Nala's tell-all blog! Quad-bonding and more! Nala, Alice, Harley Quinn and Barnaby (aka Big Bunny).

Discussion in 'Bunny Blogs' started by Imbrium, Apr 24, 2019.

Help Support Rabbits Online by donating:

  1. Apr 24, 2019 #1

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    My first blog, Nala and Gaz, was started in late 2012. I left the forums around 3/2014, when our beloved Gazzles died. I resurrected it on page 35 in Jan 2019 when I returned to the forums after our "son" (Layne) died of GI stasis on 1/19/19.

    While JBun helped me find my old blog threads, I feel like (given the nearly 5 year gap and significant change-over in regime (only Nala remains out of our previous rabbits)), it might be better to start semi-fresh.

    Just to make sure we're all on the same page... I've had some wine and I'm wearing hubby's "Jason" mask (Friday the 13th) while overseeing three "bonding in process" rabbits and insisting to cat boys that they don't need any of my cheesy onion bagel, listening to music and PMing Blue eyes to make sure she knows she'll be in trouble if she suggests to my husband that we might be getting both a degu and a corn snake, lol (I want both, too, but it's financially and cleaning-wise too big of a commitment).

    If you plan to read this, I recommend catching up on my former blog from the "page 35" link above... but from now on, I'll post new stuff here :).
     
  2. Apr 24, 2019 #2

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Building on the three posts I made last night on my previous blog, all has been quiet on the Western front for a good two and a half hours. I have decided to make this the deciding night. I will be sleeping inside the bonding area on a twin size mattress topper with my pillow. Any significant chasing from the rabbit will require them to run directly over me, waking me up.

    If I sleep until tomorrow morning without being woken up, they will have passed the test and be officially bonded. If they do wake me up, I will intervene and attempt to end things on a positive note, then separate them to their usual cages before going back to sleep. Crossing my fingers... But I feel like this is probably it for them. I think I will be able to consider them bonded after tonight, then have them live happily in the bonding room until I can build the refreshed/neutral condo this weekend.
     
  3. Apr 24, 2019 #3

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    They've still been in their separate corners... So I tried to agitate the situation a little bit. True to form, big bunny freaked out and exploded. I have been telling him repeatedly that there's nothing to worry about, but big bunny is just a worrier by nature. He is now inside my shirt with his head sticking out the neck hole. It is both adorable and completely ridiculous. See attached picture.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Apr 24, 2019 #4

    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
    You're brave. I gave up on difficult bonds long ago, just too stressful. If it's not love at first sight, I don't even want to try. But I guess if you fall in love with a particular bun, you just do what you have to do.

    For underweight rabbits there is feeding a nice leafy alfalfa hay. It's high in protein, but the problem is it's also high in calcium, so could potentially cause bladder or kidney issues. If you don't want to risk that, there are old fashioned oats if your bun isn't prone to digestive upset and sensitive to carbs in the diet. If oats won't work, what I used for my old underweight bun(as she couldn't have oats) was black oil sunflower seeds that I picked up at the farm store. They are high in fat and low in carbs, so it didn't cause mushy poop for my bun and helped a bit with keeping weight on her. And it's easy to single out and feed them to just one particular bun. Though of course the other bun always seemed to know and beg for her share, which she was a bit chubby and definitely didn't need.

    How is it that the big bunnies seem to be the biggest babies? Mine was the same.
     
  5. Apr 24, 2019 #5

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    I'll give the black oil sunflower seeds a try! I think the bird supply store we frequent sells them. Do I need to remove the shells, or no?

    Oats were one of the very first things I tried to tempt that darn Harley Quinn with. She was excited for about half a second, ate maybe four of them and then add'd and wandered off. To be honest, that's her problem with most high calorie foods. I'm pretty sure she would wander back to them later, but of course that's assuming that no cage mate of hers has vacuumed them up in the meantime.

    As for the difficult bond, I honestly have my suspicions that Alice will never truly be able to bond with the other rabbits. She has been on her own for over four years. The delay in having her spayed definitely seems to be complicating things.

    Barnaby (aka Big Bunny) was originally meant to be a replacement partner for Nala. Harley Quinn basically invited herself along for the ride. What was meant to be a duo became a would-be trio without too much complication.

    On the one hand, I like the challenge aspect of forming a quad because I've never had more than a trio and to me, bonding is the ultimate test of how well you know your rabbits. On the other hand, I'm going into this with open eyes, accepting of the fact that Alice may in fact never bond with the other three. I really want her to have a chance at friends, but at the same time I want to take it slowly and I don't intend to push it if things continue to go badly. All I want is for the bunns to be happy, and if it means Alice is permanently housed separately, I'm prepared to make that work.

    Honestly, when HQ weaseled her way into the situation, I was well aware that adding two unbonded rabbits to two existing unbonded rabbits was a volatile situation at best that was much more likely to result in either two pairs or one trio plus a single rabbit then it was to be a successful quad (with the least likely but not impossible outcome being four single rabbits, none of whom got along). For some reason, I admit that I read Alice wrong - I would have guessed an outcome of two pairs was more likely than a trio with an odd rabbit out... Especially since Nala was initially reluctant to bond with HQ and big bunny once the "get to know you" car ride had ended.
     
  6. Apr 24, 2019 #6

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    I just got up to pee and, while HQ is still on the other side of the room, I caught Nala and big bunny in the adorable pose shown in the attached pictures.

    On a side note, I have to say it is infinitely easier / lazier to post pictures from the cell phone then the computer if you're able to take the picture while formulating the post. Seeing as it isn't uncommon for me to get up from my chair and go take a pictures specifically to illustrate something in the moment, I will definitely have to keep this in mind. 15560965114973857054280621736169.jpg 15560966128927751284883379324730.jpg
     
  7. Apr 24, 2019 #7

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    15560970186997571573663169170051.jpg

    One more, simply because this one was significantly cuter than the other two.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2019 #8

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    After two hours of sleep on a mattress topper on the bathroom floor and being woken up numerous times by Nala using me as a jungle gym (a habit she's had since she was a baby), I was woken up by certain butthole cats and their daily crack-of-dawn insanity. While trying to get back to sleep, Nala and Big Bunny shot across the room, right over me, then slammed into the corner. I couldn't tell if it was fighting or if she startled him and it caused a chain reaction that led to a chase. Either way, that was the end of the session :(. On the plus side, I can lock the cats out of the bedroom and curl up in the king-size bed.

    The good news is that this sort of minor altercation is how marathon bonding sessions always seem to end (where I'm trying to "bond until they're bonded" unless there's a reason to separate) and at least they never hold a grudge about it. It's not so much fighting as seeming ready to part ways for a bit. I feel like Nala still misses Layne a lot yet isn't overly eager to replace him. BB is nearly six years younger than her and I suppose if someone made me hang out with a teenage boy at my age, I'd reach a point of "ok, I've had enough, can he go home now?" too, lol.

    I think instead of marathon sessions, I'm going to try more frequent but shorter sessions... pretty much, instead of taking turns having "out" time in the living room, they can have shared running around time in our bedroom. While Nala definitely gets to a point where she's ready to go home (alone), she still seems quite open to the idea of the other two rabbits, so I'm sure I can wear her down on the issue eventually :p. Come to think of it, Layne was a juvenile when Nala was around 3 and she initially had a bit of a "who's this young punk?" attitude about him... but they ended up the best of friends.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2019 #9

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    I am laying in bed with insomnia, looking at RO on my phone. Trying to answer a couple posts using speech to text... Do you have any idea how frustrating that is to do when you have a bad case of the hiccups? Because that's where I'm at right now and it's making me a little crazy.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2019 #10

    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
    No, the shells just provide extra fiber, unless you're concerned about them having pesticides on them or something(which might be possible). I just always fed them whole and people that I know that feed them do as well, but I was overly careful(in my nature) about checking each seed to make sure the shell wasn't cracked as I didn't want to give my bun a possibly decayed/moldy seed(you know those nasty ones you bite into and spit out), which actually could possibly make a bun quite sick if they were to swallow and not spit out. Though to initially tempt her with them you may need to remove the shell and just give the seed. Of course, knowing rabbits, you might then be stuck with her deciding she would much rather you dehull all her seeds :p

    So cute! I love seeing bunnies happily snuggled. Sounds like she just needs time to get used to this whole new situation/bunnies. Which is understandable at her age. I agree, I would need a break too.

    Can't say I've ever tried speech to text when I've had hiccups. That could be interesting.
     
  11. Apr 26, 2019 #11

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Surprisingly, the hiccups didn't even register with it... but unfortunately, if I said a word right after the hiccup, it didn't register either >.>

    This is not a good day. Hubby was supposed to get out of the mental hospital (after 10 days) but now the stupid doctor is screwing around and saying Monday after he was promised to get out today. Some of it is that we were late having a phone-therapy-session thingy with the therapist - it was supposed to happen yesterday, but she left work early due to a death in the family. We got it done today, but she said the doctor still has to sign off on the discharge and it probably won't happen today. That's such a load of BS! He needed to go in when he did, but now he's been in there too long and it's making him SUPER depressed. It's making ME depressed. It's making the cats absolutely INSANE. I took today off of work to deal with this, so I won't be able to get Monday off. I'm waiting for a return phone call from his case manager at the outpatient psych center we go to - I'm hoping maybe she can help get him out, but the work day is wrapping up in the next three hours, so I'm not hopeful :(.
     
  12. May 13, 2019 #12

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Man, did we have a day today! Took Nala, Barnaby and HQ to visit Jay's gma at her home (like a nursing home, but in a house). Didn't actually parade the rabbits around there, as she was in her room today rather than the common room, but they got lots of love and attention from one of the caregivers. Then we went to Petsmart under the guise of getting some minnows to feed the turtle. Put a folded tarp down in the bottom of the shopping cart (didn't plan ahead to bring a towel or blanket) so they had a solid(ish) surface and turned the cart into a mobile trio-bonding pen (worked *wonderfully* by the way!). They got so much love and attention in the store, lol. Unfortunately, Petsmart wasn't selling feeder fish for the next MONTH, presumably due to some sort of parasite or infection.

    When we left, we had no particular plans so I asked hubby if he wanted to go do a repeat of the bonding/showing off session at Petco, again under the guise of getting minnows. Petco ALSO wasn't selling feeder fish! They must share a supplier :(. A shipment of feeder fish was infested with "Ich" and since all three of their feeder fish tanks share a filter, they all were under quarantine and couldn't be sold. Boo. Rabbits got even more attention at Petco! One woman told us of living in a hotel in Belgium as a little girl with a bunny, "Wabbit" - the cooks from the hotel would bring her all the "garbage" parts of the veggies they prepared and spoil him with love and food. She even moved to Iran and other places with Wabbit... and after loving on our bunnies a ton, told me that she really appreciated getting to visit with them - she needed a "rabbit" day today in particular. Two female employees agreed with me and hubby about choosing pets over kids as they, too, fawned over the trio :p.

    We wanted to run to Walmart quick, so we came home to drop the rabbits off because of Walmart's newish, and (to us) very rude anti-pet policy. I blame dogs using carts as mobile bathrooms, as they especially emphasize no dogs in carts (including service dogs). We used to bring Nala and Layne to Walmart pretty often and when our cats were a few weeks old, we brought a couple kittens to the store. I've seen people in there with tiny puppies, even a snake! I recently saw a woman smuggling the tiniest puppy in her jacket, lol. We shared a laugh after I caught her and said "Awwwww!"

    After Walmart, we stopped by Jay's mom's trailer (same property as ours) and I swiped four cherries for four cute little rabbits. I came home and sat on the floor to get the pits out and dispense the tasty flesh. On top of Alice's cage was the carrier Nala had been in... as I was giving out cherry pieces, I saw something furry and brown in the carrier and for a split second thought I'd somehow forgotten to unpack Nala! Then I realized, I'd just FED Nala. It was Pokey! One of our cats got up on top the cage, climbed into the carrier and was taking a nap, lol.

    Then I stopped by the kitchen on my way to the bedroom, where Alice was (supposed to be) in a pen getting her daily exercise (she was getting extra time out because she didn't get to come on the adventures today on the grounds that she's mean to the other rabbits). As I'm turning to leave, there's a sudden chase scene involving three cats and a rabbit!!! Little Alice was tearing through the house on the warpath and cats were frantically scattering to get out of her way!
     
  13. May 13, 2019 #13

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Oh, I forgot about the funniest part on the WAY to the Walmart! My MIL had warned us about turtles crossing the road every once in a while... I saw something big lumbering across the road on the way out of the area where we live (rural area in the midst of The Woodlands area of Texas). I had thought they'd be smaller but they're HUGE (like a foot across in diameter)! Two cars going the other direction just barely reacted in time to straddle the turtle, who was 2/3 of the way across the road... no one behind me, so I stopped the car with the hazards on, hopped out and grabbed the turtle. She tucked her head into her shell and let me pick her up... I tossed her gently into the reeds on the side of the road she'd been headed towards. I think she appreciated it, heh.
     
  14. May 13, 2019 #14

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    On a side note, I don't have any kids, but I feel like you shouldn't be allowed to call a cap "childproof" if my PURSE can open it. Getting pretty sick of generic ibuprofen spilling all over the place >.>
     
  15. May 14, 2019 #15

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    I suppose it's over now, but today (the 13th) was me and hubby's 6 year anniversary!! :D

    We had a great day - I had an unexpected day off (work was cancelled); we went to Lake Conroe (though we got there after it closed and couldn't swim, we got to sit on a pier in the marina and eat a picnic lunch), among other things. We've been through a hell of a lot in the last 6 years, the worst of it involving his newly diagnosed schizophrenia and bipolar disorder... but our marriage is stronger than ever and his new meds are working out really well. As bad as any of the bad times have been, the good times have been even better... and that makes it all worthwhile, you know? After six years, my big take-away on marriage is that, if you marry your best friend, nothing is ever insurmountable! :)
     
    Sissy and thelaurelcrowned like this.
  16. May 14, 2019 #16

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Sissy

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2019
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Staffordshire, Uk
    Happy anniversary, belatedly. Life certainly sounds eventful in your household!
     
  17. May 14, 2019 #17

    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
    Your life always sounds like an adventure. Alice sounds absolutely hilarious :p I'm sure it's quite entertaining to see her in action.
    Happy anniversary!
     
  18. May 15, 2019 #18

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Oh, she is SO cute and terrible. Rotten to the rabbit core and equally adorable! Maybe one day I'll get some video of her chasing cats, lol.
     
  19. May 22, 2019 #19

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Okay! Mommy had a day off and was actually caught up on chores enough and had enough energy to take Daddy on a double (triple?) date with four bunnies.

    Everyone had had two to three weeks to forget about Alice and her nip happy behavior... The trio trip to pet stores last time was such a success that Mommy decided to showcase her quad-in-the-making today.

    We ended up spending a little over 2 hours in the car/in pet stores. Drove around to run some super quick errands, leaving hubby in the backseat with rabbits (and a/c of course).

    Stopped at a Petco first where they really stole the show. I like the Petco shopping carts as they're more raised, a little smaller and give a great view of the contents. This makes it much easier to show off rabbits to eager passers-by. More than one person commented that they liked Petco better than PetSmart specifically because you only ever seem to see dogs at PetSmart while you see all sorts of crazy things at Petco. Honestly, while our four rabbit deal was awesome, I really would have loved to see the person who brought in 10 day old kits and/or the person who showed up with a goat (stories told by a Petco employee).

    When we got back to The Woodlands, we stopped at the PetSmart by the house. There, most of the attention came from the employees in the grooming and boarding area, who love our rabbits.

    We made it nearly two and a half hours without Alice nipping anyone! Barnaby did try to hump her once in the car but she just sat there and took it. They were all on their super best behavior... so we decided to continue the bonding session at home in the bonding area.

    That isn't going quite as well, but still good. No one has fought or humped, but everyone is a little iffy. Harley Quinn has been expressing herself with so many thumps it sounds like Morse code and Nala has been thumping back at her and Barnaby a fair amount. I'm trying to push them through it, though and everybody has been eating hay and kind of chilling in their own parts of the bonding pen. When they do cross paths I make sure they keep the interaction positive or neutral. Again, the highlight of this is that Alice hasn't bitten anyone.

    Hubby and I both agreed that tonight was an awesome double/triple date. Lots of fun and a great use of a day off. Now that Mommy is done chauffeuring everyone around, I've gotten into the wine and I'm sitting in the bonding pen with - for the first time - all four of our rabbits.

    To help me referee, I have with me "the stick". It's some random broom stick my husband found at our first apartment complex with no broom attached. Over the years it has been spray painted and decorated and bestowed with "magical" powers... Primarily, the power to mediate over all disputes in this household. For you South Park fans out there, it has come to be known as "The Stick of Truth". The stick is the ultimate mediator, gently parting the seas when rabbits start to get a little too interested in each other in a bad way.

    Anyway, we've been in the bonding area for over an hour with no significant scuffles. Harley and Barnaby are huddled together in the bottom level of a bookcase while Nala and Alice are in their own areas of the pen. Nobody has bitten, there's been literally a single hump and a lot of hay has been eaten. For a first session with four rabbits, it's hard to imagine it going any better.

    The only downside for the day is that it still breaks our hearts whenever Barnaby cringes when you go to pet him. Dammit, big bunny, nobody is ever going to try to eat you and nobody is ever going to hit you. I don't know what happened to him and his first six months of life before he was found in the park and brought to the shelter, but I truly hope we can eventually heal that wound. 15584921133952133406198952430496.jpg

    Edited to fix a variety of stupid typos caused by speech-to-text technology.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  20. May 22, 2019 #20

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,074
    Likes Received:
    1,016
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    15584925317005139186496157426081.jpg 15584925896439130380606363371506.jpg
    Nobody wanted to respond to Alice's grooming requests, so I grabbed her and licked the top of her head repeatedly. I don't think she appreciated the gesture. Meanwhile, hubby just came in with a totino's pizza and Harley Quinn thinks she needs some of it.

    15584934244146475300070376387861.jpg
     
    elliem likes this.

Share This Page