View Poll Results: Can my bunnies be rebonded?

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  • You should separate and rehome one

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Thread: Fighting Bunnies - Rehoming?

  1. #1

    Default Fighting Bunnies - Rehoming?

    We have 2 Netherland Dwarf bunnies who are 13months old and have both been neutered.

    They have fought once or twice in the past few months but we've always separated them apart and then quickly rebonded them together with feeding and petting.

    This weekend they won't stop fighting. We ended up separating them overnight which isn't ideal as we only have one cage! In the morning when I let one out the bunnies were trying to fight through the cage bars!

    I took them to the bathroom which is neutral territory and stayed with them. They started eating together, bunny flopping and even grooming. After a while we started popping in and out to check on them and I sat with them on and off for 20 minute periods.

    They weren't fighting and were sitting together although the more timid of the two would only sit in the corner.

    When we let them back into our lounge where there cage is they were initially fine but then the fighting restarted and it was really violent.

    They can't be allowed near each other and the more timid one won't run around even when we put his brother in another room. He just sits behind furniture.

    Does anyone have any advice? We don't have two cages so one is now living in our bathroom overnight and one in the cage.

    We looked into rehoming one of them but the waiting lists for shelters are really long!

    Help please!

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    IOW
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    14,219

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    Sadly it looks like they will have to be kept apart. Have you thought about advertising one on Rabbit Rehome?

  3. #3
    Forum Buddy nessar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    8,969

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    Do you know what has set them off? It seems odd that they have gotten along for so long before falling out. Have you introduced a new pet into the house, have you moved where their cage is or changed their cage, has one been ill or had to go to the vets?

    It sounds like they are getting along in the neutral territory (bathroom) but not the disputed territory (lounge). So there may be a chance of saving their bond, but it will take some time and you will need to rebond them properly.

    Temporarily, you will need a new safe place for one of the bunnies to go, maybe someone you know has a spare dog crate? You will also need a completely neutral space that neither have been in before , and a completely neutral pen - like a puppy pen, for bonding. I wouldnít recommend using the bathroom, as to rebond them safely someone will need to be with them 24/7.

    I would recommend getting both vet checked before starting bonding - in my experience if one bunny is ill it can lead to the other bullying them and can cause their bond to break down, so this could be the issue, particularly as one is quiet and sitting in the corner.

    Have a look at bonding threads on here for more info but the basics of bonding are always the same - the space must be neutral, there should be nothing within that space to fight over (no bowls except for water, no hideaways etc) or anything that isnt neutral. You provide a big pile of hay to eat and distract them, awater, put them in together and watch carefully. If they get along, great. In the bonding environment nipping is fine, fur pulling is fine, chasing is fine, humping is fine, face humping and proper fighting is not okay and youíll need to separate them and then resume bonding. You can either bond them for an extended period and keep them together (supervised) the whole time, if their behaviour permits it, this is quicker and depending on their behaviour could take as little as 48 hours to a week, or you can have them together for supervised periods of a few hours and then separate when you canít watch them- this will probably take over a week.

    Before putting them back in their usual area they will need to have had an absolute minimum of continuous 24 hours (but Iíd recommend 48-72) without chasing, nipping, fighting etc. Their usual area and all their things will also need to be thoroughly cleaned with vinegar, which includes any room they have access to- itís a good idea to wash the carpets or spray with vinegar. This is to neutralise the room and stop them fighting once you put them back in it. Donít worry the smell goes in a few hours if you keep the windows open.

    Iíd recommend taking the steps above, maybe this coming weekend - and seeing how you go. Iím sure giving up your pet would be very painful for you, so I want to help you avoid it if possible. There is lots of advice and a lot of experienced members on the forum so use the search function or ask any questions you may have and Iím sure people will be happy to help.
    Last edited by nessar; 18-06-2018 at 12:59 PM.
    IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANYTHING PLEASE SEND ME A PM (OR ASK ANY OF THE OTHER FORUM BUDDIES).

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