I have 4 rabbits in total. Eddy and Daine are a bonded pair. I got them from a pet store before I knew better so I wanted to adopt a bunny to give it a good home. At the rescue Fred was kept in a large pen with many many other rabbits. This was the best the rescue could do with their resources and didn't want to cage them all up separately. The problem is that Fred has learned some unusual behaviour from his time there or before he was rescued.
This is Fred
In a bonding situation he will sit quietly with his head down and if the other bunny makes a sudden movement he will often lunge and growl at the other bunny. That has been known to cause a fight. He has been housed alongside the pair for many months and has always put his head down to the pen wall in a demanding grooming way. The thing is that he never humps the others or even moves in a bonding session so he hasn't got all the behaviours that go with trying to be the dominant bun. It's just 'groom me' or lunge.
Now I understand trio bonding to be difficult and when I got a call to take on a friends sister's rabbit who was in a terrible situation I was apprehensive but now I am thinking I could bond her to Fred instead. I am however very scared that he will bite her and hurt her. I feel protective of her because she was attacked by a fox at her last home and I feel I owe it to her to keep her safe. But I think she and Fred are both really lonely ( Fred often spends long minutes flopped next to the pairs pen and sleeping up against the bars) and it would be great if they could be bonded.
This is Rue.
She behaves like a normal rabbit with humping and before she hit puberty she would groom us all the time but she has those normal impulses. I was going to try car bonding but I am worried while in such close confines he would really hurt her. In sessions I usually keep a fist planted with my knuckles along his nose so I can feel if he is going to lunge and stroke his face with one finger but I wouldn't be able to do that and the preemptive gesture might not be helpful anyway. So I want to know if I should be less fearful and let him do his thing, just breaking off fights and accept she might get a bite here or there in the beginning or should I just accept Fred to be a bit special and that he may only be single child material. Then I could just bond rue into the trio because she has fairly normal bunny instincts. I'm at such a loss. What should I do? I would give up but I see him lying next to the pens and he looks so sad and lonely that he just clearly wants a friend, he just can't communicate. He had all sorts of scars and scabs when he came from the rescue so he probably has many trust issues from being bullied.