Lionhead rabbits are an incredibly distinct and relatively new breed of rabbits, so new that they are undergoing evaluations from the American Rabbit Breeder's Association for presentation in shows. Lionhead rabbits are known for craving attention and bonding very strongly with their owners, making them an excellent pet choice. Take the proper steps to get the most out of owning a male Lionhead rabbit.
History of the Lionhead Rabbit
Although the exact origins of the Lionhead rabbit are unknown, it is accepted in rabbit circles that the Lionhead resulted from a cross-breeding between a Swiss Fox rabbit and a Belgian Dwarf rabbit. Other potential sources of the breed's look could be from the Dwarf Angora, or the Jersey Wooley. The breed originated in Belgium and was introduced to the United States through five kits. These kits were bred with other rabbits in an attempt to widen the Lionhead gene pool.
Is My Male Rabbit a Lionhead?
Lionhead rabbits are very small and compact, around 2 1/2 pounds as an adult. They come in 15 recognized varieties and colors, such as Siamese Sable, Chocolate Agouti, Silver Marten and Blue Point. Lionhead rabbits feature either a single mane or a double mane of long, wooly hair that grows up around the head. They also have distinct ears that are very short and close to the head. The heads, in proportion to their bodies, are rather large.
Care for Lionhead Rabbit Babies
It is important that rabbit babies are not removed from their mother before 8 weeks of age, as this time is crucial both for their health and bonding. From three weeks on, you can offer baby Lionhead rabbits a freeze-dried grass or hay in unlimited quantities. Beginning at 7 weeks, in addition to the hay and the mother's milk they are still receiving, baby rabbits can be introduced to pellets, which will become a major source of their diet as adults. Vegetables -- leafy greens, root vegetables and small amounts of fruit -- can be introduced at 12 weeks.
Care for Adult Lionhead Rabbits
The bulk of the male Lionhead's diet should be a freeze-dried grass or hay, followed by pellets and fresh leafy greens. Root vegetables and fruit can be given on occasion, as they are very starchy and full of sugar. Clean water in a sipper bottle should always be available. It is also important to take your male Lionhead rabbit to annual vet exams, especially to neuter them around 3 to 4 months of age. Neutering your male Lionhead rabbit will curb moody and restless behavior, such as nipping and biting.
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