Dwarf Rabbit Facts
The first of the Dwarf Rabbit Facts is there are several breeds of dwarf rabbits. The Netherland Dwarf is probably the easiest to find as a pet, but you can also find Holland Lops, Polish and Dwarf Hotots. With all of these breeds, you can find a dwarf rabbit in almost any color. Dwarf rabbits are usually 3 pounds or less when fully grown.
Dwarf rabbits carry a dwarf gene. Rabbits that inherit one normal gene and one dwarf gene are the rabbits we call dwarfs. Rabbits that inherit two dwarf genes are born deformed and usually don't survive very long. They are called peanuts.
When breeding two dwarf rabbits, there is always the potential for getting at least some peanuts. Likewise, when breeding two dwarf rabbits, there is the potential to get rabbits with no dwarf gene. Many breeders use a dwarf buck on a doe that did not inherit any dwarf gene to produce healthy litters without the possibility of getting peanuts.
Dwarf rabbits are very popular choices for both pets and show. You can purchase dwarf rabbits at rabbit shows, at feed stores, from breeders or at pet stores.
Be aware, however, that dwarf rabbits at pet stores may or may not be true dwarfs. The pet stores may also not know what breed they are. It is not uncommon to see rabbits mislabeled to make them sound exotic or for "dwarf" rabbits to end up the size of a normal rabbit when you get them at the pet store.
True dwarf rabbits will have extra short ears. Their heads may be large in comparison to their body, giving them a perpetual juvenile look. Many dwarf breeds, like Netherlands, Dwarf Hotots and Holland Lops have round heads rather than the wedge-shaped head found on most breeds.
Another of the Dwarf Rabbit facts to know is their special nutritional needs. While dwarf rabbits eat the same foods as other rabbits for the most part, they may have a more sensitive digestive system.
Changing pellets frequently or giving them too many fresh foods may cause diarrhea or stools that look like jelly. This is called mucoid enteritis. Remove all food if your rabbit gets this and give them only high quality grass hay for a day or two until it passes. Fresh blackberry leaves are also helpful for this condition, as they are full of fiber and are astringent, so they help clear out the infection.
When you feed your dwarf rabbit, you must keep in mind that due to his size, he needs to be kept on a strict diet. Don't give him access to free feed 24 hours a day or you'll end up with a very fat, very sick rabbit.
Most dwarf breeds should only have access to ¼ cup of pellets per day unless you have a doe nursing a litter. She will need more food to make enough milk to sustain the litter. Dwarf rabbits tend to have small litters ranging from 1 to 4 kits, although there have been rare cases when they have had 6 or more.
As pets, your dwarf rabbit will enjoy getting exercise. Dwarf rabbits have a lot of energy and personality, and these traits will really shine if you let your rabbit out to play every day. Well-socialized dwarf rabbits are a joy to be around and enjoy spending time with you.
Get more Dwarf Rabbit facts by visiting the breed page you are interested in listed at Dwarf Rabbit Breeds.
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