Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
HABITAT AND RANGE:
Being a domesticated animal, the
Netherland Dwarf Rabbit has lost most of
its wild traits. Therefore, they cannot
survive in the wild.
They are the smallest of all rabbits,
usually weighing only 2-2 ½ lbs. Their
ears are different from other rabbits
because they are smaller and stand
straight up. These rabbits are very
compact and have very short, soft, dense
and glossy fur. They are popular for
showing and as pets.
The Netherland Dwarf Rabbits were
developed in Europe and are thought to
be based on the British Polish breeds.
It is suggested that these early dwarf
rabbits were seen in Holland, which is
where they got the name “Netherland”
Dwarf Rabbits. It was recognized as a
breed in the United States in 1969.
Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are a
generalized herbivore, eating a diverse
diet of grasses, leaves, buds, tree bark
and roots. Gardeners know them to eat
lettuce, cabbage, root vegetables and
REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT:
Rabbits are well-known for their
reproductive capacity. Oryctolagus
cuniculus is capable of reproducing
year-round, but most breeding activity
takes place in the first half of the
year. Gestation is about 30 days and the
average litter contains 5 or 6 young.
Females are ready to conceive
immediately after lactation ends, so
they can have several litters in a year.
One reason for the reproductive success
of rabbits is induced ovulation, where
eggs are only released in response to
copulation. Neonates, called kittens,
are naked, blind and helpless. The
rabbit’s milk sustains the babies for 24
hours at a time. Therefore, the mother
only visits the nest for a few minutes
each day to nurse them and then leaves
to avoid drawing attention to the nest.
Young are weaned at four weeks of age.
They reach sexual maturity at about
eight months and can live up to nine
STATUS IN WILD:
The Netherland Dwarf Rabbit is now a