I was hoping someone could offer me a little advice to help with my rabbit bonding problem.
I have 2 male dwarf lops, both around 7 months old. They were my sister’s, but she was struggling to give them enough time with a 4-year-old toddler, a new baby, and a house renovation!
I couldn’t bear to see her bunnies go to a pet shop and potentially not be cared for. They were bought separately and had a fight during the initial bonding process when they were around 10 weeks old.
Eventually they bonded and lived together happily until they had a major fight pre neutering. I think my sister left it too late to get them neutered. The fight ended with some torn ears that had to be treated by the vet. They were housed separately after this as their two story hutch can be split off in two.
It is now 4 weeks since they were neutered and 2 weeks since I have had them. They have both calmed down now, sitting nicely with me and not running away when I try to get them out of the cage.
They still live separately but in the past 2 weeks I have been putting them together. I started in a small neutral space which went well – one was more nervous than the other and kept running away (Peter) but the other (Bun) knew when to stop and left him to it.
By the end of the first date they had groomed each other and sat next to each other eating.
I carried on with this for a few days when I left them together for about an hour (under supervision of course) and they would lay down, groom and play together.
The last 2 days I have left them in the run for around 2-3 hours and there have been no issues. But is it still too early to house them together?
I was thinking of cleaning the entire cage using an animal-friendly disinfectant and putting them together, supervising for as long as I can. Or, should I clean the cage and keep them separate but swap them, so Bun is up and Peter lives below?
I don’t want to push it too quickly but then I think they’ve bonded previously. I would like them to have company and keep each other warm in this cold weather.