What is the breed of ornamental rabbits, the hermeleins, how did this genus come about, what are the standards of appearance, character traits of individuals - you will learn about this from the review below. The dwarf white rabbit, sometimes also called "Polish", which appeared at the beginning of the last century as a result of the work of European breeders, won the hearts of lovers of ornamental rabbit breeding. In Russia, the smallest of all the rabbit breeds of fluffy appeared in the last years of the 20th century.
Emergence of germelin
In the 19th century, a white rabbit with red eyes was bred in Poland. A few years later, in about the 20s of the last century, breeders received blue-eyed individuals. 4 species of animals took part in the work: wild, Dutch, small silver and albinos.
In the course of further crossings, the ears and the muzzle of the individuals noticeably shortened. Such an appearance they still have. Today, the hermelina rabbits are considered the smallest of all ornamental ears.
For their snow-white skin they are secretly called ermine. The name "Polish" rabbit is also used. The population is adapted for keeping in captivity. Animals easily carry life in a cage.
External data of the rabbit hermelin
In modern rabbit breeding, very strict standards of the Hermelin breed have been established. The main advantage of individuals of the Polish rabbit is a pure snow-white skin without blemishes and patches.
The eyes of rabbits are blue or red, large, set wide apart. The head is visually large, face flattened. The width of the skull of females is 5 cm, with males slightly larger, up to 5.5 cm. The head is measured at eye level. The neck is not pronounced. The ears are short, round, stand straight, are located close to each other, densely covered with short hair.
The body of the rabbit is dense and very compact, not more than 34 cm long. The mass of the dwarf ermine is within 750–1500 g. The legs are wide, shortened, and the claws are transparent. Rounded croup. The tail is small, tight to the back. Feathering in females is not developed.
The nature of the Polish ermine rabbits
Polish rabbit hermelin has a friendly character. Females are more mobile, curious and active. The nature of the rabbit is expressed very clearly. Often they show waywardness. Males are calmer and more docile. There are frankly lazy or stubborn individuals.
In general, the animals are not shy, they are attached to people quickly, they allow to touch themselves. If the rabbit has not had contact with human hands since birth, he will grow up closed. With constant daily communication with people, the rabbit imbued with trust - gives himself a lift. Pet can be accustomed to the tray. Some owners train the Germelin rabbits, teaching them to perform a number of simple commands.
Germaline reaches sexual maturity after half a year. It is possible to mate a female only older than 7 months, the male - from 8 months. In order to continue the breed, it is necessary to choose individuals whose weight is from 1.1 to 1.35 kg.
Such rigid frameworks are set by breeders to ensure that the offspring do not go beyond the upper and lower bounds of the breed standards. Otherwise, rabbits can be born either too dwarf, or grow more than the allowable 1.5 kg.
Sometimes the cover of the female is single. In this case, you need to pair the rabbits again.
Ready-to-breed individuals are placed in a separate cage and observed for 5-6 days. The male near the rabbit can behave aggressively, so make sure that he does not hurt her.
Mating of one individual should be carried out no more than 2-3 times a year.
Pregnancy lasts a month. Before giving birth, the female nibs down, preparing the nest for newborns. Remember that it is impossible to disturb the rabbit during childbirth and about a week after them.
Permutus may from inexperience scatter newborns in the cage. If this happens, carefully place the babies in the nest and cover them with down that the bunny has prepared.
Fertility of the Hermelin breed is low. Females at a time can bring only 2-3 bunnies. Maternal feelings, however, are very well manifested in them - they usually manage to feed all the young.
Babies are born, like all types of rabbits, bald and blind. It takes two weeks for the rabbit to become covered with wool and begin to taste adult food. Leave the young in a separate cage after two months.
Requirements for the content of germelin
The pygmy rabbit is a pet animal. To keep your pet healthy, pay special attention to maintaining good hygienic conditions.
The cage should be the permanent habitat of the rabbit, the bars of which are made of metal mesh, preferably galvanized. Must have a pallet. Clean the pan and disinfect the grate every day.
If a rabbit house does not have a pallet, lay a deep bed of sawdust or hay on the floor. Change it every three days. Keeping the rabbit cage clean is the key to your pet's health and longevity. And respect for his psyche is the path to friendship and trust.
Remember that you can not frighten the germelin rabbits with harsh and loud sounds. They are highly stressed and can defend from the owner with their teeth. It is forbidden to take fluffy by the ears. They are weak in animals, squeezing them is painful.
How to care
To maintain body tone, release the rabbit from the cage once a day. It is better to do this in the morning when ears are most active. Your apartment for them will become a walking area. Protect rabbit germelin against possible injury by removing all hazardous substances, objects and electrical cables from its path. Protect it from other animals.
Adhere to comfortable living standards: for one rabbit, this dwelling is approximately 0.7 x 0.7 sq. M. In the cage, it is necessary to equip three zones - a kitchen, a bedroom and a toilet.
Ermine rabbits easily accustomed to the tray. Drinking and feeding trough more convenient to buy a special for rodents. In the house also place items for grinding teeth - sprigs, tree bark.
How to monitor the health of hermelin
For the health of the digestive tract of Polish rabbits, it is important for the owner to protect the pet from getting too much lost hair into the pet's mouth. Comb the animal fluff with a special comb. Cut off the wool.
Also monitor the health of the limbs: regrown claws need to be cut once a month.
Remember that under no circumstances should rabbits be bathed.
Keep your pet from overheating to avoid getting heatstroke. Do not let the eared fish be in direct sunlight for a long time.
Healthy dwarfs actively feed, move a lot and willingly, allow the owner to take them in his arms. Pay attention to the appearance of the pet, its litter. If you have any suspicious changes, contact your veterinarian.
Diet of dwarf rabbits
Up to two months, rabbits get useful substances from the rabbit. When they are deposited in another cell, they should be given milk for about another month. How this is done, we tell in the article "Can I give milk to a rabbit".
For individuals older than 3 months dairy products are prohibited. In the winter-spring period, the growing population of vitamins provide vitamins to maintain the balance of calcium in the body.
Adult rabbits and adult rabbits need a varied menu consisting of:
- cereals (the main part of the feed);
- green grass (slightly dried or dried);
- fresh vegetables and fruits (in small quantities);
- boiled root crops (in winter);
- spruce, apple, willow or birch twigs.
Enter each new type of food gradually.
Equip a drip drinker in a cage - the water in it does not stagnate and does not clog up with food debris. For loose parts - grain or feed - use a bunker feeder. Juicy vegetables and fruits, let's strictly at one time.
What can not feed dwarf rabbits
To keep pets healthy, remember that any food must be fresh. If you collect herbs for a rabbit yourself, please note that among the meadow plants of Russia there are poisonous, for example, celandine.
Carefully consider the collected greens. Best of all rabbit is suitable clover, plantain, coltsfoot, dandelion. Do not give freshly cut and dewy grass.
If the rabbit has not eaten fresh or boiled vegetables and fruits - remove the leftovers and do not let them in again in order to avoid disruption of the gastrointestinal tract. Protect your pet from sweets, pastries and meat products. You can not feed the rabbits raw red beets, snacks and chips. Read about food features in the article “How to feed rabbits”.
Recommendations to potential owners of the Hermelin
The arguments in favor of acquiring rabbits of Hermelin are low-budget content, excellent aesthetic qualities, cheerful disposition and docility of the animal. They are suitable for families with children, elderly or single people.
Now about the shortcomings of the breed. The host of the hermelin will have to comb the fluff once a week, and during the period of active molting twice as often. To prevent the spread of unpleasant odor from the animal's cage, you will need to clean and rinse the tray daily, disinfect the floor grilles, or change the litter on the floor of the house.
At the time of purchase, carefully consider your future pet. His ears and eyes must be healthy, without discharge. The nose is cold and moist. The coat, including the one under the tail, is shiny, clean and smooth.
The best age to buy is 2-2.5 months. If the rabbit is healthy, he is vigorous and actively explores the space. Purebred hermelin strictly conforms to breed standards. Acquire the animal in special nurseries. This will protect you from buying a cross or a sick animal.
Write in the comments, you would like to become the owner of a homemade dwarf rabbit. Perhaps you are already the owner of a hermelin - share your impressions.
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