Any ideas how to 'move on' with bunny bonding?(4 Posts)
I have started a couple of threads recently about my buns and really appreciate all the advice given but I need some more please! To recap, I adopted a pair of 5 year old rabbits, the buck was neutered and I decided to get the doe done for her own health and because she was obsessively digging. When she returned from the vet the buck attacked her, no blood but she was terrified and there was a lot of her fur flying about. I separated them and put them in a large run with a chicken wire fence between them. They are house buns and I feel awful keeping them in such a small space (they can stand and and hop 2/3 steps) but it's the only way to keep them near each other. At first she seemed to want to be with him but every time she put her nose to the wire he bit it, this has now stopped and they will lay next to each other on either side of the fence and seem happy putting noses through the wire. Since they settled down about 3 weeks ago I have put them together virtually every evening. They ignore each other for a while. He hops about and she stays still, he will after about 20 minutes, mount her which she usually tolerates but eventually runs off frightened and he chases her. He will lay next to her but she seems to scared to move by this point. This can't be good and although he doesn't attack her they can't be left together either. Any ideas how I can get them to move on to the the next stage? I can't keep them like this long term.
You could try messaging Warren Bunny Boarding - she does masses of bonding and works with RSPCA.
When your putting them back together are you doing it in somewhere that is neutral territory for them both. This is really important as with rabbits each time you reintroduce them you need to do it like it's the first time you have done so. Hopefully once they have bonded in neutral territory they will then be ok to go back together in their run. Just as an extra if either has to go to the vets in the future it is best to take the other bunny with them too as this will be less stressful for them and also means you don't have to reintroduce them again afterwards.
Hopefully you're sorted by now. Just to add that chasing and humping is normal bonding behaviour (also fur pulling) and you can just sit back and observe. If they fight they need separating.
As Speedway says do it on neutral territory. Ideally enough space for them to take time out if they need it, but small enough to force them into each other's company. Some nice treats hidden in hay gives them an enjoyable joint activity
I've never had a problem taking one of a pair to the vets alone but it can be common to have to re-introduce them.
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