HELP! May have bonded a male/female!

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by mosterhus, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Sep 24, 2017 #1

    mosterhus

    mosterhus

    mosterhus

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    Hi, we got 2 bunnies when they were 6 weeks old. They have been together the entire time. We were told that both were female. However, recently, they have been chasing each other like crazy (one always does the chasing and the other thumps)
    While they are "calm" together a lot, the other night we noticed that one tried to hump the other (ACK!) and it led us to believe maybe we have a mixed pair and not two females! I looked at them both and both appear to be females (but what do I know?)
    So, I have a friend coming over tomorrow whom knows a lot about rabbits to confirm. We have also noticed a lot of "spraying" going on, which is new.

    The bunnies were born June 1. So, we had planned to get them fixed in early November.

    BUT, here is my real question. We leave on vacation for 8 days tomorrow.
    If we have boy/girl situation, should we separate them?
    I hate to have them separated for the first time and us on vacation. We, of course, have arranged for people to come and take care of them, but since we intended on leaving them "together" I was less worried. Ugh. I don't know what to do!

    If girl/girl (as we thought) leave together?
    if boy/girl (as we hope not) should we separate?

    I think they are still too young to fix?
     
  2. Sep 24, 2017 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    They need to be separated immediately regardless of gender. They are turning hormonal and that, as you have already seen, can cause dominance issues. If one is humping the other (again, regardless of gender because females will hump to show dominance too) then that will only escalate. It is very likely that the chasing and humping will lead to fighting. RAbbit fights can be vicious and cause serious harm.

    They should be separated until both are fixed. After surgery, you can read up on bonding so you'll know how to begin the process (about 6+ weeks after the surgeries are complete). They should be old enough to fix now. They should not be put back together the day after surgery (even if the vet says so -- as vets often wrongly advise).
     
  3. Sep 24, 2017 #3

    Aki

    Aki

    Aki

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    I would get them to a vet before leaving to assess the situation - if you have a male, you'll be able to neuter immediately, which I would do if I were you. But, like blue eyes said, you can't leave two intact bunnies together no matter the gender (to clarify, you can't put two bunnies together even if one of them is neutered / spayed, they have to be BOTH desexed and healed before attempting to bond). You have to separate them immediately and stop all contact now. If you have a female / male couple pray there is no babies because your female is a lot too young to procreate and could die giving birth. If they are two females or two males, even if you don't have the baby issue, they could very seriously hurt each other while fighting over territorial and hormonal issues. Of course, that's true when you are here but, obviously, leaving two intact bunnies who fight together while you are not here is a terrible accident waiting to happen. Rabbits fighting can kill each other. They can scratch the other eye or cut the other's genitalia with their teeth or bite deeply provoking an infection... the list is endless.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2017 #4

    mosterhus

    mosterhus

    mosterhus

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    Thank you all!
    We just found out that we, in fact, have 1 boy and 1 girl (ugh)
    We have separated them into 2 kennels and put the kennels next to each other, so they can still see each other, but can't touch!
    We have vet appointment lined up for next week and have a bun sitter lined up.

    Ironically, the one doing the chasing and the humping is the female, so hopefully our boy didn't have his way with her, as they aren't even 4mo old yet.

    So, we will do as you all have suggested. Get them fixed and keep them separated until heeled up. Any chance they won't bond again? I mean currently they sleep together and groom each other constantly, so its sad for me to think they won't re-bond.
     
  5. Sep 25, 2017 #5

    Aki

    Aki

    Aki

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    At 4 month old, you might indeed escape the pregnancy thing with a little bit of luck. Still, in the end they probably will be better friends than if they were both females - female x female pairing often sounds like a good idea to people who never really owned rabbits, but (as you noticed yourself) females are very territorial and it can be really difficult (or sometimes impossible) to make two of them share a metaphorical warren. It's not surprising at all your female was doing the chasing and the humping considering it's really a dominant behavior and not a sexual one - in the wild, warrens are matriarchies and females are generally top rabbit when you've got a male / female couple. It was the case for every couple I've owned.
    I wouldn't be too worried about the bonding thing. Desexed male / female pairings with young individuals generally go well if you introduce them correctly in a neutral territory. It sounds like you've got a dominant doe, so as soon as your male will understand that submitting is in his best interest it should go OK. I've never had any fail with the kind of situation you're in, even if it went more smoothly in some cases than in others. My first pairing was exactly the same situation that you have right now and the two rabbits went back to greatest couple ever as soon as I put them back together after the desexing thing - the female was very dominant and the male very submissive so they were a match made in heaven and it took five minutes to bond them (she jumped on his back even if she was half his size, he let her hump without moving, and that was it ^^).
     
  6. Sep 27, 2017 #6

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    :goodluck Our avatar was named Nick but became Nikki when I got "Him" home and checked. I save the ad from the "Pennysaver--mixed, male mini". Yep, she was very mixed!
     

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