Suggestion on Timing to introduce these two to bond.

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aldemar

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I have my Mister who is a (practically ) whole house bun. I began fostering rabbits & I found a little girl I want to keep. Mister is 2 yrs old and neutered since his youth. This little lady is about 4 months now - so maybe spayed in another 1-2 months depending on vets advise . I am SO anxious to introduce them to see if they will get along. Mister doesn't seem to be happy when I have other buns around (as I "socialize" them - so even though they are kept elsewhere in my house - he gets a whiff of when they've been allowed out - especially on my deck outside) - so I am going on the assumption HE will be more the problem when I try. Any opinions on timing? I realize that rabbits can change after they are fixed....also that they change as they sexually mature. I am wondering if maybe bc she is a little younger he may be more apt to accept her (and her not to be too much an aggressor) at her age? I know SHE may change, but are my odds better with HIM with HER at a younger age? On another note - I am learning SOOOOO much from my fostering - and I have "higher ups" that have taught me so much - we don't do quite as much in the "bonding" dept though. I can't wait until I can get the time to help out many of other new combers.....I just think this is SUCH a great forum - and works in the best interest of the buns!! I think I could offer some good advice - just life has been a little too crazy with the hooman family lately - but I would love to be able to share what I've learned !
 

John Wick

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My personal recommendation, understanding other's may be different, is to wait until she is spayed and recovered from the spay. Is there a chance due to her young age that she could get along with your male rabbit now? Yes. That being said though, I don't think positive interactions for the next few weeks (if that, depending when/if she begins to act hormonally) would significantly increase the overall likelihood that they will bond after she is spayed. I would rather wait than remain slightly paranoid that a dynamic will change since one of the rabbits may undergo hormone-mediated behavior/attitude changes any moment.
 

JBun

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Timing will have to do with each rabbits personalities, initial and ongoing reactions to each other, and your own experience with rabbits and bonding. There are general recommendations, but I've had to sometimes diverge off of those to make things work for the best. But I also have the experience to be able to do that Sometimes I have had to just go off of a feel for the situation and the rabbits reactions to each other, before knowing how to proceed.

So things you could try. Let them have visual contact now between pens, always done safely with a buffer space so no biting can occur. But also being aware that doing so could result in a surge of territorial marking and/or referred aggression to you occurring.

If there's no aggression at all and they show signs of liking and being comfortable with each other, it may be safe to remove the buffer space so they have direct contact through the bars of their pens so grooming can occur. But don't do this if there is any chance at all they will want to bite each other.

If there is aggression, then deciding if you want to maintain that set up with the buffer space and them being able to see each other but with no direct contact, with hopes it settles down over time and they get used to each other by the time she's spayed. Or deciding if it's better they have no visual contact at all until she has been spayed and at least 3-8 weeks post spay recovery time, before attempting bonding introductions.


 
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