In this blog I’ll be referencing many animals by their specific breed. This way it is easy to tell the difference between chickens and their breed capabilities, as well as other animals. This may be able to help potential animal raisers consider which breed of animal would be best for their homestead.
The rabbits we had purchased from our local feed store are, I suspect, Standard Rex mixes. I say mixes because a pure Standard Rex would not have flopped ears. However, my buck Mocha had his last ear finally flop over a few days ago. This characteristic means that maybe the mother doe, or their father buck, was some type of lop-eared rabbit. Moon, the grey doe, does not have flopped ears like her brother. They are siblings and came from the same litter, so they share some fur coloring. While Mocha has a red coat, Moon is grey with tiny red eyebrows and her neck is cowled with red fur. If I bred Moon, she would have some very interesting babies for sure.
The Standard Rex is one of the most popular breed of pet rabbit as well as commercially recognized as a meat rabbit. Adults can reach between 8-10 pounds and their fur is so soft, it’s likened to velvet and rightly given this breed the title of “King of Rabbits”. Their fur comes in a large variety of colors: black, Broken Pattern, chinchilla, chocolate, Otter group, red, and white to name a few. These characteristics are very important to me for when I begin to raise my breeding stock. My goal is to raise the rabbits humanely, dispatch them humanely, and use every bit of the animal. The Standard Rex is one of my top breeds to consider due to their soft, many varied fur colors and good meat size. Some rabbit keepers may not consider the Standard Rex due to being too small, maybe too varied and mixed in their coat patterns. That’s why Californian Whites might be preferred, or New Zeland Whites.
Like most rabbits, the Standard Rex is skittish but with extended contact, easy to handle even to children. I use my personal experience for this: Moon is the easiest to pick-up and handle. My sister likes petting her and the doe does not kick or wiggle like her brother. Due to the fact that they can reach about 8-10 pounds, these rabbits will need room to hop about in their cage. The recommended cage size, at a minimum, is 24in L x 24in W x 24in H. Further, if you’re going to grow out your babies with the mother in her cage, the mother can have between 7-10 babies in one litter. That’s a lot of rabbits to have in one cage.
My rabbits aren’t screamers, which is a good thing, but rabbits are usually extremely quiet. My bunnies are also very curious and the buck is a Houdini. I had to fix the cage rather quickly because of him. Overall they’ve been fun to work with. Their curiosity makes it easy to pet and handle them. They’re also very food motivated and especially will approach for fruit. Recall that every animal is different, however, and what works for me does not necessarily work for someone else.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.