Jersey Wooly rabbits are one of the most famous long-haired bunnies. They are easy to handle because of their size, and their coats are easy to groom. These “no-kick bunnies” are suited for first-time owners and families with children. They are also social animals that can get along even with other household pets like cats and dogs.
This blog post will share how you can properly care for Jersey Wooly bunnies. Although they are low maintenance, regular grooming and a proper diet are necessary. Once you give them the best care, they can live longer years than expected.
Facts About Jersey Wooly
|2.5 to 3 lbs
|7 to 10 years
|Agouti, self, shaded, tan, broken, AOV
|French Angora, Netherland Dwarf rabbit
|Best Suited for
|Families with kids, couples, singles, senior citizens, and first-time owners
|New Jersey, United States
Background and History
Unlike the history of other long-haired bunnies, the Jersey Wooly bunnies have a brief one. As its name implies, these bunnies originated in New Jersey. Bonnie Seely crossbred the French Angora with the Netherland Dwarf in the 1970s. She aimed to create a bunny with an easy-to-care coat. The result is a bunny with a small, oblong body and soft wool, known today as the Jersey Wooly.
Seely presented the bunny during the ARBA convention in 1984 in Orlando, Florida. Four years later, the association recognized the Jersey Wooly. The rabbit became popular because of its unique mug head and beautiful coat.
Today, the Jersey Wooly rabbits are famous contenders on rabbit shows. Since fanciers love these bunnies, national, regional, and local organizations were established. One of them is The National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club
Features of Jersey Wooly Rabbits
A Jersey Wooly rabbit has a compact, semi-arched body that can only weigh up to 1 to 3.5 lbs. Since they are so small, they can fit into the palms. However, its lustrous coat makes it looks bigger than it is. It is similar to a little furry ball when adequately groomed, earning the title “fluffy of the fancy.”
The body and head must be proportionate for rabbit shows. Plus, the shoulder and the hindquarters must have the same width. The senior must be over six months old and weigh less than 3 ½ lbs. For the junior buck and doe, they must be three to six months old with a minimum weight of 1 ½ lb and a maximum weight of 3 lbs.
Besides the size of Jersey Wooly rabbits, they are also known for their square, bold heads. They have erect ears that can grow up to 2.5 to 3 inches long. During judging, the biggest points go to the head and ears. It is considered a fault if the bunny’s head or body is too long or narrow. The ideal length of the ears is 2.5 inches long.
Compared to Angora breeds, the coats of the Jersey Wooly rabbits are easy to maintain. They don’t require shearing or trimming, unlike other long-haired bunnies. But you must still groom them regularly since their furs are very soft, resulting in matting. During their non-shedding season, you can brush their coats at least once a week.
The ARBA acknowledged the six patterns of the Jersey Wooly’s coats: agouti, broken, self, shaded, tan, and AOV. Below are the colors under these varieties:
|Chinchilla, squirrel, chestnut, opal
|Any color with white
|Blue-eyed white (BEW), Ruby-eyed white (REW), chocolate, black, lilac, blue
|Sable point, Siamese sable, seal, tortoiseshell, blue tortoiseshell, smoked pearl
|Chocolate silver marten, lilac silver marten, blue silver marten, sable marten, black silver marten, black otter, blue otter
|Pointed white blue, pointed white black
Temperament and Behavior
Jersey rabbits are “no-kick bunnies” since you rarely see them bite or kick their owners. Since they are docile and playful, these furry pets are popular with kids and adults alike. They are ideal pets for families with children. However, it would be best to supervise your kids when handling them. The dwarf size of these bunnies makes them more fragile than larger breeds. Mishandling may result in stress, leading to severe health issues.
These bunnies are also perfect for seniors and singles who are looking for pets they can cuddle. Naturally affectionate, Jersey Wooly rabbits love to snuggle with their owners. They also like to sit on the lap of their furry parents. Your bunny will appreciate it if you give it unrestricted access to your home.
As social animals, Jersey Wooly bunnies love to have some rabbit companions. If you’re keeping this bunny, keep at least two or three of its kind. Once they get along with their partners, they become inseparable. Before introducing a new match to your Jersey Wooly, you may want to put it in a different cage. Give it some time to know its new partner.
Although these rabbits can get along with other pets, you don’t want to introduce them to your cats and dogs. Because they are small, they can easily be attacked by predators. If you only have one Jersey Wooly, make sure you give it the attention it needs.
Grooming Jersey Wooly Rabbits
A Jersey Wooly has a coat that is easy to groom since shearing and trimming are unnecessary. When they are in non-molting season, you only have to brush their coats at least once a week. Bunnies with ruby-eyed whites and broken patterns need to be groomed more often. It is because their coats are thicker and denser than the agoutis.
If the bunnies are shedding, you must groom them daily to prevent them from ingesting their wool. Brushing is necessary since Jersey Wooly coats are prone to matting due to their very soft furs. You must use nail trimmers when cutting their severely matted coats. Jersey Wooly bunnies have sensitive skins, so using scissors can injure them. Once you cut their skin, grooming may be a traumatic and stressful experience for them.
Aside from their coats, you must also check the teeth of these bunnies since they may lead to overgrowth. To prevent this problem, you must feed them with hay regularly so they may have strong and trimmed teeth. Their nails must also be cut monthly using pet nail trimmers to prevent injuries.
Jersey Woolys’ primary diet must include hay, pellets, vegetables, and some fruits. Their digestive systems function properly by giving them an unlimited amount of hay. It also keeps their teeth trimmed, preventing them from suffering from malocclusion.
Different kinds of hay are available. But the most recommended are timothy hay, oat hay, and orchard hay. As much as possible, prevent feeding a large amount of alfalfa hay since it is high in calories. In giving hay, make sure it is fresh and free from pesticides. Ideally, rabbits must consume hay as large as their body sizes.
Pellets help the bunnies from reaching their nutritional requirement. In choosing pellets, they must be high in fiber and low in calories. The right amount of pellets to give to adult rabbits is at least ¼ to ½ cups daily.
You must also give leafy greens to your rabbits since they are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, not all veggies are good for them. Never give potatoes, iceberg lettuce, and mushrooms since they are toxic to rabbits. For fruits, you may provide them occasionally but in minimal amounts. Avoid giving them avocados and seeds from apples and peaches.
Habitats for Jersey Wooly Rabbits
Ideally, Jersey Wooly rabbits must live indoors to protect them from predators. But if you cannot let them live with you inside your home, you can make them a hutch. Jersey Wooly rabbits need a large cage where they stretch and hop comfortably.
If the bunny is 3 lbs, the area of the cage must be 3 square feet. The width must be 1.5 times the length, while the length must be thrice the length of the bunny’s body. You must ensure that the food and water dishes, litter box, and bedding can fit inside the cage.
To ensure good ventilation for your bunny, don’t use aquariums or cages with solid walls. The best option is a wire-enclosure, but with carpeted or solid flooring. Never let the hutch be wire-bottomed since the feet of the Jersey Wooly may get stuck. This kind of flooring may also lead to sore feet for your bunnies.
Rabbits tend to dig and eat their bedding, so you must choose something they can consume. Some of the good choices are timothy hay and meadow hay. Prevent using newspapers, cedar, wood shavings, and cat litter. Aside from bedding, you must also put toys inside the cage to keep the bunny stimulated mentally.
Dental disease is common in Jersey Wooly rabbits. It is because of their tiny heads and slightly long jaws. Once the bunnies’ teeth overgrow, they would have difficult time eating. It will affect their diet, resulting in other health issues like gastrointestinal stasis. Common causes of dental disease are poor diet, breed, and old age.
Some symptoms include weight loss, appetite loss, grinding teeth, and diarrhea. You may also notice that your bunny has weepy eyes, a runny nose, and a bumpy jawline. The treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. Severe cases may require dental surgery. The vet may also prescribe antibiotics if there are abscesses and mouth sores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Jersey Wooly a good pet for first-time owners?
Jersey Wooly rabbits are ideal pets for first-time owners since they are easy to handle and groom. Unlike Angora breeds, these bunnies don’t need shearing and trimming. You can also let them live inside your house, but ensure you don’t have dogs and cats around. They also have the same diet as other rabbit breeds.
Do Jersey Wooly rabbits love to be cuddled?
Since these bunnies are affectionate, they love to be cuddled by their owners. They also like to be picked up, but ensure that you handle them properly. They are very fragile compared to larger rabbit breeds.
How much does a Jersey Wooly cost?
A pet-quality Jersey Wooly can only cost $20 to $50. But if you are looking for a rabbit show quality, it is at least $100 to $150. Make sure to buy from registered breeders only to get the best quality.
Is a Jersey Wooly Your Bunny?
Jersey Wooly rabbits are unique bunnies because of their mug heads and coats. But besides their appearance, they are loved by many because of their docile nature. These bunnies are also affectionate, so they can get along with their owners. But like other rabbit breeds, they need grooming, a proper diet, and enough attention.