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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bunny bonding! [long]
Last Post by BB at 4/13/2007 9:32 PM (22 Replies)
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User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2007 10:11 AM

Hi to everyone! I'm new to the site and also new to the experience of bunny bonding.  My boyfriend and I moved with our boy bun Edward, from the UK to California last November. We adopted a girl bun Josephine, from a shelter about 2 months ago. We have been bonding them ever since. We started off with short bath-tub sessions and then tried to progress to an x-pen in the kitchen- they fought and so we wnt back to short sessions on the bed then back to the kitchen again. They seem to be doing much better, I can now leave them together for a whole 6 hours with no negative behaviour! : ) How ever I've not been brave enough to leave them over night, last time I tried they had a fight!

We are now moving house (not so far this time) and  I'm worried that this might upset their relationship. We took them to see their new house yesterday and took some bits from their bonding pen and they seemed to be fine (ignored eah other mostly) for about an hour. When I put them back in the carrier to go home Josephine mounted Edward- this would normally have resulted in a fight but he put up with it until I got the top open and put her beside him. I think she seems to be trying to dominate him but she is the one who does 90% of the grooming- he is starting to groom her when she asks. We brouht them home and put them in their regular bonding pen for a few hours and they were fine (even with me away from the pen).

When we move I'm not sure wheter they are at a stage where I could just set up their bonding pen and leave them together, I have a few days off work and thought this might be a good oppertunity to "go for it"! Or will I run into trouble because it is a totally new area? Should I set them up separately and continue with daily bonding sessions? I just don't feel confident to leave them over night.... I don't want them to fight again!!

Appolgies for being so long winded!


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2007 12:21 PM
I think moving to the new house would be a positive thing, because it is a completely neutral territory. Good luck!
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2007 3:41 PM
I know from personal experience in bonding my trio that time off from work can really help.  This gives you the chance to work with the buns for extended periods of time, and lets you observe them together.

I agree that moving may actually help.  Your buns will not feel they have any territory to protect in the new place, and being together in a scary new environment might help them bond.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/11/2007 9:57 PM

WELCOME JELLYROSE82.   What a funny user name. 

And welcome to California!    I hear ya about not wanting to leave them together overnight.  In my experience, that seems to be the time fights can break out.  I have even went so far as to sleep on a cot or couch nearby their pen so I could hear any fighting.   http://www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO...aspx  You have to scroll down to "Final Step" to see our pathetic sleeping arrangements.   But  I was able to stop aggression before it turned into a full blown fight.

I would do what you are doing now in your new place.  Set them in a pen and watch.  Since you have a few days off, I also think that is a  good opportunity to supervise while you keep them together.  Since you'll be having them together for days at a time, If they get aggressive, you may want to separate them for an hour or two to cool down (if they can seem to cool down on their own) .

The fact that your moving may actually help.  They will both be in a brand new place, a bit stressed and they may cling to each other for comfort.   (though it sounds like even during stress situations, like a in a carrier, they can still carry on their agendas!)  

It is possible that it could cause a slighth setback.  It really depends; Each time that they start their bonding process, do they have to get settled in first - get out some dominance issues for the first 1/2 hour or so?  IF they do, then, they may have to go through that little bit, but my guess is that the moving will be a more positive influence rather than a negative one.

Regarding  Josephine being dominant but grooming most of the time.  Bailey was like that too.  VERY dominant, but would groom, but she would then expect to be groomed in return.  She almost groomed to encourage grooming, and if she didn't get it in return, she'd bite.  So it looks like she's willing to be an equal partner once Edward reciprocates.

Keep us updated.  

 


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/12/2007 9:23 AM
Have you been taking them on car rides? You can have your bf drive while you sit in the back with them. Let them out in the backseat so that no fighting erupts in the carrier that would be hard to break up.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
2/12/2007 9:16 PM
I think you've gotten some great advice. I think I'd be inclined to set up the bonding pen, but also have their houses on hand in case of any arguments. It may be since you're home you'll be able to have them together for most of the day. At nights you can try swapping their houses by putting them in each other's pens. I like to feel very confident in the bond before leaving the bunnies in the pen overnight, but my preference. It may be that things will go very well in the new house, since they're stressed and it's a neutral zone they may really turn to each other for support. The fact that they can spend 6 hours together already without conflict is a great sign!
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
2/15/2007 11:28 AM
Thanks to all of you for your advice! We set up their pen in a nice sunny spot by the patio (Edward loves to gaze out the window!). We've been putting them together in that pen during the day when we're at home and they have been doing really well... we have also let them out to run around the living room together with out any problems (there were lots of binkies!!). But all that being said, come about 8-9pm and the evil twins are born! Josephine gets so pushy- mounting Edward, also Ewdward has started nipping her face when she is not paying him enough attention (he does this to us aswell), he has started doing more grooming though! I think this is just going to take some time for them to sort things out- they do seem to love each other though. I picked up Josephine last night to put her back to bed and Edward had a full on temper tantrum... stamping all four paws and then threw himself on the floor and grunted!! It was so funny... I've never seen him do that before! I just hope they can sort it out. I have been swapping their cages at night too... what a great tip, thanks for that one! I'll keep you posted!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/15/2007 8:08 PM
Around 8-9pm:  Is this time around the time they are fed or get affection from you?  Are you or other family members more present around this time? 

it sounds like things are going well, but you are right they are still needing to work out some social details.  Just continue to watch carefully that they don't start circling each other (BOTH circling each other) or get too aggressive.  But if they are not getting aggressive, just bossy and working things out, then it's okay to let them do so, unless you see that it may turn into a fight. 

User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2007 12:18 PM

They managed to spend the whole day together yesterday without bothering each other at all until about midnight. I couldn't leave them all night as I had to go to bed and was worried about leaving them unattended. The difficult thing is now I am working again I can't have them together for as long as I'd like- I have them out together for 2hours morining and evening, maybe I could leave them together in the day as I'm home but asleep in another room, but then when I go to work at night both me and my boyfriend are away for 12hrs+ and I don't feel comfortable to leave them that long yet! When  we put them together this morning they had a quick groom of each other and then hopped off to do their own thing, then a little later they were snuggled up with a good view of the fridge (seems to be their new fave spot, bunnies are so cleaver when food is involved!!). Does this mean they are bonded? And am I messing it up by separating them again? They seemed to be able to pick up where they left off this morning. My boyfriend will be off tomorrow so he will have them out in the day, then I am off for a couple of days next week. Maybe I'll try an overnighter!  


User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2007 12:31 PM
Also, 8-9pm is when Edward got to sit and watch TV with his Dad when we lived in England. Then he had his food and was shut away for the night. Edward has a very close bond with my boyfriend and I wonder if Josephine is a little jealous. I always feed them together and I'm trying to give them greens and a few pellets a couple of times a day at different times in different places as I didn't want Edward to get protective over his food (he's very stomach orientated). They will sit together and munch away happily with no problems at the moment.

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2007 3:27 PM
Jellyrose did you get my message about the vet? I'm not sure if the PM function works on these forums.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
2/18/2007 4:04 PM
I'd be somewhat cautious leaving them while you're asleep in another room. If they're grooming and snuggling that's a great sign - but doesn't always mean they're safe to move in together.

There's no hard and fast rule about when they're ready to move in together - it's some what a leap of faith. You want to make sure you're not seeing any aggression. Don't put them in a cage together until they have been getting along perfectly for several days. If a serious fight breaks out in a cage, it is generally difficult to separate them.

~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/21/2007 8:07 PM
Jellyrose, how are things going with bonding?

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/21/2007 8:11 PM
Poopy, just FYI - If you mean by PM, sending a message via their profile, then it will go to directly to the email they signed up with.

User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2007 6:41 PM
We are not doing too badly at the moment- They have spent all day out together with me at home and they are currently causing mayhem with the packing boxes here in the study. Yesterday there was a bit of a disagreement over the cottentail cottage- I think Edward feels that he owns it- so that has been removed until they can learn to share! Josephine is still tring to mount Edward but he reacts less agressively and even turned round to groom her when she did it yesterday. I'm trying to let them sort it out them selves. I'm wondering if Josephine is jealous of Edwards attachment to my boyfriend (he spent a lot of him with him when Edward was a baby) and he admitted that he likes Edward better. Watching them together I think Edward recieves the majority of the pets! Josephine is normally fine when it is just me at home but tends to play up a little more around my boyfriend. Do you think its possible she could be jealous? And what can I do about it?- boyfriend is not able to see that it might be a problem.

-Poopy- I'm sorry I didn't get your message but send it to me again at jellyrose82@yahoo.co.uk It would be nice to hear from you.

Thanks to every one for all the advice.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2007 7:50 PM
Just FYI Jellyrose82, when you post your email online anywhere, it is subject to netbots that will pick it up and use to send you spam.   An alternative way would be to email poopy via her profile.  You click on her name, which will take you to her profile and if she has the option on to be emailed, you will see "click here to email" in the upper right hand side of her profile.  

Regarding Josephine steppin' up her game when your boyfriend comes around:  I don't know if she is jealous, but I am thinking she may feel that he is reinforcing that Edward is dominant (as who gets groomed first and/or most is many times the dominant bunny. )     So she may be reminding Edward that she's the boss.  She also may be wanting attention from your boyfriend if only to determine she is the boss.

Also, I don't know if your boyfriend lives with you or not.  But if he doesn't, then she may consider him as a constant intruder that doesn't know the rules, and when he comes in, she may feel she needs to re-establish who's boss with a new person in the house.   And when I say "new", I just mean someone who isn't  living there, even if they visit often.   If he does live with you, then it is most likely only about who he gives attention to.  She also may smell your boyfriend's scent on Edward, and that can trigger mounting to reinforce dominance. 

I would encourage your boyfriend to pet both, and for now, pet Josephine first.    Tell your boyfriend to help YOU out, so you can have happy bunnies, therefore less stress for you, and until the bunnies are completely bonded, to pet Josephine first, and when he's petting Edward, to try and pet Josephine.    He may think your head is just full of marbles, but who cares,  this doesn't require him to believe iit in order for it to work. 

This may or may not help things, but it's at least worth a try.  

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/23/2007 4:27 PM
BB, I have been having trouble w/ the PMs that why I asked if Jellyrose got it. I've sent out a few others that no one ever got. MooBunnay did you get mine??
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8672 posts Send Private Message
2/24/2007 7:45 PM

Uh oh, I've been having no problems getting responses from the people I email via their profile.   Go ahead and email me via my profile and put "test" in the subject line.   Also, can you tell me who you sent a message to and who said they didn't get it?    Then I can check and find out exactly why.  Some emails might have changed or ???.  If they have been changed or taken out, I can't reveal the current email, but I can at least find out if it's a technical issue or not.


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2007 10:35 AM
Ok I sent you a test. I've sent messages to jellyrose & moobunnay before. Don't remember when exactly.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline jellyrose
Huntington Beach, CA
111 posts Send Private Message
4/09/2007 10:07 PM
Ok, I know it's been a long time since I posted last but things were going pretty well between Edward and Josephine. We had about a month where they were fine together during the day- all day, but we continued to separate them at night and when we were out as I was nervous to leave them together after the fighting we had at the begining. We've had a few disruptions to our routine recently- I had to go back home to the UK for a couple of weeks and the bunnies were at home alone with my boyfriend, they were all fine. Edward has also has a problematic repiratory infection which he has been on septra, baytil and now Pen G injections. Now they also both have fur mites!!!!!!!!! We've had lots of trips to the vet recently! Since I've been home (about two weeks) the bunnies relationship has fallen apart!!!!!!! They were fine to start with but when I went back to work they had a fight. They were ok again for a few days.. but now everytime we put them together they just get into the agression straight away. My boyfriend had them out together tonight (I'm again at work) and they were fine- snuggling and they ate together but about two hours later they were at it again!!!!!!!! It seems to be Josephine instigating things... she buggs him all the time if he's just laying down she'll poke him up the backside! Then they get into the circling and if we don't intervene in time they fight!!! I just don't know what to do any more... I'm wondering if we messed it up by separating them at night, or if because he's been sick he smells different or something! I really don't want to give her up as we've had her almost 5 months now and she's so sweet, but I don't know if it's the stress from bonding making Edward ill. Anyone got any ideas?!  
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