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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BONDING Bonding broken after desexing

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    • HoneyBunny
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      Josh and Jack are brothers who are just turned 6 months old and desexed 6 weeks ago.

      They have been living side by side and always groom and cuddle each other. Jack is the dominant one and Josh is happy to be the submissive one until yesterday.

      Two weeks ago, I decided to let them live together as it had been 4 weeks since the desexing and they’ve never had a issue when free roam together in daytime. I thought 4 weeks was long enough to let the hormone settle down but unfortunately I made a mistake.

      They suddenly started to fight yesterday. Jack pulled Josh’s hair and Josh was screaming. Josh was not submissive anymore and he wanted to fight back.

      Now I have to separate them again and with a gap this time as they tried to fight through the wire.

      So when can I start rebonding? And I don’t know what to do with the exercise time now. Can I let them take turns to come out for a while? Their playpen is in my living room and this is the only room that they are allowed to free roam. I’m so scared to let them out together as I know they will fight again. My daughter is only 4 and she is sooo scared to watch it happening.

      Also there is another serious problem about feeding. Josh has excess cecotropes issue so they eats different type and amount of pellets now. Everyday me and my daughter take them to different corners to feed them the pellets. They eat hay together. I’m wondering how I can feed them different things at the same time, did I do it wrong? As Josh knew we gave Jack more and different pellets, he once saw it and ran to take Jack’s pellets like crazy. I don’t even know if it is trigger the fighting or it is just due to the hormone.


    • Wick & Fable
      Moderator
      5047 posts Send Private Message

      The bond younger rabbits have with each other is sometimes called a “baby bond”, which is well-known to actually be temporary, regardless if the rabbits are siblings or not. It is common that baby bonds break as the rabbits get older.

      I would give them a week to re-settle after a fight and “forget” it, and then go ahead with introductions in neutral space. This can be a bathroom or place they haven’t free-roamed in. While it might be tough because they had gotten along together fine in the past, I would approach this bonding as if they are two stranger rabbits to be safe. So doing pre-bonding where you are swapping their stuff to get used to each other’s scent, and starting only in neutral territory first.

      There is some basic outlines of bonding in the RABBIT INFO section of this website,

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


      • HoneyBunny
        Participant
        24 posts Send Private Message

        Hi Wick, thanks for the reply. Yes I’ve been starting to swap their stuff now. What about exercise time? This morning I let Jack out for a while when Josh was busy with the hay. And in the afternoon I let Josh out when Jack was sleeping. And I didn’t let them out in the evening as I can still see them being aggressive now. Jack keeps chewing cardboard like crazy, he hasn’t done it since desexing.


      • Wick & Fable
        Moderator
        5047 posts Send Private Message

        I personally would keep one away structurally (like in a pen) while the other is free-roam out. Like swapping free-roam time. I understand it might seem upsetting to cut the free-roam time for buns who are used to being free-roam majority of the day… but they’ll survive. I see it as being worth that tiny sacrifice, especially if it’s eliminating the possibility of fighting (since that is going to be a negative experience which hinders bonding).

        The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


      • HoneyBunny
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        24 posts Send Private Message

        Thank you. Jack seems a bit calm down today. To be honest I don’t mind letting them live side by side as long as they are not fighting every time when they free roam and meet each other. I stay at home most of the time so I can watch them. Because when I browse the posts here these days, I’ve found the bond could be broken at any age, not just 6 month old but also 1 years old or 3 years old.  Honestly I am a bit upset about this.

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Forum BONDING Bonding broken after desexing