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Rabbits/Hormonal bunnies


I have two pure bred mini lop females who came home from the breeder together, exact same age but not littermates. They have been totally bonded and loving to each other from the day I brought them home. Tansy who is the smaller of the two has seemed to be the dominant one mounting Poppy occasionally. They both started acting hormonally from about 6 and a half months, digging madly in the litter tray etc. When they were 7 months old (last week) Poppy started pulling hair from Tansy and built a nest (obviously a false pregnancy) I separated them for Tansy's safety as Poppy is quite a bit bigger. She then started pulling out her own fur and using hay to finish off the nest. After a couple of days she apparently realised she wasn't pregnant and started using the nest as a litterbox again so I let them back together again. Poppy is constantly mounting Tansy, bothering her a lot so I have separated them again. They are beside each other and can see each other and seem to want to be together but when they are it's a disaster! They are due to be spayed next week and I am hoping the behaviour will improve after that but I am concerned that they will lose their bond. Do you think they can go back to normal after they are spayed?

Dear Karen,

You're wise to keep them physically separated but able to see/smell/touch each other until they're spayed.  I hope they are going together to get the surgeries, because that's the best way.  They'll be recovering together, stressed together, and traveling together, all of which will help restore their bond.

If you're concerned that there will still be mounting behavior after the surgery (there might), keep them in the same adjacent pens for 3-4 days until they're feeling better, and then do careful re-introductions in a neutral territory.  Things should be fine if they have not been fighting or showing real antagonism towards each other.

Hoping all goes well with their spays, and they'll be back to normal soon.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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