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Thread: Bonding 2 older males - body language advise please

  1. #1

    Default Bonding 2 older males - body language advise please

    So I'm attempting to bond Charlie (6) and Bobby (8/9). Charlie is pretty much perfectly healthy, Bobby has spinal arthritis, blocked test ducts and ears that accumulate wax.

    I've split Charlie's kitchen in half with a mesh divide, disinfected the whole kitchen
    Charlie has one half, Bobby has the other. Bobby only came home on Friday so 3 days ago.

    Initially completely ignored eachother, will now sniff nose to nose through the mesh. No aggression but Charlie does stamp his feet, do a little run, stiff and stamp his feet again. The he gets bored and they go back to ignoring eachother.

    First time meeting on neutral territory today, Bobby basically barely moved, Charlie mounted him.immediattly and kept.going back to mount his head. I stopped she head mounting each time each he got a nip on his genitals.

    Aside from the Charlie did try nuzzling his head into him and they were both happy for me to give them ear rubs (well Charlie was happy, Bobby was fairly frozen)

    I assume the mounting is fine, just dominance. And the nuzzling I'm taking as a sign of affection?

    Any tips? What body language am I looking out for and how often should I be putting them together?

  2. #2
    Mama Doe binkyCodie's Avatar
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    mounting is fine, but any face mounting should be discouraged. it can leave to nasty genital wounds if they bite, or nasty wounds on the stomach. I don't know why rabbits do it as its so risky! but it is just a dominance thing and something they have to sort out.

    a lot of people seem to basically do cage swapping every day (so put Charlie in Bobby's half, and vise versa) to get used to the scent, and then they do one big bond. so they put them together in a small neutral area, and keep them there, slowing adding space overtime.

    generally you want to be keeping an eye out for fighting, so full on locking or wounds, and I'd say excessive chasing lasting more than a minute. I use a dustpan to put in between them and separate.

    everybody has a different way of bonding. personally I do scent swapping, introductions in a carrier, for a few hours, before moving them to a small 1x1 pen with no toys etc, only hay and a litter box. if its not working out I go back and perhaps to more cage swapping, and perhaps smaller introductions in the carrier for half an hour or so. others bond in large areas instantly with lots of toys etc. it just depends. Id' say as long as its a neutral space with nothing that smells of either bunny, you'd be alright.

    the important thing is that every bonding session ends on a good note and not a bad one..so fighting. ignoring, doing their thing, is a good note. I started offering a high reward treat (carrot) at the end of bonds to end it on a high note. otherwise they seem to associate each other with something negative and I feel it becomes a lot harder.

    other than that..I feel its just how they react/what they do. go on them, some rabbits practically bond themselves, others take a while longer everything sounds good so far!
    rabbits are like angels; they have a way of finding people that need them, and filling an emptiness they didn't even know they had.

  3. #3

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    Thankyou, I think it's going well. They were both sleeping next to the mesh earlier instead of on their usual beds.

    I let them have another meet, half an hour this time as earliers was only about 10 minutes.

    ;Bobby seemed a bit more settled, he was happily eating Dandilion leaves, even while Charlie was humping him! He moved around a little bit too.

    Charlie seems very egar to male friends he's just a little over enthusiastic ���� I think he was trying to ask Bobby to groom his head but Bobby just ignored him.

    They've both been castrated and as far as we know they have both been single there whole lives so I guess it will take a while learn how to communicate.

    I might try them in a sectioned off area of the bedroom tomorrow instead, Bobby struggles to move around on the tiles due to his poorly legs so he's kindda contained to the bayhmats

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