Flemish Giants - Solitary or Social?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Feathers n Fur, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Most animals are social beings. Are rabbits the same? I am looking into getting rabbits and have come to favor the Flemish Giant. Is it best to have two or are they a more solitary critter?
  2. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    Most people don't know this but rabbits are social and DO like being in pairs, however...

    If you keep two of the same gender together, when they hit a certain age they will start to fight. This could be 3 months or it could be 8, depends on the rabbits. Usually it's 6.
    Rabbits of opposite genders will breed (duh) and if kept together 24/7 the buck will over-breed the female, breeding her over and over again as soon as she gives birth, unless you have a HUGE area for them to move around in. Plus you will need an outlet for the kits whether through pets (which sometimes also means they end up at animals shelters) or meat (but Giant rabbits are a bit bone-heavy to be good meaties, but it can be done).

    The solution to both of these problems is to get them fixed of course, but most vets won't fix rabbits.

    Rabbits will also be social with their people and other pets and this can be an OK substitute.

    Good luck!
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Rabbits do enjoy the company of their own kind, it can just be hard to keep them together unless they are spayed/neutered. It is getting easier to find vets with rabbit experience then in the past. And you definitely want someone doing the surgery who has rabbit experience, not just dog and cat. I got my son a couple of does and had them spayed. They still each have their own hutch but they are right next to each other and seem to enjoy the company.
  4. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chirping

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hunterdon County NJ
    I'll have to investigate to find a vet who has experience with spay/neutering rabbits.

    Thanks for the advice. Wouldn't want him/her to be lonely for their own kind but do not want fighting issues.
  5. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    In the wild, rabbits are very social, but they like to have their own space. In captivity, it is difficult to provide them the necessary space they like when put with other rabbits, so generally I suggest keeping them alone. It's also difficult to pair rabbits up because they all have such different personalities. Occasionally, I've even seen same sex pairs that were siblings and grew up together turn on each other, with some really nasty injuries resulting.
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Wild rabbits are social in the sense that they often live where there are other rabbits, but they generally don't exhibit the group-supporting cooperative behaviors one associates with truly social species. Within the wild rabbit colony, there are dominant animals and subordinate animals, and the subordinates spend a great deal of effort in just staying out of the way of the dominants. There really aren't "friends" in a wild rabbit colony.

    We like our pets to be friendly toward us, so the personality of the domestic rabbit is quite a bit more low-keyed than that of their wild ancestors. Still, some rabbits like the company of other rabbits, some don't. Rabbit rescues will tell you that they should be kept with others of their kind, but even the rescues will have encountered a few that were just too nasty to their own kind, and had to be kept alone (they probably have seen some that are that way with humans, too!). As Chickerdoodle said, they need a good bit of space. The best arrangement for keeping rabbits together is a large area, with lots of places for resting and hiding, and several rabbits so the rabbits can choose for themselves who to hang with. Even then, you can't just put them together willy-nilly, because you may have one or more animals that are simply too aggressive to get along with the others. Rabbit teeth and claws are very sharp; they can do horrendous things to each other. I have seen rabbits that got along beautifully for years, but I have seen rabbits that suddenly didn't get along, too.[​IMG]

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