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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding a third one (long story)
Last Post by Kokaneeandkahlua at 1/06/2009 7:01 AM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline Traci
3 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2008 11:31 AM


I'm Traci, a confirmed bunny lover.  My friend and I have three bunnies.  Our first is a Holland Lop, male, named Chewie.  He's about two years old.  We adopted him from the Humane Society.  About three months later we adopted a female dward mix of some kind.  Her name is Zoey, and she's about 2 1/2.  They instabonded.  Minor mounting, and their first night together they were aleady snuggling.  I couldn't believe our luck.  This was about a year and a half ago.

About six months ago we adopted a third bunny.  All three are neutered/spayed, by the way.  We were actually expecting to adopt a different bun, but the bunny date didn't go so well.  And we saw a bunny that had been there for a LONG time, and I felt so bad for him and requested that we try the bunny date with him.  Initially, at the place where we had the bunny date, all three buns got along fine.  So we adopted Turbo, a male Dutch/Rex mix who just turned a year old.

However, once we got him home, he and the other two started fighting immediately.  We tried neutral spaces, and initially Turbo would put his head down like he wanted to be groomed, but then one of the other buns would try to mount him, and then he'd freak out and the fighting would start.  We sort of gave up and just kept him separate from the other two.

Well, I wanted Turbo to have a buddy too, so last night we took him to the Humane Society to try a bunny date there.  The Humane Society has a lot of buns right now, so I wanted to help out in that respect as well.  We tried with two very sweet female buns, but the fighting starting immediately, pretty much by Turbo.

We didn't adopt a bun, of course, but instead tried to bond Turbo again with our current buns.  This time we tried with just Turbo and Chewie.  I know they're both males, but Chewie is the sweet most laid back bun I've ever seen.  Turbo IMMEDIATELY put his head down like he wanted to be groomed, and kept it down.  Chewie seemed to be grooming him at first, but then tried to mount him.  As soon as this happened, they started fighting, and continued fighting even when we put them on opposite sides of the bars of a separator we have.  I just don't get it.  Turbo seems to really want to get along with Chewie.

Is there any hope?  Are we giving up too soon?  We break up the fights as soon as they start, but since Turbo seems to want to be groomed and get along initially, I just feel confused.

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2008 11:39 AM
Are you trying them all together or are you doing short bonding sessions with Turbo and Chewie and then Turbo and Zoey. I would try them in neutral areas with Turbo and Chewie and then Turbo and Zoey but keep the sessions short and positive to start out with.

Sometimes it will just take alot of persistence on your part and alot of work. Rabbits have to learn to trust each other - it may never happen or it could happen but may take some time.

I think you are giving up too soon. I know it's hard bonding rabbits and you were so lucky with Chewie and Zoey so I can imagine it's a bit disappointing with Turbo right now.

How are Turbo and Zoey? It sounds like she tries to mount him too.

User is Offline Traci
3 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2008 11:48 AM

Thank you for the quick response! 

Yes, currently we're trying with just Chewie and Turbo in a neutral area, because Chewie is so mellow.  Inititally we did try with all three, and at times they'd ignore each other, but then the fighting would start.  I know I'm giving up too soon, but that's because I'm scared one of them is going to get hurt, or that the fighting is going to ruin their sweet dispositions.  So far their fights haven't resulted in any injuries except some fur being scattered.  I don't know if that's normal or not.  And it's just Chewie's fur.  But he isn't missing any.  Maybe Lops just shed more?

I haven't tried with just Turbo and Zoey yet, but she's more aggressive, so I'm focusing on Chewie at the moment.

I'd really like them to bond so that 1) Turbo has buddies, and 2) We don't have to spend time with only one group of bunnies at a time.  Right now Chewie and Zoey have their own bedroom (spoiled!!), and Turbo hangs out in the living room with us.  But then if we want to spend time with Chewie and Zoey, Turbo is alone.

I'm not going to give up hope yet. 

User is Offline Sarita
18886 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2008 11:53 AM
Take your time too - this is really as stressful for you as it is for the rabbits. You should try to be consistent but just make each session short in the beginning and don't rush it and try to make sure each sessions ends positively if you can with pets or something. They don't necessarily always have to interact with each other right away, just observe each other.

You sound like you have a very good plan too by starting with Chewie.

Keep it up :~)

User is Offline Traci
3 posts Send Private Message
12/31/2008 11:55 AM

Thanks Sarita!

We will definitely keep trying.    I hope I have good news to report sometime in the next year.  In the meantime, I love reading the other posts.  My bunnies are definitely my babies (my birds are, too).

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
12104 posts Send Private Message
1/06/2009 7:01 AM
For three bunnies, I'd start doing bonding with Turbo and Chewie, then Turbo and Zoey-like you're doing

Go slow it will be stressful for all. Once your having successful bonding sessions, it'd be time to start on 'all three' you can do some stress bonding then (imo) take the three for car rides, sitting on the drier while it's turned on, and shopping cart rides. The stress of the movement really keeps them from fighting and they'll even snuggle up usually.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding a third one (long story)

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