Welcome to the January 2022 edition of Rabbit Rhythms!
January's Breed of the Month is the Jersey Wooly Rabbit. We have the full 1980's version of the history for you!
Is My Bunny a Chonkster? We'll help you figure it out, but don't worry about that dewlap, despite appearances.
Winter is colds and flu season... what about for your rabbits? Check out our comparison between Pasteurellosis and Bordetellosis.
Happy New Year from Rabbit Rhythms! With the chill of January weather, our Breed of the Month is “The Fluff of the Fancy,” the pint-sized Jersey Wooly. Our friends at Breadbox Rabbitry in North Carolina breed these precious puffs (Netherland Dwarfs with Jersey Wooly wool), so if you want a playful and affectionate pet, check them out.
The 80’s were a fun decade for fashion: boom boxes, parachute pants, rubix cubes, and the most striking 80’s look, BIG HAIR! Some totally gnarly Netherland Dwarfs and French Lops got together with cans of Aquanet and teasing combs to produce AWESOME offspring, Jersey Woolies! They made their big debut at an ARBA convention in 1984, with Bunny George performing his hit single, Carrot Chameleon. By 1988, Jermaine “Jersey Wooly” Jackson moonwalked his way to being an officially recognized breed by ARBA.
They have a squarish, Rocky-esque head, which has given them the nickname “mug head.” When looking at Jersey Woolies, it’s a small square head on a B-52 sized full-body hairdo. They were bred to be a dwarf rabbit that could produce low maintenance wool. They also love the 80’s colors, with their fur coming in 6 main colors, broken down into 26 individual colors, plus the broken variety. This is where flamboyant artist Cyndi LopEar got her inspiration for her hit “Buns Just Want to Have Fun.”
Keep the MasterCharge credit card locked up, or else you may find empty bottles of hair mousse all over the house. There is no way to unsee David Lee Rabbit, wearing fluorescent leopard print pants, lip-syncing and playing air guitar to VanHalen’s JUMP!
Bunny McFerrin says “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” because Jersey Woolies are the no-kick breed. They are calm and non-aggressive. Jersey Woolies are playful and affectionate, more fun than a pocket full of quarters and a brand new PacMan machine. They are very social, so they would like other rabbits in the home to have their own Bunny Breakfast Club. They also get along well with other pets, and will want lots of play and cuddle time with their people. They are good as pets, 4-H animals, or joyriding with you around Chicago on Ferris Bunny’s Day Off.
The big deal about Jersey Woolies is obviously the big hair. Luckily, they are much easier to take care of than you think, sort of like a chia pet that hops. They are more precocious than a cute Huxtable child, with the fluffy wool becoming very prominent at a young age. Most of the year, they need a good brushing about once a week. Wool is harvested through brushing, so no harrowing shearing and trimming experiences, like trying to outrun a Terminator.
During spring molting season, they will probably require daily brushing, and need to be monitored for wool block. A great way to prevent wool block is with our Bunny Branola, which has the roughage to keep everything moving right along.
Humans may spell relief as R-O-L-A-I-D-S, but rabbits spell it B-R-A-N-O-L-A.
If you would like to find out more, check out our e-book, Domestic Rabbit Breeds. We have extended our 30% off sale into the New Year, so new bunny parents can get resources to take care of their Christmas hares.
Lead Investigative Journalist for Rabbit Rhythms E-Zine
The New Year brings New Year's resolutions. One of the most common of resolutions is to lose weight.
As we may look at our own winter girth with dissatisfaction, it is easy to look at our bunnies and wonder the same: ‘Is my rabbit fat?’
Look at them! Rounded fluffy bodies, and some of them - the girls of many breeds - have those ginormous double chins under their necks. (Those are called dewlaps, by the way, which is a generous fold of furry skin providing extra fluff which she will use to line her nest).
So how can you tell if your bunny is a chonkster?
First: Look up the proper size, body conformation, and weight for your rabbit's breed (or at least its most likely breed). Our e-book, Domestic Rabbit Breeds, has all the statistics on all the different breeds, so you can easily compare your rabbit to healthy standards. It also has a section that may help guide you in your search to identify your bunny's mix.
Second: As you play with and handle your rabbit, you should be able to feel whether or not its body is excessively padded with fat, or whether you can feel a rib cage and hip bones. Your rabbit should not feel bony, per se, but it is good if you can feel some structure under all the fur or wool.
Third: You can always get a veterinarian opinion as to your rabbit's overall health and weight.
How to Prevent Bunny Obesity:
More detail about obesity in rabbits can be found here.
A Happy Healthy New Year to both you and your rabbits!
With their lush fur coats, your rabbits are not as likely to get winter colds as their peeps are.
But: there are a couple respiratory problems that every rabbit owner and breeder need to be aware of: Pasteurellosis, also known as Snuffles, and Bordetellosis. If you had to choose, it'd be far better that your rabbit come down with the latter than the former condition.
Get all the details in Rabbit Raising Problem Solver (the Respiratory section starts on page 221), including how best to treat and prevent both issues.
We also included the entire rabbit health and diseases sections on the Raising-Rabbits website in our Keep Your Rabbits Healthy E-book.
Whichever source you care to use, or even if you take the time to search the website, we think you'll find yourself much better equipped to keep your rabbits healthy!
Maybe your friends would too...
Your friends at Raising-Rabbits.com wish you a fabulous New Year for 2022.
Enjoy your rabbits!