The Rex rabbit is a European breed originated in France in 1919. It was mainly developed to have short dense plush velvet-like fur. A litter of wild gray rabbits was the origin of Rex rabbit. And since then it has been developed over the years by the rabbit fanciers and the fur industry.
The breed is named for the rex gene responsible for it’s unique type of fur. Usually normal rabbit fur is made up of a shorter undercoat, interspersed with longer guard hairs. But the fur of the Rex rabbit is the result of a genetic mutation causing the hairs to be all the same length, giving a plush texture like velvet.
Naturally mutations occur quite frequently in the wild, and many breeds result from a mutation that is fixed through a selective breeding programme. Rex rabbit’s origin was a litter of wild gray rabbits. At the Paris International Rabbit Show in 1924, the Rex rabbit was first shown publicly.
Then it has been recognized as a standard rabbit breed in some parts of Europe since 1925. Rex rabbit was first imported to the United States in 1924 following the Paris International Rabbit Show. The breed became very popular in many countries as both a fancy and a commercial breed.
Rex Rabbit Characteristics
Rex rabbit is a medium sized breed with a commercial, solid-looking round body. Compared to other rabbit breeds, the Rex rabbit has a slightly broader head, proportionally smaller feet, and proportionate upright ears. Rex rabbits have short and soft hair (about 1.25 cm long).
Their coat is dense, smooth and level with a firm, plush texture. They have strong legs and curly whiskers. Their average body weight is about 3.4-4.8 kg, although the does can weight as much as 4.8 kg.
There are many different color varieties available of the Rex rabbit breed. Such as Black, Blue, Broken, Amber, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Californian, Castor, Lilac, Opal, Lynx, Red, Sable, Otter (Black, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac), Seal and White are common to most countries. Smoke Pearl, Orange, Fawn, Himalayan, Harlequin, Dalmation, Tortoiseshell, Cinnamon and Satin are also recognized in the United Kingdom. Photo from Wikipedia.
Usually, the Rex rabbit is mainly raised as a show rabbit or as pets. Some people also raise the Rex breed for fur and meat production. American Chinchilla rabbit and the Standard Rex are two of the most popular breeds for fur production.
The Rex rabbit is a breed of relatively calm temperament and generally very good in nature. They are very maternal and often mothering other rabbits. So they are often used as a foster mother for their excellent parenting skills.
They are very active (especially most active at night and in the morning). They are very intelligent and can be trained easily. They are affectionate and enjoy human company. That’s why they are very good for raising as pets.
They can be quite boisterous and playful, but are usually good with children and other pets. They require less grooming and can easily be cleaned by wiping over with a damp cloth if necessary. The average lifespan of a properly cared Rex rabbit is about 5-6 years. Review full breed profile of this rabbit breed below.
|Other Name||Castor (meaning beaver in French), Beaver, Castorrex|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly raised as pets. Some people also raise them for fur and meat production.|
|Weight||Between 3.4 and 4.8 kg|
|Suitable for Commercial Production||Yes|
|Good as Pets||Yes|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Coat Color||Black, Blue, Broken, Amber, Chocolate, Chinchilla, Californian, Castor, Lilac, Opal, Lynx, Red, Sable, Otter (Black, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac), Seal and White are common to most countries. Smoke Pearl, Orange, Fawn, Himalayan, Harlequin, Dalmation, Tortoiseshell, Cinnamon and Satin are also recognized in the United Kingdom.|
|Country of Origin||France|
Rex Rabbit Facts
These rabbits are popular as pets, show animals, and sometimes even raised for their meat and fur. Now we will explore the top rex rabbit facts that you might not know.
- Origin and History: Rex rabbits originated in France in the early 20th century, where a mutation in the fur of a wild rabbit was discovered. This led to the breeding of a new type of rabbit with a short, dense, and soft coat. These rabbits were initially used for their fur, but soon gained popularity as pets and show animals.
- Size: Rex rabbits are a medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 4 and 10 pounds. They have a compact and muscular body, short and erect ears, and a round head with a short and broad muzzle.
- Lifespan: With proper care, rex rabbits can live for 5 to 7 years. However, some rabbits have been known to live up to 10 years or more.
- Temperament: Rex rabbits are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are social animals and enjoy spending time with their owners and other rabbits. They are also known to be intelligent and trainable, making them great pets for families with children.
- Coat: The rex rabbit coat is short, dense, and plush, with a velvety texture. The fur stands upright and is soft to the touch, making rex rabbits popular as pets and show animals.
- Colors: Rex rabbits come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, chocolate, lilac, otter, red, and white. They can also have patterns such as broken, pointed white, and agouti.
- Grooming: Rex rabbits require minimal grooming due to their short and dense fur. However, they do need occasional brushing to remove loose fur and prevent hairballs.
- Diet: Rex rabbits should have a diet that is high in fiber, such as hay, grass, and leafy greens. They should also have access to fresh water at all times. Pellets and vegetables can be given in moderation.
- Housing: Rex rabbits need a clean and spacious living area that is free from drafts and extreme temperatures. A cage or hutch should be large enough for the rabbit to move around and stretch out comfortably.
- Exercise: Rex rabbits need regular exercise to maintain good health and prevent obesity. They should be allowed to roam and play in a safe and secure area, such as a pen or a rabbit-proofed room.
- Breeding: Breeding rex rabbits should only be done by experienced breeders who understand the genetics and health risks associated with the breed. It is important to breed only healthy rabbits to prevent genetic disorders.
- Health: Rex rabbits are generally healthy animals, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as ear infections, dental problems, and gastrointestinal issues. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are important to catch and treat any health issues early on.
- Intelligence: Rex rabbits are intelligent animals and can be trained to perform tricks and respond to commands. They are also curious animals and enjoy exploring their surroundings.
- Vocalizations: Rex rabbits are not very vocal animals, but they can make soft grunting or purring noises when they are content or relaxed.
- Social Behavior: Rex rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of other rabbits. They can also form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy interacting with them. However, introducing rabbits to each other should be done slowly and carefully to prevent fighting or aggression.
- Personality: Rex rabbits have a sweet and gentle personality that makes them popular pets. They are known to be playful and curious, and enjoy exploring their environment.
- Breeds: There are several different breeds of rex rabbits, including the Standard Rex, Mini Rex, and Castor Rex. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and physical traits.
- Shows: Rex rabbits are popular show animals and are judged based on their appearance, size, and coat quality. Shows are held all over the world and attract breeders and enthusiasts from all walks of life.
- Fur: Rex rabbits are often raised for their soft and velvety fur, which is used for clothing, accessories, and other products. However, some people choose to keep rex rabbits as pets instead of using them for their fur.
- Popularity: Rex rabbits are one of the most popular breeds of domestic rabbits in the world. They are loved for their friendly nature, soft fur, and adorable appearance, and are a common sight in pet stores and at rabbit shows.
Tips for Raising Rex Rabbits
Now we will explore the best tips for raising rex rabbits and providing them with a happy and healthy life.
One of the most important aspects of raising rex rabbits is providing them with a clean and comfortable living environment.
A spacious and secure cage or hutch should be provided, with enough room for the rabbit to move around and stretch out comfortably. The cage should also be kept clean and free from drafts and extreme temperatures.
A Healthy Diet
Rex rabbits require a diet that is high in fiber, such as hay, grass, and leafy greens. Pellets and vegetables can be given in moderation, but should not make up the majority of their diet. Fresh water should be available at all times.
Exercise and Playtime
Rex rabbits need regular exercise to maintain good health and prevent obesity. They should be allowed to roam and play in a safe and secure area, such as a pen or a rabbit-proofed room. Toys and chewables can also be provided to keep them entertained and stimulated.
Rex rabbits are social animals and enjoy the company of other rabbits. If you have more than one rex rabbit, make sure they are introduced slowly and carefully to prevent fighting or aggression.
If you only have one rabbit, make sure to spend plenty of time interacting with them and providing them with socialization.
Regular Vet Checkups
Regular checkups with a veterinarian are important to catch and treat any health issues early on.
Rex rabbits can be prone to certain health problems, such as ear infections, dental problems, and gastrointestinal issues. It is important to find a veterinarian who specializes in rabbit care.
Rex rabbits have short, dense, and plush fur that requires minimal grooming. However, they should be brushed occasionally to remove loose fur and prevent hairballs. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly to prevent them from growing too long.
Rex rabbits are intelligent animals and can be trained to perform tricks and respond to commands. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, can be used to train them. However, it is important to be patient and consistent with your training.
Rex rabbits are sensitive to extreme temperatures and should be kept in a temperature-controlled environment. They can be prone to heatstroke in hot weather and hypothermia in cold weather.
Make sure their living area is kept at a comfortable temperature and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or cold drafts.
Breeding rex rabbits should only be done by experienced breeders who understand the genetics and health risks associated with the breed.
It is important to breed only healthy rabbits to prevent genetic disorders. If you are not an experienced breeder, it is best to leave breeding to the professionals.
Patience and Dedication
Raising rex rabbits requires patience, dedication, and a love for animals. They are living creatures that require care and attention, and should not be treated as a disposable pet. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, raising rex rabbits can be a fun and rewarding experience.