Pre- (and post) Bonded Rabbit Questions

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Troller

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I'd like some advice from any folks here who had to keep rabbits seperate for a while before bonding them. I've had Xena in the house now with Conan for a month and it's all been very quiet. I expected poop wars, but there hasn't been any at all. Is that a good sign, or is it that Xena is only 6 months old so as a a Flemish she hasn't hit hormonal stage and thus Conan sees her as a baby? Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled there's been no messes to clean.

That also gets me thinking. They share the same run space (not at the same time) and there's been nothing out of the ordinary in that either. No markings, or angry behavior or percieved possessiveness. They eat around each other and lay together between cages, so I think this is a good sign for when I start bonding hopefully next month, but has anyone had an experience like this that went either way?
 

existenziell

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I've kept my rabbits separate, but both display territorial behavior (lots of poop, even some pee). I would say that the fact that this hasn't happened with yours to be a good sign, that maybe the two don't see each other as a threat. The fact that they are laying side by side too (even though apart) and are eating by each other is a good sign. It sounds like, at the very least, stage 1 of bonding is going well. Until you actually put them together in a neutral space and introduce them properly, you won't know for sure but it sounds promising.
 

agnesthelion

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I would definitely say those are good signs!!

I think Xenas age shouldn't factor in to the non poop war thing. I think that you might have just gotten lucky :) Mine had definite poop wars but no pee.

And the rest of what you describe is exactly how my two were and as you know my bonding experience was extremely successful. We didn't even have one tiny itty bitty scuffle. It went very well.

I have high hopes for your two! Like PP said you won't know for sure til you get there but it sounds pretty positive at this point.

Yay! :)
 

Troller

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Wish I could re-edit this topic to include post bond on the title. Anywho, to those with bonded bunnies of the same size, do you guys have two bowls, water bottles, litters etc. in their cage/space or is everything just bigger and shared?
 

missyscove

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I edited your title for you.
My bunnies share everything. I have a wide, shallow bowl for their pellets so both faces can fit in at once. I use an automatic waterer for kitties that holds 0.5 gallons of water and have a bottle on the cage for backup. They have a jumbo litterbox that they can easily both sit in and eat hay at the same time. They also have a cat bed that they sleep in together.
 

agnesthelion

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2 of everything. I think I ended up like that because I bought double of everything in order to switch things to help get used to each others scents more when they were still caged separately. Then, when they moved in together rather than go buy new stuff a third time I just combined it all.
 

holtzchick

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I would add two of everything JUST incase there is an arguement over food etc. I know I'll be needing two bowls :/

Great signs that they're giving you though, I'd say they're ready to be introduced if you're not noticing any agressive/unusual behaviors! :)
 

Troller

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So I know your supposed to wait 6 weeks after a buster with males due to hormones and viable sperm, but what of spays and hormones? I mean I'm waiting for at least two weeks for Xena to heal, but curious as to when its safe to start the bonding.
 

lyndym

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I just got a new girl for my boy about a month ago. There was a one-sided poop war - Doc would poop in their play area after Aurora had been out. That stopped after about a week. He still chins everything, but no longer poops. However, during initial dates, he would be begging her to groom him, and she would be the one to pick fights with him, though she has never pooped in the play area and rarely chins. So I guess who was pooping wasn't a good indicator for my pair, but I'd say laying near each other in between cages is a good sign!
 

Troller

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Also, articles I read advise at initial meeting having a litter box, toys and an obstacle around while other articles say it should be nothing but the rabbits. In your experiences what worked better?
 

Imbrium

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things definitely sound promising!

personally, I would start with two of everything... then after a while, casually remove the duplicates - that way there's less to clean and refill (they'll prefer to share once fully bonded anyway).

with spays, it can take up to a month before hormones are gone completely... however, with how promising things are sounding, you could start a little sooner (particularly if your male is laid-back, as the main concern is that she'll want to hump him and he'll get pissed off about it). if you introduce them before it's been a month, just keep a very close eye on them and if you see anything that looks like it could escalate into a fight, cut the bonding session short and wait out the rest of the month to resume bonding attempts.

I don't have experience bonding rabbits from scratch, but have had to re-bond my girls a couple times. I would have a litter box available for sure and maybe a couple toys (a small cardboard box or a tunnel and a tossing toy, etc.) just so there's a place to potty and maybe a little something to do (together, if you're lucky)... but I would keep the space fairly small (like a bathroom or single playpen) and wouldn't fill it up with a whole lot of stuff so that they're encouraged to interact with each other.
 

lyndym

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With my first pair, I had litter boxes and other items around during dates. This was fine for them since both rabbits came home at the same time and "knew" the items were for sharing, and neither had previous ownership of those things. Now that this is my second time around and Aurora is the new girl in town and all our stuff is "Doc's," I won't have anything in the pen with them once their dates get up and running. Though, they do use the same toys during separate play times and I switch their cages and litter boxes daily, so they probably realize they are sharing. :p

It does depend on how they react to each other, too. Doc and Dora began with having supervised play time together and just spending cage time separately, so their bonding was easier and they were typically okay with sharing things. Doc and Aurora have been difficult and have so far been unable to have play time together, so once we get to that point, I'll put them in an empty pen and proceed from there.
 

agnesthelion

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I think as long as she is healed you might be able to have their first date. It depends on your comfort level and following your gut with your buns. For example, my twos first date at the rescue was 5 days after Archies neuter. And then 5 days after that they dated at home. So hormones were definitely still there but because of how positive they were towards each other, I progressed. It was fine.

As far as litterboxes I disagree with having a litterbox during the first dates. First of all, the first date is going to be so brief, right? I mean, mine was 5 minutes of that. Second of all, litter box=peeing&pooping; peeing&pooping=territory; territory (can)=defensiveness.

I think the first few dates, or at minimum the very FIRST date, should be only neutral territory. Nothing I there except two bunnies. See how it goes from there.

For me personally I didn't introduce litterboxes until I moved their dates to NONneutral territory. And at that time I had like 4 boxes I think. And they did slowly stake claim over a certain one.

Of course with all that being said, ultimately you kmow your buns the best and that's what worked for my two, it may not work for yours. I think things sound pretty positive for you so I anticipate a good outcome.
 

Imbrium

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true, I forgot how short the first dates are... I'd say once dates are 30 mins or more, though, a litter box is a good idea.
 

hanamuffins

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I have three rabbits, and I tried introducing them all at the same time. It all went really well for a while--first, just running around trying to mount. Then pooping everywhere, then no pooping and all play. All was good, then suddenly out of nowhere the 2 boys began to fight.

Since you have a boy and a girl, you're already in better shape than I was! But I will say that what I think I did wrong was I did not extend their play time quick enough, and I perhaps gave them too long of a break to second guess it.

So it sounds like you're definitely going in the right direction! Just make sure to keep it consistent I guess. Good luck!
 

agnesthelion

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I have three rabbits, and I tried introducing them all at the same time. It all went really well for a while--first, just running around trying to mount. Then pooping everywhere, then no pooping and all play. All was good, then suddenly out of nowhere the 2 boys began to fight.

Since you have a boy and a girl, you're already in better shape than I was! But I will say that what I think I did wrong was I did not extend their play time quick enough, and I perhaps gave them too long of a break to second guess it.

So it sounds like you're definitely going in the right direction! Just make sure to keep it consistent I guess. Good luck!
I don't think you did anything wrong. Trios are very uncommon and rarely work without troubles along the way.
 
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