Advice bonding a female to M/F pair

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Kleb06

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Hi everyone 👋.
I’m looking for any advice for bonding my bunnies. I’ve watched lots of bonding videos but I’m having trouble finding something close to my situation!
I have a M/F pair that have been bonded for over a year. My male was neutered but took to my female when she was a baby and they remained bonded before and after her spay. I got the females sister (another litter) and she was spayed almost 2 weeks ago. The male connected with her and although he is not with her I can put them together and feel 100% confident they would be fine. The male is very laid back and is the dominant. He will chase his older female if she starts grunting or shows any amount of aggression towards her sister. They have all cuddled together several times in a vehicle and will lay beside each other through there gate. When I open the gate separating them they are ok until the older female sees her sister and she chases her.
Just wondering if I should try a small neutral space 24/7, in small sessions, with or without the male?
I’m just trying to mentally prepare for it! The baby (6m) still needs another 2 weeks to heal before I try

I attached some pictures of the set up I have now
 

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JBun

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My experience is with a group I had. I had a brother I tried bonding in with his family that was already in a bonded group. There were issues with his bigger brother. Since all of the other rabbits didn't have an issue with the new rabbit(smaller brother), I decided to first bond the two boys, then once things were going well there, add in the other rabbits.

It seemed to work pretty well. I did fast track bonding where I kept them together 24/7. Initially there was some chasing and the start of circling(which circling I immediately broke up), but they settled down and things progressed pretty smoothly, that by the second day I felt I could bring in the other buns one at a time to see how they reacted. There wasn't a problem at all with them, so after about 48 hours of the two brothers being together, I was able to transfer them to the groups enclosure.

It was pretty fast and may not work that quickly for other rabbits, but for those two, they had been exposed to each others presence from previous bonding attempts, plus this was a group of 5(mom and siblings), so a bit different dynamic than a pair or trio.

Sometimes you have to change things up if one method doesn't appear to be working well. And sometimes you just get a feel that something will work better based on your rabbits giving you cues from their body language.
 

Lionhead owner

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I had 1 girl, brought in her half sister and they hated each other on sight and it went down hill from there. So we took her back to the original pet breeder and let her pick the post fixing boy she liked the best, which was her own biological brother from a different litter. We are still early days, but she knows he’s here and she seems much calmer than last attempt
 

Kleb06

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My experience is with a group I had. I had a brother I tried bonding in with his family that was already in a bonded group. There were issues with his bigger brother. Since all of the other rabbits didn't have an issue with the new rabbit(smaller brother), I decided to first bond the two boys, then once things were going well there, add in the other rabbits.

It seemed to work pretty well. I did fast track bonding where I kept them together 24/7. Initially there was some chasing and the start of circling(which circling I immediately broke up), but they settled down and things progressed pretty smoothly, that by the second day I felt I could bring in the other buns one at a time to see how they reacted. There wasn't a problem at all with them, so after about 48 hours of the two brothers being together, I was able to transfer them to the groups enclosure.

It was pretty fast and may not work that quickly for other rabbits, but for those two, they had been exposed to each others presence from previous bonding attempts, plus this was a group of 5(mom and siblings), so a bit different dynamic than a pair or trio.

Sometimes you have to change things up if one method doesn't appear to be working well. And sometimes you just get a feel that something will work better based on your rabbits giving you cues from their body language.
Thanks for giving your experience!
Did you have any issues with the big brother when you let the little brother in his territory? I want to try soon so I don’t have gates all over but I’m nervous and worried about the older sister being territorial when I put them back. They have such a large area and it’s on carpet I wouldn’t be able to get the scent off everything. Do you think if I rearranged their “house” safe night pens it would help? I was thinking to set up a 4x4 playpen I can adjust the size of in my kids room to try bonding.
 

Kleb06

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I had 1 girl, brought in her half sister and they hated each other on sight and it went down hill from there. So we took her back to the original pet breeder and let her pick the post fixing boy she liked the best, which was her own biological brother from a different litter. We are still early days, but she knows he’s here and she seems much calmer than last attempt
Oh no!!! That is a really cool letting them choose. We don’t have that around here and I havnt heard of anyone doing something like that!
We had picked out a runt from the litter and unfortunately she passed 5 days after we got her so the lady gave us her sister and she is extremely smart and has the greatest character.
Let me know how you make out with the bonding?
 

JBun

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Thanks for giving your experience!
Did you have any issues with the big brother when you let the little brother in his territory? I want to try soon so I don’t have gates all over but I’m nervous and worried about the older sister being territorial when I put them back. They have such a large area and it’s on carpet I wouldn’t be able to get the scent off everything. Do you think if I rearranged their “house” safe night pens it would help? I was thinking to set up a 4x4 playpen I can adjust the size of in my kids room to try bonding.

Not too much of an issue, but it was a group, so that can change things having a bunch of rabbits around. Also their area allowed for him to find some space away from his brother if he needed it.

Rearranging things can sometimes help, though how much depends on the rabbits.
 

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