Characteristics of the Dutch rabbit Breed
The Dutch rabbit breed also known as Brabander or Hollander is one of the oldest and most popular rabbit breeds in the world. It is an easy to identify breed because of their distinctive white markings, the white blaze on the nose and the white-collar in the saddle on the back.
The Dutch rabbit is among the first rabbit breeds recognized by the National Pet Stock Association, (the forerunner of the American rabbit Breeders association). It is also recognized by British Rabbit Council. They are a popular breed among farmers worldwide and are best raised for pet purposes.
Origin of Dutch rabbit breed
The origin of the Dutch rabbit breed is not clear, many writers believe that it originated from England in the 19th century, some also believed that the Dutch breed is descended from Belgium.
Others claim that it is of Netherland origin and was transported to England, although a popular rabbit breed writer Whitman credited the origin of Dutch breed to England.
What are the Characteristics of the Dutch rabbit breed?
Physical characteristics of Dutch rabbit breed
The Dutch rabbit breeds are small in size though not the smallest breed, but not the biggest breed either. Their small size makes them cool and easy to carry.
The most dominant characteristic of the Dutch rabbit is its colour markings which makes them easily recognized, they are always white with the addition of another base colour.
The eye of a Dutch rabbit is always bright and clean, free of spots or discolouration in the iris, the color of the iris is always the same in both eyes and match the color of the specified type of Dutch rabbit.
For example, a black chocolate grey steel or tortoise Dutch rabbit must have dark brown eye color, the same way a blue Dutch must have blue-grey and so on.
The rabbit’s head is rounded in full not pear-shaped with a short neck making the headset close to the shoulders, ideally not more than one and a half fingertip widths of the index and middle finger should fit between the base of the head and the beginning of the shoulders on a Dutch rabbit between one to six months of age.
The fur is of normal length with a soft underlayer covered by longer guard hairs, the fur flies back meaning that if brushed opposite to the direction of growth, the fur quickly snaps back to its normal position.
Dutch rabbit is a fairly small compact rabbit with a small body size. Their body becomes stronger as they grow.
The average adult Dutch rabbit will weigh between four to five and a half pounds and on average through this depend on the management and care of the rabbit.
The ears of the Dutch rabbit breed are clear of their body parts, rounded, balanced and stand erect. The ears are always stocky and direct, they should be in proportion to the size of the head and body of the rabbit
The Dutch rabbit breed has powerful back legs that are longer than the front legs.
The longest lifespan that has been reported of the Dutch rabbit breed is 15 years, on average, they can live for 10years. Although quality of care plays a key role in determining the lifespan of this breed.
They are one of the most popular rabbits kept as pets today, they are very popular among pet rabbit breeders
Other characteristics of the Dutch rabbit breed
Raising rabbits requires a lot of control and monitoring, in the case of the Dutch rabbit, it has been made easy because of their calm nature.
They are easy to control and are less aggressive, though they shouldn’t be taken for granted because of their calmness as they can become troublesome if not cared for.
13. Ability to adapt (Adaptability nature)
The great part of keeping the Dutch rabbit is their ability to adapt to different environment, they can withstand both hot and cold weather conditions but don’t appreciate it.
Dutch rabbits are not aggressive, thus making them a friendly breed if groomed properly. They are playful, generally docile and gentle. They are also easy to train and are excellent as pets.
Not forgetting that they are attractive, clean and lovable.
The growth rate of this breed of rabbit has a lot to do with how healthy they are kept, a healthy and properly fed Dutch rabbit grow faster than normal.
That is to say, the healthier you keep a Dutch rabbit, the more likely they are to grow fast.
The Dutch rabbit is also smart and can understand her environment fast, they also boast high response-ability. When they get used to their owner, they can relate to their expression.
17. Reproduction in Dutch rabbit
Generally, rabbit reproduces fast, their gestation period is 31 days on average, in cases of high care, they gestation period last for just 28 to 30 days, the Dutch rabbit is not an exception.
18. Seasonal blot
Just like other rabbits, the Dutch rabbit always goes through a seasonal moult, during this period, you are sure to have much of their fur on your body on holding on to the rabbit.
The markings of the Dutch rabbits make them instantly different from any other breed, the proper placement shape colours and balance of these markings in combination with excellence in general type, are the discriminating features that separate the Dutch rabbit from the general population of its breed.
Whenever the coloured markings meet the white area, the point of joining called Line is always clean, straight and crisp with no ragged or wavy lines and no drags.
Care and requirements of the Dutch rabbit
Dutch rabbits are one of the oldest domestic breeds around so you can be sure that they love to play and outside their enclosure whenever possible.
They will happily run and jump high into the air when they are out of their cage especially if they are outside with some soft grass beneath their feet.
Like most rabbits, they live healthier when they are given plenty of outdoor time and fed a diet of 70 hay and the rest is a mix of pellets, fruits and vegetables.
It is important to note that some fruits and vegetables can pose a danger to their health unless you’re sure that they enjoy it, or better still, feed them vegetable and fruit as a treat and not main food.
It is important to not feed them materials you are unsure about how they will respond to, some food that can be dangerous to your rabbit includes seeds from fruits such as apples and pears they contain tiny particles of cyanide and despite being harmless to humans, they can hurt your rabbit.
Bark and cherry tree twigs should be avoided as well as mushrooms.
Good housing is also important in breeding Dutch rabbit, their enclosure could be indoors or outdoors as long as the weather is favorable.
Even though Dutch rabbit can withstand adverse condition, rabbits do not do well in extreme heat and most do not do well in the cold so always be aware of outdoor conditions before letting your rabbit spend time outside.
Their enclosure needs to be clean and dung free, if there is hay bedding always be sure to clean it at least once every day.
Always prepare good beddings for the rabbits, rabbits prefer bedding because it is easier on their feet and more comfortable.
Types of the Dutch rabbit
There are several types of Dutch rabbits all identified by their coats, despite having so many types, their markings are almost all the same, they all have dark-coloured ears and rumps a band of white from the top of their shoulders to their belly, white legs and a wedge of white fur running up the front of the face which is called the blaze.
- There is the black Dutch rabbit which has pure white and slate black fur with dark brown eyes.
- The Blue Dutch whose eyes are blue-grey and fur color is a medium-dark blue.
- There is the Chinchilla Dutch who has either dark brown or blue-grey and their fur is a speckled grey mixed with white. The Chinchilla Dutch is the newest breed to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association. They have brown eyes and ears with black lacing.
- The Chocolate Dutch with either dark brown or ruby eyes and chocolate brown fur.
- The Gray Dutch has mixed colored fur blue medium then charcoal brown, chocolate and dark brown eyes.
- The steel Dutch rabbit with dark brown eyes and a mostly black body with off white or cream colouration on some of the hair tips and finally.
- The tortoise Dutch rabbit with bright orange or cream-coloured coat and dark brown eyes.
Breeding the Dutch rabbit
The first step in breeding the Dutch rabbit is learning about how to manage a rabbit farm, you can undergo training online or offline, the knowledge is a huge determinant to how well you will perform as a rabbit farmer.
The real work can begin once the breeder is armed with a fundamental understanding of rabbits, skill to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in his or her breeding stock.
Once you have the required knowledge, ensure you secure a good rabbit house for the Dutch rabbit, they enjoy a calm and cool environment, therefore the house should take note of this aspect of their nature.
You always want to supervise the rabbit, ensure that they are in good condition, ensure that they are fed well, provided with water, adequate security (of course, ensuring that your rabbit is not prone to theft is important).
The key to producing quality Dutch rabbit always rests with selective breeding to cultivate and enhance positive characteristics while calling out the less desirable.
Why choose the Dutch rabbit breed?
As a pet rabbit breeder, rearing this breed of rabbit can be highly beneficial to you. You can hardly get it wrong with this breed on your farm as long as you care for them appropriately.
And here are the reasons:
1. They are fast-growing animals
Rabbit generally are fast growers, the Dutch rabbit breed is not an exception to this, this breed of rabbit takes a short time to grow.
2. They are great producers
This breed is good producers, under proper care, this breed is capable of producing 5 to 8, or more kids per breeding circle.
3. They are friendly and easy to maintain
If you are looking for a breed of rabbit that is less stressful to rear, then the Dutch rabbit breed should be your target
The Dutch rabbit is a good breed that can be reared easily and will constantly produce high profit for you.
4. Dutch rabbit breed can adapt to any weather condition
One of the unique qualities of this rabbit breed is that it can survive any climatic condition, in whatever part of the world you wish to rear this breed of rabbit, it will be just fine. The Dutch rabbit can be reared in areas of hot or cold climatic conditions.
What are the habitat and environmental needs of Dutch rabbit?
Because of their calm nature, the Dutch rabbit loves to be kept in a clean, cool and conducive environment, they love to have space for free movement and relaxation.
Though they can easily adapt to unfavourable climatic condition, they prefer to be kept in a favourable habitat, it gives them the freedom to express themselves and provide comfort.
Is the Dutch rabbit breed good for commercial purpose?
The Dutch rabbit breed is not best for commercial purposes, not like they can’t be reared for commercial purpose, but they are not known to be viable when reared for this purpose, they are best reared as a pet.
What are the advantages of rearing Dutch rabbits?
1. Dutch rabbits are generally neat animals
The Dutch rabbit love to live in an environment that is clean and tidy, they are often uncomfortable in an unclean environment.
It is therefore important to always bath the rabbits, with their clean nature, you don’t have to worry about any form of unhealthy smell from the rabbits.
2. They are easy to rear
One advantage of raising the Dutch rabbits is that they are smart and intelligent, this makes it easy to care for them, they are less stressful to keep and maintain.
When properly cared for, they will have a healthy and peaceful living.
3. They are not costly to maintain
The Dutch rabbits are easy to maintain at a low cost, they are not prone to sickness as long as you keep their environment clean, they also eat a wide range of food therefore, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of capital on feeding them.
4. They are friendly to be with
One unique quality of the Dutch rabbit that is triggering is their friendly nature, you only need to ensure that they are comfortable, they love attention and appreciate quality care.
Their friendly nature makes raising them less stressful and demanding.
What are the possible challenges in breeding the Dutch rabbit breed?
It has been established that the Dutch rabbit breed is friendly and popular among rabbit breeders especially the pet rabbit breeders.
Some of the possible challenges breeders of the Dutch rabbit will face are
- Attention: Dutch rabbit breed enjoy so much attention, they require the owner to always be around, show closeness constantly.
- Food: The Dutch rabbit breed is unique in their feeding demand, unlike other breeds, they do not eat often and eat a wide range of food but can get very sick when fed with unhealthy food.
Hay is an important part of Dutch rabbit food. Fruits are also important but demanded as treat and not major food.
General Overview of the Dutch rabbit breed
|Name:||Dutch rabbit breed|
|Popularity:||Very popular among rabbit breeders|
|Other names:||Hollander and Brabander.|
|Country of origin:||There is no clear information about the country of origin of the Dutch rabbit breed, there are many conflicting stories about where they originated from.|
|Major breeding purpose:||Mainly reared as a pet because of their excellent pet qualities.|
|Unique character:||Smart, calm, and friendly.|
|Bodyweight:||The Dutch rabbit has an average body weight of 2kg to 2.8kg.|
|Body size:||They are usually small in size.|
|Temperature requirement:||They survive in all temperature but perform well in a calm environment.|
|Colour of the breed:|| The breed appears in many colours, from Chinchilla, Blue, Chocolate, Black, Gray, Tortoise and Steel.
There is also Brown Grey, Yellow and Pale Grey among many others.
Frequently asked questions about the Dutch rabbit breed
Is the Dutch rabbit good as a pet?
Yes, the Dutch rabbit breed is very good for pet purposes. Like rightly stated, the Dutch rabbit is among the friendliest rabbits. They are calm and easy-going.
They have a robust and manageable size, they a very gentle and usually are excellent with human, they are also intelligent and loves attention.
The Dutch rabbit is a good choice for novice breeders especially those who are interested in breeding rabbit as a pet.
How fast does a Dutch rabbit grow?
The Dutch rabbits are fast-growing animal, they can be sexually matured between two (2) and three (3) months of age when properly fed.
Can the Dutch rabbit be bred with other rabbits?
Yes of course as long as their calmness won’t be abused by their companion rabbits.
Though the Dutch rabbit prefers to be raised alone, this is because they do not appreciate a violent environment and there is almost no guarantee that other rabbits breed won’t disturb them.
If you are interested in breed rabbit for pet purpose, then you should think about the Dutch because of their unique friendly nature. They are an excellent, smart and calm rabbit breed.
Not like they are not good for meat purposes, but they are best reared for pet purpose.
They are also friendly and interactive, grow fast and eat a wide range of food materials, they are also naturally clean therefore, they can be reared in any environment.
So, if you are a pet rabbit breeder, then, the Dutch rabbit breed is one you should consider when next you go sourcing for a new rabbit breed.