Alyssa's Bunny Blog!

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  1. May 26, 2019 #61

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I'm currently outside having another session and let me say that this is the best session yet. We've been outside in the pen for 2+ hours and there has only been two scuffs that I had to break up. The others they worked out on their own. The last scuff happened because there was a giant ant near Lola's butt and while I was trying to get it, I pushed her out of the way and she nipped Bugs and he got angry because he didn't do anything.

    Lola has groomed Bugs a ton during this one. When they want to be groomed, they will push their face against the others. After the first hour, they were doing so well that I had my sister bring out the litterbox. They shared it this time! Lola nipped Bugs when she wanted him to move over but no scuffs happened because of the nip. They have also been snuggling and sharing their veggies. The seem like they will be bonded within a few weeks. I'm going to have a long session tonight also. They're both asleep now!
     
  2. May 26, 2019 #62

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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  3. May 27, 2019 #63

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    Sitting in the pen with them is a good idea at first because you're there to intervene quickly and also provide a bit of comfort (at least to Bugs, in your case)... but once things start going well enough that you're comfortable trusting them a little bit (for me, this is usually around the 3rd or 4th session), it's actually best to stay out of the pen and let them interact with each other without you being in there distracting them. Whether it's "Mr. Broom" (used with our first trio bonding) or "The Stick of Truth" (referred to in one of my quad bonding posts), I always keep something handy that I can use to reach into the pen and disrupt a scuffle in the making. Usually a gentle prodding or brooming is enough to break things up without even having to go in there.

    It sounds like your litter box issues are somewhat resolved after the outdoor session... but it's still worth suggesting that you get an extra large litter box for them to share in the future. Some rabbits are happy cramming into it like sardines to eat together but others prefer some space.

    Also, Bugs and Lola are TOO stinkin' cute!
     
  4. May 27, 2019 #64

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I will stay out of the pen now. I will have to get my "Mr. Broom" for the next sessions.

    I will have two litterboxes for when they're bonded. I can't do today's session outside because it's raining :( I am going to set up the pen to resemble what the cage set up will be like when they're bonded (two litterboxes, water bowls, some toys, etc).

    I can definitely tell they both like to have their "alone time" every once and a while but as you can see, they do like to snuggle! I think being outside helped because it was a change of scenery for Bugs, Lola was more familiar with the outdoor sounds and smells, I got some fresh air, and they got to dig! The bunnies kept eating the weeds and grass. I put a blanket down but they kept pulling it out of the way so I let them. They need a digging box!

    Yesterday, I took the cages apart and set them up next to each other, and it is going well! They seem to run around the cage and follow the other. It's hard to describe. Lola flopped last night right where Bugs was sitting! He seemed confused at first and then he sat down next to her! Lola pulled out some of Bugs's fur, which I believe was her telling him that he's too close to her space.
     
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  5. May 27, 2019 #65

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    The bunnies are having a session now. Only one scuff has happened and the session has been going on for 1 hour. There has been some nipping when they don't move over or they don't groom each other. Bugs is the lazy one this session! He is trying to nap in the litterbox and Lola is coming up to him and shoving her face into his. Right now, they are both relaxing in the same litterbox. Lola is stretched out while Bugs is munching on some hay. I think with me being out of the bathroom, it helps them relax more because Lola isn't too comfortable around me and Bugs tries to get my attention instead of hers.

    I put two litterboxes, a bowl of water, and a couple of toys along with a frozen water bottle in the area. This is very similar to how the cage set up will be.

    I think that in a couple of weeks, I will keep them together all night (while I sleep in the pen) and if they do good, they will be considered bonded. Could I do that in my room? That gives me enough time to get things for the cages. Imbrium, I know you have a picture of a nic cage you built that I remember seeing in a thread not too long ago. Can you post that here? I would like to build something like that.

    Another issue: Lola is shedding a bit and has tufts of fur loose. I need to brush her and attempt to trim her nails, but when I tried, she attacked me! I don't want her ingesting the fur or getting a nail broken off.

    Bugs has just discovered that the bathroom has an air vent too!
     
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  6. May 27, 2019 #66

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    20190527_152205.jpeg 20190527_152233.jpeg 20190527_152915.jpeg 20190527_153205.jpeg 20190527_155305.jpeg 20190527_160640.jpeg 20190527_160821.jpeg 20190527_164022.jpeg 20190527_164029.jpeg Snapchat-373168161.jpeg Snapchat-1340155702.jpeg
    As I posted this Bugs flopped on the air vent, which is his signature move!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  7. May 28, 2019 #67

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

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    I guess we know who the boss is going to be in this relationship. Little miss bossy boots :p

    Will she let you brush her with your hand instead? For the nail trims, I had a rabbit that would full out bite, so I had to lay her on my lap on a towel in the crease of my legs, with her head covered with the towel while I hurried and trimmed the nails. I didn't have anyone to help me hold her for nail trims, and this was the only way I could do it without her biting my hand off. If you have someone to help you, you may be able to do it with them holding her and they have gloves and a coat on for protection just in case, while you trim the nails. Other option would be taking your bun to the vet and paying them to trim her nails.

    If you were ever wanting to switch to one extra large litter box instead of two medium ones, I got mine from home depot(or lowes) for $6. It's a a 20x27 black mortar mixing tray(though they do have an even larger one than that,), and is found near the bags of cement.
     
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  8. May 28, 2019 #68

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    She sure is! She's very demanding towards him (kiss me, move over, steal me a treat) and I'm surprised he goes along with it! He is used to being the boss of me and getting whatever he wants.

    She doesn't let me touch her at all. When she's with Bugs, however, she lets me pet her anywhere. I don't want to groom her when she's with him during a session because if she gets mad, she may nip at him. They will have a vet appointment soon so I may just get her nails clipped there. Money's a bit tight for the bunnies and I so I may just get my sister to help me. Getting bitten is worth saving that $40.

    I actually think I may try that litter box actually! For one, I just checked and it's $10 ish dollars cheaper than the litterboxes I was going to get.

    In this picture below, you can see that Bugs stuck his head under Lola as she was peeing. I thought that was worth pointing out as it made me laugh when I realized what was actually happening.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. May 28, 2019 #69

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I think the bunnies are just ready to be together at this point. They had their breakfasts together today and they seem happier in each other's presence. Especially Lola. Bugs gets very excited during playtime and he will run around and binky. In the pen today, Lola was running and binkying! It warmed my heart to see her excited to get the pellets from me! When I set the bowl down in her pen, she didn't run away and actually shoved her head in the bowl as I was holding it! She's really learning from Bugs!

    As I was leaving today, I took Lola out of the pen for playtime and put Bugs in and Lola really wanted to see him. She was digging at the cage door trying to open it. My mom texted me an hour after I left as said that Lola was still trying to get to him. I hope she didn't rip a nail digging at the chicken wire. Bugs seemed to want to see her too. There has been no nipping through the pens anymore. I will have a session in the x pen tonight because the bathroom's smaller than the x pen, but I really do think they're almost ready. I don't want to rush it though.
     
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  10. May 31, 2019 #70

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I haven't had a session since Tuesday, and that one lasted a very short 10 minutes :(

    I've been pretty stressed with the end of year assignments at school, work, and bonding the bunnies. I decided I need a few days without doing any sessions so I can focus on work and school. School's out on the 7th and after that, I can put 100% of my time towards getting them bonded. I also don't have the money to get them moved in together right now. I want to build them a nic cage with a few levels, but that's going to be a bit expensive. I may just use the x-pens though. I am very indecisive because I don't want to have to make another cage for quite a few years.

    Tuesday, I really didn't want to have a session, but I did anyway. It probably didn't help them as my emotions were probably sensed by them. As I mentioned in my previous post, Lola was trying to get to him through the wire. She was digging at the side of it and I think that annoyed Bugs as he just seemed annoyed with her during the session. I had my Mr. Broom ready and right after I put them in the pen, they got into a scuff. I broke that up and they kept on getting into scuffs. They got into 4 scuffs in 10 minutes. This confused me because we have gone 3 hours with 2 or so scuffs. I was in a different space, but the size of the area was about the same. My Mr. Broom didn't work as well as I had hoped it would so I (without anything covering my hands), tried to break up the scuff. Lola nipped my arm and now it's bruised with two little bunny bite marks. Oh, the joys of having rabbits.

    I will probably have another session Saturday and make that a long one, probably as long as I can make it.

    I was scrolling through some old RO bonding threads and stumbled across this quote. I would like to know if the snuggling part is true as my two aren't really into snuggling unless I initiate it.
     
  11. Jun 2, 2019 #71

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I don't know what to do anymore. I feel that at this point, Lola isn't the bun for Bugs. It breaks my heart to say that because she needs a loving family. Every session, more fur is pulled and more bad scuffs happen.

    I did a nice session outside today because the weather was beautiful. The session started out nice with them both on opposite sides of the pen, ignoring each other (which is becoming more and more common). Lola nipped Bugs because she wanted to be groomed and all the sudden, a fight broke out. They were latched onto each other's faces, on their sides Lola was digging at Bugs's stomach and I couldn't get them separated. They just wouldn't let go. In the process of getting them to let go of each other, the pen was opened and Lola almost got away. I grabbed her and kind of threw her into the pen (not hard, just so Bugs couldn't get out while I attempted to pick her up gently as he was right there). Upon inspecting the fur that was ripped out, I noticed that there was a piece of skin bit off in some fur. It was Bugs's.

    As much as I love Lola, I won't risk Bugs's life just because she gets mad when she isn't groomed.

    I'm going to go ahead and call @Blue eyes to this post because I know she's mentioned that she's had to exchange bunnies when one isn't simply working. When do you determine that "Okay, this just isn't working out"?

    I feel that Bugs feels threatened and jumpy now. He used to let me pet/touch him wherever and now he will bite me if I touch his tail (that's where she will nip him if she's mad that he doesn't groom her).
     
  12. Jun 2, 2019 #72

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I'm sorry. How frustrating for you.

    Latching on is not good, and unfortunately you might be right that they aren't likely to bond. And honestly speaking, I wouldn't risk it. A rabbit latching on means serious damage and is considered full out fighting, not just a squabble. You need to check both of them over very carefully, and make sure the wounds don't require stitches, especially check both of their bellies. I would also put a thin layer of plain triple antibiotic ointment(no added pain relief) on any wounds that are found, that don't require stitches.

    The only other possibility is if there was an odd scent in that area(such as from a predator) this is what could have set them off, and if so then bonding inside could still possibly work. Though you may need to wait several days for them to calm down again before trying. But it sounds like Bugs is already becoming defensive because of her, so maybe it's just not a match that's going to work.

    You need to keep something in mind with this bonding. I feel like the slow method wasn't the best for these two. It's prolonged the bonding process far too long, and they haven't been able to really be together to work things out. The gradual approach has just gotten them to a point each day where they almost start to work things out but not quite, so it keeps them stuck in this place where they are never quite getting used to each other, and instead end up becoming intolerant or defensive of each other So just keep that in mind if you decide on a different friend to bond him to.

    If you still wanted to try again with her, I would wait several days with no interaction between them(redo the cages on top of each other so they can't even really be around the other), then do a fast bond and keep them together 24/7 until bonded, with me right in there with them(with protective gear and a broom) ready to break up even the slightest hint of an argument. I would not even allow nipping at this point(spray bottle at the ready). Also keep in mind that they could break out in a full out fight again, and this time serious injuries could occur. If a fight did get to the verge of breaking out, then that would be it and I would call it quits on trying to bond them at all.
     
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  13. Jun 2, 2019 #73

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I just sent a message to the rescue :(

    I still can't find that area on Bugs, and it's frustrating me. I will just do my best to keep his area clean to avoid infection, and get him right to the vet if I suspect anything.

    They act the same way inside and outside, so I don't think it has to do with the smell of a predator. I will keep that in mind. Now I feel bad that I messed the bonding up by doing the slow method. I want it to work and I will try the fast method in a week or two, but I'm not getting my hopes up. They just seemed so perfect together a couple of weeks ago.

    Bugs seems mad at me now and it's probably because he didn't like a broom shoved in his face or me checking him for injuries. He will (hopefully) get over it.

    I don't know if I can get her to stop nipping. That's just her personality.

    If I set the cages up, they would still have to be switched between the cages so they both got playtime. Would this work?
     
  14. Jun 4, 2019 #74

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I found this picture from right before the fight. I thought it was worth sharing with you guys. 20190602_101828.jpeg
     
  15. Jun 4, 2019 #75

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I talked to the lady at the rescue and she thinks we should exchange her because I've never bonded before and this one doesn't seem to be working out. I came home yesterday to see Lola had not pooped or eaten her breakfast so I have her a dose of simethicone and she started eating. I think her early stasis was caused by stress from Bugs. I requested to meet a Lionhead and another lop with similar personalities to Bugs.
     
  16. Jun 4, 2019 #76

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    What size are you looking to build (or what budget are you working with)? I've shared a number of different cage designs and would be happy to help you plan one.

    OMFG, you're my hero! I've been wanting bigger boxes for our cats and the big ones are like $30 at pet stores or Walmart - a complete and total rip for a bit of plastic. I'll have to check out Home Depot.

    Hilarious.

    After some serious fighting like they've gotten into, I would definitely put them where they can't see each other for like 3 weeks to reset the bonding *if* you wish to continue trying with this pair.

    Honestly, I've had this nagging concern in the back of my mind about the continued scuffs... I've never had to give up on a bond (*knock on wood*) but I've also never seen them take so long to work things out. Don't beat yourself up about it, though! There's no way to know right out of the gate which method to use, especially when it's your very first time bonding (fast-track bonding can seem intimidating if you've never done any bonding at all before)... and some rabbits just don't like each other no matter what method you use. While a hard reset and fresh start might do the trick, it also might not. There's nothing wrong with giving up on a bond that seems like an uphill battle (as this one does). You, Bugs and Lola will probably all end up happier in the long run.
     
  17. Jun 5, 2019 #77

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Seeing another rabbit owner confirm that it probably just isn't meant to be makes me feel way better about the situation. Since I realized she may not be the one, I kept thinking that I somehow screwed up the process and that I'm not trying hard enough to make it work out.
    Considering I still live with my parents and they hate the mess the bunnies make, there's no other spot I could put one of them for 3+ weeks.

    I hope the whole not being able to bond thing isn't common. The next bun will have to work, as my parents aren't too stoked to be driving the 2+ hours again, and I don't blame them. My parents actually watched a scuff and so they get that they could hurt each other. They kept asking me "what are they doing?" and not even I knew!
    I want something probably 2 feet by 4 feet with 2 levels. I would also like an area on the top of the cage for storage. The bunnies will be free roam together so the size isn't an issue. I know some bunnies (looks at Lola) prefer a cage as their safe area. My price range is around $50, but the very extreme amount I will pay is $125 (I'm 14 with a job that pays minimum wage and I only get a few hours a week. I will be getting a second job over the summer though).

    Bugs really wants a friend and for the most part seems happier just being around her. I feel that she would be happier as an only bunny or with a very submissive male though. When she's not trying to murder Bugs, she seems more confident around him.

    Lola was let out for playtime last night (with Bugs on my bed in the x-pen) and she let me clean the cage! I was in it sweeping up the cardboard mess she made and I felt a wet nose on my arm. My first thought was "oh no, Bugs escaped!" but it was Lola saying hi. She never approaches me, let alone give me a nose boop!
     
  18. Jun 7, 2019 #78

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    On the 15th, we will be meeting the new bunnies and doing the exchange with Lola. We will be meeting some girls (the two others we met first) and a few new ones, along with some males. I know male/male bonds are harder, but it won't hurt to try meeting them. If Bugs chooses a male that he likes, would the bond still be hard? Below is a picture of a female Lionhead we will be meeting, and then a lop that may be there (they are doing an event with all the adoptable bunnies and invited us).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jun 10, 2019 #79

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Today has been a very eventful day, but some problems have come up. To begin, we got two more dogs today very last minute. Our neighbor is moving across the country and she couldn't take her dogs so she just brought them to our house and told us to take them. One of them happens to be a barker and it scares Bugs. He's never been one to be scared by loud noises, but the barking terrifies him. He will run into his cage and will sit in there for a pretty long time. Lola also seems a bit scared because she isn't really leaving her box but then again, that's typical Lola. How do I help them relax when the dog barks (or how to get the dog to stop barking)? Whenever I ask someone to make the dog stop barking, they will say that I only care about the bunnies, which is kind of true honestly :)

    I also set the cages back up. Bugs has the top level with steps leading up there. He seems to be nervous when going up and down the steps, but will still climb up and down them. He also isn't that great of a jumper, despite being a very small and energetic boy. Any tips on how to get him to be more comfortable?

    Also, Bugs really likes apple sticks. He will eat the whole stick while sucking it up like it's a spaghetti noodle and chewing it like it's a piece of hay. Is this normal? I don't want him to get a blockage.

    Lola is also laying down and eating her veggies. She reminds me of myself ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  20. Jun 10, 2019 #80

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I thought I would actually share some pictures of the cage and one of Bugs licking watermelon off the cage bars

    I ordered 25 pounds of pellets because I realized I'd save more money that way (I was buying 5 pounds for $10). This bag was 25 pounds for $27! Now I don't know how I'm going to actually store it though ;) 20190610_125232.jpeg 20190610_125251.jpeg 20190610_125136.jpeg
     

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