Animals / Rodents

The Polish Dwarf Rabbit

Синонимы и названия на других языках

Hermelin

Классификация

Order: lagomorpha

Family: leporidae

Genus: oryctolagus

Species:  orictolagus cuniculus 

Ареал

Despite its name, the breed originated in England. It was first demonstrated in 1858. The selective breeding emphasizes resemblance to a hare. Today it is the smallest breed of dwarf rabbits in the world. It is considered to be the ancestor of all other dwarf rabbit breeds. The rabbits of this breed don’t have the dwarf gene of the Netherland Dwarf. First the breed’s standards recognized only red-eyed white specimens, but now a wider range of colors is acceptable. The Polish Dwarf Rabbits appeared in Russia only a few years ago. 

Внешний вид

The Polish dwarf rabbit has a slender body, a big egg-shaped head, vertical and very thin ears. The fur is short and dense. The classical coloration is white, the eyes are red or blue. Overall these rabbits look like cute toys.

According to modern European standards, the weight of an adult rabbit should be 0.8-1.2 kg, and the ears’ length ranges between 5 and 7 cm. 

Характер

Breeders love Polish dwarf rabbits because of their sweet and peaceful disposition. They get tame very quickly and develop affection for their owners. They are active and playful and can be fun to watch. In order to tame the animal quicker, you should handle and stroke it. When you choose a rabbit, pay attention on its behavior: it shouldn’t be aggressive or scared. 

Содержание и уход

The Polish dwarf rabbit needs a spacious cage with a removable solid tray. The bottom area should be at least 70x70 cm. It would be good to have a warm shelter in the cage for the rabbit to sleep in. Special blocks or other things for teeth grinding are necessary, otherwise your rabbit won’t be able to chew properly.  

Rabbits are quite neat animals; their house is normally divided in different areas: for sleeping, eating and eliminating. For bedding you can use wood cuttings, hay and straw. You should get special bowls for rodents; rabbits like to root in their food and throw it all around the bowl.  For toilet you can use litter box; normally rabbits can be trained to use it.  

You should clean the cage every 2nd or 3rd day, otherwise unpleasant smell can occur. In warm weather you can take your pet out in a pet carrier or in their usual cage. For a walk you should choose places protected against direct sunlight and draughts. Rabbits are usually very active in the morning, so it is best to let them out of their cage then.

A bowl with clean fresh water is a must.

Кормление

The menu of pet rabbits mainly consists of bread, wheat, oat, hay and vegetables. You can give to the rabbit cooked potatoes and beetroot. Raw grains like rice and buckwheat can lead to digestive disorders and cabbage leads to bloated stomach. It is not recommended to give meat to your rabbit.

In summer Polish dwarf rabbits are willing to eat grass, clover, dandelions. They like apples and young willow and aspen branches.  Until the age of 2.5 months young rabbits should get milk, but you mustn’t give it to adult animals.  Also young rabbits (up to 6 months) shouldn’t eat raw vegetables and fruit.

Calcium is essential for rabbits, so you should always add to their food mineral supplements, especially during the winter season.  

Особенности

Owners of Polish dwarf rabbits should avoid abrupt movements and loud sounds. These animals are very skittish and any stress can drive them to a fit. In this condition they can even bite.

You mustn’t ever lift a rabbit by its ears. If needed, you should take it by the scruff of its neck, holding your second hand under its stomach. 

Болезни

Despite their docile nature, Polish dwarf rabbits can be difficult to keep. They don’t tolerate heat or sultriness. They have weak immune system and very sensitive stomach. The rabbit can catch a cold from draughts, cool air or damp bedding. If a rabbit has got a cold, it starts coughing and gets nose discharge. If you notice these symptoms, you should take the animal to the vet as soon as possible.

Even slightest fluctuations in the diet can cause diarrhea. So any new food should be added to the menu gradually and in small portions. Fancy rabbits are prone to different diseases. Timely vaccinations will let you prevent many illnesses. Rabbits are vaccinated for the first time at the age of 45 days (the weight of an animal has to be at least 0.5 kg), and the second vaccination follows 10 days after the first one. Rabbits are vaccinated against rabies at the age of 2.5 months. 

Разведение
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