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Thread: Bonding diary, would really appreciate any advice as I go along to keep us right!

  1. #1

    Default Bonding diary, would really appreciate any advice as I go along to keep us right!

    Hi
    I have a three year old girl called Charlotte (but now we just call her Bun). We are trying to bond her with Peter, a neutered 3 year old from a rescue centre. He's up for adoption as he lost his partner if they bond we will adopt him. If you have access to Instagram there's some videos and pictures to accompany this diary @charlottethebunnyrabbit

    Set up: Bun lives in a large dog crate with wooden house, litter tray and a bridge suspended from the cage roof. We originally had Peter in a dog pen attached to Bun's cage. He has a wooden house and litter tray too. As soon as we put Peter in the cage they went for each other straight away through the bars between both their cages. We reinforced this wall with part of another cage, leaving about a 2 inch gap where they couldn't touch but could share hay through the space. They go about their business when they are in the cages and now don't seem phased by each other (groom themselves, floor over and look relaxed). We swap their cages every night.
    Bun is a house rabbit and the living room (where both their cages are) is where she has her exercise. We let them out one at a time and keep the other in their cage, hidden under towels/blankets. If we leave a gap with some of the cage exposed they go for each other through the bars so we need to be very careful.

    Date 1 (day 2): First date was in an empty bathtub with some hay and lettuce. They ignored each other mostly although Bun didn’t mind Peter resting his head on her or bumping into her. Kept it short to just about 5-10 mins then put them back in their cages (swapped again) and rewarded with treats. They didn't eat anything.

    Date 2 (day 3): bath again. indifferent again, Bun was happy to eat treats but we couldn’t tempt Peter with any food. He looked quite nervous, nose was moving lots and his heart seemed to be beating very fast but we just kept petting them both. He did try to put his head under Bun’s tummy, then she stood on him and jumped (flew!) out of the bath but we put her back and she started eating again. It didn't seem aggressive, she’s always been opportunistic! There was one small nip from Bun after this, we separated them and made sure they ended on a positive note. By the end they were both kind of snuggling top to tail with each others heads resting in the others side.

    Date 3 (day 4): Bath again. Towel down to help settle Peter. Didn’t go as well they sat resting against each other for a few minutes but then Peter nipped Bun and they had a bit of a fight they weren’t really clawing just trying to nip/bite head on which was frightening. we separated them with a dust pan and kept them away from each other for a few minutes, but they did it again so we got them both out to their cages. Lots of fur flying (mostly from Bun)

    Would really appreciate any advice as I go along to help keep us right. Thanks

    Poppy

  2. #2
    Moderator chul's Avatar
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    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Perhaps it would be better for the rescue to try bonding them as Bun is very likely territorial and will not like another rabbit in her territory.

  4. #4
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Perhaps it would be better for the rescue to try bonding them as Bun is very likely territorial and will not like another rabbit in her territory.
    This

    Is Bun spayed?

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Perhaps it would be better for the rescue to try bonding them as Bun is very likely territorial and will not like another rabbit in her territory.
    they don't offer that service unfortunately yes Bun is spayed. We are actually moving house next Friday (not ideal timing I know) but this will be 100% neutral to both of them which could work if we were to take a break until then and have a fresh start?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
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    That sounds perfect. I would put them straight together and hope they get along. Don't let your female have anything that might smell of her. Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Day 4: we didn’t have a date today after the fight last night. Gave them both a break from each other. They still had time to play out individually and were very interested in each other’s cages...

    Day 5: tried in bath again tonight. Lay them side by side and stroked them both but unfortunately Bun went for Peter again. Separated and tried to end on a positive note but she did it again, he nipped back and we had to forcefully separate again. Put them at different ends of the barh separated with a dustpan and managed to end on a “good” note.

    Think we will definitely wait until we’ve moved house now as don’t want to let things get any worse where we might not be able to go back we’d hate to not be able to keep him!

    Poppy

  8. #8

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    Oh dear...
    We moved house on Friday, gave both rabbits a few days to get settled in the new environment, staying in their own cages. Unfortunately we left cages a bit too close at one point and they went at each other through the bars again.
    Today we tried another bonding session in a play pen on grass in the garden, completely neutral to them both. They went for each other straight away again, Peter was trying to mount, Bun wasn’t having any of it, loads of nipping and scrapping
    We separated them, stroked and gave them a treat each which they munched down, then they had another fight. Loads of fur lots
    Afterwards Peter was making a grunting/wheezing sound I’ve never heard a rabbit make before. Stopped the date and put them both in their cages again.
    Not looking very promising is it

  9. #9

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    Try a car journey, a lot of people recommend this as they get quite nervous in the car. I have not yet tried this but please keep this updated it's interesting as my two aren't liking each other from a distance at the moment so would love to know if you make any progress!

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