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Rabbits climbing on top of each other

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Maria M

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I have two male rabbits of different breeds. They are both about 3 and a half months, and they are both not fixed.

A Holland lop and a lionhead. Lately, they've been climbing on top of each other, especially the lionhead.

They climb on from the front or the back of the other, then they shake their backside awkwardly.

It's very weird to see, and they chase after each other.

Neither of them like it happening to them, but they both are obsessed with doing it to each other.

They get really tired and stressed after, and need to rest. In the image the lionhead is trying to climb on to the lop.

Please tell us why this is happening, if it is common, and how to stop them from doing it! Thank you so much!!!
 

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zuppa

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Hi. This is normal. Please give more details about them, age, gender, how long are they with you, are they housed together etc.

I guess they are about 3-4 months old and just enter their hormonal age so what you see now is humping and it won't stop if you will keep them together, if they are both boys it will escalate most likely and they will start fighting and can even kill each other. Two boys can only be together if they are both neutered and you will have to wait about 2 months after their neutering because they will still stay hormonal, and you will have to keep them separately (best if they don't see or smell each other, and you wash your hands and spray yourself with 5% vinegar between holding them, otherwise they will stay stressed and can attack you as well, or can start peeing on you).

They become sexually active and when humping each other they can also bite each other on the back while doing so, or when they hump heads of each other it is actually quite dangerous because they can bite each other's genitalia and it happens quite often and it is very painful you will need emergency vet to take care of them, so I would suggest separating them right now and keep them separately all the time, you will have to decide if you want to keep both they should be neutered (and wait 2 months keeping separately)
 
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Maria M

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Hi. This is normal. Please give more details about them, age, gender, how long are they with you, are they housed together etc.

I guess they are about 3-4 months old and just enter their hormonal age so what you see now is humping and it won't stop if you will keep them together, if they are both boys it will escalate most likely and they will start fighting and can even kill each other. Two boys can only be together if they are both neutered and you will have to wait about 2 months after their neutering because they will still stay hormonal, and you will have to keep them separately (best if they don't see or smell each other, and you wash your hands and spray yourself with 5% vinegar between holding them, otherwise they will stay stressed and can attack you as well, or can start peeing on you).

They become sexually active and when humping each other they can also bite each other on the back while doing so, or when they hump heads of each other it is actually quite dangerous because they can bite each other's genitalia and it happens quite often and it is very painful you will need emergency vet to take care of them, so I would suggest separating them right now and keep them separately all the time, you will have to decide if you want to keep both they should be neutered (and wait 2 months keeping separately)

Hi, they are 3 and a half months old, male, they've been with us for 1 and a half months, and they share a cage.
 

Madelyn L.

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That sounds most definitely like territorial behavior. I would get them both neutered to prevent outbreaks of fighting and aggression.
 

zuppa

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Hi, they are 3 and a half months old, male, they've been with us for 1 and a half months, and they share a cage.
So that's it, they were just babies and now it's time for them they become sexually active and you need to separate them immediately otherwise they will continue humping each other then will start fighting and can seriously damage each other or even kill each other. Please separate them right now.

After separating them you have two options, you can keep both separately as I described and neuter them, then after 2 months you can try bonding them together (it may work if they were separated before they had a major fight otherwise they will hate each other even after neutering. Plus neutering is very expensive) or you can keep just one and find a good new home for the other one. The remaining one will calm down when there's no other rabbit around, but still can show hormonal signs as well. Neutering would fix that.
 
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Janellek

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Yes! Separate them now or else one of them could get seriously injured once my not neutered bucks got out of his playpen to my other buck... and oh boy there was blood :( a chunk of the littler guys ear was off! Be very careful!!! That was when I was new to rabbits. Be careful and separate them:) good luck!
 

JBun

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Like the others have said, your males are hormonal now and trying to mount each other. Two hormonal unneutered males can't be kept together. They need to be separated immediately and kept separate before it breaks down into a fight, which could result in serious, even fatal injuries.

If in the future you would like to try and keep them together, first they need to be neutered by an experienced rabbit vet, wait 8 weeks for the hormones to fade, then go through the proper bonding process. But there are no guarantees they will bond. With rabbits it's all about compatible personality types.



 

Preitler

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Well, here it is quite common to neuter as soon as 8-10 weeks, but I reckon that's not an option over there, for whatever reason.

Anyway, if you want to have at least a chance to maybe bond them later on and keep them together you'll need to seperate them now. If they start fighting chances are that they'll remember that that one is a foe, even when without raging male hormones they may forgot why exactly.

You can't predict if trhere'll be a fight, or when, the mood can snap from one second to the next. Keeping them together now is a gamble with not much to win.
 

Maria M

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Well, here it is quite common to neuter as soon as 8-10 weeks, but I reckon that's not an option over there, for whatever reason.

Anyway, if you want to have at least a chance to maybe bond them later on and keep them together you'll need to seperate them now. If they start fighting chances are that they'll remember that that one is a foe, even when without raging male hormones they may forgot why exactly.

You can't predict if trhere'll be a fight, or when, the mood can snap from one second to the next. Keeping them together now is a gamble with not much to win.
They are best friends, but just all of a sudden, they start fighting and mounting each other. Right now they're sleeping side by side, but probably in a few minutes they'll start fighting. Also, I thought they need to be at least 6 months to be neutered?
 

Maria M

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Like the others have said, your males are hormonal now and trying to mount each other. Two hormonal unneutered males can't be kept together. They need to be separated immediately and kept separate before it breaks down into a fight, which could result in serious, even fatal injuries.

If in the future you would like to try and keep them together, first they need to be neutered by an experienced rabbit vet, wait 8 weeks for the hormones to fade, then go through the proper bonding process. But there are no guarantees they will bond. With rabbits it's all about compatible personality types.



Is 3 1/2 months an age to young if I want to get them neutered?
 

Preitler

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Depends on your vet, I guess most wait until the testicles have descended, but I would just ask.
 

Blue eyes

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They are best friends, but just all of a sudden, they start fighting and mounting each other. Right now they're sleeping side by side, but probably in a few minutes they'll start fighting. Also, I thought they need to be at least 6 months to be neutered?
Is 3 1/2 months an age to young if I want to get them neutered?
Each vet is different on when they will neuter. Males, though, should be able to be neutered at 4 months (or earlier). Let the vet decide.

Regardless of when you can book the surgery, they MUST be separated now. Even though they got along wonderfully before, this is what happens when those hormones kick in. Please understand that no matter how well they got along in the past, these fights they've been having are only going to get worse. Rabbits can and will KILL each other and can easily cause serious harm to each other.

Once they are neutered, they will still need to remain separated for about 8 weeks to allow time for those hormones to settle down.
 
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