A Girl's Gotta Knit

A blog about opening A Swell Yarn Shop, knitting and the rest of the stuff that makes life fun :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bonding Bunnies

After the last few months of bunny after bunny getting spayed, the day had finally come where they were all healed and ready to be put into their new colony.
The decision to put all my bunnies together happend because I know the benefits of the bond bunnies can share through cuddling and grooming eachother. Originally, it was strongly reccommended to not to put them all together because of the loss of fur production. After 2 years, and more than enough angora fur than I can spin in a lifetime, their happiness is far more important than the fur I can get.
And so the process began...we went from indoors/seperate cages, to enclosed outdoor(Bundo)/seperate cages to this! That was a chore itself. We had to dig out all the dirt from before, and go down about 6", lay a layer of wire on the ground so they can't dig through and then bring in a new layer of gravel and spread that.
Then I added, 7 hiding spaces for 5 bunnies, one tube to run through, a litterbox cage, and a lovely seagrass mat to add to the ambiance :) Then I added the bunnies. That wasnt' pretty AT ALL! It was all out war! After a few hours of watching them constantly and seperating them with a broom, I opted for a ride in the truck to help with the bonding process.

In the truck each one went.

Back and forth in the drive way, over and over

Until all the bunnies are doing this.

Pretty much what the car ride does is put all their differences aside and has them join together out of fear. I have bonded 2 bunnies before, but 5 at once definitely required more aggressive measures.

So back to the new Bundo the very scared bunnies went. There continued to be some bonding and pairing, then once the fear of that truck ride passed it was all out war again.

I ended up sleeping in the Bundo part of the night with them to make sure the attacks didn't go to far. It was a restless night and by morning, they seem to be ready to get some rest themselves. I slipped away to get cleaned up for the day and that's when the two want-to-be queen's went at it. I caught only the end of it and it had been a doozy. Penelope has definitely been kicked down the totem pole. I almost went to the vet with her (which can do more harm than good, because seperating them can make them an outcast and their beating post) Thankfully, she seemd to perk back up minutes before we were to leave!

The rest of the day had relatively minor scuffles and my anxiety level, though still quite high, has come down a bit. By night time I was confident that I didn't need to sleep in the Bundo with them because the fights were getting less agressive. Today is that much better. We are now 36 hours into the bonding process and I am very pleased. This is definitely not something I ever want to do again, because it is heartaching to see your little furbabies attacked, but I remind myself that they are animals and this is their process-I can break up the fights for their safety, but they need to work through their process.

The end result will be so worth it! The companionship, the snuggles, the constant exercise and the freedom. They will be very happy bunnies!


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Alyssa said...

OOOO so cute! I love them all.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Paula said...

It's like Springer! I can just imagine them all yelling "You don't KNOW me!" ;D
I'm glad they seem to be getting along now!

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Jean said...

I love what you have done for your bunnies, the truck ride was ingenious. I had given a miniature rabbit as a gift to a friend who had him fixed and bought him a female companion as a friend. She grew to be quite large, yet they were still the best of friends, they had a huge enclosure with burried pipes and a little wooden house, they lived very long and happy lives, they didn't even mind the human visitors who served them well.


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