Pairing 1 month old bunny with much older rabbit

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BunnyLandia

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Hi guys, so About 3 months ago I bought an adult female rabbit from the flea market. Her names pancake. Last week I decided to buy a 1 month old lionhead male bunny. When I put them together, my female rabbit pancake always lunges at the new bunny, growls and attacks him. I am a new rabbit owner and the reason to why I got a bunny, was because I thought they would bond easier compared to buying an older one. I’m not sure if the female is fixed or not as I bought her as what appears to be an adult.

What should I do? How can I make them bond????? Pancake is an overall very sweet and kind rabbit and she is not aggressive at all, let’s me carry her as much as I want and touch her.
 

Imbrium

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Welcome to RO! Unfortunately, bunny bonds can get quite tricky.

The female HAS to be fixed before you can bond them. The new rabbit will also need to be fixed once it reaches sexual maturity (males can usually be fixed as soon as the testicles descend). You'll need to introduce/bond them on neutral territory once they're both fixed (and it has been 3-4 weeks for females/6-8 weeks for males). Also, are you sure the new rabbit is only 1 month old? They should be at least 6-8 weeks before being weaned (in fact, it's illegal to sell them younger than that in many areas) :S

Here are some good sites on bonding:
https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
http://www.saveabunny.org/rabbitcare/bonding-guide
http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
https://rabbit.org/hop-on-board-perspectives-on-rabbit-mounting-behavior/
 

zuppa

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Hi, as Imbrium said above it is hard to believe that your new bunny is just 1 month old as it is illegal to sell they must be with their mother until 6-8 weeks because she still feeds them until that age. If he's really just 1 month old he needs some extra care and also I wouldn't be so sure about his gender because at this age it is very difficult to get it right.

Can you post some pictures? Why are you sure it's a male, can you see his testicles?

That would be first thing to do identify your new bunny's age and sex.

Then we can talk about bonding.

If he's really just one month old they could bond in fact as babies are friendly but it can be just a temporary bond until he gets into his teenage at around 10-16 weeks depending on his personal development and breed. Then you've got a problem (most likely) because even if it looked that they 'bonded' successfully this 'bond' will (most likely) break and if there's really a male lionhead you are at risk of getting new babies every month, and if he's a female (I suspect so because of your older female is showing some signs of being territorial, which can be with is often with another female, but sometimes with a male too, especially if it's just a baby, but this is a tricky question I can't guarantee now I need more info from you). So if your new baby is a female your older rabbit can become territorial as you said she starts growling, she can start humping the baby and she can start marking territory by peeing everywhere and leaving smelly poos, also can get aggressive and hurt the baby, even kill it.

So it is best to keep them separately for now and firstly find out about babies age and sex, after that we can talk about bonding.
 
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BunnyLandia

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Hi, as Imbrium said above it is hard to believe that your new bunny is just 1 month old as it is illegal to sell they must be with their mother until 6-8 weeks because she still feeds them until that age. If he's really just 1 month old he needs some extra care and also I wouldn't be so sure about his gender because at this age it is very difficult to get it right.

Can you post some pictures? Why are you sure it's a male, can you see his testicles?

That would be first thing to do identify your new bunny's age and sex.

Then we can talk about bonding.

If he's really just one month old they could bond in fact as babies are friendly but it can be just a temporary bond until he gets into his teenage at around 10-16 weeks depending on his personal development and breed. Then you've got a problem (most likely) because even if it looked that they 'bonded' successfully this 'bond' will (most likely) break and if there's really a male lionhead you are at risk of getting new babies every month, and if he's a female (I suspect so because of your older female is showing some signs of being territorial, which can be with is often with another female, but sometimes with a male too, especially if it's just a baby, but this is a tricky question I can't guarantee now I need more info from you). So if your new baby is a female your older rabbit can become territorial as you said she starts growling, she can start humping the baby and she can start marking territory by peeing everywhere and leaving smelly poos, also can get aggressive and hurt the baby, even kill it.

So it is best to keep them separately for now and firstly find out about babies age and sex, after that we can talk about bonding.
Thanks for replying, and when I bought my make lionhead, the seller told me it was a male and was indeed one month old. I bought him at the flea market so of course sometimes illegal things can go on there, but I did not know it was illegal to have one sold at 1 month. I checked him as well and it seems to be he is a male. I’m not sure if my female is fixed or not as I got her from another seller and does not know either as I think 2 other owned her before me. Everytime he gets near her, she grunts and pounces at him but I have them in separate cages to make sure my female doesn’t hurt my lionhead bunny.
 

BunnyLandia

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Welcome to RO! Unfortunately, bunny bonds can get quite tricky.

The female HAS to be fixed before you can bond them. The new rabbit will also need to be fixed once it reaches sexual maturity (males can usually be fixed as soon as the testicles descend). You'll need to introduce/bond them on neutral territory once they're both fixed (and it has been 3-4 weeks for females/6-8 weeks for males). Also, are you sure the new rabbit is only 1 month old? They should be at least 6-8 weeks before being weaned (in fact, it's illegal to sell them younger than that in many areas) :S

Here are some good sites on bonding:
https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
http://www.saveabunny.org/rabbitcare/bonding-guide
http://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Bonding_rabbits_together
https://rabbit.org/hop-on-board-perspectives-on-rabbit-mounting-behavior/
Hi, thanks for the reply. Really appreciate the links. For now I know that my lionhead is 1 month old as the seller told me and I know it is a male because you can see his testicles.
 

Preitler

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You can't see any testicles on a 1 month old rabbit, that's part of what makes it sometimes difficult to tell the sex at that age, afaik they descend between 2(very early) and 4 months, when you see them he's quite likely already fertile - and can get your doe pregnant within the blink of an eye if she's in the mood.

Obviously her territorial instincts showed, or some of that other social hierachy stuff, can be a difficult at times, and there are things to consider to reduce friction when introducing 2 bunnies (read up on "bonding").
My does do chase kits of other litters (that don't live in the same hutch) too, that's a normal reaction. Even my spayed girl did it when a kit ventured into the front yard.

There are some good reasons for spaying pet does, less territorial, no hormone mood swings (that can bring some "destructive" (they don't see it that way) behaviour, marking (peeing where she thinks it's necessary), easier bonding etc. . Intact bucks are less of a problem, but it depends on his individual character, my intact male house bunny can be a PITA to his spayed cuddlebun at times of srping feelings and hormones raging.
 
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zuppa

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You know testicles only drop in week 10 sometimes much later, depending on breed and personal development, sometimes week 16, so 4 week old rabbit can be sexed only judging if his genitalia looks more like slit or dot, and it is extremely difficult to get right at this age. So I think if you can see testicles he's at least 2,5 months or older.

That is also a bit strange if he is not trying to mount her and she growls at him.
 

zuppa

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Well I was too slow Preitler already explained it all!
 

BunnyLandia

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You know testicles only drop in week 10 sometimes much later, depending on breed and personal development, sometimes week 16, so 4 week old rabbit can be sexed only judging if his genitalia looks more like slit or dot, and it is extremely difficult to get right at this age. So I think if you can see testicles he's at least 2,5 months or older.

That is also a bit strange if he is not trying to mount her and she growls at him.
Yea he definitely isn’t. Well, the lionhead can barely stand up on its 2 legs because of how small he is, but I guess it was just my eyes that saw the testicles.
 

BunnyLandia

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You can't see any testicles on a 1 month old rabbit, that's part of what makes it sometimes difficult to tell the sex at that age, afaik they descend between 2(very early) and 4 months, when you see them he's quite likely already fertile - and can get your doe pregnant within the blink of an eye if she's in the mood.

Obviously her territorial instincts showed, or some of that other social hierachy stuff, can be a difficult at times, and there are things to consider to reduce friction when introducing 2 bunnies (read up on "bonding").
My does do chase kits of other litters (that don't live in the same hutch) too, that's a normal reaction. Even my spayed girl did it when a kit ventured into the front yard.

There are some good reasons for spaying pet does, less territorial, no hormone mood swings (that can bring some "destructive" (they don't see it that way) behaviour, marking (peeing where she thinks it's necessary), easier bonding etc. . Intact bucks are less of a problem, but it depends on his individual character, my intact male house bunny can be a PITA to his spayed cuddlebun at times of srping feelings and hormones raging.
I plan on spaying her in the future as I can not afford it at the moment, but I would like to know what I can do for now. I have them in separate rooms far apart from each other. Last night when I went to pick her up from her cage, she started grunting at me which is very strange because she has never ever done that before. It’s as if she’s a completely different rabbit.
 
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Rule number one is always introduce two new rabbits in a NEUTRAL territory that is unfamiliar to BOTH of them under supervision...this is a real rookie mistake in introducing two unknown rabbits to each other for the first time...

How would you feel if you suddenly had to share your bedroom with a stranger without being asked?

Keep them apart until she gets fixed. One grunt doesn't mean there's a 180° change in personality. You might've smelled like the other baby rabbit too. A new rabbit infringed upon her territory, of course she's going to be upset.

People really need to do their homework before getting a pet.
 
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zuppa

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I plan on spaying her in the future as I can not afford it at the moment, but I would like to know what I can do for now. I have them in separate rooms far apart from each other. Last night when I went to pick her up from her cage, she started grunting at me which is very strange because she has never ever done that before. It’s as if she’s a completely different rabbit.
She's just territorial maybe you smell like another rabbit if you can wash your hands and change clothes before you are coming to take her it might be better.

Your lionhead is really very tiny and looks like 4-6 weeks old indeed. And very cute!
I personally don't believe in sexing at 4 weeks so you may want to try again in a few weeks, here's some instructions
https://www.rabbitsonline.net/threads/sexing-rabbit-pictures.44936/
 

BunnyLandia

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Update:

They are both not fixed and they got along so well, they can’t even be apart. My lionhead is 5x bigger and he is for a fact a male. Same goes my female rabbit, she’s an adult and she’s definitely a female. I guess it is possible to bond 2 unfixed rabbits of opposite sex.
 

rachel l

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Update:

They are both not fixed and they got along so well, they can’t even be apart. My lionhead is 5x bigger and he is for a fact a male. Same goes my female rabbit, she’s an adult and she’s definitely a female. I guess it is possible to bond 2 unfixed rabbits of opposite sex.
you really shouldn’t keep them together if they’re both unfixed, high risk of the female getting pregnant
 

Blue eyes

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Update:

They are both not fixed and they got along so well, they can’t even be apart. My lionhead is 5x bigger and he is for a fact a male. Same goes my female rabbit, she’s an adult and she’s definitely a female. I guess it is possible to bond 2 unfixed rabbits of opposite sex.
What are their ages now? Are you trying to breed them?
 

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