Should I get a fourth or rehome?

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Kailarose

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Hello!

So a year ago I got my first rabbit. He's not very social with me but is with my small dogs that I own. So after owning him for awhile I figured it was time to get another after doing research. So I got him neutered. We got the second rabbit and the bonding went very well. They got along great when we did bonding sessions. When we started to let them free roam around the house together after a few months (supervised). I noticed that he would spend about 30 minutes with her and then hop up on a table we have for him and get away from her. She was too young to get up there. She would then start looking for him and getting upset. So I did some research and figured that she would like a friend so that some attention would be taken off of my original bunny. The original took very well to the new addition but the second rabbit didn't give her much attention. Then the second rabbit got in a fight with the new rabbit and ripped some fur out. I kept them separated and had no bonding sessions for a couple of days. The fighting stopped and they even started grooming each other. But just a week ago the second and third rabbit started fighting again. I believe that the second is being territorial of the first rabbit. I'm not 100% sure but they still groom each other all three of them do but they fight every few days and I now have to keep them separated. The first rabbit has never started a fight before its only my two females. should i get rid of the third rabbit or are my rabbits right to introduce a fourth?
 

Fuz

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Hello there.
One simply does not get 'rid' of a rabbit. You've brought in the rabbit, and now s/he has had a glimpse of a loving home. (My guess is since that you're considering a fourth, financial constrains are not an issue).
My best advice here is to stop adding more rabbits. They have a hierarchy system, thus, adding more rabbits brings on more issues of territory etc. I suggest you do even more research on bonding your trio. Every bit of the bonding process needs to be supervised by you, and after that as well.
Good luck 💕
 

peanutdabunny

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So I have read a bit on bonding lately, and it seems bonding sessions/stress bonding are becoming a thing of the past. Doing bonding sessions can stress out your rabbit, and every time you separate them you will be back at square one. I would recommend to marathon bond them and try not to interfere. They will work things out. Only interfere when they start to lunge at one another, or they hump their face. Keep them in a very small pen so they are all really close to each other, only expand it once they are doing well.
 

Kailarose

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Thank you all so much for your replies. The only reason I was even considering rehoming is because I have a friend that had a rabbit that recently passed away, but this is definitely a last resort. My newest is not fixed yet as she is a few months too young. I have reached out to some places that offer bonding services it they have not gotten back to me. Every time I have tried to do bonding sessions my second oldest ends up attacking the youngest and will cause wounds because I can’t get between them fast enough. I have stopped bonding sessions after my youngest got hurt three times. One time I had to take her to the vet for it. I just hate seeing her be by herself. I can tell she wants to be with the others and it breaks my heart. I’m just scared to try bonding again after she got hurt.
 

zuppa

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Thank you all so much for your replies. The only reason I was even considering rehoming is because I have a friend that had a rabbit that recently passed away, but this is definitely a last resort. My newest is not fixed yet as she is a few months too young. I have reached out to some places that offer bonding services it they have not gotten back to me. Every time I have tried to do bonding sessions my second oldest ends up attacking the youngest and will cause wounds because I can’t get between them fast enough. I have stopped bonding sessions after my youngest got hurt three times. One time I had to take her to the vet for it. I just hate seeing her be by herself. I can tell she wants to be with the others and it breaks my heart. I’m just scared to try bonding again after she got hurt.
So f I get correctly

Rabbit #1: male, 1 year old, neutered
Rabbit #2: female, age? not neutered?
Rabbit #3: female, age? not neutered

Can you confirm and add ages and neutered or not?

Also, what is your setup, playing area, are they all toilet trained, are they indoor or outdoor etc. If you could post some pics that would help us to understand your situation better and give better advice
 

zuppa

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And what age/sex will be your Rabbit #4, neutered or not?
 

Kailarose

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My first two are fixed. My second is about eight months old and a female. My bunnies are fully free room. They can’t not get into any bedrooms. I’m keeping my third rabbit in our guest bedroom. I can get my newest fix which is a female because she is about three months old. They are all toilet trained. My first two are completely bonded. So I’m trying to be very careful bonding in the third bunny as I do not want to break up the original bond.
 

zuppa

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My first two are fixed. My second is about eight months old and a female. My bunnies are fully free room. They can’t not get into any bedrooms. I’m keeping my third rabbit in our guest bedroom. I can get my newest fix which is a female because she is about three months old. They are all toilet trained. My first two are completely bonded. So I’m trying to be very careful bonding in the third bunny as I do not want to break up the original bond.
So

Rabbit #1: male, 1 year old, fixed
Rabbit #2: female, 8 months old, fixed
Rabbit #3: female, 3 months old, not fixed

First two rabbits are bonded, now you bring another baby girl 3 months old to their territory, it is completely normal that original owners of the territory (they are free roaming so they own it all) would attack that new rabbit, she is an invader in their eyes. Your male rabbit #1 is probably more laid back and don't mind, he is fixed long time ago and this new rabbit #3 is not a male so he will probably stay away of the conflict, but your female rabbit #2 will be attacking the baby girl because females are generally more territorial, also this third girl will break the existing bond and your rabbit #2 female can get aggressive towards her partner as well.

So, is you want to bond them all together, you will have to keep rabbit #3 separately and also make sure that the couple is not smelling her from your hands etc, your female#2 will be under stress all the time. When female #3 is old enough for neutering you neuter her and still keep separately for another 4 weeks after surgery.

Only when they are all neutered (female#3 is min 4 weeks after her spay), you can start bonding.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that they meet in a NEUTRAL territory, so your rabbit#2 won't get territorial, otherwise if will result in fights again.

You can now start preparing them for bonding, restrict their territory to say one bedroom, or keep them in a playpen or something, but you need to find where to introduce them all to each other without causing any conflict.

Your female #2 is not aggressive, it is just YOU created conflict situation between the two females, the rabbit #3 is just 3 months old, she is not hormonal yet so she doesn't attack female #2, but when she grows a little she can start doing same so basically you CAN'T keep them all together for the next few months.

Rabbit #4 won't fix your situation, will only worsen it, so please don't.

Your options are to wait until fem#3 is fixed and healed 4 weeks after, then attempt bonding in NEUTRAL TERRITORY, or rehome one of females, so you rabbit #1 will bond with the remaining one.
 

zuppa

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Also, if you decide on rehoming one, bear in mind that female #3 is still a baby and she can change dramatically when becomes hormonal, in just a few weeks, max 2 months. Since your first two rabbits are already fixed and bonded it would be easier just leave them together and rehome the new baby girl.
If you decide to rehome fem#2, you will still have to wait until fem#3 is old enough to fix and 1 month after, and then you can try bonding them, no guarantee, because even if she fem#3 is super nice and friendly she can change soon, she is still a baby, but it can change really and no one could tell you how.

So if rehoming one, I would keep your original bonded pair and rehome the baby girl.
 

Kailarose

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I would hate to have to rehome any of them. I think I will wait till I can get my newest fixed and is ready to bond in a few months and go from there. Thank you all so much for your advice.
 

zuppa

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I would hate to have to rehome any of them. I think I will wait till I can get my newest fixed and is ready to bond in a few months and go from there. Thank you all so much for your advice.
That would be wise, good luck and please keep us updated :)
 

Futurebunmom

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this is just an idea- why not interchange bedding with the two girls so they smell like each other. Another idea is do fun activities with them like fun yard play dates in a play pen- neutral territory so #2 bunny associates #3 with fun activities. When #2 sees #3 try giving treats. Associate good things with #3 bunny! Wishing you luck! I am sure your bunnies are very well taken care of and I think your heart is in the right place with trying to create a loving dynamic with your trio. I personally don’t think all behavior issues are to be blamed on not altering- hormones are important for the body to function and play an interacted role (not saying to not alter either)
 
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