Bonding Bunnies - when is bonding completed?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Thamanna, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. Sep 27, 2019 #1

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

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    Hi guys,

    I have been bonding my male lion head mix, Simba, to my female lop mix, Munch, for the past week and a half in a neutral space. I was just wondering when you guys would consider rabbits fully bonded? I am quite nervous about officially putting my two bunnies together in case they end up fighting. This is my first time bonding buns and I'm a bit overwhelmed with what next steps to take.

    So far, no fights have happened and there has only been nipping from my female and they're able to spend more or less the whole day together. They've been displaying some good behaviour like eating together, snuggling, lying down/ flopping both next to each other and away from each other, which is good as they're able to ignore each other from either end of the expen.
    But only Simba has been grooming Munch - is this normal behaviour, since I am assuming Munch is the more dominant bun and will not groom Simba as easily?

    Another concern I have is that Munch will still occasionally nip Simba, although he never retaliates. She does this in the new litter tray I've been using to bond them (even though it is more than big enough for the both of them) or sometimes when she just wants his attention. Is this just Munch being an attention seeker or should I be worried? I've heard some bunnies might prefer two separate litter trays so I might try that next to see if it works out better.

    Currently they're being housed in two built in pens separated by a mesh divider, so they are still able to smell and see each other. The end goal is to remove this divider so they both can share a bigger space. I will of course try clean both areas and get rid of as much of both their scents as possible. Any tips for this?

    Sorry for this overload of info!! Bit new to all this and don't want to make any mistakes.
     
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  2. Sep 27, 2019 #2

    zupper

    zupper

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    Hi, what you described sounds all good to me and I see you really did some reading on bonding, I would place them together for longer time when you can be there like during weekend and see if they are good, just if you can be there or even use a camera to monitor them but they are on their own you are there but not with them so they feel they are alone. That would give you better idea if they are ready to be together 24/7 or maybe need more time.
     
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  3. Sep 28, 2019 #3

    Imbrium

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    Jennifer

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    A week and a half is awfully fast compared to most bonds... but some rabbits have a "love at first sight" thing going on. When we adopted Barnaby (aka "big bunny") and Harley Quinn last March, I immediately put them together in our designated bonding area. They got on so well that we never actually gave them separate quarters (we did separate them temporarily when we were both out of the house and unable to monitor them), though I did sleep in the bonding area with them the first 2-3 nights so that any fighting would wake me. Within about a week, I believed the bond was official and they moved into their permanent enclosure together (granted, this was far from my first experience with bonding, so I was confident in my ability to read their body language and such).

    When you say "more or less the whole day together" are you talking like 8-12+ hours? If so, then based on all the information in your post, I would say that they're ready to move in together (after you clean/de-scent their areas as much as possible). Combine their enclosures at a time when you'll have all day to monitor them for any fighting or signs of dissent. Oh, and thank the bunniehs for such an easy bond :p.
     
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  4. Sep 28, 2019 #4

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

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    Thanks for your responses!!

    Sorry I didn't clarify earlier - I kept them in the same pen for about 10 hours previously and there were no fights, just a few nips from my female when she wanted his attention.

    It's now been two weeks since we started bonding and thankfully they seem to be doing pretty well after an overnight bonding session!
    I put them back in their neutral space around afternoon time on Friday and kept them overnight, whilst sleeping in the same room. I'll probably keep them in the neutral space until Sunday morning and in the meantime, I'll give their intended living space a good clean with a white vinegar/water mix. That way I'll have all of Sunday to monitor them in a their actual living space too.
     
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  5. Sep 29, 2019 #5

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

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    So last night, something unexpected happened and Munch actually groomed Simba for the first time (only Simba would before) - I was so happy and excited to see this and went to sleep feeling hopeful about putting them into their intended living space today.

    However this morning a fight randomly ensued after Munch nipped Simba a few too many times and more aggressive than usual. There was circling and fur pulled, and then Simba mounted Munch after this (which he's never done as I was convinced Munch is the dominant bun). I just don't understand how or why this has happened. They must still have some things to sort out between them in terms of who's dominant.

    After this fight, they're back to lying and sleeping next to each other, snuggling and asking one another for pets. Bunnies are strange :rolleyes:.

    Guess I won't be moving them in today :( I'll have to take a few steps back as I start university this week and cannot watch them for the whole day and overnight anymore during the week.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2019 #6

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    Jennifer

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    Aww, that sucks :(. I would reboot them with some stress bonding. I prefer the car method, but it takes two people to do safely since someone has to drive and someone else has to sit in the back with the rabbits in case they need a referee. Alternatives are using a bathtub (because it's slippery) or putting them on top a washer on the spin cycle. When Nala and Gazzles' bond broke and I had to re-bond them, I took them to my neighbor's house and set up an x-pen in her kitchen because it was neutral and her little dog, Max (a Bichon Frise) was all over the outside of the pen instigating them - that worked wonders! 30 mins to an hour is a good length of time to remind them that they like taking comfort in each other.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2019 #7

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

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    I tried separating them but they seemed a little sad and not like themselves so brought them back in to their neutral space again to watch overnight for the next couple of days again - they seem much more content together. Guess I'll just have to put some of my university work on hold for a bit :confused:
    I didn't want to put them in their intended living space yet as they are usually in a guest room in the garden (there's a lot more space in there for them). I don't fully trust them to be alone in there and would rather still watch them just in case.

    But thanks for your suggestion - think I'll do some stress bonding alongside leaving them in their neutral space for another day or two and see how they are then.
    They're good with sharing a litter tray, food and toys and they seem to be getting along generally. Sometimes they snuggle together but sometimes they like their space and lie a bit further apart. I think getting them to be a bit closer is what I want to work on right now so I might reduce the size of their space a bit so they snuggle more.
     

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