It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and this is because we’ve had quite a bit going on.
The boys got neutered and we’ve been waiting for their testosterone to die down before introducing them to each other again.
We attempted after 6 weeks but resulted in both of them fighting with each other within 3 mins and getting very cranky at us both for even thinking of putting them together.
Their 3 mins together put them both off and unsettled them for a whole day. It was the first time I’d seen neither of them binky or eat much. They were both very upset.
So they’re separated again and have been so for almost another 2 weeks and they’re back to their normal happy selves. We do allow them to see each other through the fence though so Paris comes to visit Rome every day and they spend time with each other next to the fence.
They seem fine that way for the most part and on occasion attempt to bite each others’ noses through the fence.
Paris has an advantage at this because his head is wider. This means only Rome can put his nose through, the fence effectively turning into a muzzle but giving Paris plenty of nose to bite. Result? Rome spends a lot of time sitting with a screwed up face (because he’s in pain after Paris has bitten his face) and his nose has many scars.
Rome doesn’t have to put his nose through all the time but he does and even when we put space between the fence, these two push it all back together again so they can reach each other.
I don’t think I could put them in the ring together again. It was like Furbaby MMA but with zero rules. We will have to take a different approach to get them to be friends.
Meanwhile dramas work-wise for both Tony and I means our focus has been on things other than telling stories of bunnies or otherwise.
We’re enjoying time with the rabbits and although they’ve destroyed much of our skirting boards and door frames and created a lot more work and less sleep for us both, life is full of smiles and high pitched “OMG he’s so cute!!!” squealing when they’re around.
Here is a picture of the latest thing. They’re malting / shedding. Apparently they do this once every 3 months with the changes in season. This is shedding the winter coat for Spring and this is just Paris’ fur and barely even half of what’s fallen off.
Just put a couple of ears and eyes on it and we’ve got another rabbit!
This picture pretty much sums up our lives with the bunnies at the moment. Sweeping, cleaning, picking up fur and hay.
Paris is black and his undercoat is white, this is why all the fur together looks like a big grey dust ball. Their fur is clumping up and rolling around the house like tumbleweed.
Our home is the Wild West of Bunnyville with clumps of tumblefur rolling around everywhere.
Our kitchen drain (which is attached to the washing machine) got clogged a number of times in the past couple of weeks due to so much fur being stuck on their blankets (no matter how much sweeping / vacuuming is done prior to washing).
And Tones wonders why I haven’t made time to blog… geez!!
It all started 2.5 years ago when I made Tony some hair pomade for our anniversary.
It lasted a little over a year. It didn’t cost me much to make. Probably all of £3.00 if that, for 300g or maybe more. I don’t know ’cause I didn’t weigh it.
He looked at store bought pomade recently and it costs £32.00 for only 250g which is about half the size of my jars.
Truth be told, he loves my homemade pomade so much, he requested I make more when he ran out (instead of going to buy some). He preferred what I made to the gels and waxes he’d been using previously.
Why does he love it? Firstly, because it works but more importantly, when he sweats in yoga, it doesn’t sting his eyes at all and lastly, he reckons it makes his hair softer and cleared up all dandruff.
I love it because I can make it smell different each time.
I also love it because every time he bends over to kiss Rome, Rome will actually lick his hair!
It puts me at ease knowing that although it might be slightly bad for a rabbit to consume hair pomade (mixture of oils and beeswax), at least it’s all natural and even the rabbit isn’t put off by licking it!
Anyway, first it was hair pomade, then it was tooth paste, next thing you know, I just started DIY-ing all our products, as and when we ran out of them.
Usually I only have to make one item if at all, in any given week. Depending on the product, I could be making it every 3 weeks, every 3 months or in the instance of pomade, just once every year and a bit.
This week however EVERYTHING ran out. So each day, I have been making a DIY something or other.
I don’t mind. In fact, I LOVE knowing that we’re slowly but surely removing all harmful, toxic and unnecessary chemicals from our home.
The less chemicals we’re exposed to, the better!!
So what have I made this week?
Dish Washing Detergent (for hand washing dishes)
All purpose cleaning spray
Tooth Powder (instead of toothpaste)
To be honest, I can’t actually believe we’ve eliminated all store bought items of the above and I’m impressed with how easy they all are to make.
Best of all, they work better than the store bought ones AND whatever goes down our drain, isn’t feeding chemicals back to nature.
This is a real photo of our stove before and after I used my all natural DIY cleaning spray. All I used was the spray, a scourer and a cloth.
I really should have timed it but I’m pretty sure it was done in less than 10 mins. I don’t think our stove’s ever been cleaner.
Tony did some of his own DIY-ing too after I told him off. There’s nothing like the motivation of a grumpy wife to get you going especially when your motto is “A happy wife is a happy life!” 😉
The rabbits (ie Rome) have been chewing on their hutch at 4am and it echoes through our very quiet flat like a thunderous hammering on wood.
He (Tony) sleeps right through it. I don’t. The nights where I have slept through are the nights where the exhaustion of an accumulation of multiple sleepless nights has taken over.
At first, I was waking up because the rabbits were fighting.
These days, since we separated them, for the most part, we go to bed at 2am, I wake up at 4am because Rome has woken up and started biting the hutch and biting and pulling the cage bars back and forth to say “let me out!”
I then stay awake listening to all the wood-chewing and digging but cannot go back to sleep because of Tony’s snoring to go along with the rabbit noises.
Next thing you know, planes are starting to go overhead, birds are tweeting, neighbours are waking up and walking around getting ready for work and I’m still awake.
Tony gets out of bed at 7.30am-8.00am and that’s when I fall asleep from exhaustion and then am up again by 9am ready to do it all again.
I’ve been operating like this for weeks – a total of 3 hours broken sleep every night and by the Saturday that just passed, I lost my patience.
You see, Tony had purchased some metal frames to go onto the inner frame of the hutch a week ago. He was supposed to glue them on top of where the bunnies gnawed the wood so they wouldn’t be able to bite those areas of the hutch anymore.
He’s had these metal frames since Monday but he never glued them in because they were slightly too long to fit. He needed to trim the ends off and couldn’t find a way to do it.
He was going to get them cut at a local hardware store but they were closed when he visited. In the end, having a grumpy me encouraged him to find a different solution.
Turned out, all he had to do was cut into the metal with a blade and then snap the ends off (which is actually what I said to him on Monday – it just took him all week to figure out how).
He managed to do it though and on Sunday night, we had our first ever quiet night in the flat after 6 weeks. SERENITY AT LAST!!!
The bunnies couldn’t bite the metal and had to resort to biting their chew mats which are MUCH QUIETER!!
Although we went to bed at 1am, I woke up bright and bubbly at 7am!!! There’s nothing like sleeping through the night and getting twice as much sleep as normal to make one happy!!!
For a person who likes to sleep 8 hours. I can’t believe I’m saying that 6 hours sleep straight is FANTASTIC.
The Mouth Guard
I finally got my mouth guard. All £300 of it. It better last forever!!! I grind my teeth so hard at night that I’ve chipped 2 teeth and keep chewing holes through my mouth guards so the dentist suggested something a bit stronger and hence, more expensive.
I picked it up on Monday afternoon from the dentist and on Monday night I had my first ever night’s sleep where I didn’t grind my teeth.
I have been grinding my teeth (that I’ve known of) since I was in my teens, that’s over 25 years of tooth grinding! Even my previous mouth guards allowed my jaws to clamp and chew against the guard.
This one however, stops my back teeth from meeting at all. EVER. Result? I didn’t sleep well. It was weird not being able to clench my teeth. Tuesday night however, I completely passed out.
I actually think it’s helping with my backaches. It’s as if relaxing my jaw while I sleep has allowed the rest of me to relax too. Will keep an eye on this as the weeks progress, it could just be a temporary result.
Vday was spent with Tony bringing home a bag of Ruffles (my favourite), me making him his hair pomade and us eating a Chinese takeaway dinner.
Don’t worry, the romance never died. That’s just how we roll.
V-day’s never been a thing for us and I hate that anyone spends money on flowers whose prices have been jacked up 3 fold just for the day.
WTF? Show me you care by saving your money!! Buy me flowers any other time, just not on Valentine’s day!!
We had a favourite Chinese place that closed a couple of years ago because the owner went back to live in Malaysia. We have never found another Chinese takeaway to replace it in standard and taste since.
So, we continue to try various places through Just Eat and Hungry House. I think we’ve found our close second last night. It’s called Man Ho!! LOL.
So now I can say we both had Man Ho for Valentine’s.
Paris & Rome
If I’m not talking about the bunnies, there’s something wrong. They are definitely my babies and consume the most part of my life.
I read up on everything rabbit each and every day, just so I can understand them better.
This week I learned that there are studies to show that the exact same places in a woman’s brain light up when she looks at pictures of her children as when she looks at pictures of her pet.
It seems the body does not know the difference and will trigger all the same emotions and hormones for motherly love for a pet as it does for children.
I think many pet owners who have loved and lost a pet will know what this is about because they’ve experienced it themselves. Pets really do become your best friends, your children, your family.
Apparently some people have actually said that they love their pet more than they do their partners!!!
Anyway, Paris & Rome are continuing to be happy bunnies and are still binky-ing. Though their hormones are making them a little irritable and unpredictable. If anything, I think the hormones exaggerate their personalities.
This week Paris has been more moody. One day he’ll be all ok to be around you and have you pet him (FINALLY) and the next day he is running away again, jumping in fright at every sound, hiding under the couch and avoiding every touch.
Rome has started to chew the skirting boards. I tell you nothing looks more stylish than some mangled skirting boards.
He cannot stop chewing and breaking things. I’ve given him cardboard, the chew mat, a quilt, more boxes, a chew toy but he continues to prefer to destroy the skirting boards instead.
I’ve given him hay and nuggets but they are only very temporary distractions until he’s breaking the skirting boards again. He managed to pull on one so hard, the nail came out and was sticking out dangerously sharp. I had to put him back in his hutch so I could hammer it back into the floor.
He also chases us when we go into the bathroom and starts digging at, biting or tugging our trouser legs as if to tell us we are not allowed to touch ANYTHING while in the bathroom.
Either that or that’s his way of telling us to get out.
I think he’s had enough of our cleaning up his poo. It’s ok though because he’s done very well with the litter tray and there’s not much territorial poo around.
This week, I bought an array of different kinds of hay to see which they like best. We’re spending money on their hay like we spend on superfood. Getting a bit OTT.
Forget the grass, get them the gourmet feeding hay with 3 types of plants for extra variety and nutrition! *part sarcasm*
Yes, I actually bought a bag just to test it out and am cringing that I have become one of those pet owners. God help us if we ever get a dog, I’ll probably cook all his food for him. None of that canned shit… he’s getting gourmet!
Anyway, back to the rabbits. I was trying to get away with some cheap stuff but most of it is dust at the bottom of the bag and they just don’t eat it all. In fact, they dig it, find the best bits, leave the rest, then poo and piss all over it.
We end up throwing most of it when they’re supposed to be eating it!
Not sure how this new hay will compare. It looks and smells better to Tony and I, it’s even green (as opposed to yellow) but it seems the bunnies think differently.
It costs twice as much but the bunnies are still treating it the same way as the cheap stuff. In fact, it looks as if they are not eating as much hay since the introduction of the new, more expensive stuff.
They don’t use it to pee on but they’re not eating it either. They kind of just leave it there. I wonder if they’re waiting for it to go yellow.
The bunnies seem to starve themselves (or eat skirting boards and cardboard boxes) until I give them nuggets. Still something to monitor for the coming months.
Perhaps they just need time to get used to the new flavours. Rabbits are actually very fussy eaters!
We also got them a new feeding toy which I’m more excited about than they are. You hide their treats in it and they have to learn things to get to them.
For example, they must lift a lid or push it aside to get to the treat. There are 3 different levels of difficulty.
Play time has never been more fun for me! Tony has caught me eating my dinner super fast just so I can go and play. I didn’t know I was doing it until Tony mentioned it and laughed at me for being such a kid.
Not the same for the bunnies though. Now they’re probably ok with it but at first it frustrated them… I could see it when they started biting the toy really hard, picking it up and slamming it down.
“WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET TO AND EAT MY GODDAMNED TREATS??!!!”
They’re fast learners though so they both worked out the first level in under 5 mins. Actually, watching me attempt to put the thing together had Tony questioning if the learning toy was for rabbits or for humans.
The 2nd level they both figured out in under a minute. It takes me longer to put all the treats in and set it up than it does for them to eat. They’re like mini vacuum cleaners. They just inhale.
I’ve taken videos but doubt you’d want to watch 5 mins of a rabbit figuring out how to get to a treat so editing is required.
Yet another thing to add to my things to do. Let’s see if I can ever get a clip up of this “exciting” play time with the bunnies. No promises. I can barely even get a photo up of them.
Speaking of which…. this is another picture of when they used to get along. This is how rabbits hang out and chill together.
Arghhhh they’re SO CUTE!
I am just waiting for the day they can both be together like this again. We’ve got some neutering and re-bonding to do first…. furbaby parenting goals.
When you’re young, a day feels like eternity but it seems the older you get, 1 week goes by in a blink of an eye.
Highlights of the week:
A friend from Australia that I hadn’t seen for over a decade visited. She was in London for less than 24 hours but still managed to squeeze me in for a catch up.
I chose a restaurant near where she was staying. It was the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross. They serve… German food. Ha!
Anyway, it’s in a Grade II listed building and named German Gymnasium because the building was the first, purpose built Gymnasium in England with funding coming solely from London’s German community.
The building was built in 1865 so we ate dinner (I had a German afternoon tea) inside a 150 year old building.
Yin with Sharky
Yoga which has been my life for so long, was pretty non-existent because – January.
You have to book ALL your classes in otherwise they’re all full due to all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions people who disappear by Feb.
I managed to book classes from mid Jan through to Feb and thought by February for sure, the classes would start being freer but it wasn’t to be.
So I have spent many days not going to yoga because the classes have been booked out and I hadn’t booked myself in, in time.
Can you imagine? Attempting to book yourself in 2 days in advance is still not long enough. FARK!
I did manage to get to one of Sharky’s first Yin classes and I loved it. She did a different method to the other teachers and allowed time for “rebound” between each posture.
Rebound is a savasana in between every posture to allow whatever released in each posture, to move through and exit or integrate into, the body.
The result? I ended up getting really teary and emotional. I actually felt emotions releasing from my body and I was so grateful to be able to feel them so I could let them go.
It only lasted a few seconds though because as soon as Tony saw me looking teary, “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?” came out of his mouth and it was so abrupt and harsh, I immediately cut off all emotions and went back to thinking mode.
I got skillz like that.
Actually, he managed to say it just like my mother used to. I know he said it out of concern but I heard it the way my mum said it which meant “Stop being a pussy, you have no reason to cry and if you don’t stop I’ll fucking give you a reason to cry.” That’s the mild version. 😉
So I stopped. IMMEDIATELY. I’ll just have to find a way to cry at times he’s not around so I can release emotions in peace.
Paris & Rome Another week in peace. Both boys are really happy and binky every day.
Paris does the cutest binkies ’cause he’s so chunky like a bulldog and bottom heavy. So he looks more like a jumping goat or ram when he binkies.
Rome has started to jump on my arm and shoulder. Last night he sat on my shoulder and every so often would turn to lick my face – cheek, eyelid, eyebrows, temple, forehead. Then he’d jump down and jump up onto my other shoulder and tug at my hair.
I know he’s just looking for a way over the fence and using me as a viewing platform but I like to think we’ve developed a good bond plus I’m loving all my bunny kisses! He loves kissing my nose.
He’s still incredibly mischievous, spends a lot of his time in meerkat position, listening out for what Paris might be doing and he’s completely chewed up the skirting board instead of the chew mat we gave him because he thinks breaking the skirting board will help him escape the fence.
We keep him fenced because although the more loving of the two, he’s also the trouble maker.
He is so curious he gets himself into all sorts of trouble – biting things he shouldn’t, falling off things he shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place and starting fights by annoying the crap out of Paris by not letting him have space.
The other day he fell down the stairs 3 times in one day (that I saw)all because he kept standing on 2 feet on the edge of the step and then leaning backwards. Don’t ask.
He’s been contained in the hallway with plenty of run space including the stairs and the bathroom but it doesn’t stop him from attempting to break the fence and looking for FREEDOM!!!
I’m also having a battle of the bathroom with him.
After a week of watching Tony and I go toilet (he’s in the hallway so we have to pass him every single time and sometimes he follows us into the bathroom), he stopped pissing and pooing anywhere but the bathroom!
He just chose to go in the shower because he can’t reach the toilet.
Unfortunately, we have to keep clearing his poo and pee before we have a shower and he gets very frustrated with us because every time we clean it, we’re effectively saying he’s not allowed to pee and poo there, and therefore he has nowhere to go toilet.
So then of course he’ll poo and pee outside of the shower as well as in the shower, using the entire bathroom floor as his toilet which makes it difficult for us to go in there and use the toilet ourselves.
I put a litter in the bathroom for him and it’s taken a couple of days but I think he’s coming around to the idea that this is his new place to go toilet because there is much less poo anywhere but the litter.
Although the chew mat I bought is completely intact for Rome, Paris’ is almost completely torn apart and non-existent.
Paris actually only chews the things we give him to chew and he knows EXACTLY which is for him and which is not.
A perfect example is that he has a cardboard box he chews on, we give them cardboard boxes a lot. Yet, I’ve left cardboard boxes full of my eBay stock out right next to his play area without any fences.
He can walk right up to them and start chewing on them, pissing on them, whatever he likes really and he leaves them untouched!
He has identified what is ok for him and what will get him into trouble and he really has behaved himself so we’ve removed the fence and he’s running “free range”.
He actually just stays in his area!! He’s recently started to explore under the couch but he has steered clear of the hallway and gone nowhere near the only fence that keeps him apart from Rome.
So far so good. Unsure how long this will last but we’ll see.
Paris has also started to approach us more and nudges us for treats which is much better than running away!
Still hates getting patted but he tolerates it a bit more before running away. He also has no problems standing on our feet when he’s begging and asking us for treats. We didn’t teach him, he just does it.
Overall we have 2 very happy bunnies and we’re finally starting to understand their personalities.
Because only their scent is on their stuff, they’re not marking territory as much as they used to.
That means there’s barely any poo outside of their litter and hutch and they’re not pissing outside of their designated litters at all. I knew they were supposed to be easy to toilet train!!
All they needed was to be separated and feel safe about what is THEIR space.
Our house no longer smells as bad (either that or I’m used to it) and I’m back to normal amounts of laundry.
That makes 2 good weeks in a row with them out of 5.5 weeks together. It was a hectic start but we’re getting there!! YES!!
Last thing… last night I attempted to feed them rocket (again, I think it was my 3rd attempt at feeding them rocket, probably the 15th time to attempt to feed them some sort of fresh veg) and THEY ATE IT!!!! That was their first ever fresh vegetable they’ve eaten.
And to test trust, I held the rocket with my mouth and had them eat it from me. BOTH of them did it which means they’re both cool with sharing food with me.
YES! After many weeks of rejection, I finally got acceptance.
I can’t have asked for more. Patience, persistence, trust and love. That’s what these boys are teaching me.
And restraint… I’m learning restraint. Sometimes I wish I could just SQUEEZE them and smother them with kisses because they’re so damned CUTE but that’s probably why they don’t let me hold them!
Here is a picture of them when they used to get along:
This is them in rapport even when separated.
Seriously, Tony skyped me one pic while he was with Paris in the lounge and Rome was doing the exact same thing while with me in the hallway! In rapport, even when apart – there is hope for them yet!
Since we separated the bunnies, there have been no dramas. All peace and quiet with lots of bunny kisses each day from Rome.
We bought them toys and chew mats, gave them little cardboard boxes which they use to chew, jump on and sleep in and bought them tubes to play in.
Yes, we had to buy 2 of everything so they each have one in their separate spaces. We ended up having to get them each a separate hay rack and water bottle.
We also bought them boxes that they can jump in and out of, dig in and use as litters. We also put hay in there so they have an incentive to jump in and out.
Overall I think they’re happy. I know Rome is.
I can’t work out if Paris is or not. He doesn’t do nearly as many binkies (a binky is their jump for joy, it’s a sign of their love for life), he still stays away from us and he likes to spend a lot of time in his hutch even when the door is open all day for him.
I let them out at 9am and don’t put them back in their hutch until 11pm. They’re supposed to get a minimum of 4 hours play time outside of their hutch.
These boys get 14 hours free time, though they do spend a lot of that time (from approx. 12-6pm) sleeping. The difference in personalities is amazing.
Even with 14 hours out each, Paris spends all his free time inside the hutch and doesn’t care if we close and lock the door. Rome wants out IMMEDIATELY and looks like he really wants to get out of jail.
I can’t tell if the wanting to stay in the hutch is Paris’ personality or if he is holding a grudge and really doesn’t like us. This boy is seriously hard to read and sure seems moody. Should have named him emo.
As for me and Tony, we’re good. We attend yoga occasionally and are not so hard-core about it anymore.
I’m loving the yin yoga. Since my whole being is very yang, yin just ensures I feel more balanced. Tony’s loving the vinyasa because it’s building up his arms. IMHO, his arms have never looked better!
Not going out so much ’cause I’m trading our going out money for buying the rabbits everything they need money.
It’s ok though ’cause we’ve had plenty to eat given Christmas and then Chinese New Year happened within a month of each other. Gong Hei Fat Choy 😉
And it’s ok we haven’t gone out much ’cause we’ve re-established order and stability with a lot more love at home.
It took 1 month. Not bad for a major change!
And that’s it. Life is peaceful, calm and simple again.
It only took 3 weeks and it’s not the most ideal situation but we have peace at last!
Basically we have figured out that for the sanity of the entire household, the boys cannot physically SEE each other or be next to each other AT ALL.
Initially we separated them and let them sit side by side with a fence between them. Thought this would stop the fights but they ended up putting their snouts in between the bars of the fence and biting each other.
You would think that one would just walk away and ignore the other but they didn’t. As soon as they knew each other were there, they stared each other out.
Next thing you know, they were chasing each other side to side, looking for a way into the other’s section.
Paris presented his face to Rome for grooming which is a rabbit’s way of saying they are the dominant one… “I am the boss. Groom me!” is pretty much what that means.
Rome wouldn’t have any of it. This kept going for a while until Rome pretended he would groom but really he was licking the bars to take Paris’ scent off them and put on his own.
THEN he makes the movement that he’s going to groom Paris’ head and bites him instead.
This infuriates Paris and instead of presenting himself to be groomed, he just made sure he bit Rome every single time Rome put his face near the fence. It was all over then. BOTH were biting and getting more and more aggravated.
Our solution was to put cardboard against the bars so now they had the fence and cardboard between them.
They couldn’t see each other but still had proximity so knew each other were there. This worked for all of 24 hours. By that time, they had bitten through the cardboard, made eye contact and were biting each other through the small gap they created, all over again.
They both also attempted to jump the fence, using the cardboard for leverage.
Fearing some sort of injury from all the jumping and falling, we separated them completely. As it is, Rome’s nose looks funny so we think that perhaps this was Paris’ doing.
Rome is now in the hallway, Paris is in the lounge.
Both are fenced in so they can’t explore and happen upon the other. We have given them enough space to run around by themselves.
We now have no room to move ourselves. Effectively we are caged in too and cannot walk through our flat without walking over fences which is not ideal BUT we have peace at last.
There have been no fights for 48 hours and I actually slept through the night for the first time in over 3 weeks, this week.
Our door frames are mangled though so I’ve bought some chew toys which I’m waiting to be delivered.
On the upside. Rome is very happy to spend time with Tony and I. He licks us on the face and jumps on our backs.
There’s something so rewarding when a tiny, vulnerable animal, used to being prey and having an innate urge to run and hide from everything lest it get eaten, gives you, a giant human, their trust.
You know, my little boys are only 1 kg each? That’s 2.2 lbs! They are tiny!
Paris is still quite cautious with us and remains at least 1 foot away. We are still not allowed to touch him unless we bring treats and even then he runs away.
It is funny to watch him run toward the treats and away from the pats, back and forth until he finally finishes the treats but at least he is comfortable enough to have us in his space.
It’s progress and now they are safe from each other, are no longer stressing each other or us out anymore. Both rabbits have settled down a lot too, since the separation.
Now all we have to do is stick with the schedule, keep earning trust, get them used to being petted and wait until they’re old enough to be neutered.
After that, it’ll be a load of retraining for toilet habits and a slow process to re-bond them.
The end goal, whenever that may be, is that they will be friends again, perfectly toilet trained and our flat will be fenceless so they can run around wherever they like. What a process!!
For now, I’m just finally kicking back and relaxing for the first time since getting these bunnies.
BOYS. I have bunny boys. They are now both 4 months old. That is equivalent to them hitting puberty. They’ve only been with us for 2.5 weeks.
This has to be the WORST time to get them. You don’t get them at their cutest, they already look like adult bunnies but with juvenile cheeky and curious minds. They also come with attitudes. They are filled with testosterone, are full of energy so they never sleep, can get aggressive with each other and they STINK.
They both have testicles now. They both like humping each other because there are no other bunnies to hump.
Fights occur when either of them decides they are NOT going to be mounted, BOTH of them want to mount each other at the same time, or their “nipping” while humping gets a little too much for the other bunny.
Honking, yes they actually both make “honk honk honk” noises when they want to mate. Both of them now honk and chase each other.
Two nights ago, Rome started making noises that resembled a didgeridoo. I wasn’t sure what it meant.
If I don’t calm them down by hushing them, their excitement turns into aggression and they get into fights with fur pulling, biting and super speed circle chasing and lunging with teeth out, ready to bite off each other’s testicles.
They look like a frenzied whirling yin-yang. I’ve never been able to take a video of it because well…. I’m too busy trying to stop it.
Last week I was overwhelmed when they fought for the first time. This week I am constantly tense when I watch them together because they just get into more and more fights, more frequently.
Paris is getting very aggressive and Rome is scared but continues to challenge him. It’s stressful. I feel the tension in the air every time they are together and hushing them doesn’t calm them or me down anymore.
The problem is that they are (were) bonded rabbits. They loved each other very much and followed each other everywhere. They hung out together, ate together, played together, slept next to each other, groomed each other.
That’s why we got them together because they were actually in a play area together.
Now they’re pissing in each other’s faces. Literally.
So, I’ve been using cardboard to separate them, spraying them with water, locking one up while the other one plays outside, separating the 2 story hutch and letting them sleep separately.
They get so jealous of each other.
If I let one out to play, the other goes crazy in the hutch trying to get out. When I swap, the one in the hutch goes crazy again but if I put them together, they keep chasing each other just to piss on each other.
To top it off, they STINK…. Their territorial poo markers are extra pungent. The piss they do to mark territory, pungent.
People have described the unneutered male bunny smell as musky, skunky, B.O and what made me laugh was the description that “it smells like my bunny has eaten Mexican food”.
Well, my whole flat smells like Mexican Bunny B.O. at the moment and I am not happy about it!! I even think it’s all over me but I’ll never know because that smell is all that fills my nostrils every day.
I think anyone who has owned at least 2 male bunnies that have reached adolescence knows this smell very well. It’s HORRIBLE!
Yes, they reek and nothing I do is going to actually stop the smells which, of course, are worse when it comes from boys who are around other boys, trying to outdo other boys… even in stench.
My boys are leaving their territorial poo everywhere. If one does a territorial poo, the other will smell it and do 2 or 3 of his own. When the other smells that poo, he does 2 or 3 more of his own and on and on it continues until the floor is covered in rabbit poo. STINKY, musky, skunky, territorial rabbit poo.
Then, when they chase and run whether for bonking, play or fighting, they end up kicking and flinging their poo all over the place. Fantastic.
I vacuum and wipe down the floor twice a day now and the stink is still overwhelming. I think they overcompensate by pooing even more after I have cleaned up.
I’ve tried not cleaning up but I tell you what, the rabbits have rekindled my OCD tendencies and all the poo and piss is icking me out.
OH the piss. Unneutered males will spray vertically and horizontally, forming a nice even arch, just like a garden sprinkler. Their goal is to mark their entire territory.. walls and floor… ceiling if they could.
This of course happens when they’re not directing their pee on the other rabbit.
I don’t care if they do that in their hutch but they are doing it outside. So a pair of gloves, vinegar in a spray bottle and a floor wipe are my new best friends.
They are teaching me the art of being calm under any circumstance and I’m quite getting used to having to do loads and loads of laundry every day but they have tested my patience one too many times.
I burned incense attempting to mask this hormonal bunny stench in the flat and all it did was combine all the smells and give me a headache.
For all I know, it gave the bunnies a headache too. I had to open all the windows and let the freezing cold in, just to clear the air!!
I have yet to find a remedy for the stench. Yes, all my research has said that neutering will do it. Neutering sounds like the holy grail at the moment. Neutering apparently will stop the smells and make calmer bunnies.
I just don’t know if it will make them get along or if they officially hate each other now.
I will get them neutered… oh I definitely will. OMG I wish I could get them fixed right now but I’m not allowed to.
The vet said 6 months. So until then, I am cleaning the floor multiple times a day and putting up with skunk smell in the house and am keeping them separated.
Playing referee 24 hours a day sucks.
If you ever want to know where I am, it’s pretty easy, you’ll find me cleaning my floor and wiping down furniture for the 50 millionth time or passed out on the couch during my peace keeping watch.
They’re fighting. The hormones are well and truly at play. Rome cannot stop attempting to hump Paris. Paris isn’t having it any more and is biting Rome for every hump attempt.
He gives a warning, they stare each other out but Rome just can’t help himself and Paris’ response is to pretty much rip out Rome’s fur.
Thank God his teeth haven’t sunk in any deeper than just the fur.
We’ve separated them when they get like this but in doing so, have exposed the hutch to total destruction because Rome in his horny, sexually frustrated state becomes aggressive and distressed.
He just chews and chews and chews on all the wood frames around the bars to his hutch because he wants to get out and bonk Paris.
He’s got other things to chew on but will always chew the hutch because he knows it annoys me and gets my attention.
He also doesn’t respond to loud claps and screaming anymore. If anything it makes him keep going.
He’s TOTALLY DEFIANT and wanting to show me he’s top rabbit especially since we’ve established that the hutch is theirs.
I can get angry at them about damaging everything outside the hutch and they’re mostly compliant but the hutch itself is their home and their safe place and Rome knows it.
So, if he feels like it to chew it up into bits, he’ll do it, whether I like it or not.
Not just that, he bangs and jumps and kicks when in isolation. He attempts every way possible to get out. He literally is climbing the walls (because he knows the roof opens up on the hutch).
He acts like a crazy person that needs to be put in a straight jacket so he doesn’t hurt himself. He’s completely manic, running from one side of the hutch to the other, back and forth, biting the cage bars, biting the frame, climbing and scratching the wall and digging at the floor at 2-3am.
We’ve only just had the hutch for a week and he’s killed it. If we wanted to, there’s no way we can return the hutch with all the damage he’s done to it and Tony and I are sleepless every night.
“They can keep a slightly wild aspect to them.” The lady at the pet store said. UMMM…. yeah, just slightly.
I bought them a little rabbit tunnel to play in and within a minute, Rome chewed not one, but two holes into it. Really? It cost me £10 and he broke it in a 1 minute. WTF man?
I would have had more fun and value wiping my butt with a £10 note and flushing it down the toilet. Same result. What a waste!!
My concern however is how much he’s keeping us up at night AND quite possibly whether or not he’s waking up the neighbours above, below, on each side and from across the road with all his banging.
I’ll have to look up how to soundproof the hutch or our neighbours won’t be very happy at all.
We took the bunnies to the vet last week for a check up and vaccination and asked about the aggressive and hormonal behaviour and the pee spraying.
We asked when they can be neutered to stop it all and her response was to wait until they’re 6 months old and to just keep them separate.
She also said that the pee spraying was poor bladder control because they’re junior rabbits. This is what I spoke about last week where they were spraying everything with piss, including the walls.
She said that it was them not being able to control their bladders when they get excited or scared.
They’re not dogs!!! The bunnies are doing it on purpose and every bit of research and all the bunny forum discussions I’ve read since, have said so.
Rome pissed on Paris the other day, an epic spray that covered him entirely from head to tail. That was his way to say “I own you. You are mine.”
It’s not lack of bladder control, it’s quite the opposite. They have perfect bladder control and perfect aiming abilities to cover their intended, with piss. And they only do this when hormonal and wanting to mate (something that can be remedied by neutering).
Except now I have to wait until they are 6 months old before I can do anything about it!!
1 min = tunnel destruction. 1 week = hutch destruction and a house full of piss. I have cleaned the floor, wiped it down, vacuumed, swept over and over again, multiple times per day, every day and in the first week did 4 loads of laundry a day! I’m exhausted.
The bunnies are just 4 days from being 4 months old. I have 2 more months of this. I’m not sure how I’ll be.
In 2 months time, I don’t think Tony and I will have a house to live in because our hormonal rabbit would have eaten a hole out of their hutch and destroyed the place.
Maybe I should just let Paris bite all of Rome’s fur off. It’ll serve two purposes. Firstly, Rome surely would stop trying to bonk him… surely? Secondly, I can use Rome’s fur to line the inside of the hutch for sound insulation.
Seriously though, when Rome is horny, it’s stressful and there’s nothing I can do about it except to separate them when they fight and let them be together when they’re calm, to keep their bond.
Paris hasn’t got crazy hormonal yet. He’s also not much of a chewer. An eater and hoover of pellets, yes but he doesn’t chew on things and hasn’t peed on anything since I got angry with him about the couch.
Other than biting Rome for bonking him too much (I mean Rome mounted him 19 times in 5 minutes and can be in this horny state for hours so we think the biting is warranted), Paris is actually a very good, well behaved rabbit.
If we only had Paris… we wouldn’t have all these problems.
I don’t know what I’ll do if BOTH rabbits end up behaving badly due to their hormones.
Ensuring there are no fights requires CONSTANT monitoring as it is.
On the up side, their toilet training is getting better. We’re coming to 2 weeks since first getting them and they only piss and poo in their hutch now.
There have only been maybe 1 or 2 little poos every now and again outside of the hutch for the last 2 days. Peeing outside their hutch, has been limited to Rome piss spraying on Paris.
Better than pissing everywhere including 6 times on a blanket that’s for sure! I’ve given them the same blanket and for the last 2 days they haven’t pissed on it at all. YES! Progress.
Also, they do have their non-horny moments and in those times I’ve trained them to do little tricks. In a few days they’ve learned “Up”, “Walk” and “Jump”. Paris is currently learning “Spin”. They learn in approximately 5 mins so they are super smart. The rest of the time is just reinforcement.
Their ability to generalise is amazing. For instance, I made a little rattle where I put their nuggets into a box. If they shook the box, the nuggets would fall out.
They’ve since chewed the box to shreds so I had to make a new rattle with a toilet paper roll. They now pick up the roll and shake it to get the nuggets out.
I put some nuggets into a scrunched up bit of paper and again, to get the nuggets out, they picked up the paper and shook it around. I didn’t teach them this, they generalised after learning on the first box!
Actually, by they, I mean Paris. He’s definitely the brains. Rome is the brawn.
The training is super easy with their level of intelligence. The hormones are what’s causing the mayhem and difficult for them to control, in turn making them difficult for us to deal with.
Initially we didn’t want to neuter them thinking they’re boys, we don’t want to defile them. If we have no other rabbits, they can’t breed but by their behaviour, it’s looking like we have to neuter them anyway just to calm them down.
There are only 2 more months before I can really find out how much of Rome’s naughtiness comes from personality and how much comes from hormones.
In the meantime I think I’m going to have to be quite the tiger mum with him and be a lot stricter.