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Rocko/Spunky\'s home
Rocko/Spunky's home  
Hi, my name is Nicole and I have two male rabbits who are both neutered. Rocko is a brown and tan Holland Lop. Spunky is a black and white Mini Rex. They are both living in their own seperate cages, indoors only. It's a wire cage, with hard wood floors under their feet. I bought them both on December 29, 2012 and the store owner told me they were about 4 weeks old. I had picked both of them from the same cage thinking that because they already lived together in the store, maybe it would greater the chances of them getting along. I kept them both in one very large cage and they were getting along very well. I knew it was a matter of time before hormones would kick in. After one small fight, I had them both neutered and have kept them separated ever since. Both their cages are side by side so that they could become fimiliar and comfortable with each other's presence. To bond them again, I would let them out in different small rooms and areas for a few minutes at a time. I figured if they don't fight, I would eventurnaly give them full range of my apartment. Unfortunately they have gotten into several huge fights. I know if I do not break them up, they would fight until death. I want to blame Spunky. He always seems to demand licks from Rocko and Rocko does lick the top of Spunky's head sometimes but Spunky will never return the favor. Spunky has a serious nipping problem. He nips Rocko, which always turns into a huge brawl and he always nips me too! He'll nudge my hand or leg a few times and then nip me while I'm trying to spend time with him. I assume this means "get out of my way" but I do not want to tolerate a biting rabbit. I also get the feeling Spunky is nervous around me and my boyfriend. Both rabbits do not tolerate being picked up though I pick them up anyway to bring them into which ever room I plan on watching them in. Rocko is more of the tough guy, he's not scared of us. My problem with Rocko is that he stomps his back feet often. I know this is a sign of anger, but I don't understand what he is angry about?! When I put them both back into their cage, they both stomp very hard. I understand that, but Rocko does it while I'm trying to hang out with him. I took him onto the couch with me and he randomly stomped about 4 times. I wasn't even pestering him! I just figured we could hang out in a blanket together! Rocko also is aggressive with his cage bars. He's always biting them and pushing them around. I'm just wondering what I can do for my rabbits to make them happier. They just seem angry a lot and neither one of them are very playful. I still consider them babies so I would assume they'd be the most playful. I had 1 rabbit before these two. A white lop named Bun-Bun and she was a complete doll. She LOVED me and my boyfriend and it seriously showed. I really miss that type of affection and I wish my two boys loved me the way Bun-Bun did. I added a photo of their cages, maybe my set up is no good? Also, I have never let them on the grass. I guess I'm nervous about letting them outside. I feel like Spunky would literally have a heart attack, haha. Thank you for your time!

Answer
Hi Again:

This is a follow up to my last message - which answered your question in detail.

It's clear from the photo that your rabbits have a beautiful home, they are clean and well cared for.  However, the cage set up is only making things worse for the situation you are dealing with.  Rocko and Spunky are able to sit and stair at one another all day, allowing aggression to build up in Spunky and fear to build up in Rocko.  It's fueling both of them which is only making them more likely to fight.

Since the housing is so nice, can you just separate the two cages and put one in a separate room?  That would make a huge difference for both of them.

Lisa L.

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Lisa L.

Experience

I was introduced to meat rabbits at the age of 3. Began working with them on my own at the age of 8 and started my own large commercial rabbitry at the age of 20. I'm 46 now and for the past 26 years I have owned a large herd of meat rabbits and have become well known as the turn-to person whenever a problem arrises.

Organizations
Member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Member of the Rabbit Industry Council. Member of the Yahoo - Meat Rabbits Group. Member of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. Administrators of the FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Publications
Yahoo Meat Rabbits Group. www.rabbitzinger.com American Council of Animal Naturopathy www.raisingrabbits.com FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Education/Credentials
There is no formal training for raising rabbits; its all hands on. I have had a steady rabbit breeding operation for 24 years and have read every book there is on raising rabbits for meat. Additionally, I am a member of several rabbit groups and associations as listed below.

Awards and Honors
None - there are none in this field.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped countless people over the past several decades. These have been people I knew personally or those referred to me by one of the many rabbit organizations I belong to.

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