The Dwarf Hotot Rabbit
Species: orictolagus cuniculus
The Dwarf Hotot Rabbit is one of the newest breeds recognized by ARBA (American Rabbit Breed Association) in 1984. The breed has an unusual history. In 1970s two breeders from Germany started works on breeding a new species completely independently from each other. One of the breeders crossed Netherland Dwarf and Blanc de Hotot, the other one used black Hotots and Netherland Dwarfs. As a result the results of their crossings were combined to create a recognized breed – the dwarf rabbit Hotot. Its special feature is black and brown bands around the eyes.
The dwarf hotot rabbit has a compact and rounded body and short vertical ears. Their fur is dense, thin and glossy. The original breed was white with the exception of black bands around the eyes, but currently many other color morphs are recognized. An adult rabbit weighs about 0.9 – 1.4. kg.
The personality of dwarf hotot rabbits is in line with their looks: they are neat, smart, gentle and playful animals.
The dwarf hotot rabbit needs a spacious cage: at least 70x40 cm. You will have to clean the cage regularly (2-3 times a week). If you succeed in litter box training of your rabbit, you can clean the cage once a week. You can let your rabbit out for a walk, but you will have to buy special harness for it (it can be bought in a pet store). You can let your rabbit walk only after it has been vaccinated. If your rabbit has long fur, you will have to comb it with a special brush that can be acquired in a pet store.
If you let your rabbit walk around in a flat, you will have to rabbit-proof your home. You have to be extra careful with electrical wires. The rabbit has to be carefully observed all the time when it is out of its cage.
Your rabbit doesn’t require as complicated care as you might think. If you want to let your pet roam freely around your home, you should make sure it is used to its cage first, then you wont have problems catching it in the flat.
You will have to cut the claws of adult rabbits with special pet nail trimmer about once a month.
Your rabbit needs a varied diet. In summer and in autumn you should give to it a lot of grass with a small quantity of dry mix. In summer time dandelions, plantain, sage, milfoil, burdock, pigweed, tansy, clover and other kinds of grass make an excellent food for your rabbit. These greens are very juicy and rabbits like them. But don’t forget to alternate these greens or feed them in a mix. It is best to combine them with grain. Don’t feed your rabbit with the same type of grass for a long time.
Before you feed your rabbit with some water melon, carrots or beetroot, reduce the amount of liquid you give to it: these vegetables contain a lot of liquid, and rabbits can develop digestive disorder if they get too much of it. Also, dwarf rabbits love wood: fresh thin branches of apple trees, willow, pine, acacia, aspen and lime tree are the best choice. But remember that low-fiber and rich in sugar food can lead to health problems in your pet.
Never feed your rabbit with beans, rhubarb, red cabbage, hemlock, lily of the valley, henbane, Pairs herb, digitalis or grass collected along the road. You should wash the grass carefully and dry it before feeding. Don’t forget that your rabbit’s menu should contain sufficient quantity of hay. Oat hay is universal feed for rabbits of all kinds and ages.
Fancy rabbits are prone to such diseases as rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease, myxomatosis, diarrhea, constipation, bloat, abscesses, diabetes, pododermatitis.