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Thread: Will My Bunny Starve Himself

  1. #1
    New Kit
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Will My Bunny Starve Himself

    I recently bonded my pair of neutered males with a 3rd neutered male. The bonding process seemed to have gone well, all 3 bunnies lived together for a week with no fighting however once I gave them access to the garden one of my original bunnies seems to have removed himself from the group. They have constant access to Indoors/outdoor and while one of my pair and the new bunny happily go between indoors/outdoors the 3rd bunny from my original pair seems to have decided to now live outside & I have noticed he runs away from the new bunny now. My point is, I feed the rabbits indoors. Will my bunny starve himself out of stubbornness not wanting to go indoors for food or will be eventually give in and go inside to eat? I'm trying to avoid feeding him outdoors and I fear this will only break them apart further and also don't wish to attract other wildlife.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    He must be afraid of the other rabbit which could cause stress and stop him from eating. You can't force him to go indoors to eat (he may just need more time to get used to the other rabbit) so you need to give him his food outside. There shouldn't be any food left for "wildlife" as if your rabbits are anything like mine, they will find it and scoff it. Mine go round the garden hoping I've dropped some (I hardly ever do) but sometimes I do. It seems very sad they are not all happy with the new arrangement.

  3. #3
    Mama Doe
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    Maybe provide him with hay in the outside bit? Hay should be the main part of their diet anyway, and it won't attract pests like a bowl of commercial rabbit food. Only a small amount of pellets should be fed daily - mine get a small handful each per day.

    You can use a hay rack or hanging basket type arrangement to keep it off the floor. If you are worried that he isn't eating, you need to monitor hos weight weekly and keep an eye on his poo daily. If they change (ie losing weight and smaller poo), you need to reassess the arrangement.

    Do you have anything that can provide an additional shelter outdoors? eg a tunnel or smaller hideaway box.

    Hopefully, they will settle down over time and form a more equal partnership. If there is no aggression, I wouldn't be too worried.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe TheBee's Avatar
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    He isn’t being stubborn, he is scared. If you want to persevere with this bond I would reduce space and go back to basics, and not increase the space back up until all three bunnies are happy and more relaxed. If this doesn’t happen I would not push the bond.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBee View Post
    He isn’t being stubborn, he is scared. If you want to persevere with this bond I would reduce space and go back to basics, and not increase the space back up until all three bunnies are happy and more relaxed. If this doesn’t happen I would not push the bond.
    Agree!

  6. #6
    Forum Buddy Liz47's Avatar
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    I have similar with one of my rabbits, my trio fell out and one rabbit was too scared to go near the other two to eat. She was spending time separated so I put a hay rack close by her but she wouldn't eat pellets/veg anyway near the other two. I had to separate one who was causing aggression but this bun was still too scared to eat with her original companion. She must've been eating something as was pooing but they were tiny and dark, I was too worried about gut stasis to leave her so had to go back to basics and rebond the original pair. A small, neutral space and after a few nights she began to eat again with him. I had to take it very slowly and gradually introduce more space/enrichments so I'd go back a step with your bunnies and reduce space

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