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Rabbits Need Companions?

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:02 pm


Since rabbits are social animals:

Does a lonely only rabbit do better socially and psychologically with a companion rabbit?

For an older adult lonely only, would it be better to breed a litter and keep a daughter, or try to introduce another rabbit of the same sex? (The premise being that the daughter rabbit is already submissive to the parent and fighting is less likely.)

Or is providing a companion hogwash?
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:12 pm


You should see some of the trauma people go through trying to give their rabbits companions. :roll: Getting both animals spayed and neutered and finding out that they STILL don't really want another rabbit in their space. Or at least...not the rabbit the hopeful owner picked out. :lol:

Many rabbits are just as happy with people and other types of animals being their companions.


They do not need rabbit company.

I have some does who really seem to like other rabbits, and some who would fly out of their pens to tackle any strange doe who hops by.

Mother/daughter setups seem to be the best, but you may still have trouble eventually. It really depends on the rabbits.

They are all individual. There's really no predicting what a bunny will do! :D

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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:56 pm


:yeahthat:

Since your rabbit has lots of human company and your elderly dog to hang out with, I would not worry about providing another rabbit for company. Rabbits are often very territorial.
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:57 pm


Rabbits like company but only in very large spaces. A cage will not work unless you are keeping true dwarf rabbits in a very large cage. I used a 3'x6'. then you never know. Rabbits are just too territorial for their social needs. Also individually cage raised rabbits may freak at finding another rabbit can enter their space.
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:09 pm


My broken blue Mini Rex doe will NOT lift for my only Mini Rex buck who's old enough to breed. She will not lift for ANYTHING!!!

I put her in with my buck, and she stayed with him for 4 days, (which I NEVER leave a buck and a doe together unsupervised, but I was getting frustrated, and I had better things to do, and she's really mellow, so I stuck her in with him and left her there.) and after the 4 days I took her out, waited two weeks, and NOTHING, except for a depressed buck (because I took his gf away.) :?

So, I asked a friend about it, and he suggested doing a cage swap. So I did, and then put her with him overnight. When I went out, they were snuggling, so I figured I would leave them together until I had babies. They've been together for about a month. :(
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby akane » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:38 pm


Doe/buck breeding combos actually work the best depending on the doe. I did have a doe seriously try to castrate my buck. I had to jam a finger between her teeth to get her off his scrotum. Eventually even the laidback does tend to get pissy about the buck trying to mate everyday. It might take a few months but all of mine paired up like that started getting agressive including toward people so I don't do it for longer than a week anymore.
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Bandits Bunny Farm » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:52 pm


I think he gave up trying with her a long time ago lol. all they do is snuggle
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby wamplercathy » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:17 pm


I've read that some people do force mating. Holding the doe and lifting for her. I personally would never do this. First, her anti-male gene, unknown if that's a real thing but, could be passed on. Secondly, it just seems wrong. Feels wrong. I would buy a different buck or doe or both.

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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby squidpop » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:42 pm


I read a lot of rabbit forums and on one of them someone posted a diary about bonding her rabbits. She had a neutered male who had been bonded to a female, the female died and she got another rabbit because she thought he was lonely. The rabbit she chose to be his new friend was a spayed female. He hated her and would not bond with her. The owner has done daily bonding sessions for 6 months and although they are getting along better, she still is afraid to leave them alone together. So, I don't know- its adorable when bunnies bond and I'm sure if it works they are happy, but a lot of times some individuals just want to be single bunnies.

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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby akane » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:34 pm


Usually when you forcefully position the doe it's because it's a young clueless doe. She may be ready to breed but confused what to do. I had one actually run under the feeder and start screaming for no real reason. Odd rabbit. I had to use a netherland dwarf buck with her so he was less threatening until she figured out what breeding was. Sometimes a doe hates a specific buck. It doesn't seem this behavior is passed on with any noticeable pattern. Sometimes if you don't breed an adult doe for awhile she can refuse breeding despite being physically ready. Not entirely known why but giving your does breaks sometimes leads to frustration trying to breed any of them later so sometimes people resort to pushing the doe in to breeding again. After that they often continue to breed fine. It's pretty common across the board for rabbits so I don't think you are really breeding it in to them. I have noticed successful bucks make successful bucks and weak breeding bucks make more bucks that can't get the does bred as well.
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Zass » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:44 pm


My last crop of first-timer meat mutt does were giving my junior buck a run for his money. I put them in with the new velveteen buck who really knows his stuff. He showed those girls exactly what they were supposed to be doing, and I don't expect any further nonsense from ones I intend to keep.

I think...when rabbits are raised together with their siblings in a colony, it's normal for them to mount each other frequently. Animals raised separately in cages might not be as familiar with that aspect of rabbit socialization, so it can be extra scary for them.

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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:50 pm


Getting back to the subject of rabbit companions,

My mom took a doe/female kit pair from me last year. They had a large 48x24 hutch, and she still went out to find momma kicking the crap out of the 12 week old kit who was almost bigger than her at that point.

She kept the kit (who was shook up, but fine) and I took the doe back home and found her another home. Sometimes does won't even tolerate their own kits after a while.

I do like to keep my rabbits in sight of other rabbits, they do seem to get lonely without that, and my girls that do get along are allowed to run in the yard together, but I'd personally never try housing them together.
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Re: Rabbits Need Companions?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Celice » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:45 pm


I raise my mutts in a colony, and personality DOES make a difference I have some rabbits that are fine with the company of other rabbits and some others not so much. You have to know if you have a very dominant rabbit or a more mellowed out bunny. A dominant rabbit will not be good for colony life or with a rabbit companion; they are a lot like dogs or even people if two rabbits personalities don't match up they will fight.

For me it's just really observing your rabbits personality and knowing if they would do good with other rabbits. During the winter months I pair up a lot of my rabbits in the hutches too and have been for years. I usually do a buck and doe combo, a mellow doe with a mellow buck will snuggle and bond very well. I've even had 2 mellow bucks together for a very long time and they were fine.

be very careful on who you put with who rabbits fights can get nasty! I've had a doe half-castrate a buck and a buck bite the tail of a doe. lucky nothing very serious has happened but it can if you have a very aggressive rabbit.

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