Can an 8 week old and a 9 week old bond?

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Apollo’s Slave

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My aunt and uncle are getting a second bunny, who has just turned 8 week old, to bond with their 9 week old bun that they got last week! They’ve got more rabbits than me 🤣

I know the process with adult rabbits is that they’re not allowed to be put together and they have a whole bonding process (I’ve made that explanation every vague so don’t take it as a tip) but I also know that baby bunnies don’t really have hormones and have baby bonds. Will this still be like this with a new rabbit? Like will they bond like babies
 

Mariam+Theo

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I don't know for sure if they will bond, but I don't think it wouldn't be worth the stress of bonding them for them to have to be separated in 3 weeks. I would suggest that they keep them apart until both rabbits are spayed/neutered and are old enough to be bonded.
 

zuppa

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What gender are they?
If they want to put them together 'just for fun', most of babies 8-9 week old will play and will look like best friends immediately, but if they are boy + girl they must be separated when boy is max 10 weeks because he will start humping and spraying, when there's a girl around, you don't want to stress them right?

If they are both boys they could stay together until 10-12 weeks, after that they will start humping each other, spraying, fighting etc so will need to be separated and kept far from each other otherwise they will be under stress all the time and will keep spraying and all of that.

If they are both girls they could stay together until up to 5 months in my experience, and (rarely) they can stay bonded for longer, until becoming hormonal or they can even stay bonded without being neutered, but territorial conflicts can start at 7 months or later, you will have to watch if you see any signs of conflict, it can escalate very quickly so probably after they are 1 year and still getting along they will stay bonded.

So, in your situation, I wouldn't recommend keeping them together, it is if humans want them to be happy long terms and not just for haha look they're cute. So talk to them and explain all this, they need to find out what gender are both and it would be best to make two setups so they can't see and smell each other, otherwise seeing/smelling another rabbit can and will trigger their sexual instincts early and they will start spraying/getting stressed and all, they will stay much calmer when they don't know there's another rabbit and when they are 4-6 months they can be neutered and 2 months after that you can start bonding process.

Of course they will put them together now and they will have fun over the next couple weeks, but after that they can get disappointed because of the babies will start peeing marking territory and they will change dramatically, and they will only want to get rid of them, it happens all the time, so if you can talk to them and they will listen they may be can avoid that huge disappointment.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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thank you so much everyone!

they have done a lot of research, which I’m really happy about. So they do plan on getting both of the buns fixed once they are at the right age. I’m not all too sure if they have a second set up prepared, but I am going with them to get the bunny so I may be able to bring my xpen or something like that for them, or they can buy one.

luckily I know they’re not the sort of people to just put them together for fun, or get rid of them after they start to mark their territory. It would be horrific if they did.

Thank you! I’ll advise them to keep them separate until 8 weeks after they’re fixed, then they can bond them ☺
 

zuppa

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thank you so much everyone!

they have done a lot of research, which I’m really happy about. So they do plan on getting both of the buns fixed once they are at the right age. I’m not all too sure if they have a second set up prepared, but I am going with them to get the bunny so I may be able to bring my xpen or something like that for them, or they can buy one.

luckily I know they’re not the sort of people to just put them together for fun, or get rid of them after they start to mark their territory. It would be horrific if they did.

Thank you! I’ll advise them to keep them separate until 8 weeks after they’re fixed, then they can bond them ☺
That's good to hear that they did their research.

If the second baby is still not there maybe they can cancel for now? If they take second baby now they will have to keep two separate setups for at least 5-7 months (neutering starts at 4,5-6 months depending on your vet, plus wait 2 months after neutering, sometimes a bit longer, depending on your rabbits). And it can be a bit complicated especially when they both become hormonal and will feel that there's another bun nearby. Escapes happen and we've heard stories how separated rabbits got together and had a fight or mated and the owners had to deal with consequences. If they are different genders girl can become pregnant from 14 weeks so that's a couple months before vets will be able to neuter them, and boy will be still fertile up to 4 weeks after neuter so they are 8-9 weeks now and they will become hormonal in 3-4 weeks (earlier if they are dwarf breeds and later if larger breeds). Vast majority of baby rabbits change dramatically when become teenagers and it is impossible to know when they are 8 week old how they will change but expect big changes.

As I said already, if one will smell another rabbit around or your hands and clothes will smell like another rabbit, they can get very nervous and start peeing/pooping on you as well to mark you as their own, they can start biting you because they will think that you are their competition. I spray myself with 5% vinegar between holding my rabbits, to remove the smells.

In sum, it would be so much easier to go with just one baby right now and enjoy than keep two heavily separated setups for the next 5-7 months. After the first baby is neutered and 2 months after (maybe just 1 month if it's a girl) they could adopt the second rabbit (possibly already neutered), and they can do prebonding, as there's no guarantee that the babies will bond after those 5-7 months.

Of course your friends will decide for themselves and will do as they think is best for them, it is very exciting moment when you get your first baby bunny or a pair of babies.

One of my adopted rabbits is now 1 year and 7 months, I have him since he was 4 months old because his previous owners were terrified when two baby brothers had a major fight after which they had both their surgeries and were neutered immediately, but both still have scars from that fight, mine still have a little hole in his ear. They were just very sweet babies when brought home at 8 weeks from pet shop, and pet shop workers suggested on getting a pair so they have a company for life.

Another adopted rabbit almost same story, he was 4 months old and had also had a fight with his brother, as a result people were so horrified and their kids saw the fight so they just get rid of both rabbits immediately. When I saw they were selling two full breed rabbits with all the cage and expensive equipment for a fraction of price of the equipment I just had to take them because there's lots of people looking for this kind of sales and getting equipment for cheap then reselling it and they don't care about rabbits since they were free addition to equipment.
In this story both boys healed nicely without the scars, but one of them was so traumatized he is very sweet on his own (and neutered) but he possibly still remembers the fight and he gets aggressive with other rabbits I tried bonding him so many times to girls and boys, he just gets very aggressive, he is also 1 year and a half now and I have him more that one year.

The first rabbit with a hole in his ear was successfully bonded to a pair but took time he was also kept separately and we had to work with him on his problems. Also he is very laid back so bonding was successful but also after a few tries, now I have a very friendly trio they are 6 months together now, so it was a few months of work before he found his new friends.
 
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Apollo’s Slave

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The first and second bunnies are from the same breeder but I can’t really ask them to hold off, because they’re picking it up tomorrow.

I think they’ll just have to seperate them. They’re both girls though, and they are booking them in to be spayed at 3 months. The current rabbit is on the first floor, so the second rabbit could be on the second or third floor?
 

zuppa

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The first and second bunnies are from the same breeder but I can’t really ask them to hold off, because they’re picking it up tomorrow.

I think they’ll just have to seperate them. They’re both girls though, and they are booking them in to be spayed at 3 months. The current rabbit is on the first floor, so the second rabbit could be on the second or third floor?
If they are both girls (and you are very sure of that!) they can be housed together for now, and they just need to be watched closely after they are maybe 5 months or so, girls usually become hormonal later than boys especially when there are no male rabbits around, so it would be safe to keep them together. In my experience I had 3 sisters housed together after they were separated from their mother and brothers at about 3 months (boys were separated at 9 weeks but the girls were with their mother). So they did really well three together, but when they were 5 months old one of them suddenly became so very hormonal and she started nesting, the other two were laughing at her and she's got very defensive and there was a fight, it was all very sudden and I separated them immediately as I was watching them. The hormonal girl calmed down when she was alone, and two girls were still together until they were 7 months old, then they also had a major conflict between the two of them and I've separated them as well, I was watching them as well so was there to stop that immediately.

I had 5 sisters housed together again after separating from their brothers and mother, they were very nice to each other until about 7 months, then just one of them became very hormonal, very territorial and I've separated her, she's calmed down immediately and just lives separately since then, happy to be alone. When she was removed, four other girls were back to normal and continue to be extremely nice to each other, they are one year old and a bit now and I would like to rehome at least two of them, but they are so in harmony with each other I just don't want to break that.

So if they are both really-really girls they can be housed together until they will start showing hormonal behaviour, it is individual and can start anytime between 4 months and I'd say 7 months, but they will need to be on watch all the time after 4-5 months because it can be just one very quick conflict after which you won't be able to bond them at all.

As far as I know vets take girls for spay from 6 months, I know rescues spay kittens much earlier and would probably take rabbits as well, if you want to risk that. Girls need about one month after spay to calm down, but sometimes longer. I fostered spayed girl once, she was very hormonal even after 6 months after her surgery, now she is fine and bonded with another spayed female in her new home.

So I would say they can try if they are both girls, they will 'bond' right away at 9 weeks and will stay 'bonded' until at least 4 months, then they will need to be watched and an extra housing must be prepared if they will need to be separated quickly. Maybe they will stay bonded until they are neutered and so there will be no problem with real bonding at all, but it is impossible to know right now.

There also can be a problem with territory, because both will be let to explore their new home perhaps and when they will be let out together it can lead to territorial conflicts, so also be prepared.
 
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zuppa

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And I have to say it is quite common that at 8-9 weeks babies are missexed, happens all the time, so there's always possibility that one or both were missexed by breeder and things can go very wrong then.
 

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The thing with girls is - their characters must match, and you only can tell this for sure after puberty. But raising them together imho helps socialising and even learn to accept the some of the other does quirks and evolve a hierachy, so chances are better that they get along long term than when raised singla and then "bonded". Some sorting out, like humping and tufts of fur flying occasionally is to be expected, how they react to it is the interesting part.
At least does don't escalate from zero to bloody mess from one minute to the next, like some bucks.

Usually I keep my doelings with the 2 does for about 5 months, now I had 3 with their mother and grandmother for 6 1/2 months, no problem, bigger groups seem to be easier than duos or trios anyway.

If their characters are not compatible, like 2 strong Alphas, or a Alpha and a very timid one that get's stressed easily, it wouldn't work out long term either way.

As Zuppa said, sexing is an issue, even with experience. Always get a second opinion when sexing kits, and repeat it weekly. You never know when the Sex Change Fairy pays a visit ;).
 

Apollo’s Slave

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Update: the two bunnies did end up trying to fight and hump. So they have been seperated and living in different pens. They’re going to get them spayed and then try to bond them afterwards :)
 

zuppa

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Update: the two bunnies did end up trying to fight and hump. So they have been seperated and living in different pens. They’re going to get them spayed and then try to bond them afterwards :)
At 8-9 weeks it would be a bit too early for humping, especially girls, but it is very individual. Good luck anyways, please keep us updated :)
 

zuppa

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I would suggest rechecking their sexes, here you can see clear pics and instructions on sexing rabbits. At 8-9 weeks it can be not clear yet, I had so many miracles with the babies, they look like girls first and in a couple months what a surprise they have testicles! :D

I am not saying anything just keep an eye and check on them like once a week

 

Apollo’s Slave

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At 8-9 weeks it would be a bit too early for humping, especially girls, but it is very individual. Good luck anyways, please keep us updated :)
Yeah. The older one was humping the little one on her head and trying to bite her. She’s just about 10 weeks, I think.


I would suggest rechecking their sexes, here you can see clear pics and instructions on sexing rabbits. At 8-9 weeks it can be not clear yet, I had so many miracles with the babies, they look like girls first and in a couple months what a surprise they have testicles! :D

I am not saying anything just keep an eye and check on them like once a week

Yeah that’s happened with one of my friends rabbits before 😅
I’ll try to check them before I leave, and show my aunt how to also

thank you so much for the help 🥰
 

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