Dutch Rabbit 2016-11-30T16:09:57+00:00

dutch_rabbit

Dutch Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus dutch

Description

A Dutch Rabbit is a domestic rabbit which has white markings on the front of its face, its feet, around its neck, and over its shoulders. The rest of its body is another color, such as black, grey, or chocolate. Its ears stand straight up.

Size

The Dutch Rabbit is a small breed of rabbit, weighing 3.5-5.5 pounds.

Adaptations

  • Their large ears swivel in all directions to pick up any sound.
  • Rabbits’ strong back legs give them the speed necessary to flee from predators.
  • Their feet contain long claws for traction and have fur on the bottom for warmth.
  • Rabbits’ eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads so they can see danger approaching from any direction.

Diet

The rabbits at Cosley Zoo receive rabbit pellets and timothy hay as a staple diet, and fruits and vegetables as occasional treats.

Reproduction

When a rabbit is pregnant it is said to be “in kindle”. The gestation period lasts 31 days. The female (doe) gives birth to a litter of baby rabbits (kits or kittens), which are totally blind and hairless until they are 10 days of age. The typical litter size is 6 or 7 but can be as high as 12 kits. The young rabbits are weaned at 4 weeks of age. A doe can have as many as 5 litters per year.

Shelter and Space Needs

In the winter, the rabbits are kept inside the barn. In the warmer months, they spend their days in a grassy yard, coming indoors at night or in bad weather. The rabbits are provided with plenty of chewing material to help wear down his fast-growing teeth.

Life Expectancy

Domestic rabbits live between 5 and 15 years, with an average life expectancy of 8 years.

Importance to Man

Because of its small size, the Dutch Rabbit is a popular pet and show rabbit. Rabbits can also be raised for meat and fur, although this is uncommon with Dutch Rabbits because of their small size.

Fun Facts

  • Rabbits have two rows of upper incisors (the large teeth in the front of the mouth). The teeth in the second row are called the peg teeth. These teeth are slightly smaller than the front incisors and lie directly behind them.
  • A rabbit’s teeth keep growing for its entire life! Because of this, rabbits need to be given constant access to chewing material to keep their teeth worn down.
  • Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box.
  • The tail of a rabbit has a special name. It’s called a scut (pronounced “scoot”).