Hermelin rabbits were first bred in Poland in the late nineteenth century. Because of this, another name stuck behind them - Polish rabbits.
Breeders set themselves a difficult task - to bring a healthy, strong rabbit, which would have a weight of 2-4 times less than normal. So, one of the smallest ornamental rabbits was bred, which can be an excellent pet.
The first representatives of the breed had red eyes, like all albinos. I had to spend more than one decade to get a rabbit with blue eyes. In addition, the length of the ears and the shape of the muzzle were changed. Therefore, it is officially considered that the breed appeared only in 1920 - it was then that its representatives acquired an appearance that is familiar to experts today.
In our country, ornamental hermelina rabbits have become widely known relatively recently - in the late 90s of the last century.
The first thing that catches your eye when looking at these cute creatures is snow-white wool. This color was the goal for breeders who have decided to bring a completely new breed. Any shades of gray or spots indicate that the rabbit is not purebred, but has some impurities. That is why the breed has another nickname - the ermine.
Eyes, as already mentioned, representatives of the breed are mostly blue, but to this day there are representatives with red eyes. The paws of the animals are very short, the claws are almost transparent. The shape of the head is a cross between a normal rabbit and a feline. The ears of the hermelin are short, and the muzzle is round, not elongated, like in most rabbits. They have a small body, but tightly knit, stocky.
Weight can vary considerably - from 750 to 1500 grams. But most rabbits weigh from 900 to 1100 grams. They will be an excellent choice for children, as it is easy for a preschooler to pick up such a baby.
The ears of a hermelin are closer to one another than to ordinary rabbits. Cartilage in them dense, providing a straight rack.
The tail is very small, tight to the back. The neck is not too pronounced, sometimes it seems that the head rests right on the shoulders, without a transition.
After seeing the photo of a rabbit hermelin, it is difficult to resist not falling in love with this breed.
It is very important that the rabbits of this breed have a very peaceful, friendly character. These animals are perfect for a large family, and for a lonely person. Do not forget that sometimes a rabbit needs rest and rest. If he hid in the house, pull it out or make noise near the cage is not worth it.
Germelins with pleasure go on hands, love, when they are stroked or scratched. To people become attached easily and quickly. This is very important to use. If in the first months of life the rabbit does not pay enough attention, it closes in itself, it will not become aggressive, but it will not love the owners either.
It accustomed to the tray quite easily. Surprisingly, some breeders even manage to teach them to several uncomplicated teams. They love activity, they hardly endure long-term imprisonment in a small, cramped cage.
Remember that these rabbits are pretty capricious. Making them do what they do not want will not be easy. With excessive perseverance, it is possible to run into aggression. Stubbornness is the same distinguishing feature of the breed as white wool and short muzzle.
Conditions of detention
In order for the dwarf hermelin rabbit to live a long, happy life, always pleasing the owners, it is necessary to provide him with appropriate conditions.
First, it is a fairly spacious cage. For the rabbit fit dimensions 40x30x40 centimeters. When he grows up, you need to increase these dimensions at least twice. As already mentioned, germelins are quite active creatures. They need to move a lot. In a small cage, they miss, gain weight and live much less.
Do not forget about proper nutrition. We will tell about it below.
Heating appliances or open windows, air conditioning, and a balcony are very bad neighbors for rabbits, because they often lead to the development of various diseases.
Unlike ordinary rabbits, which the owners calmly bear behind the ears, such treatment does not suit germelins. Small ears are easily damaged. If you want to take your pet in your arms, gently hold it underneath, then lift it at the withers.
It is very important to regularly clean the cage. This should be done 2-3 times a week. Otherwise, the risk of infection of the rabbit with infectious diseases increases.
Also, you can not bathe the rabbit, so as not to disturb the temperature balance of the body.
Cons of hermelin
Studying reviews left on the rabbits of the germeline, one can find out certain shortcomings of these animals, which are very important to know in advance.
First, they shed heavily. In this case, molting may well be delayed for a couple of months. If you do not want everything around to be covered with wool, comb it at least twice a week.
Secondly, their heart is rather weak. This is the result of many years of inbreeding and the lack of fresh blood. Therefore, rabbits do not tolerate heat and foulness.
Third, like all rabbits, the germelins secrete a rather fragrant urine. Especially these "sin" males. Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to carry out cleaning almost every day in order to avoid the spread of unpleasant odor throughout the apartment.
Small rabbits need milk for about 2-2.5 months. They need a large amount of calcium to build a strong skeleton. Therefore, a little chalk can be added to the milk.
In summer, the best diet for pets is grass collected in the park. It can be coltsfoot, plantain, dandelions. The main thing is not to give them buttercups and celandine, as these plants are poisonous.
In winter, you can give the rabbit stockpiled hay and a small amount of vegetables, boiled in slightly salted water.
Sometimes you can vary the menu by adding branches of spruce, willow and aspen to it. Your pets will not only enjoy their bark, but will also spend a little time on constantly growing teeth.
Breeding of germelin rabbits usually does not arise. They become sexually mature by about 6-8 months. At this age, you can put a male and a female (which were previously kept apart) in one small cage. If everything goes well, pairing will occur in a matter of hours or even minutes. After that, the male needs to be deposited.
Pregnancy lasts about 4 weeks. Shortly before childbirth, the rabbit begins to pull out his fluff, build a nest for the little ones. Litter is not too big. It rarely has more than 6 cubs. The first two weeks, babies are bald and blind. They feed exclusively on mother's milk. Then the children are covered with wool and may well eat and assimilate soft leaves and grass, which is desirable to scald with boiling water to make it softer, and at the same time to disinfect.
Description and breed standard
Polish crawl - the owner of a snow-white coat. The presence of stains, other shades of the coat is not allowed. Wool is soft, glossy, up to 2 cm long. Rabbit eyes are blue or red. The maximum length of the body is 35 cm. The front legs are short, the back is longer, stronger. The head is large, flattened. Ears on average 6 cm in length, located close to each other, erect. The tail is small, pressed to the back. The maximum weight of the crawl is 1.5 kg. The neck of the animal is not visible, the body is dense, compact. Marigold without color.
The nature of the animal depends on gender. Females are more active, males are calm, docile, lazy. Regardless of the gender, the hermelin rabbit is friendly and affectionate.
How to choose a good rabbit
A good ermine has the following characteristics:
- Rabbit miniature,
- Ears short, rounded, closely spaced,
- Wide forehead,
- The head is round with an unexpressed neck,
- Front feet short,
- Wool white color,
- Claws without color.
When selecting an animal, pay attention to the condition and appearance of the animal. A healthy crawl is active, not aggressive. The eyes of the animal are bright, clean, without cloudiness, extraneous liquids. There should be no extraneous discharge from the spout, ears, from under the tail. Spout dry or wet. Hermelin breathes calmly, evenly. The coat is smooth, clean, glossy. To purchase purebred hermelin should contact a specialized nursery that breeds ermines.
Despite the fact that this breed of rabbits is very friendly and playful, there are differences in the character of males and females. Females are more active, have a distinct temperament, males on the contrary have a docile character, sometimes they are lazy.
Keeping Hermelin rabbits at home.
If you decide to start a Polish rabbit, it is best to buy from trusted breeders or in a pet shop. In other situations, you can sell the sick rabbit.
The pet rabbit is best to buy between the ages of one and a half to two months. At this age, they are already independent and strong.
Before taking the rabbit home, be sure to conduct an inspection. The rabbit should be active, not aggressive, there should be no discharge from the nose, ears and under the tail. The coat should be smooth and shiny.
Houses contain Germelin is not difficult. The rabbit will prizzvetsya easily at home, if you follow certain rules:
The rabbit cage should be no less than 40 * 30 * 40 cm in size, for an adult rabbit the size should be doubled.
Of the minuses of the content of dwarf rabbits can be identified:
- frequent and prolonged molt. It is necessary to comb the rabbit once a week, and during the molting period it is necessary to comb at least two times a week.
- A strong smell from a rabbit. Whatever this happens, you need to constantly clean the cage.
How to choose a rabbit proper diet
If you purchased a rabbit before it reached the age of 2.5 months, it is best to feed it with fresh milk. In winter and spring, small rabbits may suffer from lack of calcium due to active growth, which can lead to convulsions and death of babies. To avoid this, it is necessary to feed the rabbit with vitamins.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to feed the rabbit constantly raw vegetables and fruits, especially young. Older rabbits (older than 6 months) can be given fruits and vegetables in small quantities.
The basis of the diet of the Hermelin breed is cereals and herbs (dandelion, coltsfoot, plantain, etc.). If you collect these herbs yourself on the street. Obligatory! Make sure that poisonous herbs do not fall into the trough: celandine, buttercups, etc. It is also recommended to give the rabbits aspen, willow and spruce.
In winter, the food of rabbits consists of hay and vegetables, boiled in salted water.
Rabbits should always have water. Since they consume most of the water from feed, it is not recommended to put open drinkers in the cage to the animal. It is best to use drip.
You can not give a rabbit:
- Milk products,
- Beetroot and white cabbage are contraindicated for small rabbits.