We see lovely bonded pairs of rabbits at the practice all the time. Generally they are calmer and easier to handle; having more rounded personalities. Bunnies are social animals and are not designed to live on their own. When we are asked by new rabbit owners – “should be get 1 bunny or 2? “
We will always say 2 (or more ☺ ) bunnies are better together. Most people are not home 24 / 7.. we have to work and our bunny can get lonely, bored and depressed when their human isn’t around. And while human company for a rabbit is great as we see in house rabbits the bond between 2 rabbits is a wonder to behold.
The cost of feeding 2 rabbits is not substantially greater than 1 rabbit. The financial consideration is that to have 2 rabbits together whether they are boys with boys, girls with girls or a boy with a girl.. they need to be desexed. Hormonally; fighting can occur and this exacerbates territorialism.
While it is easier to have 2 baby bunnies starting off together; for Pet Rabbit Awareness week we are emphasizing the ability to bond 2 older rabbits, especially rescue rabbits that will live a happier and more fulfilling life as a pair.
No two rabbits can be bonded until they have been desexed. We suggest that 2 older rabbits don’t interact until this has been done and maybe not for 2-4 weeks post the surgery. This should allow hormone levels to subside.
The keys to bonding are,
1. Allow a couple of days of rabbits in the same room but separated by 2 wire fences or 2 hutches side by side – to pique their interest in each other and understand the other’s smell.
2. Prepare a neutral territory – whether it is the bath, the spare room, a fenced off area outside; but clearly somewhere neither of them have been, and ‘chinned’ their smell.
3. Realise that in the first 15-20 minutes there maybe some chasing and stomping and very occasionally nipping. We regularly bond rabbits at the practice and we wait and watch armed with a broom to separate them if outright aggression occurs.
We have client information folders to advise on how to ‘bond’ at home. A lot of clients leave it to us, which we do 99% of the time over 2 days / nights.
So if you have 1 rabbit and want to get him or her a friend – please contact us for a list of rescue groups who have bunnies in need.
Please contact us for any “rabbity” information.