Pet Rabbits - Would Bucks Cages Separately Fight?

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kotapony

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I really wasn't sure where to stick this, so hopefully here is reasonable enough.

I have polish rabbits - 2 does and a buck. They're a project I share with my middle daughter, age 7. The kids all really enjoy playing with the baby rabbits (admittedly I do too), so we breed maybe 6 litters a year, enough for the rabbits to pay for themselves. Mama does are somewhat grumpy, and prefer to be left alone. Our buck is super sweet, and the kids enjoy playing with him. The bunnies all live outside in our barn.

Recently my oldest daughter saved up her money and bought a pet pigeon that lives in the house. That set up middle daughter to thinking she wanted a house pet too. I told her she has Peter (the buck) she can bring to the house to play with whenever she wants. This is new, and of course set up all 4 kids wanting to hold and play with the rabbit. Because holding him inside the house is WAAAAAAAAY different and better than holding him outside.

This may pass and be a non-issue. But I'm thinking ahead to the possibility of letting my middle daughter keep a bunny from a future litter if she steps up with rabbit care and really does bring our current buck to the house to play with more often. And is willing to fund her own supplies for an extra rabbit. This possible bunny would be caged separately and live in the barn with the other bunnies. But the kids would likely bring both our current buck and the possible new bun to the house to play with at the same time. If all bunnies stay in laps, it doesn't really matter. But I foresee the kids wanting to let the buns loose on the floor together at the same time.

All of that brings me to my main question. Is it likely if we had 2 bucks (our current buck, and a second, younger buck) that they would fight in such a scenario? What if we kept 2 litter mates of the same gender in the same cage (not mixing with current buck at any point)? This will likely end up a non-issue as the newness wears off, or middle daughter may decide she'd rather have a different pet than another rabbit. But I'd like to think this through and be ready with a reasonable answer of how this might go if we did keep a future bunny or 2.

Thanks all!
 

eco2pia

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I would think they would not likely fight in an open space--there could be agression, but they will establish a dominance order, and can avoid each other, plus there is nothing to fight for in the house--no does. I don't think I would house them together unless they are litter mates, or neutered.
 

SoftPawsRabbitry

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I really wasn't sure where to stick this, so hopefully here is reasonable enough.

I have polish rabbits - 2 does and a buck. They're a project I share with my middle daughter, age 7. The kids all really enjoy playing with the baby rabbits (admittedly I do too), so we breed maybe 6 litters a year, enough for the rabbits to pay for themselves. Mama does are somewhat grumpy, and prefer to be left alone. Our buck is super sweet, and the kids enjoy playing with him. The bunnies all live outside in our barn.

Recently my oldest daughter saved up her money and bought a pet pigeon that lives in the house. That set up middle daughter to thinking she wanted a house pet too. I told her she has Peter (the buck) she can bring to the house to play with whenever she wants. This is new, and of course set up all 4 kids wanting to hold and play with the rabbit. Because holding him inside the house is WAAAAAAAAY different and better than holding him outside.

This may pass and be a non-issue. But I'm thinking ahead to the possibility of letting my middle daughter keep a bunny from a future litter if she steps up with rabbit care and really does bring our current buck to the house to play with more often. And is willing to fund her own supplies for an extra rabbit. This possible bunny would be caged separately and live in the barn with the other bunnies. But the kids would likely bring both our current buck and the possible new bun to the house to play with at the same time. If all bunnies stay in laps, it doesn't really matter. But I foresee the kids wanting to let the buns loose on the floor together at the same time.

All of that brings me to my main question. Is it likely if we had 2 bucks (our current buck, and a second, younger buck) that they would fight in such a scenario? What if we kept 2 litter mates of the same gender in the same cage (not mixing with current buck at any point)? This will likely end up a non-issue as the newness wears off, or middle daughter may decide she'd rather have a different pet than another rabbit. But I'd like to think this through and be ready with a reasonable answer of how this might go if we did keep a future bunny or 2.

Thanks all!
Just keep them away from does, and do not handle the females before you play with them, the scent will get them. 2 does may be a better idea lol, but you could possibly do neutering as.well if theyre going to be pets, but I personally would be very very careful with 2 bucks
 
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I have two does that are litter mates and get along wonderfully. They are not kept in cages though, but have a 20x8 run they share with their babies (until they sell).
I move the junior bucks out at night to their own hutch, so it's just nursing kits and adolescent females. We have had zero problems with rabbits getting along in that situation. I have noticed when our big buck is out with the herd (in the bigger yard, does still in their run) he chases and intimidates the junior bucks (starting around 10 weeks, he's still sweet with the younger ones). I don't like what it does to their temperament. Our buck hasn't hurt anyone yet, but it is definitely a concern and I would be wary to leave him unsupervised with a junior buck. Even when mamas are in their run, I'm sure he can smell them on the juniors. All that to say, in my experience our females have bonded really well.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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I have two does that are litter mates and get along wonderfully. They are not kept in cages though, but have a 20x8 run they share with their babies (until they sell).
I move the junior bucks out at night to their own hutch, so it's just nursing kits and adolescent females. We have had zero problems with rabbits getting along in that situation. I have noticed when our big buck is out with the herd (in the bigger yard, does still in their run) he chases and intimidates the junior bucks (starting around 10 weeks, he's still sweet with the younger ones). I don't like what it does to their temperament. Our buck hasn't hurt anyone yet, but it is definitely a concern and I would be wary to leave him unsupervised with a junior buck. Even when mamas are in their run, I'm sure he can smell them on the juniors. All that to say, in my experience our females have bonded really well.
Me, being jealous because my small Netherlands can't get along with each other ;)
 

kotapony

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I rather expected the answer was probably not on them getting along in such a scenario.

I had a colony setup years ago, so I’m familiar with the
of buns being ok in a shared space if it’s large enough. But I’m no longer set up for a colony - we’re back to individual, standard size cages.

And, as stated, it seems hit-or-miss on litter mates raised together getting along indefinitely.

As I ponder it further, there’s probably a stress factor for the buns as well, to be caged separately then put together once in a while - even in a large, neutral space.

So I suppose if we do keep another one eventually we’ll plan to keep them separate even during out-of-cage time.

Thanks so much everyone for helping me think this through!
 
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Aw! Is it a breed thing? I don't know enough about rabbits.
Northern Nevada,
As a (very) general rule, smaller breeds tend to be more fidgety and feisty. Larger breeds (like Flemish or continental) tend to be more relaxed.

That said, I had a true dwarf buck that loved to be picked up and cuddled and a Conti that never really got used to being handled. Each rabbit has it's own personality.


As far as bucks go, they will fight eventually if together. How much and how bad will vary though (generally they establish dominance and the more submissive one avoids the other).


Lots of pet owners supervise that behavior (with neutered bucks) until they get used to each other, but I personally don't like it and would only have one out at a time. Or somehow section the space (ie different rooms or baby gates between them).
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Northern Nevada,
As a (very) general rule, smaller breeds tend to be more fidgety and feisty. Larger breeds (like Flemish or continental) tend to be more relaxed.

That said, I had a true dwarf buck that loved to be picked up and cuddled and a Conti that never really got used to being handled. Each rabbit has it's own personality.


As far as bucks go, they will fight eventually if together. How much and how bad will vary though (generally they establish dominance and the more submissive one avoids the other).


Lots of pet owners supervise that behavior (with neutered bucks) until they get used to each other, but I personally don't like it and would only have one out at a time. Or somehow section the space (ie different rooms or baby gates between them).
I have really nice bucks, but except for one doe, all of my does are cranky
 

arachyd

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Bucks fight. The fights can progress beyond posturing and intimidation to biting, kicking and clawing and may cause severe injury or death. I had two sweet little pet rabbits a long time ago before I knew much about rabbits. They lived in a fenced section of the yard. I was told they were females by someone said to be experienced in such things. I believed this until I saw one lying on its back on the roof of their little house, sunbathing his unmentionables for all the world to see. I decided to keep them since the other was still believed to be female. Then they had a huge fight. There was no safe way to separate the tumbling tornado of teeth and claws. Great clouds of hair were floating in the air by the time they stopped. Both went to new, separate homes very quickly.
 
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