Polish rabbit, or rabbit Germelin is by far the smallest breed among rabbits. Its maximum weight can reach 1.5 kilograms.
This breed of rabbits was bred in Poland in the 19th century. Initially, the rabbits of this breed were only with red eyes, but by the beginning of 1920. By breeding, it was possible to bring out rabbits with blue eyes, a few years later rabbits with short ears and a shortened face appear. It is surprising that in Russia this breed of rabbits was presented only in 1998 at an exhibition held in Moscow.
Standards and characteristics breed Hermelin.
Often, on the Internet, in addition to the name Hermelin and the Polish Rabbit, you can also find the name Ermine, as the breed standards imply an exceptionally snow-white coat color.
The Polish rabbit is distinguished by short ears, shortened rounded muzzle, a small, stocky body and small legs with transparent claws. Hermelins have a very cheerful and friendly disposition. He will be an excellent companion and friend for both a lonely person and a large family.
Hermelin rabbits have clear breed standards:
- Coat color: white
- Eye color: blue, red
- Weight: 750-1500 gr. (ideally from 900 to 1100 gr.)
- Ears: close to each other, thick coat, erect.
- Body: compact, neck does not stand out.
- Tail: small, tight to the back.
- Feet: Short, with transparent claws.
Despite the fact that this breed of rabbits is very friendly and playful, there are differences in the character of males and females. Females are more active, have a distinct temperament, males on the contrary have a docile character, sometimes they are lazy.
Keeping Hermelin rabbits at home.
If you decide to start a Polish rabbit, it is best to buy from trusted breeders or in a pet shop. In other situations you can sell a sick rabbit.
The pet rabbit is best to buy between the ages of one and a half to two months. At this age, they are already independent and strong.
Before taking the rabbit home, be sure to conduct an inspection. The rabbit should be active, not aggressive, and there should be no discharge from the nose, ears, and under the tail. The coat should be smooth and shiny.
Houses contain Germelin is not difficult. The rabbit will prizzvetsya easily at home if you follow certain rules:
- The rabbit cage should be no less than 40 * 30 * 40 cm in size, for an adult rabbit the size should be doubled.
- Rabbit food must be balanced. (See more about rabbit nutrition in this article.)
- You can not keep a rabbit near heating appliances or constant drafts.
- You can not lift and carry the rabbit by the ears, in order to take the bunny in his arms you need to hold it from the bottom and gently lift it at the withers.
- The cage should be cleaned at least two or three days.
- If a rabbit has a cold, you must show it to a specialist.
- When keeping a rabbit out of a cage, one should not allow it to gnaw the wires, it is fraught with death!
- In no case can not bathe the rabbit.
Of the minuses of the content of dwarf rabbits can be identified:
- frequent and prolonged molt. It is necessary to comb the rabbit once a week, and during the molting period it is necessary to comb at least two times a week.
- A strong smell from a rabbit. Whatever this happens, you need to clean the cage.
How to choose the right menu for your pet?
If you purchased a rabbit before it reached the age of 2.5 months, it is best to feed it with fresh milk. In winter and spring, small rabbits may suffer from lack of calcium due to active growth, which can lead to convulsions and death of babies. To avoid this, it is necessary to feed the rabbit with vitamins.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to feed the rabbit regularly raw vegetables and fruits, especially young. Older rabbits (older than six months) can be given fruits and vegetables in small quantities.
The basis of the diet of the Hermelin breed is cereals and herbs (dandelion, coltsfoot, plantain, etc.) if you collect these herbs yourself on the street. Obligatory! Make sure that poisonous herbs do not fall into the trough: celandine, buttercups, etc. It is also recommended to give the rabbits aspen, willow and spruce.
In winter, the food of rabbits consists of hay and vegetables, boiled in salted water.
Rabbits should always have water. Since they consume most of the water from the feed, it is not recommended to put open drinkers in the cage to the animal. It is best to use drip.
You must not give a rabbit:
- Milk products;
- Beetroot and white cabbage are contraindicated for small rabbits.
Breeding Hermelin rabbits.
The ability to reproduce in rabbits appears at the age of 6-8 months less often – later. Unlike large breed rabbits, dwarf rabbit litter rarely exceeds 5-6 pieces.
Like other breeds of rabbits, the female and male Germelin should be placed in a separate cage and observe their behavior. If the female is in the hunt, the pairing occurs quickly. Leaving the rabbits together in the same cage can be for 5 or more days, but then it will not be entirely clear when the mating occurred, and when to wait for the little rabbits. Be careful, the male during such periods may be somewhat aggressive. He can hurt the female.
As a rule, rabbits appear a month after pairing. About the imminent birth of rabbits evidenced by the “houseiness” of the female. She begins to prepare the nest for future offspring. From the abdomen and chest, the female plucks out the fur, and after she has covered it with this fur, she covers the rabbits. Sometimes during the first birth, the females may have no maternal instinct: she will refuse to feed the rabbits, scatter them around the cage, in such a situation the rabbits should be carefully laid in the nest and covered with plucked wool.
You can not disturb the little rabbit during childbirth and a few days after them.
Little rabbits are born blind and bald. After about two weeks, they become completely covered with hair and begin to switch to adult food. At the age of two months, the young growth can be transplanted from the mother into a separate cage.
It is not recommended to mate rabbits for more than two or three times a year.