Bonding bunnies!

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by cwebster, Aug 8, 2019.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Aug 8, 2019 #1

    cwebster

    cwebster

    cwebster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    Dutchess and Arnold have been in adjoining cages for a long time. When i would put them together, Dutchess would bite Arnold. Now when i out them in a neutral area ( bathroom) Dutchess grooms Arnolds face which he really loves. Both are fixed. Eventually would like to house them together unsupervised. How can i know they are ready for that?
     
  2. Aug 10, 2019 #2

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,878
    Likes Received:
    2,047
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    Grooming is a good sign. You will need to go through the bonding process to know when they are ready to be together permanently. For some it can be love at first sight and they can pretty much stay together right away. For others it can be a lengthy process of dates allowing them time to get to know one another, or fast bonding of keeping them together will supervising until bonded. What works best and how to go about the process, just depends on your individual rabbits personalities. I suggest checking out these links for tips and info on bonding.
    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
    http://www.saveabunny.org/rabbitcare/bonding-guide
    https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
     
  3. Sep 7, 2019 #3

    cwebster

    cwebster

    cwebster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    Dutchess and Arnold have bonded! They love sitting together and grooming each other. No aggression. We opted for very slow gradual bonding.
     
  4. Sep 19, 2019 #4

    cwebster

    cwebster

    cwebster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    Now that Dutchess and Arnold has bonded, Arnold is starting to nip us when we try to take Dutchess out of their outdoor playpen, like he is protecting her. Has anyone encountered this and have suggestions for discouraging it? We are thinking about water mist or gloves or hot sauce or bitter apple so when he nips he gets an awful taste.
     
  5. Sep 19, 2019 #5

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,878
    Likes Received:
    2,047
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    He may not like being separated from her. You could try taking them out together using a carrier. Or use gloves and exhibit boss bunny behavior when he tries to nip. Meaning shoe him away with a gloved hand, or you could try thumping at him. You could even give off a loud 'eep' when he does it to see if that discourages the behavior. Or a combo of all three.
     
    TreasuredFriend likes this.
  6. Sep 19, 2019 #6

    JenGibs

    JenGibs

    JenGibs

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Grovetown, Georgia
    Please no hot sauce.
     
    TreasuredFriend likes this.
  7. Sep 20, 2019 #7

    cwebster

    cwebster

    cwebster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    We are taking him out first gaffled in a towel. So far so good. Will not use hot sauce. I have to admit he is kind of scaring me but i am going to assert myself until he learns tat i am “ boss bunny.”
     
    TreasuredFriend and JenGibs like this.
  8. Sep 26, 2019 #8

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    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.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2019 #9

    Redrabbit

    Redrabbit

    Redrabbit

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    London
    I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice, we’re just about to start bonding our two and I really hope it goes as well!! Good luck with the next steps
     
    Thamanna likes this.
  10. Sep 28, 2019 #10

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Kindness Matters - Waukesha, WI, ,
    Thamanna likes this.
  11. Sep 28, 2019 #11

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

    TreasuredFriend

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,668
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Kindness Matters - Waukesha, WI, ,
    JBun, thank you for add'l links above.
     
  12. Sep 28, 2019 #12

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Thamanna

    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Good luck to you too!!
     
  13. Sep 29, 2019 #13

    Rita jones

    Rita jones

    Rita jones

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boston Lincolnshire England
    We'll call me crazy I have two does and a buck who was newted Thursday he's had the two does tuning round the back of his pen so can smell them dathhe's aalso spent a day with older of my two does Luna when he was small so hopefully they will get on then I have ash she 17 weeks old and seems as big as Peter already with Luna who's two and ash my plan is to wait untill peters safe to go in with them and just but them all together with plenty of treats and keep my gloves handy and a travel box in case they need parting but I hope it will be a good meeting first time I let you know maybe even film them if I can xx
     
  14. Sep 30, 2019 #14

    cwebster

    cwebster

    cwebster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Central Coast CA
    After months of gradual supervised exposures....and only one nip from Dutchess to Arnold, on their very first meeting...i am happy to report that the two are now bonded and sharing a large two level indoor cage without incident! They seem really happy. Am still giving them a couple of hours together in an outdoor cage daily with lots of toys as well. Am so glad they are now bonded. :)
     
    Redrabbit and Thamanna like this.

Share This Page