Getting female spayed to bond with intact buck, what to consider?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Preitler, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. Sep 30, 2018 #1

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Hi,

    my house bunny is an intact buck, 3 1/2 years old, about 10lbs, and a a free range house bunny for 2 years now. Very laid back dude, never started a fight and always evaded attacks by shrew does or bucklings coming of age. He doesn't have a cage or so, a catflap so he can go outside when he wants. No, neutering him is not an option.

    But imho he's rather lonely, he's my pet but that's not really a relationship that would satisfy a rabbits social needs, I reckon.

    So I'm planning to have one of his daughters, now 5 1/2 months, spayed and make her a house bunny too. I know there'll be some challanges, Herr Hase doesn't chew anything, no wood and no cables, and was housebroken from day one I took him in, but I had an intact female indoors for 8 months and she was Destructionbunny (grandmother of Dotty), 5 years later I still refer to her as Fury, almost killed me twice.

    Sooo...

    How do I get this over smoothly. The doe, Dotty (she's a broken, and two dots on her forehead were the only way to tell her apart from her sisters), now lives in a trio with her mother and grandmother. She's a nice girl, getting along with both. I started to assign her an own hutch by putting her there over night to get her used to being alone (to reduce stress post surgery), but letting her spend the rest of the day with the others. Works well.

    Any suggestions how I should introduce her to the buck? How much time does it need to dissipate hormones that make her smell like a fertile doe? Should I wait with introduction until she's completly healed up, or set up a pen where they can interact through bars? (Now, my buck interacts with the does through a gate, just large enought that the rabbits can put their heads through, lots of licking and cleaning and rabbit stuff).
    I guess he'll be a nuisance to her at the start, but I guess that will peter out. He didn't harrass any kits that slipped through the gate and joined him.

    So, if someone has experience with bonding a spayed cuddle bun to an intact buck I would appriciat any thoughts and advice.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  2. Sep 30, 2018 #2

    Popsicles

    Popsicles

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    Definitely wait until the hormones have dissipated, not just to stop him pestering her but also to stop her being aggressive back (as intact female bunnies are wont to do). Usually 6-8 weeks is a good timeframe to be sure everything as settled down. Just curious, why is it not an option to have your male bunny castrated?
    As for the bonding, it will need to be in a neutral place that ideally neither bunny has ever been before, so they don’t get territorial. This might be difficult since he is free range? But setting up a small x pen or something might be an idea. There are different ways of bonding, you can try short periods of time together and separating again, or some people just put them together (under supervision) until they learn to get along. Greatly depends upon how much time you can commit, and how keen they are to be friends. @Blue eyes is way better at articulating all this stuff than I am!
     
  3. Sep 30, 2018 #3

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Well, he's my herd buck, I need him for breeding.

    He isn't territorial at all, and the doe as young part of a trio isn't either (I know that can change the very second they realize that there's no Alpha doe around)- and it would be new territory for her.

    How much time does it need for a spay wound to heal up properly?
     
  4. Sep 30, 2018 #4

    Popsicles

    Popsicles

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    Ohhh I see, duh sorry.
    Yeah not all are, but to have the best chance at bonding it’s usually best to do it somewhere they both feel equally uncomfortable, rather than one having an advantage. A smaller area is better for bonding too, as it stops them choosing areas to keep as their own and forces them to acknowledge each other.
    The actual wound itself I’d say two weeks ish.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2018 #5

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Well, tomorrow Dotty will get spayed. Now she's living in a section of my vestbule (the other side is Herr Hases base, can't use my front door as long as she's there), get's some garden time.

    I hope everything goes well. She's quite cool, doesn't mind slick vinyl flooring, isn't scared easily, and didn't show any interest in power cords yet...
     

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  6. Oct 10, 2018 #6

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Isn't she a cutie! Love her face markings! :)

    Good luck with the bonding. Hope it goes smoothly.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2018 #7

    Popsicles

    Popsicles

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    Good luck to you and your gorgeous bunny!
     
  8. Oct 14, 2018 #8

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Hi,

    everything went well on thursday, I was somewhat worried that it took 8 hours after surgery that she started eating again, but seems that is normal and ok. Started to climb on the pantry and window sill yesterday, got garden time and showed no sign that she just had surgery, so I thought, what the heck, and let them both out in the garden today. I trusted my buck that there would be no wild chasing, and really, some hopping around, he tries to sniff her behind now and then and she just hopps away, and he keeps sitting where was.

    I had no neutral ground, but as I know him, I could put them in a roller coaster and he wouldn't act much different. She's about 7 lbs now (3,4kg), she'll grow to his size I guess.


    So far so good, now they are munching dinner in the vestibul, depending how they behave I'll seperate them for the night or not.
    Edit: He's still a little too interested now and then, so I seperated them to give her some rest.
     

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  9. Oct 28, 2018 #9

    Preitler

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    Hi,

    well, that definitly is a success story :). Dotty is like her father - not interested in chewing anything, and housebroken from day one (apart from the occasional bunny berry here and there)

    She's not skittish, I have to step over her when she's lounging somewhere, and she already starts to come when called (to get a treat :) )

    Herr Hase stopped trying to hump her soon, smart guy, they don't spend all the time together but about 3/4, and when resting they cuddle a lot. It's so heartwarming to just watch them (and I can lay with them and burrow my face in their fur :D)

    I'm so happy that I got him a cuddle bun.
     

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  10. Oct 28, 2018 #10

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    So glad it worked out so well for you (and them)!

    What a gorgeous pair they make. :)
     
  11. Oct 29, 2018 #11

    Joyce Guardado

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    You should definitely wait for a while until she is completely healed
    Introduce them slowly if there is any chasing you can put them in a small carrier take them for a ride so they reach out to each other for comfort slowly increasing the size of their area until they are fully bonded
    It. An take 72 hours or up to a week
    You will know shortly if the bond will work.
    I have done several bonds and learned thru a woman who runs a bunny rescue
     
  12. Oct 29, 2018 #12

    Orrin

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    We have two spayed females and a young intact buck. We keep the buck in a pen separate from the ladies. Whenever we give him a chance to free roam he will do "drive by shootings" of his spray. (He has deadly accurate aim!) Even though the females are spayed, he goes nuts over them. They definitely trigger his hormones. He's forgotten everything he ever knew about using his litter box. He shows off by doing all his pooping and peeing in front of the ladies. Now, one of them is starting to develop "feelings" for him and she pees next to wherever he is--on the opposite side of the fence, that is. The buck gets neutered tomorrow. I hope that after his hormones dissipate in a month, or two, that things will settle back down to normal. There is no way we could ever let them free roam in our living quarters if they don't re-learn to pee in their litter boxes.
     
  13. Oct 29, 2018 #13

    Popsicles

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    Yay @Preitler what a gorgeous couple! So glad it worked out for you!
     
  14. Dec 8, 2018 #14

    Preitler

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    Just a little update :)

    They are doing great, and Herr Hase is back to his habit to jump on my bed in the morning to make me get up. Dotty is a little more shy, but not skittish or so, just not that outgoing. Sweet little girl, now about 8-9lbs.

    Dotty, on occasion, did chew cables 2 or 3 times, I just have to take care there are no cables hanging across where they go. Herr Hase is a good boy, but well, about once a week hormones get the better of him and he sprays her, well, that's not so much to mop up, otherwise they have pretty good litter habits.

    He doesn't try to hump her anymore, sometimes he sneaks up to her behind, but that's it. I think that is acceptable behaviour for a boy who got "friend zoned" by his crush :D
     
  15. Dec 20, 2018 #15

    cwebster

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    Glad to hear that some bondings are easy and successful as we are to introduce a neutered rescued bunny to our spayed female nect week. Today, they got swapped stuffed animals again.
     

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