Peony was a black and tan French Lop doe born in 2012/3. She came to us in 2015 from Butterfly Bunnies after the owner had a stroke and could no longer look after her rabbits.
Peony had recently lost both her partners, Lily and Chervil. She can be seen in the video above calmly munching hay while Lily was engaged in lining the tunnel she had dug with hay. Chervil’s ears show in the background although he didn’t yet live with them at that time.
I tried bonding her to a pair of giants, Juniper and Minerva, a couple of weeks ago, just after Chervil died but she proved herself to be quite fiesty and it didn’t go as well as hoped. I am now trying her with smaller pair in the hope that some of the difficulty was caused by fear agression on her part and that she will feel more confident with smaller rabbits and so behave better. She really needs it to work as without her partners to wash her face it has become evident that she has nasty tear duct infections in both eyes and although they are being treated with antibiotics that is no substitute for having them kept clean by a loving companion or two. In fact it is very common for rabbits only to show symtoms after losing a partner as Peony has done because it is so effective.
Above Peony can be seen in a dog carrier being introduced to Jade and Turmeric. This is the first step in any bonding and helps to get them accustomed to the proximity of the new rabbit/s in a safe place where they are not able to do each other any harm and where they feel a little uneasy and in need of comfort thus setting them up to turn to the new rabbit in order to recieve this. I think another factor in the failure of the attempt to bond Peony with the giants was that this step had to be skipped as they were too big to fit in the carrier. Jade has just started eating hay so that shows that she feels safe and is willing to accept Peony, at least for now. Peony looks fairly relaxed too. Turmeric just looks rather squashed as he is pinned in the corner at the moment as Peony is leaning on him. Time will tell…
Update: Sadly Peony ‘s health deteriorated quite sharply and despite our best efforts we lost her. It is such a shame and we are certain that grief played a huge role in her inability to shake her illness.