The Siberian rabbit is a medium sized breed that displays a compact body with a slightly arched back. Its head is also medium-sized and proportional to the body. The ears, which usually measure up to 4 inches long, are in upright position. Its coat is glossy, shiny, and measures about 1 inch. A distinguishing feature of this coat is its ability to roll back to the original position when stroked in the opposite direction.
The Siberian rabbit comes in various colors including blue, black with a blue undercoat, and lilac. The color must be uniform and spread evenly in the body. Any white hairs seen in this breed are actually considered a fault.
Behavior and Temperament
Siberian rabbits are known to be very docile, relaxed and easy going, which make it a favorite among rabbit enthusiasts. It’s a perfect pet for singles, couples, and families with small children. This breed does not mind regular handling or petting, as long as caution and care are always given. In fact, this animal enjoys the regular human interaction, especially with children. However, small children must be supervised when playing and handling this breed to avoid injuries and accidents.
It is very important to start socializing even at a very young age. Doing so will further develop your pet’s tolerance with constant handling and interaction with all kinds of people. In addition to being a great companion pet, this breed is also commonly used in rabbit shows due to its high potential to be trained. Furthermore, it can also learn essential commands like proper use of litter box.
Health and Care
Similar to most rabbits, this breed is considered healthy. However, it is still susceptible to a few diseases and health conditions linked with rabbits especially when proper care and diet are neglected. One of the most common health issues associated with this breed is overgrown teeth, which is an extremely painful condition that involves the teeth piercing through the facial skin due to uncontrolled growth. When left untreated, this issue will eventually lead to other heath risk and even death.
The most effective way to treat and prevent this condition is by simply following rabbit’s recommended diet, which is 70% fresh hay and 30% fresh fruits and vegetables. Hay has the unique ability to naturally grind rabbit’s teeth to normal and healthy size, thus preventing the risk of overgrown teeth. Another health issue that is common with this breed is being overweight, which will eventually lead to other health issues such as flystrike and even death.
As a solution, make sure to properly monitor your pet’s daily diet. Aside from fresh hay, regularly serve fresh vegetables and fruits that contain essential vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system. However, avoid giving fruits and vegetables that are high in sugar and acids, which can cause more harm than good to your pet’s health. It is also recommended to serve high-quality rabbit pellets from time to time.
Siberian rabbit is also at risk with various types of viral infections, which is why proper hygiene is extremely important. Aside from making sure to only serve fresh and clean food items, you must also remove all leftover food to prevent bacterial formation. Common cold and fever are also common in rabbits, thus bathing is not recommended especially if you are living in a location with extreme weather condition. As an alternative to regular baths, wipe your pet’s dirty body with a soft cloth damped in lukewarm water.
Another effective way to prevent viral infection is to have your pet vaccinated. It is highly advised to have it regularly checked by a vet. In addition, make sure that your pet has a stress-free living environment. Its cage must be large enough to enable it to move freely and comfortably.
History and Background of Siberian Rabbit
In 1930, the Siberian rabbit was originally bred in the United Kingdom for the fur trade. After a few years, the demand for fur declined, which also resulted in an extremely low population of this breed. With the help of rabbit groups such as American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) and the British Rabbit Council (BRC), this breed was protected and saved from extinction. Today, Siberian rabbit continues to enjoy a steady following from rabbit enthusiasts worldwide.