Help with bonding!

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Faustus

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Hello everyone! I have a neutered mini rex named Boomer, we decided to get him a friend today, a female flemish giant, Willow. She is in an x pen in the living room. Boomer's home is in the walk in closet which connects to the living room, he is a free roam bunny except at night time when we put him in his closet. Today when they were making their first introductions, Boomer was mirroring some of Willows behavior, he would start grooming when she would groom, eat hay when she would eat hay etc. Seemed to be going well until Boomer bit Willow on the lip. This happened through the x pen, we are not letting them in the same space without a barrier yet. My question is, is this to be expected, and should we take Willow to the vet?
 

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Jasminebunny

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Hello everyone! I have a neutered mini rex named Boomer, we decided to get him a friend today, a female flemish giant, Willow. She is in an x pen in the living room. Boomer's home is in the walk in closet which connects to the living room, he is a free roam bunny except at night time when we put him in his closet. Today when they were making their first introductions, Boomer was mirroring some of Willows behavior, he would start grooming when she would groom, eat hay when she would eat hay etc. Seemed to be going well until Boomer bit Willow on the lip. This happened through the x pen, we are not letting them in the same space without a barrier yet. My question is, is this to be expected, and should we take Willow to the vet?
Hi.

I'd say clean it daily, with saline solution.
I wouldn't go vet unless doesnt get better.

Is your rabbit fixed?
 

Faustus

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Hi.

I'd say clean it daily, with saline solution.
I wouldn't go vet unless doesnt get better.

Is your rabbit fixed?
Thank you for your reply! Our boy is neutered, the girl is not spayed as of yet because she is only 10 weeks old.
 

Blue eyes

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If she's only 10 weeks of age, I'm surprised Boomer reacted as he did. Typically adult rabbits will accept baby rabbits ---as long as they are babies. Once hormones kick in, it's a whole different story.

Honestly, starting with a baby is a very tough (and risky) way to try to find a bondmate. It's tough because they should be kept apart (where they can't reach through an ex-pen) until after she has healed from being spayed. Of course she can't be spayed for awhile. Five to six months of age is usually when females are spayed BUT with flemish, it is usually later than that because they are considered juveniles for longer due to their size. So they should be kept apart for the next several months.

It is risky because once you've waited out all those months until she can get spayed, then allow her time to heal, it won't be until after all of that that they can be introduced and see if they have the potential to accept each other. They may. They may not. But unfortunately, if they don't get along, you've already invested all that time, money and effort. That's the risky part.

Since Boomer already had a negative reaction to even a baby rabbit being in his space, that doesn't bode well for future bonding. He may be one of those particularly choosey rabbits that will be quite particular about what rabbit he will accept as a bondmate. If this is indeed the case, then the way to increase the chance of finding a compatible bondmate would be to go through a rabbit rescue. They have already-fixed rabbits and will allow one to pre-screen for potential compatibility. If one potential doesn't work out, they will allow an exchange. (In the UK, some rescues will actually do the bonding for you.) This can be a good option to increase the chances of winding up with a compatible match.

I'm not wanting to be johnny raincloud, but I do want you to be aware of potential outcomes and other options. Since you just got the gal today, perhaps you'll want to consider returning her -- if that is something you decide might be a better option. Food for thought.
 

Faustus

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If she's only 10 weeks of age, I'm surprised Boomer reacted as he did. Typically adult rabbits will accept baby rabbits ---as long as they are babies. Once hormones kick in, it's a whole different story.

Honestly, starting with a baby is a very tough (and risky) way to try to find a bondmate. It's tough because they should be kept apart (where they can't reach through an ex-pen) until after she has healed from being spayed. Of course she can't be spayed for awhile. Five to six months of age is usually when females are spayed BUT with flemish, it is usually later than that because they are considered juveniles for longer due to their size. So they should be kept apart for the next several months.

It is risky because once you've waited out all those months until she can get spayed, then allow her time to heal, it won't be until after all of that that they can be introduced and see if they have the potential to accept each other. They may. They may not. But unfortunately, if they don't get along, you've already invested all that time, money and effort. That's the risky part.

Since Boomer already had a negative reaction to even a baby rabbit being in his space, that doesn't bode well for future bonding. He may be one of those particularly choosey rabbits that will be quite particular about what rabbit he will accept as a bondmate. If this is indeed the case, then the way to increase the chance of finding a compatible bondmate would be to go through a rabbit rescue. They have already-fixed rabbits and will allow one to pre-screen for potential compatibility. If one potential doesn't work out, they will allow an exchange. (In the UK, some rescues will actually do the bonding for you.) This can be a good option to increase the chances of winding up with a compatible match.

I'm not wanting to be johnny raincloud, but I do want you to be aware of potential outcomes and other options. Since you just got the gal today, perhaps you'll want to consider returning her -- if that is something you decide might be a better option. Food for thought.
I appreciate your perspective for sure. I should mention that it was our own fault that the nip occurred. We had her in an x pen without the second barrier and she was in his territory being the living room. At first, they sniffed eachother through the pen, it seemed like it was going well. He was very excited at first and then seemed to relax and mirror her behavior. The bite came suddenly, they were sniffing through the x pen and he got her then. Now they are separated in a neutral area of the house, side by side but unable to touch eachother.
 

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