Advice on introducing these rabbits

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Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by halfbloodprincess on Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:19 am

Our rabbit is four years old and he is a neutered male French Lop. His temperament is quite relaxed and laid back. He gets along amazingly with our cats. When we introduced them he just sort of started sniffing them and looked mildly interested. Now he tends to lope around after them and try to sit beside them while they look uncomfortable and walk away...though they eventually give up and I find the rabbit and one of the cats sitting together quite often these days. However he does not tolerate being picked up, generally avoids sitting with people, and although he loves his ears being stroked, it's something you have to work up to - after maybe an hour of his free play time in the living room, he might deign to hop up on the sofa beside me, and if I reach out and stroke him, he sometimes will stay there and enjoy the attention. Any sudden movements, or any change at all in my constant gentle stroking, and he will hop away though.

Worried about my rabbit being lonely (someone told me I was cruel to keep him alone), I got a Netherland dwarf. He is one year old, people friendly, male and not neutered. I know he should probably have been a neutered female of similar size to the Lop, but he looked great, and came with a hutch and run and I thought that would save me spending about a hundred pounds. I love that I can pick him up and handle him if I want, and he has such a sweet personality! However, I am worried about how he will get along with the Lop. I know not being neutered is bad...and yet I'm not sure I want to pay a huge vet bill for neutering only to find out he and the Lop don't get along anyway and I'll have to re-home him after paying all that.

Anyway, I have set the dwarf up in his old hutch but in the same room as the Lop, so they can see each other from across the room. As he has all his on toys and bedding etc from his old home, I thought he would be happy - and he does actually seem comfortable and relaxed. I hadn't meant to give them any closer access to each other any time soon, but at one point while moving the furniture to accommodate his hutch, both hutches were pressed up beside each other, and both rabbits grew excited, sniffing each other happily between the bars. I stopped to watch. Then the bigger Lop started trying to bite the dwarf's nose! It didn't look so friendly any more. I was alarmed, and a bit upset as this can't be a good omen. Now the hutches are about six feet apart again, but I cover the side of the dwarf's hutch which is facing the lop with a sheet, as when they see each other they hop up and down their runs constantly. I know the Lop just wants to get over there and nip the dwarf.

It's been about two days, and I know I'm worrying pointlessly as it's too early to tell yet, but what do you reckon my first steps from here should be to introduce them?

I'm already in love with the dwarf, but our home is too small to have both hutches set up indefinitely, and if it doesn't work out the dwarf will have to go, and it breaks my heart, especially as he is friendlier than our original bunny. However the Lop came first and I could never get rid of him for a newcomer, it would be wrong.

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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by Amelia66 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:51 am

first steps should be to have the nethie neutered. you have little to no hope without him being neutered as the hormones are likely to rile them both. You would have been better off with a male and female bond as two males seldom work, but thats not to say they never do.

After neutering and waiting for the hormones to die down then you can start the very slow introduction to get them used to each other between bars before they meet in person on neutral ground in a small sized pen. there is a good video on youtube i will grab it for you. others will have lots of info for you on here too Very Happy
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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by Amelia66 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:52 am



here you go! lots of good info in here too!
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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by halfbloodprincess on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:43 pm

Wow! That was unbelievably helpful, thanks! I researched on the internet for quite a while before posting here and found nothing as helpful. I'm very grateful, as when the mounting occurred, I would have freaked out and seperated them. Now I know better. I'm new to keeping rabbits and I'm sure this forum will be a great help in the future too.

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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by SarahJane on Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:31 pm

I can only echo what Amelia has said, both rabbits have to be neutered for any hope at all, two male entire rabbits will attack each other, if they are both neutered and then you wait a while for hormones to die down, you will stand a much better chance at bonding them Smile



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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by KatieB on Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:21 pm

I can only give the se advice as the others. It highly unlikely to work if the little guy isn't neutered hunx


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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by jolovesbunnies on Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:43 pm

Please let us know how you get on love.

Hugs

JO xx

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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by cheryl'n'bruce'flo on Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:21 pm

I echo what the others have said. Are there any other buns in your neighbourhood? If there are unspayed females locally then the chances of a all male bond will decrease considerably as they will pick up the hormones from the does - even if they are several gardens away.

Also you have picked a hard breed temperament wise. In general small = fiesty and large = chilled in the rabbit world.

As Amelia said neutering if the most important thing to be done before bonding as hormones just get in the way of friendships. Post neuter you will need to give it about 7 weeks for all hormones to settle. During all this time you can put the buns so they can see each other. You do not want to attempt a face to face bond until the buns are completely bored with each other. It is advisable to give the buns places to hide from each other during this phase, but you also need to make sure they can choose to see each other. Once the behaviour has settled you can put them completely side by side, and again wait for the behaviour to settle. At this point you can go for face to face bonding as in Anne's video. This will need to be somewhere that neither bun has been before.

In terms of bonding there is only 2 things that are required prior to attempting it - neutering and neutral space. Everything else is down to the buns.


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Re: Advice on introducing these rabbits

Post by halfbloodprincess on Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:29 pm

@Cheryl - "small=fiesty and large = chilled"
The bigger rabbit is generally chilled, but as far as the little bunny goes, he seems to be the aggravator between them. Is this unusual? And if he mounts the little guy, could he hurt him?

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