Netherland Dwarf Rabbits
Netherland Dwarf rabbits are the smallest breed that is recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Developed in Europe, they were first imported to the United States and then became an accepted breed in 1969. It is an energetic little rabbit with a wonderful personality.
These rabbits are known for their tiny upright ears, round head with large eyes and rounded bodies. They continue to look like a juvenile even after they are adults.
Netherlands come in a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, chocolate, lilac, Himalayan (white with dark points), opal, lynx, squirrel, chinchilla, tan, otter, smoke pearl, smoke pearl marten, sable point, chestnut, tortoiseshell, Siamese sable, otter, silver marten, orange, sable marten, fawn, broken, and white with either red or blue eyes.
Netherland Dwarf rabbits are very popular as both pets and show animals. Like any person or animal, each rabbit is unique. Some will enjoy cuddling, others want to run around.
While they have the reputation of being aggressive or wild, most are very sweet animals that make excellent pets. In the beginnings of the breed, wild European rabbits were used in the development of the breed, which created some bunnies that did not make good pets. In the many generations since then, temperament has been constantly improved upon.
Netherland Dwarf rabbits do best on a balanced diet of high quality rabbit pellets, grass hay and occasional herbs or vegetables as a treat. Excessive treats can give them digestive problems like diarrhea. Since Netherlands are so small, they should only get a limited amount of food.
If food is available, they will keep eating until they attain an unhealthy weight. Feed should be high in fiber. Maintenance diets can be 14 or 15% protein; if the bunny is young and growing or you are breeding them, they need a minimum of 16% protein.
As a true dwarf breed, when you breed two purebred Netherlands together, you have the potential to get a double dwarf gene, which is lethal. Known as "peanuts," these extra tiny rabbits may fade away right after birth or survive up to a few weeks before dying. While the reasons for this are not understood, it is generally thought that peanuts may have underdeveloped digestive systems.
Most breeders will humanely euthanize peanuts soon after birth so they don't suffer. The appearance of a double dwarf includes a bulbous head, ears set back more than normal and pinched hindquarters.
Likewise in a mating like this, there is the potential to get false dwarf rabbits. These rabbits will be larger than their parents. Their bodies, ears and faces are longer and they often grow past the allowed weight for the breed standard.
For some show breeders, these false dwarf does make excellent mothers who raise healthier litters with more true dwarf rabbits in them. Doing a breeding like this eliminates the possibility of peanuts being born. False dwarf rabbits make excellent pets, even though they cannot be shown.
Netherland Dwarf rabbits love to be active, so let them run about as much as you can. Like other rabbits, they can be destructive in the house, so always provide them with supervision.
Care of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits
Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Breeders
My Neatherland Dwarfs
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