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Bonding Bella again

Hi Craig, thank you so much again for all this. Bellas territory is a huge bit of garden area & shed. I do have neutral places like bathroom & rooms in house she hadn’t been. My friend has a male that’s going to a rescue & she said we coukd try with him & Bella. He’s not been neutered though that’s the problem. I thought if he came I could have him booked in right away to get done & keep them separate until he recovered & hormones went down & then try to bond? Would that work ok? Xx

Hi Craig, thank you so much again for all this. Bellas territory is a huge bit of garden area & shed. I do have neutral places like bathroom & rooms in house she hadn’t been. My friend has a male that’s going to a rescue & she said we coukd try with him & Bella. He’s not been neutered though that’s the problem. I thought if he came I could have him booked in right away to get done & keep them separate until he recovered & hormones went down & then try to bond? Would that work ok? Xx

This sounds ok - I’m so pleased you would get the make rabbit neutered first - absolutely the right thing to do and shows how much you care and your knowledge of rabbits. His hormones will take between 6-8 weeks to subside post op tho.
Your neutral house areas will be good to utilise - again, excellent on your part.
I know this is still very much a difficult time and transitional so please give yourself some time and be kind to yourself.
Craig x

Hi Craig, I know & thank you. I’m still a wreak crying again. My head is all over but I’m just trying to think of Bella to get her a friend soon to help her. I worry if not soon she may be less likely to accept or if to don Iv ruined it. I think keep him away until recovery & chance for hormones to go before bringing him here at all. Would that be best? I had searched the forum on bonding & lots of different ways to do it so I’m confused as to what’s best as Iv had no experience in rabbit bonding. Xx


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Hello everyone, good news for Bella (well here’s hoping) so I phoned the sspca as I seen another few rabbits just on today. They think they have a neutered boy for Bella & are going to help & get back to me. Unfortunately my friend is keeping her boy. Well her daughter wants to do nothing I can do. She’s told her if she doesn’t to his cleaning & feeding then she can’t keep him. She’s making a bunny proof enclosure in the garden & I offered to help so he can have a big space to run around as he’s currently stuck in hutch. Hopefully it works out. I hope to hear soon about this boy for Bella. Fingers crossed I’m able to bond her. If not I won’t give up & keep looking as they have other boys but they are not neutered boys. If it doesn’t work maybe they will let me try with one of them boys & I will pay for neutering. I’d have thought they would get all rabbits spayed/neutered when they arrived in their care but she said they give owners vouchers off. Will keep everyone posted. Bella jumped straight into my arms at vets & cuddled in. She’s been getting lots of love right now xx


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I hope it all works out well for you, Bella and your friend's bunny. Let us know what happens.

Hi, Iv got good news [emoji846]. I thought I’d do a post her for all to see. The sspca just phoned & we are going to try bonding Bella to Morgan. They need to do home check etc & I need to fill out a request to give him a home on the website. He’s a neutered male & 7-8 months old. They said if it doesn’t work they will take him back. He’s had all his vaccines also. So now I need to sort out how to do it. Bellas been in the house so far since losing shadow. My new sheds on way but said can take 28 days & only ordered it a few days ago. The sspca weren’t the best for advice really on how to but they said about puppy pens side by side just so they don’t get to eachother through bars as they might bite each others mouth. I’m thinking bellas shed/home is not the best place as it’s her territory. Now I need to buy something to keep them separate but don’t know what to get & how. I don’t know how I would split the shed if I did that or what what with anyway. Should I get some temporary cages like indoor rabbit ones to put each in side by side or a puppy cage each? Please can I have some help to do this as I really don’t want it to fail. I want to do it right but Iv never done before. Where do I start & go from here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as it’s really happening so I’m excited & nervous about the outcome xx


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I hope it all works out well for you, Bella and your friend's bunny. Let us know what happens.

Thank you, I put a post on this thread it’s good news you can read it [emoji846]. Hopefully found a friend for Bella but need all the advice I can get xx


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Have you go somewhere Bella has not been? If not it will be best if you can keep both Rabbits separate until the new shed is up then you will have a perfect space in which to bond them. Bear in mind if they are in a warm environment they will start to lose their winter coat. It sounds like it is going to get colder in Scotland so you are the best person to judge how to do things. I wouldn't put the new Bunny too close to Bella as she is older and might not like the intrusion of a strange Rabbit at first. I have just re-bonded 2 in 15minutes as the owners had been trying since August. They had been misinterpreting some behaviour, so we need to do your bond very carefully.
 
Have you go somewhere Bella has not been? If not it will be best if you can keep both Rabbits separate until the new shed is up then you will have a perfect space in which to bond them. Bear in mind if they are in a warm environment they will start to lose their winter coat. It sounds like it is going to get colder in Scotland so you are the best person to judge how to do things. I wouldn't put the new Bunny too close to Bella as she is older and might not like the intrusion of a strange Rabbit at first. I have just re-bonded 2 in 15minutes as the owners had been trying since August. They had been misinterpreting some behaviour, so we need to do your bond very carefully.

Morning Toni, thank you for your help. Bella has been inside the last 3 nights but has her shed & enclosure though the day. Is that a bad thing? I don’t want to make her lose her winter coat or cause her to not be cold when out. I only took her in as I thought mostly the sounds & company of us would help her & incase she got cold as her & shadow cuddled a lot especially when resting & sleeping even in the outside enclosure through the day & night. I worried she would feel alone so that’s why I thought I should do it but hope Iv not upset or caused her any harm. I didn’t know it could cause her to lose her winter coat being in so thank you for telling me that. The sheds on the way so that’s great as it will be a brand new living neutral space for both. So glad I ordered a new one for the meet to take place. I can always get a small enclosure to go in their to introduce them as do you think the big shed will be to big a space if say they started to fight? Yes she’s an older girl & was the dominant one of the 2 girls. I have bedrooms upstairs that Bella hasn’t been in or I have the downstairs room where our piggies are which I could use for the other rabbit for the time being would that be ok? Would it be ok to put him in a run in the garden away from Bella for outdoor time or should I keep him in till they are hopefully bonded? Just waiting to hear back from the sspca on when we will get the new boy. He was neutered in sept they said but I wandered if it’s not been enough time for the hormones to go. That’s great you bonded in 15 mins gives me hope. I don’t know why the sspca said to keep them side by side! Especially to a new first time owner as if I’d not been on here I wouldn’t have known any better xx


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Each pair is different in a way. I have never done side-by-side bonding and must have bonded around 50 pairs. You must never try to bond them in the female's territory as she will be protective over it. I always use a big space so that the female can run away from the male as he will want to chase her for a while. It usually takes up to 3 days before they begin to trust one another. If you don't have a big space then maybe side-by-side would be the way to do it, but it will take much longer that way. Regarding letting indoor Rabbits outside, in very cold conditions, it is not recommended that we do this as the change in temperature (esp from hot to cold) can upset Bunny's respiratory system and cause illnesses such as Snuffles. Once a Rabbit has Snuffles it is very difficult to get them better, so a Rabbit is better either staying in or staying out as it isn't worth the risk. The Rescue Rabbit will be fine as enough time has elapsed since his neuter so no problems there.
 
Each pair is different in a way. I have never done side-by-side bonding and must have bonded around 50 pairs. You must never try to bond them in the female's territory as she will be protective over it. I always use a big space so that the female can run away from the male as he will want to chase her for a while. It usually takes up to 3 days before they begin to trust one another. If you don't have a big space then maybe side-by-side would be the way to do it, but it will take much longer that way. Regarding letting indoor Rabbits outside, in very cold conditions, it is not recommended that we do this as the change in temperature (esp from hot to cold) can upset Bunny's respiratory system and cause illnesses such as Snuffles. Once a Rabbit has Snuffles it is very difficult to get them better, so a Rabbit is better either staying in or staying out as it isn't worth the risk. The Rescue Rabbit will be fine as enough time has elapsed since his neuter so no problems there.

Hi Toni, thank you so much for all this. I’m going to go with what you’ve said & you have lots of experience. I have double bedrooms that are a good size that bellas never been in so I could use one to do the bonding as the new rabbit won’t have been in there either. I just want to check about the doing over 3 days. Does that mean I take them in to the neutral space & stay a while depending how it goes & then separate them again, put Bella back in her place & keep the other male somewhere else? Ot could the make stay in the chosen bonding room until the next bonding session or should he go somewhere else & should I keep the bonding space only for bonding sessions? & take them back & let them loose again in the neutral space? I will put Bella back outside again. She was only in 3 nights so should be ok. I don’t want her to get sniffles or unwell. The new shed won’t be to long coming so she can go back in hers meantime. She’s out there near all day in her shed & enclosure & was just taking her in at night but will stop that. Xx


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Just had a phone call from the sspca & having a home check on sat [emoji846]. Then we should be able to pick him up & try the bonding. I’m so excited but so nervous as I want it to work so bad & will be very distressing to have to put him back if not & very upsetting. Will just have to see what happens xx


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When Ibond2 Rabbits I put them in the bonding space (my 12' shed) and monitor them. The boy will chase the female who should runaway. As soon as I see her running away I feel very optimistic that it is going to be a success. I have hay to throw down and some food, this takes their mind off each other and we carry on like this. A few hours later I know they are going to be all right as if they were going to fight they would have done so by now. Always start tthe bonding early so you have all day to watch them. I have lots of places for the female to hide. The chasing will slow down the next day and soon you have 2 Rabbits which are happy in each other's company. If you decide to keep separating them you just go back to stage 1 and have to start all over again.

If your female attacks the male ,which is unusual, then you will need to ask for more advice. You will have to separate them and ask for further advice. You must be in charge of the bonding and guide them as to what you want them to do. Always put the male into the bonding space first, then the female.
 
When Ibond2 Rabbits I put them in the bonding space (my 12' shed) and monitor them. The boy will chase the female who should runaway. As soon as I see her running away I feel very optimistic that it is going to be a success. I have hay to throw down and some food, this takes their mind off each other and we carry on like this. A few hours later I know they are going to be all right as if they were going to fight they would have done so by now. Always start tthe bonding early so you have all day to watch them. I have lots of places for the female to hide. The chasing will slow down the next day and soon you have 2 Rabbits which are happy in each other's company. If you decide to keep separating them you just go back to stage 1 and have to start all over again.

If your female attacks the male ,which is unusual, then you will need to ask for more advice. You will have to separate them and ask for further advice. You must be in charge of the bonding and guide them as to what you want them to do. Always put the male into the bonding space first, then the female.

Morning Toni, this is great thank you. I have the downstairs room I can use that neither has been before. Our piggies are in there in a heightened c&c cage but it’s off the floor so I have a big floor area. Would that be ok or would their smell etc upset the bunnies? If it would I have my sons bedroom I coukd use for it. Well I have the sspca at 12 on sat then hopefully after the home check we can pick him up that day I hope. Or I have the next day sun that I will have the whole day to do it. I will prepare the area with hide places but will either get new ones or boxes with holes so as not to use bellas things she already knows are hers. Thank you for saying the chasing happens so I know that’s ok. Would the male try to mount her or her him to establish being the dominant/boss bunny & if so should I allow it or stop it? Xx


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Chasing is normal when bonding, also mounting from the male and fur pulling (if he can catch her!) is also normal. It is just so they know who is the dominant one. It lasts between an hour up to 3 days depending on the Bunnies. I really hope it all goes well and Bella doesn't get feisty. Sunday sounds fine - I should be around. If Bella starts playing up I would speak to her sternly so she knows what she is supposed to be doing, ie being nice to her new friend. I bonded my 10 yr old Lily not long ago and it went very well considering she can be quite feisty.
 
Chasing is normal when bonding, also mounting from the male and fur pulling (if he can catch her!) is also normal. It is just so they know who is the dominant one. It lasts between an hour up to 3 days depending on the Bunnies. I really hope it all goes well and Bella doesn't get feisty. Sunday sounds fine - I should be around. If Bella starts playing up I would speak to her sternly so she knows what she is supposed to be doing, ie being nice to her new friend. I bonded my 10 yr old Lily not long ago and it went very well considering she can be quite feisty.

Morning, that’s great that you bonded your girl [emoji3590]. Bella is definitely feisty lol. Thank you so much for this. At least I know what to expect & what’s normal. I will do what you said if she plays up. I’m so excited but still not allowing myself to get my hopes up incase it doesn’t work until I know it has. Not long now & hopefully after the home check at 12 we can pick him up. The new shed not arriving till 18th nov but I have plenty time prior to establish a bond then am I right in thinking when they are bonded he can go in to bellas current territory/living place? I put her back outside as that’s where she’s used to being after taking your advice. Don’t want her losing her winter coat & getting sniffles xx


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The new shed would be the best place to bond them imo as if you bonded them now and they went back into Bella's territory, she might become protective of it and attack him. This would be because the bond would not be strong enough at this early stage. You don't want to jeopardise it at the start.
 
The new shed would be the best place to bond them imo as if you bonded them now and they went back into Bella's territory, she might become protective of it and attack him. This would be because the bond would not be strong enough at this early stage. You don't want to jeopardise it at the start.

Hi, ok I will wait till I get the new shed. I definitely don’t want to jeopardise it. It’s not coming till 18th of nov though. Or I could take him & he can go in his own room until I get the shed where Bella hasn’t been & just keep him there by himself until the sheds here? It seems such a long time till the 18th & I have thought what if when the time comes & it doesn’t work I then have to put him back after spending time with him & it will be heartbreaking doing that. The new shed will need to go where it can be attached to the outdoor enclosure that bellas had as it’s been attached to our fence & is solid so can’t be moved. The old sheds coming down as it’s not the best. The outdoor enclosure is already her territory & we put so much in to building that outdoor space with roofing & everything for her & shadow & it’s massive. The new bunny would need to use it also with Bella for exercising daily. Does that mean as it’s her territory she may attack him when they go in it? The old shed we made a hatch cut out of it that can open into it so they can go out as they please & back in as couldn’t just have the shed door open to get out that way. At night I close it so Bella is in the shed for security. Although they will get a brand new shed it will still be the same big outdoor enclosure for going outside so technically still her territory xx


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If you are unable to find a Rescue near you who has a suitable Rabbit then if you go onto a Free ad Selling Site there are often Rabbits there ‘free to good home’. These Rabbits are unlikely to be neutered or vaccinated and of course you would not have any back up from a Rescue should the bonding not work out.

For bonding both Rabbits must be neutered. Age and size is not as important as the character of the Rabbit.

You will need a relatively small neutral area to introduce the two Rabbits. Putting the Buck into the bonding space first, waiting for a short while then adding the Doe. Don’t put anything in the bonding pen that either Rabbit can become possessive of.

It is usually better to keep the Rabbits together 24/7 rather than them having ‘dates’ and then being separated. So you would need to be able to dedicate ongoing supervision of the Rabbits for several days at least.

IME you will know very quickly if a bond will never work. I have probably been lucky as in the last 25 years caring for over 150 Rabbits I have only had one failed bond and that was a Trio.

As each bonding will have its own unique elements we will be able to give you more detailed advice once you start the process.

Good luck :)

Hi, I just wanted to check I replied to you? It looks like I have but just to make sure I definitely did? Xx


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The outdoor area isn't so important as it gets wet when it rains so it may not smell as much as indoors. You could try bonding them in the bedroom then and if she likes him you could chance putting them outside. It wouldn't matter so much if it were Summer then you could leave them in the bedroom for a few weeks to strengthen their bond before putting them outside.
 
The outdoor area isn't so important as it gets wet when it rains so it may not smell as much as indoors. You could try bonding them in the bedroom then and if she likes him you could chance putting them outside. It wouldn't matter so much if it were Summer then you could leave them in the bedroom for a few weeks to strengthen their bond before putting them outside.

Morning, phew I’m so glad to hear that. Was getting myself worried about them both in the outdoor area. Thank you for that. Yes I know what you mean about summer, that unfortunate as would love to have them both inside over winter. Bellas been back out again now at night in her shed. Somethings just crossed my mind about the new boy. He’s been indoors at the sspca & will be coming in to the room at ours. When the new shed comes will he be ok now going out to live there if all goes well? I’m thinking he won’t have a winters coat after being inside. Bella of course is used to it but the should snuggle at night as that’s what her & shadow did. When I cuddle her it’s crazy the warmth that comes off her. I can definitely keep them both inside if they get on over winter if needs be & it’s best for both of them. If the bonding didn’t go well on the day would it be ok to separate them & keep trying daily or a few times a day in the bedroom? Xx


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