As much as possible, rabbits must live in pairs.
So, you’re thinking of getting 1 female and 1 male bunny.
However, both of them will be intact.
And let me tell you if that’s a good idea or not.
Continue reading to find out:
- If unneutered male and female rabbits can live together.
- 3 vital things to remember when keeping a mixed-sex pair of bunnies.
- Whether pairing an intact bunny with a neutered rabbit will work or not.
- And much, much, more…
Can unneutered male and female rabbits live together?
Unneutered male and female rabbits can’t live together. They won’t live happily and peacefully. That’s because both unneutered males and females are prone to aggression.
So, they’ll trigger each other and fight all the time.
And if you’ve never seen rabbits brawl…
Then watch this video to see how intense they can be:
Moreover, another reason why they shouldn’t live together is the fact that:
The pair can reproduce.
And according to the RSPCA, rabbits do it quickly.
First of all, pregnancies in bunnies are short.
As it only lasts for about 31 to 33 days.
Moreover, a rabbit’s average litter size is 5 to 8 kits (baby rabbits).
And to top it all off…
A female rabbit (doe) can get pregnant again within 1 hour of giving birth.
“How’s that even possible?”
The Merck Vet Manual says the ovaries of does are different.
Because instead of following a hormone cycle, like us, humans…
Their ovaries get triggered to release an egg every sexual intercourse.
And that’s called induced ovulation.
Fact: Rabbis have their breeding season from late March to August. Sometimes, it can extend to September. With those factors mentioned, a rabbit can produce 30 or more kits during the breeding season.
Now, when I reveal that intact rabbits can’t live together…
The next question that people ask me is:
“What if 1 of the 2 rabbits is spayed or neutered?”
Unfortunately, that’s not a better idea than having both rabbits intact.
To explain, let’s explore both options:
Spayed female and intact male
Regardless if the female rabbit is spayed…
An unneutered male will still pursue her.
Because he still has the hormone called testosterone in his body.
That’s why he’ll engage in humping behavior.
And when he mounts a female rabbit that’s not up for anything…
She’ll initiate a fight with him.
Then, this triggers aggressive behaviors in the male bunny.
When that happens, both rabbits will be under a lot of stress.
Neutered male and intact female
Unspayed female rabbits can be territorial and aggressive…
Especially during the breeding season.
And when they’re paired with a neutered male, it can mean chaos.
Because he’ll no longer be interested in sexually pursuing her.
Which can lead to sexual frustration in the female bunny.
Then, that causes her to be more aggressive.
With that, she’ll show the following behaviors:
- Baring her teeth.
- Thumping the ground loudly using her back legs.
- Sitting up and raising her front paws (like a boxer).
You might also be interested in: Can Rabbits Be Gay? 11 Surprising Stories
Vital things to keep in mind
As you learned, you can’t have unneutered male and female rabbits together. So, you have no choice but to have them undergo the procedure.
And as you pursue that route, let me leave you these 3 vital tips:
#1: Spay/neuter your rabbit as early as possible
According to research:
Non-breeding rabbits should be immediately neutered upon reaching sexual maturity.
In female rabbits, that’s around 4 months of their age.
However, vets recommend they get spayed when they turn 6 months old.
That’s because the younger the rabbit, the riskier the procedure.
As for male bunnies, their testes descend early.
That’s why they’re sexually mature at 8 to 12 weeks of age.
Now, spaying a doe is more urgent.
Because, unlike male bunnies, it has a more complicated procedure.
And the younger they undergo it, the better.
But a buck (male rabbit) can be neutered until 6 years old.
After that, they’re too old for the procedure.
Going through it exposes them to surgical and anesthetic risks.
#2: Choose the right vet to do the procedure
Your rabbits’ lives will be on the table when they undergo surgery.
That’s why you must find the right vet to do it.
Especially since vets vary in their specialization.
With that, some have more expertise in spaying and neutering rabbits.
Moreover, you must prioritize assessing the vet’s skills rather than their pricing.
That’s my biggest advice because:
Some fur parents go for the pricier procedures.
Which is due to the notion that the more expensive something is…
That means it’s more effective.
But that’s not always the case.
While other fur parents try to save less and pick underpriced procedures.
And that can be dangerous as most of those involve the following:
- Less experience.
- Inadequate equipment and facilities.
With that, always evaluate the vet’s expertise.
And if they check out and you can afford them, that’s the best way to go.
#3: Properly introduce your rabbits to each other
Once your doe and buck are castrated…
You still have to introduce them properly.
Otherwise, you’ll deal with the behaviors you avoided in their intact state.
So first, put them in separate cages and place them side by side.
Then, continue to keep them apart for a few days.
But swap each bunny over the other cage several times a day.
You do that to introduce each other’s scent to them.
It also helps to feed them at the same time.
So that they’d get used to eating together and lose the competitive nature.
Now, there’s no exact number of days that I’ll tell you to do this. As it’s different for each pairs of rabbits.
However, check out these signs on your bunnies:
- Grooming each other.
When they show that, it means they’ve bonded.
So, try to get them out of their cages at the same time.
They must be happy and relaxed with each other.
If not, go back to the separate-cage practice again.
And with the success of that introduction…
You, together with your neutered rabbits, can now live in harmony.