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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Fighting Bonded Rabbits
Last Post by pyrobat at 8/07/2007 8:03 AM (6 Replies)
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User is Offline pyrobat
San Diego Area
9 posts Send Private Message
7/23/2007 5:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I did a brief search through existing threads, but seeing as this is a somewhat urgent topic, I hoped that I might be able to recieve some help from the community.  Anyways, we (my girlfriend and I) had been in the process of bonding two male rabbits.  The process seemed to going smoothly, and it had even gotten to the point where we were able to have the same cage for both rabbits.  After night with them in it, we thought they were good to go.  However,  after about four days, we had let them roam about the room (as they had the first few days prior) and came back a little later to find Atilla cowering in one corner of the room, and tufts of fur everywhere.  After inspection, Atilla seems fine, and Koala has a bite on his ear (which has been treated).  I was just wondering what happened, and how could this be fixed?  Here are a couple more details.

-While running around, Atilla was almost continuously trying to mount Koala.   (We assumed that this was a play to try to established dominance, so we let it continue.)

-Atilla is the younger, and smaller of the two, and (We think this is a reason) is not neutered.  Koala is neutered.

For now we have them in seperate cages placed by each other, though it seems that Atilla is afraid of Koala and remains hiding when he is near.

Thanks to anyone who can offer some advice.

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
7/23/2007 6:23 PM
Hi & Welcome to Binky Bunny!

A male with male bond is usually a little more difficult than a male female bond, so that could be one of the first reasons you are having trouble. My two boys got into a big fight a couple months ago, and it was almost the exact same situation (except they are not bonded, Kramer somehow found a way to hop into Raymond's cage!) I also came home to tufts of fur everywhere, and one of the bunnies cowering in the corner while the other was calmly grooming (guess who the winner was?)

I would guess that the most likely trigger of the fight was Atilla's humping - Koala probably got to the point where he was tired of it (a few days would do it!) and Koala probably turned around a smacked him. Usually when bun's fight it turns into what some of my friends call a "death spiral" as each bun goes at the other's genital area - so make sure you check them "down there" to make sure there are no hidden injuries there as I have heard that quite often fights between males end up with injuries there. Also, make sre to check both bunnies thoroughly, Raymond went to the vet and we found three wounds on his back that I had not seen because the fur covered them, these wounds can develop abcesses and can be very dangerous, so make sure to check the bunnies head to toe for injuries.

I would definitely recommend neutering Attila before you try the bonding again. A fight that is very serious can be very damaging to the potential to bond two bunnies and a second fight could also result in the severe injury of one of the bunnies or worse. It is not impossible to bond two males, but definitely progress slowly after Atilla is neutered and has at least a month to let the hormones die down!

User is Offline pyrobat
San Diego Area
9 posts Send Private Message
7/23/2007 9:11 PM

Thank you very much for the advice.  It was very helpful, and also comforting to know that the relationship is still salvagable.  So I'll check them over once more, and wait until after we neuter Atilla till we try again.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2443 posts Send Private Message
7/23/2007 9:42 PM
welcome Pyrobat,

I'll second Moobunnay's good advice to have Atilla neutered prior to trying to bond them. Male to male bonding can be tough though, so it will take some serious time and effort to work with them post Atilla's neuter.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Bay Area
Forum Leader
8990 posts Send Private Message
7/24/2007 3:28 PM

Welcome pyrobat! Well, I double ditto MooBunnay's advice! When you do have a go at bonding again, just be sure to go slow, and start in a neutral territory. A nasty fight can set things back, so it's best to avoid that. On average it takes about 3 weeks for a bonding to really start to happen. I have only had one set that bonded within a week, and I know the experiences of others have taken even longer than 3 weeks, so just be prepared for a longer duration. Check out the bonding section on this site and there are even more great tips in the links section, and scroll down to "Bonding".

Keep us updated.

User is Offline MooBunnay
Dallas, Texas (Allen)
3088 posts Send Private Message
8/03/2007 9:27 AM
Hello Pyrobat - was just wondering how your two buns are doing? Has Attilla been neutered yet, and are they recovering OK from their spat?

User is Offline pyrobat
San Diego Area
9 posts Send Private Message
8/07/2007 8:03 AM

Thanks for your concern.  We actually did another once over of the rabbits, and found where the tuft of hair on Attila came from.  It was hard to find because it was on his neck under closer to the throat.  His general squirminess when handling combined with fur and reluctance to show that part of his neck made it difficult to find.  We got that treated, so he is doing fine, as is Koala who had a little bite mark on his ear. 

Also, as of now we have to wait a little to get Attila neutered, as he is a younger bunny and right now it might be a little early.  So for now, we have a setup that allows them to be separate from each other, and as soon as we can we'll go get Attila neutered.  Thanks again for wondering about our bunnies, I really appreciate it!

I'll keep everyone updated as the situation changes.  But for now, I just have to wait till Attila grows a little bit more.  (Which thankfully he doesn't seem to have a problem doing.)

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