The Dutch rabbit is one of the oldest rabbit breeds. It is also among the most popular rabbit breed throughout the world. The exact origin of the Dutch rabbit is not clear.
Some people say the breed was originated from England in the mid 19th century. Others say it was originated in Netherlands and was introduced into England in 1864. Probably it is descended from the Petite Brabacon (which was bred in large numbers for meat trade during the 19th century) from the Brabant region in Flanders.
The breed is also known as Brabander or Hollander. Dutch rabbit a very small breed, but it is not a dwarf rabbit breed. It was once the most popular of all rabbit breeds. But after the development of the dwarf rabbits, the popularity of this breed dwindled.
Although the Dutch rabbit is still one of the top ten most popular rabbit breeds throughout the world. The breed is recognized by both British Rabbit Council and the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Today, the Dutch rabbit is a very popular breed for show and also raised as pets.
Dutch Rabbit Characteristics
The Dutch rabbit breed is easily identifiable by it’s characteristic color pattern. Dutch rabbits are smaller in size, but not a dwarf breed. They have compact and well rounded body. The have rounded head, and their ears are short, stocky and well-furred that stand erect.
Their back legs are longer than the front legs. And their back legs are very powerful. Their fur is soft and short. There are six color varieties in conjunction with white are recognized. Which are Black, Blue, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Gray, Steel and Tortoise. Although Yellow, Brown Grey, Steel Grey, Pale Grey etc. color varieties are also available.
The Black variety has a dense, glossy black with a slate blue undercolor and the eyes are dark brown. The eyes of Blue variety are blue gray and has a medium blue gray colored body with slate blue undercolor.
Chinchilla Dutch rabbit variety has an Agouti color with bands of pearl white and black with a slate blue undercolor. It is the newest variety to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association and it’s eyes are brown and the ears have black lacing. Chocolate variety has brown eyes and a rich chocolate brown coat with a dove-gray undercolor.
Gray variety has dark brown eyes and the coat is of an Agouti color. The Steel color variety of the Dutch rabbit is a black color with off-white tips to the hairshaft on some hairs. Their eyes are dark brown and the undercolor is slate blue.
And the Tortoise variety is of a bright, clean orange with slate blue shadings along the ears, whisker beds and hindquarters. Their eyes are dark brown and the undercolor is dark cream. The average body weight of the Dutch rabbit breed is between 2.0 and 2.5 kg.
The Dutch rabbit is a very popular as show animal. They are also popular as pets throughout the world. It is one of the top ten popular rabbit breeds worldwide.
The Dutch rabbit is very popular mainly because it is among the friendliest rabbits. They are also popular for their calm and easy going nature and for their robust build and manageable size.
They have a very gentle disposition and usually are excellent with children. They are intelligent animal and will thrive on attention. They are playful and generally docile and gentle. They make excellent domestic pet and they are also pretty easy to train.
Even the Dutch rabbit is a good choice for novice owners and for young. With good care, the average lifespan of the Dutch rabbit is between 5 and 10 years. Review full breed profile of this rabbit breed in the chart below.
|Other Name||Brabander, Hollander|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly kept as show animal and pets|
|Weight||Average body weight is between 2.0 and 2.5 kg|
|Suitable for Commercial Production||No|
|Good as Pets||Yes|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Color Varieties||Black, Blue, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Gray, Steel and Tortoise. Yellow, Brown Grey, Steel Grey, Pale Grey etc. color varieties are also available.|
|Country of Origin||Not clear. Probably from England or Netherlands|
Dutch Rabbit Facts
Here are some interesting facts about Dutch rabbits:
- Origin: Dutch rabbits originated in the Netherlands in the 19th century. They were bred for their unique coat markings, which resemble the colors of the Dutch flag.
- Size: Dutch rabbits are a small to medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 3-5 pounds.
- Lifespan: With proper care, Dutch rabbits can live for 8-12 years.
- Coat: Dutch rabbits have a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom. Their coat is white with colored markings on their face, ears, and back.
- Colors: Dutch rabbits come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, chocolate, gray, steel, and tortoiseshell.
- Personality: Dutch rabbits are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are social animals that enjoy interacting with their owners and other rabbits.
- Intelligence: Dutch rabbits are intelligent animals that can be trained to do tricks and respond to their names.
- Communication: Dutch rabbits communicate with a variety of sounds, including grunts, growls, and soft clucking noises.
- Breeding: Dutch rabbits are prolific breeders and can have litters of up to 12 kits at a time.
- Gestation Period: The gestation period for Dutch rabbits is around 31 days.
- Weaning: Dutch rabbits are typically weaned at around 6-8 weeks of age.
- Diet: Dutch rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. They should be fed a combination of hay, fresh vegetables, and commercial rabbit pellets.
- Dental Health: Dutch rabbits have continuously growing teeth, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of chew toys and hay to keep their teeth worn down.
- Exercise: Dutch rabbits require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They should have access to a large, safe play area and should be allowed to run, jump, and play.
- Housing: Dutch rabbits should be housed in a large, secure hutch or indoor enclosure. They should have access to fresh water, food, and a comfortable place to sleep.
- Litter Training: Dutch rabbits are intelligent animals that can be litter-trained. They should be provided with a litter box in their hutch or play area.
- Socialization: Dutch rabbits are social animals that enjoy the company of other rabbits. They should be introduced to other rabbits gradually and under close supervision.
- Health Issues: Dutch rabbits are prone to a variety of health issues, including dental problems, gut stasis, and respiratory infections. It’s important to monitor their health closely and seek veterinary care if necessary.
- Vaccinations: Dutch rabbits should be vaccinated against certain diseases, including myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease.
- Grooming: Dutch rabbits require regular grooming to keep their coat clean and healthy. They should be brushed regularly to remove loose fur and prevent hairballs.
- Temperament: Dutch rabbits are generally docile and affectionate animals that make great pets for families with children. They enjoy being held and cuddled and can form strong bonds with their owners.
Tips for Raising Dutch Rabbits
Raising Dutch rabbits require knowledge, dedication, and patience. Here are some tips to help you raise healthy and happy Dutch rabbits:
- Provide a safe and secure housing: Dutch rabbits should be housed in a large, secure hutch or indoor enclosure that is well-ventilated, dry, and free from drafts. The hutch should have enough room for the rabbit to move around comfortably and should be equipped with a nesting box, water bottle, and food dish.
- Use appropriate bedding: The bedding used in the hutch should be safe and comfortable for the rabbit. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as they can cause respiratory problems. Instead, use straw or paper-based bedding.
- Give them enough space: Dutch rabbits are active and social animals that require ample space to move around and play. Provide them with a large, safe play area where they can run, jump, and play. Consider setting up a playpen or using a childproofed room to give your rabbit enough space to exercise.
- Feed a balanced diet: A balanced diet is essential for the health and wellbeing of Dutch rabbits. They should be fed a combination of hay, fresh vegetables, and commercial rabbit pellets. Offer fresh, clean water at all times, and avoid feeding your rabbit sugary or fatty treats.
- Monitor their health: Regular checkups with a veterinarian are essential to ensure your Dutch rabbit’s health. Keep an eye on your rabbit’s eating and drinking habits, behavior, and physical appearance. Any changes in these areas could be a sign of illness, and you should seek veterinary care promptly.
- Groom regularly: Dutch rabbits require regular grooming to keep their coat clean and healthy. Brush them regularly to remove loose fur and prevent hairballs. Trim their nails regularly and keep their teeth worn down with chew toys and hay.
- Provide mental stimulation: Dutch rabbits are intelligent animals that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Provide them with toys, puzzles, and other enrichment activities to keep them mentally engaged.
- Litter train your rabbit: Dutch rabbits are intelligent animals that can be litter-trained. Provide them with a litter box in their hutch or play area and reward them for using it. This will help keep their living area clean and reduce odors.
- Socialize your rabbit: Dutch rabbits are social animals that enjoy the company of other rabbits. Introduce them to other rabbits gradually and under close supervision. A bonded pair of rabbits can provide each other with companionship and mental stimulation.
- Practice good hygiene: Keeping your Dutch rabbit’s living area clean and sanitary is essential to their health. Regularly clean their hutch and play area, and wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your rabbit.
- Protect from predators: Dutch rabbits are vulnerable to predators such as foxes, raccoons, and birds of prey. Make sure their hutch or play area is secure and protected from these predators.
- Maintain appropriate temperatures: Dutch rabbits are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so it’s essential to maintain an appropriate temperature in their living area. Keep them in a cool, dry place during the summer and provide them with a warm, draft-free area during the winter.
- Provide regular exercise: Regular exercise is essential for the health and wellbeing of Dutch rabbits. Allow them to run and play in a safe, enclosed area for at least an hour each day.
- Be patient: Raising Dutch rabbits requires patience and dedication. Be patient as your rabbit adjusts to their new home and establish a routine that works for both you and your rabbit.