In rabbit breeding, among the huge number of different breeds of rabbits, the species — rex rabbit. This breed is truly royal – the animals are neatly built, have thick and silky fur, which is almost indistinguishable from chinchillas, the breed is also considered meaty, since adults are quite large in size.
View origin and description
Rabbit Rex — mammal animal from the hare family. This breed of rabbit appeared in France in 1919. The breed was bred by crossing wild gray rabbits of the giant breed and is the result of a natural mutation. Later, rabbits of this breed began to be crossed with rabbits of other breeds to obtain individuals of various colors. In 1924, the Rex breed was created, in which there were more than 20 types of animal coloration.
Video: Rex Rabbit
In 1925, the breed «Rex» has been standardized in Europe. This breed was brought to our country from Germany by the Soviet scientist Serebrovsky. At that time, the export of Rex rabbits outside of Germany was prohibited, and the scientist crossed two thoroughbred rabbits with ordinary ones, and upon arrival in Russia, having crossed these rabbits with each other, the scientist got back the offspring of the «Rex» breed. To improve the breed, a subspecies of Kostor color was bred. After that, the breed itself was named “Castorrex”. Later, such types of breed were bred: Black Otter Rex (black otter), Amber Rex (amber), and a dwarf species of this breed. There are 20 species of this breed in total.
Here are some of them:
- yellow rex;
- white butterfly rex;
- Black Otter Rex
- Havanna Rex;
- Blue Rex;
- Japanese rex;
- chinchilla rex;
- chocolate rex;
- lilac otter;
- Japanese species;
- Russian rex;
- dwarf rex and others.
Rabbits of this breed are quite large, body length is about 46-57 cm, weight is about 5 kg. The body of the animal is slender, elongated. The anterior part of the body is narrowed. The paws of the animal are thin. The skin is soft, the hairline is silky and shiny, the length of the coat is 1.8–2.0 cm.
Rex rabbits are amazingly beautiful animals. They have a slender and well-coordinated body. The shape of the body is rounded, elongated. The chest of the animal is wide, the females have a small dewlap. The back is slightly humpbacked, the bones are fragile. The limbs are thin and strong; the limbs have sharp brown or black claws. The head is large, slightly elongated in front. The iris of the eyes is brown. The mustache is very short.
The ears are quite long, slightly rounded at the ends. There is hair on the nose. The length of the ears is approximately 12 cm in a healthy individual, the ears should be raised up. The tail is small and covered with hair. Wool. In healthy adults of this breed, the coat is short, about 17 mm long. The hairs are even, there should be no curly hairs. If the animal is stroked against the nap, the coat quickly assumes its usual position.
Interesting fact: Rabbits of this species do not like moisture due to the special structure of the coat. Wool quickly absorbs moisture without repelling it, and moisture quickly enters the body of the animal, which is why the rabbit easily catches a cold, so it is better to keep the animal in a dry room, life in open-air cages is not for these creatures.
Rabbits of this species are very active and can jump quite high and move quickly thanks to well-developed limbs. Rabbits of this species jump well and quickly. The life expectancy of Rex rabbits under good conditions is about 6-8 years.
Now you know how to properly maintain and care for Rex rabbits. Let’s see what is worth feeding these animals.
Where does the rex rabbit live?
Since the Rex rabbit breed was artificially bred by breeders, animals of this breed cannot be found in the wild. Basically, rabbits of this breed are kept and bred in captivity. In the modern world, rex rabbits are bred all over the world, the animals are highly valued because of their fur.
Rex rabbits are very picky in choosing housing, despite the warm skin, these animals catch colds easily and often get sick. Rabbits need warm, dry cages, which should be placed in a dry, well-ventilated area. Rex rabbits are afraid of the heat because of their dense and warm fur, they are prone to overheating, so the cages with animals should be under a canopy or indoors. During the heat, it is necessary to increase the humidity in the room, and ventilate more often, while during the ventilation there should be no drafts, otherwise the animals may catch a cold.
The fur of rabbits of this breed does not repel moisture, but rather conducts it very quickly to the body, so you need to minimize the contact of animals with water. Moisture should not get into the cages, and the drinkers should be well fixed. A floor of slats should lie on the floor of the cages so that the animal does not injure its delicate paws. During the breeding season, it is necessary to keep a separate cage where a pregnant female can be deposited.
What does a rex rabbit eat?
The main diet of Rex rabbits includes:
- vegetables (carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, etc.);
- fruits (apples, pears, etc.);
- melons (peel of watermelons, melons, zucchini);
- grass (clover, sedge, lungwort, leaves dandelion, etc.);
- dry combination food.
For good health and a beautiful skin, the diet of rabbits must be balanced. In the summer, animals must be given juicy fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits. It should be borne in mind that fresh grass rabbits usually eat more hay. In winter, animals are fed with hay, compound feed, grain feed with pieces of dried fruit, and special vitamin supplements are given. Pregnant females need to be given various mineral supplements, chalk, powdered chicken egg shells.
Fresh, clean water should always be present in the cage. One individual should normally have 100 ml of water per 1 kg of animal weight. In summer, when fresh greens are given, rabbits drink less. Uneaten food remains must be removed from the cage in a timely manner, especially for vegetables and fruits that quickly deteriorate, and the animal can be poisoned by them. Rabbits of this breed are not recommended to give white cabbage and cucumbers. From these vegetables, gases begin to accumulate in the intestines of the animal, which leads to pain in the abdomen, in rare cases even to the death of the animal.
Peculiarities of character and lifestyle
Like all members of the hare family, Rex rabbits are very shy animals. They are afraid of loud noises, strangers. Animals do best in a calm environment. Animals treat people calmly, very sociable. Recognize the owner. However, do not forget that you need to take rabbits in your hands very carefully, if the animal is frightened, the rabbit can scratch or bite. Rex rabbits do not like bad smells and if human hands smell bad, the rabbit can also bite.
Between themselves, rabbits live peacefully if they are populated in a cage at the same time. We must not forget that males are used to protecting their territory and when a stranger appears in a cage, conflicts can begin. Sometimes males fight for their territory to the death. For proper development and harmonious life, animals need to move, so rabbits must be released from the cage at least once a day so that they can stretch their paws. If the animal is not let out of the cage, and there is little communication with it, the rabbit may become depressed.
At the same time, the rabbits either refuse food and lie in the corner of the cage, or vice versa, become aggressive, begin to gnaw the bars of the cage, darting from corner to corner. If rabbits are let out of the cage for a while, fed a balanced diet and socialized with animals, they will feel good. Rex rabbits are very affectionate and sociable animals, if you give them time and attention, they will become good friends for you.
An interesting fact: Rabbits are quite intelligent, they are well accustomed to the litter box, they allocate a separate place for themselves to eat.
Social structure and reproduction
Puberty in Rex rabbits occurs at four months of age. Pregnancy in a female lasts about a month. In one litter, from 2 to 5 rabbits are usually born. For a year, a female can bring from 2 to 4 offspring. For successful reproduction, animals need to create calm conditions. Rabbits usually mate at night or in the early morning hours when no one bothers them. You can find out about the pregnancy of a female at the initial stages by her behavior: the female can be aggressive, does not let males near her.
Also, a pregnant female begins to arrange a nest for herself, tearing out wool from her own abdomen. At the end of pregnancy, females can be restless, experience strong unrest before childbirth, or vice versa, hide in a corner and lie quietly there, accumulating strength. At the end of pregnancy, the female must be transplanted into a separate cage, it would be nice to make a nest there or install a queen cell. It is very important that the female feels calm before giving birth and for the first time after them, she has enough food and drink.
Interesting fact: Although rabbits are herbivores, they have cases of cannibalism . The female can eat her own cubs instinctively. Feeling that the cub was born sick, or feeling stress and fear for the offspring. Therefore, it is important that the female is calm and feels good.
Cubs are born very weak. The first days of life, they are very vulnerable, the rabbits initially have undeveloped immunity, so they can easily get sick. Mortality among rabbits is very high. For successful rearing of juveniles, it is necessary to provide animals with good conditions. The cage must be constantly clean, the room where the cage is located must be warm and dry. The optimum air temperature is 15-22 degrees. The female takes care of the cubs by feeding them milk and licking them. Over time, the rabbits switch to regular food.
Natural enemies of rex rabbits
Natural enemies of rabbits include:
- birds of prey and other predators.
In captivity, the main enemies of rabbits are those animals that can climb into rabbit cages. These are mainly martens, cats, foxes can climb in the villages. In order to protect rabbits from predators, it is necessary that the cells are strong and well closed. To prevent predators from getting rabbits, cages are usually made at a height of 1.3-1.5 meters above the ground.
The bottom of the cage is reinforced so that predators cannot gnaw through it. For rabbits living in enclosed spaces, the main danger is various diseases. Rex rabbits cannot boast of excellent health, their immunity is weak and they are often prone to various diseases.
The most common diseases that occur in rabbits of this breed are as follows:
- rhinitis and swelling of the nasal mucosa;
- various parasitic diseases.
To prevent various diseases, it is necessary to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the cells and the rooms where they are located. Vaccinate animals in a timely manner. Rabbits with signs of disease must be placed in separate cages. Also, only purchased individuals must be vaccinated and quarantined for two weeks.
Population and species status
Today, Rex rabbits are raised on farms all over the world. This breed is very common in Russia, Europe, England, China, Germany, France and other countries. Rabbits of this breed are bred to obtain the skin and meat of the animal. Skins are used industrially as cheap substitutes for beaver and chinchilla fur. Despite the fact that people extract animal fur, nothing threatens the population of the species, because rabbits are raised both on private farms and on an industrial scale.
The conservation status of the rex rabbit species is the species of least concern. This species does not need additional protection. Rabbits feel great in captivity, multiply rapidly, bring offspring several times a year. Breeders are constantly developing new types of this breed for decorative purposes and better skins of various colors.
Often, rabbits are kept not even for the sake of meat or skin, but for decorative purposes. Rex rabbits are very beautiful, they treat the owner well, they are calm and unpretentious pets. In addition, the wool of these animals is hypoallergenic, so they are often bought for children as a pet, because the care of animals is so simple that even a child can handle it.
The Rex rabbit is the real king among rabbits. Animals of this breed are very beautiful, calm and easy to train. The fur of rabbits is valuable, the coat is short and soft. The meat is dietary, the production of meat from one animal is low. If the animal is kept for decorative purposes as a pet, the pet will quickly become a loyal and sympathetic friend.