Bunny speed dating
Rabbits that live in compatible pairs or small groups benefit in many ways, including companionship, mental and physical stimulation, and not least a grooming partner!Once you see how happy rabbits are when living in bonded pairs you will vow never to keep a rabbit on its own again, and although there is always an exception to any rule, the large majority of rabbits can be successfully matched so long as care is taken with choosing a suitable partner and giving thought to their environment.Whilst most rabbits do benefit from living with a compatible other, there are a sizeable minority that really do seem to prefer to live without having to share their environment, especially if they are humanised and have a lot of attention from their owner.This can be especially true of house rabbits, and also can be true of elderly rabbits who sometimes prefer to be on their own despite having shared their life until recently with a bunny partner.So the point I am making here is to take each rabbit as an individual and decide what to do based on the circumstances involved and not based on what someone says in a book or website!Neutering of both partners is vital for long-term success, and ideally this should be carried out prior to matching or, in the case of baby rabbits, as soon as they mature.Almost all our rabbits at Cotton Tails® rabbit and guinea pig rescue are re-homed in pairs, so we supervise over 300 speed-dating match-ups every year.This experience has shown that the large majority of bunny “arranged marriages” are successful.
The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited.
With males this is usually between 10-16 weeks of age (as soon as the testicles descend), females being spayed from 14 weeks onwards so long as they weigh over 1kg.
My observations have shown that young rabbits recover just as fast if not quicker than adults, and waiting until the rabbits are 5-6 months old can cause many problems, including fighting or breeding.
Whilst there is no doubt that keeping rabbits in compatible pairs works best, there are some circumstances where a group or trio may work, so for more information on that topic, click on the side bar link for “Groups and Trios” or scroll down to the foot of this article.
Although the general thrust of this article is about bonding your rabbit, please do not feel pressurised into trying to match-up your rabbit just because you feel this is something you have to do.