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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding Noelle and Wally *BONDED*
Last Post by vashira at 10/16/2008 2:33 PM (21 Replies)
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User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 8:47 AM

Last Sunday I drove down to Minneapolis and took Noelle on a bunch of bunny dates at an adoption event sponsored by one of the rescues.  After a few failed attempts, she got along reasonably well with a New Zealand bunny named Wally.  Wally would thump at her and she would flatten out, and they did a bit of sniffing at each other - so I adopted Wally and brought him home!

Since then they've had three 15 minute tub dates.  On date one Wally did a lot of thumping.  He also felt compelled to mount Noelle a few times and was also doing some nipping.  I allowed the mounting for about 10 seconds at a time as long as he was being nice about it - from behind and not biting her.  I also did some forced snuggling and had them squish down and snuggle while I pet them.  I ended this session after some forced snuggling because I figured that was a nice positive note compared to the mounting and the nipping.

On date two there was no mounting and no nipping!  They shared some timothy pellets (Noelle is practically addicted) and they both ate next to each other with no food aggression.  By the end they were laying down next to each other, just relaxing.  I got Noelle to eat a couple of raisins off of Wally's head, hoping he'd think she was grooming him. All in all, it went VERY well.

Date 3 was a lot like date 2.  Shared pellets, mutual sniffing - no aggression or mounting at all.  I had to break it off early because I got a call to pick the boyfriend up from the airport earlier than expected, so they didn't get around to any cuddling.

The buns are living in a cube condo with a wall dividing down the middle.  Noelle occasionally steals hay out of Wally's cage through the gaps in the bars, which amuses me.  I had been switching towels back and forth between the cages - but they just peed and pooped all over them and made a huge mess.  So now I'm switching food bowls and litter boxes.

So - after all of that.  I'm sort of wondering how to progress?  I plan to do another longer tub date (at least 30 minutes) tonight, but was thinking I could maybe set up the exercise pen in the living room this weekend and try a couple of dates in there?  Would that be moving too quickly?  They both get exercise time where they can hop around the living room and check things out, so I'm considering that a semi-neutral space.

I'd appreciate any input on where to go from here - I'm really excited it's been going so well, but I don't want to rush it and screw it up either!

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 




User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 8:58 AM

Pictures!


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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 9:24 AM
i love Wally! he looks so "regal"! and forgive me for being naive but for some reason i don't think i realized the NZ's came in colors other than white. whoops. lol.

that sounds like it's going so well. it's hard to really say what is "moving too fast" b/c every bunny pair is going to be different. if they are getting along with no aggression, you should be able to try them in an xpen in a semi-neutral area (so basically a place Noelle MIGHT have been) but not regularly... you also might try doing longer sessions, up to an hour if they will tolerate it...

as far as the condos... i would recommend you switch the bunnies only, leave the litterboxes and food/toys in place. this will get them used to the other's scent much quicker.


Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 10:53 AM
Thanks for the advice Beka - I'll try switching the bunnies tonight instead of their stuff.

We just had a very successful date 4. They were in the tub for an hour. Happily shared some hay and the litter box. Then Noelle hunkered down and stuck her head out for grooms. Wally decided he was more interested in grooming himself, so I think he cleaned up about every square inch of his fur - from ears to tail. But Noelle waited very patiently and he did very nicely lick her head twice for 10-15 seconds each time. Then they both stretched out and cuddled up face to face for a few minutes. Finally I decided to give them each a raisin and call it good.

I live in a little apartment, so Noelle has been everywhere except for the kitchen because she can't stand the slippery floor. She spends most of her time along the perimeter of the living room though so I thought the xpen in the middle would be about as close to semi-neutral as we'll get. I guess the office might work too - she mostly hangs out behind the desk in there, but doesn't get in there every day. That might be better.

Anyways, I'll give that a go tomorrow and see how it works out!



User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 11:07 AM
to make the living room more neutral you could even put down a blanket under the xpen so she won't recognize the carpet... or a blanket under the xpen in the kitchen (that would make the slippery floor a non-issue!)


Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2843 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 12:38 PM

I'd suggest putting the X-pen in the kitchen area and putting down some towels there so she has traction. That will work as a good neutral space since Noelle hasn't been in there.

Noelle is trying to assert some dominance by 'requesting' grooming from him.  If he doesn't show that when in her space, she may get a little physical over it.



My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Erbear
Twin Cities area, Minnesota
155 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 2:25 PM
YOU ADOPTED WALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's such a sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I'm so excited! The lady who fostered him (Barb) was fostering Josefina right before Wally.


It looks like they're getting along so well. yay!


Cute, I can do cute...

User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 2:32 PM
Haha - I'm glad to see some one else is as excited about my adoption as I am! I'm assuming that Josefina is your rabbit? Wally's profile described him as "the perfect rabbit" and he was pretty nice to Noelle on their first meeting, aside from his loud thumping, so I couldn't turn him down!

I've discovered he's a big fan of cardboard - do you happen to know any of his other favourites?



User is Offline Erbear
Twin Cities area, Minnesota
155 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 6:07 PM
I briefly met him and just heard that they thought he was handicapped or a little slow because of the way he moved... barb said that he wasn't because he just travels in a constant half binky run thing. She picked him up the afternoon that I adopted Jo... he looks just like her but with HUGE ears. Barb said it was like everything fit together again. Cute black bunny in that cage.

Good luck with him. Have you given him any phonebooks? Barb used to give Jo those and she looooves them as does the new zealand that I help care for.


Cute, I can do cute...

User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/03/2008 6:13 PM
Haven't tried the phonebooks yet. I have noticed the gimpy run though, but I did deduce that it was just a semi-binky thing. Kinda hilarious since Noelle never binkies.



User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/10/2008 5:48 PM
The new couple is moving in! Wally and Noelle had a few dates in the x-pen in the living room with their towels from the bathtub down over the carpet (I thought the towels would smell like both of them and help things go well). They spent most of last weekend in the pen together - all day long until I put them in their divided cage at night. I also started switching sides at night to get them used to each other. Then early this week I started letting them have free range of the living room (Noelle's usual roaming area) at the same time - and that all went fine too. Wally still grooms Noelle a lot - I've seen her groom him a couple of times but she doesn't seem to know what she's doing - poor thing. Wally still occasionally tries to mount Noelle (maybe once a day, but not every day). She just scoots off and he gives up, no aggression on either side. So I am a little confused as to who is top bun - since Noelle gets all the grooming and Wally does all the mounting. But no nipping or fighting of any sort. Today they both crawled under our recliner and had a nice little nap for the afternoon. I disturbed them to take pictures of them - mean Mummy! As we speak Wally's grooming Noelle again. So I just finished dismantling the divider wall in their cage and am going to try them in there full time. While they've been out together they've both been on both sides together at the same time eating each other's hay together and drinking out of both water bottles - so I don't have any big worries about it. They'll even lounge about together on the same side. So cross your fingers that everyone still gets along by morning! I'll be sleeping on the couch, just in case. :-)



User is Offline Lightchick
Long Beach, CA
1024 posts Send Private Message
10/10/2008 7:52 PM
Oh, so glad it's going well! Good luck with them and their new shared-condo! (I didn't know New Zealand's could be anything other than white, either! He's a beauty!)

I can't tell which of my two is the dominant one, either. (They're newly-bonded.) I don't think there's a clear boss. Their relationship is more "human" in that there's a lot of give and take (or give and give...they don't fight at all...). I think we got lucky that our buns figured it out so easily!



User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/11/2008 6:04 AM
Yes - after reading everyone else's horror stories I wasn't sure I should even get another bunny - but I'm so glad I did and so lucky they bonded so quickly!

Last night was successful, by the way. Wally kept waking me up gnawing on his toys, which was freaking me out (Noelle doesn't chew anything except for massive amounts of hay, so I'm not used to the chewing noises just yet). But no fights as far as I can tell - everyone has all their fur this morning!

But they're both lounging in their condo giving me the "where's our breakfast" look - so I better hop to it!



User is Offline bunnytowne
florida
7538 posts Send Private Message
10/12/2008 3:31 PM

How cute.  I like those big long ears of Wally's..  I didnt know either that NZ whites weren't only white. Cool.  Learn something new everyday.

OH boy your buns are gona be sooo happy together.  They have really hit it off. 



 photo bunnytownesiggy.jpg

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2008 3:36 AM
oh good! that was a pretty stressfree bonding! good for you. now you want to keep them together for two weeks straight. that will work to cement the bond.


Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2008 8:05 AM
Now, when you say "keep them together" - do you just mean keep them in the same pen at night, or do I have to make sure they don't spend any time lounging in different areas of the apartment during out time?



User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
16043 posts Send Private Message
10/13/2008 9:00 AM
always together. no playtime without the other. for the first two weeks i kept them exclusively in the xpen (it's big: 4x8 foot square). they got only about 1 hour out of pen time a day, TOGETHER, and i limited that playspace to the bunny room (which is about 9x12 feet). you want to keep them in a small shared space so they are being forced to only interract with each other. after the two weeks, i slowly started letting them into the living room (which had previously been Meadow's territory). i constructed a NIC grid fence and i would let them come into the living room bit by bit. each day they were allowed in a foot or two further.


Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Rock'nRoll Rabbit
1 posts Send Private Message
10/15/2008 10:51 AM

-the boyfriend


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User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/15/2008 3:24 PM

The day they met:
Photobucket


In the bathtub:
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Eating some hay:
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Making a U-turn:
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Sharing the box:
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Lookin' for love:
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Still hoping for some lovin':
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If you won't love me, I'll sit on your face:
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Finally some cuddles:
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Cover your eyes!
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Moving on to the x-pen:
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That's it until I get fully bonded, cuddling under the recliner pictures off of my camera!

Hopefully this satisfies his highness. 




User is Offline BunnyMuffin
Grand Forks, ND
350 posts Send Private Message
10/15/2008 3:32 PM
Sorry the pictures are so big! I have no concept of how to make them smaller - perhaps I'll enlist "the boyfriend" since he apparently has all kinds of picture editing skills, and might I add, time on his hands...


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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding Noelle and Wally *BONDED*

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