Representative of a very interesting ornamental breed is a dwarf fox rabbit, distinguished by unpretentious content and meek temper. For small size, neat, erect ears and soft wool, reaching a length of 4-7 cm, they are very fond of children. These ears are happy to sit in the hands of the owner and explore with interest the territory of an apartment or a private house. A variety of colors allows you to choose a pet that has a coat of the color that suits you.
Rabbits with soft "fox" wool
For the first time, fox rabbits were talked about in the 20s of the last century, when breeders from Switzerland presented decorative animals with long soft hair that resembled foxes in their structure.
These animals, reaching a weight of 4 kg, were classified as decorative breeds. For many years they were bred for beautiful skins and dietary meat. Skins of fox rabbits were white, black and blue. Used for sewing fur coats, hats and other fur products.
Approximately in the same years, the United States developed a breed of fox silver rabbits with a muscular body and reaching a weight of 5 kilograms or more. These hardy animals easily adapt to life in any conditions, are multifaceted and quickly gain weight, and their breeding is very profitable.
Due to the fact that in the middle of the twentieth century the movement in defense of animal rights gained momentum, the demand for the skins of Swiss Fox rabbits plummeted and the breed began to degenerate gradually.
However, in 1992, a group of enthusiasts from Austria introduced the dwarf fox breed to the general public. This fluffy eared animals had significantly smaller sizes, consumed less fodder, and easily adapted to life in the conditions of a dwelling or apartment of a multi-storey building.
The main signs of fox rabbits
The breed standard was approved in 1997. He stipulates that Fox dwarf rabbits should have:
- weight from 800 g to 1.5 kg;
- strong and muscular physique with a wide chest and shoulders;
- shortened forepaws;
- rounded head with slightly flattened muzzle;
- the distance between the eyes of males should be no more than 55 mm, and that of females 50 mm;
- standing ears with a small rounding of the tips can have a length of 5.5-7 cm, but not more;
- thick and uniformly distributed hair consists of hairs, reaching a length of 4-7 cm.
In a healthy rabbit, the fur should shine, and slightly bulging round eyes resemble shiny buttons. The slightest deviation from these signs will indicate that you have acquired an animal that does not belong to the pure line.
If you are not going to breed foxes of a dwarf breed professionally, then this will not matter much, although it is best to acquire purebred animals.
Most Popular Colors
The common colors of the fox rabbits are white and the color of havana (saturated warm brown, approaching red-brown rather than brown-black). In recent years, dwarfs have appeared with chinchilla, black and silver color of fur, although so far they have not been widely spread.
The main feature of the breeding of pure lines of these animals is that heterosexuals should have the same color, which will be transmitted to the offspring and fixed in its genotype.
Long hair is not only a virtue, but also a lack of fox rabbits. Besides the fact that it protects the rabbits from damage, the fur lint hides physical defects, forcing the owner to regularly inspect and feel the pet's body.
Remember that the dwarf fox should be of a playful and friendly disposition, be inquisitive and constantly explore the surrounding territory. If the animal is inactive, constantly frightened by people and extraneous sounds, trying to hide in a dark corner, then this may be a sign of illness or hereditary defects. Be sure to show such a rabbit to the vet.
Get healthy representatives of the breed
For keeping at home it is best to buy rabbits that have reached the age of 1.5 months. By this time, breeders should carry out anti-parasitic measures, as well as make animals associated vaccination against myxomatosis and VGBK.
Be sure to feel the body of the animal. The bunny rabbit should not have stretched shoulders, twisted limbs, an elongated neck and a head that is too narrow. His tummy should not be hardened.
Pay special attention to the fur of the animal. It should not be fouled and contaminated. Fox breed rabbits are neat and clean on their own hair, so pollution can be a sign of the onset of the disease. It is not necessary to acquire an animal that has abnormal exhaustion, overweight or abnormal bite.
Females of this breed are not very fertile and bring no more than 2-4 babies in the litter. Therefore, if you are offered to buy a shaggy baby from a litter of 6-7 individuals, be prepared for the fact that you have a relatively large animal that does not have anything to do with dwarf fox rabbits.
Cleanliness protects against infection
The advantage of the breed is their unpretentious content. If you purchased a dwarf fox rabbit for your children, you should equip for it a cage measuring 30x70 cm.
It is desirable that the cage was made of unpainted metal rods, since rabbits will definitely try to nibble it and may be poisoned.
On the wooden floor should always be a bed of sawdust or hay, which should be changed at least 2-3 times a week. This should be done in order to timely remove the remnants of rotting food and hairs that regularly fall out in animals, which are a breeding ground for a variety of bacteria.
Since fox rabbits are burrowed animals, be sure to set up a small house in the aviary where he can hide and rest.
A great convenience is that the animal has been getting used to walking on a cat tray for several days, which should also be installed in a cage.
Because of the characteristics of the structure of the digestive system, rabbits constantly eat and drink, so the feeder needs to be constantly cleaned and filled with various feeds, and there should be a sufficient amount of clean water in the water bowl.
Rabbits are afraid of overheating and hypothermia
Due to the fact that animals are distinguished by curiosity, the cage is best placed on the coffee table, allowing the rabbits to inspect the apartment.
Periodically, they need to be let out for a walk, making sure that the rabbits are not in a draft, and also do not overheat.
The optimum temperature in the room in which the rabbits are kept should be 18-20 degrees Celsius. This will reliably protect animals from overheating and heat stroke. For the same reason, it is not recommended to keep long-eared pets in your arms.
In hot weather, it is recommended to pack a plastic bottle with ice in the cage, which will cool the air and prevent these long-haired animals from overheating.
You can also periodically wipe with a wet cloth over the ears of a rabbit, although the animal can only be bathed in exceptional cases. This is due to the fact that when the water evaporates, the animal becomes very cold and can get sick. And in some cases, this procedure is fatal.
Proper nutrition with fresh feed
As well as representatives of other breeds, dwarf foxes love to eat green grass and fresh hay. Due to the fact that they constantly grow teeth, animals should be given a hard feed, which they will nibble. For this purpose young sprigs of viburnum, raspberry, apple, linden, birch or mountain ash are perfect.
Dwarf fox rabbits gladly eat corncobs, carrots, apples and boiled potatoes, as well as oats, wheat and barley.
When collecting fresh grass, be careful that toxic plants (spurgeon, lily of the valley, celandine, henbane and dope) do not fall into the cell, which will surely lead to poisoning of your pet.
Remember that overeating for rabbits is just as dangerous as lack of appetite. This can lead to intestinal obstruction, bloating and subsequent death of the animal. Therefore, try to examine your foxes every day, revealing from them even the slightest disturbances in health.
With proper care, dwarf foxes of rabbits live for at least 5-7 years, and some individuals can make you happy even longer.
Get to know another dwarf breed in the article "About the Dutch Rabbits."
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