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Thread: Trying to bond neutered male rabbits

  1. #11
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    Just been catching up on this thread.
    I kept looking at it on my phone but I couldn't see the video or anything.

    I read tons on bonding when I was bonding my two females (they had a fight during bonding, but we still got a successful bond). We ended up doing the bonding completely different to everything we read online and the bonding took a total of three months.

    From what I saw in your bunny cam video it wasn't too bad of an interaction really. Yes there was chasing, but chasing is a normal part of bonding and it didn't look to bad as you were able to put your hand out to stop them. They also then interacted through the bars which looked very calm & comfortable so I have high hopes for your future bonding with these two.

    You can read as much as you like, get as many different techniques as you can find so if you need to change plans, you've got a few back ups to chose from. We started our girls with the slow technique (dates, living next door, swapping cages) but they ultimately got confused after a certain point and began fighting so we then moved onto having them do a weekend bond, but they didn't get past the first 10 mins before one had a severe bite to her shoulder. We separated right away and gave them a week living apart.
    In the end they were stress bonded as a last ditch at getting them to bond (our last resort before we gave up on bonding) - we took them for a short car drive then put them in a dog crate in the bedroom. I went a week without sleep as I had to stay up day/night to keep an eye on them. I also slept downstairs once they moved into their shared accommodation.

    All bonding was done in a space of about 28sqft (apart from the dog crate which was around 12sqft) which worked well for us. Many people are 100% against stress bonding, which I can understand, but I felt it was suitable to try before giving up on the bond.

    Lots of good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.

  2. #12
    Young Bun
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    Quote Originally Posted by daphnephoebe View Post
    Just been catching up on this thread.
    I kept looking at it on my phone but I couldn't see the video or anything.

    I read tons on bonding when I was bonding my two females (they had a fight during bonding, but we still got a successful bond). We ended up doing the bonding completely different to everything we read online and the bonding took a total of three months.

    From what I saw in your bunny cam video it wasn't too bad of an interaction really. Yes there was chasing, but chasing is a normal part of bonding and it didn't look to bad as you were able to put your hand out to stop them. They also then interacted through the bars which looked very calm & comfortable so I have high hopes for your future bonding with these two.

    You can read as much as you like, get as many different techniques as you can find so if you need to change plans, you've got a few back ups to chose from. We started our girls with the slow technique (dates, living next door, swapping cages) but they ultimately got confused after a certain point and began fighting so we then moved onto having them do a weekend bond, but they didn't get past the first 10 mins before one had a severe bite to her shoulder. We separated right away and gave them a week living apart.
    In the end they were stress bonded as a last ditch at getting them to bond (our last resort before we gave up on bonding) - we took them for a short car drive then put them in a dog crate in the bedroom. I went a week without sleep as I had to stay up day/night to keep an eye on them. I also slept downstairs once they moved into their shared accommodation.

    All bonding was done in a space of about 28sqft (apart from the dog crate which was around 12sqft) which worked well for us. Many people are 100% against stress bonding, which I can understand, but I felt it was suitable to try before giving up on the bond.

    Lots of good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Thank you for giving me hope. The first videos I saw were on stress bonding, it sounds like it worked for you even though they had previously had a big fight. I'm happy with how my boys are doing at the moment. They are now right next to each other in their pens, this morning when I went into them there was a tuft of fur in oreos pen but it was only a small tuft.
    The video was just a little taster of what they were like. The last time they were together Oreo had his head bowed down face to face with Denzel, I think he wanted Denzel to groom him but Denzel wouldn't, them all hell broke out with a chase and fur flying.
    I just want to make sure I get it right, I don't want them to come to hate each other so I'm going real slow with them.
    I put there food on either side of the pen so they are sat eating together with the pen in between and they look very relaxed.
    Just wondering will I be doing more harm letting them out of each other's sight when they have separate use of the outside run


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  3. #13
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    Fur pulling and chasing is fine
    Not a concern unless there is real injury.
    The bowing a head down is demanding grooming and the following chasing/fur pulling will be them sorting out who is going to be the sub (doing the grooming) and who's the dominant (receiving grooming).
    If you're going for the slow technique which is seems you are, they should ideally always be in view of each other and everything should be equal (same amount of space, play time etc) so if you can another run, I'd have them out together at the same time. (You can always connect the two runs together if they bond well).

    When you come to doing your dates, make sure it's somewhere they have never been before. (E.g. bathroom if they've never visited there before)

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  4. #14
    Young Bun
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    Quote Originally Posted by daphnephoebe View Post
    Fur pulling and chasing is fine
    Not a concern unless there is real injury.
    The bowing a head down is demanding grooming and the following chasing/fur pulling will be them sorting out who is going to be the sub (doing the grooming) and who's the dominant (receiving grooming).
    If you're going for the slow technique which is seems you are, they should ideally always be in view of each other and everything should be equal (same amount of space, play time etc) so if you can another run, I'd have them out together at the same time. (You can always connect the two runs together if they bond well).

    When you come to doing your dates, make sure it's somewhere they have never been before. (E.g. bathroom if they've never visited there before)

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    Ok, thank you, I will have a think about how I can sort the run, it's tricky as Denzel jumps over it but I will put my thinking cap on. Also I like to just open the door and let them walk out into the run, I don't want to have to pick them up as it just stresses them. I have a wooden hutch in the outside run which I sometimes lock one of the rabbits in when the other is in the run but there are times when the rabbit in the run can't be seem by the other rabbit.
    Lots for me to think about. They're very complex animals aren't they?


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  5. #15
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    Could you build a roof to go onto the top of the run to prevent jumping out?
    Maybe use tunnels to each separate run?

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  6. #16
    Young Bun
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    Quote Originally Posted by daphnephoebe View Post
    Could you build a roof to go onto the top of the run to prevent jumping out?
    Maybe use tunnels to each separate run?

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    Not really, this is the run, it goes right down the side to the front gate, the rabbits live in the room with the patio door so they can come straight out. Denzel jumps out of the pen in the house but he never tries in the garden. I think if I split the pen though and he was in one and Oreo in the other he would jump over to get to him.




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  7. #17
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    That looks brilliant. Not sure what to suggest really. sorry x

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  8. #18
    Young Bun
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    Thank you. Can I just ask for some advice, I've read on here that they suggest waiting till 12 weeks are up following neutering before attempting to bond. Oreo and Denzel are 6 and 7 weeks past neutering but they are now starting to lay next to each other in there separate pens and I've seen Oreo grooming Denzel through the bars. Does this mean they are ready to start bonding or should I wait till the 12 weeks are up?


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  9. #19
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    Personally I'd start bonding as you're seeing that behaviour , but you need to feel 100% confident that you're ready, so if you need to wait a little longer, than do.

    Just remember, completely neutral space to do the bonding x

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  10. #20
    Young Bun
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    Ok thank you, it's very nerve racking this bonding business. I plan to set up a pen in the bedroom for them, they've never but up there. But I will have to take them up in the same carrier. Not sure I'm 100% confident yet


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