Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
The Netherland Dwarf rabbit is a popular breed of domestic rabbit which originated in the Netherlands. These pet rabbits are not used as sources of meat or fur because of their small size (5 inches). They do not weigh more than 0.9 kilograms. Their bodies and face are round, eyes are big and bright and their ears are only 5 centimeters long. Their average lifespan is 7 years or more. They are popular due to their cute babyish appearance and their smaller cage space requirement. Many people use them as exhibition animals and they are one of the most popular show rabbits in the United States. They are also popular in Europe where they are known as the “European Pole”. This breed comes in several colors-black, white, blue, smoke pearl, Siamese sable, opal, tan, seal point and chinchilla.
Netherland Dwarf rabbits are usually happy, friendly pets. However, during breeding time, they may become less friendly. They also become more protective of their bodies and their cages around this time. After breeding, they settle down and become friendly again. The best age for a Netherland Dwarf female rabbit to start breeding is when she is 5-6 months old. She should have her first litter before she is a year old. After this age the pelvic bones fuse and she will not be able to give birth naturally. They should have no more litters once they complete 3 years of age. The average size of the litter is 2-4; however, some have even produced 6. The gestation period is usually between 28-31 days and they usually give birth at 30-32 days. If you do not plan on breeding your rabbit it is best to get is sterilized and thereby avoid behavioral problems. Spaying or neutering can be done when the rabbit is over 4 months old.
The rabbit diet should consist of large unlimited amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh hay, plenty of clean water and a well balanced dry rabbit mix. Rabbits have delicate stomachs so be sure to add one vegetable at a time to their diet. Remove specific ones that cause diarrhea. These rabbits need constant exercise and you will need to have an area for the pet to run around. Household articles like boxes and toilet roll tubes will help to entertain this rabbit.
A baby Netherland Dwarf rabbit makes for an excellent pet for both children and adults.