If there are rabbits in the house or have already seen the light of day, you will sooner or later ask yourself what should happen with the young animals.
Give them away?
Should your choice fall on the latter, it is important to know whether it is allowed to keep rabbit siblings together at all?
You can find the answer now!
Is it possible to keep rabbit siblings together?
It is possible that keeping siblings together in the same hutch works.
However, only under certain conditions!
Each rabbit is unique in its own personal way, has its individual needs, its own head and in the course of this also a very distinctive character.
In the development of the character of rabbits it behaves in principle a little like with children. Here, too, it is not uncommon for children to develop completely different characters, even though they grow up in the same environment, with the same parents and the same upbringing.
What is the reason for this?
Mainly because every living being has its own experiences and evaluates these experiences differently and integrates them into life.
Genes also play a decisive role. Both humans and animals have different genetic predispositions.
For example, some people and animals are naturally more timid, while others prefer to be in the middle of things everywhere and can’t even decide what they want to do first.
Therefore, the correct answer is:
You can keep your rabbit siblings together if their characters match.
It makes little sense to keep a fearful and submissive rabbit with a rabbit that claims everything for itself regardless.
In this case, it doesn’t matter that the two animals are siblings.
The fearful rabbit will most likely go down and retreat. Possibly the dominant animal will not even let the lower-ranking one touch the food and will chase it around the enclosure!
Depression is not uncommon here.
On the other hand, it makes no sense to put two very dominant animals together, where it is obvious that neither of them is willing to give way in case of doubt.
Here frequent quarrels and a high stress potential are guaranteed and pre-programmed!
In short: It is crucial that the rabbits understand each other.
Do rabbits recognize their siblings as such?
This question cannot be answered so easily.
In any case, it can be said that rabbit siblings accept each other up to an age of about 12 weeks.
From this point on, the maturation process makes a big leap forward and sexual maturity sets in.
This is where it gets exciting: your rabbits now begin to see themselves as independent personalities and sometimes classify their siblings as competition.
Basically, it can be said that it is obvious that your rabbit recognizes its siblings as such.
Nevertheless, your rabbit will not tolerate more from its siblings than it would from other rabbits.
Competitive fights among siblings are not uncommon!
Both female catfighting and male rank wars are not uncommon among siblings.
A “sibling bonus” therefore does not exist with rabbits under guarantee.
What you need to know about the social behavior of rabbits
Rabbits are extremely sociable and social animals.
This means that they form deep and intimate bonds and cherish these friendships. A rabbit that is kept individually will not be happy.
Nevertheless, the behavior of animals is that they do not necessarily get along with every partner animal. So, two animals that exude a dislike should not inhabit the same hutch just so they are not alone.
While it may be that the animals will get along and accept each other after some time, that’s about it.
In this case it is best to either find a new – suitable – partner animal for both animals or to give away one of the animals and find an adequate companion for the remaining animal.
Do you wonder if it makes a difference if you keep two males, two females or mixed sexes? Whether there is a combination where the chances are particularly good that the animals can become fond of each other?
Then stay tuned, because this is the question we are about to clear up.
Brothers and sisters – does gender play a role?
Yes, of course, gender can be the deciding factor in whether or not sibling animals harmonize. If, for example, you are a girl and have a sister, then you will most likely know exactly what we mean. At the latest, when you are in your teens and have a crush on the same boy, drama and catfights are the order of the day!
Everyone wants to win their crush over, and neither of you is willing to give up the field to the other.
This competition is controlled by hormones and is therefore quite natural.
It is no different with rabbits. So it can happen quickly that you get two bitches in the enclosure, which do not allow each other anything. Especially if there is an additional male rabbit living in the enclosure.
On the other hand, this can also happen with two males.
In the presence of a lady, many male rabbits become macho, not tolerating any rivals.
They want to have their female all to themselves.
But even without an additional female animal, it is not uncommon for male rabbits to engage in rank fights, which can sometimes be fought out in blood.
Ideally, you should always keep one male and one female rabbit together. Here the chances are best that the cohabitation runs smoothly.
If you do not want your female rabbit to become pregnant, you should of course have at least one of the two animals neutered!
Under certain conditions the cohabitation of brothers or sisters can also work.
We will now take a detailed look at what these conditions are.
This is how the cohabitation of two rabbit brothers works out
Hormones play a very important role in rank fights.
Therefore, if you want to keep two brothers together, it is necessary to influence the hormones.
This can easily be achieved by castration.
Two castrated bucks (that’s what male rabbits and hares are called) harmonize much better than uncastrated animals. If you keep two un-neutered rabbits together that don’t get along, it may even happen that exactly these two animals become best friends as soon as neutering is performed.
Of course, neutering does not guarantee that your rabbits will become friends. Even after neutering, both animals will still have the same character. If these characters just don’t match, then neutering won’t help either.
By the way, the ideal time to neuter your bucks is between the 8th and 12th week of life. Since sexual maturity begins at 12 weeks of age, neutering should take place before that time.
The longer you delay neutering, the more likely it is to be purposeful when living with another male rabbit.
Also note that when animals are neutered after the onset of sexual maturity, it can take several weeks for the remaining hormones to clear. Therefore, behavioral changes sometimes do not appear until several weeks after neutering.
This is how two sister rabbits live together
Even with two female rabbits, neutering can cause the animals to get along better.
However, it is generally not recommended that you keep two females together.
While fights between males are usually short and violent, females usually only stop fighting when one of them is dead!
Ideally you keep a mixed group of neutered animals whose characters match.
A balance between the sexes is advantageous here.
If the general conditions fit, it doesn’t matter if the animals are siblings or not!
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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