View Full Version : Bonding Hershel and Maggie: Progress Update - free ranging

01-01-2015, 12:54 PM
Finally started bonding Hershel and Maggie last night. Things are going very well at the moment and it appears quite calm, but we all know how that can change in the blink of a cotton tail.

It started out really well last night, Hershel and Maggie most ignoring each other and chomping on hay instead. Then it kicked off with Maggie humping Hershel, which I didn't really want. If anyone can remember my previous posts about trying to bond George & Harry with Hershel, he hated being humped and went into attack mode. Well they did have a couple of squabbles because of it, we had to stop them up a couple of times as Maggie was persistent as times. She's humped him so much different ways even from the side :roll: and we had to stop her when she tried to hump his head and also when she was biting him on the head. Poor Hershel. But surprisingly Hershel mostly accepted it in the end. :shock:

Maggie was the first to start grooming Hershel which I expected as she is very persistent through the bars on the pen when one of them is out. Hershel on the other hand took ages and for a bunny who now isn't supposed to be the dominant one, keeps demanding head grooms. But he finally relented during the night and has groomed her 3 times. I think the demands for grooming is annoying Maggie though as she wants it done back, I think she will have to be content with grooming him as he is very selfish.

They are quite happy to sit next to each other and they have both done DBF, so must feel relaxed in each others company. Although they are both a bit on the side skitty if one moves too quickly, especially Hershel who will then head-butt Maggie and demand grooming again. Maggie is a little binky monster so I am a bit apprehensive about that incase Hershel gets spooked at her movement.

But things are quite calm and quiet at the moment, Maggie is snoozing and Hershel is giving himself a good clean. Well he does have to keep up his appearance now he has a lady friend. :love:

Paws crossed that this works out for them.







01-01-2015, 01:15 PM
Sounds positive so far! Everything crossed for them :D

01-01-2015, 02:23 PM
It looks good! I'm bonding today and it looks like it's going to be an easy one.

01-01-2015, 03:36 PM
Looking good so far :D I'm bonding tomorrow too. Wishing all bonders best of luck and calm nerves x

01-01-2015, 03:51 PM
Hope bonding continues to go well for you. I like their names, I have a ratty named Hershel, and three more named Rick, Daryl and Glenn :lol:

01-01-2015, 04:25 PM
Looking good :thumb:

01-01-2015, 05:42 PM
Thanks everyone. They been together nearly 24 hours now and are still doing okay, although we did have another but shorter humping session today from Maggie. Hershel keeps demanding head grooms which Maggie is happy to give but she does get annoyed that he isn't doing them back (hence the humping). They are quite happy being next to each other either snoozing or munching on hay. So everything is progressing and very promising.

Hope bonding continues to go well for you. I like their names, I have a ratty named Hershel, and three more named Rick, Daryl and Glenn :lol:

Yes Hershel is a great name ;). I saw your post the other day when you got your new ratties. Very cute.

02-01-2015, 11:26 AM
Morning update:

We had a bit more humping from Maggie last night, I think she is getting frustrated by Hershel's greediness in demanding grooming and he refusal to reciprocate them back to her. We've only seen him groom her the 3 times, do you think i should put some banana in her fur?

During the night, they had a couple of little scuffles, I think from Maggie binkying around the pen, but I just had to tell them to behave and it soon settled down again. I think she can sometimes be a bit nervous to do binkies near him as he doesn't like quick movements around him and will then nip her.

This morning they've been okay with each other, just sat cleaning themselves and they were happy to sit next to each other this morning and be hand fed pellets which is good.

I knew this wasn't going to be as easy George and Harry (love at first sight and mutual grooming after 30 minutes), but it's a little frustrating because I think they are a good match for each other. I've just got to be careful that I don't rush things. Although I am back to work on monday, so I am hoping that they settle enough so CI can leave them together. I don't want to separate them if I can avoid doing so.

Edit: Whilst writing this, he has been giving himself the biggest wash going, a couple of times I thought he was washing her but nope. Then he has just done the biggest DBF inbetween her and the water bowl. Jumping back up and started to groom her. :love: :love: :love: He must of groomed her for about 30 seconds. Now he has flopped back down in the same position and is snuggling into her.

I am so happy that I could run out into the street and start singing. :roll: :thumb:

02-01-2015, 05:51 PM
Hellooooooooooo :wave:

It all look's very promising to me ,

Good Luck :thumb:

02-01-2015, 06:14 PM
Hellooooooooooo :wave:

It all look's very promising to me ,

Good Luck :thumb:

Hi Maysie :wave:

They seem to be settling together really nicely today. Hershel has groomed her a couple of times today.

I've also just removed some of the soiled hay and given them a hay rack and litter tray to share. They absolutely love it. :love:
Hershel has been taking it in his stride with her jumping in and out the litter tray around him. She even used him as a foot stool to get that bit of hay from the top of the rack. :lol:

02-01-2015, 07:38 PM
Gorgeous pair. Sending bonding vibes!

02-01-2015, 08:15 PM
:love:... Awwwwww it all looks so nice and positive,, bonding vibes still being sent

Fee x

04-01-2015, 09:23 AM
Hershel and Maggie are still doing really well. They've been together 3.5 days since Wednesday evening.

I was a bit worried for Maggie yesterday as it looked like it was getting a bit too much for her as she was really quiet and she was refusing fenugreek crunchies. But she is doing okay now and seems back to her normal happy self. She's eating, pooping, binkying and coming to say hello.

They are still having the odd squabble/humping episode, normally on an evening or during the night. I think it is normally when Maggie starts going b inky mad.

I woke this morning to Maggie chewing the cardboard at the back of the pen, I think she is bored. So I've finally given them some toys to play with, a couple of chew balls and some hay filled t-rolls, which they are loving.

I am really happy with how they are going so I've decided that as long as everything is okay today then they will stay with each other tomorrow when I go back to work.



04-01-2015, 09:35 AM
:thumb:.. Good for you!! They look nice and snuggly in their litter tray:love:

04-01-2015, 12:17 PM
Sharing a litter tray is a very positive sign :thumb: My 2 are really doing well also. We must have picked a lucky day :)

06-01-2015, 10:40 AM
I thought I would update on bonding progress and ask for a little bit of advise please.

Sunday overnight we had no squabbles or humping so I left them together yesterday whilst I went to work. They appear to have been okay together. My dad said he didn't hear anything, although chances are he didn't really listen out for them misbehaving.

Last night, when I removed the litter tray to clean it, they got very excited and I think Hershel nipped at Maggie and we had a squabbling/humping episode. Hershel will take a couple of humps but then he gets upset and they squabbled a bit. A small amount of circling/nipping/trying to get away, nothing to serious that I need to separate them.

Overnight was quiet and peaceful. Then again this morning we've had another humping session and some squabbling. I've left them together as they had settled down.

Generally the bonding is going okay, they are happy drink and eat next to each other, to hop about and Hershel is getting use to Maggie binkying about him. She did some impressive standing still binky jumps last night over him and he didn't even blink.

I have still got them in the puppy pen which is currently 2x1 panels (4x2ft) and intended to increase size this weekend to 2x2 (4x4ft) and then eventually to free range them in my room. Generally the consensus is to increase size slowly and only after about 48 hours after the last sign of aggression, but I am getting the impression that they are starting to feel a bit restless and penned in.

Maggie has never liked to be penned in, and bar bites even though she has plenty of toys, she prefers to be out exploring. Hershel is very similar in that he prefers to be out of the pen as well. So I am not sure if I should increase the pen area and give them more room to move about so they are not on top of each other.

I would really like to hear everyone elses opinions?

06-01-2015, 07:37 PM
I would give them more space as I don't think it will upset them :thumb:

08-01-2015, 05:43 AM
I would give them more space as I don't think it will upset them :thumb:

If it does then just reduce the space again. It's best to take things too slow, than too fast though.

08-01-2015, 10:24 AM
Thanks for the advice Tonibun and Kavanne. I expanded the space last night as they had been together for a week.

They loved the extra space and where hopping around crazily. I gave them some extra toys and Hershel's seagrass tunnel and pop up tent as well as Maggie's owl blanket to make it more comfy. It was all neatly arranged but Maggie decided it wasn't how she wanted and spent the night rearranging. :roll:

Maggie spent half the night doing Binky 500's around the pen whilst Hershel was content enough to sit in the litter tray nomming on hay most of the night.

When I went to feed them this morning, I did get a bit of nipping going on, but the extra space allowed them space to move away from each other. I've noticed that when most of the humping/nipping has happened, it's either because I've just come in to see them after work or I am feeding them, so it's basically excitement and not aggression.

They don't appear to be as loved up as George and Harry were at this point, but it was very much true love for them as well as George having the gentlest soul. Whilst Hershel is very sweet and loving, he is the biggest attention seeker and likes to pull a strop if he doesn't get it. Maggie has a sweet gentle and timid nature but she is the biggest binky monster going. So I was a bit worried that Hershel would start pulling strops on Maggie if she was playing, but he is very nonchalant about her doing them.

Finger crossed they continue to be happy in each others company. :thumb:

08-01-2015, 06:55 PM
So happy for you and them :love:

12-01-2015, 10:01 AM
Hershel and Maggie's bonding has been progressing nicely in the last few days.

Once I expanded the pen, they have really settled down with each other and spent most of the weekend either snuggled up, flopped out or sat near each other. They are even getting to the point where they are happy to share food (or rather one pinching it and the other pinches it back).

Last night I decided to allow them out of the pen for free ranging. They were so excited to be out and just ran around my bedroom like crazy bunnies. I made sure that I watched them to make sure everything was okay, especially when they went under my bed. They were out for about 30 minutes.

My bonding plan this week is to increase the time building up to free ranging all day Saturday and Sunday, with the aim of free ranging permanently from the Monday (if every goes to plan).

12-01-2015, 10:44 AM
That sounds great! I am really pleased they are getting along well.