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Socialize rabbits: tips for merging

Socialize rabbits: tips for merging


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If you want to socialize rabbits, you shouldn't just put the animals together. The rabbit relatives are very peculiar when it comes to their territory and vehemently defend it against intruders. Nevertheless, individual husbandry for long-eared animals is cruelty to animals. With the following tips, the merge works. If you want to socialize rabbits, a neutral terrain is best - Shutterstock / Richard Peterson

It's best to take a few days off to socialize rabbits. It can take a while for the animals to get along. After all, the fur noses first have to clarify their ranking and get to know each other.

Socialization of rabbits: tips for choosing the right partner

Choosing the right partner can save you some problems when merging. The main thing is the character of the Mümmler. Two dominant animals are constantly arguing and can be badly injured by bites. Two submissive animals lack orientation, which can unsettle them. A combination of a submissive and a dominant animal works best, as the order of rank is quickly clarified.

The gender distribution in your rabbit group is also important. As a rule, a neutered pounder and a female get along very well. In larger groups, an approximately equal ratio of castrated males to females is recommended. Two rabbit ladies often "tickle" and there are more problems with ranking. Two uncastrated males also fight fiercely. However, two early neutered Rammler are a combination that usually runs harmoniously.

At what age should you socialize rabbits?

When choosing a partner, the age of the animals must also be taken into account. Avoid placing a hatchling on an adult rabbit if possible. Rabbit children like to play a lot, are cocky and cheeky. The adult rabbits, on the other hand, want to be left alone and feel overwhelmed by the lively roommate. If a full-grown rabbit defends itself against the young animal's requests to play, the latter can also be seriously injured.

It is usually easiest to socialize rabbits that are both under 4 months young. You should still adhere to the earliest delivery age of at least 6 weeks. A bit more difficult, but still possible, is the bringing together of two adult rabbits.

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Prepare to get to know each other: Rabbits must be in quarantine

Before the future animal life partners meet, the new entry must be in quarantine. It may be that the new rabbit still carries pathogens from its old home, which can be dangerous for the long-established animal. To rule this out, you should first keep the animals separately for two to four weeks. Attention! During the quarantine, the long ears must not have any visual or olfactory contact, as they could otherwise consider themselves to be competitors and there is a dispute over the actual merger.

The right place for the rabbit reunification

It is best to choose a neutral location for the socialization. So none of the rabbits can consider the terrain as their territory to be defended. For example, place a grille spout in a place in the apartment that your old rabbit has not yet marked as its property with its fragrances. If you keep it outside, you can also set up the grille spout in the garden, but protect it there like a real enclosure, as it can take a few days to bring it together. Take care of several toilet corners, several feeding places and several hiding places in this introductory enclosure.

The run should be at least 6 square meters in size so that the animals can avoid each other in between. With the shelters and hiding places, make sure that the rabbits can leave them from all sides. If the inferior animal is pushed into a corner in a shelter and cannot escape, this leads to evil fights and injuries.

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Socializing rabbits: duration and process

Now the time has come, you want to socialize the rabbits: Put them in the introductory enclosure at the same time or one after the other. Then go out of the enclosure and retreat. However, keep an eye on your animals so that you can intervene if problems arise. The reunification can sometimes be wild, tufts of fur fly through the air, there is hunting and smoking. This is normal and shouldn't worry you. Separation is only necessary if the hunt does not stop or the rabbits bite into each other. After separation, you should not reassemble the animals.

The merge typically proceeds as follows:
sniff at: The long ears carefully approach each other.
charge around: The rabbits clarify their ranking.
To hunt: The rabbits run one after the other and pinch their fur.
breaks: The animals rest from the hunt, doze or eat.
jumps: The mummelasen jump up, "dance" with each other.
submission: The inferior rabbit lays his head flat on the floor and can be climbed or cleaned by the other.
approach: The distance between the fur noses is reduced.
Eating together: The animals have clarified the order of rank and made friends to the extent that they tolerate the others eating next to them.

How long it takes the rabbits to tolerate is difficult to predict. With some mating it sparks quickly and you can put the new roommates together after three to four days. Others take longer to clarify their ranking and to find sympathy for one another. Then it can also take several weeks before the two become friends and are allowed to move into their permanent enclosure together.

It is best to clean the old enclosure thoroughly before you put both animals in it. Use vinegar water to remove the scent marks from the long-established rabbit. Then fresh litter and fresh hay come in. For safety's sake, it also makes sense to change the furnishings so that your first rabbit does not recognize it as its old territory.

You might also be interested in these topics from the Animal section:

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