Thursday, September 20, 2012

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits

Netherland Dwarf rabbits are true dwarfs and typically weigh between only 1 1/2 and 3 pounds. Their face and nose is very flat and they come in a variety of colors. Their ears are short and pointy and they have become very popular as pets and in shows. Decades ago they use to have a wild disposition. Selective breeding practices have helped them to become tame even though they are still more active than most other rabbits.

 It is important to handle Netherland Dwarf rabbits often and to be gentle with them so they become use to human contact. In my household we nicknamed rabbits like this "popcorn bunnies" because of their high energy level, but they settle down with time and handling. Be extra careful to not upset them. You can tell if you have because they will thump their back legs in disapproval. Don't take it personally but just realize that they will need some time alone to settle down before you try and handle them again.

 Their digestive system is more sensitive than other rabbits because of their small size. Do not ever give them treats that are high in carbohydrates like bread, grains, or fruit snacks. These things can cause diarrhea which can be lethal. If your Netherland Dwarf rabbit develops diarrhea feed it grass hay (like timothy hay) and clean water for a while. However, it is important to feed pellets because grass hay is deficient in certain vitamins (choline) and minerals (phosphorous) and prolonged feeding just grass hay and veggies will cause health problems. Feeding a baby rabbit food that is specially designed for young rabbits will prevent digestive problems. This kind of rabbit food should be high in fat (about 8% like "momma's milk") and fiber but low in carbohydrates (grain) to promote digestive health.

for more info on the darling Netherland Dwarf go here
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art: ruralpearl's photostream flickr

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