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Rabbits/Keeping rabbits together



We have a neutered male rescue rabbit and a purebred pedigreed English spot female.  The two of them lived in the same cage and were very bonded to each other.  We bred the English spot to another pedigreed English spot since my daughter shows the purebreds and we found homes for the babies.  We separated the male and female before she had the babies which are now almost 3 weeks old.  My question is, we will be keeping one, maybe two of the female babies - what would be the best way to house the 3 or 4 of them?  Can we put the mom back with the neutered male?  Should mom stay with the babies (3 females) as they get older?  Is there any chance all of them could stay together?  We have two big cages.  Thank you,

ANSWER: Hi Chris,

I know people who have successfully kept mother with daughter and bred them at the same time.  The big problem is that you don't know who the mom is.  I strongly encourage you to keep them separate if they are show rabbits.  They will groom each other excessively and usually do not keep a good coat.  If they are only being used as brood animals there is a possibility that you could keep 2 of them together.  I would not bond more than 2.  As for putting the female back with the neutered male you may have to re-bond them.  Once rabbits are bonded it is for life.  They can become very withdrawn and depressed after losing their mate.  As with human couples, should one leave it could make the other not completely understand what happened.  They may fight if you try to put them back together but with time they should be able to work out their differences.  Now that you have babies out of the spot maybe you could get her spayed and let her and her bonded mate live happily ever after.  

Good luck


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm a little confused.  We do know who the mother is and won't have a problem telling her from the babies.  We don't plan on breeding her again.  I'm just trying to figure out if we should put the mom back with the neutered male, or leave her with female babies as they mature?  Or is there any chance all four of them would get along.  I can tell the male misses the female right now.  Maybe I'll put their cages so they can at least see each other while she's nursing babies.

If you are not going to breed them again then spay the mother when she is done with her kits and re-bond them.  Now that she has been away from him for a while you can't just put them back together without making sure that they will not fight.  It would be very difficult to bond more than 2 rabbits.  I suggest that you re-bond the mother back to the neutered male and if you decide not to breed the babies you could keep the females together.  Male rabbits will fight and they would need to be separated from the females before 12 weeks and from each other by 4 months.

I do not recommend bonding any rabbits that are going to be used for show.  Not only will they excessively groom each other but after they are on the show table they may fight with each other as they will be smelling other rabbits.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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