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Thread: I've lost my nerve...

  1. #11
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahB View Post
    Hey everyone! So- an update. We had a lady over today who helps with rabbit bonding (shes a vet nurse and used to pair bunnies at an RSPCA rescue centre so has done it a few times). I really liked her and everything she suggested made sense. She said we'd start with a very short date and attempt to leave things in a high. So far, so good.
    We set up a pen in a neutral area. Jo (bonding lady) sat in the middle of the pen with one bunny either side, giving them time to settle and allowing them to see eachother. Unfortunately, Molly was nothing but aggressive. Full on, horribly, knocked-Harry-off-his-feet aggressive. Twice she went for a face on attack, at the first chance she got to be near him. Bunnies were parted and allowed to calm down.
    We dissected it all with Jo. Harry is an older chap, a widow and in his twilight years. Molly has spent her whole life single and really, she's quite feral as far as being a bunny is concerned. She has no idea how to behave.
    Harry's health hasn't been great lately, and with his arthritis he's becoming a bit less strong. Hubby and I are really questioning how much we're willing to put him through more dates when Molly is so horribly aggressive toward him.
    Molly spent her entire life up until now on her own, with terrible health issues and petrified of everything. Since we rescued her her health has improved, she's growing in confidence and seems to be really enjoying life. Her quality of life is 100% better than it had been, even if she is single.
    So are we just pushing it unnecessarily with attempting a bond? Is it *really* for the bunnies best interest? We're starting to feel that these two might just be destined for single life.
    We need to sleep in it I think. Feel disappointed but a bit relieved because if we decide to abandon the bonding attempt, I don't need to deal with the stress of potential injury.
    Harrumph.

    Hannah I am sorry to hear this Molly evidently has no etiquette whatsoever, and doesn't know when to leave be. Not her fault. Some bunnies just don't get it.

    What did Jo say as for the future, or any more attempts?

  2. #12
    Warren Scout
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    Personally, I wouldn't give up, it's early days yet. My two adore each other now but at first it was a bit of a nightmare and the doe did go for the buck a number of times, she hated him trying to mount her (she had an unhappy past too). Different people have different approaches but I did it slowly, pens side by side at first and swapping them over every day so that they lived in each other's accommodation and used each other's litter trays etc. Then they dated for an hour a day with close supervision. I'll never forget the first time there was mutual grooming because I'd all but despaired. Hang on in there.

  3. #13
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    What a story bless them.

    I'd keep going with them.
    But then again, I kept bonding mine even after one had a serious bite to her shoulder.

    They took over 3 months to bond and almost 2 years later they're still loved up. (Two doe's)

    Don't feel bad about getting so stressed. It's incredibly stressful bonding rabbits, and more so for you seeing as they've never had a traditional meet.

    MM has given loads of info which I don't feel I can really add too apart from to say each bonded has a different technique.

    Personally I prefer to start with a couple of dates so they get a feel for each other and then I move onto a long term bond.
    I never end a session after a fight or scuffle unless there are serious injuries needed veterinary attention urgently.

    Humping, fur pulling, a little chasing, pushing head under other buns chin and even nipping I allow.
    Circling, boxing, persistent chasing, rolling on the floor together & biting to cause injury (normally ears, legs, neck and face) all gets stopped right away but don't mean I stop the session.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk

  4. #14
    Young Bun
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    You've completely nailed it - Molly definitely has no etiquette! She's just not been socialised and has no idea how to bunny.

    Jo said it was up to us - she'd gladly come back if we wanted but to think about what's right for the bunnies. She made a good point that as they've been living side by side and able to see/sniff eachother for the past six months, they should have a fairly decent idea of who the other one is, so it's not great that Molly is still so crazy after that much time. I feel sad for Harry as he's totally playing the game and wants to be friends, but I don't know if I can put my increasingly frail gentleman through the wrath of Molly (who's nearly 1kg heavier than him) in the latter days of his life. If he was a few years younger, hubs and I would be happier with the idea of bonding taking a couple of years, but the sad reality is that Harry probably doesn't even have that long left at his age (he's a big boy too so unlikely to make very old bones) and I'd rather him be able to take life at a more gentle pace without being mauled by Molly.

    I just don't know that Molly will ever get there. She has no clue. And the aggression is startling - we're not talking about a bit of a nip or a bit of fur pulling but full on mortal combat. Shame, because she's gorgeous with us but just doesn't know how to behave with Harry.

    It comes down to whether we want Harry, at his advanced stage of life and in less than peak condition, to be her mentor. And I don't think I can do that to my old chap.

  5. #15
    New Kit ThePhillips's Avatar
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    Hi; i've been reading your thread with interest. I have Iddy who lost her sister at Christmas. We brought in Russ (female!), she gets neutered next week. When I last bonded bunnies it was pre kids and all the commitments that come with that. I remember spending many an afternoon on the kitchen floor refereeing my buns bonding - but getting there in the end - it took a while. I'm prepared for the long haul. Its killing me as my house bun Iddy will need to go in a hutch so I can desensitise the house before the (hopefully bonded) buns return to the house. I've been questioning everything. I had NO idea it would upset me like this - I'm anxious to get the neutering sorted for Russ (will she even get through the op? That's what took Iddy's sister OTRB) - then seeing Iddy in a hutch, wondering what she's done wrong. I've explained everything to the kids and they are onboard. I'm all set for refereeing and remembering some key points; Small sessions, end on a positive, and enjoy the house with no chewed cables for a few weeks!!
    Reading your messages I think you've really made your mind up and that is the right decision for you and everyone around you. Enjoy your time with Harry and make the most of him. You could sort Molly out with a partner later on.. is she neutered? You need to enjoy your time with them, you care for them both so much, but there is no law saying you have to bond them. You tried, but Molly wasn't game and you love Harry too much to upset him. Nothing wrong with that at all, I don't want to confuse you - just saying what I'm feeling from reading your posts XXXXXXXX

  6. #16
    Young Bun
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePhillips View Post
    Hi; i've been reading your thread with interest. I have Iddy who lost her sister at Christmas. We brought in Russ (female!), she gets neutered next week. When I last bonded bunnies it was pre kids and all the commitments that come with that. I remember spending many an afternoon on the kitchen floor refereeing my buns bonding - but getting there in the end - it took a while. I'm prepared for the long haul. Its killing me as my house bun Iddy will need to go in a hutch so I can desensitise the house before the (hopefully bonded) buns return to the house. I've been questioning everything. I had NO idea it would upset me like this - I'm anxious to get the neutering sorted for Russ (will she even get through the op? That's what took Iddy's sister OTRB) - then seeing Iddy in a hutch, wondering what she's done wrong. I've explained everything to the kids and they are onboard. I'm all set for refereeing and remembering some key points; Small sessions, end on a positive, and enjoy the house with no chewed cables for a few weeks!!
    Reading your messages I think you've really made your mind up and that is the right decision for you and everyone around you. Enjoy your time with Harry and make the most of him. You could sort Molly out with a partner later on.. is she neutered? You need to enjoy your time with them, you care for them both so much, but there is no law saying you have to bond them. You tried, but Molly wasn't game and you love Harry too much to upset him. Nothing wrong with that at all, I don't want to confuse you - just saying what I'm feeling from reading your posts XXXXXXXX
    Thank you so much - your words mean an awful lot, they really do. I don't feel any differently having had a couple of nights to sleep on it so I think the decision is made.

    I hope my story hasn't deterred you bonding your bunnies; I think I'm in the minority and most people crack it! You're doing all of the right things and I'm sure it'll go really well. Do your very best to not overthink it and go in with an open mind. Wishing you all the very best of luck and thank you again 😘 Xx

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