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Thread: Bonding post neuter/spay

  1. #1

    Default Bonding post neuter/spay

    Hi,

    My nearly 9 month old brother/sister Netherland dwarfs Joey and Sophie are now 2 weeks post neuter/spay. They have recovered really well and had their final post op check yesterday. I asked the (rabbit savvy) vet when would be best to start the bonding process and they said we could start today and see how it goes.

    Since we got them 6 months ago, Joey and Sophie have lived in adjoining pens and have groomed each other through the bars and generally enjoyed each others company. Since his neutering, Joey has shown no signs of his previous hormonal behaviour so we thought we shouldn't have too many issues putting him with Sophie in a neutral space.

    So this morning we set up a relatively neutral space (both bunnies have separate free roam time of the whole house) and introduced them. The entire session consisted of Joey chasing and mounting/humping Sophie! Sophie didn't seem too bothered by it but did keep running away and just seemed a bit fed up of Joey harassing her so much. We decided to separate them again when Joey pulled a little of Sophie's fur out (not much and Sophie didn't even seem to notice).

    I guess my question is, is it too early to bond them? I am aware it can take a while for the hormones to die down after neutering but the timeframe for this seems to vary quite dramatically depending on where you get the information from! Has anyone had any similar experiences or general advice?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Sausage&Beans; 21-11-2020 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2

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    I have limited experience of just my two, but humping and chasing and fur pulling is a normal part of bonding for some - it certainly has been for mine. It can be a bit hard to watch as a human, but I found that doing 24/7 bonding worked better than repeated together and apart, because doing that we just went over the same ground again and again, and Freja only had so much hair - doing 24/7 meant that they progressed over time. We did find (after reading somewhere) that giving her low items to go under helped her, though the general advice is to avoid any items they can guard - but having these things meant she could knock him off more easily and avoid his attention for periods. The best things were children's chairs that had no real walls, so weren't worth guarding, but just blocked him from following her on top (though this might not work for normal size rabbits, mine are giants).
    There are some good threads here about humping and bonding that are worth a read through for reassurance, but despite all the humping we never had an ounce of retaliation from Freja, she just moves away when she's fed up.
    But the general rule seems to be to wait 6-8 weeks after neutering to allow hormones to settle so might be worth waiting a little longer as well?

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default

    Hello there! I agree with Dollyanna but it wouldn't make any difference even if you waited longer as they still have to sort out the hierarchy. This is usually done by the male chasing the female for a couple of days and as long as she can run away they will soon bond. They have waited a long enough time and I hope they have many happy years together.

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