Bonded rabbit aggression

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Mali Ellis, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. Jun 23, 2019 #1

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

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    Hi everyone.
    About a week ago i posted about my two rabbits who were bonded, fighting. Long story short - my friends rabbits came over ( she assured me it was going to be fine :/ ) and everything went well until she left and my female and male rabbits starting fighting. (Lunging, nipping, chasing) For a week now I've been very consistently re-bonding them, started with a laundry basket, then the bathtub, then the floor of the bathroom. They were grooming each-other and cuddling, lots of times both were laying flat down asleep together. I thought everything was fine so I put them back into their old hutch that they used to live, together... and then the same thing happened. Lunging, nipping and chasing. I thought i had gone too fast (even though they seemed perfectly fine in the bathroom ) so I re-did the bonding cycle. Today I put them again in their hutch... and more fighting.
    Why is this? They are perfect happy bunnies together in the bathroom but when i put them in the hutch, they hate each-other!!
    Please, please help. I'm so scared for my babies.
    Thank you, Mali.
     
  2. Jun 23, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    They need more time in the bathroom. Once they start behaving without any signs of aggression whatsoever, then they should continue in the same area for at least a week more (how long this should be will vary with each rabbit pair, but could be for several weeks). Don't rush putting them in the hutch.

    In fact, when you do put them together in the hutch, I would do everything I could to neutralize that hutch. Wipe it down with vinegar, re-arrange stuff. If you have items inside the hutch, try using them in the bathroom. The idea will be to have items in the bathroom that they are both fine with (no territory issues) and then those items can go into the hutch at the same time they go in the hutch.

    Is the hutch remaining empty during this transition time? I was assuming that each rabbit is spending time elsewhere when they are not in a bonding session.
     
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  3. Jun 23, 2019 #3

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

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    Thank you for the very quick reply! Okay, I'll take it a lot slower. I'll continue with the bathroom which seems to be working really well. They right now are in two seperate play pens in the garage, and the hutch I power hosed down and sprayed a lot of vinegar. Could it be the hutch? Do they have memories or something in there that they dont like?

    Thank you again :)
     
  4. Jun 23, 2019 #4

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    How big is your hutch? If your hutch isn't very big and the rabbits have more space in the bathroom, this could be a possible explanation, that they need more space to live together peacefully.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2019 #5

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

    Mali Ellis

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    Ohhhh I didnt think about that! I mean - usually they're fine (I've had them for around 3 months now) but maybe since then they need more space? They're in a hutch with two levels, the bottom section is 2x4 feet and the top upstairs bit is 2x2 feet. Plus they have 16 panels of a play pen attached that they had 12/7. They just slept in the hutch at night because of safety :)
    Thank you again for your response <3
     

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