This blog post will be about the Bunnies that stay small even after their proper growth. Before adopting a bunny, you can choose one of the bunnies, which always stays tiny as the day you bring him. A baby rabbit grows quickly into an adult rabbit. You can adopt a rabbit who remains small—adopting a rabbit who will be small as before prevents some issues.
So, before you decide which bunny you want to adopt, you should read the article fully. You will get to know why you should adopt and keep a small rabbit as your pet. It can eliminate so many problems you may face after some years of adopting a common rabbit breed.
Dwarf Rabbits – Bunnies that stay small
Dwarfism is a genetic problem or condition which occurs in animals and humans. Dwarf rabbits are those rabbits that have dwarf genes in them. This dwarfism condition also occurs in rabbits. True dwarfism includes the cluster of physical abnormalities, and these physical abnormalities also involve pituitary dwarfism.
This dwarfing process includes selectively breeding of the small stature in each generation. This small stature is a characteristic that occurs in an organism, and it is a symptom of neoteny. Neoteny is a physical condition in which the growth process gets slowed down in an organism. This neoteny condition makes the rabbit look adorable to people.
One of the smallest domestic rabbits is the Netherland dwarf. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) states that this Netherland dwarf weighs between 1.1 pounds to 3.5 pounds. British Rabbit Council ( BRC) says that a Netherland dwarf can weigh a maximum of upto 2.5 pounds. The Netherland dwarf is the best example of a dwarfing gene. It has a round face and a short neck which are a feature of neoteny.
Most of the small rabbits have dwarf genes in them, but some of them do not. Britannia Petite and Polish are the two breeds that do not have dwarf genes, but they are small rabbits. Mixed breeds or small rabbits are not true dwarfs, but they are false dwarfs. False dwarfs are those who did not have dwarf genes in them. In wild rabbits, Marsh rabbits are the smallest species.
Marsh rabbit is an outstanding swimmer, too, and it weighs between 2.2 pounds to 2.6 pounds. Following are some names for the domestic breed with dwarf genes – Teddy dwarf, Jersey wooly, Dwarf Hotot, Lionhead, Miniature Lion Lop, etc. There are some breeds whose weight never exceeds 6 lbs. Here are some more examples of such dwarf rabbits. They are – Columbia Basin Pygmy, Mini Lop Plush, etc.
These dwarf rabbit breeds remain minuscule throughout their lifespan. There is no difference between large rabbits and small rabbits. But it separates both of them at one point, and a small and dwarf rabbit breed needs special care and concern. Now, if you are thinking of bringing one of them to your house, read and understand these breeds’ basic requirements.
Rabbits average height and weight
There are a variety of rabbits in the world. They differ from each other because of their size, shape, nature, and other factors. The American Rabbit Breeders Association classifies rabbits into four different groups, and they are as follows.
- Giant rabbits
- Large rabbits
- Medium rabbits
- Small rabbits
This research association defines its ideal weights as well. A giant rabbit weighs over 11 lbs. Large rabbits weigh between 9 lbs to 11 lbs, and Medium rabbits weigh between 6 lbs to 9 lbs. The small rabbits weigh under 6 lbs.
Dwarf rabbits do not have an ideal weight class. If you want to adopt a small rabbit, then adopt carefully as every rabbit looks small at a young age. Also, you should not adopt a medium-sized rabbit If you are expecting a small rabbit.
How much time does a Rabbit take to grow to full size?
The growth can not be expected. Rabbits are also like human beings. Some rabbits grow early, and some of the rabbits take some extra time for their proper growth. However, breed plays a vital role in their growth. Researchers assume that most of the small rabbit breeds grow properly by the age of six months. But some rabbit breeds, such as giant breeds, can take about one year to grow properly.
What is the difference between a dwarf Bunny and a small Bunny?
Dwarfism in rabbits is a result of neoteny and dwarfing genes. If any of the parents carry this dwarfism gene, then the child could be a dwarf rabbit. Also, there exist two types of dwarf rabbits. They are.
- False dwarf Rabbits
- True dwarf Rabbits
False dwarf rabbits result from two normal genes, and they do not have any dwarf parents. And there will be a difference between these two bunnies. The false dwarf rabbit will look larger than the true dwarf rabbits but smaller than the conventional rabbits.
True dwarf rabbits are born when one of their parents has a dwarf gene. It means that a true dwarf is born with one set of dwarf genes and one set of normal genes. These rabbits also have more characteristics. Some of these are also described above in the article.
Characteristics of Dwarf Rabbit breed
Some of the characteristics of a dwarf rabbit are also here.
- A dwarf rabbit weighs less than 4 lbs. It can weigh 1.5 lbs also.
- The dwarf rabbits have rounder and larger heads which are very different from traditional rabbits. They have round and large eyes.
- These dwarf rabbits have short ears which are straight and point in an upward direction. However, mostly dwarf rabbits do not have floppy ears, but some might have.
Please note if you are introducing a dwarf rabbit to your home, then adopt a rabbit from a reputable breeder because some dwarf rabbit breeds bring diseases and illnesses. A breeder does not show or disclose these illnesses and diseases to you.
How many Rabbit breeds carry the Dwarf gene?
Some rabbit breeds carry the dwarf gene. Only some rabbits are capable of producing dwarf rabbits. Till now, eight rabbit breeds have had a dwarfism factor in them.
- American Fuzzy Lop
- Mini Satin
- Dwarf Hotot
- Mini Rex
- Holland Lop
- Jersey Wooly
Some dwarf breeds live their regular life, but there are some dwarf rabbits who want extra care.
Breeding of two dwarf Bunnies
Researchers say that it is critical to dwarf a baby rabbit from two dwarf rabbits. It is a very difficult and rare condition when two dwarf rabbits breed. As we already know, the dwarf gene is dominant. So, the dwarf gene may manifest twice in the young rabbit.
Those baby rabbits who are born from two dwarf parents are known as peanuts. The peanuts, when born, look tiny as a human nail. They rarely look larger than a human fingernail. And research says that they never grow. After the birth of a peanut, a peanut lives for about two weeks.
A peanut can maximum live up to four weeks, not more than that. Researchers are not able to find out the reason why dwarf genes are so fatal. Some research experts say that peanuts have a large brain through which they may live and sustain life. And some of the experts say that it is for their digestive tracts.
Different breeds of the Bunnies that stay small
Some breeds of the bunnies that stay small are as follows.
Netherland dwarf bunnies are one of those bunnies that stay small always. It weighs between one pound to two and a half pounds. They have short necks and big heads and big bodies, and have tiny upright ears. They have thick, glossy hairs. They have a compatible and sweet nature and are loved by everyone.
Dwarf Hotot has black eyes and short ears. It has a full white coat. They are very furry and one of the cutest rabbits. They are very energetic and have a playful nature.
American Fuzzy Lop
It is a small rabbit and looks adorable to people. It is also known as show rabbit. American Fuzzy Lop has a wool coating and needs proper care.
Why do small Rabbits need a cabinet?
If you are preparing yourself to keep a small rabbit, you may assume that a hutch is not an essential extravagance. You may think that a small rabbit will fit into a cat or dog carrier. A carrier is not a suitable place for a small rabbit. There are many reasons why a small rabbit is not suitable for a dog or cat carrier. They are present in this particular topic.
Rabbits create and make their separate zone in a house, and they like to make a separate zone for them. Small rabbits choose a corner to sleep in and eliminate the other corner. A cabinet provides them with these separate zones.
Suppose you keep your small rabbit into anything else. It would be like a prison for the small rabbits. Small rabbits need a separate space to run, play and jump without any fear or disturbance.
Necessity of Cabinet for small Rabbits
They are free birds who love to play freely. If you are thinking of keeping them outside, then it may prove a bad idea. The small rabbits can hide in small spaces, and it will be hard to find them for you. And they will find some spaces to cover them. The small rabbits need an enclosed area where they can hide safely. So, a hutch door is a perfect space for a small rabbit.
These hutch doors are also safe enough for them where they will find an enclosed area for themselves. At night the small rabbits do not want to go to their cabinet, and there are many reasons for this. Apart from this, when you purchase a cabinet for your small rabbit, buy a spacious hutch, even if they are small. They need more space. Rabbits need a spacious place for their living. The more space they get, the more they get.
Food diet of a small Rabbit
One question that arises in our mind is how much they eat. The small rabbits will eat less than a large rabbit. The very obvious thing is that a small rabbit will have a small stomach and will eat accordingly. These small rabbits will eat less. If you are bringing a small rabbit, it does not mean that you have to buy less hay.
There is the fact that no rabbit will eat hay at once and at one place. If your rabbit is doing so, it means that you are not providing enough food to your rabbit. The hay and the food you are providing to your rabbit should be fresh. Do regularly and constantly change the food. Suppose you are not doing all these things and not taking care of their health. Then you are taking your rabbit’s life to risk.
Suppose your rabbit urinates the hay and if you are making them eat the same hay. It can cause severe health problems to them. So, please be careful if you are providing pellets to your small rabbit. Then provide them in very few amounts as it can be dangerous for their health. Providing pellets to them in large amounts can lead to serious health issues.
Can two different breeds live together?
Suppose you have a large rabbit at your home, and you are now getting a small rabbit to your home. Then they may adjust. But take care that both of them are compatible. However, people do not report any problem in most cases but understand that they both should be compatible.
Generally, a large and a small rabbit gets a good bond, but you have to ensure their personalities are pretty common. If your largest rabbit has a friendly nature, there will be no problem, but if they have a dominant behavior, you may face some problems. But sometimes they get out of their comfort zone with each other, but if they are not getting comfortable with each other, this can be a problem for you.
Small rabbits are generally very delicate and soft and sensitive physically but mentally also. Keeping the small rabbits with a large rabbit could be dangerous then. If you are going to keep them, first introduce them and help them make a bond between them.
Which Rabbit breed is a good option for a pet?
Size does not play any role in whether a pet is good or not. A pet is good or not depends upon the nature and the behavior of the pet. Every rabbit has its unique personality and nature. Which breed is suitable for you depends upon you. It depends upon what you demand from a rabbit pet.
- Small rabbits are quite intelligent if we compare them to large rabbits.
- You can train a small rabbit easily. However, it is difficult for you to make a large rabbit learn new things.
- Small rabbits sometimes receive extra care and concern, while a large pet does not need that much care.
- Depending on your setup place, the small rabbits can adjust.
- You have to make sure that your small bunny is not alone as they feel depressed if they are left alone for more time. The small rabbits need constant company.
- Mostly, the small rabbits are friendly, but it also depends upon the personality of the rabbit.
Advantages of keeping a small Rabbit as a pet
There are absolutely some advantages when you keep a small pet at your home. They look adorable. It is impossible to stay calm when you see a little bunny around you. A small little bunny melts our hearts and takes away our stress. Small rabbits always remain cute. The look and the appearance of a small rabbit never change.
However, these reasons are not enough to adopt a small rabbit. The small rabbits have a lifespan of around ten years, and it is a long commitment. Small rabbits live longer. They can be trained well as they are new to the world. You can give them litter training as well. Some rabbits eat their litter because they need cleanliness around them.
Disadvantages of keeping a small Rabbit as a pet
Suppose you have children at home. Then it would be best if you adopted a child-friendly rabbit breed. Your news to take care of the small rabbits. The small rabbits are very sensitive and fragile. They generally try to jump down from heights. If they accidentally fall, they may lead to a fatal accident also.
So, it would help if you were extra careful. Small rabbits, especially dwarf rabbit breeds, face many health issues compared to a large rabbit breed. Adopting bunnies that stay small forever is impressive, but you need to be extra careful if you adopt a small bunny. Some health issues that small rabbits can have are as follows.
- Viral infections are very common in small rabbits. They are not able to beat the viruses themselves as they are very sensitive.
- The small rabbits, if they have any dental problems they immediately need professional help.
- Small bunnies have big eyes, and if some things get into it or are stuck in it. It may give them problems, and this can become a chronic irritation problem for your small bunny.
- Small bunnies have sensitive digestive tracts, which may lead to gastric problems.
This article was all about the bunnies that stay small. It has some suggestions for you if you are looking for better options. The article has some advantages and disadvantages of having a small rabbit at your home. I hope the article was helpful for you. If you like the article, you may comment below in the comment section. Also, If you have any suggestions or queries regarding the article, you may write them down in the comments box.