Lionhead rabbits (also known as lionheads) are one of the most popular rabbit breeds due to their cute appearance.
However, due to their mane, they also come with some special features that you’d best know before you purchase them.
What are they?
Find out now in our detailed breed portrait of the really great lionhead rabbits.
- Size: 20 to 40 centimeters
- Weight: 1 to about 2 kilograms
- Color: light to dark, monochrome to multicolored
- Age: 8 to 10 years
- Character: alert, active, friendly, balanced with sufficient activity
- Keeping: in small groups
The character of lion head rabbits
The character of most lionhead rabbits is friendly, active and trusting – if they already know the respective person. Otherwise, they can act shy, defensive and even aggressive.
With sufficient habituation to humans and calm handling, they are even suitable for children.
However, they should be older and not want to constantly lift or pet the rabbits. Feeding and sitting on the lap lure, however, works briskly, so that even smaller, quiet children can help with the attitude.
With conspecifics, Lionhead rabbits are bright and agile. They play a lot with each other, if they are properly socialized and then also cuddle.
However, the animals should be neutered, otherwise there may be considerable rank fighting between the individuals and disputes over resources such as sleeping places, food and water.
Outdoor or indoor keeping for lionheads?
If you have a garden available where you can build a hutch and create an outdoor enclosure, keeping lionhead rabbits outside is entirely possible if they are appropriately accustomed to the weather.
However, you should make this dependent on the physical constitution of the animals.
How should you keep a lionhead rabbit?
Above all, sufficient space and conspecifics are important: At least two but better three rabbits can communicate with each other, groom each other and cuddle with each other.
They often play together, especially when young, and become very accustomed to the members of their group. However, the prerequisite for this is that they can move around sufficiently and keep themselves busy.
In addition, the animals should be neutered, otherwise lionhead rabbits tend to be aggressive.
Keeping several un-neutered rabbits can then lead to fights, some of which end in bloodshed. This applies to both sexes and also to opposite-sex groups living together. In this case, unwanted offspring can also result.
Since rabbits are sexually mature very early, this can already be the case within the first half year of life.
Therefore, be careful and have lionhead rabbits neutered at eight to twelve weeks of age at the latest. That being said, adequate space is important.
Plan at least two square meters of space for each of the animals. A standard cage will not suffice. The rabbits must be able to move as freely as possible. Since they are a very active breed, they also need daily free running, despite their small size.
Provide a secured room or an enclosure where the animals can run and jump without problems. Also, provide retreats and occupation.
The following list can help you keep track of purchases and equipment:
- Rabbit home with sufficient floor space
- Hay rack
- Nipple drinkers
- Sleeping houses
- Feeding games
- Enclosures or barriers
Occupation is very important for the lionhead rabbits. Therefore, in the next section, we will show you what to look for in this breed and what is suitable for variety and exercise.
Keep a lion head rabbit occupied
Lionhead rabbits are agile and active animals that need a lot of physical exercise.
In addition to a large floor space in the rabbit home or several interconnected floors, you can design the outdoor run so that the rabbits can run and hack a lot.
In addition, you can let them search for their food or work it out. Among other things, a feeding tree is well suited for this.
With small obstacles and leafy twigs or branches to gnaw on, intelligence toys and luring from you, the rabbits can be exercised and moved.
This has the distinct advantage with Lion Head rabbits that they become calmer and are more peaceful as well as compatible.
Color of Lion Head Rabbits
Lion head rabbits can be found in all color strokes. They can be light, dark, solid and multicolored. So on this point, you have a lot of choices. Brownish and silvery tones are widespread, as well as piebald.
It is noticeable that the mane of lionhead rabbits is often lighter than the rest of the coat. In addition, the undercoat can be a different color.
This creates interesting effects that can be mottled, for example.
The care of the lion head rabbit
The lionhead rabbit gets its name from the distribution of the longer hairs on the head.
These act like a mane that frames the face.
The long fur hairs are on the cheeks and between the ears. They extend down to the chest in some animals. In addition, there are also significantly longer hairs on the rump and buttocks.
This feature has a significant impact on grooming and any problem areas. This is because the fringes pick up dirt and bedding more quickly than short fur.
In addition, they can tangle and are more difficult to dry off if the rabbit has become damp or wet.
This creates several difficulties: For one, you’ll need to comb or brush the fur more often. This is because the mane prevents some animals from grooming and grooming themselves adequately. In addition, dirt gets caught in it more quickly.
When they groom themselves, they sometimes pick up a lot of hair. This in turn can lead to stomach overload or intestinal obstruction. You should therefore brush them thoroughly, especially during the coat change. This will loosen the loose hairs and dirt.
If knots have formed, you should cut them out. Brushing them out can cause pain and injuries.
Also make sure that the coat stays dry.
Damp bedding caused by a dripping nipple feeder or a lack of changing wood chips can cause the rabbit to become very dirty and hypothermic. The fur can stick together and become much more difficult to clean and dry.
Special features of the lionhead rabbit
When feeding, you should make sure that lionhead rabbits do not smear themselves with food. This can happen with green food, vegetables and fruit.
Therefore, it is best to offer the food on a feeding tree or in a food ball that can be hung up.
In this way, the animals can work out the food at the same time, have to stretch and are busy.
In lion head rabbits with a very long mane, the fur can not only interfere with eating. The hair can also fall into the eyes and irritate them or even cause inflammation. If this is the case with one of your animals, you will have to trim the hair.
Another peculiarity is that lionhead rabbits are very active. They are not considered to be very smart, but they appreciate contact with familiar people and like to spend time with them.
Therefore, if it is possible for you, you should include the animals in everyday life.
Cuddling on the couch, feeding in the kitchen or playing in the living room: If you have trained the lionhead rabbits to be house-trained and there are no dangers lurking within their reach, they can follow you around like a dog and move around very freely.
You just have to be careful that they don’t chew anything.
With plenty of roughage and twigs to gnaw on in the cage or their enclosure, you can prevent this.
Frequently asked question
How large are the litters of lionhead rabbits?
Litters can range in size from one to twelve kittens.
So even if your animals are to have offspring once, the number can already increase considerably with one litter. In addition, there are often not as many buyers for the rabbits as previously thought.
How much does a lionhead rabbit cost?
The purchase costs are between 30 and 50 dollars.
The price depends on where you buy the rabbits. In addition, regional differences can be found.
Also consider that there are veterinary costs, equipment and food. The purchase is the least of these.
Do lionhead rabbits have health problems?
Because of the long hairs, inflammations in the area of the eyes or the anus can occur.
Therefore, check your animals daily and clean them or shorten the hair if it creates problems.
Where should you buy lionhead rabbits?
Lionhead rabbits are often sold in pet stores.
However, you often can’t be sure if they are purebred lionhead rabbits or hybrids. For example, there are crosses of dwarf rams and lionheads, which are relatively easy to recognize.
Likewise, however, other breed components may be present, which may not yet be apparent in a young animal.
Young rabbits from the breeder or adult lionhead rabbits from the shelter are therefore often the better choice.
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