The Mini Rex rabbit is a smaller version of the standard Rex rabbit, a breed known for its gorgeous velvety fur. Calm, curious, and friendly, this small rabbit breed makes a popular show rabbit and a pet to people of all ages.
But, do Mini Rex rabbits like to be held? When properly socialized and handled from a young age, Mini Rex rabbits like to be held. Compared to other rabbit breeds, Mini Rex bunnies tend to be calmer when held and handled by their owners. Although they are calm and cuddly you should still be gentle and careful when holding a Mini Rex rabbit.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Mini Rex rabbit and help you decide if this popular breed is a good fit for your family.
What Is a Mini Rex Rabbit?
The Mini Rex rabbit is a fairly new rabbit breed that is a popular show rabbit and a pet. Mini Rex rabbits are, in fact, a smaller version of the standard Rex Rabbit and also carry the Rex fur gene.
Mini Rex Rabbit History and Origin
The Rex mutation in rabbits was first found in France in the 19th century. Later, it was discovered that the recessive Rex gene causes the rabbit’s hair to protrude outwards from the body instead of lying flat against it.
The Rex gene also causes the guard hairs to be shortened to the length of the undercoat, giving the coat a velvety texture.
Soon after their discovery these types of rabbits became extremely popular and breeders started breeding them in all parts of the world.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognized the standard Rex rabbit breed, but there was a growing demand for a smaller version. And that’s how the Mini Rex rabbit came to be.
The Mini Rex rabbit was developed in 1984 by Monna Berryhill of Texas. To create the new breed, Berryhill bred the black Dwarf Rex buck with a smaller Lynx Red doe.
The resulting litter contained seven kits, the first of the new breed. In 1986 Berryhill introduced her Mini Rex rabbits for the first time. However, the American Rabbit Breeders Association didn’t recognize the Mini Rex rabbit as a breed until 1988.
After that, the new breed developed rapidly and many new coat colors appeared. The Mini Rex rabbit is one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States.
Mini Rex Rabbit Characteristics
Although the Mini Rex rabbit is the smaller version of the standard Rex rabbit, they are no less beautiful. In fact, we could argue that the breed’s diminutive size makes it more appealing and adds to its overall charm.
Mini Rex rabbits are evenly proportioned bunnies with well-developed shoulders and hindquarters. They have rounded backs, short necks, and short legs. A Mini Rex rabbit will usually have short, thick, and upright ears that are spaced closely together and sit on top of the head.
Size, Weight, Shape
At half the size of the standard Rex rabbit, the Mini Rex is a small size breed. They have a compact body type and weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds. The does (females) tend to be slightly larger and heavier than bucks (males).
Like all other rex rabbit breeds, the Mini Rex rabbit has a distinctive short coat that’s the breed’s signature trait. They don’t have any long guard hair protruding from the undercoat, making the fur uniform across the whole body.
To make things even more interesting, the Mini Rex rabbit comes in a rainbow of colors and markings with new colors being developed and presented every couple of years.
At the time of writing this, the Mini Rex rabbit can be shown in more than 20 recognized colors. These include, black, blue, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, Himalayan, lilac, lynx, silver marten, opal, otter, red, sable, sable point, seal, tortoise, red-eyed white, blue-eyed white, broken, tri-color, pattern.
The Mini Rex rabbit has an average lifespan of seven to 10 years when cared for properly.
Mini Rex bunnies make popular pet rabbits due to their friendly, calm, and quiet nature. Moreover, they are a fantastic choice for first-time rabbit owners or families with children.
While the individual personalities of rabbits can vary, Mini Rex rabbits tend to be easy-going, docile, playful, and curious animals.
Thanks to their calm and sociable personalities, most Mini Rex rabbits aren’t opposed to being picked up and held. But just because they seem to tolerate handling better than other rabbits, they are still fragile and prone to injuries if roughly handled.
Remember that even the calmest of rabbits can scratch or bite if they feel scared or threatened, Therefore, make sure to be gentle while holding and petting your bunny.
While Mini Rex rabbits make wonderful pets for children due to their playful and calm temperaments, you shouldn’t leave your kids unsupervised with the rabbit. To prevent injuries to both parties, teach your kids how to interact, play, and handle a rabbit properly (source).
Mini Rex rabbits are intelligent creatures that can be trained to use a litter box, just like cats. While possible, litter training a rabbit will require some time and patience on your part so stick with it and continue training your bunny no matter what.
Mini Rex Rabbit Care
While most people believe that rabbits are low-maintenance pets, without any specific care needs, that’s not really the case. If you decide to keep Mini Rex rabbits as pets make sure you’re able to fulfill their needs and care for them properly.
Mini Rex rabbits can be kept both indoors and outdoors. However, if you decide to keep your bunnies outside, know that they might not be as affectionate or laid-back as those kept indoors with their human families.
Regardless of where you decide to keep your Mini Rex bunny, they’ll need a spacious rabbit’s cage to live in.
Just because your bunny is small that doesn’t mean that their cage should be small too! The minimum recommended size for a cage is 12 square feet per rabbit, but bigger is always better (source).
Don’t keep your Mini Rex rabbit in a cage with wire bottom since they may develop sore hocks. Instead, find a cage with a plastic bottom and line it with rabbit-safe bedding such as shredded paper, cardboard, wood pellets, straw, or hay.
Spot clean the bedding every day and replace it completely once a week to maintain the hygiene inside the enclosure.
Like all other rabbits, the Mini Rex rabbit’s diet should consist of 70% hay. The remaining 30% should be equal parts fruits, vegetables, and high-quality pellets. Besides food, your bunny should also have access to clean and fresh water at all times.
In addition to providing your bunny sustenance, a hay-based diet is also important for digestive and dental health (source). Chewing on hay helps wear your rabbit’s teeth naturally and can prevent painful dental problems caused by ingrown teeth.
While they have a plush, velvety coat, the Mini Rex rabbit doesn’t have high grooming needs. In fact, too much brushing can damage their velvety coat, so don’t groom your pet rabbit more than once a week.
Regular grooming will remove loose hair and dirt and will make your rabbit’s coat even softer to the touch.
Breeding Mini Rex Rabbits
If you are thinking of breeding Mini Rex rabbits for profit, the good news is that this breed is extremely popular. Mini Rex rabbits can be raised as:
The Mini Rex rabbit is one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the United States due to its small size and great temperament.
Calm, friendly, and docile, this small rabbit makes an excellent pet to people of all ages and families with children. Hence, you shouldn’t have trouble finding buyers for your bunnies.
The plush, velvety coat that comes in a variety of different colors makes the Mini Rex rabbit very popular with exhibitors and frequently seen at rabbit shows.
Breeding rabbits for the show isn’t as easy as it seems and you’ll need a pair of show-quality Mini Rex rabbits with an outstanding pedigree to start your breeding program.
With a bit of research, a good plan, and an initial investment, you can start breeding Mini Rex rabbits for show successfully.
Mini Rex Rabbit Price
Mini Rex rabbits on average cost between $20 and $100. Show-quality Mini Rexes with excellent pedigrees cost $250 or more, depending on their coat color and markings.
A smaller version of the well-known standard Rex rabbit, the Mini Rex rabbit is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Playful, calm, affectionate, and smart, these plush bunnies make great pets to people of all ages and families with children.
The soft velvety coat comes in many different colors that increase the breed’s overall appeal and charm.
Do you own a Mini Rex rabbit? If so, what’s your bunny like?
Tell us and our readers more about your experience owning Mini Rex rabbits in the comment section below!