Bonding- one happy, one scared

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Jane Stevens, Oct 12, 2019 at 12:08 PM.

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  1. Oct 12, 2019 at 12:08 PM #1

    Jane Stevens

    Jane Stevens

    Jane Stevens

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    We have two rabbits and they are on the way to be bonded but one is scared of the other. The male flops all the time but at the start this is the one that bit the female. The other one is still scared and runs away every time he comes near her. If she’s in a corner she puts her head down while the other grooms himself, flops in front of her. They’re spayed/ neutered. Not sure what to do as he’s not really doing anything now but she’s still really scared. She will groom herself in front of him and will lay out but is always watching him.
     
  2. Oct 12, 2019 at 2:06 PM #2

    Redrabbit

    Redrabbit

    Redrabbit

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    I’m not really sure but I’ve read loads and I think it just takes time, not sure though so hopefully others with more knowledge can help. Best of luck
     
  3. Oct 15, 2019 at 11:22 AM #3

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    When she puts her head down, is she facing the male? If so, that's rabbit speak for "groom me!!"

    How long have you been bonding them? How large of a bonding area are you using and is it "neutral" (neither one has ever been in that area unless they were both in it)? If possible, can you post a short video of them interacting so we can get a better look at body language? Also, has anyone nipped or bitten since the one bite that you mentioned?

    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/ has a great article on bonding techniques.
     
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  4. Oct 15, 2019 at 7:55 PM #4

    Jane Stevens

    Jane Stevens

    Jane Stevens

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    Thanks @Imbrium. Sometimes she’s facing him but sometimes she’s just in a corner. He doesn’t really groom her like I imagine rabbits groom each other, he seems to nibble her- not really bite.
    I’ve been bonding them for a few weeks now. They were in a large pen in a neutral space but now they’re both in her room. It’s probably about 2m by 3m as they have the whole room. There’s still a bit of nipping but no aggressive biting. He sometimes still tries but she runs away and he gives up quite quickly. I can’t seem to load a video on the site.
    I’ll definitely read that article
     
  5. Oct 15, 2019 at 8:00 PM #5

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Sometimes grooming at first can look like nibbling/biting the fur.

    Nipping is also how rabbits communicate with each other and it's not always a bad thing :)
     

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