Help with bonding

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Jac, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. Jul 13, 2019 #1

    Jac

    Jac

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    I had a Rabbit called storm whose partner died, so we decided to adopt a rabbit from a shelter, Storm was a 3 year old neutered female, so we adopted Rooney a 4 year old nuetered make, the bonding went very well and they became very close, unfortunately Storm died, leaving Rooney alone, when we got Rooney from the shelter they said Rooney and his partner had been badly treated, unfortunately Rooney's partner had to be put down in the shelter Rooney was very afraid and unsettled when we bought him home biting charging and grunting, but that soon changed and he started to enjoy his life. We decided to get Rooney another rabbit friend, so we rescued a 4 year old neutered female called Millie.. we put them in separate pens side by side for three weeks, they could see each other but couldn't get at one another every three days we alternated the pens, eventually they started lying side by side and eating together, so we went to the next stage of bonding, put them together in a small neutral space, it was fine for the first three mins, then vicious fighting started. We broke the fight up and the rabbits ignored each other for a while but fighting broke out again, it carried on this way for a while so we put them back in the separate pens. What should we do now persevere, or give up and sent Millue back to the shelter,as it unsettling Rooney very much and he is becoming afraid and nervous like he was when we first had him. I just want to see Rooney happy again with a friend to kick and talk to. Will this happen...

    Jackie
     
  2. Jul 13, 2019 #2

    Jasminebunny

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    Sorry , this happened with mine , and now he hates me .-.
    I'm sorry i can't be no help ( male + female , male hates me now .. it's my brother's rabbit)
     
  3. Jul 13, 2019 #3

    Jac

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    Oh gosh, I hope he doesn't hate me, I was only trying to help him, obviously he doesn't know that, but I thought in the long run he would be happier with another partner, which I still hope he will be. What happens with your bunny?
     
  4. Jul 13, 2019 #4

    Jasminebunny

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    He was super tame the day i got him , he didn't even need to settle in ..
    Now he lunges and grunts and bites me , just like jasmine , who used to do that
    but now she's like he used to be .
     
  5. Jul 13, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

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    It would be a good idea to speak with the rescue and let them know what is going on. They usually will work with people to ensure you wind up with a compatible match. --at least the rabbit rescues here in the US will. Not sure how that works in the UK. But giving them an update may open up some options for you. I've certainly had my share of bonds that just refused to happen. Rabbits can be picky.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2019 #6

    Jac

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    Yes I did speak to the rescue, they said give it a little longer, it can take a few weeks or months, but I'm still worried it will have a negative effect on Rooney. I think I will e mail the rabbit welfare association and see what they say , just wanted to see what other people thought and see if any one else has had trouble and able to give advice.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2019 #7

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    oops, wrong thread
    (I had replied here but have since erased it)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  8. Jul 13, 2019 #8

    Blue eyes

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    Given your concern for Rooney, and the fact that the two are actually fighting, I would think the rescue should consider this and allow some bunny dates to find a more suitable match. If a bonding is too difficult, it can have a negative effect on the rabbits. There comes a point when too much (or too vicious) fighting makes it just not worth the effort.
    If you could convey this to them, perhaps they would be willing to allow an exchange.
     
  9. Jul 13, 2019 #9

    Jac

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    The rescue here doesnt do bunny dates, plus the rescue takes about 1 hour to get to, and Rooney doesn't travel well at all, it stresses him out to much, he just crashes out for hours after,I wouldn't put him through that. I do have the option of taking Millie back. I may try again tomorrow and see how things go, Millie is a lovely little rabbit with us, but sadly not so nice too Rooney. Rabbits are very complex creatures.
     
  10. Jul 14, 2019 #10

    Jac

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    Well I'm still trying to bond Rooney and Millie today wasnt as bad as yesterday, they had one little scrap, then sat in opposite corners, when they moved towards each other they had a sneaky sniff then turned away and lay down, they did this twice more, so I decided to put them back and end it on a ok note, rather than end with a fight.. will try again tomorrow. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  11. Jul 21, 2019 #11

    K1marie

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    Hi, I’m curious how it progressed with Rooney and Millie?! I am in beginning a bonding process with two recently neutered males. There is actually some great info in bonding on “The House Rabbit Society” website if you are still working on it .
     
  12. Jul 21, 2019 #12

    Jac

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    I wrote a reply but I think it went somewhere else, so will try again. Well Millie still seems to hate Rooney, poor Rooney he tries to lick Millie through the gate divider but Millie bites him..
    We put them together again but they started fighting again badly, tails up, circling etc, so we parted them unfortunately it ended on a bad note. We talked to the lady who owns the sanctuary where we got Millie from she said to keep them parted again and not try to put them together for two weeks, just leave them side by side, then introduce them again only for ten mins, then let her know how they got no, she said as they both had their tails up, it may not work, as no one wants to back down. She said if that is the case bring Millie back and she will help with bonding Rooney to another of her rabbits at her sanctuary, but I'm not sure as I gave said before any car journey stresses Rooney out big time, it takes him a few hours to get over it, and Narias place is one hours drive from me, I have also had advice from Rwaf,and a place in America, and the house rabbit society, they all say basically the same. How are you getting on bonding your two Male bunnies.
     
  13. Jul 22, 2019 #13

    K1marie

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    Thanks so much for the update....I also think you should give it time first, then try again (not from personal experience - but from what I have researched) I think it was in the HRS article that said - they honestly believe ANY rabbits CAN be bonded - it just may take a very long time and a LOT of patience (as in waiting 2 weeks after a tornado before trying again) As for MY bonding so far....we are just about 6 weeks post neuter right now. I tried a little before the 4 week mark - my buns (both males) were close to 6 months old (they are 1 month apart). Murphy is my Holland and Lionel is my Lionhead. As you can see in my picture - they are separated but close. When I let them out in a double buffered gated area - they initially tried to grab at eachother and created a total mine field of poops on both sides of the gated division but began to lay next to each other close on each side of the gate so I thought maybe they were ready. The Holland in particular (Murf) would reach his head thru the gates to ask for grooming ....but Lionel would just sniff and occasionally and nip at him - sometimes vice versa. When we put them together in a walk in closet - they initially ignored eachother which I thought was a great sign....they were too curious - but it wasn't long after Lionel began to mount Murf (fron the front!)....we pulled them apart... they had a few moments of peace ignoring eachother - but mostly their interaction to eachother was to mount - and Murf started getting very jumpy and a tornado would break out. So I have had them separated for 3 weeks now and am about to try again maybe tomorrow or Wed. 7/22, 7/23. The poop war has REALLY slowed down - now its not a whole border of poops - just a pile (literally right NEXT to the litter box thats there) They HAVE been peeing in the box and still MOSTLY pooping in the box - and that IS and improvement over the scenario prior to the last bonding attempt - so I am REALLY hoping it goes better. I will definitely not give up though. We love them both . Murf is an incredible bunny - majorly friendly - easy to call and always comes and loves to jump up on us an attack with kisses. Lionel is more reserved - won't always come - super funny to watch though - major binkies and super good with his tricks. He does his tricks very enthusiastically and by verbal only. I have a very large cage that will be "home base" sitting in my living room - just waiting for a new loving couple lol. I will keep you updated. Side note: Before I post something like this....I always highlight and copy it to the clipboard first in case I inadvertanly do something wrong. I HATE when I lose a post this long or don't know where it went LOL !!
     
  14. Jul 28, 2019 #14

    K1marie

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    Update .... No luck yet . Murf and Lionel still scuffling and hair flying . I haven’t seen any injuries but they are so fast I can’t tell what they are doing ... I assume they are trying to bite each other . Ugh !
     
  15. Jul 29, 2019 #15

    Jac

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    Hi, hows it going with Murf and lionel? They look so cute.. hows the poo situation, hopefully better.. Rooney and Millie, are still divided, but Millie isn't growling at Rooney now, Rooney desperately wants to be friends and tries to lick Millie through the bars, Millie will allow him a few quick licks,but then nips him, and turns her back on him.. they do eat side by side, but spend majority of time away from each other, Maria said to try them again together on neutral territory over the weekend, she suggested a quick car journey first.. so fingers crossed.. this is the hardest bonding I have done.. another thing is that Rooney used to love spending hours outside when he and Storm were together, but now hes not interested, he goes out to have a quick poo in his outdoor poo area, but quickly goes running back to his half of the shed, is he jealous of Millie, or just wants to keep an eye on her, Millie loves going outside. Well just thought I would up date you on the saga of Rooney and Millie.
     
  16. Jul 30, 2019 #16

    K1marie

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    The poop turf war has settled down a lot ... but the boys still aren’t getting along yet . Sounds like Rooney and Miller are further along than my two. They jump at and over each other trying to get and edge up on the other . Tonight Murf had grabbed a hold of Murf and wouldn’t let go - though he didn’t do any harm that I can see - I thought maybe he was trying to pin him down as a dominant behavior - except there’s so much fur flying and scuffling it’s hard to k is what’s going on . I may just wait a week again . I may post again with a few questions . They both seem so tired out after their scuffles , I wonder if I should just let them keep at it until they are both too exhausted to go on . They say to avoid a bunny “ tornado” - but not sure what that is exactly !
     
  17. Jul 30, 2019 #17

    Jac

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    Glad to hear the poo war is settling down, I find that when I swap them over into the others half of shed, Millie does lots of pops outside the litter trays, but settles down after two days, I change them over every four days, do you change yours over? If so how often. I have kept Rooney and Millie separate for 3 weeks, since their last encounter, which was
     
  18. Jul 30, 2019 #18

    Hannh16

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    I am at my wits end here and need some advice please. I have 2 male neutered rabbits who are 8 months old. They are from the same litter and I had to separate them at 4 months due to fighting until they were neutered. They got neutered at about 6 months and now for the past month I have been trying to bond them. The bonding has been going ok. Both rabbits seemed ok with each other with a bit of nipping and humping however last night they were together for 2 hours with barely any issues, I went next door to do something and a huge fight broke out. I had to separate them. Tonight I put them together in a slightly smaller pen and they were together for an hour with some issues but nothing major and then another even worse fight broke out. They were hanging off each other when I tried to separate them. Thing is I don't understand why they can get on ok for such a long period and then all hell breaks loose. Should I give up bonding all together?? I am desperate to get them living together but I can't see how I can ever leave them alone? I am doing the bonding in a neutral space. Please help!
     
  19. Jul 31, 2019 #19

    K1marie

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    Hi Hannh16 - this reply is also for Jac !....
    I do switch them into each other's cages (they seem to really like that) It didn't seem to really make much difference, so I stopped bothering to do it. I basically just leave both cages open when they are in the area of the cages (which they are allowed only one at a time) and let them go freely in and out. I am hearing a lot about buns remembering their scuffles - and if you let them get into it too bad - or don't wait long enough in between - it will just result in prolonging the bonding . I wait at least a week - and may start going to two weeks in between before introducing them again. Apparenlty - the longer the better. An hour or even a few isn't enough to totally trust them. I wouldn't leave them unsupervised until you have witnessed a few days of getting along.
     
  20. Jul 31, 2019 #20

    Hannh16

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    Thanks K1Marie that's really helpful. I think I will hold off on the bonding for a couple of weeks to let them (and me) get over their fight. I probably shouldn't have put them back together again so soon after the first one. They both have large dog crates next to each other and I switch their litter trays every day and let them run around separately by the cages so will still see and smell each other. I get different views in how long the bonding process should take. Maybe it is taking longer because they are both males? One of the rabbits is quite grumpy (he thumps a lot and growls but is never agressive with me fortunately) he loves being with his brother but i wonder if one small thing upsets him and causes the fights?
     

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