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Bonding rabbits - any advice please?

(3 Posts)
Fflightattendant Sat 15-Aug-15 08:04:39

We had one lonely rabbit (female, 4yo) and two lads (2.5yo) and sadly, yesterday one of the boys had to be PTS because the illness he was probably born with caught up with him.

I feel really bad about it - we came home to find his head on on side and his eyes rolling, and took him to the vet and they said the prognosis was pretty poor (he had e-cuniculi as a baby and was already half blind, but had led a happy life since then).

He seemed too young and jolly to die but I didn't know what else to do, as he had already had panacur and she sad the steroid treatment may not improve things and he couldn't be cured.

Now we have two lonely rabbits, and I don't know how to bond them.

Read on here a while ago about putting them together in a 'stressful' environment such as the car, in a box together, so that they would stick together, but what do you do after that - do you keep them together somewhere or separate them again?

They have a large walk in run and separate hutches at present, so the female goes in a separate run where she can talk to the other through the wire when he is out in the garden.

Any tips gratefully received...I hate to think of them both being alone.

FernieB Sat 15-Aug-15 10:50:06

If they already talk to each other then they're used to each other and you're part way there. Presumably both are neutered.

You could put them in each other's hutches so they get used to the other's scent. Then. You'd have to create a neutral space, so a lot of thorough cleaning to remove all traces of bunny. Introduce them in the neutral space and watch them closely. They may be so pleased to have company, it'll be easy especially as they already know each other. But be prepared to separate if necessary. There could be a bit of argy bargy as they decide who's boss - probs the female wink.

Good luck

Fflightattendant Sat 15-Aug-15 11:26:13

Thanks Fernie.

Yes both neutered, and they are sort of used to each other and I've tried to bond them several times before without knowing enough about it, and that was with the two boys and it all ended with flying fur so I separated them and gave up.

I was determined this morning and read up a bit and put them both in a metal run, about 4ft square-ish, with a plastic box for shelter and a load of hay and food and water.

They ran round in circles for a bit, a little bit of boxing etc, nothing too awful, then after establishing there was no way out, the female hopped up on top of the box where she has stayed ever since (apart from a couple of minor forays where they went round in circles again and she went back up!)

I have given her her own food and water and hay up there now, they have touched noses a few times, but nothing more - tolerating and ignoring seems to be the order of the day.

It's been a couple of hours now.

The female is tiny but quite stroppy at times, and grinds her teeth a lot, and the male is totally submissive and very calm. He seems to like her, she is reluctant but realising he isn't dangerous, I really hope this works.

I'm not sure whether to leave them in there now for a few days (if I sort out proper rain protection etc)

but so far so good.

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