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Thread: Failed bonding?

  1. #1

    Default Failed bonding?

    Last week my 20 week old Castrated French Lop and spayed dwarf lop were bonded! They had been living side by side very happily since Harry the French lop arrived when he was 8 weeks old. Since then he has grown and been castrated, then had time to recover! The two rabbits went to stop with my friend who owns a rabbit rescue. She bonded them and they were in love. No fur pulling or chasing from the start. They stopped for three days together and showed no sign of aggression.

    I collected the two rabbits on Saturday afternoon and they travelled home in a pet carrier together. Again, no issues. They just snuggled up. When we got home they went into their indoor pen and instantly went to their food- eating back to back so no issues with not trusting each other. About 9pm Saturday evening, I left the rabbits grooming each other and looking very relaxed. At 10pm I heard a commotion and ran down to see that Holly, the dwarf lop had pulled lots of fur from Harry and also bit through his eye lid. I cleaned up his eye and stopped the bleeding but it looked awful. We needed up in the Emergency Vets that night.

    Harry is now home, after spending two nights at the vets. I haven't put him in with Holly again but he is happily running up to her pen to see her and they are showing no aggression towards each other. However, I am VERY worried about bonding them again. If Holly can cause 400 worth of damage the first time, what is she going to do next time?!!

    Is it best to keep them apart or is it likely to be safe to bond them again? We bought Harry to live with Holly because her old Frenchie husband died.

    Advice welcome! Thank you

  2. #2
    Warren Scout Kosu's Avatar
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    Poor little lad, glad he is on the mend.

    My guess would be a territory issue.

    How large is their indoor pen? Has it been disinfected and all smells removed? Were they scatter fed?

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper Fee's Avatar
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    Aww poor boy... Sorry to hear that...

    Bonding is fraught but it's vital, absolutely vital that they are binded/put together in neutral territory where neither has been before, they can become exceptionally territorial if they know it's their own territory another bunny is in.

    When bunnies come back from bonding, it's usually accepted that they should be kept together in a neutral small-ish space before increasing the space available.

    I would wait until your boy is fully recovered before reintroducing them. If a bunny senses another is under the weather at all, this can cause bullying,,,

    There are millions of threads on bonding, it's not easy, nor for the faint hearted and must be neutral.

    All the very very best, whatever you do decide to do..
    Floppy, Smudge, Bramble, Willow, Chewy, Obi
    ❤️💙💜💚❤️💛💔

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    The problem is perhaps because female rabbits are very territorial and although they had been happy at the Rescue once home she would have felt it necessary to defend her territory. If, once his eye is better, you can reintroduce them somewhere neutral and keep them there for a couple of weeks say, as their bond would have had time to develop by then, she won't be feeling so territorial. The longer they can be together in unfamiliar territory the better your chance of a happy bond.

  5. #5

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    Hi xx i have two pairs of bonded rabbits x who have lived great together for 2yrs recently my two female's started fighting x had them checked at vets turned out the one has a ulcer on her eye x I now have both pairs separated but the females r still fight in through the bars x will i have to bond all four again or just the females? Help

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee_evans2003 View Post
    Hi xx i have two pairs of bonded rabbits x who have lived great together for 2yrs recently my two female's started fighting x had them checked at vets turned out the one has a ulcer on her eye x I now have both pairs separated but the females r still fight in through the bars x will i have to bond all four again or just the females? Help

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    I think you would be better to start a new thread of your own so people can offer advice.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babsie View Post
    I think you would be better to start a new thread of your own so people can offer advice.
    You would have to bond all 4 again otherwise you would have to separate the females from their males. I hope it works out for you.

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