Re-Bonding Rabbit Help?!

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by lunlow, Mar 18, 2018.

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  1. Mar 18, 2018 #1

    lunlow

    lunlow

    lunlow

    Lunlow

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    Hey! I have 2 fixed female rabbits at about 9 months old that I need to re-bond. They were put together by the pet shop at about 8 weeks old (a week before I got them myself) and they said there would be no problems with them. As a first bunny owner, trusting a well-known pet shop, I happily bought them.

    At about 8 months old, I had to separate them however, as they began to display extremely territorial behaviour and the vet couldn't actually determine whether one was female or male. I had them spayed about a week ago (and yes, both were female) and now I need help re-introducing them. It has been a week since surgery; is this too early? Should I find an area neither has been on before? Do I need to do anything else to re-bond them?

    I will mention that they weren't (and aren't) completely separate, still being able to physically see each other while not being able to touch.

    Apologies for this being so long, but could anyone provide tips and/or a detailed way of introducing my bunnies again?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Mar 18, 2018 #2
    Yes too early. Hormones can take over a month to diminish.
    And yes bonding should be done in a totally neutral area.
     
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  3. Mar 19, 2018 #3

    lunlow

    lunlow

    lunlow

    Lunlow

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    Would disinfecting their entire play area with watered down bleach count as creating a neutral space, or would the neutral area have to be somewhere entirely new?

    Thanks again, and apologies for the pedantic questions. Completely new space isn't exactly available for everyone...
     
  4. Mar 19, 2018 #4
  5. Mar 19, 2018 #5

    lunlow

    lunlow

    lunlow

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  6. Mar 19, 2018 #6

    Aki

    Aki

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    Eliminating the smell is the most important. I generally vaccuum and put vinegar where I can. You can put a small drop of perfume on each rabbit nose too to neutralise their sense of smell. I don't think you need a completely new place to make introductions, however the problem you might have with a play area is too much space. Personally, I like to make introductions in a small room with no small place where one of the bunnies could be cornered by the other while making it hard for me to intervene. The bathroom or the kitchen are often the best places because it's small and the floor is often different from their normal living space which will feel weird for the bunnies and distract them from fighting. I've had to introduce / reintroduce rabbits a few times and for me what always worked was taking the rabbits separately out of the future shared territory. Wash the territory thoroughly. Put the rabbits together in the bathroom with a big pile of vegetables keeping a spray bottle filled with water on hand just in case. Let the rabbits hump a bit as long as the fur isn't flying and none of the rabbits seems too scared. When the rabbits interact peacefully I put them together in the same petcarrier and release them simultaneously in their territory (I make sure there is no place where one of them could be cornered here either, I provide plenty of distractions like new carboard houses with several 'doors', a cisal mat, food... and I keep an eye on them by working on a laptop or reading in the same room). I may have been lucky but it worked everytime. Good luck!
     
  7. Mar 19, 2018 #7

    lunlow

    lunlow

    lunlow

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    Haha, thank you for the *detailed* response! I was beginning to get a little desperate! I will try everything you have mentioned, and even then, I will disinfect their future territory, especially as both have been in there before. We have a bathroom available and plenty of distractions, so thank you lots for the help! Couldn't thank you possibly enough, actually! My mind is finally at rest, for now, lol. :)
     
  8. Mar 20, 2018 #8
    Please do NOT use perfume on your rabbits...
    Rabbits aren't stupid. Many can still tell if an area is theirs even if you have made it smell different. It still looks the same and just because you can't smell something doesn't mean they can't. Especially if there is anything remotely porus.
    Why risk it? You will set bonding back even further. Just use an entirely NEW neutral space.
    You also should not be using negative reinforcement. You don't need 1 rabbit thinking the other is the one who did something to them and holding a grudge.

    And try and keep the snide remarks to yourself please.
     

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