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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-02-2008, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Territory problems

I have two bonded pairs of rabbits. My first pair, I have had for 5 years and my second pair, I adopted last year. I keep them outside so I can give them lots of room to run. Both pairs have a covered dog kennel with a hutch inside, and then they have an 18' X 18' free range area (covered with bird netting) where they can play, run and graze. I would like to be able to let both pairs out in the free range area together, but they would fight. The older pair has already established the area as theirs, so they run off the younger pair, and I know they would fight if I left them together in this area unsupervised. I made them take turns in the free range area, but my older rabbits seem stressed when they saw the young rabbits in the free range area. Is there a way to turn an already established territory into a neutral territory?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 03:28 PM
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I think I will have the same problem once I try to rebond my two. I am running out of neutral territory ...and is it still neutral territory if I have used it before with the two of them.

Is there anyway that you can split the run area into two equal play areas? Have you tried bonding the pairs in neutral territory? It will take some time and patience but it might be worth a try. As for the already claimed territory...I need the answer to that one too.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Luckybunny;509802] Is there anyway that you can split the run area into two equal play areas? Have you tried bonding the pairs in neutral territory?

I have run out of neutral territory.

I have split the run area with fencing, and that seems to work. I resisted the idea because I loved watching my rabbits run in such a large area. I had no idea how upset my older rabbits got when my younger rabbits were in the run until I went to feed my rabbits. Instead of running to me for food, they would give up their food and run to the freerange area to protect it from the young invaders. I always switched the freerange area over to the young ones after feeding time.

When I read on this board about all the changes house rabbits go through when there is fostering being done, I thought maybe others might have the same problem. I didn't know if it would be unhealthy for my rabbits to be going through the stress of seeing the young buns in "their territory". In the end I decided that by making my older rabbits give up part of their territory, they might be able to get used to that. I don't think they would ever get used to sharing the same territory (unless I could bond them on neutral ground). Mybe later this summer I will fence off a little part of each freerange area in an attempt to create one new "neutral area." Any idea on how long I will have to keep the new area rabbit free before it can become a neutral area?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-07-2008, 11:21 AM
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Would you be able to take them inside the house or a garage or shed or something that you could put them together? Bonding two pairs may require some assistance in case a fight erupts. Right now I am using the bathtub. They would be forced to be close to each other and share.

Have you tried switching the pairs in each other kennels and play space yet? That way they would get used to each others scent in their personal spaces.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2008, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried switching them in the play area, but that didn't make any difference. I just had surgery on my back, so I can't bend down to pick up my rabbits, so further bonding efforts may have to wait for another month or so. I have thought about switching kennels, but wondered if that would be stressful for them?
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