Rabbits have become very popular pets in recent years but rabbit ownership can very quickly get out of control if you don’t do your research.
Rabbits are very social animals and while one rabbit might suit the family, if you are not willing to give this rabbit a lot of time, love, attention and enrichment then they can become lonely and depressed. Taking on two rabbits is ideal if you have the space, money and time, but just make sure they are either the same sex or desexed because, as the old saying goes, they breed like rabbits! Rabbits can get pregnant once they are three months old so if you are unsure on the sex of your rabbits, ask your vet.
Often when you see rabbits being rehomed it might state “bonded pair”, but what does that mean? A bonded pair are two rabbits who are emotionally connected, and once formed these bonds are for life. If you have a bonded pair of rabbits you will get to see them grooming each other, laying up next to one another and generally doing all things together. Housing a bonded pair means your rabbits are happily fulfilled, and you as the owner may have less issues with your rabbits such as anxiety or depression. As a general rule, you can tell you have a bonded pair if the rabbits spend 48 hours together without showing any aggressive behaviour or chasing each other.
OK, so if two rabbits are good, how about three or more? In the wild, rabbits live in large groups so it makes sense they would enjoy group living in your backyard.
But ask yourself:
Can I provide the time, energy and money to look after this many animals?
Do I have enough space for their enclosure?
If you decide to go with a larger group of rabbits then you may need to look at temperament. Some rabbits are highly territorial and their personalities may not be best suited for large group living but rather with just one other rabbit. In this case, think about setting up an enclosure where you can allow different groups or pairs to enjoy different areas by inserting sliding doors or plastic pipes/tunnels.
Rabbits can make the best pets but they are not “beginner’s” pets as sometimes described. Rabbits, like cats and dogs, can live long lives and need attentive owners. So, before jumping into rabbit ownership, be sure to do your homework and honestly ask yourself: Can I commit my time for the next 6-8 years?
Two rabbits are better than one. Bonded rabbits bond for life and peacefully coexist together.
Male rabbits can remain fertile for up to six weeks after being castrated. Do not return a male back into the run with a female immediately after desexing.