Mini Rex rabbits are famous for their plushy coats. Since their furs are short, grooming them is easy. Besides their coats, they are also friendly and docile. They can get along with children and adults. But like other rabbit breeds, they require a proper diet and a peaceful environment. This blog post will teach you how to take care of Mini Rabbits if you plan to get one!
Facts about Mini Rex Rabbits
|3 lbs to 4.5 lbs
|9 to 10 years
|Wide variety of colors
|Mini Satin, Mini lop rabbit
|Best Suited for
|Families with kids, new rabbit owners
Background and History
Louché-Pringé first developed Rex rabbits in a French village in 1919. Because of their furs that pointed outwards, these bunnies stood out. Many breeders tried to breed a miniature version of the Rex rabbits. The first attempt was in the Netherlands. Netherland Dwarfs with Rex Rabbits were paired by the breeders. The offspring are called Dwarf Rex rabbits. Unluckily, they looked like more of their Netherland Dwarf parent than the Rex rabbit.
Monna Berryhill of Texas developed the Mini Rex rabbits in Florida in 1984. She bred the Dwarf Rex with the Lynx Rex. The recessive gene of the Rex became visible to the offspring. Their furs are pointed outwards. Meanwhile, their guard hairs have the same length as their undercoats. Berryhill presented the castor Mini Rex to the ARBA in 1986.
Because of their plush coats, other breeders began to develop different varieties. In 1988, ARBA officially recognized the Mini Rex rabbits. The breed became one of the most popular bunnies in the United States.
Features of Mini Rex Rabbits
Mini Rex rabbits are smaller than the Rex rabbits but larger than the Dwarf Rex bunnies. These adorable bunnies can only weigh up to 3 lbs to 4.25 lbs. Does are bigger than the bucks. Because of their short necks, they have the compact body. They have well-developed shoulders and rounded backs.
When stretched out, the body length of a Mini Rex rabbit can measure up to 10.5” to 12.5”. Its upright ears can reach up to 3” to 3.5”. For rabbit shows, the senior buck must weigh up to 3 to 4.25 lbs, while 3.25 to 4.5 for senior does. Meanwhile, the junior buck must weigh up to 2 to 3.25 lbs to 2 to 3.75 lbs for junior does.
One of the distinct features of a Mini Rex rabbit is its extremely dense and upright coat. In terms of texture, it is smooth and springy. Its fur can grow from ½ inch to ⅞ inch long. As a result of the Rex gene, its guard hairs have the same length as its undercoat. Most breeders love this breed because of the quality of its coat.
The colors of the Mini Rex come in wide varieties. Before ARBA recognized this bunny, many breeders came up with other classes. Below is the list of types accepted by ARBA:
- Blue-eyed White
- Red-eyed White
- Black Otter
- Silver Marten
Temperament and Behavior
Besides their smooth coats, the Mini Rex rabbits are adorable and friendly pets. Most breeders also describe them as calm bunnies who don’t take up too much space indoors. However, they become more playful during afternoons and evenings. Mini Rex rabbits are also known as sociable pets, so you should accompany them.
As a reminder, male bunnies are aggressive during mating seasons. Observing your bunnies’ behaviors is crucial before putting them in one cage. Mini Rex rabbits are also good pets for families with kids and individuals. You will rarely hear that this bunny bites its owner.
But as prey animals, you must treat the new Mini Rex carefully. Smaller bunnies tend to get more nervous and fearful compared to larger ones. Give them time to adapt to their new environment before handling and picking them up. Also, avoid making sudden movements and loud noises that will startle them.
Like other rabbits, Mini Rex rabbits would appreciate toys inside their cages. You must place toys they can chew, helping to trim their teeth. Also, mentally stimulating toys can make them busy and preoccupied. You must also let them play outdoors so they can socialize and exercise. However, keep a close eye to keep them against predators.
Grooming Mini Rex Rabbits
If you want to maintain a Mini Rex rabbit’s soft and plushy coat, it is advisable to use a clean cloth in shedding season. Brushing its fur often may destroy its softness, and may not look like it used to. The best kind of cloth that you can use is chamois cloth. It helps remove loose fur and absorb the oil in the rabbit’s skin.
You only have to wrap the cloth on your rabbit’s coat. But if you don’t have a chamois cloth, you can also use a soft washcloth. You have to dampen it before putting on your bunny’s coat. However, the result is not as good as the chamois cloth.
For regular grooming, you can use a soft brush on a Mini Rex rabbit’s coat at least twice a week. If your rabbit has fleas, don’t put any medications without asking the vet. Since a rabbit’s skin is sensitive, some chemicals are toxic and harmful to it. Never bathe a Mini Rex rabbit since it may lead to stress or other fatal heart conditions.
Aside from maintaining your Mini Rex rabbit’s fur, you must also trim its nails once a month. If you don’t have any experience cutting rabbit nails, you can ask for the help of a groomer or a vet. For dental care, provide twigs and toys that your bunny can chew. Also, offer it hay regularly to trim its teeth.
Proper Diet of Mini Rex Rabbits
To keep a Mini Rex rabbit healthy and robust, you must provide it with a proper diet. Like all other bunnies, Mini Rex rabbits require an unlimited supply of hay. Since it is rich in fiber, it helps the bunny’s digestion. Aside from that, it prevents the bunny’s teeth from growing. There are different kinds of hay available, but they differ in nutrients.
When choosing suitable hay for your bunny, you must know its nutritional requirement. When the bunnies are in their six months, you can give them alfalfa since it helps their development. But once they are adults, you must stop feeding them alfalfa. This hay is rich in calcium, resulting in urinary stones in adult rabbits.
One of the best hay that you can give to adult rabbits is timothy hay. It is affordable, and it meets the nutritional requirements of the bunny. Other options include orchard grass hay, meadow hay, and oat hay. Before giving your bunny fodder, ensure it is fresh and pesticide-free.
You can also add pellets to your bunny’s diet since it is a good supplement. However, it should only be 5% of your bunny’s diet. Giving your rabbit too much pellets may lead to weight gain and other health issues. Choosing the right pellet brand requires 13% to 17% protein and 1% to 5% crude fat. The minimum amount of fiber is 16% to 18%.
The ideal size for your rabbit’s enclosure is 18 by 24 inches. Make the hutch larger if you plan to put more than one bunny. Although Mini Re rabbits are small, they need enough space to stretch fully and hop around. For good ventilation, choose a cage with wire sides. However, the flooring must be solid. Wire floors tend to cause sore hocks for bunnies.
Mini Rex rabbits are sensitive to extreme temperatures. It is recommended to let them live indoors, especially during winter and summer. But if you don’t have a choice, place their enclosure in a shaded area. Also, they must be protected from strong winds and predators.
Don’t put their enclosure in noisy places to prevent them from getting nervous. As much as possible, they must be close to your home so it will be easier for you to monitor them. Before you let them play in your garden, ensure that you have a tall fence. Also, keep the surroundings rabbit-proof by keeping electric cables or toxic plants away.
Health Issues of Mini Rex Rabbits
Mini Rex rabbits are known as hardy breeds. Unlike other bunnies, they don’t easily catch diseases. However, they may be prone to parasites like fur mites. One of the most common fur mites in bunnies is Cheyletiella, also known as walking dandruff. These mites are microscopic, causing itchiness on the rabbit’s skin. Symptoms of the fur mites are the following:
- Frequent scratching in the neck, hindquarters, and back
- Sores and scabs on the scratched areas
- Hair loss
- Flaky skin
- Head shaking
To diagnose your bunny, the vet will scrape skin debris to check it under the microscope. If it is because of fur mites, eggs will be attached to the furs. For treating the bunny, the vet may inject anti-parasite medications. Topical ointments may also be prescribed. The vet will also check if your bunny has any underlying diseases.
Rabbits may catch fleas from other bunnies or household pets like dogs and cats. Because of their thick coats, it is harder to trace fleas on Mini Rex rabbits. Some signs that your bunny has fleas are frequent biting on the skin, the presence of live fleas, and flea dirt. You may also notice that your bunny suffers from anemia, hair loss, and scaling.
You must visit the vet for a prescription if your bunny shows any of these symptoms. Rabbits have sensitive skin, so don’t apply ointments without the vet’s prescription. It may only worsen the situation. You must also eradicate the fleas on your furry pets and treat your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Mini Rex rabbits love to be cuddled?
As long as you already gain their trust, Mini Rex rabbits would love to be cuddled. These bunnies are affectionate to their owners. However, if your Mini Rex is new in your house, don’t pick it up immediately. The behavior of Mini Rex rabbits may differ depending on how they have been taken care of.
At what age does a Mini Rex stops growing?
A Mini Rex stops growing once it reaches eight to nine months. A fully grown Mini Rex can weigh up to 3 lbs to 4.5 lbs. A doe can weigh heavier than a buck.
How high can Mini Rex rabbits jump?
Mini Rex rabbits can jump as high as 61 cm. One owner reported that its Mini Rex could jump at least two feet off the ground. Since these bunnies are high jumpers, they can jump at the sofas.
Mini Rex rabbits are available in wide varieties. Because of their coats, they become popular pets. They are also one of the top contenders on rabbit shows. These bunnies are ideal for families with kids and new rabbit owners. Feeding them nutritious food and giving them enough attention will make them happy.