A ram rabbit is a meat or ornamental breed that was first bred in England. It got its name because of the hanging ears and the special structure of the muzzle. Over the past two centuries, several species of ram rabbits have appeared in different countries. In our country, they became known relatively recently. Most often, lop-eared rabbits are now bred as ornamental animals.
- Main signs of ram rabbits
- Species of ram rabbits
- English ram
- French ram
- German ram
- Meissen ram
- Dutch ram
- Fleecy ram
- Velveteen ram
- Keeping rabbits
- Feeding rabbits
- Breeding fold rabbits
The main signs of rabbit ram in
A rabbit of the sheep breed appeared as a result of a mutation that led to lop-eared. Two centuries ago, British rabbit breeders decided to fix a genetic anomaly. Since then, the feature has been steadily transmitted from generation to generation. Ram. The animals got their name because they look like little lambs. Today there are more than ten varieties. Each has its own peculiarity, but they are all united by common characteristics:
- Hanging ears
- Large head
- Wide forehead
- Shortened dull little nose with a little hump
The sizes of animals are different. There are lop-eared rabbits giants and ram dwarfs.The ears of young animals are straight, they begin to sag at the age of about 6 weeks. The character of ram rabbits is calm. Due to the special structure of the ears, they are not so sensitive to sounds and not too shy. True, breeding a breed of sheep rabbits requires some effort.
Species of sheep rabbits
The breed of decorative sheep rabbits is not uniform in structure. In different countries several varieties have been bred. The following subspecies are known today:
- Dutch or dwarf
- Plush or velveteen
Subspecies have their own characteristics, but all are united by common features that are described above. Breeding is best done within the same breed in order to maintain specific characteristics. The following is a brief description of the main subspecies.
The breed of rabbits The English ram was bred first, many other subspecies came from it. These animals have very long ears, about 60 cm. The record holders recorded a length of 71 centimeters. Another feature is the shortened front and elongated hind legs. Because of this characteristic, the back of the case seems to be raised up. The weight of rabbits is 4.5-5 kg. English sheep are very attached to the owner, if they are not properly looked after, they can run wild.
The French ram rabbit was obtained by crossing a German giant with an English fold. As a result, a real giant with drooping ears and a specific muzzle. They have a wide head with puffy cheeks, an elongated and expanded back, and a large breast. The length of the ears is about 45 cm. The color of the coat is different – red, blue, gray, black, white, Madagascar, etc. The weight of an adult is 4-8 kg. Spacious cages are needed for keeping massive rabbits at home.
The German ram rabbit has a short muzzle with a flattened nose and an expanded jaw. The forehead is wide, between the drooping ears there is a kind of hill, resembling a crown. The case of rabbits is not very long, but extended, with a short neck. The average weight is 4-9 kg. German lop-eared sheep come from the French, they were bred in 1933.
Meissen sheep was bred in Germany, the year before last. To date, the breed is considered almost extinct and is under protection. The animals have a large head with chubby cheeks and a strongly curved nose. Between drooping ears, fur grows magnificently, forming a crown. The body is slightly elongated, stocky, the females may have a small underbelly. Wool evenly covers the entire body, its structure is smooth, colors can be anything other than silver.Meissen rabbit ram is medium in size and weighs 3-5 kg.
Dutch ram rabbits are typical decorative animals. They have miniature sizes, weigh animals 1.3-1.8 and are considered the smallest among their fold fellows. The body of the rabbits is short and extended, the legs are plump. The fur is fluffy and soft to the touch, it can be of any shade. The Dutch mini rabbit is considered the smallest breed among sheep. His breeding as a pet has become very popular among Europeans.
Fleecy rabbit breed sheep – a very young breed, bred in the United States based on Dutch lop-eared rabbits. It features a wide variety of colors, officially recognized about 20 shades. The fur of fleecy rabbits is very fluffy, it requires constant care and combing. The muzzle is shortened, like the body, because the animals resemble small balls. The weight of fleecy sheep is 1.6-1.8 kg. These animals are kept at home as decorative.
The corduroy lop-eared rabbit is a very young species. Her breeding began a few years ago in Australia and is still in its infancy. Plush or velveteen rabbit was named because of the special structure of the coat. It is short and soft, reminiscent of velveteen. A similar feature is the wool of Rex rabbits. A plush ram weighs 3-6 kg.Its content as a decorative animal is becoming increasingly popular.
Content of rabbits
Cages for sheep rabbits should be spacious so that the animals do not step on their ears. First of all, this applies to large varieties, such as French, German or English. The floor in the cage is lined with shavings or sawdust. It is undesirable to keep rabbits on a grid or on a pallet with cells, they are prone to pododermatitis. The depth of the pallet should be at least 15 cm so that the eared animals can freely dig their minks.
Decorative sheep rabbits can be kept in the aviary. Its area should be not less than one square meter. Install an aviary in the shaded part of the apartment, away from windows and heating appliances. These animals are sensitive to drafts and cold. If the cells are on the street, they need additional heating in the winter. It is also undesirable to expose the house in direct sunlight.
Cells should be cleaned at least once a week. Animals should regularly inspect the ears, remove impurities. Lop-eared rabbits of rams are resistant to many diseases. Decorative breeds live for 10-12 years, if the content and feeding are correct. Meat rabbits are sent to slaughter earlier. To protect against infections, rabbits should be vaccinated on time.
Feeding the rabbits
Proper feeding rabbits – this is no less important factor in the health of animals than care and maintenance. There are no special dietary requirements, the lop-eared rabbits use the same feeds as usual ones. The menu includes:
- Fresh green grass
- Concentrates – wheat, barley seeds, rye, oats
- Vegetables – carrots, boiled potatoes, cabbage leaves, zucchini , cucumbers
- Fruits – apples without seeds, pears, bananas
- Hay in the cold season
- Sprigs of mountain ash, maple, oak, willow, apple, pine, Christmas trees
Fresh water should always be in the cage. We must not forget about mineral supplements. Rabbits are given chalk, salt stone or special ready-made complexes. If necessary, vitamins are included in the diet. They are necessary, first of all, to female males and young rabbits. It is also worth feeding animals with vitamins at the end of winter and spring.
Breeding lop-eared rabbits
Sheep rabbits for breeding at home are not the easiest breed. If you cross an ordinary animal, with erect ears, with a fold, you get a not very beautiful hybrid. Such a rabbit will have the so-called helicopter ears, not completely hanging, and not completely upright. Therefore, mating of rabbits is permitted exclusively within its breed.
Puberty in males and females occurs in 6-7 months, from this age they begin to be used for reproduction. To mate, the female should be planted to the male. It is very important to ensure that the animals are not obese, their sexual instinct falls from excess weight. Pregnancy lasts about 30 days. Rabbits give birth from 3 to 10 rabbits. Dwarf breeds – 3-4 rabbits. Up to 20 days, the rabbit should feed milk to the kids. Then they are gradually transferred to adult feed. Special care for rabbits is not needed, females are wonderful mothers, and cubs have a high survival rate.
How much do ram rabbits cost? The price of animals of this breed is from 400 to 700 rubles per individual. Most often they sell French breed. It has not only decorative, but also economic value. After all, the “French” weigh up to 8 kg, their fur and skins are of excellent quality. Other subspecies are more difficult to find and their price may be higher. It is important to remember that the ears of the sheep begin to hang down after 6 weeks, are fully formed by two months. Therefore, you should not buy rabbits at an earlier age, so as not to accidentally acquire a cross or another species.