Rabbits Fold Sheep


The rabbits of the ram breed have the most original appearance in the hare family. These animals differ from their brethren in ears that hang down along the muzzle, rather than pointing upwards. They also have a small crook on the nose. It is because of her that animals received such a name. Although the rabbits are decorative, they are still bred for meat and for skins. In the article we will tell about the varieties, reproduction and maintenance, about how many decorative eared live, and what dangers lie in wait for them.

Main view from England

Rabbits of ram breed are considered old breed. Their origins can be seen in the XIX century in the UK. At that time, ears hanging down were considered mutations. But such an unusual sign still decided to fix. Due to this a separate breed appeared.

In 1850, the French ram rabbit became known. It is derived from the English Fold and Flemish giant (according to another version from the German giant). The first variety served as the basis for hanging ears, and the second for large stature.

This work gave the world a rabbit, which quickly gains maximum weight, has a high-quality skin and an interesting appearance. Lop-eared breed began to conquer different countries since 1870. They were distributed in Holland, Germany, Belgium. Already there, crossing the obtained animals with drooping ears, the breeders bred various original individuals.

In Russia, the breed of rabbits sheep is not too common and is practically not used for commercial purposes.

In outline

The decorative lop-eared rabbit happens several versions, each of which has the characteristics. If you make a description of the breed in general terms, they are all united by one form of the head, large and massive. In profile, she and a crooked nose resemble a sheep's head. Hence the name.

Next, we consider the description of rabbits of the ram breed, focusing more on the features that are common to many species.

Baranchik unite the ears that hang along the face. In some individuals, they even touch the ground because of the great length of 70 cm. Usually, in young animals, only after 6 weeks, such a distinctive feature is formed as lop-eared.

Rabbits rams can be dwarf - this is when in adulthood their weight does not exceed 2 kg. They are best suited for living in an apartment, especially with a small area. There are also some species that can reach 10 kg. On average, an ordinary standard crawfish weighs 5 kg. He has a large body and thick coat. There is evidence that the lop-earedness provokes poor hearing in animals. This is even good, because they are not afraid of harsh sounds.

Original subspecies

There are at least 8 different species of lop-eared rabbits, which will be discussed below:

  • English lop-eared sheep - the ancestors of modern rabbits;
  • French rabbit sheep - large followers of the previous species;
  • the German ram is also a rather impressive descendant of rabbits from France;
  • Meissen view from Germany, obtained from the "French" and "British";
  • the Dutch sheep is a miniature eared of Dutch origin;
  • velvet sheep - rex-based rabbits;
  • a fleece ram fold originates from the Dutch crawl;
  • The rabbit dwarf sheep from the Netherlands is as tiny as the Dutch.

All species differ in high-quality skin, and larger individuals are bred for meat.

For example, French ram rabbits have a slaughter mass of 58-60%. And selfish products they reach 70 cm.

Large individuals

English lop-eared rabbits are characterized by especially long ears that reach 70 cm. At the same time, the front paws are much shorter than the rear ones and therefore the crawl seems lower. An adult weighs up to 5 kg. Because of the long ears (this is the main vulnerable spot), the animal needs sufficient space so that it does not attack them.

Rabbit breed sheep from England does not have a quality undercoat and therefore does not tolerate low temperatures. The female is prolific and brings up to 12 baby rabbits. When the young begin to grow and fall ears, they can cause injury to the paws themselves. There is no clear standard for coloring these animals. There are individuals of white, gray, tan, agouti, spotty.

The breed of rabbits is a French ram - it is giant in its segment, since the breeding was based on German or Flemish giants.

Here is a brief description of the rabbits French sheep. The average weight is from 4 to 8 kg, but there are individuals up to 12 kg. The color can be varied (agouti, spotted, monophonic, tan, mixed), and fur of medium length.

The ears fall freely, about 4 cm below the chin. This rabbit shows its massiveness. Especially in the head, forehead and torso. Fold lives of 7 years and more.

The German ram reaches 4 kg of weight, but there were individuals up to 9 kg. The average length of the ears is 40 cm. The breed was bred in 1933.

This species and rabbit french ram have a lot in common. Works on breeding with the participation of "French sheep" and "Dutch sheep" began in the 1960s in Germany. "Germans" have a variety of wool colors. It is black and white with spots, smoky, chestnut. It may be orange or red rabbit, and even tricolor. This is not all options.

Closer to the middle

Meissen sheep breeding is very rare, as animals are on the verge of extinction. These rabbits were bred at the beginning of the 20th century in Meissen. Their average weight is 3.5 to 5.5 kg, ideally 4.5 kg.

The color of fur is also varied - black, agouti, yellowish. The distinctive feature is a certain silver-plated hairs, which is peculiar to the little rabbit from six weeks of age. Other rams do not have this. It is such a silver fur that gives value to the skin of the beast.

Decorative rabbit velveteen sheep has a fur, the hairs of which are perpendicular to the skin. Colors are the same as other rams. The breed was bred in 2000, due to crossing with rexes, the skin of which resembles plush. Velveteen appearance can weigh 2-3 kg. Live pet can only in the apartment.

The maintenance of fleecy rams is reduced mainly to the careful care of the wool. They are characterized by fluffiness. The color of the fur is varied, and the weight of the crawl ranges from 1.5 to 2 kg. These rabbits, lop-eared sheep were bred in the United States.

Miniature individuals

At the heart of the Dutch variety are the rabbits French ram (female) and the Dutch dwarf ram (the male is not a ram). Then English sheep went to work. Painstaking work led to the result - the physique of the resulting individuals is dense and compact. Weight reaches 1.8 kg.

The “Dutchman” is often compared to a dwarf rabbit sheep from the Netherlands, but the latter has a rounded body. Decorative rabbits live quite a long time - 10-14 years.

The ears of the Dutch rabbit do not reach the floor, but hang down 2.5 cm below the chin. The coat is thick and shiny. The main color is tortoise or spotted, but thanks to the selection, there are much more colors. This smoky and Siamese sable, chestnut, chinchilla, black. Colors can be shaded and monochromatic. For example, white can be combined with any of the above.

The Dutch dwarf lop-eared rabbit has a weight of 1.5 to 1.7 kg. Silky fur can contain up to 22 shades. The most popular monochromatic is black. Since 1964, the breed has become official. By life expectancy, they slightly lose to the “Dutch” - long-eared will live from 6 to 10 years.

Availability of walking space

Next, tell you how to care for rabbits sheep. Since the ears can be damaged, such eared need more space than normal. A spacious cage should be at least 0.5 to 0.7 m or 4 times the size of the crawl itself.

At home, decorative individuals may need a tray with straw or sawdust. Also inside the cage you need to install a house (especially pregnant rabbits), a feeding trough and a drinker.

The care and maintenance of animals includes timely feeding, providing water and cleaning the cage (replacing litter, disinfecting surfaces with a solution of potassium permanganate). Rabbits are afraid of cold and drafts.

You also need to ensure that the eared are not injured while outside the cage, especially if it is a dwarf lop-eared. Fluffy rabbits need to be periodically combed to avoid mats. For the health of animals should be let out for a walk around the room for about 20 minutes. At the same time, it is necessary to remove electric cords, chemicals and valuables (so as not to chew).

If this is industrial cultivation, then the cell may have a trellised body and a plastic pallet with a litter of sawdust. In winter, the room with rabbits should be heated. There should not be damp and cold, as the animals are thermophilic. Regular disinfection is required.


When rabbits are ready to reproduce offspring, they begin to behave unusually. This is a manifestation of aggression, not respecting the toilet, digging the floor, marking the territory. If the offspring is not necessary, then the animal is best castrated or sterilized at a young age.

Females are ready for surgery at 6 months, as the body is already strong. Males can be neutered from 3.5 to 5 months. More mature poorly tolerate surgery. After this procedure, the animals become calm and good-natured. They are happy to eat, play, sleep peacefully.

If the opportunity has appeared to breed rams, then the best is for meat. To do this, choose large varieties. Dwarf lop-eared ram is more suitable for home maintenance. Animals are not too prolific and bring 4-7 rabbits. It is impossible to use for pairing not lop-eared individuals, - the ear feature will be broken. It is possible from the age of six months.

Read the article "Description of Ober Rabbits" to get acquainted with other breeds.

Ear safety

If you properly care for the lop-eared decorative rabbits, then there is a chance to protect them from various diseases. Looking for a suitable temperature regime, high-quality feeding 3 times a day, always with cereals and greens.

Returning to the beginning, to the introduction and table of contents, we will add characteristics by that, how many rabbits live. The number of their years depends on good care and care and is 7-8 years.

But there are diseases that can still overtake the pet. From especially dangerous - myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease, do vaccinations. In this case, the animal should already be 45 days, and the weight of 0.5 kg. Before vaccination, you definitely need to get rid of worms from the crawl. In general, such a procedure is desirable for the prevention of 3-4 times a year.

Fold-eared pets can trap diseases of the ears. These are tick infestations and blockages of the ear canal. It is necessary to periodically clean the organs of hearing to rabbits.

Poor food, especially the one that was stale in the feeder, causes stomach problems and intestinal upset. Wet grass feeding also leads to them. An eye disease, stomatitis, infectious rhinitis, and also too fast growth of teeth can disturb the rabbit.

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