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Rabbits - making friends again - advice please!

(11 Posts)
CheckpointCharlie2 Sat 13-May-17 07:53:24

We hav two female rabbits, they have lived together in a hutch, in a greenhouse and then in a run for about a year. Then they started fighting and chasing a bit so we got them spayed.

We kept one in the house in a small hutch / cage and let her out in the day and the other in the outside hutch then swapped them when the other one had their op.
Since then we have tried to reintegrate them a few times and they are fighting really viciously so we are keeping them apart again, which is a disaster as one is in a small hutch which is too small and not sustainable!

Does anyone know how we can get them back together again? We have tried putting toe runs next to each other and they bite and scratch each other through the wire, so we moved them slightly further apart but the are still trying to get to each other to bite!

Trifleorbust Sat 13-May-17 07:57:38

You can't force them to get on. Get a bigger hutch for the other rabbit?

CheckpointCharlie2 Sat 13-May-17 07:59:47

Bollocks. Didn't realise this was AIBU. 😐

Thanks trifle yes I think we might have to do that in the end, they used to be really good little friends though and would always be snuggled up together so I feel sad for them!

Trifleorbust Sat 13-May-17 08:02:24

That is a shame.

Janeinthemiddle Sat 13-May-17 08:06:55

You CAN get them to like each other. It is a long process though.

You have to reintroduce them to one another slowly. Get a playpen and put them in but separated. This is so they can get used to each other's presence and smell. Leave them be, but monitored for a few hours each day. Slowly increase the meeting hours weekly.

Also, swap their litter and toys every now and then, daily or every other day.

It took me 3 months for my rabbits to become best mates and now they're inseparable.

CheckpointCharlie2 Sat 13-May-17 08:25:46

Jane should we continue this even though they still try to attack each other and nip through the bars? Am happy to try anything really!

And yes we have been transferring bits of hay here and there but could definitely do that more often. Thanks, at least there is a chance if we keep it up!

Janeinthemiddle Sat 13-May-17 11:33:30

Can I suggest by begin with putting two adjacent bars up so they can see and smell each other but cannot bite/touch each other. Some bunnies take a lot longer than others to bond.

Good luck!

CheckpointCharlie2 Sat 13-May-17 13:17:19

Ok I'll pull the bars apart a bit, they are in the garden now and show interest at times then ignore each other again! Hope we can get them rebonded.. thanks for your advice!

Patchouli666 Sat 13-May-17 14:19:57

I'm s vet nurse. When female rabbits are aggressive like this, it's not worth the risk of trying to rebond them. They can cause so much damage to each other in no time at all. The fact they are grumbling st each other through their respective bars is adding to the negatives in their particular situation sadly. I'd get a bigger hutch to replace the smaller hutch snd just accept that you have two separate rabbits.

silverrings Sat 13-May-17 16:54:48

Rabbits can bond through fear. We had two rescue rabbits who were rescued within about six weeks of each other and therefore didn't know each other. We took them both to the vets to be spayed and the vet mentioned that they bonded through fear so we thought we'd give it a go.

1) placed them on neutral territory with us present for about ten minutes. This happened to be the bathroom as we wanted a smaller room than the kitchen but also more hygienic than carpet incase they wee. We then stayed in there with them while they skirted around each other.
2) place them in a cat carrier together and go for a drive. The smell of the cat plus the unknown movement of the car meant that they bonded.
3) split the outside run into two and made sure that they mirrored each other. This meant they were trying to mimic the other and be friendly.
4) get rid of the wire.

They were friends from then on it. Hope this helps! Just keep a close eye on them throughout.

CheckpointCharlie2 Mon 15-May-17 17:28:21

Oh gosh, much as it pains me patchouli I think you are right, I feel so bad that we've cocked it up by getting them spayed, they were really close before then - gutted sad.

It's weird because the one who was dominant to start with now seems to be scared of the other one, I think we'll give them a bit longer sniffing etc and then one go to be friends with us supervising and if that doesn't work we'll have to get another hutch.

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