The Britannia Petite is a dwarf sized rabbit but is not a dwarf rabbit as it does not carry the dwarf gene.
In Britain, they are known as Polish rabbit breed but in the United States of America, their name was changed to Britannia Petite as there was already a recognized breed called Polish. The Polish breed that is recognized in America as Polish rabbit breed is not a breed known in Britain! Read on to learn more about the Britannia Petite rabbit breed.
BREED PROFILE OVERVIEW
|Breed Name:||Britannia Petite|
|Other Names:||Polish (UK Name for the breed)|
|Country of Origin:||England|
|Breed Purpose:||Pets and exhibition|
|Breed Size:||Dwarf to small|
Female/Doe: 2.5 lbs.
Male/Buck: 2 lbs.
|Breed Color(s):||White with either red eyes (true albino) (recognized in the 1950s) or blue eyes. Black (recognized in 1957), chocolate (recognized in 1957), blue (recognized in 1982) and broken varieties (recognized in 1998).|
The Britannia Petite rabbit is a dwarf sized rabbit with a full arched hare like body type. Their small faces are a wedge-shaped with large eyes that look like they are bulging. Their ears are small and touch from the base of the head to near their tips where they part in a V-shape.
Their fur is soft, short and does not need special grooming.
|Temperament:||These little rabbits are sweet, inquisitive, active and full of energy|
|Breed Characteristics:||They are very active little rabbits and for such a small breed they need quite a bit of space to expend their energy for at least 3 to 5 hours a day.
They live for 6 to 10 years, have a good-sized litter and the females make good little mothers.
|Good Pets?||They are very active bunnies that require quite a bit of space for such a small breed. So they are not too well suited for pets for the elderly or families with young children or the novice rabbit owner/breeder.
But they do make excellent pets for those who can put the time and effort into them and have space for a large safe bunny run.
|Child Friendly?||Children should be supervised around animals and properly taught how to look after them and handle them. Rabbits can bite and scratch|
|Ideal Climate:||All climates – rabbits should never be left outside without proper shelter and housing that must be raised off the ground and predator safe.|
|Recognized by the ARBA?||Yes – at first, in the 1950s, there was only the white variety that has either red eyes, which was the true albino rabbit and the blue-eyed white variety – not classed as albino.
In the late 1950s, 1980’s and 1990 a few other color varieties were recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. For more information about these colors please see the section of this article on the breeds colors.
|Rabbit Associations/Clubs:||American Britannia Petite Rabbit Society|
|Where to buy them?||The American Britannia Petite Rabbit Society should have information on registered Britannia Petite breeders for information on where to obtain them.|
|Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy|
The Britannia Petite rabbit breed is often confused for the Netherland Dwarf breed. The Britannia Petite is larger with a wedge rather than a round shaped head that is apparent with the Netherland Dwarf breed.
The Britannia Petites coat structure, coat colors and body type are also different from that of the Netherland Dwarf breed.
Britannia Petite or Polish rabbits as they are known in the UK did not originate in Poland as their name may suggest but are strongly thought to have originated in England.
There is a breed recognized by the America Rabbit Breeders Association as Polish rabbit breed that although a small breed is a different breed to the one the UK recognized as the Polish rabbit. In fact, this Polish rabbit breed is not recognized in the UK.
They do not require any special grooming but as with all other rabbit breeds, they do require regular checks for pests and health.
All rabbits should be giving a well balanced diet especially that of a good grade of hay. Rabbits teeth never stop growing and as such, they need help controlling the growth. They use the straw to help with this so that the teeth do not grow into their jaw. Teeth that are too long can cause the rabbit great distress and cause various health issues.
Rabbits love treats in the form of various fruits and vegetables but when giving it to them it is best to find out what national value they have for the rabbit. Lettuce has no nutritional value for them and it is better to give them a slice of apple, peach, etc.
Rabbits should be gently patted to smooth out any hairs when molting this helps their coat and stop it from becoming bunchy.
Their nails can be clipped but it is best to seek advice if attempting to do it yourself. This is a delicate procedure and you do not want to end up hurting the rabbit. A vet or grooming parlor that is adept at rabbit grooming may be able to advise you on how to do it.
Never attempt to bath a rabbit as they tend not to enjoy the water and some more nervous types could have a heart attack.
The Britannia Petite rabbit breed was developed in the 19th century in Britain where they call the breed the Polish. They have thought to have been named as such for ‘the polish of their shiny coats’.
They are thought to have been developed by the crosses of small wild rabbits with Dutch and Silver rabbit breeds that were often referred to a “Belgian Table Rabbits”. They were perfect meat breed rabbits that were developed specifically as a delicacy.
The Polish rabbit breed was first recognized in the United Kingdom in 1884. The first breed variety was with red-eyes, a true albino rabbit. In 1912 the first Polish rabbits were imported to the United States of America where breeders thought to improve on the breed.
They were selectively bred for a more rounded type compact body and were named American Polish rabbits. The UK Polish rabbits that were imported to the United States thereafter were renamed to Britannia Petite rabbits.
- American Rabbit Breeders Association
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Society of Animal Science
- United States Department of Agriculture
- United States Department of Agriculture – Rabbit Meat