Lop-eared rabbits, whose faces look like little lamb, were described in their writings by the naturalist Charles Darwin. For his extensive experience traveling around the world, the scientist has repeatedly admired these cute creatures. You will learn more about rabbits of the dwarf ram breed in this article.
The lop-eared rabbit "Dwarf ram"
Decorative breed of rabbits “Dwarf ram”
The breed is the result of a cross between a dwarf rabbit and a French ram
Rabbit breed “Dwarf ram" appeared as a result of breeding of two varieties: dwarf individuals and lop-eared French rabbits. This breed quickly gained popularity all over the world: the small size of animals with "mutton" faces struck with its charm and beauty.
For the first time such rabbits became known at the end of the 18th century. In Russia, this breed became popular on the eve of the 2000s, thanks to the creation of several nurseries with animals imported from Europe.
Description of rabbits Dwarf ram
To understand why these rabbits are so interesting, you need to carefully study their description. Read more about everything below.
The decorative breed of rabbits “Dwarf ram” has a very interesting, characteristic physique that allows you to identify the breed without special knowledge and skills. Pets have a wide chest, a cylindrical body shape and a short neck.
The muzzle of such rabbits resembles a “lamb”. The animals have a powerful, wide nape, and a convex forehead. The rounded back, large eyes, a small tail - such charming creatures are unlikely to leave anyone indifferent.
Long ears are another trademark of the breed, along with the shape of the muzzle. The ears of an adult individual can reach 25 cm in length. Baby rabbits are born with erect ears, which gradually drop over time and by the age of three months they already become hanging, tightly pressed to the head.
The hair of rabbits is very soft to the touch, has many colors and length variations. The hair of long-haired “lamb” is predominantly either fox or angora. The most common are black and white and blue. Also often representatives of the breed are found with yellow, sable, or chinchilla colors.
The breed “Dwarf ram" is considered decorative, but the productivity of these animals is quite high. You can also breed these rabbits for further implementation. To do this, just buy one pair of different litters.
In one litter, rabbits can be born from 5 to 7 rabbits.
By nature, rabbits are very curious animals. They are difficult to tame, have a curious and wayward temperament. Each animal of this breed is distinguished by individual character traits. Independence and incredulity are the main character traits of “rams”, despite their strong attachment to the owners.
Rabbits of this breed get along well with humans. If you pay enough attention to the rabbit, he will grow up tame and affectionate, and will consider the person as his friend. Of course, much depends here, both on the owner and on the character of the rabbit. Taming can take several weeks.
Dwarf ram must be chosen correctly. To do this, you need to know the main nuances of this type.
Signs of Purebredness
It’s not so difficult to distinguish a healthy and purebred dwarf rabbit from the “Dwarf ram” breed. The most common signs of purebredness are:
- shiny and thick coat;
- clean eyes, without crusts and inflammation;
- ears lying flat, the length of which should reach from 24 to 28 cm;
- even and white teeth;
- good appetite;
- strong and proportional physique.
If, when choosing a rabbit, you notice at least one of these signs, refuse the purchase:
- dull, wrinkled wool with an unpleasant odor or bald spots;
- eyes watery, redness and inflammation are visible;
- irregular length or shape of the ears;
- uneven or partially missing teeth covered with a layer of plaque.
- absolute non-contact, lethargy, apathy;
- the presence of purulent discharge from the eyes and nose;
- excessively frequent, improper breathing of the animal.
An overview of the dwarf rabbit breed is presented by the breeder in the video below:
Care and maintenance
To make your rabbit feel good, you need to provide him with proper care and maintenance. How to do this, read on.
To maintain a pet you will need any spacious cage, which is important to properly equip. Here are some tips on keeping rabbits in your home or apartment:
- The content of the rabbit in the cage should not be around the clock - this is fraught with problems with the musculoskeletal system of the animal.
- It is important to let the pet out of the cage at least once a day so that it stretches its legs and runs. Another reason for walking a rabbit is the high natural need for motor activity.
- Try to provide the animal with a spacious cage: its size should not be less than 0.5x0.7 m.
- A cell is the territory of an animal. The pet needs to have its own house inside it, so that it would be comfortable for him to sleep or hide there.
- It is important to find the right place for the cage to be well lit and ventilated. Beware of drafts - rabbits are very susceptible to them.
- The tray should be put in after you start the pet in the cage. The rabbit will choose the place for the tray himself, and you can determine it by the presence of emptying. For small cells, there are angular, triangular trays that allow you to save cell space.
- The drinker for the rabbit can be floor or hanging. For very active individuals, a hanging type is recommended. The feed tank should be selected as stable as possible: ceramic bowls or a saucer with a wide bottom will be most convenient.
A balanced diet, along with the normal motor activity of the rabbit, are the key to his health. The main food for dwarf rabbits is dry grass and grain mixtures. Some recommendations:
- Fresh herbs, herbs, raw vegetables, it is not recommended to include in the diet of individuals up to six months: the digestive system of small rabbits is not able to digest these products.
- Half-year-old rabbits can already be fed on a more extensive menu: the previously mentioned fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade herbs and fresh grass will be a pleasant treat for the pet.
- Hay is a very important food item for rabbits. It contains the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals that are required to maintain a healthy body. Therefore, despite the presence of vegetables, fruits, or goodies, it is important to ensure that dry grass is always present in the cage of the pet.
- Oats and wheat grains are excellent for feeding rabbits, but in strictly limited quantities.
- Under no circumstances should rabbits be given milk or meat. Their benefit is a myth, in fact, they can cause irreparable harm to the digestive system.
- The constant availability of fresh water is another important item for living creatures. If possible, do not pour tap water into the drinker for rabbits : defend it for a day.
Find more information on feeding rabbits here .
Care and hygiene
Rabbits, like all pets, need special care. It is important to monitor the long claws of the animal, and trim them as necessary. If you have no experience in clipping, visit a veterinary clinic and ask your veterinarian to explain in detail all the nuances of the procedure.
It is advisable that you perform this procedure yourself - the rabbit will get used to you and will know that you will not do anything bad to him.
If you suspect that the pet is not feeling well, take a closer look at his behavior. A healthy rabbit is active, plays with pleasure, takes food, has a shiny coat and cares for itself. If the baby sleeps a lot, constantly hides in the house, refuses treats, and the coat looks dull and untidy - you need to contact the veterinarian.
Here are some other rabbit care tips:
- To maintain cleanliness in the cage, use wood filler.
- Be sure to get a brush for combing the hair and at least once a week remove the old coat to grow a new, healthy coat.
- Once every 3 months, be sure to show the animal to the veterinarian, conduct treatment from ecto- and endoparasites.
- Immediately vaccinate the animal against infectious diseases.
- Treat the cage with a special veterinary disinfectant that is safe for your pet.
- Remove traces and smell of urine in the cell with vinegar.
Only individuals over 6 months old are allowed to breed. The only drawback of breeding the dwarf ram breed is their relatively low fecundity - up to 6 babies per litter.
How the mating of rabbits occurs is described in the next article .
Determining if a female is pregnant is easiest with the help of a male. If 5-15 days have passed since the onset of pregnancy, put the male in her cage. The pregnant rabbit will growl at him, and in every way resist his courtship.
Another method for determining pregnancy is palpation. For the first time, babies can be felt already 2 weeks after coverage. You need to palpate very carefully so that you do not inadvertently damage the offspring.
It is important to provide a pregnant female with everything necessary for a healthy life. Add hay to the cage, because the rabbit will surely build a nest before the babies are born.
Slightly increase the portion of feed, monitor the cleanliness of the cage, ensure the constant availability of fresh water. Daily, offer a small portion of low-fat cottage cheese and a boiled egg to lactating females. Try to disturb the rabbit as little as possible so that she does not abandon her cubs.
Most rabbits take care of their litter on their own: they build nests from hay and their own fluff, perform hygiene procedures themselves and feed their babies. But, inexperienced females experience embarrassment, when due to inability to raise offspring, litter can be on the verge of death. If, for some reason, the rabbit has abandoned her babies, she will have to intervene and start raising them.
Little rabbits are very vulnerable and sensitive. They do not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, they are afraid of drafts. The most optimal conditions for keeping newborn rabbits is a temperature of 38 to 40 degrees, with an air humidity of about 65%.
Beware of the common cold of rabbits: at low air temperature and high humidity, the risk of catching a cold in rabbits rises to 90%. As a rule, young animals do not tolerate colds poorly - this is fraught with death.
Young individuals should also be kept clean. In the warm season, try to clean the cage daily, in the cold - at least once every 2 days. Pathogens can develop in a dirty cage, which can greatly harm young rabbits.
Despite their friendliness, almost all rabbits are pretty wayward. They do not like being in their arms, they do not like teaching.
The first thing to do after you bring the rabbit home is to let it get comfortable. Then, you can open the cage, but do not immediately take it in your hands - the rabbit may be in a state of stress.
Watch how the baby behaves in an open cage. If he doesn’t intend to go out and be interested in the world, it means that he is still scared, and he should leave him alone for a while. An indicator that the rabbit is comfortable and comfortable is its free movement in the cage in your presence. When this stage is reached, you can begin to tame gradually.
So that the baby gets used to you faster, every time, coming to his cage, offer him some goodies. If the rabbit is angry or wants to bite you - in no case should you beat him.
An effective method of educating such impudent individuals is only to press his head to the floor - a sign of dominance. Encourage your pet to have a treat if it does what you want from it.
Another important rule that applies to all rabbits is the absence of loud sounds. Try to avoid sharp, loud noises when trying to raise or tame a pet. By their nature, they resemble small children who refuse to listen to their parents. Do not yell at the baby, speak with him in a quiet and calm voice, and then the animal will understand you much faster.
Sterilization and castration
If you do not want your heterosexual pets to produce offspring - you should contact a veterinary clinic where you will be advised on all issues regarding sterilization and castration of rabbits. It is worth noting that owners of decorative rabbit breeds quite often resort to this procedure. This helps to “calm” the hormonal background of sexually mature individuals, allowing the animal to live a quiet life, without seasonal “bursts” of hormones and mood changes. It is also useful for hygiene purposes.
Addiction to disease
The most vulnerable places in rabbits are ears and skin. Ear diseases can occur due to their lack of hygiene, especially for representatives of lop-eared breeds. As for skin diseases, all kinds of dermatitis (including allergic) also have a place to be.
Colds are an item that should not be overlooked by the owner of rabbits of any breed. It is important to note that any disease of rabbits requires timely diagnosis and specialist assistance, as improper self-treatment of a pet can lead to bad consequences.
Advantages and disadvantages
Before acquiring representatives of the species, it is worthwhile once again dwelling on the advantages and disadvantages of keeping rabbits of this breed.
- "Dwarf sheep" are considered the most manual breed of rabbits;
- this breed is characterized by high intellectual abilities;
- charm and mercy do not leave indifferent neither adults nor children;
- Small sizes allow keeping a pet in a small apartment.
- fear of temperature changes and drafts becomes a common cause of death of the animal;
- the wrecking shown by the rabbit while walking around the apartment can cause material damage.
Rabbit Dwarf Ram Reviews
Inna, 31 years old, model, Moscow.
I never thought that my pet would be a rabbit. When I saw this little miracle, I couldn’t help falling in love with it. Among the main advantages I can highlight his charm, easy learning and the possibility of walking.
Valery, 54 years old, manager, Chelyabinsk.
In a slightly different way, I imagined the life of a rabbit in my house. It requires a fairly thorough care. I also noticed that during puberty rabbits of this breed can be aggressive.
Olga, 23 years old, accountant, Peter.
I want to warn about the irrepressible craving of these cute creatures for sabotage - mainly wires suffer. The absence of unpleasant odors from the rabbit is its indisputable advantage.
Keeping decorative rabbits requires attention and responsibility. Representatives of the breed "Dwarf ram" are some of the most unpretentious rabbits in the content, popular around the world. These animals are very smart, easy to learn, and give a lot of positive to their owners.