Adopting a single bun VS two litter-mates/bonded pair

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Hey ya'll, I'll be looking to adopt another rabbit in the future and don't know much about keeping a pair versus a single bun. I have always kept just one bun, and they have bonded closely with me and other non-bunny pets in the household. This go round, I am entertaining the idea of adopting two litter mates OR a bonded pair, depending on how the opportunity presents itself.

I would like to keep two together but am hesitant, as I know first hand how vicious they can be to each other. I do understand that litter mates (spayed and neutered of course) usually do well together, and that once they are bonded they get along just fine. Have you guys found that they interact less with you if they have another bunny friend around?

Thanks for the advice!
 

Aki

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If you want to take a pair, I would rather go with a bonded pair rather than littermates, if by that you mean babies - they will get along until you will have to separate them because of hormones, and then you will have to bond them again after the spay / neuter and by that time they won't remember they were littermates in the first place. Family has absolutely no meaning for rabbits. A pair of a spayed female and a neutered male generally do well together even if they are not related if introduced correctly and if you are not unlucky and get a rabbit who hates rabbits or two rabbits that hate each other just because... But if you play it safe and take an already bonded pair, you won't have any problem.

I know some people like to have a single rabbit more because they feel like the rabbit is more bonded to them that way. Personally, considering I can't be with my rabbit every minute of everyday, I feel like it's in the best interest of the rabbit to live with a fellow rabbit. I initially got only Aki, but I took another one after about six weeks because I felt like she was miserable and I felt bad living her alone when I went outside. She was also very skittish and was spooked easily (she's a Nethie ^^) and it helped a lot to have a mellower rabbit (a lop, of course ^^) with her. I don't feel like she interacted less with me after I took a second rabbit, and she was obviously a lot happier with a mate - they cuddled together, washed each other, played and were just a joy to watch. When my male died, Aki was alone during a month while I was looking for a new partner. She stuck to me like glue during that time, but it was sad to watch - it was obvious she was doing that because she felt alone and scared and generally awful. She stopped when I took Tybalt home even if she hated him, at first. Her relationship with Tybalt is quite different that the one she had with her first husbunny but they grew on each other. Just last month, Tybalt nursed Aki back to health when she had GI stasis - he stayed two days cuddled with her in their little house to keep her warm and it really warmed my heart to watch. It's a personal choice, but I will never own a single rabbit, as I feel like living as a pair makes their life better in most cases (except of course in the case of rabbits who hates rabbits - it happens, I've met some of those).


You can read those articles which are very interesting on the subject :

http://rabbit.org/the-case-for-rabbits-in-the-plural/

http://rabbit.org/are-two-rabbits-right-for-you-2/
 

Blue eyes

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I agree with Aki. If you are considering a pair that is already fixed and bonded, that is a great way to go. You can usually find such bonded pairs at rabbit rescues. Only rabbits that are already fixed and have been bonded are actually considered bonded. Littermates that have not yet been fixed are NOT considered bonded.

It sounds like you don't want to mess with the potential for fighting rabbits (understandably). If so, then finding a bonded fixed pair from a rescue ensures you have an actual bonded pair.

I have had some single buns and pairs too. I have not really found that bonded bunnies are any less inclined to bond with me than single bunnies. It's more the individual personality of each rabbit. I've had a single that was more shy (other singles more outgoing) and I've had a very personable, friendly rabbit that was part of a bonded pair.
 
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Thank you for all the valuable insight. I would be looking into adopting rather than purchasing from a breeder or store, so I imagine there are quite few pairs looking to be homed. I do like the idea of having two, since like you Aki I am not able to be home with them during the weekday. When I am home, my buns were always able to mingle with the dogs and cat, but while I am away at work they were confined for safety.

I have contacted an adoption/rescue group that has recently come by a large number of rabbits of varying ages, and have about 8-10 young babies, about 4 weeks old. They wouldn't be ready to go for awhile, as they would need to be spayed and neutered prior to leaving their foster homes. Since they were to be spayed/neutered before coming to me, I was thinking perhaps their might be a few buns who tended to bond together at the foster home, and in that case I would be willing to adopt them together.
 

Blue eyes

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I have contacted an adoption/rescue group that has recently come by a large number of rabbits of varying ages, and have about 8-10 young babies, about 4 weeks old. They wouldn't be ready to go for awhile, as they would need to be spayed and neutered prior to leaving their foster homes. Since they were to be spayed/neutered before coming to me, I was thinking perhaps their might be a few buns who tended to bond together at the foster home, and in that case I would be willing to adopt them together.
That may be quite a wait if you are hoping for the young ones. They may not spay females til 5 months of age. Males can be neutered earlier but can take up to 8 weeks post neuter to be ready to bond. So if they are one month old now, that would be another 5 months (about) before they are ready. But they wouldn't have had time by then to fully bond with another rabbit. Brand new bonds, of course, could be more risky (as in having the potential to break).

Personally, I would be looking for any already established pairs that they may already have. That way you know they are good and bonded.
 
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That may be quite a wait if you are hoping for the young ones. They may not spay females til 5 months of age. Males can be neutered earlier but can take up to 8 weeks post neuter to be ready to bond. So if they are one month old now, that would be another 5 months (about) before they are ready. But they wouldn't have had time by then to fully bond with another rabbit. Brand new bonds, of course, could be more risky (as in having the potential to break).

Personally, I would be looking for any already established pairs that they may already have. That way you know they are good and bonded.
That's good to know, Blue eyes. This bonded rabbit thing is quite fascinating! I would very much like to rescue a pair (already bonded as I now understand it) but am apprehensive due to the inherent cost of medical treatments as they get older. My previous buns ran up quite a bill when they fell ill at the end (talking a thousand or more) and I wouldn't want to skimp on treatments because I have two elderly buns to care for versus one. Ah, the dilemma!
 

Blue eyes

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I've gotten fully bonded pairs from rescues that were between 1.5 and 2.5 years of age. That means they had been fully bonded already for roughly a year.

Of course, 1-2 years (or even 3-4) isn't "old" by any means considering their 10 years lifespan. It is very possible that local rescues have such pairs.
 
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