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Thread: territorial bunny

  1. #1
    New Kit
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    Feb 2018
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    Norway
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    1

    Default territorial bunny

    Hi everyone,

    New here

    We have two female rabbits, Chip and Lunar. They are actually my daughter's and live in her room. My daughter has a loft room with a slanted roof, and the rabbits have one end of it as an enclosure, about 2 metres by 3 metres. They were both born in early June last year, but are unrelated. Chip is a dwarf rabbit, and Lunar is a somewhat larger dwarf-mix. Neither has yet been neutered.

    Chip (the dwarf rabbit) came home with us in August, and the other in September. We read up on bonding, and everything seemed to go well. They had a couple of tussles, working out social order and things when we moved them into the new enclosure under the roof at Christmas time. Although some of their chase games have bordered on agression (Lunar is clearly dominant), they groom each other, sit side by side, share food, etc.

    Chip wasn't feeling well over the last week. Several trips to the veterinarian, some hand feeding, and dietary adjustments later, she seems herself again. The problem is that in order to observe her eating, urination, etc., we put her in a cage. Now Lunar 'owns' the enclosure and doesn't want to share with Chip. They're fine sitting together on someone's lap, and they clearly want each other's company, but Lunar is being so territorial, we are worried that she will hurt Chip.

    So, what can we do? Put Lunar in the cage for awhile? Swap them every day for a couple of weeks, clean the enclosure, and try again? Should we buy them new hiding places? Is it possible to make the enclusure neutral again? Should we get Lunar neutered, keep her in a separate cage until she is recovered, and then treat it as a new bonding?

    Chip has never been excessively territorial, and has been friendly with Lunar. Lunar has generally been the territorial and/or agressive one. I think we will get them both neutered at some point, though my daughter is very worried about the risk to them during/after the procedure. When is the best time to have them neutered? How much will it help with Lunar's behaviour?

    TIA
    Last edited by Chip&Lunar; 09-02-2018 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #2
    New Kit Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
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    London
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    Default

    If they are not neutered then you will need to separate them immediately. This is not only going to lead to one becoming hurt but it could ruine your chances of bonding them later on as rabbits can and do hold grudges. They don't forget fights quickly. You are going to need two accommodations at the min living standard and wait until both are neutered, plus the time it takes for the hormones to drain.

    Only neutered buns can really live haply together for the reasons you have just stated.

    Hope this helps -- bonding can be a stressful process.

    Welcome to the forum

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Jan 2012
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    IOW
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    Default

    You could try re-bonding them in a neutral space, ie an area where neither rabbit has been. Or you could wait now until they have been spayed and then re-bond them. Female rabbits can be very territorial as they are thinking of where they will have their babies. I hope you can get them both back together but it can't be guaranteed.

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