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Life with 3 bunnies??

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sammyrider48

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Hello everyone. I currently have a 1 year old holland lop boy who's neutered and was looking to get him a friend, but ended up looking at adding 2 bunnies, both netherland dwarf baby girls. I didn't think this was a big deal to have 3 vs 2, but almost everyone around me (my parents don't like bunnies), all rabbit-less people I must add, are trying to convince me that it'll ruin my life since I'm 23 and in grad school. Now I have this irrational fear and would like to hear about people's experiences with 3 bunnies. Is it hard to travel with 3 vs 2? Is it too much work for a student? Dare I ask, but if you're a girl, has it interfered with your dating life? 😅 This is the MAIN fear tactic that's been used 😂
 

JBun

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3 vs 2 isn't really going to make that much difference care wise. Feeding and cleaning is as a group, and one extra usually isn't going to make that any harder.

However, there are other difficulties to consider. Trios can be a difficult bond to maintain, and often either don't work out initially, or there can be a fall out later as very often two of the rabbits will form a close bond and the other will get left or pushed out. Now this isn't always the case. In some instances trios can work, but it's just much more complicated and more prone to problems than a pair.

There is also the problem with getting baby rabbits with future plans to bond. As babies, rabbits will almost always get along. But as they sexually mature they change, and even after getting spayed/neutered, the two mature rabbits may no longer be a good match personality wise, and may not even be bondable with each other. This includes just getting one of the babies now to bond later with your male. As she matures there is no guarantee that as an adult, she and your male bun will end up liking each other.

My suggestion would be to stick with a pair and get an adult rabbit at a shelter or rescue. Often they will already be spayed/neutered, which can also save you the expense and hassle of having to get it done, and in some places it can be quite expensive getting a rabbit fixed. They often will also allow bunny dates to help facilitate finding the right match for your bun. Male/female is usually the best pairing, but there are exceptions and female/female or male/male can also sometimes work out. It all depends on each rabbits individual personality. But typically it's best to have a dominant and a submissive match. Two dominant personalities is usually going to be a problem and won't work out.
 

sammyrider48

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3 vs 2 isn't really going to make that much difference care wise. Feeding and cleaning is as a group, and one extra usually isn't going to make that any harder.

However, there are other difficulties to consider. Trios can be a difficult bond to maintain, and often either don't work out initially, or there can be a fall out later as very often two of the rabbits will form a close bond and the other will get left or pushed out. Now this isn't always the case. In some instances trios can work, but it's just much more complicated and more prone to problems than a pair.

There is also the problem with getting baby rabbits with future plans to bond. As babies, rabbits will almost always get along. But as they sexually mature they change, and even after getting spayed/neutered, the two mature rabbits may no longer be a good match personality wise, and may not even be bondable with each other. This includes just getting one of the babies now to bond later with your male. As she matures there is no guarantee that as an adult, she and your male bun will end up liking each other.

My suggestion would be to stick with a pair and get an adult rabbit at a shelter or rescue. Often they will already be spayed/neutered, which can also save you the expense and hassle of having to get it done, and in some places it can be quite expensive getting a rabbit fixed. They often will also allow bunny dates to help facilitate finding the right match for your bun. Male/female is usually the best pairing, but there are exceptions and female/female or male/male can also sometimes work out. It all depends on each rabbits individual personality. But typically it's best to have a dominant and a submissive match. Two dominant personalities is usually going to be a problem and won't work out.
Thanks so much for the feedback and great information!
 

JBun

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I should add that though adding 3 vs 2, or even 2 vs 1, doesn't necessarily increase difficulty of care substantially, that also depends greatly on the individual rabbits added, and what their personality and size is.

Some rabbits can be very tidy and perfect at using the litter box, and some can be complete pigs that like to dig, rip, chew, and destroy everything in sight. And for those rabbits, very thorough bunny proofing and ways of channeling those natural behaviors to something manageable, is essential so you don't have a disaster to clean up every day. Also a very large rabbit vs a small one could require more litter box changes, so possible slight increase in cleaning.
 
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sammyrider48

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I see! That makes me feel a lot less stressed about the amount of work. It's a little worrisome that the dynamic make change over time to exclude one. I'm still worried about travel with 3 bunnies since right now it's easy to take my little guy with me on long trips and he actually enjoys being in new places. I may really need to look at 2 then.
 

JBun

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Travel with more than one rabbit would require a slightly larger carrier and double the food(if for 2 buns). So those would be the main differences. As for the effects of travel on the rabbit, it depends on the individual bun. I've found most rabbits don't much care for it, but can usually get used to it. Then there are a rare few that actually like it. I had one bun that would plop herself on the center console so the ac would blow right on her, and just lay there enjoying the ride. Then there are some that do really poorly and can actually get sick by not eating with prolonged travel.. I have one that I think actually gets carsick, and I have to regularly monitor how she's doing and eating when I've had to take her in the car.
 

cbsb

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We adopted a triplet trio of girls this year and haven't had any real problems with the maintenance. All are just over a year old and do have distinct personalities with one being dominant, one in between, and the last timid. In terms of maintenance, I pick up their abode twice/day with once/week 'major' cleans but primarily because these girls go through a LOT of hay, I want to make sure they have plenty of water, and frankly, I enjoy the time I spend caring for them. As for car rides, all 3 go in one large heavy carrier together but none of mine like it (they lay together shaking all piled up) so I keep travel at a minimum. On the rare occasion we've gone out of town, I've chosen to board them with a local rescue much like you would with a dog. As someone above said, be careful introducing babies. Their personalities do change as they mature and it will take time to get to see if they still get along as adults.
 

sammyrider48

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We adopted a triplet trio of girls this year and haven't had any real problems with the maintenance. All are just over a year old and do have distinct personalities with one being dominant, one in between, and the last timid. In terms of maintenance, I pick up their abode twice/day with once/week 'major' cleans but primarily because these girls go through a LOT of hay, I want to make sure they have plenty of water, and frankly, I enjoy the time I spend caring for them. As for car rides, all 3 go in one large heavy carrier together but none of mine like it (they lay together shaking all piled up) so I keep travel at a minimum. On the rare occasion we've gone out of town, I've chosen to board them with a local rescue much like you would with a dog. As someone above said, be careful introducing babies. Their personalities do change as they mature and it will take time to get to see if they still get along as adults.
Thank you for the feedback! Boarding is a great option I didn't really think of.
 

sammyrider48

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Is there a trio gender combination that is prone to having less relationship dynamic problems long term? Or is it more dependant on individual personalities?
 

JBun

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Individual personalities. You usually don't want more than one bun that is very bossy and dominant.
 

sammyrider48

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Okay, my boy is pretty submissive even around other males (I fostered another male bunny for a few months). Do you think two other submissive bunnies would work or should at least one be a little more dominant? Thanks for all of the help!
 

Aspen’sbuns

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Hi, I have three buns myself, and with the travelling aspect, I’ve found mine travel easier with the three of them, as they all depend on each other!!
 

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I can't really speak to bonding three rabbits, but I do have some experience with traveling with two larger rabbits and the effects rabbits have on the life of a student. I personally recommend two rabbits, simply for relative ease of bonding and fewer dynamics to keep track of. Travel is generally pretty easy, especially if you have your own car, and they are pretty happy to just be with each other. I find rabbits to be peaceful, quiet study companions, as well as excellent at alerting a person when something is amiss in the area, such as intruders. When you have more than one, be it two or three, you will feel less guilty having to be gone the whole day for school or work or studying. They are pretty good at entertaining each other.

Adding another rabbit won't ruin your life, in fact, it may make the responsibility easier in some ways. While cleaning and small expenses will increase, your rabbits will likely seem more self-sufficient and happy to hang out without human interference.

As far as dating goes, I sort of see the rabbits as a vetting procedure. A good person should be respectful of their space, open to listening to the expert's (you) advice, and willing to adapt to rabbit's unique communication style, which requires patience and empathy. I personally wouldn't want to date someone who can't respect animals and the fact that I have unique interests and responsibilities that will always be a priority. My ex loved my bunnies, who had their own setup at his house and adored the extra treats and attention they got while there. He was very kind to them and always asks how they're doing when we talk. If you want to talk more in-depth about the multiple bunny life as a student, feel free to direct message me. Best of luck with your decisions!
 

sammyrider48

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I can't really speak to bonding three rabbits, but I do have some experience with traveling with two larger rabbits and the effects rabbits have on the life of a student. I personally recommend two rabbits, simply for relative ease of bonding and fewer dynamics to keep track of. Travel is generally pretty easy, especially if you have your own car, and they are pretty happy to just be with each other. I find rabbits to be peaceful, quiet study companions, as well as excellent at alerting a person when something is amiss in the area, such as intruders. When you have more than one, be it two or three, you will feel less guilty having to be gone the whole day for school or work or studying. They are pretty good at entertaining each other.

Adding another rabbit won't ruin your life, in fact, it may make the responsibility easier in some ways. While cleaning and small expenses will increase, your rabbits will likely seem more self-sufficient and happy to hang out without human interference.

As far as dating goes, I sort of see the rabbits as a vetting procedure. A good person should be respectful of their space, open to listening to the expert's (you) advice, and willing to adapt to rabbit's unique communication style, which requires patience and empathy. I personally wouldn't want to date someone who can't respect animals and the fact that I have unique interests and responsibilities that will always be a priority. My ex loved my bunnies, who had their own setup at his house and adored the extra treats and attention they got while there. He was very kind to them and always asks how they're doing when we talk. If you want to talk more in-depth about the multiple bunny life as a student, feel free to direct message me. Best of luck with your decisions!
Thanks for the thorough response! And for answering the taboo question👌 This helps a lot, especially since I started looking at a second because I began to feel guilty about leaving him for classes.
 

sammyrider48

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Hi, I have three buns myself, and with the travelling aspect, I’ve found mine travel easier with the three of them, as they all depend on each other!!
Thanks for the response! What gender are your 3 bunnies? After reading more about bonding 3, I'm realizing it's best if they're introduced at the same time and better to have 2 boys and 1 girl instead. Also, I'd love to know the dynamic between the bunnies for anyone who has a trio too ☺
 

cbsb

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Our three are bonded sibling girls and were adopted together. They have a 3 story abode attached to an x-pen with open access to the pen during the day. As said above, one is dominant, one in-between, and one timid. Although they all eat together, usually I find one bunny on each floor of the abode during the day or two in and one roaming the x-pen. The most timid bunny uses her sisters as 'shields' and when she finally comes out of the abode to eat will almost always snuggle right in-between her sisters before actually eating. It's really funny! Good luck with your decision. Regardless, multiple bunnies will keep each other company while you are studying which is good assuming they get along that is....
 

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realizing it's best if they're introduced at the same time and better to have 2 boys and 1 girl instead.
No. Two boys are more likely to fight over a single female. It is usually advised to have all girls or just one male and the rest female.
 

Blue eyes

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The following has some thorough and great info about rabbit bonding:

Here is some info from there on Trios:

Whilst most experienced and knowledgeable rabbit owners and professionals agree that the best social arrangement for rabbits is to keep them in bonded neutered pairs (usually male/female), there are some situations where a trio or group may be attempted, with varying degrees of success.
Some owners set up a rabbit group with apparent ease, only to find later on that fighting breaks out with injuries and sometimes fatalities – things can go wrong even after a year or two, so do not be fooled by seemingly an easy bonding, you need to be prepared to cope should it all go wrong.
Personality
This is arguably the most important factor when attempting to set up a trio or group (or even a pair), and unfortunately it is not a trait that is easy to work out in advance, as it is only when the rabbits are together that you will see the personality type of each individual. It is also not uncommon for rabbits to behave in a submissive manner with one partner and then be the dominant one with another, so you really need to see the interactions between all the individuals to determine what sort of personalities you are working with in that particular situation.

The best combination for a group or trio is a neutered male and two or more females,
 

sammyrider48

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Oh wow 😅 I thought I did the right research. Thanks for all of the help everyone, thinking about adding two girls now, but may get older bunnies ☺ If anyone else has anything they want to add or just wants to talk about their trio, would love to hear!
 
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