Bonding your buns


1. Desex both bunnies

Most bunnies would love a bunny friend, however, finding a perfect partner and bonding rabbits is not as simple as people think.  Rabbits are very territorial and aggressive when another bunny enters their home.  The best bondings are a desexed boy & a desexed girl and best if they pick out their own friend.  Bringing just any bunny home and introducing that bunny to yours will just end up in tears and trip to the vet when one of the bunnies gets hurt.

2. Let your bunny find their own friend

The best thing you can do (if your bun is desexed) is to take your bun along to a shelter for a "bunny date".  Your desexed bun is introduced to a number of desexed buns and they can equally agree who they find the nicest bun to live with.  The best place to do this in Melbourne (assuming you're in Melbourne) is the Australian Animal Protection Society in Keysborough where they have a fabulous bunny adoption program.

3. Bringing home a new bunny

Saying all that above, however, it doesn't mean smooth sailing even if your bunny finds a friend and all seems good at the shelter.  When you get home, it's still your bunny's territory so you need to change all towels, rugs and thoroughly clean out the litter tray (preferably get a new neutral tray that both can claim).  I find it better to re-introduce in the bathtub when you get home (with a towel on the bottom) so you can see how they go when home.  If they seem to be okay, you could put them together in a neutral zone with all neutral things and supervise.  If there's any chasing, humping or aggression, you'll need to keep them separated until they get used to each other.

4.  Introducing your buns safely

A barrier helps when you bring a new bunny into the home.  Swap each bun over into the other's territory so they can smell each other's zone and get used to each other without any close up contact.  Keep swapping them over every day & introduce in a neutral zone for a short time every day until they start to groom each other, snuggle & share food together.  By that stage, the buns are usually very happy together unsupervised.

A bonded pair of bunnies is a lovely thing to see, however, introducing two rabbits is not as easy as you might think.

Rabbits are very territorial creatures so if you have a single bun and are thinking of finding a friend for your bunny, you'll need to know a few tips beforehand.

Tessie & Rex met at BOING.  They are both netherland dwarf buns (desexed girl & desexed boy).  He was 6 and she was 3 when they met.  They spent weeks separated between a barrier with lots of supervised dates until they were okay to stay together permanently.
When our Annabelle (now passed away) lost her friend Gus, we introduced her to Pumpkin.  Pumpkin looked a lot like Gus and between a barrier, they were very content.
Our next step to bonding Annabelle & Pumpkin was a date in the bathtub (that's a towel they are sitting on to stop them slipping around).
After a few weeks of dating and living next to each other, Pumpkin & Annabelle were grooming each other on their dates and were sharing food.  They were then safe to leave together permanently.
aaaaaaaaaaaaiii