Meet Ellie, our new bun and friend to Kimchi!

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by mark, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Nov 28, 2017 #1

    mark

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    Two weeks ago, we adopted a female, spayed bun as a companion for our little Kimchi, who was neutered a couple of months ago now.

    Some of you may recall the story of how we became rabbit owners to begin with. We previously had no pets, save for an aquarium. While out at a brunch with some friends, one friend who is a social worker told us that she was fostering a rabbit that she had to rescue from a client who had been neglecting him. She showed us a picture and we were smitten. We were about to leave on vacation, so she agreed to keep him until we got back. When we returned, we went to pick him up and our friend told us, once we had arrived at her house, that she and her family had fallen in love with him and had decided to keep him. Since she had promised us "a white, dwarf rabbit" she went out and found a baby one, we think in a pet store.

    So while Kimchi was not truly a rescue, we thought he was when we agreed to take him. It turned out to be a special gift, because Kimchi has turned out to be such a bright light in our lives. He is a great rabbit, very mellow and yet spunky, with personality for miles. We love him so much!

    Well my wife is preparing to return to full time work, having concluded her graduate program. Since I also work long hours, we decided that it would be best for Kimchi if we were to get him a companion.

    Using this site and several books as resources, we read and studied the advice on the bonding process. I reached out to a legit rabbit rescue (Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation), and we corresponded via email for a couple of weeks. Finally, the big day came and we brought Kimchi to a "bunny dating" event, held by the LA Rabbit Foundation. Much to our delight, the lady bun we were most interested in was also at the event, all by her lonesome as it turned out (they had perhaps a dozen rabbits up for adoption, with volunteers sitting in the cages playing with them). Ellie was not a foster bunny, but an actual rescue from the shelter.

    They hit it off during the bunny dating - they were together for about three hours at this event - and we brought Ellie home that day!

    We kept them in separate pens for the first day, but it was obvious that they longed to be together. So after a "neutral territory" meeting in our bathroom for about an hour, we allowed them to play together (supervised) in the bunny-proofed living room where we keep Kimchi's exercise pen (his permanent "cage").

    They worked out their heirarchy issues, and after the first couple of days, there was no more head-humping. We diligently monitored them and observed no animosity, biting or fights. Happily, they never did get to the "fighting" stage - not even the "play fighting" of the dominance-establishing exercise. We are delighted that they truly seem to enjoy one another's company ("love"? perhaps?). They are both grooming each other, and binkies and dashing around are frequent and exuberant.

    I do have a couple of questions as we are new to the multiple-rabbit game:

    1. Ellie has not yet taken to eating greens. She does not seem to be interested in anything we've offered in that respect. She is eating well - hay and some pellets - and drinking, and thankfully the pooping and urination have been fine. We have been giving Romaine lettuce, as that is what they said she had received at the shelter.

    We have seen her completely destroy the lavender plant we had out on the patio (for the buns!), so that is good - she at least ate all of that plant!

    Any tips on how to get her eating greens?

    2. Now that we have 2 buns, how can we monitor her pooping specifically? Or Kimchi's for that matter?

    We have 2 litter boxes in their now-expanded communal X-pen (and 2 water bowls, and 2 food dishes, 2 sets of toys, etc.), thought they seem to share everything.

    So far the only way we've been able to monitor either one is that she is still in the "poop wars" phase of crapping everywhere (inside the pen, not anywhere else thankfully), while Kimchi remains the housebroken gentleman he has always been. Advice is welcome here as well.

    Now for some pictures!

    First picture is from the LA RF website; this is where we first saw her. Following pictures show them dining together, her grooming him, him grooming her, and other cute poses. :)

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  2. Nov 28, 2017 #2

    Aki

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    She's really cute! About your questions, rabbits have likes and dislikes. Introduce other vegetables (one at a time) and find out what she likes. My rabbits don't like chard much and I've known a few rabbits who were pretty capricious, liking something and then refusing to eat it or refusing to eat some things - that's more common with rabbits who didn't have a great start in life and who didn't get to eat much vegetables when they were growing up (the introduction of vegetables should ideally begin in the womb of their mother and then via milk, but it's rarely the case for petshop bunnies and the like). Often, leafy greens are less of a hit than root vegetables, which are more sugary and taste better (which is why they should eat less of them than leafy greens) or leafy greens which are a bit crunchy, like endives. All my rabbits have always gone crazy for carrots and parsnip.
    About the poop, just take a good look at the litterbox(es) everyday. You'll know what amount is normal which will help you determine when there is a problem - then it's generally easy to see who is not eating by getting the bag of pellets out of the cupboard. Honestly, I don't know if I should be ashamed or proud, but after 4 years of looking obsessively at it, I can actually tell my rabbits' poop apart. Yep... owning rabbits will help you develop some skills...
     
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  3. Nov 28, 2017 #3

    mark

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    LOLOL

    My wife occasionally sees me doing this and says, "I'm not sure what you're looking for in there, but all you'll find is sh*t."

    :bunnybutt: :litterhealthy: :roflmao:

    Regarding the veggies, Kimchi is a pretty adventurous eater. We also bought a live basil plant, since Kimchi at least has eaten one or two of those plants down to the roots!

    We will keep trying different things - thanks for the reply, Aki.
     
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  4. Nov 29, 2017 #4

    Chamarith

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    I adore the pics. Thanks for sharing. I am an old widower that loves bunnies.☻☺
     
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  5. Nov 29, 2017 #5

    Chamarith

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    I check my bunny's litter box every time I go to her room. I have a tall kitchen trash can filled with aspen litter on top of her house next to her toilet house. I pull the pan out and closely examine her poop for any signs of problems. I also check wet spot for any sign of blood in her urine. Then, I cover the poop and pee spots with shavings, and slide the pan back into her toilet house. I don't think it strange at all. ☻☺
     
  6. Dec 2, 2017 #6

    rcbowser

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    I think checking our rabbits litter box and checking poop becomes second nature as an owner wanting to ensure our bunnies are staying healthy.
    After having rabbits that came down with GI Stasis a few times and I realized that checking if they had eaten and went to the bathroom was the best indication if all was well.
     
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  7. Dec 2, 2017 #7

    Nancy McClelland

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    :inlove: We are smitten.
     
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  8. Dec 5, 2017 #8

    mark

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    Small updates from our little clan:

    1. We have continued to try different greens with Ellie. She seems to enjoy fresh basil! Fortunately we can buy the small live basil plants at the grocery store, so we continue to do this so she has fresh greens mixed into her diet.

    2. We are getting better at telling the poops apart. Good grief, I never thought I'd type such a sentence! Hers are larger (ha!) and slightly lighter in color.

    3. Ellie continues to poop all over their X-pen while they are in there overnight. The mornings look like a poop-minefield in there! Kimchi for the most part remains good in this respect, but not Ellie. Will this ever improve or is this just how it is? Thankfully they both pee exclusively in the litter box.

    Speaking of the litter box, we have kept the second one (the one that was "hers" for the brief week that we kept them separated overnight) in the pen, along with Kimchi's original litter box. They both sit in and eat in both of them, and accordingly poop in both of them, but they seem to only pee in the more-used one - Kimchi's original box. We've noticed plenty of poops in the other one, but rarely (never, maybe?) any pee. Should we keep the second box, or get rid of it and reclaim the space?
     
  9. Dec 9, 2017 #9

    samoth

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    I envy your location, being so close to the HRS headquarters! There's not much out here in the midwest, unfortunately.

    Love the pics :)
     
  10. Dec 20, 2017 #10

    Baracuda56

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    Beautiful buns....:hearts::bunnyheart
     
  11. Jan 6, 2018 #11

    mark

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    Thanks guys. Samoth, we're in Torrance, not the Bay Area unfortunately (with respect to proximity to HRS and otherwise I would agree with you there :) ).

    I thought I'd update the thread here since it's been a little while.

    To address my own questions below, here's how it all worked out:

    Ellie is getting better at eating the lettuce, though she prefers basil.

    We switched to wood pellet litter (brand name "Pinnacle") because it is much less expensive than the Yesterday's News, though it smells a bit and we've found that we need to let it air out as much as possible before we actually use it in the litter boxes, for their sake and ours as well. We've kept the second one and now they really use both of them.

    The "poops everywhere" problem has not abated. We are thankful that it is contained to their pen at least - we can handle it so long as they don't start crapping all over the house when they're out.

    We have added additional X-pen panels in such a way that we can allow them to be out in a larger area when we are away. This way they can sleep under our dining room table, on the chairs sometimes, where they prefer to hang out ordinarily. They can also run around on the rug beneath the table, so they can exercise more than when they are contained to the pen itself. We still pen them at night while we are asleep.

    Kimchi and Ellie continue to grow even closer! They are adorable. She grooms him more than he does her, and his sessions tend to be much shorter, but you can feel the love. They do things separately sometimes, but frequently they can be found side by side, lounging around - or running around!

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  12. Jan 6, 2018 #12

    mark

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    Oh I can't edit my post ... I was going to add:

    Attached are some recent pictures, including a shot of how we blocked off our (fake) Christmas tree using extra X-pen panels. You can also see the custom-order Christmas stockings that my mom had made up and sent to us and her "grand-bunnies" (we have no kids, sorry mom!).

    In one shot, Kimchi briefly endures being "dressed up" slightly for a holiday picture.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2018 #13

    Nancy McClelland

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  14. Jan 7, 2018 #14

    Whiterabbitrage

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    Fabulous pix! Really like your pet gate set up too.
     
  15. Jan 7, 2018 #15

    JBun

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    Nothing sweeter than two happy bunnies snuggling together :inlove:
     
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  16. Jan 7, 2018 #16

    RavenousDragon

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    So stinking cute!!!!
     
  17. Jan 26, 2018 #17

    mark

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    Time for a small update. I'm keeping this thread as a bit of a journal for my rabbits on this forum.

    We had some humping / dominance-establishing behavior after my wife and I stayed overnight at my mom's and left the buns alone. You can read all about it here:

    http://www.rabbitsonline.net/showthread.php?p=1090937

    And finally, a couple more pictures just because. :)

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  18. Jan 30, 2018 #18

    Stinkerbunnies

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    Their so cute! My rabbits aren't friendly to each other, but they bonded to us. Big Wig is mine, Blackie Chan is my sisters. ( Big Wig is white and black, Chan is black) I absolutely adore the little stocking! Kimchi is so cute in his scarf! My rabbits would positively eat me alive if I tried to dress them up. Still, I'm thinking some scarves.

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  19. Jan 31, 2018 #19

    mark

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    Haha, not pictured with the scarf picture, but just out of the frame are my wife's hands, who had just released him and the scarf so I could snap a quick picture with my phone. Believe me, he didn't "wear" the scarf for very long!

    We also had a small bow perched on Ellie's head, but she is so fast we weren't able to get a picture of her with it - let alone both of them "dressed up" together!

    We love our rabbits, but they hate to be handled and that includes the outfits. :) We couldn't resit trying, however.

    Stinkerbunnies, I love your rabbits as well! Super cute! Love the names too, very good!
     
  20. Jan 31, 2018 #20

    Stinkerbunnies

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    Oh my gosh! Ellie is eating her vegetables and getting around quicker than Kimchi. Thanks! We thought Chan was very athletic ( He's not ) so we named him after Jackie Chan, but he's black, hence the Blackie. And Big Wig is from Water ship down, by Richard Adams. He is a grumpy bunny who has a big mane. ( Big Wig is a lion head, so perfect fit!) My sister thought up both of the names. We love to see Big Wigs little mouth and Chans ( as my dad calls it ) noble bun pose.
     
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