View Full Version : Difficult bond - Adorable Rabbits

Sam B
28-05-2018, 06:59 PM
Hi, I'm new to the group and in the midst of a difficult bond, so sorry if this is a long one. Difficult not because I think the rabbits are fundamentally incompatible, or I would have given up by now, but difficult because one of the rabbits (they are both rescues) is missing an eye. He's still absolutely beautiful and SOOO affectionate, but he startles easily, I think a) because of his limited vision b) because he is a lop and doesn't seem to hear that well (at least nothing like as well as her) and c) because he was a solitary house rabbit for years and has no fear of anything, when he zones out, he ZONES OUT, so her coming up to him is enough to make him jump out of his skin and whip round, and if I hadn't always been able to intervene in time would have taken a good bite, which she would definitely not take lying down.

There have been loads of positive signs. He has never been aggressive to her. He accepted her mounting him no problem (except when she nipped him, which seems fair enough, my vet says that's just setting boundaries, and I agree) and even when they have had scuffles they both return to be relaxed very quickly (him more than her in fact). She's very smart and though she did show some aggression towards him in the beginning after he seemed to accept her as the dominant but wouldn't groom her when she presented for grooming, she actually groomed him the other day, which amazed me, but then the next day got annoyed when he didn't groom her back.

It's been three months now. Not trying all the time. There was a two week settling in period for him on his own. Then after they had what would have been serious fight, I kept them completely apart for two weeks i.e. not seeing one another at all. And after a more minor scuffle I kept them alonsgide but not dating for two weeks. I now have them indoors in three adjoining runs. One day one has two runs to him /herself, the next day the other does, and they always meet in the middle i.e shared run under my supervision (I've set up a sliding door system so I can confine them to any one or two runs at any given time) but again got into what would have been a fight yesterday if I hadn't been there to split them up due to her inadvertently startling him by coming up on his blind side.

Am thinking about trying a larger space so that he can bolt a few metres without bumping into something and spinning round on her if she startles him, as I think the small space might be adding to the problem, i.e. panicked rabbit unable to bolt and hide, but I'm nervous because if they do get into a fight a larger space would make it so much harder to split them up.

Does anyone have any advice? He is adorable, climbs up onto my lap and puts his chin on my chest for a snooze and a stroke, but twice when I've intervened, I got bitten, even through thick gloves, and if that had been her and they'd been alone... I dread to think.

29-05-2018, 08:15 AM
Hi Sam and welcome to the Forum. I don't really have any advice, others are much more experienced with bonding than me, but I would just like to say I'm very impressed by your efforts so far. You seem to me to be doing everything right so I am sending good vibes for a successful outcome. Keep us informed and maybe post a few pictures if you can :wave:

Sam B
29-05-2018, 10:34 AM
Thanks. You're right. I should take some pictures. They are both gorgeous but so different!

02-06-2018, 03:21 PM
Bumping this up - maybe put in 'Bonding' on another part of the forum?

Nicole Mok
03-06-2018, 03:30 PM
Hi, I have few experiences on bonding different kinds of rabbits in the past few years. First one took me 3 months to get them bonded, the second one took me 5 months. My current one has cataract on one eye so she's been aggressive to me and my other rabbit since she's scared of her surroundings when we get closed to her. However, they both are bonded and love each other, so it really takes time especially when your rabbit has problem with his eye.

Few advices here, but I believe you're working towards this-
* Make sure they have plenty of room to run, and leave their own cage door open so they can run back when one is not happy and want to hide.

* Need to stay with them the whole time of the process, so when you notice one is about to bite, stop/ separate them immediately before they start the fight.

* Do the bonding for at least one hour everyday.

* Make sure their cage are close together so they can get used to each other scent.

* they both will be stressed during this process, so when you see one is under too much pressure, stop and try again next day.

* swap them to each other cages everynight. So let rabbit A to stay one night in rabbit B cage, vice versa.

Hope this helps, good luck. Be patience and positive, will eventually get them bonded.


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