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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding Journal- Week 1- Day 10- back to bonding
Last Post by BunBun260 at 12/15/2018 9:39 PM (59 Replies)
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User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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11/13/2018 8:00 PM
Sounds like they are both vying for dominance (putting their heads down). Try not to intervene with light nipping and grunting unless it starts escalating. This is how they will set boundaries and communicate. It sounds like they are fairly calm, which is good.

Once you get back you can try increasing session length and intervening less. You can also try starting off with a stress session (like a car ride together) to see if that helps.

User is Offline BunBun260
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11/13/2018 8:38 PM
Will do! I’m slowly started to have a little more trust with them, I’m intervening a lot less then when I first started. I plan on intervening less when I get back. This upcoming thanksgiving break will give me more time to spend bonding them. I plan on going to 20 minutes next session. Do you think when I get back I should try 20 minutes session twice a day? And with both of them trying to get dominance, do you think one will give in soon?

User is Offline BunBun260
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11/21/2018 9:32 PM
So I got my bunnies back yesterday from the boarding place. I was not happy at all of the condition of my bunnies. I got home and checked them for fleas, i just wanted to make sure they didn’t get any. No fleas! But I found bite marks on my boy rabbit. Three in total. Nothing serious. I then proceeded to check her and found that she had patches of fur ripped out, with one bite mark.

I called the place horrified and asked if they let them out together, and she swears none of the workers did, and proceeding to blame my cage set up, even though they had 6 inches of cage between them (I have also been using this setup since day one and never had that happened). May I add there there is also three layers of fence between them, small checker board style

They are still acting normal living next to each other, but my question is, do you believe they let them out together, and if you do, where do you think they stand? I plan on trying a session Friday. The bite marks were not nearly as bad as when they had that fight weeks ago.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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11/21/2018 10:09 PM
Jeez, how awful

Hard to say what happened, but you are probably right in that they were either let out together, or with other bunnies? I would be furious....

Do the bite marks have broken skin?

If not, you are prob fine to try a session. If they seem more aggressive than before, it might be wise to take a break and let them calm down.

Poor babies, it's lucky they are OK otherwise

I just can't believe some people.... >

User is Offline BunBun260
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11/22/2018 4:24 AM
There was no other rabbits there, so it couldn’t have been that. So that is good. The place has had rabbits before and had great reviews so I’m confused on what happened. She also told me maybe it was stress. -.- which honestly made me even more furious, cause why would a bunny bite his own bum? I don’t even think he can reach that area real well.

The bites did scab, but I do not think they broke the skin where he was bleeding. The bites on both of them seemed very fresh, so I’m assuming the event had just happened. His bites were on his bottom and leg. Her bite and fur pulling was also on her bottom. That also just seemed weird to me. Last time they got in a fight their bites were aimed for the neck and front legs. So I guess at least their bites are not there.

They are okay, her behavior does seem a bit off. I posted on the behavior forum. Last night she tried biting me when I went to pet her, and she adores being petted. I might give them a few more days. I feel so horrible that this whole thing happened. Hoping things will still work out though. They seemed to be making progress before I left.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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11/22/2018 8:59 AM
Poor babies

Yeah would probably be good to give them some time to settle down and relax again. I know my buns were giving me the bunny butt for a few days after going to a pet sitter's place, even though I know she took great care of them.

User is Offline BunBun260
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11/23/2018 4:00 PM
Update: I am so upset by this whole event. I ended up finding more wounds on Bun Bun because they have all formed a hard scab. He has in total 7, one drew blood. He also has fur pulled as well. She only had two but so much fur is pulled out from her. I’m so upset by this. I ended up filing a report against the place.

My question is, where do I go from here? They are still living side by side, they don’t show any aggression through the gate (in fact they seem more in sync with each other then before. She is laying more against the gate between them too, head facing him).

I’m still giving them a break from bonding, I am just so upset with this. I was really hoping to have them bonded by Christmas, or at least near it.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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11/23/2018 9:05 PM
I'm so sorry how stressful for all of you. I guess you don't really know what happened, are you sure it couldn't have happened from another animal? It's all so weird and awful.

I think in this case you need to trust your gut. If it doesn't feel right to you continue for now, then trust that instinct (I'm getting the sense from you that it might be best to wait a bit). I think sometimes having a deadline for when you want them bonded can cause problems with bonding, as you might push past something you shouldn't. Ultimately the safety of the buns is most important, and if one is recovering from an injury, it could prevent them from forming a strong bond.

More prebonding isn't a bad thing, nor is enjoying some holiday down time without stressing about bonding, especially given all that they've been through.

User is Offline BunBun260
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11/23/2018 9:54 PM
The bites look very similar to the bite marks they got when they had that fight in my room a few weeks ago. There were only dogs there at the boarding place, and the bunnies had their own room. I would really hope it wasn’t another animal. Im kinda a mixed of wanting to try again, but also not really wanting too. They seem like everything is fine living side by side, but then again who knows. The deadline of Christmas isn’t a strict deadline, it just would have been nice. I’m going to wait for their wounds to heal completely before trying again. Once they are heal I’ll try a short session and see what happens. In the meantime I’ll continue switching cages, litter, and dolls.

I did a bonded session a few days after their fight in my room and they were completely fine with each other, so maybe it willl he the same way once their wounds have healed. Hoping for the best. I’ll keep you updated.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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11/23/2018 10:59 PM
That sounds like a very good plan.

Give them some extra nose rubs for me



User is Offline BunBun260
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12/06/2018 9:45 PM
I’m back! With some good news. Both bunnies healed fine. All their wounds have healed for the most part, they still have marks but it looks much better. His foot has healed as well (if you didn’t see my other thread, I found a wound on his foot. It was a pretty bad one.) both bunnies are still living next to each other. In fact they have seemed more interested in each other through the gate. They always seem to be flopping right against the gate at the same time next to each other, and they have been doing this new thing where they run back and forth in front of the gate, copying each other. I don’t know what this means, to be honest it looks like they are trying to play with each other?

They also have been doing this cute thing. When I bring them their food they use to run up to the gate, but now every time before running to the gate they run up to the gate between them getting the other attention that I’m bringing them food. The first time I saw it I didn’t think much of it, but it’s been happening for over a week now.

So I think I’m going to try bonding them again soon. Probably the end of next week. Do you think that is a good sign? Before they could have cared less about the other living next door, but now they seem very interesting in each other.

Also Bunnie (female bunny) is much better with me. She stopped biting me and is now letting me pet her again.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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12/07/2018 5:50 PM
Glad they are healed up and Bunnie is doing better with you

Usually running the fence is an aggressive or territorial thing... but not always? Do they lunge or have their ears back?

Flopping next to each other is great, and I'm not sure what to think of the behavior around meal times.

Have you been switching their sides as well?

User is Offline BunBun260
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12/07/2018 8:43 PM
Yes, I am still switching their cages. That is that only time they will not pay attention to each other through the gate. But they will still mimic each other (eating laying drinking at the same time). They don’t lunge at the gate, or have their ears back. I thought the same thing at first. It’s very odd. They usually flopped right against the gate next to each other right after it. Today, they have not done it at all. They are still doing the food thing tho. Same thing with that, no lungeing, no ears back.

I am also switch toys and even given them blankets with each other scents still. They switch cages while the other one is playing, also when I am wrapping things up for bed, they have a good 10-20 minutes in the opposite cage. I am in no rush to start bonding again, so if you think it is best to wait still, im 100% for it. I rather their next bonding session go well, instead of bad.

This weekend I am setting their x-pen up to be a more permanent set up because I believe that this bond will take a bit longer. (adding permanent cage covers, and making the divider more of a wall instead of a removeable gate) But then again who knows.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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12/07/2018 9:55 PM
Hmm, then yeah it could be playing?

Sorry if I mis-read, but I usually swap who is in what cage every 24-48 hours (so they have a at least a full day in the opposite cage, and at least a few hours with a dirty litter box from the previous bun). Not sure 20 minutes would have the same effect?

Having a set-up you feel more comfortable with is great, it makes the whole thing less stressful in my experience, because it feels less rushed.

User is Offline BunBun260
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12/08/2018 8:02 AM
They usually get a good few hours. The 20 minutes is when they are both in the cages. Where one isn’t in playtime. If that makes sense. Before the event,I was doing the 24 hours, but I had exams this week, and it was a little difficult for me to get around to it. I’ll do it all this week though.

They use the same play area. Which has toys and a large blanket. So I would assume they can smell each other like that too.

User is Offline BunBun260
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12/13/2018 5:50 AM
So I have a small issue. Every time they are in each other cages longer then an hour, they both start acting up. Bun bun starts looking all sad in her cage, and she starts getting mad in his cage. I have to go and calm her down and pet him just for them to calm down a bit. They are fine for an hour but that is all. They start acting up after an hour. Do you think I should back up completely to step one of prebonding and just do a blanket switch/litter box switch only? Or should I keep going until they break out of this phase? I don’t want to end up doing anything that causes them to think of each other badly. Thanks!

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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12/13/2018 9:56 AM
I think you should be swapping them completely for a full 24 hours, or even a full 48 hours. The acting up is part of the process, and means that you should continue pre-bonding. Eventually you will swap them they won't react at all, and that's the goal. It's likely they are acting that way because you've only been swapping them for a few minutes, so they are expecting to go back "home".

I've always done full swaps of which bun is in which cage, and left the litter box dirty for at least 6 hours after the swap happens. I time so I swap in the evenings, and clean litter boxes in the mornings. I would only recommend just swapping the litter boxes if it's not possible to swap the buns (not as a first step).

User is Offline BunBun260
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12/14/2018 7:48 AM
So they both have been in the other cage for a full 24 hours. They actually much better. They acted like it was just there cage. They did a lot of sniffing at first, which I was happy to see because they must have smelled each other scent. Bun bun is more curious about her then she is with him. I catch bun bun a lot staring at her. She however acts like he isn’t even there. Lol. I will switch them again later tonight and do another 24 hours.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
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12/14/2018 12:40 PM
That's great

User is Offline BunBun260
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12/15/2018 9:39 PM
Hello, I just had a thought. I plan on bonding them again once my Christmas break starts. So, next weekend. I’ll have more time for longer sessions. In my past bonding sessions I never did stress sessions because I was a little scared about it. Will my bunnies be ticked at me if I put them in a stressful situation? I know you mention car rides before, but Bun Bun has been on car rides before and literally looks unbother by it. In fact he will flop and hop in his carrier. I seen the washer machine method too, where you put them on top of a washer machine. I also seen the vacuum one.

I guess I’m scared I’ll hurt the bond between my rabbits and me. Do you think a stress sessions might help them a bit more. Kinda get passed all their history and get them passed the dominance thing? Bunnie gets freaked out over everything, so I kinda thought that might help her realize that bun bun can be a bunny she can trust.
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