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Thread: Newbie bonding a pair advice

  1. #1
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    48

    Default Newbie bonding a pair advice

    Hello

    I'm very excited as I'm going to be adopting a French Lop (6kg) in July. I'm also scared because I'm going to be bonding her with my Dutch rabbit Zigzag (just over 2kg). The French Lop is super friendly and gentle and currently lives with 3 cats, and Zigzag is still quite nervous, but also lovely this will be the first time I've ever bonded rabbits.

    MightyMax sent me some great links and videos on how to bond rabbits, I've also read the advice on this forum. I know you will all have different ways of bonding, but I'd appreciate any advice.

    Zigzag is free range, and our flat isn't that big. But he rarely goes into our bedroom, kitchen or bathroom. I should also add that (unfortunately!) I work full time so can't watch the bond all the time.

    From what I've read I am more in favour of putting them both in a neutral space and watching them closely, compared to nearby enclosures and a slow bond.. Although I've also read that you should put them together for 10 minute sessions...

    Anyway, I will stop waffling now!

    I'd appreciate advice on the size of the enclosure, and how long they should be in the space for. I'm prepared to watch them very closely, and my partner will be around too.

    Any other advice for a newbie would also be welcome

    Thanks xx

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    IOW
    Posts
    14,017

    Default

    Possibly the best way to go about this, considering you are bringing a female home to meet a male - this is usually the easier way - is to decide which room you want to introduce them in. So, if you choose the kitchen you would put Zigzag in first then pop the female in. He will want to chase her for a while which is the norm and can continue like this for 2 or 3 days. Hopefully she will keep running away which is a good sign, and hopefully she won't get on the defensive and maybe attack him. If all is well ie no fighting in the first 2 or 3 hours I would then keep them together, no separating, and in 3 days you should find them eating closer together and you have 2 bonding rabbits. They won't be fully bonded, that takes time usually, although it depends on their personalities. Have a few treats handy and lots of hay, and I hope it is a success. If you have anymore question do not hesitate to ask us.

  3. #3
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Possibly the best way to go about this, considering you are bringing a female home to meet a male - this is usually the easier way - is to decide which room you want to introduce them in. So, if you choose the kitchen you would put Zigzag in first then pop the female in. He will want to chase her for a while which is the norm and can continue like this for 2 or 3 days. Hopefully she will keep running away which is a good sign, and hopefully she won't get on the defensive and maybe attack him. If all is well ie no fighting in the first 2 or 3 hours I would then keep them together, no separating, and in 3 days you should find them eating closer together and you have 2 bonding rabbits. They won't be fully bonded, that takes time usually, although it depends on their personalities. Have a few treats handy and lots of hay, and I hope it is a success. If you have anymore question do not hesitate to ask us.
    Hi Tonibun

    Thanks again for your reply. will follow your advice. I think Iím likely to bond them in our bedroom, so I know whatís going on at night. In the other thread you mentioned a small v large space, would you be able to recommend the rough size pen I should use for my bond?

    should I also stay with them for the first 2-3 days? Finally do I put 2 litter trays inside and toys etc?

    Lots of questions So thank you for helping xx

    I found this video on YouTube, and will probably follow this approach https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T7qraiZ8g6M

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    IOW
    Posts
    14,017

    Default

    I have watched the video but I have never bonded rabbits exactly like that. I've bonded over 50 pairs but I have used a large area with lots to do in it. If doubtful for the first night I have separated them and re-continued the following morning. By the second night I have felt they could be trusted. Fights usually break out within the first hour or so, after that it's just chasing by the buck for a day or two. If nothing too much happens in the first hour or so then it's a very good sign. If you are going to use a pen then 4 x 2 seems to be the favourite size, but you can't get much else in except hay. In the video the human made it clear he was in charge so to speak and in a sense we have to give them that impression. You should be able to leave them together unsupervised after 3 days.

  5. #5
    Young Bun
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Thanks again for your reply. Amazed you've bonded over 50 pairs! I think I'll probably bond in a bigger space; we have NEC cage pieces so can make the space as large or small as we want. I think it would be helpful to have a few distractions as well.

    Still quite nervous, unsure whether I can do this as I don't have experience. My partner is very concerned! But I guess you have to start somewhere

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