Care of
Netherland Dwarf Rabbits

Care of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits. Avert problems and get a head start on caring for your Netherland Dwarf bunny with these dwarf rabbit care tips.

Rabbits are rabbits, whether they weigh 2 pounds or 22 pounds.

Many aspects of rabbit care apply equally to Netherland Dwarfs as they do to any other rabbit breed. Raising-Rabbits.com can help you with all areas of rabbit care.

Our Rabbit Care and Pet Rabbit pages are good places to start. Furthermore, they’ll link to other info on caring for rabbits that you may like to know. 


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Netherland Dwarfs are SMALL! Which might be partially why they make wonderful pets. They are also ideal for FFA or 4-H Showmanship projects, especially for younger hands. 

Here are some special tips for the care of Netherland Dwarf rabbits...


Housing for Netherland Dwarfs

Black Otter Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
  • Bucks, youngsters, and dry does can be housed in 18x24 cages. Does with litters will be more comfortable in 24x24 cages.

  • Rabbits like to chew, and Dwarfs are no different. Chewing keeps their teeth worn down to normal lengths. Netherland Dwarf bunnies and adults alike appreciate chewable toys. Used-up toilet paper rolls, blocks of wood, and trimmed tree branches are good choices. See Pet Rabbit Care for more ideas.

Netherland Dwarf Rabbits - Health

The health care of Netherland Dwarf rabbits is similar to the needs of other breeds. Visit Rabbit Health for tips on ensuring the health of your Dwarf.

Netherland Dwarf Breeding Stock

The Netherland Dwarf rabbit breed is a favorite the world over. Because Dwarfs are fairly plentiful, it is all the more important that the new Dwarf breeder put serious thought into the animals he chooses for foundational breeding stock. The several animals you start with will contribute their genetics to every succeeding generation. Therefore, purchase the best animals you can possibly afford to start with.

There's another reason why you need to ask questions and do your research - Netherland Dwarfs (and a few other small breeds) bring a chance for problems along with their pint sized cuteness... 

Go to Netherland Dwarf Rabbit to learn about four specific genetic defects to which Dwarfs are prone, and how you can manage your dwarf rabbit care and genetics.

Care of Netherland Dwarf Rabbits: Malocclusion

Dwarfs reportedly have slightly more occurrences of malocclusion of the teeth than other breeds. As Dwarf kits hit their first big growth spurt, the jaw and mandible sometimes grow at different rates because of their round blocky heads. If the jaw grows too fast too soon, the bottom incisors will protrude beyond the reach of the upper incisors, and the two sets of teeth will fail to wear each other down. This is called malocclusion.









When Netherland Dwarf bunnies’ teeth are frankly maloccluded - the front teeth will continue to grow to monstrous lengths. This rabbit will require tooth clipping every 1-2 months or so, just to be able to eat. In the wild, this bunny would not survive to its 12th-week anniversary. The responsible breeder euthanizes animals with frank malocclusion.

A lesser degree of malocclusion is when the teeth abut, or meet straight on. In this case, there is a good chance that the condition will self-correct by the time the kit is roughly 10 weeks old. Once corrected, the animal will live a normal life with no concerns as to the teeth.

Nevertheless, pair and breed this animal wisely, even though the teeth have self-corrected.

  • Breed it to animals that always had properly aligned teeth.
  • The offspring saved from such a mating should be free of malocclusion even as weanlings.

In the long run, you’ll be grateful to see less and less malocclusion in your herd, resulting in greater success of your breeding and showing programs.

Don’t breed adult rabbits whose teeth are not correctly aligned. See Rabbit Teeth for more information.

We hope this information will help you take wise care of Netherland Dwarf rabbits, and rabbits of other small breeds that carry a dwarfing gene.


References:

  • American Netherland Dwarf Rabbit Club: http://www.andrc.com/
  • The Netherland Dwarf Show Rabbit: http://cmsdwarfs.tripod.com/showdwarf/

 


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