05-2013, 11:48 AM
At the end of the day not only is every rabbit different but every dynamic between a pair of rabbits will be different so what works for one wont work for another. For me the important thing is to have basic knowledge of the whats involved but to be flexible and to react to the situation in front of you rather than force a set way of doing things. :D

I really hope this thread stays on track so all of us can learn from it and have lots more happy bunny couples in the future :love:

:thumb:

little-laura
31-05-2013, 11:51 AM
to add people will always differ on bonding methods and I dont think theres a right and wrong method I think we can step in to much or cause the bond to take longer or break through our own actions Ie stepping in to much or separating them etc.. but we learn from that and eventually find the right way

I dont think anyone should be judged for their method as long as it isnt actually evidently cruel .....we are doing this as its whats best for them. Those of us who bond in small areas do it for a short while and we feel its best for them, they are not kept like that for a long time and when they come out they have a partner they love and spend their life with

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 11:52 AM
personally I think I choose larger spaces more for my own benefit than the bunnies! I like to be able to access them quickly before any hint of fighting begins and I find this much easier either sat in with them free ranging or with an open top pen.

I am guessing that the size of the space within reason doesn't matter a great deal to the bunnies as there focus is going to be " who the hell are you" when put in with another rabbit :lol: But I am very much against things like being put in carriers and car journeys, I just don't think its fair but each to their own if it works in the long run :?

Bonding is always to some degree going to be stressful to both bunny and owner. Some say doing it the long way reduces stress, others might say dragging it out is more stressful and its better to get them bonded and settled over a couple of days if possible.

At the end of the day not only is every rabbit different but every dynamic between a pair of rabbits will be different so what works for one wont work for another. For me the important thing is to have basic knowledge of the whats involved but to be flexible and to react to the situation in front of you rather than force a set way of doing things. :D

I really hope this thread stays on track so all of us can learn from it and have lots more happy bunny couples in the future :love:

Totally agree, I'm not sure why some are getting so defensive about 'small space, quick bonding', I've had to listen to people go on about how bad slow bonding is, even though it works for me. I tried quick bonding, once under advice, I'm convinced its what finished off Benji, my first rabbit, who was elderly and died a few days after due to a suspected heart attack.

little-laura
31-05-2013, 12:00 PM
Totally agree, I'm not sure why some are getting so defensive about 'small space, quick bonding', I've had to listen to people go on about how bad slow bonding is, even though it works for me. I tried quick bonding, once under advice, I'm convinced its what finished off Benji, my first rabbit, who was elderly and died a few days after due to a suspected heart attack.


I dont think just because you use a small pen its a quick bond method.... I took it very slowly and carefully adding things here and there and increasing space etc...

:(

louise and Gus
31-05-2013, 12:21 PM
I think it is quite dangerous to use the side by side method if you are bonding a solo bun with existing pair...I have seen people suggest it but I am sure the risk of reffered aggression is too high. Side by side bunnies do not interact as the would in together :-/

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 12:24 PM
I think it is quite dangerous to use the side by side method if you are bonding a solo bun with existing pair...I have seen people suggest it but I am sure the risk of reffered aggression is too high. Side by side bunnies do not interact as the would in together :-/

I've used the method twice and it worked fine. Saying that all my rabbits run near to each other or within sight and only had problems with referred aggression once. That was poor Ziggy who was very disturbed and died suddenly after a suspected fit. He and Sorrell were kept isolated from other rabbits to prevent issues.

Grin
31-05-2013, 12:26 PM
I dont think just because you use a small pen its a quick bond method.... I took it very slowly and carefully adding things here and there and increasing space etc...

:(

I agree - i didnt bond in a small space because it was quick it just seemed to me it was the only way to successfully bond. The dating method went wrong in my limited experience and rather than persevere, i went straight into a forced bonding in a small space. I am not sure they will ever forgive me either. :cry: It took a lot longer than i thought it would/should too. It was done meticulously and adding ever so slowly.

I'm sure if i could do it all over again, i would do it differently. I'm not sure how but i'd certainly be open to giving them lots of space and doing it on their terms rather than my own. :oops:

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 12:27 PM
I dont think just because you use a small pen its a quick bond method.... I took it very slowly and carefully adding things here and there and increasing space etc...

:(

It just goes to show that lots of methods can work, and doesn't mean that those who do it differently from the norm are wrong.
Mind you I do it all wrong- slow bond in a big space, feed muesli and have rabbits living side by side and it works for mine.:lol:

louise and Gus
31-05-2013, 12:27 PM
I've used the method twice and it worked fine. Saying that all my rabbits run near to each other or within sight and only had problems with referred aggression once. That was poor Ziggy who was very disturbed and died suddenly after a suspected fit. He and Sorrell were kept isolated from other rabbits to prevent issues.

I think experience has so much to do with it, exeprienced bonders like yourself who know their bunnies well can do 'unorthodox' things, you know the signs to look for if there is a problem or stress. Newer owners may not pick up on the small signs

RedFraggle
31-05-2013, 12:37 PM
My method was really really easy............
I took Scarlet to BARC, she stayed with the lovely Auntie Angie for 4 days and came home with Orinoco ;)

littleboots
31-05-2013, 12:45 PM
Some really interesting views on here

My latest bond as I said Earlier was Daisy (my existing bun) with Scooby (barc bun) Daisy wont go anywhere near a pen / cage although I have one up... she will eat in there but if i close the door she 's terrified..... so.... I put new bun in the pen with a pen around it and let Daisy have free range around the rest of the room.... she was happy at that and inspected him from a safe distance...
He, however had other ideas... and jumped the pen to be with her on day 2!! Took all the stress out of bonding for me :lol::lol:

Crunchie
31-05-2013, 12:45 PM
I agree - i didnt bond in a small space because it was quick it just seemed to me it was the only way to successfully bond.

Same with our last bond. It would have been nice if they'd tolerated each other living side by side or if the free-range dating had worked out but it didn't. Even in a small space it was an extremely slow bond and it was 8 weeks or so before we really felt like there'd be no further issues between them.

Elena
31-05-2013, 12:50 PM
I think it is quite dangerous to use the side by side method if you are bonding a solo bun with existing pair...I have seen people suggest it but I am sure the risk of reffered aggression is too high. Side by side bunnies do not interact as the would in together :-/

I did it side by side with a solo and pair. For two weeks before I started bonding I deliberately set up two pens next to each other. The reason I did this though is because Nutmeg is so unusual and I knew she needed some time next to Mini. I watched them for the first few days and though the pair chased a bit initially after an hour they settled down and were back to normal with each other. After a few days they were getting curious through the bars.

But again that's my bunnies, I knew from the past that when I was sucessful with getting a bond between the girls I had had them side by side previously.

Maybe a lot of the confusion is due to us not having a bonding sticky. I'm sure the mods wouldn't mind if someone gave a go at writing one ;)

alio71
31-05-2013, 12:53 PM
I did it side by side with a solo and pair. For two weeks before I started bonding I deliberately set up two pens next to each other. The reason I did this though is because Nutmeg is so unusual and I knew she needed some time next to Mini. I watched them for the first few days and though the pair chased a bit initially after an hour they settled down and were back to normal with each other. After a few days they were getting curious through the bars.

But again that's my bunnies, I knew from the past that when I was sucessful with getting a bond between the girls I had had them side by side previously.

Maybe a lot of the confusion is due to us not having a bonding sticky. I'm sure the mods wouldn't mind if someone gave a go at writing one ;)

Problem with a bonding sticky is that as we have shown what works for one doesn't work for another but maybe like forum buddies we should have bonding buddies for support. :D

Elena
31-05-2013, 12:57 PM
Problem with a bonding sticky is that as we have shown what works for one doesn't work for another but maybe like forum buddies we should have bonding buddies for support. :D

I was thinking something that took that into account and explained all the various versions of bonding. What seems to happen is someone asks about bonding and you can't say everything so you say small, neutral space, watch for 48 hours, stop any fighting. If we had a sticky with various options then people can read it and it wouldn't need to be written each time, just directed to it.

It's like with housing, I know housing is a little simpler but you can't explain all the options to someone so I just direct them to the stickies. It's easier.

little-laura
31-05-2013, 01:05 PM
I dont think there is a bonding norm....

theres just what works for people and buns

littleboots
31-05-2013, 01:12 PM
I dont think there is a bonding norm....

theres just what works for people and buns


There may not be a "norm" but its just helpful when people are struggling and despairing to read and get tips on how others have overcome bonding nightmares .

little-laura
31-05-2013, 01:17 PM
There may not be a "norm" but its just helpful when people are struggling and despairing to read and get tips on how others have overcome bonding nightmares .

I didnt say knowing other peoples methods wasnt helpful

I was just saying all the various options, suggestions, methods etc... none of them are the norm as there are so many people doing different things

we all agree on one thing, do whats best for the bun what ever that is

littleboots
31-05-2013, 01:21 PM
I didnt say knowing other peoples methods wasnt helpful

I was just saying all the various options, suggestions, methods etc... none of them are the norm as there are so many people doing different things

we all agree on one thing, do whats best for the bun what ever that is

:thumb:

Jack's-Jane
31-05-2013, 01:21 PM
It just goes to show that lots of methods can work, and doesn't mean that those who do it differently from the norm are wrong.
Mind you I do it all wrong- slow bond in a big space, feed muesli and have rabbits living side by side and it works for mine.:lol:

Me too !!

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 01:22 PM
Me too !!

Well, I'm in very good company then.:wave:

GrahamL
31-05-2013, 01:27 PM
Only done one bond and that was a small space, then slowly extending after periods of 48 hours each time.

But in future, I will definitely go by the bunnies. I had some really excellent help with B&G's bond :love:

Look how loved up they still are!

Amy104
31-05-2013, 01:31 PM
I think the key is to be flexible and no what to look for.

I have never had an refered agression, my buns seem oblivious to other pairs/groups. The important part is knowing that it can happen and that if I was bonding a new bun side by side to a pair I know to keep an eye out for it and to stop doing it if its causing problems.

Small space, keeping together has always worked well for me, but if I ever have a bunny who I feel is more suited to the date type bond I wouldn't hesistate to try it even though I've never done it. I have found dating more stressful in previous bonds but that was because it wasn't suited to those bunnies, it doesn't mean this method doesn't work for others.

Gemmapookie
31-05-2013, 01:52 PM
I have done 2 successful bonds (single males with single females) and one unsuccessful (a m/f pair with another m.)

With both of the successful ones (which were before my RU days) I had them living side by side in the same room for a few weeks so they could greet each other through the bars of a pen. Then I dated them in the kitchen for a few hours daily which was a neutral room, sitting with them and breaking up any tussles. When they seemed ok in there I just put them back into the lounge area and both couples were fine.

With my unsuccessful trio bond I followed the "small space, full on" method and I can honestly say we were all miserable. OH and I had to take it in turns to watch them over night. It was just a disaster.

If I did another bond Id do it slowly over a period of weeks I think. The stress of the other method is just too much for me (I got my rescue to bond Max and Charlotte for me because I was so petrified :roll: ) and my buns definitely picked up on that. Without doubt it works better for me when I'm not stressed and exhausted.

It's very interesting to read all of your experiences. I think it's great that first time borders will see this and realize that there isn't one set way of bonding, you have to do what works for your buns and you :thumb:

happysaz133
31-05-2013, 01:55 PM
Bonding is always going to be stressful for them, there's no getting away from it unfortunately!!

With my trio (who had been free range for at least two years previous) I did three dates of 2-4 hours each, probably nine hours in total in a small cage, then we moved to a bigger pen, then increased. By the end of a week the pen was removed and they had all of my bedroom. A week of that in my opinion is preferential to three weeks in a large area where there is potential for more chasing and therefore more stress.

Also on a practical level it's very difficult to watch a large area continually for several weeks.

But that's me and my bunnies. I know that in a small space it would only have taken Mini to get close to Nutmeg and then Nutmeg would shoot off, Mini would chase which would then make Nutmeg run more. It would trigger this stressful chain reaction which just taught Nutmeg to run when she saw them. In a small space Nutmeg got used to them being there, she wasn't able to shoot off so they didn't give chase.

ETA. Do they look stressed? ;) (This was effectively day two, there was a few days before this but I was doing it wrong and stepping in too soon, so this was day two proper.)

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x174/Elena-Schu/2012/6c41817ae3d1fde0d9358902fdd9a813_zps4b006d66.jpg

That's given me hope...I'm going to try this with my 4, see if I can get Arran and Jura to accept Ailsa. I have the exact same cage spare too!

teejay
31-05-2013, 02:33 PM
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p225/serenitydragon/null_zps41c10dc6.jpg

What gorgeous, chilled out buns!

Crunchie
31-05-2013, 02:43 PM
Here's our Honey and Jack experience in pictures:lol:

Side by side method
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/Pets/Mammals/IMG_0398.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/CrunchieMac/media/Pets/Mammals/IMG_0398.jpg.html)

Large space method
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/_DSC3714_zpsdc412192.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/CrunchieMac/media/_DSC3714_zpsdc412192.jpg.html)

Small space, neutral territory method.
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o263/CrunchieMac/IMG_1015_zpsa144a1b6.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/CrunchieMac/media/IMG_1015_zpsa144a1b6.jpg.html)

littleboots
31-05-2013, 03:01 PM
Latest three bonds.

Sophie and Darcey bonded in a very large pen in the garden
http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad78/junecalder/SophieandDarceyfirstmeet033-1_zpsd08cc940.jpg (http://s923.photobucket.com/user/junecalder/media/SophieandDarceyfirstmeet033-1_zpsd08cc940.jpg.html)

Same for Daisy and Scoobs (after he decided to jump in with her indoors) :roll:
http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad78/junecalder/DaisyandBaileygoout031_zps615904fc.jpg (http://s923.photobucket.com/user/junecalder/media/DaisyandBaileygoout031_zps615904fc.jpg.html)

Holly and Bailey in my bathroom (NOT in the bath) this was because I knew Holly was a little madam and would need watching more
http://i923.photobucket.com/albums/ad78/junecalder/BaileyandHol001_zpsac6c4576.jpg (http://s923.photobucket.com/user/junecalder/media/BaileyandHol001_zpsac6c4576.jpg.html)

All happy stress free bonds.... for the bunnies that is.... not me :lol::lol:

haffyj
31-05-2013, 03:07 PM
I am the 'put them and leave them together' person :lol: it has never failed me apart from once when i tried to bond a foursome when Squiggle was alive 2 weeks before he passed away in fact, he just really went for the girls as if to say no i am too old for this bless him.

Once i have them all together in one hutch they stay there some times there will be some fur pulling out or charging but its rare it only happened when i took fred to teh vets to be neutered he was apart from the girls living indoors till he healed, and its all over with in a day :thumb:

Tuckerbunnies
31-05-2013, 03:17 PM
We have found lately the best way to bond for us is to put them in a run outside and leave them and walk away and watch them from a distance, we have had three successful bondings this way.

Jaysmonkey
31-05-2013, 03:48 PM
I've found bonding varies depending on the bunnies involved.

Lola and Max were bonded in non neutral areas and allowed to play out with each other every night. This actually result in no fighting what so ever even on the first meeting and they were bonded. simple as that.

Jemimah and Brian - in the bathroom, then a neutral cage in love straight away, grooming and flopping within the hour.

Jemimah and Roger - a longer bond, had to be kept separate for 2 months but bonded in a pen about 4 hours each day. After 2 months they just clicked and now they are still inseparable and it's been over 2 years.

Max and Gracie.... well they tolerate each other providing they aren't in the same 'pen' :roll:. They share a room but it's half and half. :)

Jolysium
31-05-2013, 05:01 PM
I've just skimmed through all of this as I'm bonding two bunnies at the moment and I just want to say THANKS! It is great to see how many different methods are used and how many successful bonds there have been, it's very encouraging. I'm feeling more relaxed now because I'm thinking to myself that I'll just take it as it comes and see what happens rather than worrying whether I'm doing the right thing :D

lucy24
31-05-2013, 05:06 PM
As a general rule I use a 40 inch bonding pen with an open top. I wouldn't bond in anything smaller or more enclosed as I like easy access at all times. However I always step in before anything has a chance to kick off.
I sometimes do free range bonding in an entire room so I can sit it with them. It really does depend on what the bunnies are most comfortable with.

agree here. When i first bonded honey and charlie it was a smallish area and that worked well but when they fell out months later that method no longer worked so i had to do the latter in your comment and they have been fine ever since!:roll:

littleboots
31-05-2013, 05:08 PM
I've just skimmed through all of this as I'm bonding two bunnies at the moment and I just want to say THANKS! It is great to see how many different methods are used and how many successful bonds there have been, it's very encouraging. I'm feeling more relaxed now because I'm thinking to myself that I'll just take it as it comes and see what happens rather than worrying whether I'm doing the right thing :D

Thats fantastic.... If this thread helps just one person its worth it
Just to show... there is more than one way to bond bunnies
Good luck with whatever you try x

Snowy
31-05-2013, 05:41 PM
...

Snowy
31-05-2013, 05:45 PM
Bonding is always going to be stressful for them, there's no getting away from it unfortunately!!



Totally disagree, I have bonded many, many rabbits and it has NEVER, EVER been stressful for the me or more importantly for the rabbits

littleboots
31-05-2013, 05:45 PM
[QUOTE=Elena;5937008]
QUOTE]

Totally disagree, I have bonded amny, many rabbits and it has NEVER, EVER been stressful for the me or more importantly for the rabbits

:thumb:
This is the bit I dont get.... We call ourselves animal lovers and yet are prepared to stress them to get a result..
A friend of mine (no longer) was struggling with a bond and she read on some forum (not RU) to put them in a carrier on the washing machine as it would simulate a car ride... they would be scared, so snuggle together.... one of these bunnies was 5 years old..... it had a heart attackc through fear and died :( :( how sad is that.

Elena
31-05-2013, 05:52 PM
Totally disagree, I have bonded many, many rabbits and it has NEVER, EVER been stressful for the me or more importantly for the rabbits

It has to be at least a bit stressful, to be taken from your environment and introduced to a stranger. I don't mean cowering in the corner in obvious displeasure, I mean a stressor on them in the same way nail clipping is or trip to the vets or so on. A stressor as in something out of the ordinary.

Alison Marie
31-05-2013, 06:16 PM
really useful thread, thanks :wave: i'm hoping to bond my single buck with bonded m/f pair in the near future, not sure how it's going to go but Buttons gets referred aggression so it's good to read there's a few methods of bonding :)

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 06:44 PM
It has to be at least a bit stressful, to be taken from your environment and introduced to a stranger. I don't mean cowering in the corner in obvious displeasure, I mean a stressor on them in the same way nail clipping is or trip to the vets or so on. A stressor as in something out of the ordinary.

If the rabbits have lived next door to each other for weeks, they are not really strangers.

Elena
31-05-2013, 06:49 PM
If the rabbits have lived next door to each other for weeks, they are not really strangers.

And yet someone just said not to do that ;)

halfpenny
31-05-2013, 06:53 PM
I don't know about that, but I always have them living side by side before putting together, doesn't always work, but nothing is every 100%.

littleboots
31-05-2013, 06:53 PM
If the rabbits have lived next door to each other for weeks, they are not really strangers.

Agree :thumb:

Hugo's There
31-05-2013, 06:58 PM
:thumb:
This is the bit I dont get.... We call ourselves animal lovers and yet are prepared to stress them to get a result..
A friend of mine (no longer) was struggling with a bond and she read on some forum (not RU) to put them in a carrier on the washing machine as it would simulate a car ride... they would be scared, so snuggle together.... one of these bunnies was 5 years old..... it had a heart attackc through fear and died :( :( how sad is that.

Sorry can't do multiple quotes so picked yours:lol:

I have to say I agree with both you and Elena!

I think you can be lucky with a bond and it can be love at first sight with no stress involved at all. However I think with the majority there is some stress, but what is important is that there are different types of stress.

For many of us meeting new people or going into new situations is stressful, but that doesn't mean in the majority of cases we constantly avoid doing so. Initially it can be nerve wracking but at the end of it we are generally glad we went. I see bonding rabbits like this :D There is initial stress but stress can be good and is generally unavoidable in any life. The important thing is for us to pick up on and react to that stress and make it better for the rabbits involved so that things become more positive over time.

What I detest is forcing rabbits to get on by using fear. The example you give is just horrendous :( and I hope no rabbit lover would even consider doing such a thing. I have also said previously I hate using care journeys as again it is using the fear factor to make rabbits cling together, which I personally believe is wrong.

So I think there is a huge difference between inflicting fear and short term stress when bonding :D

Santa
31-05-2013, 07:10 PM
. and yet so many on here advocate teeny tiny spaces.... why??


I've done a large number of bonds and usually start with a small space unless the 'vibes' coming from the bunnies is that this is the wrong approach for any particular bond.

There are a few reasons I do it this way:
1) I find it easier to intervene at an earlier stage, where the bunnies are always within arms reach and while they are only displaying body language that they might attack, rather than waiting until they have. Often an attack is set off by the other bun moving too quickly, so if they are in a smaller space, the other bun is unable to move so quickly so less likely to trigger it in the first place. But if they do trigger a response, it's quicker and easier to calm it down with less risk of injuries because you're always there right at hand to intervene.
2) bunnies can't bond if they aren't together! Having a large space where the bunnies have lots of room to get away from each other doesn't facilitate them 'getting to know each other'. You wouldn't have a very successful date if you went to the cinema with your date and then sat at opposite sides of the room. The whole point is that they are together. I understand that some bunnies need the 'space' and to take it more slowly,but I find this to be in the minority by a long way. I find that bunnies calm down quite quickly during a bond when they are in a smaller space - combined with the not being able to run and fight, I find it becomes less stressful more quickly.
3) large spaces give them things to be territorial over. Not all bunnies get territorial, but I've seen numerous bonds where bunnies very quickly develop their own 'corners' which they get territorial over - and even more so if there are boxes, litter trays, toys etc. I find that this is more likely to result in fights.

I some instances I have started in a carrier. Not in a car ride, or on top of a washing machine or anything,literally just a small space where they can sit side by side and get used to the other bunny's presence and smell without any risk of fighting because I'm right there to stop at the first sign of anything. I find this works particularly well with very nervous bunnies, who just need to understand that the other bunny isn't going to attack them straight away. Once they've calmed down a little from that,they tend to be much more settle in a bonding pen.

They're the main ones I think. Yes I have also done many bonds (including my own) where the bunnies are used to large living accommodation, but they've always bonded fine in a small space. I find that the novelty of the new friend and any change in environment is enough to get their concentration away from the 'norm' of what they are in. You do have to stay very attuned to whether they are getting cabin fever, though,and possibly extend the space slightly more quickly than you would do for other buns who aren't used to space, for instance.

Personally I always start this way as default option, but adapt depending on what the buns are doing. When I bonded Bertram and Heather, for instance, I separated them because he just would not stop humping her. So I then put them in a 6ft hutch and run with lots of hidey holes and places to sit. There wasn't any aggression or territorial behaviour, it was literally just that she needed places to be able get away from his advances. It took a bit longer to establish the firm bond, but it worked very well for them. But with another pair, all hell would break loose if you tried to bond them in a hutch and run, however neutral!

Hugo's There
31-05-2013, 07:27 PM
Having read this whole thread I am very surprised that no-one has mentioned the most important rule of bonding that can never be deviated from.........

That you must line up a row of caffeine filled drinks and highly calorific and sugary treats. I find cadbury twirls and jam doughnuts work well. No bonding should be started until these items are at arms reach :D:D

littleboots
31-05-2013, 07:35 PM
Having read this whole thread I am very surprised that no-one has mentioned the most important rule of bonding that can never be deviated from.........

That you must line up a row of caffeine filled drinks and highly calorific and sugary treats. I find cadbury twirls and jam doughnuts work well. No bonding should be started until these items are at arms reach :D:D

:lol::lol::lol:
Nooooo...... a bottle of wine for me..... or even two :oops:
:lol::lol::lol:

Santa
31-05-2013, 07:35 PM
Having read this whole thread I am very surprised that no-one has mentioned the most important rule of bonding that can never be deviated from.........

That you must line up a row of caffeine filled drinks and highly calorific and sugary treats. I find cadbury twirls and jam doughnuts work well. No bonding should be started until these items are at arms reach :D:D

Absolutely! And what Lou and I find when we bond together is that the bunnies will be good as gold and the second that one of us steps away to put the kettle on or open a pack of cakes, and then it will all kick off :lol:

alio71
31-05-2013, 07:40 PM
:lol::lol::lol:
Nooooo...... a bottle of wine for me..... or even two :oops:
:lol::lol::lol:

I too am in the wine camp :thumb::lol:

littleboots
31-05-2013, 07:41 PM
I've done a large number of bonds and usually start with a small space unless the 'vibes' coming from the bunnies is that this is the wrong approach for any particular bond.

There are a few reasons I do it this way:
1) I find it easier to intervene at an earlier stage, where the bunnies are always within arms reach and while they are only displaying body language that they might attack, rather than waiting until they have. Often an attack is set off by the other bun moving too quickly, so if they are in a smaller space, the other bun is unable to move so quickly so less likely to trigger it in the first place. But if they do trigger a response, it's quicker and easier to calm it down with less risk of injuries because you're always there right at hand to intervene.
2) bunnies can't bond if they aren't together! Having a large space where the bunnies have lots of room to get away from each other doesn't facilitate them 'getting to know each other'. You wouldn't have a very successful date if you went to the cinema with your date and then sat at opposite sides of the room. The whole point is that they are together. I understand that some bunnies need the 'space' and to take it more slowly,but I find this to be in the minority by a long way. I find that bunnies calm down quite quickly during a bond when they are in a smaller space - combined with the not being able to run and fight, I find it becomes less stressful more quickly.
3) large spaces give them things to be territorial over. Not all bunnies get territorial, but I've seen numerous bonds where bunnies very quickly develop their own 'corners' which they get territorial over - and even more so if there are boxes, litter trays, toys etc. I find that this is more likely to result in fights.

I some instances I have started in a carrier. Not in a car ride, or on top of a washing machine or anything,literally just a small space where they can sit side by side and get used to the other bunny's presence and smell without any risk of fighting because I'm right there to stop at the first sign of anything. I find this works particularly well with very nervous bunnies, who just need to understand that the other bunny isn't going to attack them straight away. Once they've calmed down a little from that,they tend to be much more settle in a bonding pen.

They're the main ones I think. Yes I have also done many bonds (including my own) where the bunnies are used to large living accommodation, but they've always bonded fine in a small space. I find that the novelty of the new friend and any change in environment is enough to get their concentration away from the 'norm' of what they are in. You do have to stay very attuned to whether they are getting cabin fever, though,and possibly extend the space slightly more quickly than you would do for other buns who aren't used to space, for instance.

Personally I always start this way as default option, but adapt depending on what the buns are doing. When I bonded Bertram and Heather, for instance, I separated them because he just would not stop humping her. So I then put them in a 6ft hutch and run with lots of hidey holes and places to sit. There wasn't any aggression or territorial behaviour, it was literally just that she needed places to be able get away from his advances. It took a bit longer to establish the firm bond, but it worked very well for them. But with another pair, all hell would break loose if you tried to bond them in a hutch and run, however neutral!

Thankyou for taking the time to reply in detail without having a go at me for bonding in large spaces x like you say we just have to be tuned into the bunnies ..... i would say its easier keeping fish...... but thats not true either :lol::lol:

littleboots
31-05-2013, 07:42 PM
I too am in the wine camp :thumb::lol:

:thumb:

alio71
31-05-2013, 07:57 PM
Those that do side by side bondings, what area do you give each bun? Are they alongside each other all the time? Do you then swap blankets or scented items etc and then do you date the buns? How long and where are dates?

Sorry for loads of questions but I have a friend who is struggling to bond her guys as are her local rescue. I think this could be worth a try for her but don't feel I have the right experience to guide her through it. Any advise appreciated :D

Snowy
31-05-2013, 08:03 PM
[QUOTE=Snowy;5937485]

:thumb:
This is the bit I dont get.... We call ourselves animal lovers and yet are prepared to stress them to get a result..
A friend of mine (no longer) was struggling with a bond and she read on some forum (not RU) to put them in a carrier on the washing machine as it would simulate a car ride... they would be scared, so snuggle together.... one of these bunnies was 5 years old..... it had a heart attackc through fear and died :( :( how sad is that.

That is dreadful and so very sad, I think it's horrific to do things like that or to put them in carriers or take them in a carrier for a ride in a car, the rabbits must be absolutely petrified and as for teeny tiny spaces, well that just fills me with dread, can you imagine how those poor animals must feel.............that's just cruel

Peanut-Toffee
31-05-2013, 08:09 PM
Pretty much put then in and see what happens....its worked 3 times now (Roxy to Rory, Roxy & Rory to Jack & Rex, Roxy & Rory to Bracken & Willow)!

Santa
31-05-2013, 08:14 PM
That is dreadful and so very sad, I think it's horrific to do things like that or to put them in carriers or take them in a carrier for a ride in a car, the rabbits must be absolutely petrified and as for teeny tiny spaces, well that just fills me with dread, can you imagine how those poor animals must feel.............that's just cruel

Aside from the car rides and the very specific sad circumstances from that particular experience, I think it's an enormous assumption that they must be feeling terrified and that it is cruel to put them in carriers or teeny tiny spaces (depending on how you define teeny tiny I guess!) As I said before, I don't find that bunnies are generally terrified, if anything they are alert and show interest. If they show terror, it's probably either the wrong match, or the wrong way to proceed for that particular bunny. And if anything, I find that the inherently terrified ones do better bonding in a smaller space, for the reasons I outlined earlier.

I think it's much more about the context, how they feel, how interested they are in what is going on, and how kind you are to them, and it's an enormous leap of assumption that small is automatically cruel. If you put a reasonbly content child into a small room full of ice cream and chocolates and give them reassurance and kindness, I suspect they wouldn't think it was 'cruel' as long as you didn't expect them to stay there forever more. But if you put them in an empty toilet cubicle and ignore them, and they may well think that's cruel, and much more quickly. I don't think it's as black and white as that with bonding in a small space and is unnecessarily emotive language which isn't necessarily accurate.

littleboots
31-05-2013, 08:24 PM
Aside from the car rides and the very specific sad circumstances from that particular experience, I think it's an enormous assumption that they must be feeling terrified and that it is cruel to put them in carriers or teeny tiny spaces (depending on how you define teeny tiny I guess!) As I said before, I don't find that bunnies are generally terrified, if anything they are alert and show interest. If they show terror, it's probably either the wrong match, or the wrong way to proceed for that particular bunny. And if anything, I find that the inherently terrified ones do better bonding in a smaller space, for the reasons I outlined earlier.

I think it's much more about the context, how they feel, how interested they are in what is going on, and how kind you are to them, and it's an enormous leap of assumption that small is automatically cruel. If you put a reasonbly content child into a small room full of ice cream and chocolates and give them reassurance and kindness, I suspect they wouldn't think it was 'cruel' as long as you didn't expect them to stay there forever more. But if you put them in an empty toilet cubicle and ignore them, and they may well think that's cruel, and much more quickly. I don't think it's as black and white as that with bonding in a small space and is unnecessarily emotive language which isn't necessarily accurate.

I think it goes without saying that the bunny I mentioned was terrified..... it died :( that can happen in any stressful situation.... bunnies are very delicate little things.... the least ive ever had with stress is fur mites.... and that absolutley horrified me :( I absolutley refuse to put any animal of mine through any unecessary stress..... but thats just me x

littleboots
31-05-2013, 08:33 PM
Those that do side by side bondings, what area do you give each bun? Are they alongside each other all the time? Do you then swap blankets or scented items etc and then do you date the buns? How long and where are dates?

Sorry for loads of questions but I have a friend who is struggling to bond her guys as are her local rescue. I think this could be worth a try for her but don't feel I have the right experience to guide her through it. Any advise appreciated :D

Sorry to hear about your friend..... its really heartbreaking when your trying to do your best for your bunnies and they wont co operate :roll:
Ive had a particular difficult one.... I kept them in my double bedroom..... half each.... divided by a pupy pen.... at first i had to put small mesh around the bottom as there was lunging and i didnt want anyone being injured through the mesh..... left it like this for a couple of days.... then noticed buns laying next to each other.... so took the mesh off.... then they could actually touch noses through the pen.... all
fine.... familiar with each other by now..... left like this a few days and it was becoming obvious they were interested in each other..... laying side by side etc..... I never swapped anything... just let the pair of them out and into my bathroom and the minute they met in the flesh.... they started grooming each other.... still separated them at night for a few days though as couldnt completley trust my girlie.... after a few nights doing this.... i didnt have the heart to separate them.... It took a while but was well worth it... I had a chair on landing.... complete with my glass of wine..... but didnt intervene..... familiarity breeds contempt I say , when they eventually met.... it was like... "oh its you" :lol::lol:

alio71
31-05-2013, 08:37 PM
Sorry to hear about your friend..... its really heartbreaking when your trying to do your best for your bunnies and they wont co operate :roll:
Ive had a particular difficult one.... I kept them in my double bedroom..... half each.... divided by a pupy pen.... at first i had to put small mesh around the bottom as there was lunging and i didnt want anyone being injured through the mesh..... left it like this for a couple of days.... then noticed buns laying next to each other.... so took the mesh off.... then they could actually touch noses through the pen.... all
fine.... familiar with each other by now..... left like this a few days and it was becoming obvious they were interested in each other..... laying side by side etc..... I never swapped anything... just let the pair of them out and into my bathroom and the minute they met in the flesh.... they started grooming each other.... still separated them at night for a few days though as couldnt completley trust my girlie.... after a few nights doing this.... i didnt have the heart to separate them.... It took a while but was well worth it... I had a chair on landing.... complete with my glass of wine..... but didnt intervene..... familiarity breeds contempt I say , when they eventually met.... it was like... "oh its you" :lol::lol:

That's great thank you. I will chat her through it. :D Will also let her know that wine is certainly part of the kit :p

jwr
31-05-2013, 09:39 PM
There have been many bonding threads latley and many disasters :(
Sometimes I read and cringe :(
I have bonded so many bunnies I have lost count and have never resorted to terrifying any rabbit or forcing them into a bond..
My method has always been... give them space .... and yet so many on here advocate teeny tiny spaces.... why??
Is this because it has to be a forced bond and owners havent got time to do a stress free bond??

Im just curious and interested in others views

i shall be trying to bond my buck and a new doe and i shall be following your methods as i also do not want to force the bond any other tips would be gratefully received , don't know if its relevent but the doe has no front teeth so no form of defence ....they have been side by side in runs and stuck their noses right through the bars to each other and shown no agression so far...

regards

littleboots
31-05-2013, 09:59 PM
i shall be trying to bond my buck and a new doe and i shall be following your methods as i also do not want to force the bond any other tips would be gratefully received , don't know if its relevent but the doe has no front teeth so no form of defence ....they have been side by side in runs and stuck their noses right through the bars to each other and shown no agression so far...

regards

Good luck :thumb: Ive bonded buns with no front teeth and belive me.... having no front teeth doesnt stop them putting a stop to any unwanted hanky panky ;)
Is your boy neutered?

jwr
31-05-2013, 10:07 PM
Good luck :thumb: Ive bonded buns with no front teeth and belive me.... having no front teeth doesnt stop them putting a stop to any unwanted hanky panky ;)
Is your boy neutered?

yes he was neutered over 3 months ago the girl is going to be spayed next week and once she has recovered i am going to start the bonding properly and i want to achieve it with the minimum amount of stress so no carriers and car rides etc...

Santa
31-05-2013, 10:10 PM
I think it goes without saying that the bunny I mentioned was terrified..... it died :( that can happen in any stressful situation.... bunnies are very delicate little things.... the least ive ever had with stress is fur mites.... and that absolutley horrified me :( I absolutley refuse to put any animal of mine through any unecessary stress..... but thats just me x

Sorry I misread the post - it wasn't a car ride was it, it was on top of the washing machine to simulate a car ride (except it doesn't!) I quite agree, I would never do anything like that as clearly the poor bunnies would be terrified. but i don't think the use of a carrier (on the sofa not a washing machine) or small space to bond in is automatically stressful and I find it is often less stressful as it settles more quickly and there is no space to develop territories. I was just trying to say that small isn't necessarily more stressful than big when bonding is concerned, not defending the washing machine thing at all!

Crunchie
31-05-2013, 10:57 PM
When we took Honey to the vet to have her staples put in and removed it was Kevin Eatwell and Jenna Richardson we seen, both recommended a car journey for the pair of them when we admitted we were nervous about attempting a re-bond. When they went to Fairly beloved for bonding they also recommended that we bring them in the same carrier.

Kevin Eatwell did go into detail about why the car ride was a good method but I can't remember much of what he said. We only did it once in the end and found it didn't seem to make a huge difference.

louise and Gus
01-06-2013, 08:42 AM
Absolutely! And what Lou and I find when we bond together is that the bunnies will be good as gold and the second that one of us steps away to put the kettle on or open a pack of cakes, and then it will all kick off :lol:

Or about 30 mins after one of us decides its all going ok and can leave ;)

natsusakura
01-06-2013, 10:59 AM
So for those who do slow bonding in a large space how would you go about bonding a trio of 3 single buns?
What behavoir would you look out for allow/not allow?
Exactly how large a space would you use?
And if something bad happened how would you get to stop it quickly?

Do you recomend this method for someone who can't move fast?

I think once this thread has enough info and case studies it could be rewritten and made into a sticky.

nessar
01-06-2013, 11:33 AM
So for those who do slow bonding in a large space how would you go about bonding a trio of 3 single buns?
What behavoir would you look out for allow/not allow?
Exactly how large a space would you use?
And if something bad happened how would you get to stop it quickly?

Do you recomend this method for someone who can't move fast?

I think once this thread has enough info and case studies it could be rewritten and made into a sticky.

I've never bonded a trio, but if you can't move fast then a big space is not a good idea, as the rabbits can zoom about a lot. If one was chasing another and caught it over the other side of the room to you and then a fight broke out, you need to be able to get over there quickly to break it up. If you can't move fast then a smaller space is best, I think. You have to be able to step in if needed.

little-laura
01-06-2013, 12:24 PM
What gorgeous, chilled out buns!

Thank you :)

They did not care about the small space to be honest they were chilled and weren't in the small space for long I tried them in a larger space to begin with and it didn't work

Autumn
01-06-2013, 12:33 PM
I personally use a small pen and just chuck them all in. I supervise thought. I don't see that this is forcing a bond at all, and can't see it is any more stressful for the rabbits that a prolonged bond in a huge space. It enables me to use distraction easily the minute there is any sign of tension. And I have ever yet had a bond fail using this method :-)

Mackers
01-06-2013, 01:32 PM
Lots of people do it in a small space I have found if I don't do this they just ignore each other.... Won't sort out their dominance issues and it just dsnt move along in the bonding... Tried a bigger bonding cage with jake and yuri. Yuri is the type of bun that avoids so she kept running away jake would do the same and they would chase and not bond

As soon as I put them in. The smaller cage they interacted

^^^^^ This. Flora and Benji pretty much ignored each other for a WEEK in the conservatory. They had the whole conservatory with plenty of things to jump on/in so they could get out of each other's way if they wanted to. And they did :lol:. Apart from a lot of humping and chasing on Benji's part, they would just sit in opposite ends of the room and ignore each other. I only had a week off work - what was I supposed to do? I was forced to reduce their space and keep reducing it until they HAD to acknowledge each other. Even in a 6x2 space, they STILL sat at opposite ends and ignored. It wasn't until I put them in a small puppy crate overnight and slept besides them that they started to groom - within 15 minutes actually! So in this instance, a very small space was the only way to go. Working full time doesn't make bonding easy!!

In an ideal world, I guess we'd all do the 'on their own terms/in their own time' bonding BUT it's not an ideal world. Sometimes, short term pain for long term gain is actually kinder than spending weeks and months with a lonely bunny/bunnies.

Mackers
01-06-2013, 01:39 PM
Sorry can't do multiple quotes so picked yours:lol:

I have to say I agree with both you and Elena!

I think you can be lucky with a bond and it can be love at first sight with no stress involved at all. However I think with the majority there is some stress, but what is important is that there are different types of stress.

For many of us meeting new people or going into new situations is stressful, but that doesn't mean in the majority of cases we constantly avoid doing so. Initially it can be nerve wracking but at the end of it we are generally glad we went. I see bonding rabbits like this :D There is initial stress but stress can be good and is generally unavoidable in any life. The important thing is for us to pick up on and react to that stress and make it better for the rabbits involved so that things become more positive over time.

What I detest is forcing rabbits to get on by using fear. The example you give is just horrendous :( and I hope no rabbit lover would even consider doing such a thing. I have also said previously I hate using care journeys as again it is using the fear factor to make rabbits cling together, which I personally believe is wrong.

So I think there is a huge difference between inflicting fear and short term stress when bonding :D

:thumb::thumb::thumb: Well said Liz.

Snowytoshi
01-06-2013, 04:25 PM
It depends on the rabbits, but my two successful bonds have come through this method or something very similar.

First I do a trial date in a netuaral space ending it immediately if they are attacking each other. If I think they are bondable I make sure to end the date on a good note and then do a followup date a few days later. Then I will place them in a neutral space and keep them until they are bonded, breaking up any fights and giving treats. Once they have been bonded I take them out in the bunny playroom and monitor them to make sure they are calm.

KMazzy
01-06-2013, 05:09 PM
This is a great but confusing thread!

I've just brought bunny no. 2, Ren (girl), home from the RSPCA. Bunny no. 1, Jaffa (boy), is used to free ranging in my living room. I'm going to try the side by side method to start with, just as soon as I've found something to put on the top of Ren's temporary cage as I'm pretty sure Jaff will jump on it.

LittleEskimo
02-06-2013, 01:57 PM
My method was just luck I think. I didn't really do anything. I just let them meet in the garden a couple of times (Pebbles was in a run and Rosie free ranging). Once Pebbles was neutered and healed I let them meet without bars and they instantly fell in love with no hassle. The very same night I cleaned out the main hutch and put them to bed in it. Been together ever since :lol:

honeybunny
02-06-2013, 02:18 PM
We use a small space and supervise closely, gradually enlarge space.
I will not really push a bonding..if the signs are the rabbits do not like each other I will split and try an alternative partner. I don't leave them to fight it out.
Small space has shown it works best in our situation. If I had much more time and were my own bunnies i could do side by side and a gradual intro

halfpenny
02-06-2013, 03:24 PM
We use a small space and supervise closely, gradually enlarge space.
I will not really push a bonding..if the signs are the rabbits do not like each other I will split and try an alternative partner. I don't leave them to fight it out.
Small space has shown it works best in our situation. If I had much more time and were my own bunnies i could do side by side and a gradual intro

I think a lot of it does come down to time, as a sanctuary our animals stay, so we can take as long as we like, but at the same time, we can't put together and leave together while supervising for a period of a few days as we don't have the time.

I'm hoping, given a bit of time this week, to start introducing Sparrow and Hugo, who have been living side by side for a month now. I'm not overly confident as Sparrow is a wildie, but I've got to try.:shock:

Jack's-Jane
19-02-2014, 11:10 AM
There have been many bonding threads latley and many disasters :(
Sometimes I read and cringe :(
I have bonded so many bunnies I have lost count and have never resorted to terrifying any rabbit or forcing them into a bond..
My method has always been... give them space .... and yet so many on here advocate teeny tiny spaces.... why??
Is this because it has to be a forced bond and owners havent got time to do a stress free bond??

Im just curious and interested in others views

This thread came to mind having recently seen some pretty awful things posted (not on RU) about methods of bonding Rabbits. I guess each person is entitled to their own opinion, but some of the methods I have read made me cry. I will never think it is OK to use fear as a method to force Rabbits to bond :cry:

Georgeypudding
19-02-2014, 11:12 AM
mine is called "Wuss out and get the rescue to do it" :lol:

MissSherwood89
19-02-2014, 11:14 AM
mine is called "Wuss out and get the rescue to do it" :lol:

This is the method we've chosen this time - It works great! :lol:

teejay
19-02-2014, 12:34 PM
I always bond in a 4ft pen, not sure if that classes as a small space or not :? I feel not, however, I also have no problem with reducing the space either if that's what that particular bond needs. I don't class that as forcing a bond as I know within about 5 minutes if a bond will not work due to the body language of the rabbits. I will only reduce space if I have a bun that is determined to chase just to change that behaviour, I don't find that the rabbits are stressed by this. I don't use methods to frighten rabbits as I feel this is unnecessary, I always use distraction. By using this method I have had success with many 'unbondable' rabbits, including 2 that had spent 4 and 3 years in rescue due to bonding issues. Not using a side by side method does not mean that I need a quick bond as buns will stay at least a week with me and more if needed until I am 100% confident they are fine in each others company. Likewise I read the side by side threads about how they flop next to each other etc and this can mean that they are stressed by each other and trying to hide their feelings to the other bun.

The method I use works very well for me and the rescue I bond for. I wouldn't dismiss side by side gradual introductions in certain circumstances. I think the key to bonding, whichever method you use is understanding rabbit body language and being able to step in before problems start. :D

Just wanted to say that, after advice from Ali and using her methods (as given above), we did our own first bonding this week - a previous boarding (male) bunny who had been handed over to us to rehome and a single (female) rabbit of another boarding customer - and it went absolutely brilliantly! So well, in fact, that we only needed to keep them with us for a couple of days. They're now completely loved up and both very happy bunnies!

Zoobec
19-02-2014, 04:24 PM
I've only done the one bond, 2 pairs (mm & ff) into a quad. I did it in a 4ft pen initially, expanding the space after 48hr periods. This was indoors initially till they went into a neutral shed. I camped next to them on the settee. I did it for the rabbits, not for me, so they could go from hutch/run combos into a 6ft x4ft shed and 17ftx10ft aviary style run. I was prepared to pull the plug immediately if it didn't look like it was going to work, but luckily there was no aggression, Dandy (m) chased Ginger (f) a bit and humped both females once for a few seconds, then that was that. They are closer as a quad than they were as pairs, if that's possible :love: and it has helped the boys become much less nervous.

Prior to bonding their runs were close to each other only just not touching, and I swapped toys such as tunnels etc over every few days.

Having said that I am under no illusion that I must have been very very lucky with my bond :thumb:

Confused_bun
19-02-2014, 04:57 PM
mine is called "Wuss out and get the rescue to do it" :lol:

:thumb: that was my way this time.

natsusakura
19-02-2014, 06:14 PM
Im gutted, i tried to get parsley and Freddie together, had them together in a quite large puppy pen, had no sleep for like 3-4 days, and got so ill had to seperate them as they still were unable to be trusted.
like as soon as i nodded off with my head in my hands Freddie starts with the humping and parsley only takes so much before he takes lumps out the other bunny. :lol:

so seperated for now and i dunno when ill be able to attempt again.
im back to work tomorrow after 6weeks off sick.
why can they not just be like biscuit and willow and fall in love straight away :lol:

littleboots
19-02-2014, 06:25 PM
This thread came to mind having recently seen some pretty awful things posted (not on RU) about methods of bonding Rabbits. I guess each person is entitled to their own opinion, but some of the methods I have read made me cry. I will never think it is OK to use fear as a method to force Rabbits to bond :cry:

:thumb:

Kavanne
19-02-2014, 06:42 PM
I use a small space, such as an indoor rabbit cage and start them in there. Providing a positive relationship develops I continue to increase their space until I am confident in their bond :)

Hugo's There
19-02-2014, 06:55 PM
I am currently doing a bond. This time i am using a 3ft cage. It is the smallest space i have ever used for bonding. I have tried to bond one of the rabbit with six other rabbits in different size bonding pens inc free range. They were all a disaster probably due to his bad eye sight and previous experiences before coming here.

The other rabbit also has huge space issues due to previous serious neglect. She was in a bigger space with us initially but couldn't cope :(

Bonding them is painfully slow and I don't know if it will work yet. But i do feel this is their best chance so far.

I feel guilty they are in such a small space even though its what they are happiest in at the moment.

So while there are some definite no no's for me with bonding, it does have to be flexible. It is important you get to know personalities first so you can better judge what is most likely to work with the least amount of stress :)

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2

Santa
19-02-2014, 08:22 PM
So while there are some definite no no's for me with bonding, it does have to be flexible. It is important you get to know personalities first so you can better judge what is most likely to work with the least amount of stress :)

I'll have to go back and re-read what I said last time, to see whether my views have changed at all :lol: but with respect to this quote, and this comment:


My method has always been... give them space .... and yet so many on here advocate teeny tiny spaces.... why??
Is this because it has to be a forced bond and owners havent got time to do a stress free bond??

I think what Liz has said proves the point that it isn't as simple as large = stress free, small = stressful. I find that small can often be less stressful than a large space, with less risk of injuries because there isn't the space for bunnies to get lots of speed up and get involved in fights away from the immediate vicinity of whoever is supervising. Plus bonding in a small space can get the bond to progress more quickly (this is not the same as forcing a bond!!) meaning that any stress that there may be, is over and done with more quickly.

Having said that, my boy Bertram bonds best in a large space because he is incredibly frisky and the other bun needs places to escape from his amorous advances. So it's very much a case of being led by what is best for the bunnies.

littleboots
19-02-2014, 09:22 PM
I'll have to go back and re-read what I said last time, to see whether my views have changed at all :lol: but with respect to this quote, and this comment:



I think what Liz has said proves the point that it isn't as simple as large = stress free, small = stressful. I find that small can often be less stressful than a large space, with less risk of injuries because there isn't the space for bunnies to get lots of speed up and get involved in fights away from the immediate vicinity of whoever is supervising. Plus bonding in a small space can get the bond to progress more quickly (this is not the same as forcing a bond!!) meaning that any stress that there may be, is over and done with more quickly.

Having said that, my boy Bertram bonds best in a large space because he is incredibly frisky and the other bun needs places to escape from his amorous advances. So it's very much a case of being led by what is best for the bunnies.

Yes I agree its whats best for the bunnies....:wave: my point when i started this thread months and months ago, was lots of people did what was best for them and not the bunnies.... ie.... rushing them, by scaring them, whether it be in tiny spaces or car rides etc..... just to save time. Ive bonded another four bunnies since i started this thread.... all in decent sized spaces and no stress whatsoever..... each to their own as long as buns dont get stressed or scared.
None of my bunnies live in hutches, so to try and bond any of mine in tiny pens and suddenly restrict their space would really upset them.... which.... i wouldnt be prepared to do x

moi
19-02-2014, 09:33 PM
Ive only bonded once (soon to be twice). I tried space and it went a tad wrong with Benji really going for Bunny. Poor Bunny had his genitals bitten. So I then did a couple of dates in the tub, amd then put them in a small indoor cage and didn't leave them for 48 hours. Then popped the cage in the shed and slowly extended it x

Hugo's There
19-02-2014, 09:34 PM
You would hope that what is best for bunnies is also best for us!

Rushing and forcing a bond helps no one long term and if my rabbits are over stressed then so am I.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2

littleboots
19-02-2014, 09:41 PM
You would hope that what is best for bunnies is also best for us!

Rushing and forcing a bond helps no one long term and if my rabbits are over stressed then so am I.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2

:thumb:

tulsi
19-02-2014, 11:51 PM
You would hope that what is best for bunnies is also best for us!

Rushing and forcing a bond helps no one long term and if my rabbits are over stressed then so am I.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk 2

Same here. I bonded my lot in a puppy penned of section of my bedroom about 6 x 6foot. I left them in that space (scatter feeding with one litter tray per rabbit and a couple of extras) for a couple of weeks. It was amazing watching them all interact.

I would love to bond my m/f pair with the new m/f pair I have coming soon. Will have to wait and see how it feels once they have settled.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to read the rabbits and to intervene. Just a hand resting gently on them calmed them at times and I could stop things escalating with a few soothing words (usually). I found food to be a wonderfully useful distratction tool as well.

Edit to say I was stressed whenever there was chasing and fur pulling and had many a sleep deprived night ...

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:09 PM
I think this forum is great. I live in shetland an we don't have a rabbit rescue up here so there's nowhere to go for advice. I have had to look online for info and learn through experience with my bunnies.
My one and only bonding went better than expected. I got the boys a week apart. They were already neutered so as the house was neutral to both of them, I bit the bullet and started bonding. It took less than a week. I was pleasantly surprised for a first time. In a few weeks I will be bonding my ex-breeding pair that have been recently neutered. The end goal is to bond all four and have them live as a group in the shed. I just hope it goes well!!

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Jack's-Jane
05-04-2014, 08:12 PM
I think this forum is great. I live in shetland an we don't have a rabbit rescue up here so there's nowhere to go for advice. I have had to look online for info and learn through experience with my bunnies.
My one and only bonding went better than expected. I got the boys a week apart. They were already neutered so as the house was neutral to both of them, I bit the bullet and started bonding. It took less than a week. I was pleasantly surprised for a first time. In a few weeks I will be bonding my ex-breeding pair that have been recently neutered. The end goal is to bond all four and have them live as a group in the shed. I just hope it goes well!!

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Going off topic here, but I lived in Shetland for about 5 years. Dunrossness, near Sumburgh Airport :D

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:13 PM
Going off topic here, but I lived in Shetland for about 5 years. Dunrossness, near Sumburgh Airport :D

Hi. Small world- I live in drowsiness too :D

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:13 PM
Hi. Small world- I live in drowsiness too :D

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

*Dunrossness

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Jack's-Jane
05-04-2014, 08:14 PM
Hi. Small world- I live in drowsiness too :D

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Ha, your autocorrect does not like Dunrossness !! :lol:

You dont live at number 11 do you !!

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:16 PM
Haha 😄 Where in Dunrossness did you live?

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Jack's-Jane
05-04-2014, 08:21 PM
Haha  Where in Dunrossness did you live?

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Dalsetter Wynd, the Bungalows owned by the National Air Traffic Services. We were there 1986-1991.

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:24 PM
Dalsetter Wynd, the Bungalows owned by the National Air Traffic Services. We were there 1986-1991.

My sister used to live up at newsletter or faster as the shetland say :D
I'm down in Turniebrae. I didn't move up here until 2002.

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

nixndaz
05-04-2014, 08:25 PM
My sister used to live up at newsletter or faster as the shetland say :D
I'm down in Turniebrae. I didn't move up here until 2002.

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

Stupid predictive text!! *Dalsetter

Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk

tulsi
05-04-2014, 09:49 PM
Same here. I bonded my lot in a puppy penned of section of my bedroom about 6 x 6foot. I left them in that space (scatter feeding with one litter tray per rabbit and a couple of extras) for a couple of weeks. It was amazing watching them all interact.

I would love to bond my m/f pair with the new m/f pair I have coming soon. Will have to wait and see how it feels once they have settled.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to read the rabbits and to intervene. Just a hand resting gently on them calmed them at times and I could stop things escalating with a few soothing words (usually). I found food to be a wonderfully useful distratction tool as well.

Edit to say I was stressed whenever there was chasing and fur pulling and had many a sleep deprived night ...

I really do not think that this would work. Mottle and Peaches didnt want to join the original bond and Autumn and Sunshine (the new m/f pair) make huge mountains of poo next to the entrance to M and P's run!!!

Would REALLY like a group of eight ...

sparklefairy
06-04-2014, 11:34 AM
Why do bunnies have to be so complicated ?

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but would dividing storm's room into 2 and having storm on one side and aurora on the other then swapping them over work? :? I just thought that this way it wouldn't be just storm's room? :?. Aurora is currently in a pen in storms room. They have had a few meetings in neutral territory but it hasn't yet gone well :cry:

little-laura
07-04-2014, 04:32 PM
someone on my facebook bonded her rabbits buy putting them in the bath and washing them together........

I told her this wasnt right...... and they would be terrified and she basically said thats the point you get them scared so they bond.......


:(

she baths and showers them.....

I said this should only be done if really necessary as it scares them

her reply rabbits get scared at everything so should I stop doing everything too


;(




she said they get sacred at cutting nails

I said but thats a thing that NEEDS to be done for their benifit and unless its really needed bathing isnt....


she deleted the comments and only kept her comments supporting all this up :(

she also takes the rabbits for walks in the park and dsnt see a problem with it.....

I get worried as theres people on her facebook page who want bunnies who will follow her example and when I step in and say anything she deletes it so they cant see it.....

I have to ignore her bunny related posts and it kills me........

littleboots
07-04-2014, 06:18 PM
Why do bunnies have to be so complicated ?

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but would dividing storm's room into 2 and having storm on one side and aurora on the other then swapping them over work? :? I just thought that this way it wouldn't be just storm's room? :?. Aurora is currently in a pen in storms room. They have had a few meetings in neutral territory but it hasn't yet gone well :cry:

Ive done that before with difficult ones and its worked for me :wave: