Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hooray for…Hector?

You know how after people have a boy and a girl, they tell you they are having a third child?

And you say, “Why? You already HAVE one of each.”

And they say, “We just feel like something is missing, and our family is not complete yet.”

And then they have the little one who usually turns out to be terror times two, and you think, “Yeah. That’ll complete you. Real fast.”

Well, Brett and I are there. Admittedly not with children, but with our bunnies. They have bonded and are, for the most part, healthy and happy. But we still feel like something is missing.

I think Hannah could use another male to dote on her, and Peyton could benefit from an adventurous playmate. Tripling is an ambitious endeavor, but our tried-and-true HRS foster moms assure us that the work is worth it. Most affirming of all is their faith in us to make it work.

I called Michelle who fostered (and almost adopted) our lovely Hannah and inquired about the work required and benefits of tripling. It seems the main benefit is comfort for the rabbits in the case of one rabbit (shall we say) going to that big warren in the sky.

Tripling involves more time and effort than pairing, since two rabbits have to accept a new rabbit, but we are confident enough about it to give it a try.

Michelle has suggested “Hector,” a mini-Rex. Rexes are known for the velvet feel of their fur. We are also more likely to be successful by adding a second male, as male rabbits are more accepting of males than females are of females. (I read that sentence three times to see if it made sense at any point.)

Here is some of Michelle’s advice:

For the 3 vs. 4 question…(not that I'm an expert in this area.. but my two cents I guess) - You can do it, but the thing is usually 2 females rarely get along, again unless they're related. Usually the female is the dominant one, the leader. In tripling, you usually go with two guys so the female doesn't get as defensive. She may still choose to be more bonded with one of them, but will accept the 2nd male more easily. Two males also tend to bond pretty easily. Even in the fostering I do, it's amazing how quickly the boys will become buddies - even through a pen.

So...when it comes to four, you have a choice of whether you want two distinct/separate pairs vs. trying to get all four together. I have a male Dutch foster that I'm likely going to keep and I've been debating the same thing. I think in my case, I may go the route of 2 distinct pairs - assuming the little guy will accept another bunny - he's rather particular. We can talk more on this tonight, but I wouldn't worry too much about having to introduce a 4th at this point. There are many triples out there that do really well.

I've attached a picture of the little guy I'm thinking of that may work well for you. He's a 4 1/2 - 5 lb mini rex. It's hard to explain all of this in e-mail so we can talk more, but he's very playful, non-aggressive and has learned to keep himself quite entertained (and did I mention very sweet?). I think he'd be a good match because I don't see him as being aggressive or shoving himself between your current two.

And, if the bonding takes a bit, he can handle being on his own quite well as long as he has some toys, a towel to dig at and some attention. I'll give you his background and what not-- he's got his own recovery story and has become quite a charming little guy. I believe he's about 2 1/2 to 3 years right now, but since he only recently figured out he was a bunny - he's got the energy of a younger rabbit. Additionally, rexes also have some different personality traits than lops that we can talk about as well.

Anyway - let me know what you think. His pictures never to me show off his cuteness the way I see him, but these two are pretty decent.

Re: Hector's toys - he's pretty easy to entertain. He has his boxes which he loves to move. His biggest toys are a slinky, one of those big yellow rattle ball toys, and a rope/wood toy thing I made that looks like a smaller version of a bird toy. His biggest entertainment is "digging" which is playing with a blanket/towel with his paws and relocating it everywhere. In his pen I keep a handle towel but he likes playing with blankets when I have him out too. And he loves to run. He's very neat. He may tear at the newspaper a bit but he doesn't disintegrate it like some.

So, we’ve decided to add to our brood. Michelle will bring Hector to our house in April/May, and we’ll see how the introduction to Hannah and Peyton goes. I’ll keep you updated!

1 comment:

Heidi said...


Since I don't know much about rabbits, good luck!!