Bonding Rabbits | House Rabbit Society
Despite the need to live with another rabbit, you cannot just put two rabbits in a cage and expect . When rabbits meet, they start the bonding at different stages. rabbit's company, two rabbits cannot just be put together and expected to If after two weeks of getting to know one another the rabbits are indifferent to. If you have been working on bonding two of your bunnies for a while, or you would like to know more about what it takes to bond two bunnies, one of OHRR's .
Neutering has many benefits see the All About leaflet Rabbits and surgery S10however, if the female rabbit is not a suitable candidate for spaying, she could still be paired with a neutered male. In this case, it is important to wait three weeks after he is castrated before they are introduced, to ensure that he can no longer produce viable sperm. Also avoid breeding season if pairing an un-neutered female and a neutered male, as her raised hormone levels will make the introduction difficult.
It is advisable to choose rabbits of the same age and size. Scent is the primary way that rabbits communicate with each other.
Prior to the introduction, it is a good idea to swap furniture and bedding between hutches and also to brush or stroke each in turn; this way each rabbit will already know a bit about the other before they meet, simply by smell. Start the introduction early on in the day, so that you have the whole day to supervise their interactions.
Introducing rabbits on neutral territory Use a large neutral territory ie an area unfamiliar to both rabbits. This could be an escape proof area of a garden, a large run or a spare room such as a utility room. Provide lots of hiding places so that the rabbits can get away from each other if necessary.
Love Match: A Guide to Bonding Your Rabbits | SaveABunny
As rabbits are territorial, be careful not to include items that can be defended. Open ended boxes, open beds and plastic tubes are best. Scatter tasty and interesting items of food such as fruit, vegetables and hay. This not only serves as a positive distraction when they first meet, but also each rabbit will associate the other with something pleasant. Place the rabbits at opposite ends of the neutral area and let them meet in their own time. Some chasing, circling and mounting behaviour is normal and to be expected, but you may have to intervene if either rabbit starts to look stressed or they start to become aggressive.
Signs that the rabbits are getting on are mutual grooming, eating together and lying down next to each other. If the rabbits have bonded sufficiently over the course of the day, it may be possible to house them together overnight. Ideally the housing should be unfamiliar to both rabbits, but if you are using the existing hutch and run, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and preferably moved to a different patch of grass.
If you have any concerns at all, it is a good idea to keep them separate at night as they cannot be supervised and carry on with the introduction on the following day. It is also useful if you do not have a separate neutral area, or are unable to supervise all interactions between the two rabbits.
Put the two rabbits in separate runs, and arrange it so they are near or directly next to each other.
How to introduce or bond two rabbits
Introductions should be done in a neutral space to minimize the occurrence of these territorial behaviors. You may want to wear thick gloves and a long-sleeved shirt for initial bonding sessions in case a fight ensues. A squirt of water on the nose can often prevent an aggressive behavior if it's done before the act begins, but is usually ineffective once a fight has begun.
An initial fight could hinder future bonding success. Bunnies have very different personalities. When two bunnies first meet, several outcomes may occur. The most likely outcome is tentative friendship.
- Love Match: A Guide to Bonding Your Rabbits
- Introducing Rabbits
- Bonding Rabbits
They may approach each other and sniff but will not groom each other. Sometimes one will chase the other.
Bonding (introducing) rabbits
Watch for signs of a potential fight. Sometimes one rabbit mounts the other.
This is OK as long as the rabbit on the bottom submissive is accepting it. Thus, when introducing new rabbits, territory must be considered and used to your advantage.
What you are trying to do is eliminate the possibility for there to develop any territorial behavior in the rabbits.
Housing and companionship for your rabbits
You are also trying to mimic positive feelings in your rabbits. If they fight, then they will carry THOSE bad memories around with them, and will remember that they fought together. Always introduce rabbits, regardless of sex or age, in neutral space first. Possible neutral spaces might be: Try to bring your current rabbit with you to pick up your new rabbit, so that they can share that first car ride together. Work with the rabbits for at least 20 minutes per day.
Make sure to spend some time with the rabbits in one or more neutral space every day.
Every day, try using two different situations, one relatively stressful like a car ridefollowed by one relatively normal the floor of a new room, the top of the bed. That way, you can try to gradually transition them from strange to normal situations, without them fighting. If you immediately attempt to let them run around on the floor together, without first having taken them for a car ride, they may forget that the space is neutral and fight anyway.Meet Hayley's Bunny 🐰 (WK 324.4) - Bratayley
None of these suggestions will work by themselves, and none will work immediately usually. Start with extreme scenarios and gradually move to less extreme.