By Anna Ellis • 13 February 2023 • 14:33
Introducing rabbits who don't know each other needs to be done carefully. Image: krithnarong Raknagn / Shutterstock.com.
Once they’re spending one to two hours together without problems, they’re ready to start sharing living space.
The best way is to neuter both rabbits before they meet. Male rabbits can take up to six weeks to become sterile after they’re neutered. Females shouldn’t be bonded with another rabbit immediately after neutering to reduce the risk of injury.
Side-by-side enclosures help the rabbits to get familiar with each other from a safe distance. Provide a barrier between their enclosures that still allows them to see and smell each other, and to lie side-by-side. Each rabbit must be able to hide from one another whenever they want, so ensure they both have constant access to hiding places.
There may be some unrest in the beginning. This is normal and may last about seven days. Once they seem comfortable in one another’s presence, try swapping some of the rabbits’ nesting materials over, or rubbing a cloth over one rabbit and then the other to transfer scent.
Prepare a neutral area separate from their enclosures. This area needs to be somewhere neither rabbit has been housed before. Have hiding places and toys ready to put in the area, but leave it empty for when you first introduce them. Once the rabbits are comfortable with the sight and smell of each other, they can be introduced for short periods in the neutral area.
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Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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