Dwarf Ram Rabbit: Top Facts & Breed Guide
Dwarf rams belong to the most popular rabbits because of their visually striking hanging ears.
Also their very pleasant nature seems ideal for families.
But: The breed also has its downsides.
You can find out what these are in this detailed breed portrait.
- Size: 20 to 40 centimeters
- Weight: 1.5 to 2.0 kilograms
- Colors: more than 40 different recognized color strokes
- Age: 8 to 10 years
- Character: calm, peaceful, quickly trustful
- Keeping: in groups
The character of the Dwarf Ram
Dwarf rams are usually very calm, balanced and quickly trusting animals. They like to cuddle, but also play with each other.
Because of these characteristics they are very popular.
In addition, the appearance, which is particularly cute due to the hanging and often very long ears.
However, exactly this physique is not unproblematic in terms of health. Ideally, you should be aware of this fact already before the acquisition.
But even if you already have a Dwarf Ram, the following information can help you.
In order for the ears of Dwarf rams to hang down on the side of the head, the shape of the head had to be changed by special breeding.
It is therefore a mutation, in which the ear canals and the jaw are shaped differently than in dwarf rabbits, which have upright ears.
This can result in teeth misalignment, for example, which makes eating and drinking difficult.
The teeth do not always sharpen properly and evenly. They can be crooked and even injure the oral mucosa and the underlying jaw bone or tongue.
In addition, dwarf rams have poorer hearing in some respects. The long and sometimes very wide ears cover the auditory canals. They perceive sounds therefore worse and less than conspecifics with standing ears.
Therefore, they are often also less jumpy and do not get into stress so easily.
However, this is only true with regard to hearing.
Behavioral and social conspicuities
Rabbits with standing ears also communicate with their spoons.
They can often move them in a remarkably versatile way and use them to convey messages to their conspecifics. For example, they use them to show submissiveness and thus can appease and de-escalate situations.
Dwarf rams can hardly move their ears.
They often can’t put them up at all and are therefore limited in their communication. This can lead to misunderstandings and thus stress for the ram.
The Dwarf Ram rabbit is always recognized by conspecifics as submissive and inferior because of their droopy ears.
This can also be problematic for rabbits of other breeds. This is because they do not understand the warnings of the dwarf rams, which in turn can result in fights.
Therefore, if you want to keep a ram rabbit despite the health disadvantages, you should be very careful when socializing and always keep a close eye on the animals.
Otherwise, the supposed peace between the rabbits can change very quickly or even cause significant injuries unnoticed.
How are dwarf rams kept?
The attitude is not very different from other breeds of rabbits.
Dwarf rams are calmer, but should still have a lot of space available. You should encourage them to exercise, play and forage more often.
Intelligence toys and food games, as well as luring with homemade treats, are also suitable for this purpose.
Allow your rabbits to run free every day. This can be done indoors or on the balcony or in the garden.
In any case, you must ensure that there is no risk of injury and that the rams cannot escape or be injured by other animals.
In addition, rabbits, like all of their kind, are sociable and social. They need other rabbits with whom they can communicate.
Ideally, these should also be dwarf rams.
These are the best match in terms of character, size and weight. They can communicate better and are exposed to less stress.
How are dwarf rams to be cared for?
Due to the hanging ears, some of which may even drag on the ground, there are some special considerations when caring for dwarf rams.
daily control of the ears and ear tips
Care of scratches and sore spots
Removal of dirt from the tips of the ears
Checking the teeth
Checking the amount, consistency and shape of droppings
In addition, you need to keep in mind that ears can get in the way when brushing. This means that your dwarf rams may not be able to clean themselves properly in the genital or anal areas, or even on their backs.
So you may have to help out here daily by brushing the fur and perhaps wiping it slightly damp if necessary.
You should not underestimate this extra effort. If you keep several dwarf rams together and have to help them clean every day, this is a considerable extra effort.
Pay special attention to the anal area. The so-called appendix feces is eaten again by rabbits, because it contains important nutrients.
Dwarf rams cannot do this in some cases if the ears are too long and too wide.
This creates two problems. First, your animal is missing important nutrients that you can hardly supply through the diet. Secondly, the sticky, moist feces can smear the fur so that your rabbit can no longer defecate.
This causes the feces to build up in the intestines, which can lead to serious problems and even death.
The sticky fur can also attract flies, which lay their eggs. Wounds are created, which the maggots that hatch from them make even larger and worse. So always pay attention to cleanliness, because even in apartment-only housing, this danger exists.
The other factors of care depend on the length and texture of the coat, as well as individual needs.
In the case of dwarf rams, which are crossbreeds, among other things, a genetic factor can come through with longer fur. In this case, you will need to brush the animal more frequently to prevent knots from forming, to remove debris, and to prevent your rabbit from picking up too much fur hair that will compress in the stomach and intestines.
Daily checks and are always crucial. This is true for dwarf rams as well.
Regular claw control
Since they are calmer overall and move less, one of the things you should pay attention to is the length of their claws.
Even with a rough surface, they often do not sufficiently sharpen on their own due to their light weight.
So it may be necessary to trim them regularly.
Frequently asked questions
When are dwarf rams fully grown?
Dwarf rams reach their final length at about four months of age.
However, for some it may take longer. In addition, you must assume that the animals will still grow a little wider. The more exercise they get, the more their muscles will develop.
However, due to their quiet nature, they can also become overweight. So you should pay attention to the diet and to the body to avoid this.
How long do the ears of dwarf rams become?
There are considerable differences in this regard.
Since especially rabbits from the pet store often have hybrids of different breeds, the ears can be nine to ten centimeters long and still comparatively mobile or dragging on the ground.
How large are the litters of dwarf rams?
Dwarf rams give birth to about four to six kittens.
The gestation period is about one month.
This allows the rabbits to reproduce rapidly and produce a very large number of offspring in a short period of time.
Keep in mind that the young animals are often not so easy to place. In addition, there is no health advantage once a female rabbit has given birth.
Neutering is a much better choice. This is true for both sexes and for several reasons.
How much do dwarf rams cost?
You should calculate with up to 50 dollars for the acquisition.
However, due to the changed head shape, you may have to pay considerable veterinary costs. The biggest problems are often the teeth and the ears.
Due to the low weight and the small size, dwarf rams are usually frugal when it comes to spending money on food.
Where should you buy a dwarf ram?
It is very common to find mixed breeds of different breeds in pet stores.
Mixed breeds are usually still considered healthier, but they are not. In addition, it is often impossible to estimate which size and which ear length the young animals will reach later.
It is therefore better to either buy directly from a breeder or to take adult rabbits from the animal shelter.
The latter are usually already socialized and neutered, so that for you a lower burden and less effort arise.
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