Bonding a trio

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jujub793

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Ok so here's my dilemma.... I have just been given a rabbit from it's owner who have relinquished her due to no time and no money for their pet rabbit. She's a very sweet girl but she is not litter trained, which is omen of my problems. Her prior owners kept her locked in a cage all the time with little free time, the cage is ok for her size wise as she is a very small girl, but there is no room for a litterbox in it and her too. Problem number one. Problem number two are Willow and Walter, my other two bonded pair. Every time Jasper is out of her cage ( mine free range) those two bullies chase her. Jasper will run and hide somewhere they can't fit as she is smaller than they are. When I yell at them they will pretty much stop pursuit, and no damage has been done ( yet) but boy it's a good thing Jasper is fast on her feet. I keep a close watch on all of them when I let Jasper out of her cage for free time, but those two are relentless :X. This morning Willow was sniffing Jasper and all was good and then she took a couple of nips on Jaspers side and came away with a mouth full of fur :shock: My question is this....how do I go about making a duo a trio? Do I try and bond one at a time? Oh yeah, Jasper is a un spayed 2 year old and my two are both fixed. I need help because if this doesn't fly I am not sure I can keep Jasper. My two have a three story condo and poor Jasper has this dinky little cage, I need them to be housed together as they live in my kitchen and that leaves little space for us peoples who live here, with the extra cage. :?
 

LakeCondo

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Julie, I have no experience with this, so I hope someone who has done this will give suggestions. One rabbit at a time sounds logical, but I don't know if you should start with the same-sex or the opposite-sex one, the more-dominant or the less-dominant. And of course a treat immediately after good behavior is always in order.
 

isabelly

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Rabbits are territorial.

Your pair are defending their territory against the stranger, the new rabbit. The new rabbit should have a safe space to use for housing and exercise without being harassed by the established rabbits.

They will need many play dates in a neutral area like a clean, well rinsed, bare bathtub, where they can get to know each other. Slowly make the space bigger as the rabbits become calmer together.

Watch them carefully until they seem completely comfortable together.

Breakup fights with squirts of water and use gloves to protect yourself.

Don't end a play date immediately after a fight, put them side by side and pet them for five minutes and then end it.

Good luck!
 

LaylaLop

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I always found introducing in a larger area where none have been to be better than forcing close contact such as a bathtub. If you have large rabbits, a bathtub may mean they HAVE to be in each others' faces which could provoke a fight.

I had 4 rabbits who would get free roam of a room daily. They did live separately at night in their own cages. There were 2 unspayed females and 2 neutered males. I think it most comes down to their temperament. One of my females was territorial and the other three didn't care and seemed to enjoy getting mounted by her.. so they let it be.

I first introduced them in a fenced in area in my yard where no rabbits had been and had heavy leather gloves and a garden hose to break up fights. They were so interested in the grass and the fresh air that none of them had territory over that they didn't fight. A porch or pen in the garage could work as well.. with lots of toys to distract, but nothing that one "owns" such as a specific litterbox or foodbowl to fight over.

Good luck! I think with enough patience, well tempered bunnies, and enough space it's possible, just not easy.
 

jujub793

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The bonding of my original two went so smooth and literally no effort on my part. This time not so much.... I do have to say I am seeing some improvement, not so much biting and moe sniffing. They are still chasing poor Jasper though. She is great at evading them though! I do have to secretly admit that it is amusing, she outwits them every time. She will use the tunnels I have for them as her escape route and it works every time.
 

I_heart_Fraggles

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I agree with the bathtub idea. Can Jasper live in your room while you work on bonding? Lol I thought Willows dewlap already counted as a "third rabbit" :)
 

jujub793

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I literally lol'd about the dewlap comment!! As for my trio, they are actually doing pretty good without my intervention I am happy to report. willow will chase her a little bit now and then and I find clumps of black fur now and then, but they are all cuddling together and Wally really seems to be taken with her. Jasper will even go into their condo and share food with them so that is a great sign because they allow her to! Also in Jasper's favor is the fact that she is tiny and quick and Willow is fat and slow and can't catch her. It's actually great exercise for Fatty, chasing Jasp lol
 
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