Table of Contents
The Rex Rabbit breed is referred to the “King of Rabbit breeds” mainly due to is a very plush velvety coat that is a sought-after commodity in the fur trade. They are also a very good exhibition breed with a variety of standard acceptable colors to show off.
To top off the Rex breeds good qualities they also make very good pets as they have such wonderfully calm, fun and gentle natures.
BREED PROFILE OVERVIEW
|Country of Origin:||France|
|Breed Purpose:||Meat, fur, exhibition, and pets|
Female/Doe: 10.5 lbs.
Male/Buck: 9.5 lbs..
|Breed Color(s):||Amber, Blue, Black, Californian, Broken Pattern, Castor, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Lynx, Lilac, Opal, Otter Group, Sable, Red, White, and Seal|
They have a commercial body type that is well rounded from the slope of the neck, round the rump to its cotton tail. Their head is slightly larger than most rabbits of their size and is a wedge-shape. They also tend to have smaller feet than most other rabbit breeds of their size.
They have medium sized ears that stand erect and do not meet in the middle as they have a bit of distance between them at their base.
Thanks to their unique gene the Rex Rabbit breed has the standard rex fur gene which makes it short neat hair have a soft velvety feel about it. Despite having a unique coat quality they do not require any special or extra coat grooming. In fact, their coat is rather low maintenance compared to other breeds.
|Temperament:||They are calm rabbits, that are also energetic, playful, friendly, gentle and affectionate. They do love attention and have been known to actively seek it from their humans.|
- They have a decent sized litter and the females make very good mothers. Most rabbits have good maternal instincts and some breeds can be a bit testy and protective when they have young. They can also be uncharacteristically moody during mating season.
- Their young open their eyes around 7 to 14 days with an average of 10 days after birth. When their eyes have opened, they can start to be introduced to food such as alfa pellets and water.
- Even when the young start to eat it does not mean they are quite ready to be weaned from their mothers. The mothers will know when it is time to wean her young. It is important for the baby rabbit’s health, growth, immune system and development of a proper digestive system that they do not be removed from their mother for at least 8 weeks. They usually require her milk for a minimum of 8 weeks after birth.
- Their average lifespan is 5 to 8 years although there have been some breeds that have lived to 10 years with the proper care.
|Good Pets?||They make good pets for the novice, elderly, families with children, singles and can be both an outdoor or indoor pet.|
|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.|
|Conservation Status:||Not Listed by the *ALC
Status/Rarity: They are not listed by the American Livestock Conservancy
|Recognized by the ARBA?||Yes, there are 16 varieties of the Rex Rabbit breed recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.|
|Rabbit Associations/Clubs:||National Rex Rabbit Club|
|Where to buy them?||The National Rex Rabbit Club will have an up-to-date rabbit breeders list. The USA Rabbit Breeders Directory is a useful resource to find breeders, clubs, and information about the breed.|
|Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy|
For a slicker more glossy or shiny pelt, it is advisable to groom them every two to three weeks. During the molting season, it is advisable to groom rabbits every week to remove stray hairs.
Rabbits can be quite lively and energetic and need quite a bit of exercise and stimulation. It is a good idea to have a nice safe and secure run for them to play in and stretch their legs.
Toys, tubes and various obstacle courses for them is a good way to help them expend some of their energy and they are really fun to watch at play.
They are also sociable animals that do like to have a friend or two to play with.
Regular health and critter check once a week or every second week should become a habit. This will help to keep your rabbit(s) in excellent condition and health. Grooming does not require a lot if their coats are low maintenance. But it is a good idea to give them a nice gentle brushing to help remove any excess hairs regardless of the length of their coats.
It is also a good idea to check on the state of their teeth to ensure that they are not too long and causing the rabbit any discomfort.
Rabbits teeth never stop growing and getting fresh hay on a regular basis helps to control the growth of their teeth.
Rabbits need a good diet of quality pellets that are filled with their daily nutritional requirements. They do love dandelions, cabbage and various fruits as a nice tasty treat.
Rabbits that have quite a short coat are not really at risk for most of the digestive problems long fur seem to cause rabbits. They can still get other ailments such as flystrike, ear mites or overgrown teeth. These can all be controlled/maintained or avoided altogether with the proper health and grooming care of the rabbit(s).
If you have two rabbits and do not want to breed them it is possible to spay female rabbits and neuter male rabbits.
The females can be spayed as young as four months old, but vets prefer to wait until they are at least six months old before doing so.
The young males can be neutered as young as found months old.
Rabbits, just like any other pet, should be dewormed on a regular basis. Check with your local vet for proper guidance on the administering of worm medication to your animals.
The Rex Rabbit originated in 1919 in France and was developed from a litter of wild gray rabbits. Over the years the breed has been developed by rabbit breeders/fanciers and the fur industry into the standard it is today.
Their fur is plush and is described as having a velvety texture to it which made it quite valuable for the fur industry at the time.
The Rex Rabbit got its first public showing in at the Paris International Rabbit Show in 1924 and became a recognized breed in various parts of Europe in 1925.
The Rex Rabbit was brought into America in 1924 just after the Paris International Rabbit Show by John C. Fehr and Alfred Zimmerman. The two were well-known rabbit breeders or pioneers if you will in the United States of America at the time.
The National Rex Rabbit Club was founded in 1958 and today has members from all over America, Canada, Indonesia, and even Australia.
The word “rex” refers to a genetic mutation of the animal’s fur known as “rexed” fur. The fur is lacking in the longer guard hairs that are usually found in animals that have short fur coats.
As each of the short hairs in a rexed fur animals coat is generally evenly short in length it gives the fur a soft plush feel that most people would describe as velvety.
There are three varieties of rex fur and these are the standard rex fur (Rex Rabbit), short curly rex fur (as seen in the Astrex Rabbit) and long curly rex fur (as seen in the Opossum).
The Rex Rabbit exhibits the standard rex fur and is the number one fur rabbit used for garments and other items that require their velvety type fur.
As fur in the USA, today is a by-product of the meat industry the standard of it is usually not of very good quality. As the meat production seems to favor the meat of younger animals of between 70 to 80 days old. Thus their fur has not had sufficient time to grow its high-quality adult fur as the rabbit’s fur is best after 6 months and older, especially good in the winter months when the fur has thickened with the rabbit’s winter coat.
- 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