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Rabbit bonding

Discussion in 'Behavior and Handling Techniques - Rabbits' started by DutchBunny03, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Dec 30, 2018
    DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Loving the herd life

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    After one of my bonded pair of NZs died, I took to craigslist and found a sweet 2 year old NZ/cali mix. The bonding is going very well. That got me thinking...why not try to bond more of my bunnies? Due to hutch space (and living in the worst area ever to breed and sell bunnies) I will not be breeding anytime soon, so keeping the bunnies in bonded pairs would not be a problem. Bonding the does should go fine. But I also have a few bucks. Does anyone have experience bonding unneutered bucks ? Neutering is best, i know, but its not an option. Any advice or experience, positive or negative, would be helpful.
     
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  2. Dec 30, 2018
    GypsyG

    GypsyG Loving the herd life

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    I don't know about bonding bucks... I have seen litter brothers start fighting in group cages at as early as 4-1/2 months.

    I have had good luck with bonded pairs of litter sisters in extra large hutches, even to the point of raising litters together happily... But I have only tried this with litter sisters, and have had some cases of dominant does from a litter where it didn't work out.
     
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  3. Dec 30, 2018
    DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Loving the herd life

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    The two bucks i would consider bonding are from the same litter that i bred, and had to be separated at about 3 months for fighting. I didn't really try to keep them together or re-bond them, cause i planned on selling them, but that didn't happen.
    The 3 does i have are all related. Two are litter sisters that were already separated when i bought them at 2 months, one is a daughter of one of the sisters that i separated from the dam when i weaned her. But again, i didn't try to bond them.
     
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  4. Dec 31, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    This is not going to be encouraging advice but I personally would not even try to bond bucks. For one, even if they do not fight which is highly not likely to happen, there is the spraying. My bucks are separated by solid dividers or in solitary cages so the only time they may spray is when they are being bred. I am just not into urine covered rabbits.
     
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  5. Dec 31, 2018
    Suburban Rabbits

    Suburban Rabbits Chillin' with the herd

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    I had no idea you could attempt to keep 2 does together. Great info. Thanks
    On the other hand, 2 bucks ? Who's up for a real peeing contest? lol
     
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  6. Dec 31, 2018
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    I would be extremely cautious pairing any rabbits together especially if one or both are an adult. They must have a very large area and even bonded pairs can turn nasty with one another then you can end up with an injured or dead rabbit.

    We have an old outdoor chicken area, about 8' x 16' I dI'd have 3 Velveteen lop does in this past summer. A doe and 2 of her does, one was 1 yr old and 4 m. We attempted a polish doe with them but she was antigonizing the others who are twice her size so she couldn't stay. An older unrelated VL doe stayed for a few weeks with them and no major issues. I would under no circumstances pair these does in any of our indoor cages. They are just too small. And these were all retired or pet quality rabbits. If they had been injured very badly I have no problems terminally culling so they don't suffer. Come April the mother/daughter I have left (younger one was sold as pet) will return to the outdoor pen. It's definitly fun to watch them run around and they really enjoy it. I do have a 4 x 6 pen the others get exercised in but by themselves unless a breeding pair is in there for a short time. Always supervised.
     
  7. Jan 1, 2019
    DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Loving the herd life

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    My bucks are in cages next to each other, and they get pee EVERYWHERE. Its disgusting, but I've gotten used to it. Prob wont try to bond them, though, after seeing these responses.
    Keeping two does together works great most of the time. It keeps them from being bored and getting extremely destructive (or, like my previous bonded pair, they can be extremely destructive together :barnie). I've had success with keeping two does together as long as they are completely bonded. Like, grooming each other and snuggling bonded. So @Suburban Rabbits, if you're interested in keeping a couple does together, thats the place they should be at before sharing a hutch. Or yeah, fur will fly.
     
  8. Jan 4, 2019
    Stephine

    Stephine Overrun with beasties

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    It is much better to bond members of opposite sex. If yours are not fixed that is of course not an option. I would not put intact bucks together. Two does might work if they are siblings and you start them out together but that can go sour.
    Even a mixed pair you need to start out carefully and they may or may not like the partner you choose. Pay attention to how they lean on the dominance scale. You need one in the pair who likes to be submissive.
     
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  9. Jan 5, 2019
    DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Loving the herd life

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    Panda and Maisy (nz/cali mix) just started living in the same hutch, and its going great. Maisy is spayed, Panda is not. Panda attacked her previous buddy (there was blood) and even they eventually rebonded, surprisingly.
     
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  10. Mar 15, 2019
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    I would be very cautious about bonding bucks...I've never been able to keep even the bucks from the same litter together longer than 8 weeks! I've heard if at least one of them is neutered it can be possible. Maybe look for a neutered buck? Just an idea, as I know this is an older post :) Any luck with the rabbit bonding yet?