4 year old male + 6 week old female

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Anna1323, Feb 13, 2019.

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  1. Feb 13, 2019 #1

    Anna1323

    Anna1323

    Anna1323

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    So I have a 4 year old unaltered male, and will be getting a 6-7 week old female. The male has an appointment in 2 weeks to get neutered. However, I spoke with the vet today, and they refuse to spay females because of the skin being so fragile.

    I plan to keep them separated for around 4 weeks, so Bens hormones can dissipate and the new baby can become accustomed to the chaos of my family (4 kids and a dog).

    Any suggestions on bonding the unaltered female with Ben? Benny has a pretty calm demeanor. Never been but by him, he’s laid back (except when he’s terrorizing the dog) and overall just really mellow. I understand keeping them in neutral territory, except Ben has free roam of the entire house. I was thinking the main bathroom to start with.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Feb 13, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    I would not trust a vet to neuter my rabbit if that vet refuses to do a spay. That would be a red flag to me. You might want to re-consider this vat and ask a rabbit rescue for a vet reference.

    Baby rabbits don't bond. They will get along with another rabbit temporarily until hormones kick in. Those hormones can not only affect the female's behavior but influence the behavior of the male as well even if he is neutered. While it is possible for an intact female to bond, it is more rare and such bonds are more prone to break. Even if she were spayed, there is still no guarantee that they will ultimately bond. Spaying just increases the chances of being able to bond. This is a risk you take with a baby. What happens if they refuse to bond once she's an adult? the male is free roam now so where will the female exercise? Are you ok with having two separate cages, two separate exercise areas, etc?

    If finding a bondmate is your ultimate goal then the only way to ensure a bond is to go through a rabbit rescue. They have you bring in your rabbit to meet some other fixed rabbits. This not only saves you the high cost of spaying, but allows you to pre-screen for potential compatibility. More importantly, it allows your bunny to do the choosing which is a critical factor in the success of a bond. If you bring a potential bondmate home and they refuse to get along, the rescue allows for an exchange to ensure you wind up with a compatible pair. This is the only way to ensure you wind up with a bonded pair.

    Getting a baby is like playing russian roulette. You never know what she will be like as an adult or whether they will ultimately bond. Early handling does not make a rabbit like to be held as an adult. That is a myth.

    You can read more about bonding at the following link:
    https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
     
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  3. Feb 13, 2019 #3

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Like Blue eyes said, that vet may be a risk even to have your male neutered. Try looking on the rabbit vet list link below to see if there might be another more experienced rabbit vet near you that will do the spay(and neuter). But getting an already altered fully mature rabbit that you can let your boy bun have a date with is the preferred and easiest route to go if you can find any at a rescue or shelter.
    https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

    But if you decide to go with this baby female, and if you still end up not being able to get her spayed, then just be aware that if she is terribly hormonal as she matures(usually around 4 months old), this could affect their bond. So if you start to see her pestering him and he starts showing too much annoyance, it could escalate into a real fight which you want to completely avoid occurring. So if he starts getting too annoyed with her then you might have to separate them and just have to do some traveling to get to a good rabbit vet to do her spay, which would also remove the uterine cancer risk for her. Though keep in mind that getting her spayed doesn't guarantee they will bond either. Some rabbits just don't like each other and you can only know if a bond will work when a rabbit is fully matured with their adult personality.

    Other than all that, to bond just go through the normal bonding process at least 4 weeks post neuter(though sometimes waiting 6-8 weeks is necessary due to hormones, especially if she is older than 12 weeks as he could still have some viable sperm and get her pregnant). There is a fast and slow method, as well as deciding on a small(2x2 or 3x3) or larger bonding space. The bathroom/bathtub can work, or using a playpen to set up a neutral bonding area is also a common method to use. Depending on the rabbits involved, one method and/or one space may work better than an other. I think I would decide which to use based on how they react living next to each other while he is recovering from his neuter. If they seem really interested in each other and like being next to each other, then I would probably opt for the fast method in a small space. If he reacts aggressively with her being next to his area and continues to show dislike or disinterest in her, then I would be inclined to do the slow method, being very cautious at introduction to make sure he doesn't try and attack her. You also need to be careful because she will be younger and smaller than him, and more vulnerable.
    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/

    Also if when you get her and put her in her area next to him and he reacts negatively towards her and she acts scared of him and doesn't calm down in a few hours, I would strongly consider keeping her in a separate part of the house away from him, for a few weeks for her to settle in, or maybe even the whole 4 weeks of his post recovery. Reason being is that if she is scared and being in a new home, this can cause an extreme amount of stress for her, and this can affect her health. Particularly with newly weaned babies who are extremely susceptible to developing dangerous digestive diseases at that age. And stress can be a triggering factor.

    If my presence seemed to make her feel safer, I would spend a lot of time with her that first day to help her settle in. If me being around seemed to make her act more nervous and I couldn't put her next to my other bun cause it also scared her, then I would put her in a quiet part of the house, partially cover the cage with a sheet so she could feel more secure, and mostly leave her alone to settle in while checking on her occasionally to make sure she is ok and eating. Monitor her food and water levels closely to make sure she is eating and drinking fine. If you have a water bottle, I would also offer a water dish as rabbits tend to drink better from them.

    Offer free fed good quality(no mold, no noxious weeds) grass hay(timothy, orchard, etc) at all times, as this will promote good digestive function which can help prevent digestive illness from setting in. And make sure to get 2 weeks worth of transition feed from the person you are getting her from, or at least get the exact brand and type of pellets that she is used to. Then if you want to change pellets give her a few days being in your home, then gradually over the next 2-4 weeks, transition her onto the new pellets by gradually decreasing the old while increasing the new. I would also not feed any sugary/starchy/high carb foods, and hold off on introducing any veggies/leafy greens until she is 12 weeks old. Unless she is used to eating certain ones from birth with the mom rabbit, then she should be safe continuing to get those same veggies/greens.

    I would also recommend seeing if the breeder will keep her until 8 weeks old, preferably with her mom and/or siblings if safely possible. Reason being is that baby rabbits really shouldn't be leaving home until 8 weeks because this promotes better health with them and less of a chance of digestive illnesses occurring. And if the mom hasn't kicked them out of her space, then it's best they stay with mom until 8 weeks old. It is also a law in some states that babies have to be 8 weeks old to be sold, but may not be in yours. It's just better for the baby, so that's what I would recommend.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  4. Feb 13, 2019 #4

    Anna1323

    Anna1323

    Anna1323

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    Here’s half of the dilemma. I don’t live in a big city, where vets are in abundance and work with small animals regularly. I live in a country area, and most vets deal with standard dogs/cats, horses and cows. There is only one vet in a 50 mile radius that will even deal with small pets. We do not have rabbit rescues, or anything of the sort around here. I checked the link for vet listings and Wyoming isn’t even on the list. So it’s highly doubtful that I can just find a different vet. I have very few options. The most I can do is suggest from the breeder is that I want a male and not a female, just to ensure I can get it fixed.

    I’m going to re read over all the information both of you provided. It’s been a crazy day
     
  5. Feb 14, 2019 #5

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    I see that rabbit rescues are absolutely scarce in your neck of the woods! However...

    There is a rescue in Rapid City that has a few neutered male rabbits available. They are just over an hour's drive (which is how far I'd have to drive to get to a rescue).
    http://hsbh.org/
     

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