A few questions on bonding

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A few questions on bonding

Post by Tophdade on Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:24 pm

Hello all,

It's been a while since I've posted. My girlfriend and I own two female mini lops, princess and Luna. Princess is slightly older, she is a very large rabbit (in my inexperienced opinion) and is about 4 months old. Luna is about 9 weeks old and is around half the size of princess currently. However, her ears are absolutely humongous and we expect her to be very large too. Both buns are staying at my girlfriends home, in her room. In the next few weeks we will be completing a bunny room for them to share. (HOORAY!) we have had luna for almost 2 weeks, and she is a wonderfully personable bun. Princess is a bit more reserved, but she had bonded particularly with me, feel comfortable enough to hop all over me and sometimes lay on my back if I'm on the floor (which is apparently unique behavior for buns?) Princess has a two floor condo that is very large and actually has enough room for her to take a few lengthy runs in if she wants. Luna is using a smaller cage for now that is about 3/4 the size of princess'. (Luna is still small enough to have run room in this cage). We cannot keep them anywhere else in the home to be separate until proper bonding, as her parents breed dogs that are notorious ratters, and there are 6 of these dogs as well as two cats in the home. Their cages are close enough to be in constant sight of each other. The plan was not to start bonding until the room is complete and full vet visits are had for both of them, but I have a few questions as they seem to have taken a liking to each other during playtime:

Both buns usually receive at least an hour of run time a day, frequently at the same time with Luna in a pen and princess having full romp of the room. For the first few days of their coexistence, princess pooped all around Luna's cage and boxed at her through the bars often. Now, only two weeks later, the marking has stopped (except for when princess is too interested to return to her litter). When they are out for runs, they often nuzzle through the bars, chase each other as much as possible, with binkies being shared by both. The boxing is over. Luna often lowers her head through the bars and princess will casually lick her, but there is some nipping on both sides (nothing hard enough to injure, but enough to startle Luna, who will quickly return a nip. Neither are exhibiting aggressive stances and play continuously around each other and meet frequently. My question is this, should I allow them to meet without a pen? This seems like awfully quick bonding and I am inexperienced enough to mistake certain behaviors as aggressive. Should I encourage bonding while both are not fixed? I just do not want to see Luna get hurt by princess' much larger size.

Tophdade
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Re: A few questions on bonding

Post by KatieB on Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:34 pm

Hi there,

Your girls sound adorable.

Really for a female bond to work both buns should be spayed, as females are massively territorial. This has already been displayed with the poops around the cage.

The best way to bond them is to pop them in neutral territory (perhaps the bath tub) where neither of them can clsim an area as theirs. They should be supervised at all times in case they fight. Once they are happy to groom each other their space can be increased.

In the mean time cross scent them by stroking them and swapping blankets and toys over so they get used to each other's smells.

I'm sure someone will be along soon who can help some more xx


Katie, Daisy B, Charlie & Annabelle x
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Re: A few questions on bonding

Post by FluffSlave on Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:17 pm

I agree with Katie's advice above.

I think it is better to try them together once they're neutered and hormones have died down a bit. I'd follow normal procedures i.e. neutral territory, swapping items etc when beginning as well.

Quick bonds do happen. My two were bonded and living together within the week/week and a half, but they were an opposite pairing and my buck was neutered (doe couldn't be for medical reasons) so perhaps a very different circumstance. With your two, I'd definitely wait until spayed.

Good luck with it all. Keep us updated on their progress! Hugs
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