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Rabbits/Relationship between mother-daughter

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Question
Hello,

I've been fostering a baby bunny since she was 48 hrs old and her rescued mother as well. The "baby" is now going on to 6 months, and three days ago (Sept 5), I woke up at 6:00 a.m to fighting between them. It was quite aggressive with some fur flying, but I've seen worse fights between other bunnies before!

The mother has only one baby; the 2nd one died within the first 24 hrs. She has always been devoted and very close to the surviving baby. There have been a couple of mild disagreements before the Sept 5 incident, when maturing baby would chase mama and both jumping over each other's head, as if in play.

The mother was spayed a couple of months ago, and the baby is going in on Friday. After seeing them so close for 5 months, it's sad to think that could be the end of their relationship. They are separated by an xpen now, but even through the bars they seem to "hate" each other!

My question is: do you think I should try putting them back together after the baby's spay and the time given to post-op care? Is there a chance they could like each other again? Is there any other possible reason for this sudden change than hormones? How common is it that the mother-child bond lasts a lifetime in an indoor/unnatural environment?

Thank you for your reply!

Answer
Karen,

This could definitely be a result of the baby not yet being fixed. Once baby has gone through the surgery, give it 6 weeks at most. They should go back to being friends. If not, the only other reason for such aggression is because they are two females that are related but not sisters. Baby would be seen as a threat to Mama's territory.

Please keep me posted and let me know how things work out. Best of luck.

Christine  

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Christine Whetstone

Expertise

I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.

Experience

I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues

Publications
http://ilovemyhouserabbit.com/

Education/Credentials
Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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