Rex rabbit is a domesticated rabbit breed with a plushy fur and calm temperament. They are medium-sized delightful companions that can bring delight to the family it owns. Its velvety lustrous fur makes it stand among other breeds. Rex rabbits can be best suited to elderly people and first-time owners because it needs less grooming.
History of Rex Rabbits
The illustrious Rex rabbits were developed from the bunch of grey wild rabbits in 1919 in the French village, Louche-pringē. The breeders at that time got impressed by the distinct luscious fur of these wild rabbits resulting from a recessive gene. These wild rabbits were selectively bred into a domesticated breed. In 1924, they were shown in an international rabbit show in Paris. Because of the recessive rex gene, they were appreciated among breeders.
They were introduced to the United States the same year after gaining popularity in Paris. They were shown by American rabbit breeder John C. Fehr and his partner Alfred Zimmerman. The breed was accepted by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association – ARBA in 1924. Although found wild, they quickly became famous as pets in rabbit lover’s homes.
Physical Characteristics of Rex Rabbits
Weight and Height
The Rex rabbit is a large breed weighing about 7.5 to 10.5 lbs once fully grown. The doe is slightly heavier than a buck. The buck weighs 8 pounds and doe weighs around 9 pounds.
The Rex rabbits can live their life up to 5 to 6 years.
The Rex rabbit is a medium height bunny with a sturdy solid body. It has a commercial shaped round body with a rather broader head that is set close to the body. Its head is slightly larger than other rabbit breeds.
They have smaller feet and strong, straight legs in proportional to the broader head. The ears of the Rex rabbits have medium thickness. They are upright and erect positioned and are evenly covered with the plush coat.
According to the ARBA Standard of Perfection, the Rex Rabbit should have a well-proportioned body that is medium in length, well-rounded hips and aloin, ribs, and shoulders that are proportional to the whole body.
The Rex rabbit has a unique coat with outstanding density and admirable velvety texture. The incredible coat that is a unique characteristic of the Rex rabbit is due to recessive gene mutation. The hairs of the coat are uniform in length and quality across the whole body. They have short length hairs lie between ½ to ⅞ inches.
The uniformity and length of hairs make the coat more smooth. The hairs of the coating point outward instead of laying down. The density and the velvety plush look is also due to the lack of longer guard hairs.
As the name suggests the Rex rabbit has a unique Rex gene mutation that gives its coat fine density, smoothness, and uniqueness. The mutation causes changes in keratin production that results in modification of the hairs of a particular animal.
Mainly two distinct traits are obtained from a Rex gene mutation.
- The hair of the particular animal grows outward giving it a bounce when touched.
- They guard hairs are of the same length and thickness as of the undercoat.
American Rabbit breed Association accepted 16 colors of the Rex Rabbits that include chinchilla, amber, opal, black, castor, seal, white, Californian, chocolate, lilac, Linux, red, sable, and broken. on the other hand, the British Rabbit Council accepted 32 colors of Rex rabbits.
Personality and Temperament of Rex Rabbits
The Rex rabbits have a calm and gentle temperament. They are docile and creates attachment with their human companions. The Rex rabbit is very playful and lively so it will be a good choice for children. They love to be picked up and petted.
The Rex rabbits have exceptional motherly attributes. They love to mother other rabbits around. They are very social and enjoy the company of other animals that are raised with them. They also enjoy human companionship and make strong bonds with them.
Health Issues of Rex Rabbits
Although a healthy breed, Rex rabbits can be susceptible to various health issues if not cared properly. The most common health issue among all rabbits is their overgrown teeth. It can be very painful if not treated on time. To prevent this situation a diet high in hay should be given to the rabbits. Hay helps in wearing down old teeth giving room to the new teeth.
Rex rabbits can have sore hocks or bumblefoot due to rough and harsh floor. It is a bacterial infection that specifically affects the rabbit’s leg that rests on the harsh floor. To prevent this situation do not use wire at the floor of the cage and make soft bedding made of hay or other grass.
They are avid groomers while they tend to clean themselves they ingest a lot of hairs by that time. The ingested hairs make hairballs in the digestive system that makes your bunny seriously ill. You should brush them twice a day during molting season to avoid this problem. Hay diet is good for quick ingestion so provide them with a lot of hay and should check to a vet doctor. They should also b checked for ear mites.
Nutrition of Rex Rabbits
The overall health of the rabbit of any breed depends upon good nutrition. Some food is good for the bunny’s health while others may sick him, so you should have a check upon what diet you are giving to your bunny.
Like all other rabbit breeds, a diet rich in nutrients is very healthy for them. A good mixture of Pallets, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables should be given to the rabbits in a balanced amount. Freshwater should be given to the Rex rabbit in a clean pot or bottle and it should be changed every day.
Spaying and neutering are also very important for bunny’s health. Buck can be neutered at the age of 3 ½ while Doe can be spayed at the age of 4 to 6 months.
Care of Rex Rabbits
Housing and bedding are very important to make the bunny healthy and happy. The size of the cage or rabbit’s house should be large enough to give him room to stretch and play. The ideal size of the bunny is at least 12 feet.
It should be fenced with a good quality strong wire. The floor should not be made of wire or it will hurt the rabbit and cause sore hocks. The bedding should be spot clean every day and changed every weak to avoid flystrike.
Rex rabbits are very social by nature and love human company so they should be taken out of their cage and roam freely in the house. Care should be taken when they are roaming because they can chew any harmful object and can lead to catastrophe.
Rex rabbits are very popular admirable bunnies with a plush, velvety coat. They have incredibly maternal nature. They can be best suited to the novice, families with young children, and elderly people. Rex rabbits are really good for raising as pets because of their intelligence and calm temperament. Due to their elegant fur, they are worthy of fur industries and their size makes them worthy for meat traders.