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Thread: When are rabbits bonded? Help with an 'easy' bond

  1. #1
    New Kit
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Swansea
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    Default When are rabbits bonded? Help with an 'easy' bond

    TL;DR - are rabbits bonded if they are coexisting nicely, no fights, sharing litter box and food, occasionally grooming eachother and playing together, even if this is only after 5 days of 24/7 bonding? And is it safe to move them back into the original rabbits territory (albeit fully cleaned and rearranged)? The reason I want to do this as in the neutral territory I can't expand their pen any further, and there's also no natural light.

    Hi everyone, a few weeks ago my partner and I decided that given we were both on furlough for several weeks at least now would be a good time to find a partner for our (estimated) 4 year old spsyed rescue lop Layla. We ended up finding someone locally who was rehoming a 5 1/2 month old neutered male called Ralph and decided to bring Layla along for a bunny date in neutral territory at their house. The bunny date went really well, there was a bit of initial humping from Layla but Ralph didn't seem too upset by this and by the end they were just chilling next to each other so we decided that they seemed to be a good match and took Ralphy home with us, putting them together in the same carrier so not to waste an opportunity to stress bond.

    We did another date in the bathroom later on that night and housed them in pens next to eachother overnight. The next day we put them in a 2 x 1 c and c grid pen and after a small amount of initial humping by Layla they settled down, flopping by eachoyher and Ralphy even groomed her. Because they seemed to be getting on so well we decided to proceed with supervised 24/7 bonding as we thought there was no point splitting them up if they were so comfortable with eachother. That was on Thursday. For the first 2 days there was often a bit of humping when we increased the space, and a small tiff when Ralph binkied on top of Layla but I think that was fair enough to be honest!

    I've seen them both licking eachother, because of the humping I assume layla would be dominant, however Ralphy seems to demand licks off her more often, and about half the time she gives in. She asks for licks less but a lot of the time he'll just start licking her whilst she's flopped. In the last 3 days there hasn't been a single tiff, they have been sharing (new, neutral) toys, litter box and water bowl, been playing with eac and have even been eating meals together without problems (which surprised me a lot as Layla is a bit crazy about food and can get aggressive with us because she came to us extremely underweight and neglected).

    The only thing that makes me a bit unsure if they're bonded is yesterday they seemed a lot less close being in the larger 2x5 cnc grid pen, so yesterday I chose to downgrade them back to 3x2 because they were sleeping in opposite ends of the pen and layla took to sleeping in the litter box (though she wasn't being territorial and would let him get with her when he needed to eat/go toilet). The smaller space worked great and they were snuggling and flopping and grooming eachother more again. They were kept in that space overnight, however today I felt too cruel them being in such a small space, especially with Layla being used to free roaming, so I opened it back up to 2x5, which is the biggest I can get it in the bedroom, which is the only neutral space besides the bathroom (actually its semi neutral, Layla has been in there a handful of times but its not her main area, but were in a 1 bed apartment with a tiny bathroom so its the best we could do).

    Now they are sleeping together and I have seen them groom eachother briefly, and the younger one has been binkying around. What I'm wondering is, is it a good idea to increase the space again tonight, and move them into the living room? This was Layla's main territory before, though I have carpet cleaned, and wiped everything with pet odor remover, and rearranged the furniture so its as unfamiliar as possible. I wish the bedroom was big enough to expand the space more, it also has no natural light (we live on an apartment) so I'm worried about the buns wellbeing because of that.

    I don't want to rush things, but seeming as they've never had a major fight, and it's been days since their last mild tiff I really want to get them in bigger and nicer living conditions cause I feel so mean.

    Any advice appreciated, I've tried to include as much info as possible without this turning into a whole novel, but if you have any questions please do ask as I could have gone into a whole lot more detail!

    Thank you,

    Lucy
    Last edited by lucyb2797; 26-01-2021 at 07:03 PM.

  2. #2

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    I'm no bonding expert, but personally I think I'd feel okay with moving them to the living room to give them more space since they're getting along so well. Hopefully someone who knows more about this will come along and give some advice.

  3. #3

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    If they're relaxed together, and you're seeing their normal behaviour then I would give it a go but be prepared for them to need to move back if it doesnt go well.

    Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    IOW
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    19,143

    Default

    They sound to be getting on great!

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