Monday, 1 November 2010

Bonding

This is what happens when a happy little bunny decides to chill out!
Little legs get thrown out behind her.

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Although this photo is slightly out of focus, it is the only one I have of my two bunnies actually sharing a cage. They seemed to tolerate each other very well. However........ shortly after this photo was taken, all Hell broke loose and Lily was badly scared. Ash didn't like sharing his things.
They were quickly separated and I spent a lot of time searching on line for the best way to bunny bond. (Not all the things that came up were related to rabbits, I can tell you.)

I have been putting them to sleep alone in each others' cages at night and alternating their toilet trays and mixing their scents, so that they don't have a territorial feeling about either cage.
Then every day, the two rabbits are taken upstairs and placed in the empty bath tub on an old blanket.
As neither rabbit had ever been there before, they were not worrying about territory. First time in there, Lily just sat quietly, while Ash was more interested about possible escape routes.
Every day for ten minutes or so they have a chance to sniff each other out and judging by the upright ear positions,(friendly), they have not been in fighting mode since. The ears go back and tails up when they are going to attack.
They can be feisty little beasts.
I will carry on like this until I feel that they can tolerate each other for longer and they won't be left alone any time just yet.
This rabbit bonding is a work of art. I didn't know that I would need to be a psychologist.
However, I can be as stubborn as they can.
According to the bonding sites, a quick bond can take a fortnight but a difficult bond can go on for months.
I have a feeling that I will strike lucky with these two, though.




22 comments:

Twain12 said...

good luck...they are too cute though

Reasons said...

Am still chuckling about what you may have seen on the internet!
Funny things rabbits, a friend of ours has one which has a very unsavoury relationship with their dog, yet your two are bickering - keep trying, animals usually find a way to resolve things.

Nora said...

Knowing you, Maggie, you will make it work. I'm sure everything will turn out right. They are so cute, but I guess they can be pretty feisty when they put their mind to it. You wouldn't think that, looking at them. Good luck, dear. I know you have the patience for it.

XOX

Formerly known as Frau said...

They are too cute!

Akelamalu said...

Fingers crossed on the bonding. :)

Jeni said...

I had no idea that bonding between bunnies was so difficult to achieve! Boy, the things we learn in our dotage, huh?

Jinksy said...

What a shame the same technique can't be applied to warring humans! LOL :)

Rose said...

Maggie, I think you must be the rabbit whisperer:) Sounds like they are getting along well. Even siblings and good friends get into spats now and then, so perhaps Ash's outburst was simply that or that he's just not ready to share his toys with Lily.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Two bunnies in the bath, would love to see that. I can imagine the internet threw up some very distasteful sites!!

CJ xx

Expat mum said...

You have the patience of a saint. Just make sure you don't get your fingers nipped!

Tracey said...

Aww these are gorgeous.. i'm sure all will go well with them xx

Ayak said...

You seem to be doing all the right things to help them bond Maggie. I'm sure they will end up the best of friends in no time. They are just so lovely xx

Jayne said...

I can only guess what you may have stumbled across looking at ways to bunny bond! Sounds like these two will be buddies before too long though. They are very cute!

Marguerite said...

Sounds just like sibling rivalry! Glad that they seem to be getting along better, now. So cute!

Happy Frog and I said...

Sounds like you are getting to grips with it all and helping them to settle in around each other very well. I would never have thought of the bath tub idea, brilliant! Love the photo of them together in the cage, gorgeous!

Suburbia said...

Hope you do Maggie! Good luck. Lovely pics of them, very cute bunnies.

There is a nice lady at the bunny rescue center in Westbury Wilts who has lots of sucess in bonding rabbits. She's mad on them, I'm sure she'd give you advice if you needed some, though it sounds as though you're doing it very well already.

This is her web site if you need it
http://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/

Sx

Hilary said...

I'm sure your instincts are correct and they'll be fast friends in no time. I laughed at your possible Google results.

Jules~ said...

Fun fun fun. Good job for sticking it out. I think it is great that you used the bathtub as neutral territory. I've said it before but it bears repeating...your lil' ones are too adorable.

Blessings to you today.

indicaspecies said...

Ash and Lily are so cute!! Hope they bond soon.

Teacher's Pet said...

What loving patience you have, Maggie...
I know that Ash and Lily will bond...and until then, you are doing the perfect things to help that along.
When I click on your blog and see these sweeties, I wish you could be hear to hear me... I ooooo and ahhhhh and wish I could pet them. I love them!
I love you, Maggie.
Jackie

Bernie said...

Maggie "The Bunny Whisperer"...lol
These two will make great friends as you are patient and are using kindness.....my money is on them being friends within 2 weeks. I dare say what you found on google, and I broke out in a laugh when you mentioned it.
Hope you and Harry are well....Hugs

Gail said...

I had no idea it was so complicated! I hope it all works out well Maggie and the two little rabbits become firm friends.