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Oct 20, 2023
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I am new to this forum. I had a sweet little bunny boy named Alfie but he passed away in 2021.

About 2 weeks ago I got a pair of bonded bunnies: Lily (the mother, grey) and Moo (her son, white with grey spots). They are both around 2 years old but obviously Lily is slightly older.

This afternoon I found CLUMPS of Moo’s fur in their play pen. I’ve done some research and read that dominant bunnies sometimes pull out the fur of the submissive bunny while fighting. I’m not totally sure if this is the case, but I can’t think of any other explanation. Lily is definitely the dominant so it would make sense.

But they are totally normal now and I haven’t ever seen them fight, they are always licking each other and following each other around.

Alfie never really shed much, but it’s spring in Australia and the past few days I’ve noticed Moo has been losing some fur, but these are CLUMPS. I really don’t think they were lost naturally, they seemed to have been pulled out. Do you think this is because of fighting or could it be something else? And what should I do? They never fight or are aggressive to each other and I don’t have another play pen so I can’t separate them if I need to.

Also, Lily has some loose fur but they are both still settling in and still won’t let me get too close to them or touch them so I can’t brush it. Is there a way to brush her without really touching her?

I’ve just discovered this forum and I think it’s really lovely. I would really appreciate some guidance and I hope everyone has a nice day :)


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All I would right now do is to set up their enclosure in a way so that they can get out of each others eyes if they feel like it, and no dead ends. An elevated level or platform can help too.

They are both fixed? Anyway, springtime can be "interesting" sometimes. Keep an eye on them anyway.

You can check if you can pull out clups of fur easily, if so get as much out as they let you.
Presuming they're both desexed and this isn't hormonal mating going on, dominant rabbits will hump subordinates, not necessarily escalating to a real fight. If they were actually to the point of a true fight, it's likely you would notice upset and tension between them, and unlikely they'd be laying next to each other relaxed. And a real fight occurring, usually means separating is necessary, sometimes permanently.

Changes in a rabbits territory, like moving to a new home or even just changing rooms or expanding their area, can often cause a temporary surge in dominance behavior in pairs or groups of rabbits. The dominant bun usually feels the need to reestablish their position as 'top bun'. Once this has been firmly reestablished with no changes in hierarchy occurring, then things usually settle back down.

But be aware, there may always be occasional dominance behavior, like minimal humping, non aggressive minimal chasing, or nipping (different than actual biting) in rabbit groups, as this is normal for them to reassert dominance and constantly assess the hierarchy between each other.

Normal dominance behavior is different than escalating aggression. Escalating aggression requires us owners intervening immediately, and possibly permanently separating before serious injuries can occur.

Brushing without touching is tricky. A pet blower would work, or maybe a rabbit safe brush with a long handle. Otherwise it's a matter of sitting with your rabbits to help establish a trusting relationship, so they'll learn to accept you touching and brushing them. There's info on this in the link below. There's also a partial copy of the old 'Language of Lagomorphs ' website in the link, if you click on the 'Rabbit Body Language' box.