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Will my rabbits ever get on???

(11 Posts)
woollybean Mon 27-Jul-15 12:02:32

A few weeks ago one of our female rabbits died and the remaining rabbit female rabbit was moping around so we thought we'd get another female rabbit for company. The new one is 14 weeks old and too young to be neutered and the older one is unneutered as far as we are aware as she was from another home that no longer wanted her angry.
We have kept them apart but next to each other so they can used to each other and have got them together on neutral territory but they just insist on trying to take chunks out of each other whenever they meet. There haven't been any blood drawn as we intervene as soon as it starts but it does look quite dramatic with lots of chunks of fur flying about.
I am worried that they have now got in to the habit of fighting whenever they are together even though they spend all day every day within inches of each other. We keep changing the meeting place too but that makes no difference.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

GinBunny Mon 27-Jul-15 12:08:34

You have to get your female neutered. For starters the rate of uterine cancer in unneutered does is 90% by the age of 5.

This will calm her down and will make introducing a new partner easier. At the moment she is full of hormones which are making her dominant. I would leave trying to bond her until she is neutered and healed.

woollybean Mon 27-Jul-15 15:03:49

Thanks for that GinBunny, I'll look at getting her booked in to be spayed. Are rabbits more prone to having problems under anaesthetic though? I know its the best thing to do but will it make the other rabbit be more friendly once the older one is spayed and recovered (I think at 14 weeks the new one is too young to be spayed)?

Millie2013 Mon 27-Jul-15 19:26:25

In all honestly (and I've had a lot of experience bonding rabbits), female-female bonds are rarely successful, unless they are litter mates.
If you really want to succeed, is there a local rescue that offers a bonding service? Or if not, they might take one of the girls and find a boy to bond with the other one

Re spaying, rabbit anaesthesia is so much safer than it used to be, I've had quite a few have GA over the past few years, including elderly rabbits, without any ill effects

TheWintersmith Mon 27-Jul-15 19:36:51

I've bonded 2 females, but it is BLOODY hard and took about 6 months. Also I still have scars from separating them. They also do both need to be neutered, they are just too territorial otherwise.

Google one of the house rabbit sites, they have some great and very detailed advice.

We had them in 2 cages and swapped them over regularly to get used to the smell of each other, and used a 'stunt double' ( cuddly toy) that was regularly swapped to get them used to each others scent, useful for giving an idea of what the rabbit will do if and when they meet.

You then need to progress to brief meetings, but separate them BEFORE. They fight and if they do fight leave it a few days to give them chance to forget it. It is vital that all the introductory meetings take place on properly neutral territory, not in vicinity of the house or garden where the original rabbit has been living. some people recommend doing ito in the back of a moving car, in the hope they will bond over the stress of being transported, or do the introductions in the (empty) bathtub.

GinBunny Mon 27-Jul-15 23:04:49

Good point about female bonding - and sorry for the late return - we've never tried a female female bond but have tried introducing a female to our female male a couple of times (when partners have passed, we had 6!) and each time it was the females that fought.

I agree with contacting a rescue, they might do the bonding for you while charging you for boarding - the smells of other rabbits in the bonding area might be enough to confuse them. Male female is far more successful, where is your baby from? Is it from somewhere that might take her back if you explain the circumstances?

And I never said sorry to hear about your departed bun, I have lost 4 and each one has broken my heart thanks

woollybean Tue 28-Jul-15 00:15:10

Thanks for all the advice: I will take it all on board and keep ploughing on, individually they are both such beautiful rabbits and I would hate to have to return the new one (I got her from a pet shop as the local rescue only had pairs that they didn't want to separate). If the girls don't get on despite all our efforts I can see me getting them a neutered male each and ending up with 4 rabbits instead of 2!!
As an aside, I used to have rabbits when I was a child but I think I am getting so much more out of them now that I am an adult!! I love them even more than the children do!

ImBrian Thu 30-Jul-15 07:24:45

I had bunnies as a child and was never really bothered by them but I get so much more out of the one I recently got for the kids he's mine and they know it. He's very dog like which massively surprised me.

FernieB Thu 30-Jul-15 12:41:30

I'm also enjoying my pet rabbits much more as an adult. My previous housebun was so clever and understood several verbal commands and hand signals. She was my constant companion and followed me all round the house, even going up and down stairs. Every evening was spent with her sitting on me and refusing to move. I was devastated when we lost her, but she died in my arms.

My Currentbun is not overly blessed with brains, but is so soppy that he's a delight. I've just given him a brand new cardboard box and he's started creating his own windows in it.

woollybean Fri 31-Jul-15 13:33:01

I am so glad that I am not alone in being fascinated by my rabbits!!! Would love to have them in the house but we have 2 big dogs that are very partial to a bit of rabbit.

woollybean Tue 11-Aug-15 23:50:46

Update....put the girls in the boot of our car today and they were a lot better behaved, instead of fighting, one of them was the chaser and one of them the chasee! Not aggressive chasing either. Then this evening I had the chaser on my lap and the chasee crept up making a soft grunting noise and was gently nipping the chaser???? I am hoping this is progress but feel free to correct me if you know otherwise!

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