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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bunnies Fighting!
Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 9/11/2012 2:23 AM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline MyPets1031
100 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2012 10:10 AM
Hi, so my bunnies Fobey and Toby have been bonded for several months now and about four weeks ago, they started fighting. Fobey is a two year old female (Spayed) And Toby is a four year old male (Neutered) In the beginning Toby was dominant but then Fobey somehow took over without my knowledge. But about four weeks ago, Fobey started chasing Toby and biting him. I woke up one morning and they were on the ground at the foot of my bed biting each other's stomachs runing around each other in a circle. I clapped my hands and stomped in between them and broke them up and separated them. Then later that day I put them back together and they were fine. Just kind of ignoring each other. I never separated them again but they still fight. Fobey will bite Toby on the stomach and Toby will run away and Fobey will chase him and do it all over again. I haven't separated them because they aren't breaking skin and I'm unsure of what will happen... will they get depressed, will I have to rehome one of them or will I have to have two separate cages or is there hope of rebonding them... any advise is welcome, I'm just so confused but I think I'm going to separate them tonight because I've just gotten so sick of it and all this time I've just been lucky nobody's gotten hurt.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14979 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2012 10:38 AM

Sometimes it's a health issue that triggers this. either one is not 100% and so acting out and it's bonded mate bears the brunt. OR the aggressor is sensing something different about it's mate (maybe due to smell) and it's the mate that's not 100% well.

Other triggers can be a new pet or person in household or even when the buns are molting. They can get out of sorts then too.

You could try some bonding techniques to help tighten the bond again. Things like a car ride so that they look to each other for comforting.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Hazel
883 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2012 10:43 AM

Well, when rabbits fight, they FIGHT. There is no middle ground, if they haven't broken skin yet, they will eventually. It seems they have some kind of beef with each other right now, might be a fight for dominance, or a medical problem could be the issue. Have they seen a vet lately? If one of them is sick or in pain, it could trigger aggressive behavior. It could even be over something in their cage, a cardboard box or the such, that the dominant rabbit will chase the other away from. Have you seen any such pattern to when the fights break out?

I would separate them for now, sometimes they just need some time to cool off. You might also have them see a vet to make sure nothing is amiss. When you try to rebond them I would start with no toys or boxes in their cage that they might fight over.

Good luck

"You ain't buna fide!"

User is Offline MyPets1031
100 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2012 11:11 AM
There is nothing new in the house and shortly after the fighting started, I was concerned about health because other people had mentioned that to me so I brought them to the vet, they were both fine.

User is Offline MyPets1031
100 posts Send Private Message
9/03/2012 3:13 PM
I am about to go separate them, Fobey is better litter trained so I think Toby will get the hutch and Fobey will get the X-pen. So my question is now.... how long do I keep them separated and when can I start bonding again and how?

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11687 posts Send Private Message
9/04/2012 2:03 AM
I'm far from an expert in this area but if it were me, I would give them a couple of days off to cool their tempers and then start again slowly. Let them have a few hours together and see how they do. If they do well, gradually increase their time together until they are back 24/7. If there is continued aggression and you are certain there are no health problems, you might want to try some stress bonding.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline MyPets1031
100 posts Send Private Message
9/04/2012 3:05 PM
Thanks LittlePuffyTail. Toby looks so much more relaxed and comfortable now, I think I'll leave them for a week or two to let him calm down a bit. I'll do what you say, but as stupid as this may sound, what exactly should I do for stress bonding? All I know is a car ride and I've traid that and it didn't work.Also today I noticed a cloudy spot on Toby's eye, might that be concidered a health problem Fobey would notice? The vet didn't way any thinkg about it when we went four weeks ago. And one last question.... should i introduce them again in a neutral area or is it ok to go somewhere where they have been before?

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11687 posts Send Private Message
9/06/2012 1:27 AM
A car ride is one of the more popular ways of stress bonding. Some people will put them in a basket on top of a running washing machine. Stress bonding should only be used if there is aggression and only as needed.

I would have the cloudy spot on your bun's eye checked out. It could be a cataract or some type of injury. Bunnies are very in-tune to each other so it's possible that Fobey is aware if Toby in not 100%.

I would start off back in neutral territory and see how that goes.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline MyPets1031
100 posts Send Private Message
9/07/2012 1:12 PM

    Thanks so much. I tried to let them play together again the other night and they were ok for about 10 minutes before they broke out in a huge fight. Much worse than the others. Instead of chasing each other in a tight circle, they were chasing each other all over the whole room biting and grunting and pulling hair so I separated them immidiatly and checked for any wounds which thankfully neither of them had. Kind of scared to try it again. I think maybe I'll try stress bonding if they don't get along at least decently next time.

    The weird thing is that when I took them to the vet when they first started fighting, Toby didn't have any hint of a couldy eye. I almost think Toby is happier alone, but I think Fobey misses having him to bully. She just chews the bars all day (When I'm not with her) It's sad. I might just keep them seperate, Toby is so much older than Fobey it would be hard for her when he dies if they get really close any way, maybe they can just be playmates out side of the cage occasionally, if that even works.

    Thanks for your time. I'm still open to any more suggestions, I'll try anything but I really do think Toby's happier. Whenever I came in the room before, Fobey would run up to me and Toby would run and hide. Now that the room is split in half and they both have their own space he comes bounding right up to me and follows me around the whole room and even tries to follow me out the door. He has so much more personality now!


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
9/10/2012 11:03 AM
Try starting from scratch, not with just free roam of a room.
Small neutral area, maybe during greens feeding time. Then they'll eat and relate yum food = good and hanging out with each other = good. Short bonding sessions to longer ones, treats ( craisins) at the end of a session or if one grooms the other.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11687 posts Send Private Message
9/11/2012 2:23 AM
I ditto Sam and Lady. Use a smaller area, like a bathtub.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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