As part of our focus this month on keeping rabbits in groups, today we’re going to introduce you to one of David & Feona’s pet groups.
David & Feona, our charity founders, now have three groups of rabbits of their own. The Musicals group, their oldest group, are a group of three rabbits that are a perfect example of group bonding working well.
Marius, a five-year-old dwarf-cross, was the first true rescue rabbit, and in many ways was the reason Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care was born. At the time he was rescued by David & Feona, he first joined a pair of British Giants who have since both passed away due to tumours behind their eye. This wee guy therefore has spent most of his recent life living with rabbits much bigger than him. It doesn’t put him off though, and he’s more than comfortable with his larger buddies.
Kenicke, a young Giant Continental approx 18 months, was originally a Pets At Home rabbit. He had been in three homes by the time he was only 6 months old, so when he came to us we couldn’t part with him (his arrival co-incided with the passing of one of our British Giants, so it was a no-brainer!).
Pepper, also a young Giant Continental approx. 14 months, joined us when she was only 10 weeks old. She has now just about overtaken Kenicke to become our largest rabbit, at a good 4 months younger than he is.
Kenicke and Marius were bonded first, having been part of a trio with Starlight our British Giant. When Starlight passed away, Pepper came along to the party. It wasn’t immediately a success though: Pepper caused a wee bit of jealousy between Kenicke & Marius and so they did have the occasional fight to try to win her affections over the other. A week of focussed bonding exercises though and it was almost like the penny dropped and they realised that sharing Pepper wasn’t a bad thing at all 😉
Now that they’re bonded together, the three are very happy. Regularly you’ll find the three of them snuggled up together. Although from time-to-time you’ll see two of them sitting separately from the third, it’s not a case of any of them playing gooseberry: the “pairing” switches regularly, and doesn’t negate the regular group of three (we’ll explain later in the week why this “pairing” behaviour is actually a good thing!).
The three of them regularly come out to events with us – until recently they were the only ‘safe’ group we could take, so have pretty much been a stable attraction at every event. Everyone comments on them, and most people think poor Marius is the baby. Many are surprised to learn that the three of them live together permanently, and even more so that the difference in size isn’t an issue. They help us to strengthen the message that rabbits can live happily together, and that male-female and same sex bonds DO work (the key is in the neutering!).