Recently dwarf rabbits have become one of the most popular animals. They are adorable and, due to their small size (adult rabbits reach the size of a well-fed cat), enjoy the love of not only children but also adults. Like any other pet, rabbits require knowledge of some rules for maintenance and care. First of all, it should be borne in mind that rabbits should be regularly looked after: including weekends and holidays, as well as during school holidays and vacations. In the latter case, therefore, it is necessary to think in advance whether you will take the rabbit with you on a journey, or leave it with your friends who love rabbits, just like you. With proper care, there will be no particular problems with the maintenance of the rabbit and with its health.
Some words about the breed.
Dwarf rabbit differs from other members of the family only in size. The small size of the dwarf rabbit is explained by the so-called “dwarfism genome”, which was specially cultivated by German breeders. Today, only five breeds of dwarf rabbits are known, according to the European classification. Among them, ermine hermelin, colored dwarfs, dwarf lop-eared rabbits (rams), short-haired rabbits “Rex” and long-haired “fox” rabbits. In the history of dwarf rabbits was the moment of their almost complete extinction after the Second World War. However, zoologists from the UK still restored this amazing species of animals. In nature, dwarf rabbits are represented by a single species – the North American pygmy rabbit.
Name in other languages.
Leporidae is the Latin name for the hare family,
Oryctolagus cuniculus var.dom is the common Latin name for the species of domestic dwarf rabbits,
Brachylagus idahoensis is the only species found in nature dwarf rabbit,
Pygmy Rabbit – pygmy rabbit Eng.
Genus: Oryctolagus, Brachylagus
Species: Oryctolagus cuniculus var.dom – home dwarf rabbit, Brachylagus Idahoensis – wild pygmy rabbit.
The most common today is “homemade” dwarf rabbits, the breeds of which were mentioned in the introduction. But the pygmy rabbit is perhaps the only one of its kind – a rare animal that has conservation status in the United States. This dwarf rabbit is found mainly in the Northwest United States, in states such as Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California, Nevada, and Utah. He prefers to arrange his holes under shrubs growing in this area. Moreover, the home of a wild dwarf rabbit usually has several exits – for the animal, it is an important opportunity to escape from danger.
Domestic dwarf rabbits, unlike the wild pygmy, are breeding animals. Their actual homeland is the British Isles, and they received a second birth in Germany. You can see a pedigree dwarf rabbit today only at home or in special nurseries, where all the conditions for the life of this amazing animal are provided.
The standard weight of a dwarf rabbit is no more than one and a half kilograms. The pygmy wild rabbit grows up to 20 cm in length (with the head), and even less weighs – a pound maximum. If the color of wild dwarf rabbits is standard – reddish-gray hair, the color of the pygmy depends on the breed. By type of wool, all dwarf rabbits are divided into long-haired, short-haired and normal-haired. Among them, as well as among ordinary rabbits, there are lop-eared, called by sheep zoologists. Both wild and domestic dwarf rabbit are nocturnal animals, so their activity increases, especially with the arrival of twilight.
Feeding a dwarf rabbit is not much different from the usual. They should be given the same hay, grain feed, mixed fodder and special feed from stores, as well as vegetables (carrots and cabbage are the most popular), fruits (apple) and clean water. With delicious food should be careful, because they can cause increased gas formation in dwarf rabbits, and thus contribute to improper digestion. It is important not to forget about the teeth of the pet, for the normal functioning of which requires roughage, for example, twigs of trees (lindens, birches, apples, willows, acacias). And of course, like many other lagomorphs and rodents, the dwarf rabbit needs a source of additional minerals, which can be a special mineral stone.
Breeding dwarf rabbits at home is similar to breeding normally. It is described in detail in the article about the rabbit. Wild dwarf rabbit in terms of reproduction is also not much different from the usual. In particular, the female pygmy rabbit gives birth to approximately three times a year, 4-8 rabbits in the litter.
Dwarf rabbits carry their offspring for a month. About a week before the birth, the female begins to prepare for them – builds a nest. For this “girl” dwarf rabbit hay is necessary. She collects him in one corner of her home, and a couple of days before the appearance of the rabbits, she plucks out her fluff to light to cover her newborns. Do not disturb the pregnant female rabbit. And after the birth of rabbits to avoid various troubles, mom is also better not to touch for a while.
The cage for the dwarf rabbit can be either metal or plastic. Rabbit leaders recommend acquiring a cage that is closed on all sides so that the litter — sawdust or filler — does not fly away from it with the active behavior of the pet. The size of the cage for the baby should be approximately 30 to 40 cm. The dwarf rabbit is a creature that is especially fragile and difficult to survive in adverse climatic conditions. A small pet easily catches a cold in the drafts, so try to keep it away from the air vents, fans, and air conditioners. But the overheating of the animal should not be allowed either. Do not forget about equipping the home of the dwarf rabbit with the necessary items – bowls for grain feed, drinking trough. “Laying” in a cage can be poured with a thicker layer, as dwarf rabbits love to dig. One should not forget to clean the pet’s home regularly, renew the water more often, and sometimes disinfect the cage. And of course, it is necessary to release a dwarf rabbit for a walk, but under careful supervision. By the way, you can take the animal and on the street, for example, outside the city, where there are no cars and evil dogs, and where the kid can tweak fresh weed.