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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2004, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Bunny Boxing Match

Today was round three of bunny "bonding." Its more like bunny boxing! Last night Rusty kept laying by Sonora's cage so I was optimistic about putting them together today. I set up a small pen in the bathroom (like I was told to by the Bunny Bunch lady) because I wanted to see if they would get along if they had a little more room (we had been putting them on a chair together). Well it turned out to be a disaster. They were in there for like 3 seconds before they started fighting. Rusty started grunting and they both started boxing with their front paws. I had to spray them with water and pull Rusty out.

These two buns are both so sweet. I wish I could get them together because they'd be a great match.


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Any ideas Carmen? Do you think I should keep trying?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and I have another question for you Carmen and Mandie too (when she gets online). I think I have heard you guys say that your rabbits have a divided cage and they play through the bars? How much space is between the bars? Are they really close together or can the bunnies get their noses and paws through? I'm just wondering because my bunnies fight through Rusty's exercise pen because the bars are far enough apart for them to get their mouths and paws through. I'm thinking about building them a divided cage but I'm worried that they will fight through it...

These buns are crazy. When Sonora is out, she lays by Rusty's cage. When Rusty is out he lays by her cage. But if I do not have a protective exercise pen around the cages, they fight through the bars. I need a rabbit therapist!


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 05:13 PM
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Steph when I had Molly and Shadow split in a cage the wire was small...they could get their noses through but not their paws.
I know I haven't given you many ideas.....still researching and thinking for you!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Carmen!


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 08:18 PM
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Red face re bunnies

Hi Steph, When I First Got My 2 Bunnies Amber And Jasmine, They Were Fine Together.. About A Year Or So Later They Had A Big Fight And Both Got Bitten Ears.. I Separated Them, Which Meant I Had A House Bunny For A While.. And I Had Them Both Neutered, They Now Get On Like A House On Fire, And Love To Cuddle Up Together.. They Live In A Large Shed In My Garden, Which Has An Attached Run, They Also Have Access To The Garden When I Am Home.. My Next Door Neighbour Once Said He Would Love To Be One Of My Bunnies( I Think He Believes They Are Spoilt) But Then I Spoil All My Pets, You Probably Do Too?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2004, 06:50 PM
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Are your rabbits spayed/neutered? Rabbits that are not altered are HIGHLY territorial (especially females), and will often fight to the death if they are in a small space together. Even spaying/neutering is not a sure fix, but it often helps.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 01:12 AM
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both of steph's rabbits are from a rescue so yes they are both fixed! Rusty was submissive at the shelter and has pieces out of his ears from where other rabbits have attacked him. Sonara used to have a male called Mo living with her but Mo was unhappy where he was so he is/was looking for a new home at the rescue that Rusty is from.
Steph if I missed anything or got it wrong just correct me!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 09:00 AM
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http://www.bassequipment.com sells divided cages like that with i inch wide by 1/2 inch tall wire between the two cages. If you put them next to each other like this for a while, they at least get used to each other's scent and proximity. Be sure to watch them carefully for a while as some rabbits will try to fight through the wire. The best approach I have found is to place them both in at the same time (so they are both entering neutral territory until they have time to make it their own) and put a treat at the far corner away from the wall. That way they go for the treat first, then find out there is the other rabbit next to them. I have found this usually makes them more curious rather than territorial, but not always of course. Nothing is a given when bonding rabbits. I am very lucky in that my two females are very mild-mannered and pretty much like any rabbit. My male is not neutered yet (cannot find a vet that I can trust with him that is nearby), but I have found that if the female is accepting of other rabbits a male/female bonding usually works pretty well, so I am keeping my fingers crossed since both the females are very sweet.

Anyway, the treats are always a good idea for keeping them from fighting. What I have done in the past is hold back hay for a little while until they are wanting it enough to pay attention to it rather than each other. Then I put the two rabbits in a fairly large area (so they can escape if they need) and put a big handfull of their favourite hay (or other food) in there. This USUALLY keeps them busy with eating for a few minutes, and sometimes help prevent fights. Fights are usually initiated by one rabbit rather than both going at it right away. Then once one starts it, the other either starts up as well or tries to escape. See if you can find out who is starting it and try to keep that one the most distracted for as long as you can. Also, if one is not very dominant and does not tend to start the fights, try introducing them in that one's territory. Then the submissive one might feel more comfortable, and the dominant one is in the other one's marked territory so it might feel a little less sure of itself (meaning less likely to fight).

All things to try. No guarantee that any will work, but it is worth a shot.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSbunny
both of steph's rabbits are from a rescue so yes they are both fixed! Rusty was submissive at the shelter and has pieces out of his ears from where other rabbits have attacked him. Sonara used to have a male called Mo living with her but Mo was unhappy where he was so he is/was looking for a new home at the rescue that Rusty is from.
Steph if I missed anything or got it wrong just correct me!
Thanks Carmen! I'm impressed! I was MIA when this was posted. Probably sleeping (time difference).

I think Rusty was attacked before he got to the shelter (because they keep them in single cages there) and he's been in foster care with The Bunny Bunch (at the founder's house) for about 6 months.
Sonora came straight from the shelter and I adopted her sight unseen. I told the Bunny Bunch people what I was looking for and they got her out for me and I picked her up. She was too young to be spayed at the shelter, so we waited a couple months and then had it done at the clinic that The Bunny Bunch uses.

Now you know the complete history of my rabbits.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Miyabita. My bunnies are a little different because they have had tramatizing events in their past. Like Carmen said, Rusty was beaten up and has pieces missing from his ears so he is very fearful of other rabbits. Sonora was bullied by Mo and holds a grudge against Rusty because he boxed her the first time I put them together. Neither of them is submissive. Sonora is on the offense and Rusty is on the defense and neither backs down.

So...they may never get along but I'm fine with that because they are very happy on their own. They have me to play with and cuddle with, and they love playing with my cats. I'll probably keep trying now and then but I don't want to force anything because they are doing so good on their own. Its nice to have happy rabbits. My other rabbit had major mental and behavioral issues and was very unhappy being a house rabbit.


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