Dwarf ram rabbit: breed description, care and maintenance
Decorative dwarf rabbits is one of the most popular types of pets. There are many breeds of them, but today we will talk about the dwarf sheep breed: what they feed on, how they breed, how to keep and care for them.
This breed was bred in 1964 by the Dutch breeder A. de Kock. The breeding work took place in Holland and lasted twelve years, until the lop-eared rabbit of the dwarf ram breed took its modern form.
There are also the English species (Mini Lop), bred at the same time in the UK and the German species (ZWW), bred, respectively, in Germany.
Description of appearance
Now let's take a closer look at how representatives of decorative rabbits of the dwarf ram breed usually look.
|Color||Dark and light gray, beige, white, black, brown. There are species that are fully painted in one color, there are two and three-color|
|Torso||Downed, proportional, with well-developed muscles|
|Head||Large, round, with a wide forehead. Flattened muzzle|
|Eyes||Almond-shaped, with a wide brown iris and a large round pupil|
|Ears||Oval, hanging below the chin no less than 1.5–2 centimeters|
|Mustache||Long, thin, light shade|
|Claws||Short, arched, pointed|
Did you know? The ears of the newborn rabbit will stick up. They will only fall by the end of the second or third month of the baby’s life. For some time, the cub can run around the house with one down and one protruding ear.
Dwarf ram rabbits can easily produce offspring from the age of six months. With proper care, the female herself, without outside help, is able to give birth to 5–7 rabbits and to feed them with her milk for a rather long time.The main condition for this is the purity of the cell, a sufficient amount of clean drinking water, regular feeding and the absence of irritating factors.
In general, decorative dwarf rabbits are very friendly and calm. However, among them sometimes there are real fidgets. Communicating with them is like communicating with young children - they are curious, playful, affectionate and childishly naive. The rams love independence.
More often give your pet the opportunity to walk around the apartment yourself, but still look after it so that the rabbit does not accidentally get injured. If you pick up a small ram, it will immediately try to get on your back, as if demonstrating who is the boss in the house.
Advantages and disadvantages
If you seriously think about getting a rabbit of a dwarf ram breed as a pet, you should familiarize yourself with all the possible pros and cons of such a decision.
- Of the advantages of these animals have the following qualities:
- Obedience. This breed of decorative rabbits is considered the most manual. They quickly get used to people and are willing to contact them.
- The ability to quickly accustom to the cell and tray. You do not have to spend a lot of time and effort in explaining to your ram where its place for sleeping and the toilet.
- The appearance of these fold rabbits will not leave anyone indifferent. Their soft fluffy fur, cute hanging ears and the naive look of large almond-shaped eyes cause delight in both children and adults.
- The small size of the adult representative of this breed, which is often limited to 1-2 kg. For such kids, there is easily enough space in any, even a small apartment.
- However, dwarf ram rabbits are also characterized by other, less positive characteristics:
- They do not like heat. Determining the place for the cage where the little sheep will live, the owners should choose a place that will be protected from direct sunlight, batteries and heaters.
- Afraid of drafts. The cage with the rabbit should be located away from open windows and doors to minimize the risk of colds of your pet.
- They like to nibble everything that comes in their way. Letting go of the ram for a walk around the apartment, you cannot leave it alone for a long time without supervision. Flowers, electric wires, furniture legs, shoes - all of this can be tried “by the tooth” with a little fidget.
If you nevertheless decided to have such a baby at home in order to surely get a purebred representative of the breed, when buying it, you should pay attention to some features that distinguish real dwarf sheep.
Signs of Purebredness
The health and thoroughbredness of the rabbit is evidenced by:
- Animal hair. It should be shiny, thick, smell good, evenly cover the whole body of the little animals.
- Eyes. They should not be inflamed, watery, they should not have crusts.
- The ears. The hearing organs of dwarf ram rabbits should be 24 to 28 cm in size.
- Teeth should be smooth, white.
- Whole body A healthy, purebred rabbit should be resilient, muscular, strong and proportionate.
Important! Remember that buying a dwarf sheep is better in certified pet stores, where all the necessary veterinary certificates about the animal’s health are attached to the animal.
If you notice one or more of the following symptoms in a rabbit that you are offered to buy, then it is better to refrain from the transaction:
- The hair of the animal has bald spots, it is dull and has an unpleasant odor.
- The eyes of the beast look inflamed, they are red and watery.
- The ears of an adult stick up or have a length significantly shorter or longer than normal.
- Rodent's teeth grow in irregular rows, partially absent or significantly affected by plaque.
- The rabbit has a painful appearance, does not want to make contact with people and looks very scared.
Features of the maintenance and care of rabbits at home
Now let's figure out how to care for a decorative rabbit and what conditions it needs for full growth and development.
The cage for the rabbit must be selected the most spacious. Because of the long ears, they need a lot of space to feel comfortable and not be injured in the cramped space full of accessories.
It is better to arrange such a dwelling on an elevation (a table or bedside table is suitable for this), in the quietest corner of the house, protected from the sun and drafts. Inside, your pet will need a house for rest and sleep, a feeder, a drinking bowl, a tray and a sennik.
As litter, sawdust can be placed on the bottom of the cage. The role of toys for a small ram can be played by a ladder, a labyrinth or a slide located in its cage. The optimum temperature in the room where the cage with the rabbit is located is considered to be +18 ... + 23 ° C, air humidity should vary from 50 to 75%.
Feed small rabbits three times a day in small portions, about one tablespoon of food. For adults, half a meal of one and a half tablespoons of food is enough.
The amount of food you can increase or decrease depending on how much your rabbit eats. The pet's sennik should be filled constantly. Hay - this is what a rodent can eat in unlimited quantities without a threat to health.In general, the diet of a decorative rabbit should be: compound feed, various grains, twigs, mineral stones. The cell must have clean drinking water around the clock. You can occasionally treat your pet with a slice of fresh vegetable or fruit, a sprig of greens.
In this case, be sure to follow the stool of the animal and at the first signs of diarrhea stop treats.
Important! Tearing a twig from a tree for your pet, avoid stone fruits, they are strictly prohibited as food for decorative rabbits. Better give preference to willow, birch, oak, apple tree, pear, poplar.
Care and hygiene
It is necessary to clean the cage for your pet every day: change the tray, wash and fill the feeder and drinker. Sawdust can be changed at the bottom of the cell once every 3-5 days. It is impossible to bathe decorative rabbits under running water. If the baby is smeared somewhere, it is better to wash a separate area of the coat and immediately wrap the animal with a dry towel until it is completely dry.
The claws of a small ram should be trimmed as it grows. The rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and hemorrhagic disease at the age of one and a half months, provided that the baby has already gained a weight of at least 500 g.
If the vaccination is not complex, then the interval between the first vaccination against myxomatosis and hemorrhagic should be 10 days. Next time, these vaccinations will need to be done at the age of 4.5 months and then every six months of the rodent's life.
If you want to warn your pet against rabies, then this vaccination is done at the age of two to two and a half months. In general, in order for your little rodent to live in comfort and develop harmoniously, you need to remember the following rules:
- Rabbits are fearful animals, they love peace and quiet.
- In the warm season, every animal needs fresh air and moderate sunlight. Allow your pet to jump on the green grass in the street, after putting on the harness.
- When your baby freely walks around the apartment you can not leave him unattended. This is necessary both for the integrity of your household items, and for its safety.
- Remember to regularly show your dwarf ram to your veterinarian. It will help you monitor the animal’s health status and prompt you in time if you need to adjust its daily regimen or diet.
How to tame a pet?
Making friends with your new pet, you do not need to be too intrusive. Closely monitor the behavior of the little rodent and act on the basis of your observations. Some rabbits love to sit on a person’s hands for a long time, they eat from his hands with pleasure and play joint games recklessly.
Others, on the contrary, like to be alone, wander around the apartment on their own, studying the surrounding objects, eat only from the feeder and show nervousness when they are persistently stroked.
The nature of the rabbit is affected by both innate temperament and his mood at the moment. Show patience and flexibility in communicating with a small beech and, over time, you will achieve his full trust and disposition to himself.
To speed up the process of establishing your connection, each time approaching the cage, do not forget to bring along a piece of goodies for your pet. Speak with him in a calm, soft, gentle tone. In no case do not scream or beat your ram for disobedience or mischief.Try to invite him to play cooperative games, such as:
- tipping over pins or empty plastic bottles;
- ball rolling;
- walking on a makeshift or purchased toy maze.
Many rodents like to delve into a box of torn paper or nibble on straw mats.
Starting from the age of six months, decorative rabbits are considered already mature and ready for childbearing.Females easily make it clear that they are ready for breeding - they begin to actively rake the litter beneath themselves, thus constructing a “family nest”.
Did you know? Organizing a “date” for potential parents, it is worth planting the female to the male, and not vice versa, as is the case with many other animals. The male, getting into an unfamiliar cage, has little interest in the “bride”, concentrating all his attention on the study of the new situation.
The behavior of the pregnant rabbit dramatically changes after one and a half to two weeks after fertilization. She becomes more nervous and withdrawn, requires more food and rest. The appetite of the future mother is especially growing a week or two before delivery. The entire term of carrying rabbits takes an average of 31 days.
However, if rabbits are from 5 to 8 pieces, childbirth can occur a little earlier than planned, and vice versa - three or four cubs can stay with their mother in the belly a little longer than the due date.
Selection Principles for Reproduction
For successful breeding and breeding of healthy offspring, it is worth choosing the most thoroughbred and physically developed representatives of dwarf sheep. The female and the male should be sexually mature, strong, active rabbits, without the presence of diseases and birth defects.
The color of the coat does not matter much if the coat of the rodent is thick enough, has a healthy shine and does not have bald spots. Healthy, muscular, proportionately folded parents will almost certainly give the same offspring.
Theoretically, dwarf ram rabbits can be crossed with representatives of other dwarf breeds, but newborn babies may not have hanging ears or a flattened muzzle, characteristic of rabbits of this breed.
Baby Care and Feeding
Of course, the most useful food for newborn rabbits is mother's milk. However, if for some reason such feeding is impossible, at first they can be fed with special mixes for rabbits, purchased in stores.
If you could not find a specialized mixture for rabbits, you can replace it with the one fed to small puppies - they are most similar in composition. Skimmed cow's milk is not suitable for this purpose - it is too poor in composition.You can, perhaps, try a goat. To feed the bunny with a mixture, use a syringe without a needle or a dropper. From the moment of birth and up to one month, babies must be fed five times a day. In the first days, the volume of milk eaten at a time will be 1 ml and gradually increase.
So by two weeks it will grow to 15 ml per day, that is, 3 ml 5 times a day.
Rabbits must be kept clean. Wipe their faces regularly after each feeding, boil a syringe or pipette before each time. Always mix the mixture freshly, warm it in a water bath and check its temperature on the inner surface of the elbow.
Even newborn rabbits need to do a tummy massage before each meal, stimulating bowel movement - babies do not know how to do this on their own. Massaging the tummy with a moistened cotton swab, with incredible care move from the middle of the abdomen to the hind legs of the cub.
Do not forget that newborns cannot independently regulate their body temperature, and are very vulnerable to colds. Therefore, take the warmest, darkest corner of the room, which is not blown by drafts, to a place for rabbits.
A decorative rabbit of the dwarf ram breed is an excellent option for a pet that will welcome both children and adults. Keeping such a baby will not cost you much trouble, and the pleasure of talking with this cute rodent will be a pleasant consequence after deciding to start it.