Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bunny Bonding Update

When two bunnies meet, it's not always love at first sight. They can be very territorial and aggressive. When Hef and Holly met each other, there was some sniffing and a little bit of biting... and then they literally bonded overnight. They fell completely in love with each other. We were lucky.

Bonding with a third bunny is a little more complicated. The dynamics are totally different. Hef and Holly's whole life as been turned upside down. And poor Jude just wants to be friends. It's taken more time with this bonding experience, but I know it will be worth it.

During the evening, Huz and I (or just me if he's at work) will open up the Buns' hutch doors and sit on the kitchen floor. When they're ready, they come out and walk around, come get a treat from us (usually some cilantro, or a grape, or a piece of dried apple or banana) and run around the kitchen. Well, Hef will run around. Queen Holly doesn't even want to leave her bed sometimes. Actually, I give her credit. She's been coming out to play more often. And Jude will explore a little, and then then come sit on my lap. Then, get brave again, go out and explore a little bit more, and then come back and lie next to me. It's adorable.

So, through these carefully monitored playtimes, we've made some progress. Hef (the most dominant bunny) no longer snaps at or chases Jude. He will sniff her, lounge next to her, and I even caught him licking her fur once! (but I think it might have been because she dribbled some grape juice on it by accident ::shrugs::) Jude is very careful around him, and will approach him gently, sniff at him, and attempt a little cuddle. But if he moves or she hears him make any noise, she'll run like hell. Sometimes, one of them will accidently make a quick movement, which will startle the second one and make him/her jump back quickly, which makes the first one freak out and run.... and they both end up running in opposite directions at top speed over nothing. I'm glad they're getting to know each other, and neither is outright attacking. I choose to see it as a positive sign.

Now, Jude's attempts to win over Holly have not been as successful. Holly has always been very shy and timid. But, with a new girl hanging around, we've seen that she can get a little aggressive as well. If Jude comes near her, or her house, she'll try to bite her fur. Jude immediately runs away. I've kept a really close eye on those two, and won't leave them alone together. I'm hoping that eventually, Holly will get used to Jude and they will all get along so well that we can keep them in one hutch.

This pic was taken yesterday. They were distracted by some yummy cilantro and forgot to be suspicious of each other for a minute.

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