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Old 05-31-2017, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Do baby bunnies always lose their personality?

Hello all, I hope this is the right place to ask this.

I went out the other day to look at some baby bunnies. I originally went to look at one who I thought was beautiful (she is just gorgeous!), but then another caught my eye just by the way she was acting. She came up to me while the others didn't, was very pliant while I clumsily checked her gender (multiple times - it was my first time and very hard to tell them apart), and let me pet her right off and continued to do so despite the multiple times I had to pick her up and check her stuff. The others were more skittish (understandably) and struggled with the gender check. The pretty one was especially feisty, whereas I was looking for calm.

However, we already have a baby boy bunny my fiance got a few days ago. We were planning to get two males and get them both fixed as soon as they were able to be, and bond them young.

I wanted to get a boy because I have always heard (and have seen on most places online) that boys are much sweeter and affectionate, and girls are almost always more standoffish and likely to bite.

Also, all the articles I see online talk about puberty pretty much 180ing your bunnies, and to know a personality you have to get them as adults.

Does this mean I shouldn't put any stock into how her personality seems now? Do they pretty much always change personalities with the behaviors of puberty?

It's a situation where my heart is saying 'yes, please get her', but my mind is holding back and trying to look out for future me. (And yes, we'd still plan to get her fixed asap, but the only vet around only does it after 6 months old for either gender, and they're dwarfs so having to keep the separated from the males possible 3 month puberty is another possible issue. )

Last edited by lucorinth; 05-31-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
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The personality of baby bunnies can always change with the onset of hormones. However, there is a bigger issue at stake than that. If you already have a baby bunny, then getting another is a very risky way to hope to get a bonded pair. There is no such thing as pre-bonding, or bonding while they are young. Babies always get along, but hormones change all that. Whether or not they get along while young will have no effect on their future (post neuter) bond -- unless they fight, then the bonding chances are reduced.

If you get a 2nd baby, then they have to stay completely separated until both are fixed and then healed. Only then does(should) the bonding process begin. But by that time, you will be committed to those two rabbits and it is quite possible that they will choose to not bond or get along. If that occurs, you will wind up with two rabbits that have to be kept separate from each other -- 2 cages, 2 exercise areas/times, 2 everything.

Getting 2 babies just isn't advised if bonding is your goal.

The more sure way to get a bonded pair is to wait until your current boy is neutered. Then wait 8 weeks post surgery for hormones to fully dissipate. At that point, he can be introduced to some already spayed females (or possibly neutered males). This way he gets to choose his bondmate. The spayed females/neutered males would be from a rabbit rescue and they work with you to ensure you wind up with an actual bond. If one particular rabbit that seemed like a potential mate ends up being incompatible, then she/he can be exchanged for another. (I've had to do this on more than one occasion.)

This method of finding a bondmate has a much better chance of success.

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Old 05-31-2017, 08:53 PM   #3
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OK, so taking two males is a terrible idea. Males, even neutered, generally don't get along and fight. You can find dozens of 'help my rabbits are fighting' threads on this website alone. Two males is not completely impossible, but it's not a good combination at all and I don't think it should be attempted for no reason or by someone who doesn't have a lot of experience with bonding (or you might prepare yourself to keep two rabbits separated for the next 10 years, with a nice little wall inside your house to keep them from gutting each other). Second, you got a rabbit a few DAYS ago. Getting another one now is also a terrible idea. You've got a baby already, and he will be a lot harder to handle in a few weeks. You've got things to do : make sure he grows up well, bond with him slowly, introduce vegetables one by one slowly... Wait until your rabbit is neutered (in 2 or 3 months) and healed before introducing another rabbit. You shouldn't put intact rabbits together and just being close from each other might provoke hormonal reactions you really won't want to deal with (like spraying pee on you and your furniture, grunting, biting, trying to play escape artist to go neuter their new 'friend' without anesthesia, humping your shoes / legs / furniture...)
'Bonding rabbits young' is completely pointless. As you noted, characters generally change. Rabbits who get along at 8 weeks can kill each other 3 months later. Anyway, you are now looking at a female (and you should!) but you wouldn't be able to put her with the male before her spay which means at least 6 months of separated rabbits with 2 cages, 5 hours at least outside of their cage for each of them but separately (DON'T put rabbits together if both parties aren't desexed - I'll add that a male is fertile for several weeks after his neuter), and probable exacerbated hormonal behaviors for both of them (a neutered male can still act hormonal if he is housed close to an intact rabbit - believe me, it happened to me and it was not pleasant for any of us).
My advice as someone who has raised and bonded rabbits for over a decade is to wait until your rabbit is neutered and healed. Then to look for a female. An adult already spayed female would be ideal, but if you are set on a baby you'll have to keep her separated from your rabbit until you can get her spayed. When she is healed (after about 3 weeks) you can begin the bonding process.
Concerning your question about characters. Yes, adults are generally not as friendly as babies. The female you saw might be very friendly as an adult, but it's not a given at all. Aki is the only rabbit I've had who didn't change at all from babyhood to grannyhood (she's 8 years old now ^^) but she was always a very unfriendly, skittish rabbit... And she's the most wonderful rabbit I've ever had - she can be downright nasty but she is the cleverest and I love her to pieces. The rabbit you saw might be a great rabbit, but you'll find rabbits just as great later and you won't set yourself up for several terrible months. You might think I'm exaggerating but an excessively hormonal rabbit can frustrate you to the point of tears - I litterally called all the vets from my area to find someone willing to neuter my youngest rabbit a bit early because I felt like throwing him out the window... several times a day and especially at night when he was constantly making a racket to try and escape his pen (he even CLIMBED it once) and repainting my room with pee which went surprisingly high.
Whatever you do, really avoid the male / male pairing. That probably won't end well.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:07 PM   #4
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Kind of depends--we had 2 bonded males and 2 bonded females and the males were much better behaved, while the females would occasionally fight over dominance issues.
Sometimes I feel like I'm running a fertilizer factory.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:28 PM   #5
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Oh dang! When I was little, my family did the 'baby boy bonding' thing and it worked out great, so I just kind of assumed it was how to go. I made sure to read up a lot on rabbits, but since I thought I knew about bonding, I didn't research it more than a couple places that just had the basics of 'put them in separate cages near each other for weeks' and 'make sure you get two because one is miserably lonely'. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about rabbits everywhere, so I should have known to look deeper.

Oh well, I hope the girl I clicked with finds a good home. I had a dream about her last night, and was going to cave in today and get her, but I'll put their health and well being over my wants any day.

The baby boy we have now is rather skittish, so we're being very slow and tentative with him, and I think he's pretty happy with us so far. We got our first binkie from him a few minutes ago... Followed by a few more as he dashed around between the two of us sitting.

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