Is it ok do buy a baby rabbit, because there aren’t any available for adoption locally?

Rabbits Online Forum

Help Support Rabbits Online Forum:

SadieandJadie

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Location
Rochester New York
I really want to introduce a baby Holland Lop into our family but I don’t want to do the rabbit community any disservice, are there any exceptions for Shopping and not adopting because there really aren’t any bunnies for adoption where I’m at but I found a couple good breeders if there is such a thing locally with baby Holland lops.I think they are the type to get rid of all of their rabbits to good homes. And the rabbits aren’t cheap anybody have any input for me? Thank you.
 

NorthernNevadaHollandLops

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
60
Reaction score
26
Location
Reno, Nevada
Beautiful thanks, this is a tough situation I am in.. I would love to rescue as many bunnies as I could but that’s just not possible.. the one I have now is a gift from a cousin. Not all breeders are bad.. right?
As a breeder, I would definitely say not all breeder are bad. Many are just working to better the breed or working on a specific line and then sell the bunnies that don't fit in with their program. I personally love seeing my bunnies as mothers. They love having babies and I think it gives them a lot of fulfilment. We have a small operation and so aren't putting out a ton of unwanted rabbits into the world. You can absolutely find responsible breeders.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,148
Reaction score
6,706
Location
Arizona, USA
Thank you so much..did you rescue your rabbit/rabbits?

If you already have a rabbit then I would definitely discourage getting a 2nd rabbit from a breeder-- especially a baby. Why? If you are hoping to bond the 2 rabbits, there is no way to know whether or not the 2 will actually bond. You may invest all the time of watching a baby grow and then invest the money to get him/her fixed, only to find out then that the 2 rabbits refuse to get along. You'd be stuck having to house them separately, letting them out for exercise separately, etc.

However, rescues work with rabbit owners to ensure they wind up with a compatible match. Their rabbits are fixed (can't pre-screen for potential compatibility unless a rabbit is fixed) and if one potential rabbit simply refuses to bond with your rabbit, they typically allow an exchange until you find a rabbit that actually does get along with yours. (I have had to do this on several occasions with rabbits that were stubborn about which bondmate they would accept.)

On that note, I assume your current rabbit is fixed? It is necessary for both rabbits to be fixed to provide the best chance of a bond to work.

I'll direct you to the following page of my website that explains more about bonding and how age and neuter status affects it.

To answer your question about whether I've rescued rabbits... yes! I've had rabbits on & off since the late 80's. Over the years I've gotten multiple rabbits from rescues in 3 different states. (All but 2 of my rabbits were from rescues.) The chart below can also be found on my website but it's easier to paste it here rather than type out the pros of a rescued rabbit.

1643307076640.jpeg
 

aldemar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
18
Location
Albany, NY
I saw this and wanted to AGREE AGREE!!!! I had two (same sex rabbits which was the first strike) but I acquired them about 6 weeks apart - both prepubescent . They lived next to each other until I got them neutered. Then they lived another 6 weeks directly next to each other - and would lay together where the pens were closest. I thought it was a shoe in - and nope. 18 months of bonding attempts & resets went by - and I ended up rehoming one of my lover boys who could give him a free roam all the time because I just couldn't keep the separate arrangement. It was like "Sophie's choice" - SO hard and heartbreaking for me. I believe they only laid next to each other as a territorial thing to protect "their" area. I wouldn't count on a baby coming into a bonding situation unless you are prepared to keep them separate if warranted. I am sure there are success stories as well - but its a gamble for sure.

\
If you already have a rabbit then I would definitely discourage getting a 2nd rabbit from a breeder-- especially a baby. Why? If you are hoping to bond the 2 rabbits, there is no way to know whether or not the 2 will actually bond. You may invest all the time of watching a baby grow and then invest the money to get him/her fixed, only to find out then that the 2 rabbits refuse to get along. You'd be stuck having to house them separately, letting them out for exercise separately, etc.

However, rescues work with rabbit owners to ensure they wind up with a compatible match. Their rabbits are fixed (can't pre-screen for potential compatibility unless a rabbit is fixed) and if one potential rabbit simply refuses to bond with your rabbit, they typically allow an exchange until you find a rabbit that actually does get along with yours. (I have had to do this on several occasions with rabbits that were stubborn about which bondmate they would accept.)

On that note, I assume your current rabbit is fixed? It is necessary for both rabbits to be fixed to provide the best chance of a bond to work.

I'll direct you to the following page of my website that explains more about bonding and how age and neuter status affects it.

To answer your question about whether I've rescued rabbits... yes! I've had rabbits on & off since the late 80's. Over the years I've gotten multiple rabbits from rescues in 3 different states. (All but 2 of my rabbits were from rescues.) The chart below can also be found on my website but it's easier to paste it here rather than type out the pros of a rescued rabbit.

View attachment 59052
 

SadieandJadie

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Location
Rochester New York
Well this is my plan… I have a four year old Holland lop who is spayed and I wanted to get a boy obviously keep him in his own little play area until he’s neutered because he’s only eight weeks old. Don’t boys and girls get along the best? Or girl and girl?My adult bunny is free roam. She has her own litter box and food area. Give the baby his own litter box in the play area. Where she is not allowed. the adult female will be able to see him through the wall of the play area. I can’t even try to supervise them interacting for a short period? Even before he is neutered?
 

SadieandJadie

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Location
Rochester New York
I saw this and wanted to AGREE AGREE!!!! I had two (same sex rabbits which was the first strike) but I acquired them about 6 weeks apart - both prepubescent . They lived next to each other until I got them neutered. Then they lived another 6 weeks directly next to each other - and would lay together where the pens were closest. I thought it was a shoe in - and nope. 18 months of bonding attempts & resets went by - and I ended up rehoming one of my lover boys who could give him a free roam all the time because I just couldn't keep the separate arrangement. It was like "Sophie's choice" - SO hard and heartbreaking for me. I believe they only laid next to each other as a territorial thing to protect "their" area. I wouldn't count on a baby coming into a bonding situation unless you are prepared to keep them separate if warranted. I am sure there are success stories as well - but its a gamble for sure.

\
I think you are just trying to scare me from buying from breeder… my current bun’s essence is pure Love. And as the other one matures they will learn to tolerate one another.and if for some strange reason that it absolutely cannot work out Diane’s sales policy says I can return the rabbit.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mariam+Theo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
2,741
Reaction score
2,538
Location
Tennessee
I think you are just trying to scare me from buying from breeder… my current bun’s essence is pure Love. And as the other one matures they will learn to tolerate one another.and if for some strange reason that it absolutely cannot work out Diane’s sales policy says I can return the rabbit.
They’re not trying to scare you, they’re trying to help you. You asked for advice and that’s what you got.

I completely agree with what @aldemar is saying. Adopting a spayed/neutered rabbit from a rescue will be the best decision. Your bunny can go visit several rabbits at the rescue and then you can adopt the one that your rabbit gets along with best. Bonding rabbits is matching personalities, the gender of the rabbit does not matter. Buying a baby rabbit and then hoping they will bond with your current rabbit is so risky.
When rabbits are around other rabbits their personality changes. Even if your rabbit is sweet and loving right now, she will change when around another rabbit. My bunny Theo has always been so sweet to me, and even when he went to meet my newest rabbit on a bunny date, he was sweet. But as soon as Theo was back at my house he was aggressive towards the new rabbit. Bonding them is taking so long because of his aggression.

When the new bunny matures it won’t learn to respect your current rabbit. That’s not how rabbits work. The only way to try bonding them is to keep them fully separated until you neuter the new bunny. After he’s neutered wait 8 weeks for his hormones to calm down and then begin the bonding process. If you put the bunnies together before the new bunny is neutered there is a high risk they will fight. After bunnies have one bad fight it is rare they will be able to bond.
 

SadieandJadie

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Location
Rochester New York
Ok thanks for the advice.. I wasn’t able to raise my current bunny.. she lived with my cousins her whole life up until a month ago.. so for that reason I want to experience raising a bunny from an early age. Because Jade( my current bunny) wasn’t raised strictly on hay.. she barely touches it now.(granted it’s always out and available.) so you know what I mean. It really bugs me. She gets three small handful salads a day with Timothy based pellets.. I want to raise the new bunny the right way with hay and also to be able to handle him more smoothly when needed. My current bunny we have to chase around to catch her when she needs to go to the vet. That’s how much she hates being picked up. it’s probably because my cousin has a lot of children and they probably traumatized her. And these new baby bunnies from Diane she said are handled like daily so it won’t be as difficult of a process… am I making sense to you just raising it from the beginning? Maybe that’s the control freak in me. Thanks I’ll be sure to get him neutered as soon as he’s eligible. I might babysit the only bunny available from Lollypop farm (animal shelter) for two weeks when we get back from Florida.
 

Mariam+Theo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
Messages
2,741
Reaction score
2,538
Location
Tennessee
Ok that makes sense. However, you could still raise a baby bunny from a rescue through the fostering program and then adopt it after it has been spayed/neutered. Many rescues will have baby bunnies because rabbits come to the rescue pregnant or with a litter. They just don’t list the bunnies for adoption because they can’t legally rehome a rabbit until it has been fixed.

Also, rabbits can be trained to eat hay and to allow people to pick them up. I got Theo as a baby because I didn’t know better and he has always been a huge hay eater. Even though I raised him since he was 8 weeks he has never liked being held. Just recently (after 4 years) he has gotten to where he doesn’t freak out anymore, but he doesn’t enjoy it. My new bunny (Will-who I have had since November, and came to me from a bad situation) never ate much hay because he was given too many pellets. Rabbits will eat what they are offered when they are hungry. What does Jade’s diet look like? Most likely, she will eat more hay if you remove some of the pellets and veggies from her diet.
To keep Jade from running from you I suggest confining her to a playpen rather then free roaming. When I first got Will he hated me! He had been raised by a 4 year old little girl who was constantly carrying him around the house and mistreating him. I knew that if I let him free roam he would never let me pet him, so for that reason (and other reasons) I confined him to a playpen. I didn’t force him to come to me though. I would sit in his playpen and wait for him to finally come to me. Now he is so cuddly and I can hold him whenever and he doesn’t care. Since you have only had Jade for a month she needs time to bond with you.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,148
Reaction score
6,706
Location
Arizona, USA
It is a common misconception that handling baby rabbits from a young age will make them easier to handle as they age. This is completely false. A breeder may say they handle their rabbits often to make them handle-able but this is just sales ploy. Founder of Bunny Bunch rescue, Caroline Charland, states, "People often think a rabbit must be held a lot as a baby in order to like being held as an adult. I don't find this true at all. Over the years, the Bunny Bunch rescue I founded has saved many mother and baby rabbits from shelters. All the babies were treated the same. When they became adults their personalities varied-- some liked to be held, some hated to be held and some tolerated being held."

As for hay eating... any rabbit may prefer their pellets over their hay. Reduce pellets and they'll eat more hay.

As for returning the baby if he doesn't work out... I doubt this is realistic. By the time you find out they don't get along you would have had the boy for many months. From 8 weeks of age, you'll need to wait a couple months minimum before neutering. Then another 2 months after neuter before hormones are dissipated. Then begin the bonding. If you give the bonding process a mere one month, that means you would have had the baby for 5 months (and have invested the cost of the neuter surgery -- have you called any vets for a price quote yet?). So after 5 months of having the boy and paying for vet costs, it is highly unlikely you'll want to give him up even if he doesn't get along with your girl.

The time frame is totally different with a rescue rabbit because you won't be emotionally and financially invested in the potential bondmate. This will make it easier to exchange one if he doesn't work out.

It sounds like you're set on a baby. Perhaps you'll get lucky with one. Just be prepared for possible disappointment and frustration.
 

SadieandJadie

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Location
Rochester New York
Ok that makes sense. However, you could still raise a baby bunny from a rescue through the fostering program and then adopt it after it has been spayed/neutered. Many rescues will have baby bunnies because rabbits come to the rescue pregnant or with a litter. They just don’t list the bunnies for adoption because they can’t legally rehome a rabbit until it has been fixed.

Also, rabbits can be trained to eat hay and to allow people to pick them up. I got Theo as a baby because I didn’t know better and he has always been a huge hay eater. Even though I raised him since he was 8 weeks he has never liked being held. Just recently (after 4 years) he has gotten to where he doesn’t freak out anymore, but he doesn’t enjoy it. My new bunny (Will-who I have had since November, and came to me from a bad situation) never ate much hay because he was given too many pellets. Rabbits will eat what they are offered when they are hungry. What does Jade’s diet look like? Most likely, she will eat more hay if you remove some of the pellets and veggies from her diet.
To keep Jade from running from you I suggest confining her to a playpen rather then free roaming. When I first got Will he hated me! He had been raised by a 4 year old little girl who was constantly carrying him around the house and mistreating him. I knew that if I let him free roam he would never let me pet him, so for that reason (and other reasons) I confined him to a playpen. I didn’t force him to come to me though. I would sit in his playpen and wait for him to finally come to me. Now he is so cuddly and I can hold him whenever and he doesn’t care. Since you have only had Jade for a month she needs time to bond with you.
She definitely doesn’t hate me but she hates being picked up.. she comes to me too🙂 which is the best.. she eats a small handful of kale and green veggies Three times a day.. and there’s little Timothy haybased pellets(small pet select)in the bottom of the dish.. she really is a picker. She will pick on the food throughout the day..doesn’t eat excessively at one time. There is always hay but she just doesn’t eat it anymore. She used to eat it at night.. but nope not anymore.. I just want her to be eating that’s why I give her a small handful of greens three times a day. Plus you can’t go wrong with raw fibrous foods :) her teeth are perfect her coat is perfect.. she’s in great health. But yeah my cousin has a four-year-old and I’m sure they all bugged her since she has six kids.. my partner does eventually end up catching her and getting her into the little carry backpack it’s OK we don’t mind not holding her only in necessary situation I know it’s not a good situation but I can understand why she’s traumatized plus we had a force feed her at critical care after her spay she hadn’t been to the vet once in her life in the whole four years that she was alive because my cousins are kind of poor so she probably also has that memory to
 

Attachments

  • 74FBEF90-81F2-4887-BDF9-BE7C475DA2DE.jpeg
    74FBEF90-81F2-4887-BDF9-BE7C475DA2DE.jpeg
    193.2 KB · Views: 5
  • 6B93DF08-E670-48C9-9C74-4208448CA575.jpeg
    6B93DF08-E670-48C9-9C74-4208448CA575.jpeg
    215.8 KB · Views: 5

aldemar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
58
Reaction score
18
Location
Albany, NY
Yes, Miraim & Theo is right. NOT trying to scare you, just want you to be aware of all the possible outcomes so you don't end up in a pickle. All the information in these posts comes from experience. As I said - if you are going to attempt to bond them, you should just be prepared for the scenario they might end up needing to be kept separate. Fostering is a great way to see how it might work out without a committment to that rabbit....But know the rabbit might end up going to a single rabbit home before you have a chance to "neuter" them & try them together. And you might fall in love with it (I always fall in love with my fosters) but I am always prepared to do what is best for them) I raised an orphaned female from 2 weeks old, syringe fed her, held her all the time to feed her, but as she grew a little, and now at 8 months, she is my most skiddish rabbit yet . I have also fostered a rabbit family of 8 kits. Slowly they needed to be separate due to fighting. There was (1) Male/Male pair that ended up bonding - and they are & will be adopted out together. The only way to know what you are getting is to take in a rabbit that you know a little about. There are OF COURSE there are success stories too, I am only recommending you think of the possible scenarios. I have fostered so many rabbits years back I would'nt have given a second thought to - not the cutest, not the fluffliest, or whatever trait attracts you to them.....but then I got to know them - and I would take them over a baby any day.....I cried when they were adopted.
 

FlopsyBunnies4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
117
Reaction score
133
Location
US
I do agree that it would be a total gamble if you bought a baby bunny but it could work.

Blue eyes - I agree that handling a baby bunny from a young age has no guarantee to make him/her easier to handle in the future because they all have unique personalities and preferences but it most certainly does make them more comfortable around humans and easier to be picked up from my experience.


Also that chart you sent is really cool but I don’t totally agree with it. I’m totally in support of adopting rabbit and not shopping. But I do feel that a handful of “rabbitries” like mine have only a few breeding rabbits and pour love and attention into all the babies and adults because it’s much easier to socialize with all of them if there are only a few rabbits.
I personally litter train all my rabbits and have had incredible success with training the babies and all the families say that their bun was almost completely litter trained my the time they brought her/him home at 2-3 months old.

I also socialize with each baby bunny personally and have assessed their personalities and temper before putting them up for adoption and offer advice and support always for the bunny’s new family if they have any questions or concerns even after purchase. I do also check the baby bunnies’ genders and so far have not gotten any wrong (knock on wood 😅).


All I’m trying to say is that chart doesn’t seem totally accurate for some rabbitries. Obviously, huge backyard rabbitries and pet stores this chart is 100% accurate but others do it differently. Please no hate I just wanted to say my opinion but I agree with everything else you guys said. 😊
 

Deludedbyreality

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
67
Reaction score
38
Location
MD
Ask the questions you need the answers for before committing as well. As a former breeder myself I can say there are a lot of people out there that just have no idea nor do they care. They don't do their research and just figure that the animals will get along because they want them to or because they should want a playmate. The responsibility falls to you for both your current bun as well as your potential adoptee. I make sure to fill in my potential adopters with everything they should need to know and ask plenty of questions of them as well. It's good to know that their current caretaker is curious about where and how they will be cared for. I have 3 rabbits I've been trying to rehome for 3 years but haven't found proper matches for them myself. The age discrepancy can factor in as well. Hormones and societal pecking order, as well as, sex and personalities. As far as your current bun not eating hay as stated above cut out the other food options and she will naturally eat it. I rotate mine to hay only days 2x a week to make sure they're getting that in. Don't worry about her not eating. You can offer it to her piece by piece and get her to nibble on it. Also making enrichment toys (empty paper towel tubes with cutouts and folded in ends or small paper bags)stuffed with hay and dried herbs will promote hay intake as well. You can get dried chamomile flowers (only a couple of these), basil, parsley, oregano, & dill, cheaply or grown your own and air dry them and add those as well as a couple of her pellets into them...mine love them and its very entertaining to watch them shake, toss, & chew on them. The herbs have extra vitamins and will have her curious due to the smell.
 

Blue eyes

Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
9,148
Reaction score
6,706
Location
Arizona, USA
Also that chart you sent is really cool but I don’t totally agree with it. I’m totally in support of adopting rabbit and not shopping. But I do feel that a handful of “rabbitries” like mine have only a few breeding rabbits and pour love and attention into all the babies and adults because it’s much easier to socialize with all of them if there are only a few rabbits.
I personally litter train all my rabbits...
I also socialize with each baby bunny personally and have assessed their personalities and temper

I believe you missed the part of the chart that says "backyard breeder" -- a pejorative term that indicates those who breed irresponsibly.

I understand there are responsible breeders as well. The chart isn't criticizing legitimate breeders but is pointing out the pros of choosing a rescue rabbit.

I still would say it is virtually impossible to assess the temperament or personality of a baby because all of that can change, and change drastically, once that rabbit matures and/or is fixed. The shyest baby can turn aggressive. The ornery baby can turn passive and cuddly. Assessments can't be accurate until after hormones/neutering.

As for litter training, "litter trained" babies can forget that training with the onset of hormones. So even those rare breeders who may begin training, the best they should say is that they've made attempts to begin the process.

Great for you that you've not missexed young rabbits but mis-sexing is, sadly, quite a common occurrence in the pet rabbit world with young rabbits.

Don't take that chart as a condemnation of your (or all) rabbitries. It's purpose is to accurately show the advantages of getting a rescued rabbit. An individual rabbitry may choose to be the exception. They may choose to fix a rabbit before selling, or have it vet-checked, or remain available for care advice long after. However the topics relating to baby rabbits remain true no matter where those babies come from.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top