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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Housing 4 bunnies in the same cage?
Last Post by osprey at 8/31/2008 12:32 PM (19 Replies)
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User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 7:07 AM

What are the chances of being able to house all four of my bunnies in the same cage?  After Digger heals from his neuter I want to try to introduce him to Thumper and the babies but I don't know what order to do this in.  Thumper hasn't met the babies yet.  Should I start by introducing Digger to the boys and then Thumper to all of them?  Or Thumper to the boys first?  Or Thumper to Digger? 

Really, I want to tear down my cage and rebuild it so that it's not split in half...like that big huge monstrosity I downloaded the plans for.

http://www.longislandrabbitrescue.o...-plans.pdf

Is this doable?


User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 7:13 AM

A quartet can certainly work.  The easiest way to accomplish this is as two pairs that tolerate each other.  I forget what the genders of your bunnies are?  You have two baby boys, one adult boy and another?  The two brothers have a good chance of staying bonded because they have been together since they were babies.  There may still be some fighting as they mature, be prepared to intervene and reintroduce after they are neutered.  In terms of introducing all 4, I have no clue.  Maybe put all of them together in totally neutral space (like a friend or neighbor's garage or something) for the initial introductions, and see if any of them are mortal enemies, then follow the usual steps after that.  anyone have a quartet?

 


User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 7:39 AM
Thumper is female so I couldn't even try the four of them together until after they're neutered. So maybe I just answered my own question...when Digger has been hormone free for about a month I should probably see how the two of them get along.

User is Online Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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8/29/2008 8:20 AM
who is Digger? did you get another bunny?!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 8:36 AM

Yes I did!  You missed it all!  I got him exactly two weeks ago from the animal shelter.  He was neutered this past Monday and we had post-neuter drama with rapid-ball sack-inflamation.  We were back at the vet Tuesday evening to get a shot of anti-steriodal anti-imflamitory and now all is well.

He's a black rex.  I heart him! And he lubs his momma already.  Squee!

Digger

Neuter Trauma


User is Online Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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8/29/2008 8:45 AM
oh wow. (i giggled at the ball-sack thing!) congrats! oooh. i love the rexes!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
8/29/2008 3:25 PM
::sigh::

Since Digger and the babies have been sniffing at each other for the past couple of weeks throught the grids and laying next to each other...through the grids...I decided to see what would happen if I put them all out on the floor together.

Digger hopped right over to Ranger and humped his face. My poor baby was violated in a way that is just so wrong! I separated them immediately so I don't think Ranger is traumatized or anything. At least I hope not.

Guess I won't be trying that again any time soon.

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
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8/29/2008 4:13 PM

You were right to stop humping from the front, but as you try to bond these guys this is normal dominance behavior that you should expect.  You break them up if it is from the front so that the bunny on top does not get bitten in the private parts, and you break them up if the bunny on the bottom is obviously stressed or they start to bite each other.  Our trio has been together for almost 2 years, and Deanna still humps the other two.

 


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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8/29/2008 5:35 PM

I am sending out "all bonded" vibes because I know how hard it is when you have to keep them separated. 

I have not bonded four rabbits either, but there is a site  http://www.mybunnies.com/bonding.htm that discusses how to bond multiple bunnies.  I think this woman had seven.   It looks like she focuses on how to bond one incoming to the group, but there are some great tip though that would still be beneficial in your case.

Regarding the set-up.  What a great resource.  I used that link for the cool habitats page.   Many options to choose from.

The larger the better of course unless and I know this can vary depending on if they have a ton of free time or if they are more limited.  Of course, if they are more limited, then creating the largest habitat is best.

Can't wait to see what you end up creating and during the bonding of course you don't want to house them together, but I do hope bonding goes well, and they will eventually live happily ever after all together.

 

 


User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
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8/29/2008 5:55 PM
We have 4 of our 6 bunnies in the same age, and the other two in a cage beside them. Eventually we hope to be able to remove the centre partition and have all 6 sharing one big condo. For the quartet we just added them one at a time - first Bailey was on his own, then we got Reno to keep him company, then couldn't pass up Aeryn, and later couldn't pass up Tegan either. Each time we had to wait for several weeks/months for them to get used to each other before we could add the newcomer to the cage.
- Annette
Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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8/29/2008 6:32 PM
ScooterandAnnette - Can you give Tank(and the rest of us) more info on how you the whole process went for you? Like what did you do to "get them used to each other"

This is an area I would also like to learn more about.

User is Offline MimzMum
Interior Alaska
7882 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2008 3:45 PM
Me too! *waves hands frantically*
Wow, that's a handful! (4-6 bunnies??) I am having a hard enough time with my three!

Whilst trying to bond Pip and Mimzy I made the mistake of trying to merge their two Superpet pens. Pip was so freaked out that her plastic (pen) bottom had disappeared from it's top that she began wildly jumping from ledge to ledge and around so much I had to pull them apart again and put each bun in his/her own pen. What a nightmare!
I sure hope you are able to get all bunnies together, TARM. And yes, it is distressing to see the dominance behavior. I had to stop the bonding process with Pip and Mimzy because she is growing bigger than him and now insists on showing him who's boss all the time. He was getting crushed under her weight, she's gotten so heavy.
He's much happier now without that daily tussle. But I worry I'll never get him and Pip and Fiver together all in one space. I just don't see how it can be done.
 photo 3ca1b95d-0cfb-478a-9ea7-bfc6fff29518_zpsa40198b1.jpg

User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
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8/30/2008 5:12 PM
I'm sure that Scooter will chime in with more details but here's my recollection:

When we added Reno we really didn't have much of an issue. Bailey was an only bun before that and he was so thrilled to have female companionship that he basically mounted her for something like 3 hours almost nonstop. We took them to an area that Bailey wasn't used to being in so it was more or less neutral territory and just let them out together. We didn't know any better, lol. Bailey was neutered, Reno was 3 and not yet spayed (that came shortly after). It really was quite a mating frenzy, as we like to put it they turned our rec room into a "veritable playground of carnal bunny lust". It was so much in fact that later that evening Bailey pretty much wouldn't do anything, he just lay there like a lump and we were actually very scared that he might be sick or that somehow Reno (whom we'd recently adopted) and some kind of virus and he'd been infected. We took him to the emergency vet and they told us that no, he'd just had too much sex and was resting. Yes, that's our Bailey, victim of a self-induced sex coma. After that they best pals, possibly because Reno was too scared not to be after all that!

Aeryn we adopted as a baby. We had high hopes of them all getting along because after all she's just a cute little baby and how could they not like her? Well Bailey liked her - it was another girl to add to his harem. Reno hated her with a passion. We tried holding them and bringing them close to each other while kind of walking past and Reno grunted and lashed out at her. So we took it slow - at that point Bailey and Reno were in an large cage to themselves and we put Aeryn in a smaller cage in the same room. They had separate out times and would "visit" each other through the bars. We just let them get used to each other like that for a while (like about... 2-3 months) before we even tried any serious interaction between Aeryn and the others. It was rocky at first, and she got chased around a lot but she also figured out that she could chase them (and did). After a while there were fewer and fewer squabbles when they were out together and finally we decided to try them all together in the cage. Did not go well the first few times - as far as Reno was concerned that was a step too far. But we persisted and would put her in there for longer periods of time and finally Reno backed down and said fine, let the little hussy in here.

Tegan was much the same story as with Aeryn except that we had to win Aeryn over as well. One thing we found worked fairly well was to let them all out together (once they'd had some exposure to each other) and put out a big file of greens and veggies. They get kind of used to being around each other while eating and don't seem to mind each other as much then.

Now for the new 2 - Keelie and Kylie, also known as "the twins" - totally different story. Although to be honest we tried introducing them with free-run time far too early, but we were hoping to be able to house them all together by the time we moved. Then once we moved we were hoping that they'd interact differently because it was a new house and totally neutral territory, but no that didn't really happen either. So now they're house side-by-side and they have to each other all day long, and hopefully that will help with the bonding process. Before long we'll start with trying to give them out time together again and see how that goes. The last few times we did it the fur was literally flying.
- Annette
Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline TARM
VA
1281 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2008 5:56 PM
Hmmm. Well, it's not like I don't have the whole rest of their lives to work on bonding...lol

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
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8/30/2008 7:08 PM
Perfect! As soon as I saw this thread, I was like 'oh scooter and annette can help!" hehe

I tell Bailey's 'sex induced coma' story all the time! One of my favs heheheh
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline kimberleyanddarren
Birmingham, UK
2557 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2008 1:39 AM
looks like that condo will sure be one nice set up! im sure it will work fine, just gonna take lots of patients!

Always
keep an open mind.
But not so open that your brains fall out

User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
1078 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2008 5:10 AM

I know I have pictures of all  4 of them together somewhere...  In the meantime

 

That's Aeryn, Reno and Bailey that stuffed themselves into their carrier like that

 

Aha, found a recent one of them all eating in their cage.  See, food makes everything better!

- Annette

Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8669 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2008 8:27 AM

Great info. Such beautiful bunnies!

So when Reno was chasing, did she ever just stop or did you have to intervene?   I mean I know she eventually stopped, but during that time when she was still not tolerating her.

And today, is she just tolerating her or do they groom and cuddle?  I know bunnies can just co-exist and are not really bonded and that can work out in larger groups, so I was just curious what the relationship is like between the females now.

 Also, when Tegan was introduced was it Reno that caused a problem or what other bunnies were the most accepting and the least accepting?


User is Offline ScooterandAnnette
Winnipeg, Canada
1078 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2008 11:32 AM
Posted By BinkyBunny on 08/31/2008 11:27 AM

Great info. Such beautiful bunnies!

So when Reno was chasing, did she ever just stop or did you have to intervene?   I mean I know she eventually stopped, but during that time when she was still not tolerating her.

And today, is she just tolerating her or do they groom and cuddle?  I know bunnies can just co-exist and are not really bonded and that can work out in larger groups, so I was just curious what the relationship is like between the females now.

 Also, when Tegan was introduced was it Reno that caused a problem or what other bunnies were the most accepting and the least accepting?


Well, they do groom and cuddle a lot.  However, Reno is basically a beeotch and will still get all huffy and chase someone around for no obvious reason, at least to us.  Usually Tegan, sometimes Aeryn.  What basically stopped Reno was the fact that she's slower than both Tegan and Aeryn.
After a while Reno will just forget about what the problem was and they'd get back to normal.

When Tegan was introduced, it was actually Aeryn who needed the most winning over.  I think because Tegan was the newest little "hussy", which was Aeryn's former position.  Bailey, of course, was perfectly happy with Tegan around, although he and Keelie don't get along either.

And everyone gangs up on the cats, especially our 12-year-old tuxedo cat Harley who's afraid of everything.

 

Pet Parents to: Aeryn, Tegan, Keelie, and Kiera (bunnies); Harley, Sierra, Ringo and Owen (cats); Dakota (dog). We miss our Rainbow Bunnies: Keiran, Kylie, Reno, Carbun, Kaylee and our boy Bailey.

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2008 12:32 PM
Chasing is pretty normal behavior I think. Our boy DJ chases his friend Curly Sue if he smells another rabbit. Why he thinks he needs to terrorize her when another bunny is in the house, I don't know.
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