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Last Post by musicchik83 at 5/18/2012 12:48 PM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline musicchik83
4 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2012 9:23 AM

I have two boy bunnies I adopted in Pebruary of this year. They were litter mates that the shelter had bonded. they will be one year old May 20th. A couple months ago they started to fight. It began as nipping while playing and escalated to me coming home to a bed covered in poop and a floor covered in fur. I separated them for a couple days and sought the help of the shelter. I was advised to put on in an exercize pen and let the other run outside the pen so they would be used to eachothers scent. I swap them out each morning. This week I am buckling down and trying to re-bond them. I can use all the help and pointers I can get, so anyone familiar with a similar situation please jump in with advice. I am going to be posting each day on my blog so I can keep track of their progress and keep each bonding event separate in my mind. if you're interested I would love some pointers: 

Link to blog is located in my profile. 


Thanks in advance!

User is Offline bunnyfriend
2372 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2012 12:50 PM

Are your rabbits neutered? If not, this could be the reason why the bond has been broken. 

Welcome to BB btw

RIP Tigger          RIP Wilbur           RIP Totoro

User is Offline BB Administrator
BB Webmaster
446 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2012 1:40 PM

Links to blogs are not allowed in forum posts, however, they are allowed in your profile (as long as they are not selling something). I realized though that the area for members to add a general website link is no longer available! We will be fixing that. In the meantime,  I checked out your blog, and it's fine to post it in your profile. For now, I added the link to the Bunny Info section of your profile, and changed your forum post to direct people to that link in your profile.

Fixes Stuff. Thinks about Fixing stuff. Dreams about fixing stuff. Is it fixed yet?

User is Offline musicchik83
4 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2012 4:49 PM
Bunnyfriend- They are both neutered. From what I've been told, sometimes spring and higher testosterone levels cause them to fight- especially since they are so young. Their fights haven't been as violent as some of the ones I've read about on the forum, but a lot of fur was lost in the big one.

BB Administrator- Sorry about the blog link, I missed that in the rules.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
5/15/2012 4:51 PM
New smells could make bunnies antsy too, so if you have windows open, they smell something new or scary, they could get scared and start little fights.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
5/16/2012 3:30 AM
Did they have anything in their pen like tunnels and boxes to hide in and such? I find that sometimes these things make rabbits very territorial. I had a pair that I had bonded for an adopter and they were bonded for a very long time then all the sudden, boom, they were always fighting. So I had her bring them back to me and I observed them and when I made the decision to take out all the toys and boxes, there were not problems - it was mainly the boxes. For some reason, these things made the female more territorial. Once those were removed, they were back to pretty much happy.

User is Offline musicchik83
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5/17/2012 9:14 AM

Monkeybun- I will be putting my AC in the window soon. That's an interesting thought- I think it was one of the first open window days of the year.

Sarita - They do have a couple tunnels. I'll take them away and see what happens.


I'm back to rebonding the boys so please keep the advice coming. Here's the progress so far:


Day 3

Last night the boys were chasing each other a little. Swatch was running around the pen and Rolex was running inside the pen and they kept poking their noses through the bars. I didn't notice any nipping, but it did seem fairly aggressive.

I had a little more time than normal this morning, so I took the boys for a nice long car ride- about an hour and fifteen minutes this time. They cuddled almost the entire time. Swatch really cuddles up to Rolex's bum when he's scared. Then when we got home I set up the pen on the landing again. They were good together for a solid fifteen minutes. Swatch immediately dominates the litter box. Rolex shared it with him for a bit and then explored the rest of the pen and cuddled up next to me for a bit. They put their heads together ("groom me") behavior a few times without any aggression, but also without anyone caving a grooming the other bun.

I regret to admit that in spite of everything I've read an been told I left them together a little longer than I should have and it eventually got a little aggressive. I know better and should have made sure that we ended on a positive note, but I had extra time and figured I might as well use it. Bad idea. Then, when I put them back in the carrier and cleaned up the pen with them sitting together in the carrier, I noticed a little aggressive nipping in the carrier. I immediately picked them up and it stopped, but I know that was probably due to too much time together to soon.  Swatch was definitely the aggressor today.

Day Two

The boys and I took another hour long car ride. They cuddled more today, which might just be due to the fact that I used a smaller carrier, but I'll take it. Then I set them up in the pen just as I did yesterday, this time with treats handy. I tried putting a little dust from the Papaya tablets on their faces (another Tiny Liz suggestion). They both got excited because they could smell it but then almost immediately started cleaning their own faces, not each others. Oh well. They were pretty good together after that. They nosed around the pen a little. Rolex got a little aggressive again, but it fizzled out quickly once I put a stop to it and before too long Rolex laid down next to the litter where Swatch was sitting. From what I've read and been told, that's a good sign. Little by little we seem to be making some progress!

Day One:

We took a nice long car ride today. We stopped by my favorite pet store. Then we drove by a vets office that my boss told me about. All in all, about an hour drive of total bunny terror.

When we returned home, I set up an exercise pen on the landing between apartments. I don't have any neutral territory in my apartment anymore because I let them run free when I was home. It was about 11am, so I don't think any of my neighbors were home. I'm hoping I can continue to use this space, because it seemed to work pretty well. I made the pen just big enough for me to sit with them and for there to be a little space in between the litter box and the basket of salad I brought for them (Tiny Liz from RD's suggestion). While I was preparing their salad and setting up the pen I kept them in the carrier together.

Swatch seemed pretty shaken up when he first got out of the carrier into the pen. They put their heads together but no one caved and groomed the other. On the plus side, no one got aggressive either. After about 15 minutes, Rolex got a little aggressive with Swatch, which I stopped immediately, and then they both were pretty calm together. Swatch even groomed himself while Rolex sat nearby.

All in all, it was the most successful bonding session I've had at my apartment since this all began. I made the mistake of leaving their treats in the bedroom, so I wasn't able to reward them until they were back in their respective areas for the day. Tomorrow I will have to remember to bring them along.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
5/17/2012 9:28 AM
That's great - it sounds like you are making progressive. Just take your time like you are and keep each session short and positive.

I love their names - Swatch & Rolex - I guess someone likes watches :~)

User is Offline musicchik83
4 posts Send Private Message
5/18/2012 12:48 PM

Day 4


 We went for about a 40 minute drive today. They cuddled a lot more today than normal. Pretty darn cute. Then I brought them home for a bonding session on the landing. I gave them each a piece of carrot today. In past days I have been giving them greens, which in the excitement, they have completely ignored. At first they both ignored the carrot, which is shocking, but pretty soon Swatch started munching on his and Rolex followed suit. Pretty soon Swatch dropped his carrot and made a move to grab Rolex's. They used to do this all the time before the fight, but I didn't want to give them any more reasons to duke it out, so I put a stop to it. He's earned his place as the annoying little brother. I kept the session short today, so no aggression. They did nip a little in the carrier before I put them back in the bedroom. Nothing too bad, just a little grunt before I picked it up again. I would say we're making progress, little by little. I imagine the car rides will have to continue for a while longer.
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