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Thread: Bonding a quad

  1. #1
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    Default Bonding a quad

    Been a while since I last posted about our new guy Jim.
    He sailed through his neuter & vaccs, has been outside for a few months & is loving all the extra room. He's side by side with our trio, who have accepted him without any issues
    Our trio is 11yr old Zak & 2 sisters aged around 5, Janis & Joni. I honestly thought Zak would take issue with Jim, but they've been fine. I see a lot of great behaviour through the bars of the runs, zero aggression. Sadly Jim hasn't been around other rabbits til now, so he is lacking in a few skills. For example, I see Zak demanding grooming, but Jim doesn't seem to know what to do. There's no real hierarchy in the trio - Zak is nominal boss, but Joni is food boss & pushes the others out of the way & Janis is the boldest, first to investigate.

    I've decided to try putting them together, but am not sure what to do next. Should I try intros yet? If so, do I attempt all 4 together or is it better to try one at a time?
    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?
    I did think it might help to put some banana on Zak's head, maybe that'll trigger Jim to groom him.
    Current residents :
    Zak, Janis, Joni & Jim rabbits
    Heidi, Aaron & Bea Guinea pigs
    Stan & Minnie dogs
    Fat Eddie Cat
    Leadbelly, Jelly & Bo Degus
    Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart & Dame Maggie Smith Chinchillas

    & 2 hairy manbabies!

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Default

    Personally I wouldn't do it but I would think putting all 4 together in a neutral space is the way to go. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randomname View Post
    Been a while since I last posted about our new guy Jim.
    He sailed through his neuter & vaccs, has been outside for a few months & is loving all the extra room. He's side by side with our trio, who have accepted him without any issues
    Our trio is 11yr old Zak & 2 sisters aged around 5, Janis & Joni. I honestly thought Zak would take issue with Jim, but they've been fine. I see a lot of great behaviour through the bars of the runs, zero aggression. Sadly Jim hasn't been around other rabbits til now, so he is lacking in a few skills. For example, I see Zak demanding grooming, but Jim doesn't seem to know what to do. There's no real hierarchy in the trio - Zak is nominal boss, but Joni is food boss & pushes the others out of the way & Janis is the boldest, first to investigate.

    I've decided to try putting them together, but am not sure what to do next. Should I try intros yet? If so, do I attempt all 4 together or is it better to try one at a time?
    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?
    I did think it might help to put some banana on Zak's head, maybe that'll trigger Jim to groom him.

    Hi there

    I bonded a quad not so long ago, and I put them all together in a (fairly) neutral space.

    Do any of these help at all?

    http://rabbit.org/the-most-important...g-is-patience/

    http://actionforrabbits.co.uk/bonding.html

    http://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk...nding-bunnies/ (good for pair bonding)

    http://www.fatfluffs.com/info/bonding/

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...68#post6934868


    Book in RWAF shop:

    https://shop.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pro...iona-campbell/


    Mischief and Tinkerís Mum
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...y-trios-videos!

    Also, Mairwen Guard has put some brilliant bonding videos on YouTube which are well worth watching - do search for them as there are quite a few.

  4. #4
    Young Bun randomname's Avatar
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    North East UK
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    Thanks both of you

    Some great stuff there. Especially the video diary. Thank you so much.

    I bonded the trio, but it was many years ago, I had forgotten the logistics of it all, the videos bought it all back. I bonded them in a pen in the kitchen, I slept on the floor for a week to make sure they were ok. It was super easy surprisingly, as Zak has a history of blood & terror & rampage! They all took to each other, but the actual rearranging of everyone's life for a week, never leaving them alone for a second - all of it was easier then, we had more room & less animals at the sanctuary.

    Finding a neutral space that's open for a week, finding a way to supervise that doesn't interfere with everyone's schedules & not being able to do much else myself will be a thousand times harder this time round. Hadn't thought much about that 'til I watched those videos. Logistical nightmare.

    I actually started off thinking Jim was going to be bonded with a 5th rabbit & they'd have their own set up. When I put him outside he was far away from the trio as I didn't want to set them off fighting. As it happens, the girls were instantly curious & friendly, Zak ignored him. I moved Jim nearby, about 3m away & again same reactions, Jim was desperate to see them too. I moved them a meter away & all 4 spent all day & night as close as possible. Zak started interacting with Jim more & they all seem to really like each other. 2 weeks ago I moved them together, side by side, but with enough gap they couldn't touch each other. All I'm seeing is positives - they always greet each other happily, little binkies, no territorial pooping or weeing in that area, laying down side by side through the runs, sharing food through the bars (or rather Joni pulling Jim's greens through the bars & him letting her!) This week I moved them so they could get their noses touching, the bar spacing allows them to bite or nip if they wanted, but there's nothing. Lots of grooming from the girls to Jim, Jim kinda nuzzling them back, Zak & Jim nose to nose all relaxed & friendly & Zak putting his head down for grooming.

    I'm still open to Jim getting his own set up, I never thought the trio would tolerate him, but he's been a big hit with the girls & Zak seems to like him. Obviously that could all change with face to face introductions, but it seems a shame not to try. They'd all have more space if I could get them together plus it's going to be months before I can get Jim a friend/new set up.

    Do you think Zak's ancient age is a factor in all this? Is he told old to accept another friend? He's super healthy, not showing any signs of age at all. I can't help but wonder if I could wait until he passes then introduce Jim to the girls, but Zak could have years & years left I suppose, we don't know. That wouldn't be fair on Jim at all.
    Current residents :
    Zak, Janis, Joni & Jim rabbits
    Heidi, Aaron & Bea Guinea pigs
    Stan & Minnie dogs
    Fat Eddie Cat
    Leadbelly, Jelly & Bo Degus
    Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart & Dame Maggie Smith Chinchillas

    & 2 hairy manbabies!

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    41,404

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    Quote Originally Posted by randomname View Post
    Thanks both of you

    Some great stuff there. Especially the video diary. Thank you so much.

    I bonded the trio, but it was many years ago, I had forgotten the logistics of it all, the videos bought it all back. I bonded them in a pen in the kitchen, I slept on the floor for a week to make sure they were ok. It was super easy surprisingly, as Zak has a history of blood & terror & rampage! They all took to each other, but the actual rearranging of everyone's life for a week, never leaving them alone for a second - all of it was easier then, we had more room & less animals at the sanctuary.

    Finding a neutral space that's open for a week, finding a way to supervise that doesn't interfere with everyone's schedules & not being able to do much else myself will be a thousand times harder this time round. Hadn't thought much about that 'til I watched those videos. Logistical nightmare.

    I actually started off thinking Jim was going to be bonded with a 5th rabbit & they'd have their own set up. When I put him outside he was far away from the trio as I didn't want to set them off fighting. As it happens, the girls were instantly curious & friendly, Zak ignored him. I moved Jim nearby, about 3m away & again same reactions, Jim was desperate to see them too. I moved them a meter away & all 4 spent all day & night as close as possible. Zak started interacting with Jim more & they all seem to really like each other. 2 weeks ago I moved them together, side by side, but with enough gap they couldn't touch each other. All I'm seeing is positives - they always greet each other happily, little binkies, no territorial pooping or weeing in that area, laying down side by side through the runs, sharing food through the bars (or rather Joni pulling Jim's greens through the bars & him letting her!) This week I moved them so they could get their noses touching, the bar spacing allows them to bite or nip if they wanted, but there's nothing. Lots of grooming from the girls to Jim, Jim kinda nuzzling them back, Zak & Jim nose to nose all relaxed & friendly & Zak putting his head down for grooming.

    I'm still open to Jim getting his own set up, I never thought the trio would tolerate him, but he's been a big hit with the girls & Zak seems to like him. Obviously that could all change with face to face introductions, but it seems a shame not to try. They'd all have more space if I could get them together plus it's going to be months before I can get Jim a friend/new set up.

    Do you think Zak's ancient age is a factor in all this? Is he told old to accept another friend? He's super healthy, not showing any signs of age at all. I can't help but wonder if I could wait until he passes then introduce Jim to the girls, but Zak could have years & years left I suppose, we don't know. That wouldn't be fair on Jim at all.

    Glad you are finding them helpful

    The oldest rabbit I have bonded was a 13 year old, so Zak isn't too old! Bonding is stressful but having companions is a great thing and if he's healthy then it might be worth you having a go

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