Thoughts on Keeping One Bunny with Its Bonded Pair Parents?

by Jojo

We adopted a bonded pair of Holland Lops from a local rescue. We were told they were fixed. In fact, they were not and the female was pregnant. Two weeks after adoption, we had seven, very cute kits.

Dad has now been fixed. Mom is due to be fixed the end of July. We have been waiting for her to stop nursing. All of the babies survived and are about to go to new homes.

My daughter is very attached to one of the babies and wants to keep it with the mom and dad. I am hesitant, but wanted to see if anyone has experience with this. It is a male. He is almost 8 weeks old. Currently, everyone gets along great but I worry about when hormones kick in and possibly breaking up the bond between the mom and dad. Thoughts?

***** Karen Sez *****

Yes, Jojo, when hormones kick in, there will very likely be some MAJOR problems as normal rabbit physiology kicks in.

Dad is fixed. Know that it takes a few weeks for the testosterone levels to drop, and he can still fertilize the doe for around 6 weeks after neutering. During that time, he may not be too pleased with having male competition around.

Neutering may or may not result in the taming of the Dad's dislike of other males. I think it will depend on his own predispositions as an individual buck with a unique genetic make-up.

Junior will be coming into his own about the time of the doe's getting fixed. Are you planning to get him fixed as well?

Lastly, the bonds between most rabbits are fairly loose. That is because they are prey animals. 75% of rabbits end up feeding predators. If those bonds were too tight, we'd have a lot of rabbits needing psychiatric appointments... In real life, colonies have hierarchies, and rabbits move up and down the scale as needed when holes in their societal fabric appear due to predation.

For your three rabbits, take each day at a time, and keep an eye out for dominance displays between the two males. Things will probably be okay between them, but only time will truly tell.

Enjoy your rabbits!

Here are more resources if needed:

Rabbit Raising Problem Solver.
Rabbit Reproduction.

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