Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day 41 & 42: Bonding continued

I had a busy day yesterday, after work (and some circuit training for the run on Sunday) I went to do Ralph the piggy's home visit and it passed with flying colours! Ralph will hopefully bond with the adopters 2 current females and she has her bonding tactics all worked out. Ralph will also get to enjoy grazing on the lawn which is something he will have never experienced before. Great result for him.

It's been a hectic few days with various reserves on the pigs but I've also been bonding my own neutered male Rodney with 2 lady friends. It was always my intention when I rescued Rodney for him to live with the girls but blimey, they are the most miserable, narky pair I have ever met! Honestly, I'm glad I adopted them because I'm not sure anyone else would! They HATE being handled, scream the house down when you cut hair/nails etc and generally don't like people. I've tried to socialise them for a while now but came to the conclusion they are too damaged from past experiences and best to leave them too it. To be fair they are better than they were..

So here's some pictures from the bonding session. They had lived side by side for over 2 weeks. The 'slow' bonding approach seems to have worked well. I knew that one of the 2 girls, Moneypenny would be the trouble causer so I introduced Rodney to her first:

Keeping at a safe distance....

Rodney being brave and checking out Moneypenny (brave lad!)

 Rodney getting licked and generally inspected by Moneypenny

Ignoring each other and grooming (always a good sign)

More 'nose to nose' contact, sussing each other out

Moneypenny chilling out and Rodney not really sure what do with himself!

After I was confident they were okay with each other (after 4 hours or so) I introduced Honey too. She definately aggrevated the situation, lot more teeth chattering and 'warning off' with teeth showing but nothing too bad. By the evening I had managed to get them all in the same neutral, cleaned out pen.

It's still a work in progress. Rodney is learning what he can and can't do, how close he can get before they chase him off but it's very early days. Bonding is rarely ever instant, the trust has to develop and this can take a while. I'll keep you posted!

N.B Pretty please if you are bonding any animal make sure it's on a neutral territory, you are there to supervise (with something to break them up if they fight ie. dust pan) and that male/female combos are neutered. This is particulary important with rabbits. Don't rush - bonding can take hours or months.

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