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Questions about Bonded bunnies

3528 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Purple-Hops
I recently adopted a second bunny, his name is Simon and he's about 4 months, I already have a 3 1/2 month old girl bunny named Speckle, I got Simon from the rabbit rescue and I haven't brought him home as they're match maker took them home for a week for bonding, I got kind of freaked out because of them mounting and stuff, is this normal? and if so, do they stop doing this? also, I'm scared that Speckle is going to change, do bonded bunnies act different? i love her and I dont want her to be a different bunny when she gets back to me on Saturday, I'm kinda nervous.
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Do you plan on getting them neutered / spayed? I recommend it especially for the female, she will be a lot healthier in the long run, and that will help stop the mounting, and no little baby bunnies running around! our good family friend had the sweetest most loving bunny for 5 years and then bonded it with another, and he did not change one bit, except had a new friend to play with in his older years
It's a great idea that you're bonding them!! however, both should be neutered/spayed to 1. prevent any unwanted litters and 2.stop hormonal behavior. Females have an 85% chance of developing uterine and mammory cancer if not spayed, thus, shortening her life by half or so. Males will tend to remain easily excitable if not neutered. I have Acacia spayed but my roommates' bunny was not neutered and he didn't care he just chased and humped her all day long. That will lead to fighting in the long run. Unfixed bunnies usually spray their pee around too.

I'm sorry if I'm regirgitating info to you about fixing them!! lol I think the bonding process would work better though if they are BOTH fixed! Also, Can't wait for pictures!! I love mini-rexes!! :p
What does it mean, bonding bunnies? I never heard of it. I certainly would not want to surrender an existing pet to someone even for a week, to bond with a new pet, why can't they just get to know one another at home? Obviously I am missing something wil someone please expalin it to me.
Bunnies are social animals and can develop very strong bonds with other members of their species. However, it can be a lot of work to get them to become friends/bond them at first. It can be done at home, but it must be done in neutral territory because rabbits can also be very territorial. Sometimes when an owner doesn't have a good neutral area, or for whatever other reason, shelters or rescue workers will work with them for you for awhile to help bond them. It's a pretty common thing with rabbits, especially if you are adopting another rabbit from the shelter/rescue for the main purpose of bonding it with your existing pet.

To answer the original question, the only way in which my bonded bunnies have acted differently is that they seem much happier when they have another rabbit buddy. They don't ever have to be alone, they always have a friend to play with and groom. Bonding doesn't change their personalities, they are still the same rabbit they just have a bunny friend now. I have a bonded trio and they are all very sweet and friendly.

The mounting is normal. Even if they are fixed, which I'll assume for now that yours are since it sounds like you got them from a shelter, humping is also a way rabbits show dominance. They will need to work out pecking order before they can get a strong bond established.

Usually they don't hump as often once they are bonded and the dynamics of the relationship are all figured out. But don't be shocked if they still do mount each other once in awhile. As long as they don't fight, that's okay. My rabbits have been bonded for awhile now and they very rarely hump each other, but I do see them doing it once in awhile. It's normal as long as they aren't constantly at it.
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to answer everyones questions, yes, they're both fixed, I got Speckle fixed when she was about 3months and Simon was spayed at the rescue. I do miss her terribly, but I don't have much time to watch them at home since I work and also, I would be scared if they started fighting, so I figured letting the matchmaker do it was the best idea, They really liked each other, as he liked her within a few minutes of meeting, I hope taking care of two bunnies isn't too overwhelming and that overall Speckle and Simon are happy.
It's really not unusual for rescues to take in rabbits temporarily to bond them because, honestly, owners often chicken out way too early. An impartial observer is less likely to separate because your precious bunnykins is getting his behind handed to him for being a jerkface. ;)
Hm, I'm not sure if my rescue does bonding. I think with her full zoo she just puts them in fostering and the foster parents figure it out. The problem with my rescue currently is that they have bonded pairs available for adoption but I think the idea of adopting 2 scares many people. Fees have been reduced on these pairs but sadly, they live at their respective foster homes and at the rescue (which is run in a family house)..
Yeah I can see how that would be a problem...not enough people wanting to adopt two. Or maybe they'd like one but not the other. A lot of shelters I've worked with do in general like bonding shelter bunnies when it's possible though, because then they can cage them together (taking up less cages) and it does seem to keep the bunnies happier to have a friend when they are in a shelter situation where they might not get as much human interaction as a pet bunny might.

At least they are being cared for in foster homes - that makes them a lot luckier than a lot of other bunnies out there, sadly.
I know. It's really sad to look at the various attempts at trying to promote 6 or 7 new zealand whites!!
My local rescue has "matchmaking", they put your bunny in a pen and can bring in a bunny you like one at a time to see which bunny your bunny seems to like, once they figure it out the matchmaker will take them home for a week to do the bonding. They will do it for any pair, but if you're adopting one of their own they only charge $20 extra to do this, It's a great service, I think.
Simon and Speckle come home tomorrow, I'm very excited but also very nervous, I'm familiar with Speckle, however, Simon is my new bun, and I haven't interacted with him much, I'm kind of scared. The rescue people told me that I have to keep them together when I first bring them home and that I also have to treat them equally so one doesn't get jealous, has anyone had to do this before? how do I know if one bun is jealous? what should i expect with Simon?
I can't answer your questions of course but I am so excited for you that they are coming home tomorrow. Keep us posted!

(and don't forget the pictures! You can turn the flash off so they won't be disturbed)

PS thanks to all who posted for all the fascinating info on bonding bunnies!
I'm sure it won't be hard to treat them the same :) Once they get used to you being in charge of treats they'll both be all over you! I never dealt with it but in much the same way that a multi-dog household has to treat everyone equal I'm sure bunnies are similar. Of course, bunnies won't give the jealous look like dogs do, they'll take what they want!! lol What a joy, congrats!
I picked them up from the shelter this morning and so far Simon is a little angel, Speckle on the other hand is being a little brat, the lady at the rescue said she sure tried to escape a lot, she's a handful! Simon is sooo calm, he's a bit shy, but I can tell he likes people. Do any of your bunnies have collars? I saw a few at the rescue that did and they told me that a lot of bunnies do.
also, I forgot to mention that Simon is shedding tons and tons of hair! does this stop? the lady at the rescue told me he seemed to be shedding his winter coat.
Yes the shedding should die down soon. Rabbit's usually go through a few big sheds, or molts, a year where they will shed really heavily. Usually it starts around the same time as the seasons start to change from warm to cold or the other way around.

If he will let you, brushing them works well to get some of the loose fur off so the rabbits don't ingest it.

I don't recommend collars on rabbits. If they are indoor bunnies, I don't really see any need for putting collars on them. Plus they can be uncomfortable to the rabbits, and dangerous if they try to get it off themselves and can't or get it caught on something.
And to add, the back of their necks are really sensitive. It's a lovely grooming spot but I can see them getting irritated with a collar being there.
Glad you got them home!! :D
Unfortunately, the multiple molts a year applied to all bunnies that aren't of the rex family. It was my allergy's dream to have a mini rex!! So neat and tidy during shdding. Acacia, well, you might as well lock down the house! Her fur is atrocious, gets on everything and is a mess outside. Try getting him used to being groomed and going outside on your laps. That the best way to groom them bc the fur flies away in the wind :D
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