The Different Types of RabbitDr. Bobby Ortiz M.V.B
Easily tamed and sociable, rabbits are wonderful pets for older children and adults. Your indoor rabbit can also be house-trained and once this is done, they will make for a wonderful companion. They are the third most popular pet in Ireland after dogs and cats, so it’s no secret that people adore these furry little animals.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what some of the different types of rabbit are, their characteristics, and how to care for them. There are nearly 60 fancy and fur breeds with 600 varieties so I hope to help address a few of these breeds below:
Appearance: Lionhead Rabbits are a small breed of long haired rabbit. Their manes are typically thick, woolly and soft. They can be either single mane or double mane. A single mane lionhead may be wispy and thin and often disappears as the rabbit begins to mature. Double maned rabbits have a thick mane of wool encircling their head.
Temperament: Sociable and friendly, they appreciate company, and because of their size, will live happily in a normal size rabbit cage or hutch. They will need a quiet, stress-free environment, and must be handled with care. They can be quite skittish if frightened, so it is important to handle with care. When introducing yourself or your children to your lionhead, let them approach you first, and gradually build up contact. Before you know it, your lionhead will be one of your best friends!
Diet: Your lionhead’s diet should consist of mostly fresh hay and grass. It is recommend that a rabbit eats approximately its own weight in hay every day. In addition to hay, make sure to feed your lionhead rabbit leafy greens daily. You can also include pellets and treats in your rabbit’s diet.
Appearance: Dwarf rabbits are a small breed of rabbits. Their eyes and heads are big compared to the rest of their bodies. They are a very popular breed of rabbit due to their cute demeanour. Standard dwarf rabbits usually weigh up to 1.4 kilograms (approximately 3 pounds). It can be quite difficult to tell their gender, so be careful if you’ve brought two rabbits home, unless you want a litter of bunnies!
Temperament: They are very sociable, affectionate and like lots of attention, so prefer to live with other rabbits. If you don’t want them to breed, we recommend keeping a neutered male and spayed female together. Two males can begin fighting, as can females, especially if they are not neutered/spayed.
Diet: Dwarf rabbits need lots of fresh hay, leafy greens such as rocket, kale, cauliflower, carrot tops, or parsley. Always ensure you rabbit has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.
Appearance: They are identifiable by their long ears that flop down alongside their head, and may even drag onto the ground due to their size. This is quite unlike other rabbits who normally have ears sticking upwards; this is what makes lop-eared rabbits so unique!
Temperament: They have a reputation of being playful and sociable, and will normally welcome any attention you shower them with. They are playful and friendly with other pets and older children (when handled correctly). They are intelligent, easy to train, and not as nervous or skittish to be around as other breeds.
Diet: As with all breeds, access to fresh hay and water at all times is essential. Any leafy greens such as kale, cauliflower or dandelions.
Appearance: Giant breeds are larger in size compared to other rabbits. There are many different types of the giant breeds including; Flemish Giant, French Lop, Checkered Giant or Giant Chinchilla Rabbit. A Flemish Giant Rabbit can live up to five years they are known for their long and powerful body. The French Lop Rabbit has a lifespan of five years or more and has long ears and has a soft dense coat. The Checkered Giant Rabbit is easy to spot; they will have checkered spots over their body and can live up to five years or more. The Giant Chinchilla is a stocky rabbit and does not require regular grooming.
Temperament: Giant breeds share the same sociable nature of other rabbit breeds, but they tend to live for a shorter time, generally no more than five years. They are laid back, friendly, and enjoy the company of other rabbits, so it is always best to make sure they have a companion.
Diet: Fresh hay, which is high in fibre and will aid their digestion, along with clean water, should also be given every day.