Bunny Bonding Advice Please!(19 Posts)
We have a beautiful bunny girl and have recently adopted a bunny boy in the hope that they will bond. At the moment they are in their own hutches which are opposite each other, and they go out daily in a run with a wire divider. They happily sniff and rub noses and often sit either side of the divide munching or resting.
I'm planning on bonding them properly at half term while I'm off school and have the time to devote to bonding 'properly'. They are a similar age and have both been neutered. I'm planning on buying a new hutch (double story 6ft) and attaching a run to it with a runaround tunnel.
Do any of you have any advice or experience to help? There seems to be different ways of bonding on line but I wondered if any of you have positive experiences you could share?
No bunny bonding experience (I've only bonded Guinea pigs) but I'm sure someone will be along with proper experience.
It does sound as though things are heading in the right direction if they are choosing to be close to each other. If they didn't like each other I think they'd keep a distance or sit with their backs to each other. Touching noses etc definitely sounds promising.
It would be easier to bond buns in a neutral space that you can get to incase they fight and you need to intervene. Has your bun been in your house? A bathroom or spare bedroom if you have one are ideal. Make sure there are a lot of distractions (toys, hay) and places to hide for when one bun needs time out (which they will). There will be lots of chasing as they assert their hierarchy so it is essential that you do not leave them unattended as this is the time they will scrap - this is a usual part of bonding so don't worry but do be prepared to step in if it gets aggressive. A broom to gently push them apart is wise, don't attempt to use your hands as it is likely you will get bitten. Feel free to PM me, I've bonded our many buns 6 times, mostly successfully but a couple of times not. M/F neutered buns are the easiest type to bond, and they've already been introduced to each other's smells so you're half way there already.
It's great that you are getting a partner, they are so much happier in pairs. How old are they btw? If they are young they may still be hormonal so that might slow things down a bit.
Oh and another thing! Take your time - keep them together the first day and separate them the first night. Don't leave them together until they start grooming. This can take a few days but will mean all is well.
slimming thanks for the link, that article is really good. gin they are both about 8 months, both neutered last October. Thanks for the suggestion to separate the first night, I'd read a couple of examples where the owners had slept with the bunnies the first night and I don't fancy sleeping outside in February!!
I'm so hoping they bond, I've been very conscious that the only thing I can't give young lady is company 24/7. Both bunnies have a lovely nature, she is the active nosy one and he's the floppity laid back one. I'm thinking that she will be the one who wants/needs to be dominant so as long as that's ok with him they'll be fine.
Just out of interest, at which point will I know if it's not going to be successful?
You'll know they're bonded when they start to "touch fur" ie when they are sitting next to each other without any chasing. With 2 of ours it happened the first day, with another 2 it was a week.
So shall I keep them together during the day but apart at night until I'm sure they've bonded?
I would keep them apart until you are certain.
If you are not sure, I would keep them within sight and smell of each other but physically separated ifyswim (so as they are at the moment).
Whenever I have bonded rabbits and it hasn't worked, the fighting has been quite obvious and fairly immediate (but I don't know if this is always the case).
Quick update.....the two storey hutch should be delivered tomorrow so hoping that Wednesday is bonding day. Wish us luck!!
Oooooh - happy bonding day for tomorrow
Good luck. Hope they both behave themselves and remember their manners.
They have spent the morning together in a small run on the patio for the first hour, then a bigger run on the grass until rain stopped play! I've put them back in each other's hutch for the afternoon and will put back into own hutch at teatime.
No fighting, they've been sitting next to each other, eaten from the same bowl together and been running and jumping quite happily then going to each other for a quick snuggle, they seem quite happy in each other's company. So far, so good.......
They sound like they have bonded. If you separate them again now you will have to go through it all again tomorrow.
Just put them in the same hutch and watch for a while. It will be evident if they don't get on.
But it has to be a neutral hutch.
Never separate a bonded pair. Even for the vet, if it can be avoided - and if one of them has to go alone, then put the other one somewhere else until they can both be put back into their shared space at the same time.
Oh sorry I don't want to dismiss others' advice.
If they are snuggling and grooming my experience is you are good to go.
Quick update......bunnies are happily playing together in their run, lots of mutual washing going on. They are spending a couple of hours in their new two storey hutch at the moment and seem OK. I will put them back out in the garden after lunch. I'm thinking they should be alright to share the hutch tonight. I haven't seen any fighting this week, they seem fine to be together.
Yay! What well behaved buns. So pleased this is working out for you and for two lonely buns who've found their soul mates.
Thanks fernie they seem quite happy with each other. I'm glad we didn't rush things, they were so used to each other from being in the divided run that being together properly wasn't to much of a shock!
Hoping they get the hang of their new litter tray now as its the opposite end of the hutch than they're used to but I made it up fresh when they first went in the new hutch and once they were settled I added some poop and hay from their own litter trays to give them a nudge.
They are tucked up with their heat pads and covered over for the night, so fingers crossed they're still lived up in the morning!
Thanks again everyone for your help, it's much appreciated!
Woke up to two bunnies licking each other and poop in the litter tray!!
That's brilliant news. Well done on all your hard work with these buns. Hope they appreciate you but knowing bunnies, they probably don't.
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