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Rabbit Bonding And Hormone Concerns

Hormones negatively affect bonding attempts, so learn when it is safe to try bonding rabbits.

Caroline Charland
Posted: September 10. 2013, 7:50 p.m. EDT

two rabbits cuddling
©Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Bonding should only be attempted on adult rabbits that are spayed and neutered,  and past any hormone issues.

 Q: I have a male Netherland dwarf rabbit about 8 to 9 months old. He recently got neutered. I also have a male dwarf Mini Lop about 10 weeks old that is not neutered. How long does it take for a neutered male to fully recover with no hormonal issues left? Do I have to wait before introducing my Mini Lop to him again? Will my Netherland want to mount my Mini Lop after he has recovered from the neuter? If so, do I let him or stop him? I know it is a sign of dominance, but my Mini Lop is still a small baby. I am afraid the Netherland dwarf will hurt him because he has done it before, and my Mini Lop doesn't like it.

A: I find that most rabbits are totally recovered from the surgery in two weeks. But, the hormones can take from a couple of weeks to a month, sometimes even longer, to go away.
Doing bonding with rabbits that are hormonal will nearly always end up in a fight. Sometimes they seem like they are doing fine together, then all of a sudden something sets them off and a fight breaks out. They can really cause some bad injuries to each other, so I only suggest bonding rabbits that are already spayed or neutered.
In some cases you can put a baby with a neutered male, or a spayed female. In fact I just had three baby rabbits that all jumped in with an adult, neutered male. The adult male groomed them and was wonderful to them. This is, however, unusual. We have put young babies with spayed females, and they have done fine. But once the babies get to about 3 months old and the hormones kick in, they normally cause trouble.
If your Mini Lop is 10 weeks old now, he may start getting hormonal by the time your Netherland Dwarf is not hormonal. I suggest that you wait until your Mini Lop is neutered and over the hormones before you bond them. Once they are both neutered and over their hormones, then try the bonding.

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Posted: September 10. 2013, 7:50 p.m. EDT

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