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Last Post by BB at 9/14/2006 1:13 AM (4 Replies)
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User is Offline PhanRiver
8 posts Send Private Message
9/10/2006 6:58 AM

Okay, those bunnies just gave me a scare!

Here's the story; Pepper who is about 8 months is spayed, Boofa about 3 and a half months is yet to be spayed. They are both very bossy and confident alpha queen females and when I first tried to introduce them in neutral territory they went right after each other neither showing the slightest sign of backing down and I very quickly seperated them. So over the last month or so I have had their cages next to each other and I let them out at seperate times. While they get along fine now through the cages when one or the other is out I have been scared to let them out together. There was no injuries during the first meeting it just shook me up so I have been thinking they can live just fine alternating play times. Well Pepper should have been named Houdini because she has found a way to get out of her cage despite numerous devises I have tried to keep it closed. I had finally found one that she couldn't figure out.

Soooo today Pepper is out for her play time and I leave the room for a few minutes, when I come back a bunny comes running up to greet me and I look down to see Boofa! I look over and see both cages open. Then Pepper comes running over and I panic and go NO! and reach to snatch up Boofa. Well that makes her scurry away and Pepper runs after her. They run behind the couch and I look back to see them circling smelling each others backends, that is when I was able to snatch up Boofa. I don't know if Pepper let Boofa out or if Boofa has learned to open her cage by watching Peppers attempts at opening hers. AAHHHH!!! So was it alright what I did snatching up Boofa? I don't know what to do now! Help!  

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2443 posts Send Private Message
9/10/2006 10:29 AM
What excitement - it's happened at my house before too and it really freaked me out too!

did you look over both bunnies to make sure there were no boo-boos? You did the right thing seperating them. Nipping is ok, but circling (also called yin/yang or death spiral) needs to be broken up since it doesn't usually stop on it's own and you want to make sure no one gets seriously injured.

Sneaky buns! I'd recommend adding a metal clip to the closed cage - I can't remember if there's a name for them, but you can pick them up at a hardware store. apparently they are called leash clips:

Female bunnies tend to be much more territorial, and even more so prior to being spayed. Bonding likely will go better once Boofa is spayed.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline PhanRiver
8 posts Send Private Message
9/11/2006 2:09 PM
Okay, I'm settled down now.
Yeah, neither of them had any injuries. (Eeek death spiral what a scary term!!!) I am glad I came right back in the room and there was no more trouble than that.

I know the clips you are talking about that is what I got to keep Peppers cage closed I went and got some more for Boofa's cage yesterday soon as I had a bunny sitter to make sure there were no escapes while I went to the store!

I am certianly keeping them seperated till at least a month after Boofa's surgery. It seems now that after the "incident" yesterday Boofa has decided it is great fun to irritate Pepper. When I let her out this morning she did her happy bunny dance and then went and sat in front of Peppers cage just quietly staring intently at her until Pepper got off her house and came over to the cage bars. Then Boofa stuck her nose through the bars, when Pepper put her nose up to it Boofa pulled back and did a sideways jump and stuck her nose through the bars a couple inchs over, Pepper came over to put her nose to hers agian and she jumped back the other way agian. I was sitting right there next to her watching for trouble. This went on with Boofa hopping back and forth several times when Pepper grabbed the cage bars with her teeth and gave it a very hard shake and growled or grunted it was some VERY unhappy sound. So I scooped up Boofa and took her in the next room and pulled Pepper 's sheet over her cage so they couldn't see each other. Well Boofa comes running right back in and immediately yanks the sheet right off the cage and starts her "nah, nah, nah, nah" side to side dance agian so she got put back in her cage.
Then I let Pepper out and she immediately goes over and does a big flop in front of Boofa's cage and lays all stretched out agianst Boofa's cage back turned, her own little "nah, nah, nah, nah" *sssssiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhhhh*

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2443 posts Send Private Message
9/12/2006 9:13 AM
Oh, I'm glad no one was injured!

yes - I get the very same kind of behavoir at my house! I have a bonded pair and a spoiled princess who is bossy and bratty. Some days they're fine - but other days they box and grunt through the bars. I always say very sternly "put on your friendly paws" and they look at me like I'm crazy and imagined the whole thing, lol. Well hopefully things will calm down at your house too.
~ 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 Bay Area
Forum Leader
8982 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2006 1:13 AM

Phanriver - Also, be sure they can't insure each other through the cage bars.  I have seen eyes, noses, ears and lips injured.  (first hand experience with one rabbit biting the lip of the other through x-pen bars) so just be careful.  Some cages are fine since the bars are very close together, but if not, you may need to get some finer net type of cover to shield one cage while the other rabbit is out.

Also, if the aggression does not die down or gets worse of the a couple of weeks, it may be better to separate them completely so they don't build up "hatred" which will make it even more difficult to bond.

Most of the time bunnies settle in and having cages next to each other helps them get used to each other (and sometimes it good to exchange litterboxes) but if this only increases their anger over time, then this could make it worse.  Now they have their "enemy" pegged and when they meet - they have murder already on their mind.

You are smart to wait until at least a month after surgery as that will give time for the hormones to die down.   And with these two, if they still seem aggressive then, then start with the stressor method of bonding like car rides.

When's Boofa's surgery?   Is Pepper already spayed?  (Sorry if you mentioned this in another post - It's late)

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