Dutch rabbit is one of the most popular breeds in the world. The main features of this species are its small size, various colors and incredibly beautiful appearance.
History of occurrence
To date, much remains unknown in the history of the described breed. However, the date is reliable - in the 1800th year, this species originates. In England, active work began on obtaining Dutch rabbits.
Numerous mutations occurred in the rabbit genes, and the animals acquired unusual external qualities - the eyes were red, the coat was white, soft, and the body was strong. Then, mutating individuals were repeatedly crossed. In 1947, an exhibition was held in Amsterdam, at which scientists presented the results of their work - Dutch rabbits.
At first, this species was considered to be meat-skinning; on average, the live weight of one rabbit could reach 5.5 kg. After breeding, the Dutch rabbits move into the decorative category, as they have gained more compact sizes.
The peaceful disposition and unusual external data made him very popular among breeders.
Representatives of the described breed have the following appearance characteristics:
- strong body of compact size;
- large and strong hind legs, when compared with the front;
- the average weight varies in the areas of 1.4-1.8 kg, but some animals can reach 3 kg;
- the neck has no pronounced outlines;
- short ears, covered with wool;
- puffy cheeks;
- head not large, slightly flattened muzzle;
- soft and thick coat, not too long;
- fur color is the main feature of the breed - the back of the body is dark, the front is white;
- there are individuals whose fur has three shades;
- eyes may be brown or blue-gray;
- on average, life expectancy is 8-11 years.
Animals can have wool of the most diverse and interesting colors. The Dutch are among the rare species, with today there are more than 25 different color options for fur. There are traditional colors, as well as ash blue, rich red, black and white, silver gray, etc.
See an overview of the Dutch rabbit in the video below:
Due to the high quality and non-standard color options, the Dutch fur is in great demand in the production of natural fur products.
In an adult, live weight can range from 4-6 kg. Build muscular and strong enough. The animals grow quickly and rapidly gain weight, therefore, by the age of 5 months they are ready for slaughter if they are grown for meat products.
The Dutch are friendly and affectionate animals, have a complaisant disposition. Sociable, courageous and inquisitive, and how they differ from other decorative species. Ideal for the role of a pet. Another feature of the Dutch character is their quick learning ability, so they can easily be trained to use the tray, which makes cleaning much easier.
Maintenance and care
The Dutch are not whimsical, but in order for the animal to feel comfortable, it is necessary to create certain conditions. First of all, you need to take care of the acquisition and arrangement of the cage in which the rabbit will live.
Cell selection and arrangement
Make sure that the animal house meets the following characteristics:
- the cell is quite spacious - about 70-50 cm;
- Do not leave the cage near heaters and in the sun, as rabbits do not tolerate heat;
- do not leave the cage in the draft;
- cover the bottom of the cage with straw, hay or sawdust;
- fasten the drinker on the side grill so that the rabbit has constant access to water (read here how to make a drinker yourself);
- Choose heavy feeders that the animal can not turn over;
- Equip a rest area and toilet in the cage.
Regular cleaning in the cage allows you to maintain the health of the pet in perfect condition. Every day, remove food debris and clean the tray, change the litter, regularly pour fresh water.
Perform a thorough cleaning approximately every 7-10 days:
- Move the rabbit to a safe place, completely remove the litter with all food debris.
- Thoroughly clean the cage with a stiff bristle brush. Tooth brush all hard-to-reach areas.
- Wash the cell with warm water using an acetic solution (water and vinegar are taken in equal amounts) or a simple soap. Rinse thoroughly with clean water at the end.
- Once the cage has dried well, lay out a new litter, pour water and sprinkle food.
- Always leave a small untidy corner or part of the old litter. The fact is that animals have the habit of marking their house, if they do not feel their smell, they will behave uneasily.
Do not use chemicals while cleaning. If they remain in the cage, they can lead to serious health problems in the rabbit.
Regular prophylactic vaccinations ensure that rabbit's health is in perfect condition. Try to keep to the following frequency:
- up to 45 days is vaccinated against myxomatosis;
- re-vaccination is carried out at 4.5 months and is done every six months in the future;
- at 2 months of age vaccinated against rabies.
To avoid a decrease in immunity, before each vaccination, carry out a prophylaxis against helminths.
The Dutch diet should include:
- compound feed, which contains all the valuable minerals with vitamins;
- oats with corn;
- dried grass - about 250 g per day per individual;
- dandelion with nettle;
- fruits with vegetables;
- brewer's yeast, as they contain a large number of amino acids with vitamins;
- salt and chalk (feed).
We recommend reading the article - how, when and how to feed rabbits .
When planning a Dutch breeding, you need to purchase a male with a female. At one time, the rabbit can bring about 7-9 cubs. During the year, pregnancy occurs 6-8 times. Mating does not start before the animals have reached 7 months of age. Animals older than 3 years old are not suitable for breeding.
During the beginning of the hunt, the behavior of the female changes - she becomes too nervous, begins to pluck the coat. During this period, it is required to be put in the same cage with the male. Pregnancy lasts about 30 days. Before the birthing, the female builds a “nest” from her own plucked wool; you can also pre-equip her mother.
Rabbits become not only good pets, but they also own fine fur. Rabbit skins are widely used for the production of expensive fur products. The Dutch are sources of fine, delicate and dietary meat.
Females can bring up to 10 rabbits at a time. Young growth is growing rapidly and rapidly gaining weight. Therefore, representatives of the described breed are used both for meat products and skins. The fur is used as a secondary product and is in great demand.
Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantages of the described rabbit breed are:
- miniature sizes, so they can be kept in small cells;
- not picky in food;
- simplicity in leaving and cultivation;
- quickly learns and can use the tray;
- non-aggressive and flexible disposition;
- beautiful appearance.
However, there are some disadvantages of the breed:
- a cage and other care and maintenance items are expensive;
- the animal’s house needs to be cleaned every day and constantly monitor the freshness of water;
- animals have a tendency to gnaw everything around, so it can not be released for a walk around the apartment without supervision;
- a specific aroma may appear;
- shedding takes place regularly and during this period more attention needs to be paid to the pet.
At night, animals can be more active, which interferes with a relaxing holiday.
Marina, 35 years old, housewife, Moscow.
For a long time I chose a rabbit for keeping in an apartment, I decided to take a Dutchman. My pet is already 5 years old, but it still remains mobile, active and playful. He greets me with joy when I get home, loves sweets, but categorically refuses carrots. It does not require special care, but gives a lot of positive emotions.
Eugene, 28 years old, economist, Voronezh.
For me, a rabbit of this breed has become the best animal. He feels great in a cage, likes to play with children, has an interesting and unusual color, for which he was chosen. It’s easy to care for him, it’s enough to clean the cage regularly and feed him properly.
The Dutch rabbit is one of the most sought-after representatives of this species. Ideal for maintenance in an apartment. Not whimsical in the care and nutrition, therefore, its cultivation does not cause special difficulties, even for those who have not encountered these animals before.