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Rabbit bonding - please tell me I haven't blown it.

(4 Posts)
wisecamel Tue 16-Aug-11 21:11:34

Hello rabbit people - I got my new rescue rabbit today, a spayed female to go with my neutered male. Well, at the sanctuary, they were tussling and nosing but not fighting so when I got home I put them one in each side of my run which had been split down the middle.

They were just nosing each other, so I thought I'd remove the barrier and get in with them just in case.

Well, they started off nosing, then suddenly they were brawling - it was so quick and ferocious. Only for a second before I got between them, but fur was flying and the new one has a bald patch although no blood.

So, separated them again and put new rabbit in its own run next to old rabbit where they've been nosing a bit then running away from each other.

I'm gutted. The first time my rabbit met the new one, he put his head under hers to be groomed and after a day with me 'helping' them make friends, they hate each other.

I'm feeling like a very stupid owner for rushing them as I was so much looking forward to him having a friend again. My old rabbit now won't go near me and the new one has a sore patch. I'm hoping that someone can tell me I haven't blown it and there's still a chance that they can get on?


CRIKRI Thu 18-Aug-11 19:36:03

Hi wisecamel. I don't know that much about bunnies, but it may not be too late to try again. It sounds like at least they are near each other so can see, smell and hear one another (and therefore won't be lonely.) It might be worth going to the Rabbit Forum (I think that's what it's called) to get advice from folks who know how best to handle the situation. I know as with piggies, sometimes buns can have personality clashes, but maybe it's not too late here. Best of luck!

NHScutback Fri 19-Aug-11 19:11:27

Poor you, rabbit fights are ferocious and they kick off fast. Had your rabbit used the run before? if so you need to try elsewhere, on completely neutral territory. A bathroom is ideal, somewhere you can be near incase it kicks off. Some rescues put them straight together in neutral territory, some will split the neutral territory with a wire fence so they can see and smell each other and when they seem comfortable you can remove the divider. if this isn't possible I would keep them separate and contact the rescue to see if they will do the bonding for you. If not another rescue may be willing to do it for a donation. You can search for a nearby rescue on the Rabbit Rehome website.

wisecamel Sun 21-Aug-11 12:58:02

Thank you - the problem is not resolving (tried bathroom) so I've contacted the nearest rescue rabbit person to see if she can give me a hand. I think the problem is that the new rabbit is used to being a lone house rabbit, so is relaxed sittting next to us on the sofa but my own rabbit is an outdoor rabbit who has always had rabbit company more than human company. She doesn't seem to know what to do when he puts the top of his head under her chin, so she panics and bites him. Poor little thing, she's not mean but is stressed by his company and looks for a person to stand next to to be safe. I'll give it one more week, then I think she will have to go back if there's no progress.

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