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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 Two young male rabbits fighting – bonding/behaviour advice

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    • RonClark
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        Hi,

        Just after some general advice, for whatever reason every time I try add a forum to bonding, I have to log back in….
        I have two young male rabbits who have been together since approx. 10 weeks of age, they remained together until I brought them home and almost immediately (within 24 hours) one took a sizeable chunk out of the other one’s lip, so badly so, it is split. Three vet visits, a load of antibiotic’s and painkillers later we have booked them both in to be neutered. I know, typically a male/male pair can be difficult to bond but being a new rabbit dad and the feedback from the centre was they were perfectly fine together, no issues I opted to get them as a pair, conscious of breaking whatever bond I thought they had.
        I appreciate a new environment and entering season, could have been factors in the fall out as it escalated quite quickly from humping/little nips to a full blown scrap (?) – they have since been separated but able to see each other and often stand on their back legs looking at one another, we have also swapped them over a couple times as well as swapping toys.

        I really hope I can bond them after the operation, but I would like to understand as to how/what/why this happened, could it be as I suggested? Given the injury, can I hope for a brighter bonded future? Any tips would be greatly appreciated outside of cages being in close proximity to one another, swapping them over and short meetings (once both are healed fully), please. I really want to make this work and give them a great chance together.


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
        16933 posts Send Private Message

          Male-male bonds are not necessarily difficult. My boys absolutely adored each other. Anecdotally, people say the hardest bond is girl-girl. That being said, the boys need to be neutered first before trying to bond them. The fighting you are witnessing is caused by hormones. I don’t know how old they are now, but I’m guessing they are teenagers. Hormones are going to make them want to fight.

          The best advice would be to keep them separated for now. Have them neutered and wait about a month for their hormones to settle. Then try the bonding process again.

          This is for the best. If they end up having a really nasty fight now, then you will have a harder time bonding them after they are neutered.


        • RonClark
          Participant
          3 posts Send Private Message

            Thank you, the really bad fight where one was injured was a week or so ago, neutering booked in for next week so will follow the guidance and advice you have provided and I have read. Just FYI, they’re approaching around 6/7 months old.
            I have also read, it is not uncommon for them to bond whilst both recovering but surely that is not correct or even worth risking given the history between them, I think as per your guidance, it is a lot safer to wait until their hormones are completely settled before even attempting a re-bond.


          • DanaNM
            Moderator
            8960 posts Send Private Message

              Agree, I would say 3 weeks is the minimum standard amount of time to wait post-neuter, 4 weeks would be safest.

              Since there was an injury, I’d actually separate them completely (out of sight and smell) while you wait for their neuter and they recover. That way they can forget each other a bit, as rabbits can hold grudges. They will smell very different post-neuter which could work in your favor in this case. Once that 4 weeks is up, move them side by side again and do pre-bonding side swaps etc. for a couple of weeks. Once you see they are relaxed around each other during pre-bonding you can start sessions in neutral territory.

              . . . 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.  

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          Forum BONDING Two young male rabbits fighting – bonding/behaviour advice