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Help! Bonding New Young Male To Existing Young Female

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L0veBunn!es

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I brought a 7 week old male bunny 2 weeks ago (he is now 9 weeks old) and I have been trying to bond him with my 3 month old female (both are netherland dwarfs). The male really wants a friend and he has been trying to befriend the female, grooming her and cuddling with her. But, the female keeps nipping at him and he doesn't know what to do. Usually it isn't aggressive, but today when I was doing a bonding session she bit him harder, he bit her back and they started to fight. Neither are aggressive rabbits, but the are both outgoing and confident. This means I can't do any kind of stress bonding, as they aren't scared of vacuums', car rides or loud noises. Neither is spayed/neutered, and I don't think I will end up fixing them anyway, since I plan to breed them sometime next year. I know that I will have to separate them when they are old enough to breed, but I thought it would be nice for them to have some company while they are still young.

(I live in South Australia, where no pet store I have seen sells rabbits and RSPCA rarely has any bunnies that would suit my lifestyle. I will only give the bunnies to good homes, and to people I know if I can. I will also keep them for at least 8-10 weeks and provide detailed info on how to look after the bunnies. Please don't get mad at me for breeding my rabbits, I will take very good care of both the babies and the parents.)

Both have 3-storey hutches next to each other and run around on the grass in the same x-pen at different times of the day. I have also swapped litter boxes, and they have 20 minute bonding sessions every day. They both act like they want to be friends when they see each other through the wore, but as soon as I put them together (in mutual territory) the female bites the male.

Please help me to continue with the bonding, I don't know what I should do next so I am just doing daily bonding.
Thanks!

Edit: And I have put plush toys in both of their cages so I will swap the toys in a few days time.
 

Lucas the Bun πŸ’•πŸ‡

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Hi, πŸ™‚

About Netherland dwarf breeding, birth is hard on females lots of things can go wrong during birth .

I would spay and neuter both of them, before you try bonding them.
I don’t see the advantage of bonding them then separating them, as that can really hurt their bond.

If/when you bond I would continue doing your current techniques, infact I’ve heard that stress bonding, is not the best technique as it makes them remember the other bun, with stress and being scared.

Then, wait a month after they are both spayed and neutered, rabbits can still be fertile after being fixed. ✨
 

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The female is obviously exhibiting hormonal behavior already and no longer acting like a baby rabbit, which means that you won't be able to keep them together, especially since they have also already fought. Trying to do so at this point risks serious injuries occurring.

Either keep them separate and let them see each other through the wire if you want. Or get them both desexed when the male is old enough, wait the necessary 4-8 weeks for hormones to fade, then go through the proper bonding process. But even then there is no guarantee of bonding. Rabbits can be very particular on who they like and don't like.
 

L0veBunn!es

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Also if you like raising baby rabbits, you could volunteer at RSPCA ,
they pay for the hay, litter, ect.

Just a thought πŸ™ƒ
At the moment I can't volunteer, nor can I foster bunnies. However, I have done hours and hours of research, as well as planned with my friend who also breeds rabbits. The female is expected to be bigger than the male (I met both of their parents) and the female is healthy. I'll probably stop doing the bonding until they are old enough to breed, and just let them see each other through the bars.
 

L0veBunn!es

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The female is obviously exhibiting hormonal behavior already and no longer acting like a baby rabbit, which means that you won't be able to keep them together, especially since they have also already fought. Trying to do so at this point risks serious injuries occurring.

Either keep them separate and let them see each other through the wire if you want. Or get them both desexed when the male is old enough, wait the necessary 4-8 weeks for hormones to fade, then go through the proper bonding process. But even then there is no guarantee of bonding. Rabbits can be very particular on who they like and don't like.
Thank you, I didn't think about that. I am still going to let them see each other but I will stop putting them together for now. They do seem like they like each other, but they are just a bit too unpredictable at the moment.
They do like my dog, who would never in a million years harm the rabbits, so maybe they can chill with him instead so that they are not lonely (under supervision obviously)
Thank you for your wisdom!
 
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