New member with bonding issue!

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Petal

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Hi, I am new here and new to having bunnies in our family!
We have 2 male (brothers) mini lops born October 2021. Happily lived together for 1st few of weeks of having them after Christmas before they got into a scuffle. We separated them & they lived happily side by side until they could be neutered.
Fast forward 6 weeks & we started to rebond them. Followed advice & put them outside in a neutral area together, about from Gandalf humping Pudding frequently no aggression & they were grooming each other & lying together lovely, was fine doing this for a few days.
Thought we’d struck gold, until Pudding decided he didn’t like Gandalf & the fighting began! We have separated them immediately once fighting has broken out, but have tried again the next day over several days & end up with fights each time. It doesn’t get too nasty as we have stayed with them ready to separate immediately.
We’ve left them a couple of days (still side by side) & found a new neutral spot, first couple of minutes fine, then back to square one.
Sorry for long story, just wanted to be clear on the situation so I can be advised on our best course of action going forward. Should we leave them a bit longer before trying again? Should they be fully separated & not even be able to see each other?
We desperately wanted them to be friends & live in harmony!
Seems so odd that it went so well to begin with.
Although Gandalf was the initial humper, it does seem to be Pudding that is starting the fights.
Any advice would be gratefully received!
 

ladysown

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Once they fight, and fight well.. they tend to always fight in my experience. Two boys is often the hardest bond to try to make and if they don't want to be friends, why force it? Can they not continue to live side by side, enjoying each other without being able to hurt each other?

Baby bonds are not true bonds. It's like... (not that I like anthropomorphisms but this might help). You have a best friend as a kid. Inseparable. Then teenage years hit and suddenly (sometimes, and over time other times) you find that you are NOT best friends anymore. Sometimes to the extent you can't stand to be around each other, and sometimes, you can be friendly if in a group of friends.

In the rabbit world... a divider is like being in a group of friends. You have safety from not needing to defend yourself or your territory, and yet can be friendly through the wire. I have bucks that will happily lay side by side on either side of a wire divide, but put together... death glares and fights. So why not accept the rabbits you have and let them tell you how to proceed? Perhaps, they might each like a gal roommate to hang with?
 

arachyd

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Rabbits do not need friends even though they tend to live in colonies it's not a tight set of relationships. They aren't pack or herd animals so don't let separating them bother you. Bucks are territorial and do fight. You didn't say how old they were when neutered but it's possible the hormonal changes making them territorial had already occurred.
 

Preitler

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Rabbits do not need friends even though they tend to live in colonies it's not a tight set of relationships. They aren't pack or herd animals so don't let separating them bother you. Bucks are territorial and do fight. You didn't say how old they were when neutered but it's possible the hormonal changes making them territorial had already occurred.
I have a different view there, rabbits are social animals, and they enjoy company. Here it's even illegal to keep pet rabbits alone. I keep all my rabbits at least in pairs (I could keep them single since they qualify as lifestock), a lot of the satisfaction I get from keeping rabbits comes from seeing them interact.

But male-male pairs are nothing natural. Imho they aren't exactly territorial (that's more a doe thing) but they are programmed to drive rivals away, no matter where they are. Although such pairs sometimes work out it isn't the rule, and neutering might help somewhat but is most effective if it is done before puberty hits - which is normal over here but seems to be unheard of in places like the US.

I never tried male bonds (my buck lives with a spayed girl as my free roam house rabbits), and have no personal experience with neutered males, but from what I read this situation isn't too promising.

You see, there are different opinions on that topic, all viable since circumstances are different. Also behaviour can differ a lot between different lines.
 

Skai

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Male animals that are sexually mature before being neutered could have a difficult time getting along with other males of their species. Keeping them separate may prevent an eventually sad outcome as the fighting might escalate without notice.
 

Nibbles

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Welcome to RabbitTalk. What have you decided?
 
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