Bonding 4 Bunnies

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Aspen’sbuns

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Hi!
Not that long ago, I posted about a mini lop male that needed a home near me, that needed a home. I have three mini lops that are bonded.
People had mixed opinions about it, but I felt bad for him, so I decided to take him on. He was desexed on Thursday, the day I bought him home. He is staying in our games room, and my trio live outside.
When he moved in, I had a teddy in his enclosure, which he was mounting so I took it out, as I didn’t want him to injure himself. I was planning to use this to swap between my buns to get their scent used to each other. I am instead now using a blanket. This morning I gave the blanket Sheriff had, to my other three bunnies.
I put it in their territory, to see how they’d react to the scent. They all sniffed it for a while, but then went about eating and doing whatever. One of the girls seemed to get a little funny about it, but only for a few seconds, before she went and cleaned her partners. I caught her later in the day cleaning the blanket.
Ive put the blanket back with the new bunny, and he sniffed it too, and then went and played. Later on he chinned it (it was resting on something)
The thing is, he’s the only bunny of my now four that chins anything
I’m hoping people have some advice as to how to go about Bonding.
They have a new house sitting waiting for when they are bonded btw

TL:DR Need advice for bonding new bun into trio
 

JBun

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First you have to wait, usually a minimum of 4 weeks post neuter for hormones to fade, before attempting bonding(all rabbits already spayed/neutered). Though sometimes waiting 6-8 weeks is necessary, just depends on how hormonal of a rabbit you have and how long it takes for those hormones to fade. If you don't want to chance it, wait at least 6 weeks. Then it's deciding if you can just go and bond him straight in with the whole group, or if you need to bond them one at a time with him.

I had a group of 5(mom and grown babies, all fixed) and I had the last brother that got neutered to bond in with the group. I tried just putting him with the whole group(neutral space), but him and his bigger brother, who was the boss of the group, just weren't working out their differences. It was starting to escalate, tails raised, jumping over the other rabbit, and circling, which would have turned into a full out fight. So I stopped it, separated, and I decided to pull out the big brother and bond him and the other brother separately first.

I did a few short dates, which went well, then decided we were good to fast track the bond and finish, which worked. I was able to then put the rest of the group in one at a time, to see how they reacted. The rest of them bonded instantly with him, no problem. So that last part went really quickly. And never had a problem with them after that.

Bonding rabbits is trial and error. You generally start with the usual recommended techniques, but then it is almost going by feeling out the situation and how the rabbits are reacting to one another. Sometimes you just have to try something to see if it will work, and if it doesn't, be ready to instantly intervene before a fight breaks out, and be prepared to switch tactics. Though I will say, have as thorough an understanding of rabbit body language and behavior, and what the signs of real aggression are, as much as possible, so you are ready to instantly intervene before anything can escalate into a real fight. Because once that happens, chances of successful bonding go down significantly.



 

Aspen’sbuns

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First you have to wait, usually a minimum of 4 weeks post neuter for hormones to fade, before attempting bonding(all rabbits already spayed/neutered). Though sometimes waiting 6-8 weeks is necessary, just depends on how hormonal of a rabbit you have and how long it takes for those hormones to fade. If you don't want to chance it, wait at least 6 weeks. Then it's deciding if you can just go and bond him straight in with the whole group, or if you need to bond them one at a time with him.

I had a group of 5(mom and grown babies, all fixed) and I had the last brother that got neutered to bond in with the group. I tried just putting him with the whole group(neutral space), but him and his bigger brother, who was the boss of the group, just weren't working out their differences. It was starting to escalate, tails raised, jumping over the other rabbit, and circling, which would have turned into a full out fight. So I stopped it, separated, and I decided to pull out the big brother and bond him and the other brother separately first.

I did a few short dates, which went well, then decided we were good to fast track the bond and finish, which worked. I was able to then put the rest of the group in one at a time, to see how they reacted. The rest of them bonded instantly with him, no problem. So that last part went really quickly. And never had a problem with them after that.

Bonding rabbits is trial and error. You generally start with the usual recommended techniques, but then it is almost going by feeling out the situation and how the rabbits are reacting to one another. Sometimes you just have to try something to see if it will work, and if it doesn't, be ready to instantly intervene before a fight breaks out, and be prepared to switch tactics. Though I will say, have as thorough an understanding of rabbit body language and behavior, and what the signs of real aggression are, as much as possible, so you are ready to instantly intervene before anything can escalate into a real fight. Because once that happens, chances of successful bonding go down significantly.



Okay, thank you so much for responding! @JBun
He’s about 7 months old we think, and was obviously only spayed a couple of days ago. He sprayed me just before but only a tiny bit after giving him some apple. His litter habits have improved tremendously since neutering though. Each of my bunnies were neutered before they started really displaying any hormonal behaviours, so I have no idea how long it will take for him to calm down.
I bonded my trio, so I’m sort of familiar with how the bonding process goes, but I’m still worried about it!!
Are there anything things you’d advise I do different to add this fourth bunny in??
 

JBun

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Are there anything things you’d advise I do different to add this fourth bunny in??

I mentioned it in my post above, as well as my own experience of what I did bonding my own rabbit into the group. There is either bonding a single rabbit with the whole group all at the same time, or bonding him with one rabbit then adding in another one at a time. I tried the whole group with my rabbit, didn't work, so did one at a time starting with the most dominant rabbit of the group.
 

Aspen’sbuns

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I mentioned it in my post above, as well as my own experience of what I did bonding my own rabbit into the group. There is either bonding a single rabbit with the whole group all at the same time, or bonding him with one rabbit then adding in another one at a time. I tried the whole group with my rabbit, didn't work, so did one at a time starting with the most dominant rabbit of the group.
Okay thank you. Would you recommend side by side living, or is that likely to just stress my trio out??
 

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