Bonding Rabbits

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by CloverInTheField, Jan 28, 2019.

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  1. Jan 28, 2019 #1

    CloverInTheField

    CloverInTheField

    CloverInTheField

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    Right now I have a 13 week old Lionhead rabbit. I have my eye on an 9 week old Lionhead to get my other bunny, Clover, a friend. Clover and I have bonded a lot but I’m considering getting another one for him since I am not always there with school and everything.
    Clover is very friendly to myself and others, and we are planning to get him and the other bunny (if we do get another one) neutered/spayed.

    I just have a few questions:

    Would they be easier to bond since they are both still babies?

    Can they be housed together and introducted immediately, or should we wait a few days?

    Would they have to have separate things? Food/water bowls, litter boxes?

    Thanks a ton!
     
  2. Jan 28, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    This is not the time or age to get a bondmate for your existing rabbit. Baby bonds never count because hormones change everything. You'll need to wait until about 6 weeks after your boy is neutered. Then he can be introduced to other fixed rabbits to pre-screen for potential compatibility. I just typed about this the other day in answer to someone thinking of getting 2 baby rabbits. Basically the same idea as you are thinking. So I'll just copy/paste that reply here...

    I would strongly advise against getting 2 babies. This is not how to bond rabbits. Sure, rabbits get along when they are babies (almost always), but that can all change -- and can change drastically -- with the onset of hormones.

    The problem with getting 2 babies is that you have no way to know if they will ultimately bond. If they don't, then what? Are you ok with keeping two bunnies housed separately, exercised separately, fed separately, for the next 10 years?

    With babies you have two options. One is to house them together until they start to get hormonal and then separate them until they are old enough to be spayed. The potential problem with this is you have no way to know when those hormones may suddenly kick in. If it happens when no one is there to notice, they could get into a serious fight. The fight could cause injury (or worse) or it could be bad enough to prevent a future bond.

    The other option is to keep them separate from the start until they are both spayed.

    After they are both spayed and have had time to heal, that is when the bonding process can truly and finally begin. However, there are no guarantees. It is completely up to the individual rabbits as to whether or not they will get along. They may do fine. They may be very difficult to bond. Or they may refuse to bond.

    This is the risk you take by getting 2 babies.

    On a separate note, have you called vets to ascertain the cost of these spays? Some areas are outrageously expensive -- wanted to be sure you are ok with the cost as well.

    If you really want a baby rabbit to start (which isn't recommended for a first-time rabbit owner) then it is better to start with just one. Then you can wait until she is spayed and healed. Then you can introduce her to other already-fixed rabbits to pre-screen for potential compatibility. Rabbit rescues do this routinely. It is a way to ensure you wind up with a compatible bond. If one rabbit refuses to bond with yours, you can exchange for another.

    The easiest (and most recommended) way to get a pair of bonded rabbits is to get an already fixed and already bonded pair from a rabbit rescue. This saves you the high cost of spays. It allows you to see the personality of the rabbits (which isn't visible or mold-able with babies). It prevents you from dealing with the stress of spaying. It allows you to avoid the hormonal stage with its potential grumpiness, mushy poo, lunging, biting,etc. And it gives you a jump start on litter training (if it is even needed) since fixed, older rabbits train more easily.
     
    Popsicles likes this.

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