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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Abigail & Rorschachs Bonding Journal - Successfully bonded!
Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 3/06/2012 2:35 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2012 7:24 PM

A little background, for the past 3 months-ish they've been living together in a cube condo. When I say together it's that inside the condo there's one smaller sectioned off area that they take turns spending the night in and then there's the rest of the cage. They get along fine in the cage though, they've never tried to bite each other through the bars or anything like that. Occasionally they'll lick each other though. During the day they've taken turns running around the bedroom. We recently had to move and we're currently renting out the basement floor of our friends house so we only have access to a couple rooms.

I've been bonding Abigail & Rorschach for the past 2 weeks since it had been about 3-weeks since Rorschach had been fixed. I started it small, with 15-30min shower dates, since it was going well I had them have 2 bonding sessions a day in there for about a week. It was going great, no fights, lots of grooming and general snuggling. Didn't really get many bunny flops but it's slippery in there and most of the time when one of them would try they'd always be up against the wall (which curves inwards some) and ultimately get right back up because they'd wind up sliding. (Posting some pictures of their shower dates)

 

 

Now, because it was going so well, I set up an enclosure in the livingroom (also neutral territory). They'd be in there for hours without any problems at all, grooming each other pretty frequently, snuggling, etc. It's been great for like 5 days of that. And it was going great up until not yesterday, but the night before when we were going to bed, That particular night when I was putting them back in the cage Rorschach managed to get away from me and him and Abigail got into a fight. It didn't last long, but fur was pulled. The next day we took them for a car ride, which went fine. Later on when I went to put them both in the neutral section in the livingroom it didn't take long until Rorschach started lunging at Abigail and trying to nip at her butt, they wound up having a fight again. It also didn't last long, just the 5-10 seconds it took me to walk across the room and get in there. I separated them for the afternoon and then later that night I did a short bonding session in the shower again. It seemed perfectly fine, some grooming occurred and the usual shower date behavior, so I figured maybe I could put them back into the livingroom enclosure again. Now, while they didn't really fight, Rorschach would every now and again charge at Abigail stopping just in front of her. I'd spray him with the water bottle any time he tried it, which seemed to make him a lot angrier but he would stop. Abigail has been really nice, she mostly sits herself in a corner where he can't get at her behind to nip her, and when Rorschach lunges at her she doesn't act on it and just ignores him. I'm starting to feel like she's only being allowed to be in the corner though really. If she goes elsewhere it typically doesn't take him too long (maybe 5-15min) before he winds up nipping at her butt again and chasing her back into the corner. The only reason it hasn't broken out into another fight is because Abigail acts polite about it and doesn't do anything back. This isn't ALL the time though, he'll sit there and mind his own business as well, eat hay, wash himself etc, occasionally he'll sit next to her, and he still gives a couple quick licks now and again.

I don't know what has caused this sudden change in behavior though, and I'm not sure what to do with it. The only thing that changed when the night of the original fight/the next day was I used a new pet cleaner/odor eliminator on both the carpet in their cage as well as in their sectioned off livingroom area the next day. But that was all dry etc by the time they went in there, though I was able to smell it still, so I don't know if it matters, I just figured I'd mention it. Even still I doubt it still smells that way in there now so if I was to speculate that maybe the new cleaner stuff somehow masked her smell to him or something that shouldn't be an issue anymore. Should I start over with the shower dates again? Or should I continue with their livingroom dates and hope he gets over whatever it is that's going on and stops being a grouch? I'd venture a guess and say it seems as if he's trying to show he's boss with the lunges that don't go anywhere but I'm not sure what that means in that case/if that will pass or what.

I figured I'd post on here since there's tons of people here that have done bonding before, and while I know every bonding experience differs I'm sure there's people with similar experiences or insight. I know it's only been 2 weeks of bonding so it's still early, but they were doing so great. I realize it's a process and all, and set-backs are bound to happen, but since I've never done this before I'm not sure what to do now. Any suggestions would be greatly helpful!

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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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2/19/2012 10:36 PM
I would go back to the shower dates until they settle again, then retry the living room idea. I often had to backtrack a bit while bonding to get them to settle if they got to aggravated during sessions

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/20/2012 2:28 AM
Can you tell me a bit about this enclosure in the living room...

User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2012 8:51 AM
It's basically a corner of the room sectioned off with some of the cube grids, it's basically the same size as the shower area (I could take a picture if that would help). I usually stick a toilet in there (since they were spending several hours in there when things were going well, poop wars still would go on in there though), they'd have a water bowl, some hay after a while and some chew sticks lying around. The chew sticks were introduced to them both at the same time in that area (ie neither of the bunnies had "owned" them or even seen them before and the sticks only stayed in that area). I tried removing the sticks yesterday though just in case they were for some reason causing problems but Rorschach still kept doing what he was doing.

I figured today I'd either clean up that entire area, try having nothing at all in it and just see how they do in their for a while without anything even though they were doing fine for quite some time with all that stuff in there, I don't know if that can just change at random? Or alternatively I'll go back to the twice a day shower dates.
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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/20/2012 9:14 AM
Seems a bit small to contain them even if it's for a little while - can you increase the space?

User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2012 10:21 AM
It's something like 40-45inches by 40-45 inches, I could possibly increase the size some. It's not that I wouldn't want them to have some more room in their bonding area it's just we're incredibly space-deprived, that one corner is the only free wall-space there is and I didn't have that many spare grids to make an enclosure out of so I couldn't make a free-standing one. I was figuring I could probably let them use the whole bathroom as a bonding area eventually as well since it's a small bathroom but I didn't want to give them too much space too fast since it would just let them avoid each other. Do you think the lack of space is causing problems? I'm just curious since they were fine in there before for their bonding sessions. Also, aside from those couple hours in there they both still get the entire rest of the day taking turns free-roaming the bedroom.
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User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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2/20/2012 10:26 AM
Have you tried letting them out together in the bedroom?

I just think that it's too close because it's a bit of your in my space and I have no place to get away even if I wanted too. Maybe try adding one more grid for now and see how that works.

User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2012 12:18 PM
I have tried having them in the bedroom twice, they instantly run in under the bed and start circling each other. I'm guessing since they both spend time in there they both feel that it's their territory. I am worried they'll wind up fighting though based on the instant constant circling behavior, so I don't think I'd want to try them again in there as it's so difficult to get to them when they're under the bed and if a fight did occur I'd likely not be able to stop it right away.

If it's more space that would be good I could try them out in the bathroom for a while, aside from the shower it'd still be neutral territory. And if that seemed to go well I could come back to the livingroom area and try to make it a bit larger by adding another grid section.

At least it's comforting to know that other people have to backtrack too sometimes. :-) Sometimes I wish I could speak rabbit so we could all just sit down, discuss our concerns and thoughts and work it all out, haha.
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User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2012 9:44 PM
Just thought I would update, and say that I have been bonding them in the bathroom the past couple days and it's been going very well. Lots of random grooming here and there as well as general sitting together and snuggling. Rorschach today bunny plopped completely sideways a couple times next to Abigail, he would almost instantly get up again afterwards and just sit and snuggle instead but I figure at least the gesture is there!

I'm figuring I'll keep doing this for a few more days and then see if they can go back into a slightly larger livingroom enclosure.
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User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
2/26/2012 9:57 PM
Just wanted to update again for those in the future that might read this, I've moved them back into the living room enclosure, except we've made it much larger. Basically it's along the entire short side of the wall now (probably 4-5 times the size of the original living room enclosure? I'm terribly at estimates). Since I only had 8 grid panels we were creative and used the toad terrarium and some boxes to make up the rest of the wall, haha. But I digress.
It's going great anyways, they seem to be really enjoying the enclosure which they spend all day together in, they do plenty of hanging out, some random binkying/racing back and forth, there's grooming each other, some bunny flops here and there and general snuggling. Poop wars if of course going on in their living room enclosure, and the cage when they're in there. I keep trying to tell myself one day they'll get over it.....right? Haha. I'm tempted to try them in the cage soon but I don't want to rush it. I think I'll keep this up for maybe another couple days to a week and then see how they react if they're both put in the bedroom together. (the bedroom being where they both have been taking turns being out and about in the past and also where their cage is)
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User is Offline ravishingRabbit
USA
91 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 9:45 PM

A week ago we finally got around to bunny-proofing the bed. The bed has a wooden frame that Abigail likes chewing on so before we could start letting them have the entire room at night we had to bunny-proof it. Since I knew it was going to take a while, that we would be in there and that the room would look different (with the mattress up against the wall and all) I figured this would be an opportune time to try them out in the bedroom. I also left their condo open so they had access to their toilet. During the couple hours they were in there together they did very well, no chasing, and Rorschach only did one or two lunges when they were both in the cage (just in the beginning).

Since that went so well and they weren't acting territorial I decided to move up my bonding schedule. They stayed in the living room enclosure overnight. The next day I removed the divider in their condo, sprayed the condo with a vinegar solution, let that dry, then also used Nature's Miracle (I think the cage odor eliminating one) the next day to kind of really try and get their smell out of it. They stayed in the living room enclosure all day and when it was time for us to go to bed we put them in the condo together. As I'm sure all the other bunny bonders out there have experienced, that first night was relatively sleepless..haha. I spent most of it lying there in the dark listening to any sound coming from their condo. I am pleased to announce that the night was successful! No fights or problems of any kind. For another day or two I put them in the living room enclosure during the day, and they'd spend the night in the condo.

A few days ago I disassembled the enclosure in the living room and gave them access to our full living room and bedroom and at night they're allowed to be in the full bedroom as they please..ironically though most of the time I find they still go to bed in their bed in their condo. The only downside would be that Rorschach still tends to poop in places he shouldn't..hopefully that will stop eventually.

So I guess I can consider them successfully bonded now! All in all it took around a month.

 

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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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3/06/2012 2:35 AM
Great work!
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Abigail & Rorschachs Bonding Journal - Successfully bonded!

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