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Thread: Bonding decisions for Jim

  1. #1
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Default Bonding decisions for Jim

    Can anyone give me some pointers/thoughts for my new lad Jim & possibly getting him a friend.

    He's around a year old, has been a lone house bunny with a family including small kids & a cat (who he adored) before he came here a month ago. He's never even seen another rabbit He is very confidant & people friendly, loves being stroked & cuddled, seems fine with being picked up even - never met a more soppy bun as far as humans go. However he chin rubs constantly, more than any bun I've ever met - he even chin rubs his food before he eats it! Seems like he might be pretty territorial. He can see the guinea pigs from where he is, & for the first week he patrolled the edge of his set up to make sure the piggies didn't invade, although he's settled down now. He's not aggressive or angry, just very alert & wants to claim everything as his own. As he's been doing this a while I doubt neutering will curb this instinct - does any one else agree/disagree?

    He's about to be neutered & I'm in two minds as to the next step.

    I have a bonded trio of a 10yr old neutered male & 2 neutered females of around 5-6 years old who've all been together around 4 years. Ideally he's just go in with them, but I don't want to upset the balance. However I'm also painfully aware that any day could be the last day of the 10yr old which would leave the girls behind.

    I'd prefer to have one set up, but can stretch to two. I'm prepared to get him a friend, but would prefer to keep the numbers to a minimum if possible.

    My options seem to be

    1) wait until Zak (the 10yr old) passes & try bond him with the girls.

    2) Try to bond them as a quad - but i doubt Zak will accept Jim.. but who knows? What if they all fall out?! Zak has PTSD & was bullied by another male (although he looked nothing like Jim)

    3) Get Jim a friend & keep those two separate from the trio. Any thoughts as to the sex/personality/age I should look for?


    Anybody got any thoughts on this? My priority is obviously their health & happiness, but I'd also like to keep the work down for myself if possible. I have only done bonding once & am not 100% comfortable doing it. Also I can't keep a failed match due to space restrictions, so if I get Jim a friend I'd have to have a guaranteed match so bunny bonding might be the way to go. I've asked at 2 reputable rescues near me, but both are downsizing & the owners are both in bad health so I don't want to add to their woes by asking them to take Jim in for bonding.

    Decisions, decisions...

    Edit : should also ask if anyone has any thoughts on me putting him in a carrier & placing the carrier within sight of the runs my trio uses to gauge Jim's reaction to other rabbits. It would be useful to know what he does but I don't want to upset the trio. He would be moved away from them afterwards but I'm worried the trio might start fighting between themselves afterwards. Maybe I could just do it when the girls are out, it's mostly Zak I'd be worried about reacting badly. However, that might not be the case (I tend to worry about Zak way more than is necessary) The girls could just as easily be upset by his presence I guess.
    Last edited by randomname; 26-01-2018 at 05:35 AM.

  2. #2

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    I have not really a lot of experience bonding bunnies, I am only on my third bond. We have recently got a girl to bond with our existing boys and yes she did causes a change in the boys behaviour. we had an increased frequency of humping and chasing. Vimto (girl) is next to the boys but we do put a towel between them at night. Vimto came six days ago and the behaviours are settling slowly. As Vimto is newly spayed she will not meet them for another 4 weeks. Both boys are neutered. You mentioned fighting - we have not had proper fights between the boys just the humping.

  3. #3
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Hi Cuthbert&Dillon, nice to meet you, thanks so much for your reply

    I am erring on the side of not trying to bond Jim with my 3 as they're so happy together. Zak being the age he is, with his history, I don't think it's worth upsetting them. It'd probably be easier for them (& me) to have a separate duo. Your post makes me think that even the low key stuff would be unfair on Zak as he's had so many years of turmoil. He deserves some peace in his dotage.

    When he passes, I'd be left with 2 pairs that I could possibly bond I guess. If I bond Jim with a girl that'd mean 3 girls & one boy - does that sound like it'd work?

  4. #4

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    I am sure someone with lots more experience will be along soon that can better advise you and link you to topics on here that would be a source of help. Either way I am sure you will make the best decision for Jim and Zak

  5. #5
    Alpha Buck
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    Hi Randomname. I tried to bond 3 girls and a boy. I had 2 girls ( sisters) together, a separate male and separate female. All neutered. Everyone on here said it would be difficult but did give me lots of advice. I managed it initially so had a quad, but after about a month, 2 of the girls fell out really badly and I had to take Lucy out. The trio (2 sisters and Piper, the boy) are still ok together. I’ve now got Lucy bonded with Dave so have 2 set ups. When the quad were together, briefly, Lucy was very much the isolate, the others wouldn’t let her into their space. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, like increase the space too quickly, adopted Dave, who I couldn’t resist and they may have smelt him etc. Sometimes I think I’d like to have the 5 together but can’t face the bonding process as all is calm now, and I think Lucy and Jet really hate each other.
    Not sure if that helps, I personally think 3 girls together, unless they grow up together, is quite difficult to achieve. If you put Jim in with your trio, that’s a balance of 2 of each? It depends if you’re happy with 2 setups.

  6. #6
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Hi CometLucy195, thanks so much for your reply

    I think my biggest worry is if the trio fall out down the line, so I'm strongly considering the second set up as the best/easiest option, especially after reading about your guys! They'd be near each other, so I'd be able to get a sense of whether or not Janis & Joni (the girls in the trio) would accept Jim & his friend after Zak passes, or not. In the meantime, Zak's happiness is paramount so I think I'm going to look at adopting another bun just for Jim (*sigh*)

    I guess a neutered female would be the most obvious easy pairing for him? Any ideas what kind of personality would suit him? He has no clue about other buns & is clearly a fairly dominant/territorial guy (unless neutering changes that) Do I look for a submissive or much younger lady do you think? Or maybe a settled, more confidant (dare I say, bossy) female who'll show him what's what?

  7. #7
    Alpha Buck Casco's Avatar
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    It’s a tricky one - if you get a female partner for Jim with a view to eventually bonding the 4 after Zak passes I think having 3 females would make for a difficult bond so you may always have 2 separate setups. Would you attempt bonding Jim into your trio to see how it goes, or would you be too worried about the trio’s bond breaking?

  8. #8
    Mama Doe
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    Having been in a similar situation to you I would definitely find a female for Jim and leave the trio as they are for the sake of your 10 year old.However if you would prefer not to get another bunny and think Jim would be ok on his own for awhile until your 10 year old passes, that is another option.I think as things stand,the 10 year old would struggle with the stress of a big bond.
    In my experience,quads can be tricky to maintain even after bonding because there is always more scope for a fall-out amongst them which can escalate quickly through the group.
    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  9. #9
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Hi Casco,
    I do worry about the trio falling out. Most especially it's Zak I'm worried about. He had to have a ton of surgery due to fighting wounds & cysts when we first got him & he never quite got over it. He has some sort of PTSD from then, is very people aggressive (although it's all noise & bluster since he went it with the girls) & was really difficult to bond. We tried 3 or 4 different buns but he always freaked out. He lived side by side for around 6 years until the other one passed & we adopted Janis & Joni, then he fell in love. I feel like he's only had 4 years of happiness his whole life, I really really don't want to mess it up for him.

    Have more or less decided just to get Jim a friend & keep them separate, even if that's permanent. Question now is, what kind of friend should I look for for Jim?.

  10. #10
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Hi hoppetylop, yeah I think I'm pretty much decided now. Not gonna risk upsetting Zaky boy. Problem is i think Zak'll be that one bun that lives 'til 15, so don't want Jim alone all that time, he's so bored & lonely.
    So, am looking for a wife bun for Jim I guess (in a couple of months after the neuter) Any ideas as to what personality type/age/size I should go for given he's quite territorial & confident & never met another bun?

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