Problems with two new rabbits.

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ianl

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Problems with two new rabbits.
« on: May 17, 2013, 09:10 »
Hi, we popped into Pets at Home two weeks to get some rabbit food and came out with two rabbits! Pearl and Ruby. They were up for adoption and the poor things had been there for 8 months! They are female and about three and a half years old. We are keeping them outside in the shed with a run attached. We will let them in the garden proper when we are around.  We had them spayed last friday. They are usually friendly together until they see our other female rabbit- Minky. Minky is a house rabbit who we let in the garden when she wants to. Last night I built a fence surrounding the run about three feet apart. I let Minky out , she obviously went to see the other bunnies. The other two didn't move for ages then Ruby started to attack Pearl and chase her about and pulling fur. Obviously I took Minky in and kept an eye on the other two. There was still tension in the air. Any ideas what has caused this? Is it the fact that they have only just been spayed? Apparently Ruby was becoming a bit dominant before they were spayed.

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Willow_Warren

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 12:04 »
My best guess that the presence of you house rabbit is upsetting the bond between the two new rabbits... 

How long have you had Pearl & Ruby?  The changing of environment and spaying could again cause their bond to be disrupted, fingers crossed they will settle down again.

Not sure if I'm allowed to promote another forum, it's not in direct competition but it is a rabbit specific forum so there will be some better advise on offer than I can give here:
http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/forum.php
They are a friendly bunch but very much pro rescue and anti breeding.

Hannah

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ianl

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 13:01 »
Hi ,thanks for your reply. Yes, they have have had a lot of changes in the last two weeks. I will keep Minky out of sight for a few weeks. These are the third set of female rabbits that we have bought. The first pair were purchased as babies, the second pair adopted. Both times we had to give one away because of aggressive behaviour towards each other. Each set were spayed. Hopefully, it will be third time lucky! :)  I will look at the other forum, but it seems as if only time will tell!

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Willow_Warren

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 13:40 »
Fingers crossed they sort themselves out - at least you've had them spayed which is a good step in the right direction.

Boy/Girl is meant to be the best combination (all spayed and neutered of course), but there plenty of girls living happily together.

Good luck.

Hannah :)

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Elvira

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 14:35 »
I agree with Willow - I think even the smell of another rabbit can upset a bonded pair.  Also if they were separated for a while when they were being neutered, this might have upset their bonding.

It might be worthwhile separating Ruby and Pearl so they are in separate cages but next door to each other so they can see and smell each other until they settle in a bit? (a bit like when you bond a pair and get them used to each other before actually putting them in the same cage). 

Also is their cage big enough for the two of them? Our buck can be a bit relentless when he is chasing the doe around so it helps for her to have a box to escape into (only big enough for one of them to get into!).

Another forum to try is the Rabbit Welfare Association

http://www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/

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Trillium

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 16:24 »
I always found it better to keep each rabbit in its own cage as they're quite territorial. Bonded pairs can be side by side. The worst that ever happened was having aggressive males pee on each other on occasion. And new rabbits must be introduced very gradually into the community or it's a sign of perceived aggression/territory.

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ianl

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 07:27 »
I hadn't even thought of cages. Our indoor rabbit sleeps either on top of the pilates machine or under the cat tower. All our house rabbits have done the same. I converted the shed to an avairy some years ago by lining the walls with plastic boards so is well insulated. I stopped using it as an aviary. All I've done is cordon of half the shed with a three foot high piece of plastic so the area they are in is about 6' x 4' . I've put down straw and a litter tray. I've cut out a hole in the shed wall so that they have access to outside run. Should I build two little huts for them so that they can have one each?  I was going to knock up a larger one for the two of them to snuggle in when winter sets in.

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Trillium

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Re: Problems with two new rabbits.
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 15:40 »
In the wild you don't find rabbits living in communities, and mother does prefer to keep their babies close by them rather than in a community group. Males are very territorial and individual cages gives them their personal territory. Plus, cages offer the best overall protection to rabbits against any predators that might sneak into your rabbitry, like weasels, minks, etc.

THIS gal raises rabbits in her garage and has been quite successful. There are a series of videos addressing various questions that you might find interesting and helpful.



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