So– Remember how I adopted two rabbits, back in May? From PetCo– The supposed experts? And remember how they were both boys? Baxter staying Baxter (a boy), Duke becoming Watson (also a boy). And how Duke, now Watson, had come in with his sister, but didn’t get a home right away because no one wants almost full-grown rabbits and especially not full-grown rabbits that are boys?
Remember the part where they were both BOYS?!
Well, since living under that assumption for the past several months– I thought it would be nice to see if Baxter and Watson could live with one another. They’ve lived side by side with one another, simply divided by thick chicken wire and thus far it has been successful. Male rabbits can be just as aggressive as anything else can, and I’ve had experience with female bunnies not even giving each other the chance to say hi before trying to maul each other (I have the scar to prove it). But I’ve seen how they try to talk to one another and it hasn’t been malicious.
I’ve also felt a little guilty that they have a limited amount of space because of the divider and lately I’ve been dreaming of getting them big, two bunny hutches. One for outdoors and one for our basement where they stay for the winter. The outdoor hutch will have to wait until I can gather the funds for that one, but the smaller, indoor hutch, I could probably get in the next few months. It’s a double-decker, and has lots of hopping room for the both of them.
Because bunnies can get bent out of shape when introduced to one another, it is very important to do it slowly and carefully so no one gets hurt. We’ve been reading up on strategies other people have used to help their rabbits bond. Some of them seemed a little harsh and scary for rabbits. I’ve been trying to do it as slowly as possible. I try bringing them up together when I take them outside and for the last couple of days I’ve tried letting them hop around our living room for a while. Last night, they didn’t even look at each other. Baxter found a place under the piano to chill at and Watson decided to keep close to me.
Tonight? Whoa. Not the same.
Baxter went to his usual spot, Watson was trying to get onto my lap again and then all of a sudden they spotted each other and I held my breath, waiting for something to happen. However– I did not expect what happened.
Baxter pulled a Romeo.
It did not go well.
Watson was traumatized, obviously. I can’t unsee what I saw. And it got the cogs turning that something was amiss.
After some searching and finding of photos. We have decided that Watson.
Is a girl.
I don’t even know what to think right now– Other than…
It’s hard to sex rabbits, but after putting poor Watson through as microscopic of an examination as I could do, not being a veterinarian I’m 97% sure he’s a she.
This puts a crimp in my plans to put them together, obviously– Since I don’t want any mini Waxters or Baxsons, that will have to wait until I can take someone in to have the bits necessary to do so, you know, removed. It’s sounding like Baxter, who I am sure is a boy (Don’t ask me how I’m sure) will need to be neutered if I want them to live together.
It might not be a bad thing, if we can get it taken care of and everyone makes it through surgery ok. Which is a whole can of worms on it’s own, since the last two times I’ve taken rabbits to the small animal expert around here, they’ve either been diagnosed with a terminal illness or died (paranoia?). I am very much in love with Baxter and Watson, I don’t think I could deal with another loss like that. So I have to make a decision of what to do. But as I was saying, it might not be so bad if we get through that stressful bit– If Watson really is a girl and Baxter is neutered, then perhaps they can be bonded and Watson will be a Bunwife and Baxter a Husbun.
Who knows, I have limited experience in this, but it could be a good thing.
Anyway, I have to figure that out. But first:
That’s how I feel too. Despite that, here are some really horrible quality cell phone photos of my new baby bo–girl?
Iz hiding in ur shirtz!
Eyyyyyyye seez you.
Iz too coot for you!
I’ll try to keep you all updated on what happens– I don’t know what to do just yet, but hopefully whatever I decide will be the right decision!
Jaina & Baxter & Watson (Jane Watson)