Pet Rabbits are happier pets when living as a pair, male and female. And, it was time to find free range pet rabbit Babe, a partner.
She was now over six months old and was ready for the vet to make her infertile
A Free Range Pet Rabbit Partner for Babe
So, as I was passing the vet’s, I went in to arrange her operation. But, I needed to go through the pet shop to access the vet. Yep right past the new pet rabbits, and I could not resist having a quick peek.
There were plenty of new pet rabbits to choose from, unlike when Babe found me. Lops and lion heads in various colours, but only one male Dutch. All the other new pet rabbits in the run were in a huddle.
But this grey and white standard Dutch, the smallest one, was on his own at the back in the corner. I liked him; he would make an excellent partner for Babe!
But it was too soon; I will have to think it over, walked through the shop into the vet’s surgery.
Leaving with Pet Rabbit Bob
But, the reception was busy, so I had almost made up my mind by the time it was my turn. I just needed to know when Babe would be having her operation.
My turn came, and the receptionist booked Babe in; we now had six days to wait; then seven to ten days for Babe to recover. I went back through the pet shop and left with a grey and white Dutch rabbit named. Bob
At first, free range pet rabbit Babe and Bob had to live apart for at least sixteen days. So, Bob had the vacant rabbit house. At the same time, Babe lived free range in the home with me. With only one at a time allowed in the garden.
But, when Babe went to the vet’s, Bob would have it all to himself: Until Babe had fully recovered. The only problem I had was getting Bob back into the rabbit house. But on the plus side, they were going through the first bonding stage.
Bonding Rabbits Babe and Bob
Bonding rabbits should be easy if you go about it the right way, but there is no guarantee of success. The first stage keeps them apart but close enough to see and smell each other.
Then when they are ready, get them together on neutral territory, but this was a problem for me. Because free range pet rabbit Babe already had the run of the house/garden, and the front garden had no fence.
All I can do is hope sharing the garden and leaving their scent would make it neutral ground. Babe went to the vets, had her operation, and returned the same day.
After two days in the cage and five more in the house, she was back in the garden. But also showing signs of aggression through the wire of Bob’s hutch again.
A few days passed before, they got friendly on either side of the patio gate with no hostility from Babe. So, hoping the time was right for them to complete the bonding, I opened the gate and stood back.
Bob went head to head with Babe, who promptly nipped Bob and chased him across the lawn. I stood watching them in case they ended up fighting. But they only ran around the garden for a couple of minutes, stopping one at each end.
They both started eating grass while watching one another and slowly moving closer until they were head to head.
Now, Babe started grooming Bob, and when Bob reciprocated, I knew their bonding was complete! Had they viewed the garden as neutral territory, or was it sheer luck?
I will probably never know, but Bob could finally move into our home.
Free-Range House Rabbit Problem
Unlike Babe, Bob was not in the cage that first night but was free to roam with Babe. I assumed that having Babe’s company would be enough to keep him occupied, as it had all day. Oh, how wrong could I be!
The rabbits had been chewing the furnishings, some items more than others. Thinking it was all down to Bob, I had to prepare the cage for a guest that night. But during the day, I caught both rabbits reshaping a table leg.
So, it was not all down to Bob and a first for free range pet rabbit Babe. Now I am not house proud, and the damage is not easy to spot if you are unaware of it. But if my free range pet rabbits keep this up, it will be a big problem.
And I loved having both rabbits around. So, I had to find a solution. Rabbits are not intelligent and survive by instinct. And, as far as I know, they are not up for behaviour control. But they will chew and try to eat anything; this will not be easy to change!
So, Bob had to stay in the cage at night while Babe was free to roam as usual. But, like Babe, Bob was not a happy bunny in the cage, but it worked.
Babe split her nights between Bob and me and did not chew again. But this was only a short-term solution. Bob was out during the day and would try to eat the rugs, curtains and chairs.
But as I was there was to stop him, the damage was minimal, and he slowly stopped attempting to chew.
Finally! A Pair of Free Range pet Rabbits
It had taken a month for him to get control of his teeth and give up. So, it was time to try again! I did everything, as usual, that night except put him in his cage before his good night treat.
I went to bed, followed by free range pet rabbit Babe, leaving a bewildered Bob in the lounge.
Now due to him having no self-confidence when deciding what to do. It was some time before Bob arrived at the open bedroom door, where he stood bobbing his head. He was making me laugh!
But he could be there acting like a nodding dog in the back of a car all night. There was only one thing I could do, pick him up and put him on the bed.
I had little sleep that night due to Bob moving around on the bed. But he finally decided to lay down, and I had an hour to sleep before sunrise.
When Babe, as usual, jumps off the bed and wakes me up. But neither of them had exercised their teeth that night.
Over the next few nights, Bob got into the new no gnawing routine to become a fully fledged, free range pet rabbit. So, finally, I could relax and enjoy life with two rabbits as my almost constant, fun-loving companions.
Free range pet rabbit Bob has settled into family life well and seems to have forgiven me for his bad start.
It is cruel to confine a rabbit in a cage, but I had little choice at the time. Perhaps with better planning, it may have been unnecessary.