Introducing new rabbits...

Background
There is no doubt that rabbits need company, they have evolved to be reliant on other rabbits for their security and emotional needs.

A big problem with introducing a new rabbit, is that they can be extremely territorial and may attack any new rabbit that is introduced.

A solution to this problem is to set up a territory for the new rabbit, within the run that you are trying to introduce them to, while they get used to each other.

Starting out
Place the new rabbit in the run, inside a cat box or other partially obscured cage. This way the original rabbits can see the new rabbit but are unable to attack them.

Over the course of a few hours, the new rabbit will come to appreciate that they are safe within their own little territory and should relax a little. The original rabbits should slowly start ignoring the new rabbit, accepting that they are not going away.

The original rabbits may jump over the cage in a territorial display but this is quite normal. Whilst initially frightening for the new rabbit they quickly learn that they are safe in their cage.

Free at last
Once you are satisfied that the original rabbits have paid little or no attention to the new rabbit for over an hour, the door of the cage can be left open.

Keep an eye on them, but leave the new rabbit to venture from their safe territory when they are ready. This may be in minutes or they may take hours. It depends on how intimidated the new rabbit has been made to feel by the original rabbits.

There may be a few scuffles and jumping over or nipping at the new rabbit, but providing these only last a few seconds or the new rabbit is able to retreat to her safe territory, they are best left alone.

It is best to do these introductions for several days in a row, keeping them apart at night or when you are not there for long periods.

Just like any new relationships, rabbit ones take time to grow and the slower you take this process, the more success you are likely to have.

Please remember, rabbits should never be kept in hutches without a run attached and should never live without company.

If you have any questions or comments on any part of our work, please contact us:
Animals in Mind, Penygraig, Cwmann, Lampeter, SA48 8EZ
01570 423891 - Email Us