When the Bonding Gets Bitey

February 12, 2019 at 11:22 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,
p1360725

“Cameron & Piper”

IMG_20190211_191958773_1

“Bunny Bonding Arm-Guard”

After a bad session where Piper and Cam started to fight and I got in between and subsequently bit a bit, I made this arm-guard. I’d been using heavy winter gloves, but I like to be able to use my hands during the session and it’s kind of hard to with those things on. With this guard I can still use my fingers to pet etc. but my arm is protected if I need to stick it between them to separate a tussle. I sewed together two shirt sleeves with some pillow fluff inside. So far it’s been working pretty well, but I haven’t had any test bites yet.

Piper has been grooming him a bit more, but he’s taking his sweet time in the sessions before he’ll groom her. I think he’s still fighting her for dominance. Most of the time they’re either eating hay or hay cubes or snuggling with neither grooming. I’m going to try an even larger space next and maybe some stress bonding in the car to get Piper more comfortable with Cam being near her. She’s still jumpy around him.

Advertisements

Snuggles and Nips

February 7, 2019 at 10:41 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,
p1360743

“Cameron & Piper”

These two look bonded in the photo above, but two months into bonding and we’re still not there yet. Once Cam and Piper come together for snuggle and maybe some grooming, they’re fine, but it can be a struggle getting to that point. Cam is so eager to be with her that he’ll shove his head anywhere under her body, and Piper is not having that. She’ll only tolerate it at her head, otherwise she bites. She also will give him a nip as she passes by him, so I have to always have a hand guarding her mouth when they get close.

She must see him as a threat, that sweet little guy. If she starts a tussle though, he will reciprocate, so it’s important that my eyes are on them the entire half hour session to stop any fights before they start. It might mean that I get nipped at a bit, but I’d rather that than each other. We’re made a lot of progress so far, but we still have a long way to go until they can be left alone together. Bonding isn’t easy, but it’s so nice to see them snuggle.

Bonding Snuggles

February 2, 2019 at 12:27 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: ,
p1360647

“Piper”

p1360714

“Cameron”

Yesterday and again today Piper flopped on her side in the bonding pen and then lay down for a nap. Cam came over to her and they had some snuggles. Today she didn’t try to bite him at all and they both did a little grooming. Sometimes I think she has a very short term memory, and forgets that he’s in the pen with her until he comes over to her. I do think they are getting more comfortable with each other though. I still hover over them with my hand when the snuggle and keep my body between them when they are apart, but I don’t have my hands on Piper very much at all. Keep up the good work guys!

A Few Licks in the Right Direction

January 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,
IMG_20190102_223419317

“Cameron & Piper”

We finally had a breakthrough in bonding between Cameron and Piper yesterday. He groomed both of her eyes and the top of her head. He did this just after she nipped at him for not grooming, so I don’t know if he was responding to that. I also wasn’t expecting him to repeat it quickly, but he did it again today during a session. Just once, 12 minutes in, he licked her eyes and head again. When he was done he hopped away so I ended the session there. If this keeps up, hopefully she’ll groom him back a little. She still gets nervous when he “runs” over to her. He only has one speed because of his wonky legs. Once he gets going, he has to go fast to maintain momentum, and she’s still afraid of that. Maybe with longer sessions she will get more comfortable. He has certainly gotten more comfortable with her and that has made a big difference in the sessions.

Bonding an Odd Hopper

December 26, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,
P1360356

“Athena & Uriel”

IMG_20181222_123309575_BURST000_COVER_TOP

“Piper”

Since yesterday was Christmas, all the bunnies in the house got a taste of my mom’s cranberry sauce. All my buns ate a bit, and some even licked the plate. Uriel didn’t want to try it, but Athena wolfed it down. She’ll eat anything though! It’s tough when you try to bond a pair like that, one healthy eater and the other a grazer, but it seems like a lot of pairs are like that.

I’ve made some new observations some bonding my Piper and Cameron. They got into a scuffle yesterday, some fur was pulled and Cam has a little mark, but nothing major. Because he has neurological issues, he doesn’t move like other rabbits. He hops in quick bursts and tends to rock forward when he “hits the breaks” and stops. Piper may be interpreting this as charging and attack behavior and that’s why she lashes out at him. They’re fine when they lie head to head. She groomed him a little yesterday and I think he did some today. It’s when he moves that she gets nervous, so I put my hand hovering between them when he heads towards her. Hopefully in time she will get more used to his movement style.

Happy Hoppin’ Christmas

December 25, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Posted in rabbit | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , ,
P1360351.JPG

“Cameron”

P1360327

“Piper”

P1360263

“Hershey & Butterscotch”

P1360366

“Athena”

P1360358

“Uriel”

When I was a kid, Christmas was naturally all about me and my brother. Now it’s all about the bunnies. If you think watching a little kid tear into a present is cute, wait until you’ve seen a rabbit do it, with their teeth! The key is to put something that smells tasty inside. This was my Cameron’s first Christmas as a Kronenbun as he was still a foster last year. The big hit this year was these little willow “barbells”. Both Piper and Cameron devoured theirs, I’ll have to buy some more. I never know what they’re going to like, as previous favorites are often less desirable the second time. “No repeats!” Treats are always popular though, so I always make sure Santa leaves them a few goodies in their stockings.

Two Pairs of Bonding Rabbits

December 23, 2018 at 11:23 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,
P1360192

“Athena & Uriel”

Uriel is visiting us again for the holidays, and he brought along his new friend, Athena. She looks just like a lop-eared version of my Butterscotch, very cute. They both love the lie at the fence next to each other and get into general mischief and mayhem throughout the day. They’re not quite bonded yet, but are the single-fence stage, which is progress. My Piper and Cameron aren’t there yet, but we did have a very productive bonding session today. They snuggled their heads together and she actually groomed him a little! He didn’t really move or do anything, but I hope that he’ll reciprocate soon. He’s a very affectionate rabbit, but maybe he’s challenging her for dominance!

Lap Warmer Bun

December 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,
IMG_20181215_191547926

“Opal”

P1360093

“Cameron”

Opal is the snuggliest of snugglers, which is nice on cold evenings. Nothing warms your lap better than a warm bunny.

Upstairs, Kronenbuns Piper and Cameron have resumed bonding sessions again, but they are not going so great. The first was fine, not much interaction, but yesterday Piper lunged at Cam as soon as she got close enough. Fortunately I can quickly stop her and she is easily distracted. Cam seems afraid though, mostly staying in the same place in the bonding pen until the session is over. I don’t want her aggression to put him off. If this continues, I’ll pause sessions again. They’ve only been living in the smaller pens for 2 weeks and they may need more time like that.

Opal is still looking for foster placement or a forever home by the end of this month. If you are interested in fostering or adopting Opal, please contact theĀ Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group.

Bonding Reset

December 6, 2018 at 12:52 am | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
Tags: ,
p1360104

“Piper & Cameron”

p1360100

“Piper & Cameron”

Out first attempts at bonding Piper and Cameron didn’t go so well, so we’re taking a break and I made some changes. Piper just gets so upset when she gets near Cameron that she boxes and lashes out at him. I had both buns in one room, divided down the middle. Now I have then each in a 1 x 4 panel pen, so they are near each other for most of the day. We’ll resume bonding sessions in another week or so, depending on how they are both behaving. They each get 3 hours of out time, but sometimes they stay in the pen anyway. They do sleep right opposite each other, and today Piper seemed a little more mellow than usual. She got very upset when he was across the hall and didn’t calm down until after he came back and she could lay down across from him. I hope that’s a good sign!

Charlie, the First Kronenbun

November 12, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Posted in rabbit | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,
p1350835

“Piper & Charlie”

p1360007

“Cameron”

Last month I lost my Charlie to kidney disease. He was 10 years old, which is pretty good for a rabbit, and also suffered from arthritis and runny cecals. He had only been diagnosed with kidney problems at the beginning of the year, but may have had issues for longer. I’ll never know if the daily Metacam for his arthritis contributed, but I would be cautious about doing that for other rabbits in the future. I would definitely check blood work more often, and am getting a baseline for all my rabbits now.

When he finally stopped eating anything, was not maintaining his temperature, and was lethargic, I knew it was his time. I did not want him to suffer. I was not sure if I should bring his bonded mate, Piper, to his euthanasia, but the vet recommend it. She let me put Piper up on the table with Charlie, so he could be with her at the end. She was not very upset and I think she understood something.

Piper was fine back at home, and I’m going to attempt to bond her to our failed-foster Cameron soon. They’re living side-by-side now, getting to know one another. It’s usually a good idea to not wait too long to bond after the loss of a mate. Once he or she has grieved, it’s helpful for them to have a friend before they get too used to being alone and get overly territorial. Having Cameron upstairs with her has helped me too. Charlie’s absence leaves a big hole in my life, and Cameron’s plucky little wobbly body helps fill that.

You know how much you meant to me, Charlie, you were so smart that you’ve raised my expectations for all rabbits. No one else will ever quite compare, but all the bunnies whom I love after you, have you to thank for making rabbits part of my world.

charlie obit 1

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: