Meet Jimmy, Our New Dutch Rabbit
Zoology Foundation recently added a new resident to our animal community. We’d like for you to meet Jimmy. He’s a three-year-old, Tri-Coloured Dutch rabbit who came to us from a loving home. One of the family members was allergic to rabbits, and we’re happy to be able to accommodate Jimmy to ensure he continues to have a good life.
Rabbits tend to be territorial and aggressive. When a new rabbit is introduced, it can result in biting, fighting, scratching and other hostile behavior. For this reason, it’s crucial to conduct a lengthy acclimation period that allows the rabbits to get to know one another. While it may take time for them to become friends, we’re confident that our acclimation process will set them on a path towards peaceful coexistence.
There are three other rabbits in our community – Sorrel, Pandora and Basil. Jimmy has slowly been getting to know them since early September. We introduced Jimmy to Pandora and Basil about a week after he arrived at Zoology Foundation. During these initial interactions, Pandora and Basil were placed in a crate that we brought into Jimmy’s house. This gave them an opportunity to see and sniff each other while avoiding physical contact. After several days, we moved to phase two, which involved placing a divider gate in the house. Jimmy was on one side, and Basil and Pandora were on the other. This increased their level of interaction while preventing them from attacking each other.
Jimmy showed excitement at these introductions. He ran up to the fence to say “Hello” to the other rabbits. Pandora and Basil were a bit frightened at first, but after a while they began laying down next to Jimmy (on opposite sides of the fence). This was a clear sign that they’re getting more comfortable with each other.
Sorrel is our alpha rabbit, and it was important to wait a little longer before introducing her to Jimmy. We’ve recently made this introduction. At first, Jimmy and Sorrel both exhibited aggressive behavior. It appears Jimmy would like to be the new alpha rabbit. It’ll be interesting to watch them work out their dominance hierarchy over time.
We placed Sorrel in a large crate containing food, water, a litter box, and space to lie down. Sorrel has been spending several hours a day in the crate inside Jimmy’s house, allowing them to get to know each other. We started seeing improvement in their interactions after about four days. Jimmy and Sorrel aren’t good friends yet, but they’re much calmer around each other than they were upon first meeting.
The acclimation process can take time. We’re going to continue exposing Jimmy to his new rabbit neighbors through the crate until we feel it’s safe to allow them to roam around together without a barrier. Over time, our goal is for them to become friends and be able to live in the same house together.
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