BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding groups (3+)
Last Post by Sarita at 10/31/2012 7:25 AM (20 Replies)
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/09/2010 10:12 AM

This is for all the people who have bonded 3 or more bunnies.

  1. What was the most helpful thing you found when bonding your group?
  2. How many bunnies were bonded in your group?
  3. Were any of the bunnies in pairs or more before being put together?
  4. How long did it take you?
  5. What is something you would not try again if bonding a group?
  6. How is your group now? Any bickering/fighting?
  7. Have you added any new bunnies since? how did it go?
  8. What is your houseing/set-up for the group?

Anything to add?

Thanks

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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/09/2010 2:59 PM
The most helpful thing for me was the NIC cube. I had to do so many sessions that I could not possibly sit with them all that time, with the cube of grids I could just take them to different rooms to at least have them sit together. The cube is not a fix-all, rabbits need to learn to be together in it, but it usually has a high success rate.
I had a bonded quartet, at one point in the beginning I did have a pair before I got a third to make a trio and then a fourth to make a quartet. The quartet took I think six weeks of daily four-hour sessions.
I would never ever attempt group sessions in the very beginning, meaning more than two buns at a time; it creates chaos and makes the rabbits hard to read in their positions one to another. I now go with paired sessions to bond one bunny to another at a time. This is what makes it time-consuming.

My group was great. There was a dominant pair, Mops & Deirdra, and the other two were keeping low profiles from time to time, but no fighting.

Well, now would be a good time to mention that I adopted a new rabbit to make another quartet since Mops passed away. My trio was very much changed by Mops passing away, and I thought it an opportune time to bond again. The new rabbit's presence has caused an upset in my trio for sure.

My set-up was a condo, a room and an outside pen for my quartet before. Right now during the bonding of the new quartet, I have to confine everybunny part-time in my room where I can witness interactions easily. I am using cages to do habitat swapping and also to save on neutral space.

I would like to add that for me, bonding is 30% space used, 30% time commitment invested, and 30% rabbit cooperation; the remaining 10% is magic. LOL.
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User is Offline mrmac
San Diego, CA
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9/09/2010 3:32 PM
What was the most helpful thing you found when bonding your group?
Neutral space, and stressors were extremely helpful in my trio. I had to really stress my rabbits at times, Delilah was/is an aggressive bunny and I had to find many other distractions to keep her in control.

How many bunnies were bonded in your group?
I had a trio. Davey, Delilah, and Dexter. I also attempted a quartet.

Were any of the bunnies in pairs or more before being put together?
Davey and Delilah were a pair to begin with, Dex was added in about one year later.

How long did it take you?
I think it took me about 3 months. Maybe a little less, but about three until I felt I could say that they were "bonded".

What is something you would not try again if bonding a group?
The housing next to one another had its good points and its bad. I would add a top cover/barrier if attempted again.

How is your group now? Any bickering/fighting?
Now I currently have two pairs. The trio was broken up, Dexter was getting picked on by Delilah and Dex and Dennis and Davey and Delilah were all instant pair bonds. My quartet is possible still but i don't have much trust left for Delilah to be left alone with Dennis. Dexter loves his new found confidence/dominance too.

Have you added any new bunnies since? how did it go?
I was attempting the quartet, adding Dennis in, and had him housed next to the trio the first night and Delilah jumped the barrier and mauled him. He had big wounds. I housed Dexter next to Davey and Delilah during the trio bonding and had no issues except for Delilah acting aggressively through the pen bars. I think this one with Dennis was just a freak occurrence.

What is your houseing/set-up for the group?
The trio was housed in an xpen set up, about a 5ftx8ft area. Now both pairs have xpen set ups.
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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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9/09/2010 3:47 PM
Petzy. Pics. Now.

*grabs stick*

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/09/2010 4:18 PM
you mean pictures of the bite marks on me from bonding sessions?
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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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9/09/2010 4:55 PM
Noooooo.

Of the new bunny!!!! *bonk*

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/10/2010 6:12 AM
Thank you everyone for your great responses! I am sure others not just me will find all this helpful.

Petzy - WOOHOO! Congratulations and good luck with the bonding. How exciting, can't wait to see pictures and hear abotu your new little friend. Hopefully the bites on you arn't to bad (Yikes!).

I am considering putting 4 of my bunnies together since Baby won't stay in his cage he is always in with Ani & Kyoto grooming them like crazy. I sort of decided to give it a try when Bubba was out and so was Ani and they didn't do anything but snif one another. Those two have always had it in for one another. So we're going to see how this goes.
Spencer & Suzy will still live as a pair, as they are good when it's outside with everyone but not inside the house, they are nasty little bunnies!
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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/10/2010 6:21 AM
Posted By Andi on 09/10/2010 09:12 AM

Spencer & Suzy will still live as a pair, as they are good when it's outside with everyone but not inside the house, they are nasty little bunnies!

 

this is a good example of how much territory plays into a bond

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User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/10/2010 6:25 AM
Posted By Andi on 09/10/2010 09:12 AM

Petzy - WOOHOO! Congratulations and good luck with the bonding. How exciting, can't wait to see pictures and hear abotu your new little friend. Hopefully the bites on you arn't to bad (Yikes!).

 

I am seeing a whole new side to Deirdra: scared, defensive and biting hard. This is what I learnt from my bonds, that the same rabbit can take on different roles in different relationships. You can never predict how it's going to go.

 

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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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9/10/2010 6:39 AM
Posted By Petzy on 09/10/2010 09:21 AM
Posted By Andi on 09/10/2010 09:12 AM

Spencer & Suzy will still live as a pair, as they are good when it's outside with everyone but not inside the house, they are nasty little bunnies!

 

this is a good example of how much territory plays into a bond

Yes it is. And it's just crazy that these were the very affraid and submissive bunnies before, specially when they lived with their brothers and sisters. But now that it's just teh two of them, they have become very territorial, dominat and aggressive towards other bunnies.
Outside they will chase a bit, mostly just Spencer, as Suzy likes to cuddle with Baby & Bubba.

 

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* Don't Breed or Buy while Homeless Pets Die. Opt' to Adopt!
* Adoption is the Living Option.
* Adopting One Rescued Animal Saves Two Lives. The Animal you Adopted, and the Homelss Animal that will take it's Place in the shelter.

User is Online jerseygirl
Australia
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9/10/2010 6:51 AM
Posted By Petzy on 09/10/2010 09:25 AM

I am seeing a whole new side to Deirdra: scared, defensive and biting hard. This is what I learnt from my bonds, that the same rabbit can take on different roles in different relationships. You can never predict how it's going to go.

That's interesting.  I guess she feels the warren is uncertain at the moment.  Even though Mops was first bonded with Lint, it was he and Deirdra that formed a tight bond wasn't it.
 

@ Andi, that Baby's a casanova. lol   I would love to see him and Bubba in with Ani & Kyoto!  Hope it will work for you.


User is Offline kralspace
West, Texas
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9/11/2010 7:53 AM
I had 2 bonded couples living in separate condos in the same room. Pringles and Daisy were originally bonded, Toby came in as a short term *cough* foster *cough*. Pringles took one look at Toby, dumped poor Daisy and moved in with Toby.

Daisy went dating and came home with Lola. Over a couple of weeks they bonded fairly easily. Daisy had spent his youth in a small cage at the petstore so I think he would have bonded with a rock. Lola accepted his worshiping.

I got tired of the constant poo wars and fighting through the bars when one couple would be out on playtime, so I started putting the girls, Pringles and Lola in the BOX just to make them accept each other a bit.

I was shocked that they didn't fight and continued on with different combinations and with Petzy's and others help here began trying to bond all four of them together.

We got to the point where all four were living free range in the room, with Pringles as alpha queen. Lola took to provoking the others and more cube time with her and them didn't seem to help and I came home one day to find her hiding with numerous bites and a big rip in her ear, so she became a single in my computer room.

Pringles and her boys are very happy and devoted to each other. Daisy took good care of Lola, but is just so much happier being back with his Pringles and takes it upon himself to groom everyone. He is more outgoing and confident than ever.

I felt terrible for Lola, she was now by herself and for several weeks she was very nervous and shellshocked from the attack (even though I'm sure she started it) and it took a while to heal the injuries, especially the ear.

Toward the end of this time, Charlie was sorta dumped on me, a young crazy dude and he got a condo in the computer room too. Lola was not happy and was quite vicious anytime he came near or looked at her.

I started spending most of my time with Lola since the other 3 were so content with each other. I've found she's adapted well to single life, her condo's at my elbow most of the time I'm home and she likes being talked to and treated constantly. I began handling her a lot more, both to groom and treat her cuts and discovered that if I carried her up high so she could put her front paws over my shoulder she didn't bite me. (I've always carried the bunnies in my arms against my chest)

It is still unnerving to have her nuzzle my neck and ear while carrying her, but she hasn't bit me yet that way. We go outside early in the mornings and she plays in the backyard while I garden and work. Having her alone has let me regulate her diet and she's gone from 7lbs down to under 5.

She is not as vicious towards Charlie when he comes near, so maybe one day....

Spending so much time with Lola has just taught me that she has a much different view of what she expects from me than the other bunnies do and once I discover what that is, she is more of a benevolent dictator than a flesh eating ball of fur (I mean that in a good way ;-)

I think the initial bonding went so well and quickly because they had all shared the same room for 2 years so they were familiar with scents and all.
My Bunny Burrow is full! Pringles & Toby, Daisy & Lola, and my senior citizens Hershey & Simba.
The piggies are back, add Brownie and Sweetpea to the mix.

User is Offline lwayne
427 posts Send Private Message
9/11/2010 4:26 PM
I'm going to be in big trouble if S.O. catches me reading this post...

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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9/13/2010 7:16 AM
Posted By Andi on 09/10/2010 09:12 AM

Spencer & Suzy will still live as a pair, as they are good when it's outside with everyone but not inside the house, they are nasty little bunnies!

 

It would be possible, with a little work in terms of safe setup, to cement them outdoors then if you wanted a group. I am talking about a two-week cementing period and then a new habitat setup indoors.

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User is Offline Karla
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10/18/2010 3:47 AM

This is a good thread. I really hope that I can soon add another response to it. But it is great to have this info gathered in one thread so we can use it for future bonding sessions.

What was the most helpful thing you found when bonding your group?

Bonding the easiest pair first and then add the third one into the group. My female and the new male had some tiffs - she would tolerate him if they were in the cage together eating, but as soon as he got out of the cage, she would chase him. For 3 nights, they were caged together and during the day, I let them sort it out themselves.

How many bunnies were bonded in your group?
3
Were any of the bunnies in pairs or more before being put together?
Had one pair - male and female - and added a male.
How long did it take you?
4 days
What is something you would not try again if bonding a group
I think because every group is individual, I would try everything again.
How is your group now? Any bickering/fighting?
That particular trio worked perfectly. Unfortunately, the newcomer only lived for 6 months.
Have you added any new bunnies since? how did it go?
What is your houseing/set-up for the group?
They were free-roamers. Ooh, the answers will be soooo much more different for my next trio

User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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10/18/2010 8:00 AM
Thanks for all the responces.
I wonder if i set up a stronger permenent outside pen for next year (after winters done) that i could leave them out overnight in while building a new indoor pen for all of them. I dunno.
The large outside space they do well in, but it's not like they sit together grooming one another, well not all of them.
Spencer still chases the others, though there are no fights or fur pulling. Suzy always chases Ani, and Ani & Kyoto always run away from everyone (But Baby). No one messes with Bubba, and he's never been in a fight, they just know not to mess with him LOL (Even Spencer). Pitters would be on the low end of the totem pole as he runs from everyone even if they are not bothering him (though i caught him sleeping under a hidey close to Spencer & Suzy yesterday... weird).
If i did a large set up, I would have to do a all shavings floor, which is a pain. As Baby is not litter trained and loves to pee EVERYWHERE.
Lots to consider and think about.
I like reading about everyones ideas and progresses with their own bunnies.
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* Don't Breed or Buy while Homeless Pets Die. Opt' to Adopt!
* Adoption is the Living Option.
* Adopting One Rescued Animal Saves Two Lives. The Animal you Adopted, and the Homelss Animal that will take it's Place in the shelter.

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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10/18/2010 8:05 AM
I think a new setup is the way to go, while at the same time identifying those rabbits who really have issues, and pair-bond them. It's just my opinion though and I wouldn't do a group with any rabbit who has health issues. Life in a larger group is rough.
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User is Offline Andi
B.C. Canada
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10/18/2010 8:44 AM
Everyones healthy next to old Pitters, who would not be included.
hhmmm now I'm all thinking on pair bonding.... *think think think*
Ani with Everyone (but Kyoto & Baby)
Spencer with Everyone (but Suzy)
Suzy with Ani & Kyoto
Bubba with Ani
Baby with Spencer
Kyoto with everyone (But Baby, & Ani)
I think that would pretty much how it would need to go... wow that looks like a lot of work LOL

Oh, when i first brought Ani home I only had Baby & Bubba. Ani got into their cage (Jumped from the couch over their X-Pen) and Baby Humped her, Bubba attacked her. She actually had her lip bit right in half through the bars of the cage one time she got to their pen. We think it was Bubba who bit her, and they have never been friends since.
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* Don't Breed or Buy while Homeless Pets Die. Opt' to Adopt!
* Adoption is the Living Option.
* Adopting One Rescued Animal Saves Two Lives. The Animal you Adopted, and the Homelss Animal that will take it's Place in the shelter.

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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10/18/2010 8:47 AM
what are you thinking? Well, only pair-bond if there are real serious issues that won't resolve with time.
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User is Offline Little Bun
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10/31/2012 6:35 AM
I have recently bonded a new bunny with my existing couple.
The most important thing I found was time and neutal territory
The new bunny is female (all three have been neutered).
My existing buns live in a shed with a large 6x4 walk in run attached- they also come out into the main garden and house as much as possible. I positioned new bunny in a run/hutch combo adjacent to the shed for 2 months- everytime the couple were let out for a run they were very interested in the new arrival and all three would sniff through the bars, with some fighting. The male was soon very relaxed about it, but the original female became very territorial to the point that I thought it would never work. After a few weeks I tried introducing them all in my kitchen, however it was a disaster and I soon gave up. 2 months later after they were all used to each other through the bars of the runs, I introduced them all in my garage (none of them had ever been in there before). There was an initial squabble, my existing female clearly wanted to be boss and was very grumpy at me for making her meet a new bun! My male didn't care either way and the new female was very submissive. However after about 5 minutes it completely settled down, although the two girls would not go near each other. This slowly improved and the new bunny became more confident, within 4-5 hours they were all eating together. I then separated them for the night (just incase) and started again the next day. On day 2 after another hour session in the garage, new bunny was introduced into the shed/run territory and after a tantrum from the existing female she finally accepted the interloper- saying that, whenever I let them out, the existing female would bully the new girl so that she could not come out into the main garden and would just sit in the run quietly- this has now stopped and the original pair now allow the new girl to go wherever she pleases- she has also completed fitted into the group and her behaviour has changed so that she is more like them. The existing female does still occasionally nip the new girl, but I haven't seen anything concerning. Shortly after they started all living together I went away for the weekend- I put all three into a large carry cage to take to the pet sitter, this was too much for the original girl who started fighting and so I now transport them separately.
The original buns are the same size - dutch/english cross, the new girl is a mini lop and is quite a lot bigger than them- she had previously been bonded but her partner died about a year ago and she had clearly been craving bunny company for a while.
If I did it again I would not let the buns meet properly until they were completely at ease with each other with bars between them. I would use the garage (or other neutral space) again

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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10/31/2012 7:25 AM
Hi Little Bun, thank you for the information - however this post is from 2010 - we ask that members do not reply to old posts. You are free to start a new post though. I am going to lock this thread.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding groups (3+)

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