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Thread: My bonding experience - excessive humping

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dollyanna View Post
    So, things have been going so well, they've been grooming lots and seen a lot more of Odin being really lovely. I had given them some outside space 4 days ago, not much, and that seemed to go ok so then 2 days ago I increased it again. Seemed to be ok, but today has clearly been a humpy kind of day - both have dropped a bit of weight which matches when he is overenthusiastic (though both very much still eating) because of the constant exercise. Freja has been naked for 5-6 days but tonight I noticed a few small nips in those bald patches so I've put it back on her for tonight to protect her. Both still happy, but Odin is more anxious and I think that's where the humping is coming from. Not sure if something spooked him/them or if it's a response to the increase in space :-/
    Will watch carefully tomorrow and see how things develop. And won't be changing anything else until they settle down again and put on a bit of weight.
    This is so hard, especially with the uncertainty about his status. But I can't see that he would have settled down as much as he did if it was purely hormone driven, and even though he is following her and humping it isn't very intense, more mounting than humping really.
    I'm sorry that this 'blip' has happened. I would think it's likely to have been a result of the increase in space. If necessary I would put them back to the area where they were last OK.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omi View Post
    I'm sorry that this 'blip' has happened. I would think it's likely to have been a result of the increase in space. If necessary I would put them back to the area where they were last OK.
    Thank you, for the sympathy and the thoughts - this is what I was wondering, I might just keep them indoors again for a couple of days and see if he settles down. Maybe I moved too quickly with expanding the outside space.
    I've just shut him in part of their space for an hour or so, just to give her chance to eat as I don't want her losing any more weight before they settled down, think she's doing growth spurts at the same time so is not recovering as quickly in the past couple of days! Hoping that shutting him in doesn't exacerbate things, but she needs to eat and rest, and they are still basically in the same space - I designed it to easily split if needed by just putting the gate in the gap.

  3. #13

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    For the sake of anyone else who might find it useful in the future I'll keep updating.
    Last night I sat with them for quite a while just to watch and observe. Whilst there was an increase in humping, there was still an awful lot of just dominant behaviour before he actually got round to mounting - and Freja was totally unbothered by it. Her eyes are bright and clear, she didn't attempt to move away until he got too vigorous with the humping, and sought him out when she got spooked by noises. So I think it has been as a result of increasing their space - I'm going to leave it as it is with the outside space for a good couple of weeks now, they are both very keen to get out in the morning so I don't want to take it away again if I can help it.
    This morning no huge amount of additional fluff, and they have eaten really well overnight in contrast to the night before. Freja very happy and no new sores (these aren't big, just when he nips he doesn't have any fluff to grab so he is catching her, but they are healing very quickly). Poor girl really doesn't have a lot of fluff when you look closely but at a glance she still has a good coat, it's just the areas he focusses on that are a bit naked. Both were very keen to go outside so I left some food out there for them in the sun and they went straight to eating, which is a good sign from Odin. The atmosphere was a lot calmer too, so hopefully we're moving forwards again!!

  4. #14

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    Aww I'm so pleased it's going well for you.

    I remember last time we did this, any change in area space knocked thing back a bit and then it recovered again.

    Fingers crossed they'll settle in well.

    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

  5. #15
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    I remember when I bonded my pair, the buck was neutered and 7 years old, the doe was 3 months old and unneutered. The buck tried to hump every time he could catch the doe for a few days. After a little while, the doe realised that she could very easily out-run him. Firstly, she would run just far enough away so that she was out of danger. Then she became cheeky and would approach the buck, tap his head with her nose and immediately run away, sometimes binkying as she went

  6. #16

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    What a delightful image that creates Omi!! Freja did a little binky this morning on her way out the catflap so she clearly isn't traumatised by it all.
    CarelessSquid I think that is the case here - today they have been much much more settled, spending more time apart (which is a good thing in this case, ie he isn't always with her and anxious) and more often than not he just lies over her rather than humping. They've eaten well and there are no new scabs on Freja, and the previous ones are healing nicely, so we'll just keep things the same for a lot longer this time, and increase it a little more gradually in the future. I think she's put on a little weight too, not feeling quite so skinny today.

  7. #17

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    So, it's been a little rough the last few days, nothing really dramatic but humping just wasn't settling down as much as I'd like and Freja was struggling with keeping her weight as a result. We've started taking Odin out to play just outisde the pen and giving her chance to really stock up with some different foods that would be too much for him which has already taken a good effect 2 days on, so we'll continue with that. She is still growing after all, so will need more than him!
    Odin's not been bad, but just tedious, and Freja's baldy bits were testament to it. Actually worse on her back legs, he just kept nipping her to move her, more than he was mounting. She was still very happy and not at all worried by him. But it worried me.
    Yesterday I bought some PetRemedy spray, and tried just spraying it on my hands and then stroking it over each of them. Before I put it on we'd seen him trying to hump, then he was taken out to let Freja eat and we wiped them both while they were apart.
    When we put them back together they were just lovely! No humping, just groomed, and snuggled, and ate.
    Went back for midnight check and gave them both another wipe. Sat with them for nearly an hour, they were not hungry, yet both were just magic - never had that feeling with them before. They both nibbled away at things, came for cuddles, groomed each other (Odin spent more time grooming Freja than I've ever seen before), climbed on us, played with stuff, just were generally an absolute delight with us and with each other. Not one hump, not even a climb on top or chin over. Totally different.
    As we left (always a trigger) there was a brief chase and hump but Freja just moved into the cardboard castle I've just built them - and Odin gave up and came back out to us!! That's NEVER happened before!!
    And then this morning, same again - didn't wipe them but all the time we were there they were friendly inquisitive, mutually grooming (a lot of Odin to Freja), nibbling, not a speck of humping or overt dominance.
    Maybe coincidence, will see what tonight brings, but last night was just amazing, finally got a glimpse of what it's all for, what it's like to have 2 really happy bonded rabbits, and I love it.

  8. #18
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    I'm really hoping that the lovely behaviour continues Once again you've proved that doing something different i.e. the pet remedy spray, has produced the right result.

  9. #19

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    Been 11 days since my last update and wow, how far they have come!! The past week has just been a delight. We are now at several days since they were last seen humping, Freja's hair is growing back beautifully with all nicks and grazes healed fully, they spend so much time together snuggling, grooming, eating side by side, just beautiful to see. But the most dramatic change has been their attitudes towards - they are so amazingly friendly, cuddly, curious, playful now, almost overnight. It's as if now they are both content with each other and feel safer as a pair they now have the capacity to include us in their lives more. Having seen that difference I would never have a single rabbit again by choice - we never saw this level of friendliness and happiness from Odin when he was on his own.
    Having left the outside space the same for 10days or so now, today we opened up a bit more to give them access to some grass and herbs, nearly doubling the space they have, and not without some trepidation. But they both just walked in and started exploring and eating, and there has been no deterioration in behaviour whatsoever - just happy bunnies. I'll give them another few days, maybe a week, as it is, then give them the whole lower floor outside, and then finally all being well in a couple of weeks we can give them the tunnels and ramps to the second level again - Odin's favourite place!
    We used the petremedy spray for about a week, waiting until we saw humping to apply but at the first sign just wiping our lightly sprayed hands over them both which more or less instantly stopped it. So as the behaviour reduced, so did the use of the spray.

  10. #20
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    I'm so happy for you And of course happy for your bunnies, who clearly are enjoying their lives a lot more now they are bonded. I would agree with you that it's probably because they are feeling more confident that they are behaving differently towards you.

    I don't think that you will have any problems now with increasing their area, but doing it slowly like you suggest is making doubly sure

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