Jersey Wooly Rabbits
Jersey Wooly Rabbits were created by crossing a Netherland Dwarf with a French Angora. Several generations of crossbreeding resulted in a tiny rabbit with a wool coat. These adorable little rabbits grow to be around 3 pounds in weight and come in many colors. Jersey Woolies look a lot like Netherland Dwarf rabbits. They have the tiny, upright ears, round head and round body. The only real difference is the wool.
Unlike many other angora breeds, the coat should be easy to care for due to a high number of guard hairs. Baby coats tend to mat easier, so babies will need frequent brushing. Brushing is good for all ages, however, since the Jersey Wooly rabbit is more prone to wool block, just like the other angora breeds.
Like cats, rabbits end up ingesting some fur when they wash themselves. The longer wool fibers mat up in the rabbit's belly, forming hair balls. Rabbits cannot vomit like cats, so this is a serious problem.
Preventive care is best. This includes frequent brushing, free access to hay (it will help move the hairs through the digestive tract) and papaya tablets.
Papaya has a digestive enzyme that helps break down the fibers. Papaya tablets can be found in the vitamin section of your local store. Rabbits usually find them very tasty.
During hot weather, Jersey Wooly rabbits can be shorn with a pair of scissors. The wool can hold in too much body heat. Before you toss that wool, take a look at it. Throw away any soiled wool or short bits. If you raise rabbits, you can save some to use as extra nestbox lining. If not, you can learn to spin and create your own angora yarn. Spinning is a fun, relaxing activity that you can do with a spindle or a spinning wheel.
It can be challenging to find Jersey Wooly rabbits. You can find breeders at rabbit shows or online. You can also contact some through the National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club. Known as the "Fluff of the Fancy," Jersey Woolies can be purchased at a wide range of prices according to their show quality. Sometimes you can find them in rabbit rescues. They are not commonly found in pet stores. Jersey Woolies have nice personalities and can be very affectionate. Some can even learn tricks.
Like other dwarf breeds, you need to check your pet for malocclusion of the teeth. Due to the rounded head shape, the teeth can often get misaligned. Find a good veterinarian who knows about rabbits in case you need to take your rabbit in. Not every vet knows about rabbits. Ask around at pet stores, ask at rabbit shows and at the local fair in case anyone knows a good rabbit vet.
This is even more important with long haired rabbits since they can get wool block. You never know when you'll need an expert opinion. If you can't find any experienced rabbit vets in your area, make friends with an experienced Jersey Wooly rabbit breeder. Most have had to medicate and treat their rabbits on their own when there isn't a rabbit vet around. They can advise you and help you with any problem that arises.
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