The list of pets is not limited to cats, dogs and hamsters. No one is surprised by people with mini-pigs on a leash, and many in the houses live dwarf rabbits – cute animals that cause general emotion for their appearance. The peculiarity of mini breeds is that in their adult state they remain miniature, in contrast to decorative rabbits, which are no less attractive in appearance, but grow to industrial sizes.
Distinctive features of dwarf breeds
Among rabbit breeders, there are clear criteria for which mini rabbits belong to dwarf breeds. And the thing is only in the small sizes of the representatives of the breed, and whether the so-called dwarf gene is present in the DNA of animals. Only 15 such breeds are officially registered today, although there are much more small domestic breeds (not counting mestizos, which are also very popular). In all, 83 rabbit breeds officially exist in the world, although more than 200 breeds bred by amateur breeders (almost 70 of them in Russia).
Already within these 15 breeds, a large number of subspecies have been developed that differ in such parameters:
- color (more than 60 shades, two- and three-color);
- the length and shape of the coat (with short, medium and long hair, downy Angora, velvet, curly);
- exterior and body proportions;
- the size and shape of the ears (from 6 to 20 cm, erect and sagging – fold);
- weight (mini dwarfs – up to 1.7 kg, medium dwarfs – 1.7-3.0 kg).
A little history of the formation of a line of rabbits with the dwarf gene
In the second half of the 19th century, breeders began to actively use for breeding a silver small rabbit, which has a special gene that provides small sizes for offspring. Already in 1870, the first dwarf breed was registered in England: a Polish white downy mini rabbit (Britain petit). In 1920, German breeders introduced the world to a completely new breed – hermelin with curly fur. In 1930, color dwarfs were bred in Holland, and the breed standard was approved in 1940. Dwarf rabbits lop-eared rams appeared at exhibitions in 1952, and the breed was registered in 1964. The newest among all is the lion-headed dwarf, bred at the beginning of this century. The authorship of this breed of dwarf rabbits is disputed by the Belgians and Americans.
"The most-most" mini-rabbits – interesting facts
Before describing the breeds, we want to present you some interesting facts about these funny animals.
- The smallest dwarf rabbit from the United States, registered in the Guinness Book of Records, weighed only 400 g. Although a female weighing 297 grams lives in Chelyabinsk and its owners filed for a record.
- The longest ears of a rabbit are 79.06 cm.
- The longest life that a domestic rabbit lived was 19 years and 2 months.
And on average, dwarf breeds live 7-9 years, and this depends only on the quality of care for the animal, and not what type it belongs to.
British mini (polish white rabbit, petit)
It is the founder of all dwarf breeds. She is almost 150 years old. Although the name has the word white, and this is the most common color, the color of these dwarf rabbits has about 20 shades. A very popular breed in the USA, where these rabbits contain more than 2 million as pets.