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Do my *bonded* rabbits to have to be fed seperately?

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Apollo’s Slave

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My rabbits have gotten into two small fights sort of things in the past few weeks. Both of my rabbits vacuum up food and eat really quickly, but Athena is the fastest eater, so when she finishes, she runs to eat Apollo's food, and he doesn't like it so they end up chasing each other, pulling fur, lunging and sometimes growling - which results in me picking one of them up to calm down and stop them.

The first fight was a few weeks ago, when i made a boredom breaker for them with some treats in it. Apollo grabbed the tube that had the treat and ran off, and Athena started the fight. I picked up Apollo, placed him on my desk and moved the treat. Once the food was gone, Athena had calmed down and I put Apollo back on the floor, and they went back to being totally normal again! The rescue i got Athena from said that it was just because the food was high value and I should just give them each a treat.

A few days (maybe a week) later, I gave them both a treat, but Athena ate hers first and went to grab Apollo's out of his mouth, which i thought would result in a fight like before, so i gave her another treat to get her to stop stealing Apollos.

The second fight was two days ago, over pellets. I hadn't bought pellets in a few weeks, and my mum picked up some last weekend, so I guess they were excited for it. I scatter fed the pellets and let them hop around to eat it, while talking to my brother, who was looking at the rabbits. Maybe two minutes later, the same thing happened as in the first fight, Athena was chasing and lunging at Apollo, who was running away. I picked Athena up and got my brother to move the pellets and asked him why they were fighting, to which he replied "Apollo stole the pellet Athena was going to eat". Once the food was moved from the floor, I put her back down and she was fine again...

I've been putting an xpen between them while they eat treats or pellets since then but I don't want it to ruin their bond or anything like that. They both happily share veggies and a litterbox.

Is it normal for them to fight over food? And is it a good idea to feed them seperately?
 

ladysown

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if food is an issue for them, make it a non-issue. Are you feeding them enough that they are THAT hungry? Are you not feeding them pellets regularly? What is their diet like?
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Thank you for the response.

Neither of them should be hungry. And the pellets were only gone for about two weeks during the second lockdown here in london, as my family didn’t want to leave the house often.

They both get unlimited Timothy hay. Apollo gets 1 1/2 cup of veggies, and about 1/8 cup of pellets. Athena gets 2 1/2 cup of veggies and 1/2 cup of pellets. Apollo is slightly overweight and is being fed less than he used to (2 cups and 1/4 cup of pellets) but not so little that he should feel hungry. And Athena struggles with weight gain, so I just feed her what the rescue has been feeding her.
 

JBun

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If food is resulting in aggression, then yes, you do need to change the feeding routine. You could separate like you have been, or you can try scatter feeding over a larger area than before, so that they have more space separating them while eating.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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If food is resulting in aggression, then yes, you do need to change the feeding routine. You could separate like you have been, or you can try scatter feeding over a larger area than before, so that they have more space separating them while eating.
Thank you. I’ll try scatter feeding starting from my room and then down the stairs - Athena can go down the stairs but Apollo can’t. And see how that works :)
 

ladysown

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do they have hay to munch on?? or maybe do some trick training with Athena, thinking she's a smart girl and could use some trick training to keep her brain busy and less food-oriented *can use food in the training*
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Yep they’ve got lots of Timothy hay to much on, in different areas of the room. I’ll definitely be doing more tricks with Athena - I was doing agility tricks with her before and I’ll go back to doing those! Thank you :)
 
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