Rabbit bonding help please...

by Lauren
(Reading, England)

Peters and Bun on their date

Peters and Bun on their date

I was hoping someone could offer me a little advice to help with my rabbit bonding...

I have 2 male dwarf lops, both around 7 months. These were my sisters but she was struggling to give them enough time with a 4 year old, a new baby and a house renovation!

I couldn't bear to see them go to a pet shop and potentially not be cared for.

They were initially bought separately and had a fight in the initial bonding process (at around 10 weeks old).

Eventually they bonded and lived together happily until they had a major fight pre neutering. I think my sister left it too late to get them neutered and this fight ended up with some torn ears (treated by the vet). They were housed separately after this as the hutch is two storey which can be split off in two.

It is now 4 weeks since neutering and 2 weeks since I have had them. They have both calmed down in terms of now sitting nicely with me and not running away when I try to get them out of the cage.

They still live separately but in the past 2 weeks I have been putting them together. I started in a small neutral space which went well - one was more nervous than the other and kept running away (Peter) but the other (Bun) knew when to stop and left him to it.

By the end of the first date they had groomed each other and sat next to each other eating.

I carried on with this for a few days when I left them together for about an hour (supervised) and they would lay down, groom and play together.

The last 2 days I have left them in the run for around 2-3 hours and there have been no issues.

Is it too early to house them together?

I was thinking of cleaning the entire cage using the animal friendly disinfectant type stuff and putting them together but supervising for as long as I possibly can.

Or should I clean the cage and keep them separate but swap them, so Bun is up and Peter down?

I don't want to push it too quickly but then I think they had bonded previously and I would like them to have company and keep each other warm in this cold weather.

Any help would be appreciated :)

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Jul 12, 2017
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by: sylvia

I have had several male rabbits neutered around 3 years of age it is not too late and I am surprised the vet did not suggest it.They I would carry on as you are supervised periods then try letting each rabbit visit the other rabbits section of the hutch on his own. Then try putting a bit of bedding in each others hutch or a piece of cloth you have rubbed over them. I would leave it 6 weeks after neutering before you risk leaving them together.Time for hormones to calm down. After my most recent meeting of rabbits I actually let them stay in my bedroom all night free range so I would be on hand if fight started. A good start when putting them together is a dish of tempting salad etc.. they are usually distracted by this. Good luck.

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