Adding a second rabbit at a later date
An adult male will usually welcome the company of a female, but not another male.
Putting a baby bunny in with an adult rabbit is risky.
The adult rabbit may attack or even kill a young one.
The mature rabbit will keep mounting younger one to establish dominance.
This will cause the younger bunny to be very stressed, and possibly cause damage.
An adult female most likely will not accept another female or maybe not even a male in her territory.
Introducing a new rabbit, is like bringing an intruder in from another rabbit warren. Their instinct is to protect their territory
You could try any or all of the following
(1)Rub both rabbits with parsley, mint, basil, dill, rosemary, geranium, or some other strong smelling plant, to disguise the smell difference
(2)Hold the rabbits together, rubbing their bodies all over each other, especially the scent glands under the chin and the bottom
(3)With a blanket on a table, the rabbits can be placed together, holding them so that they can't dash at each other. If you are confident, hold them together on your knee, giving them joint cuddles
(4) Have have rabbits each side of a double playpens divider, so that they can get to know each other without grabbing and tearing an ear if they fight.
(5)Place in a playpen in neutral territory with boxes and tunnels scattered around to investigate and hide in. Add the strong smelling plants to camouflage the "intruders" smell
(4)Be quick to separate them if they fight. Wear gloves when breaking up a fight.
Do not leave them together unsupervised until they have shown signs of bonding, e.g. licking each other, and sitting together.
Distract when fighting with a squirt of water from a spray bottle
* Mounting each other is not fighting. They are simply asserting dominance.
A fight is where they rush at each other and their is fur being pulled out. It looks like a real rough and tumble.
If a rabbit is injured in a fight, it is advisable to take it to the Vet, as when rabbits get torn skin or puncture wound, it often developed abscesses. It may need antibiotics
A stronger rabbit can even kill a smaller one in a fight
(5) Place hutches next to each other, so they can get acquainted.
(6)If they seem to be getting along in neutral territory, then it is time for them to try a shared hutch by putting them in together at night, so that when they wake up together in the morning they may feel like siblings. Keep a check on their behavior.
(7 ) If after much perseverance, they still fight, unfortunately, they may never be able to live together.
Bonding two adult rabbits can be difficult;
Sometimes impossible !!!
Some rabbits will get along in the day time in a play area and need to be put back in their own individual hutches at night.
In the wild rabbits share mutual territory, but not their individual burrow.
Even re-bonding two "best friend rabbits", can also be difficult after a new smell has been introduced.
Once bonded it is best not to separate the bunnies.
Even a trip to the vet can result in fighting when put back together again.
I have a friend with 2 neutered bunnies who really get along well. If I visit and pick them up, they would start to fight.
The reason is that because I have been handling my rabbits, I introduce another smell, and then they think their companion is an intruder.
Re-bonding was necessary every time after I had visited.
I Have 6 mature rabbits,all now desexed,( 3 males-3 females) who were previously kept isolated as they were my breeding rabbits.
After desexing them all, I waited two months and now they are all bonded together in the same day time run area
Written by Faye