Creating a bond between two Does is difficult to pull off, but not impossible. However, the question that lingers in most rabbit owners’ minds is how to bond two unspayed female rabbits. Although the best rabbit pair is normally between a male and a female, this article expounds more on pairing two desexed females and whether it’s better to do so prior to bonding.
Step-by-step guide on how to bond two unspayed female rabbits
Step 1: Preparation
Although most female rabbits are affectionate towards their owners, they may show aggression or act territorial towards other Does. This is mostly the case especially if both of them are unspayed. Bonding takes time and we normally encourage spaying your two does when they’re around 3 to 4 months old. Then wait for another 14 days for their wound to heal completely before you introduce them for the first time. The extra healing couple of weeks helps to minimize injury in case a fight breaks out. However, that’s not to say that the two females should be left unsupervised. Finally, before the first introduction, ensure that the meeting area is spacious enough to make both bunnies feel less cornered or as if they’re being coerced.
Step 2: Introduction
First and foremost, let your bunnies get used to each other’s sight and smell using a playpen or a wired partition as separation. In other words, allow them to interact for a couple of days without fully accessing each other’s space.
Step 3: Contact
When both bunnies are calm after the introduction phase and they’ve started to grow fond of each other’s company, remove the barrier and let them come into contact for the first time. However, always supervise their first physical encounter and try to make it as short as possible, and gradually extend their interaction time when things appear to be on track.
As your bunnies spend more time together, provide them with toys and enough food to avoid competition or unwanted aggression. However, in the event that a fight breaks out, move swiftly and separate them before you call it a day. As a precaution, it’s always advisable to wear bite-proof gloves to protect yourself as you break the fight. Alternatively, you can also use a sprout gun on your rabbits if you want to end the fight quicker.
Step 4: Consistency
How to bond two unspayed female rabbits takes effort. You need to be consistent with your two bunny-supervised interactions. Creating a bond can take a few days, a couple of weeks, or months. It mainly depends on your determination to go on even when fights occur, just when things appear to be smooth sailing. Go back to square one if your female rabbit pair show any signs of aggression towards each other.
Finally, when one female asserts dominance naturally over the other, a strong bond that lasts a lifetime is formed. At this point, a separation that keeps them apart for too long may cause stress or even trauma for each Doe.
What to do when two unsprayed females still don’t get along
Sometimes a female rabbit pair may fail to get along even after all your attempts of trying to create a bond between them. Under such cases, there’s a pecking order impasse, and their interactions will only hold grudges rather than build bonds. In short, give up if there are repeated fights after two months, in between bonding sessions that result in injury.
Can unspayed rabbits be bonded?
Trying to bond two unspayed females is most likely going to result in serious fights in the long run. Even if unspayed Does are closely related, they’ll still have territorial tendencies and may occasionally fight or act aggressively towards each other. The best solution is to desex the pair and wait for 14 days for the procedure to be effective before introduction for new pairs or reintroduction for closely related Does.
Are unspayed female rabbits aggressive?
In some cases, unspayed females may show aggression when they’re in heat or having phantom pregnancies. They may lunge, scratch or nibble at you or other rabbits, especially in spring and early summer. Aggression and sexual behavior are mainly triggered by rabbit hormones when female rabbits have reached sexual maturity, around 4 to 8 months old.
Will female rabbits fight to the death?
It’s rare although quite possible. A fight to the death might happen if one of the females holding a grudge is larger and more dominant than the other pair.
Should I let my rabbits fight it out?
It’s always advisable to stop a fight before it turns violent or injuries are sustained. Most fights are instant and vicious. They involve chasing, biting, boxing, and scratching an opponent or victim.
How long do unspayed rabbits live?
Unspayed female rabbits tend to have a shorter lifespan than their spayed counterparts. On average, the latter has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years while unspayed female bunnies have an average life expectancy of 4 to 7 years. In addition, Does that haven’t been spayed have a higher risk of developing uterine cancer particularly when they’re around 4 to 6 years old.
On average the bonding timeframe may vary, it can be as short as 14 days and may extend for a couple of months. In some circumstances, paired females are incompatible. In short, if you want to increase bonding odds, we recommend spaying your two does. Hopefully, we’ve answered the age-old question of how to bond two unspayed female rabbits.