Willow and Pippen bonding progress/questions

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Critterfan87, Aug 18, 2019.

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  1. Aug 18, 2019 #1

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

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    Background: I am fostering to adopt Pippen, a 5 month old fixed male Hotot. I adopted Willow, a 7 month old fixed female lionhead and hoping they will bond. I received them both within the past week and within a few days of each other.

    Because I got them so close together, I figured there was much less opportunity for them to get territorial about their enclosures and to keep that from happening, I've been swapping them out, one is a bigger pen with some running room and the other is smaller, so they've each been getting half a day in the bigger one. Hopefully that's okay? The pens are side by side with about 6 inches of space between them.

    Today they had their first face to face meeting with nothing between them. Lasted 20 minutes and went very well, I thought.

    My first question, though I'm sure this is still early to be asking, is when do you consider a pair truly bonded when everything is going smoothly? Like how long should one keep things slow and wait before keeping them together all the time?
     
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  2. Aug 18, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    I'm afraid there is no set answer to that. It varies per pair. I've had bonds that didn't have any issues at all and they were able to share the same cage by the 2nd night of having the new one. And I've had pairs that refused to bond at all after weeks of trying.

    I realize that isn't too helpful, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut. You know your rabbits better than anyone else (even if you've only had them a short time). :)
     
  3. Aug 18, 2019 #3

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

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    DSC_7672.JPG DSC_7673.JPG DSC_7674.JPG DSC_7675.JPG Willow and Pippen just had their second face to face date. It went decently.
    Pippen is in lurve but Willow is much more skeptical. No aggression though at least.

    View attachment 42378
    View attachment 42378 DSC_7673.JPG
     
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  4. Aug 18, 2019 #4

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Aw, they're gorgeous! I love his face markings! I hope it works out.
     
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  5. Aug 19, 2019 #5

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

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    I just reworked the pens to allow them to be joined. So far they are doing good with it. Willow still won't let Pippen get super close to her but doesn't seem stressed. And Pippen isn't chasing her too much. Think I'll leave it this way for the evening, there are no areas Pippen can corner her in. I'll separate them again for the night though. 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
     
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  6. Aug 19, 2019 #6

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

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    They've now been together for almost 3 hours and are getting along well. Willow is now not running away from Pip, even letting him cuddle a bit and walk or stand next to her and he has stopped trying so hard to be in her face.
     
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  7. Aug 20, 2019 #7

    Critterfan87

    Critterfan87

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    I separated them last night but re-opened the barrier this morning. Willow even seemed to want it open this morning! They have done great all day and I am going to leave both sides open tonight I think.
    Don't want to jinx it and I'll watch extra carefully for a few more days but I think they are or are going to bond.
    So looks like Pippen will also be a foster fail! That's a big relief, I didn't really want to deal with two rabbits that needed kept apart but I'm falling in love more and more with Pip the longer he's here, the more comfortable he is and the more personality he shows.
     
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