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Last Post by DanaNM at 3/23/2019 7:34 PM (6 Replies)
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User is Offline Three Little Bunnies
64 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2019 6:22 AM
I have three rabbits. They are all fixed and I am working on bonding Shadoe and Bolt. They have been bonding since October and still mount each other. I have only seen Bolt groom Shadoe once. I let them out to play every day and they like it but I don’t really see the best signs. Could Eeyore’s presence be aggravating them? I do not think that I can bond all three of them until Shadoe and Bolt are bonded because Eeyore and Bolt fight whenever I put them together. Any tips?

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
Forum Leader
2623 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2019 8:55 AM
Hi there, welcome

Happy to try to help. Are you hoping to have all three bonded eventually?
Also, can you describe what you've done so far in a bit more detail? It will help me to give some tips. The important points I'd like to know would be:
Have you've done any pre-bonding (cage swaps)?
What is the bonding space like that you are doing sessions in (is it neutral ? how large is it?)?
How long are the sessions? And how often are you doing sessions?


User is Offline Three Little Bunnies
64 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2019 11:08 AM
Thank you!

I am hoping to bond them all eventually if that is possible. I did do pre-bonding. The space is not neutral because all three rabbits play there, I only have one area for the three rabbits, although it was neutral at first. It is about 4 by 6 ft, including the space taken up by the cages. I am planning to get another exercise pen to give them more space. I usually just let the rabbits out in the morning or afternoon and leave them be. It seems like they get along fine and then they mount each other. I try to do a session every day. Currently, they are snuggling in one of the cages (their choice, the door is open). They have space to hop and play, there is space underneath the cages and hutch. I am sometimes worried about them escaping because they can jump over the pen, so I check on them often.

Again, thank you for any help that you can give!

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
Forum Leader
2623 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2019 12:06 PM
Ok thanks, this is helpful!

First, neutral space is very important (it might be the most important thing, in fact). The fact that they are getting a long in the current space (which I would call semi-neutral) is very encouraging, but I think you'll need to find a truly neutral area to work with them. Did you get them all at once? That would explain why it went from neutral to not-neutral.

If you aren't already, continue swapping all three among the different cages every day or two.

Mounting sometimes happens in even bonded buns. Do you see cuddling, sharing litter box without issue, sharing food without issue?

Does mounting ever lead to fights that need to be broken up?

For trios, you can work on each pair of buns individually (this is often preferred if one pair in particular is difficult), but since the dynamics in a trio are different, it can work best to work with all three at once.

The fact that they are cuddling in one of the cages makes me think maybe they are bonded? Or very close to it?

Until they are 100% bonded it is really important that all sessions together are closely supervised. Your approach so far is pretty unconventional, but it seems to have gotten you pretty far if they are cuddling?

Whenever I've gotten stuck in a rut with bonding, a change of location has helped, along with stressing. You can take all the buns for a ride in the car in a bin together, and set up a large pen at a friend's house, or in another area of your house. For a trio, two or three pens linked up would work great. Anything within site or smell of their home area is not neutral. They may just need some long sessions in a true neutral space to cement their bond.

User is Offline Three Little Bunnies
64 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2019 1:15 PM
I didn’t get them all at once, but I did move from one house to another several times. Another factor is that they are not in a room that could really have a bed or air mattress in it so I can’t really do an overnight. I am not trying to bond Eeyore with Shadoe and Bolt yet because I am worried about it stressing the other two even more.

Thank you, your advice was very helpful.

User is Offline Three Little Bunnies
64 posts Send Private Message
3/23/2019 5:09 PM
To anyone reading this thread in the future, Shadoe and Bolt are now bonded and I am working on pre bonding them with Eeyore.

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
Forum Leader
2623 posts Send Private Message
3/23/2019 7:34 PM
Great! Way to go!
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