Marten rabbits are a rather unknown breed, but their character makes them ideal for families.
They are also the perfect “beginner rabbits”.
Why this is so and what you should know about the breed, you will learn in this detailed breed portrait.
Size: about 30 to 40 centimeters long
Weight: 2.5 to 3.25 kilograms
Age: five to twelve years
Color: white, brown or blue, dark stripe along the back
Character: calm, balanced, quickly trustful
Keeping: in small groups
The character of the marten rabbits
Marten rabbits are a calm and balanced breed. They quickly become trusting and tame.
But: Also with them you need a lot of patience.
Nevertheless, they are wonderfully suitable for beginners and even for children, as long as they are not harassed or frequently lifted up.
In addition, their calm nature presents a challenge: they do not show up early if they are sick or suffering from an injury.
You should therefore spend a lot of time with them every day to be able to assess the animals well and notice changes in behavior quickly.
If a rabbit suddenly becomes very quiet and hardly moves or reacts aggressively, these are warning signs in any case.
Also, be prepared to motivate your animals from time to time. Otherwise, they may tend to be overweight and lack muscle tone.
This shortens their lifespan, has a negative effect on their health and immune system, and affects their quality of life and behavior.
Therefore, make sure that your animals get variety and you let them work out their food, for example.
The keeping of the marten rabbits
The small rabbits need at least one and a half square meters per animal as area in their accommodation.
Most cages in the trade do not offer such freedom of movement.
This is especially true if you want to keep your rabbits species-appropriate as a pair or small group.
Therefore, in most cases it is better to build a rabbit home yourself or to choose one with several floors.
Alternatively, you can provide your animals with a cage and a small, secured outdoor enclosure. This will allow them to move around a lot more.
This prevents boredom and allows them to maintain a high level of vitality and quality of life.
It also gives you plenty of options to keep them busy and provides them with plenty of variety. These include obstacles and hurdles, branches with leaves or feeding games.
This way you don’t have to actively spend time with the animals and they are still entertained and can feed themselves in a species-appropriate way.
This is always useful, even if you give your rabbits additional free run and train with them.
Occupation for rabbits
Since rabbits are quiet but intelligent animals, you can motivate them with food. Lure them to you while teaching your rabbits their name or the command “here”.
Make them roll over or climb through obstacles.
This strengthens the bond between you and is fun for everyone.
If you use homemade treats for this, you can give them healthy food along the way and make them work for their food.
Small amounts are still suitable:
We have already mentioned other employment possibilities. But here we go into it again in a little more detail:
Intelligence toys and pushing games
Feed trees can be filled with vegetables cut into strips, rings or cubes.
Feed balls can be rolled by the rabbits and small treats or berries will fall out. Feed balls, on the other hand, you can hang up so the animals have to pluck the food out.
Intelligence toys or pushing games also provide independent activity. The animals have to figure out how to get to the treats. Sliders often have to be removed to allow the rabbits access to the treats.
Shapes woven from willow, such as balls, serve as treats themselves while sharpening teeth.
Coat colors of the marten rabbits
The breed name was given to the marten rabbits because of their fancy markings.
Thereby, the face is darker, except for a light cross. In addition, they have a broad, dark stripe on the back. This runs along the spine.
Common colors are brown and blue. The color strokes can be light or dark. In addition, there is the so-called Russian-colored tone, which is white rabbits.
Care of the marten rabbits
The fur of the marten rabbits is short and smooth as well as very dense.
This makes coat care easy: regular brushing and a check of the anal area and the genital area are usually quite sufficient.
Knots or adhesions only occur when the rabbits are sick, have parasites or unhygienic conditions prevail.
Also in old age it can happen that an animal can no longer clean and groom itself sufficiently independently.
In these cases, you will need to help and make sure that all areas of the body are clean and dry.
It may even be necessary to give your rabbit a (dry) bath to remove dirt.
Apart from this, you should check the whole body regularly and frequently.
Important here are especially, but not only:
Teeth and mouth
Also examine the skin and coat.
This will help you notice changes, parasites, diseases and injuries much faster. You should also weigh your rabbits regularly.
A significant increase or decrease in weight may also indicate a health problem.
Diet of the raccoon rabbits
In terms of diet, raccoon rabbits are no different from other breeds of rabbits. They need hay to be freely available at all times and should be fed mainly greens.
Additionally, you can feed vegetables and fruits as well as twigs.
Tiny amounts of seeds and grains can also be fed as concentrate.
Note that these should not be the main diet, but merely an extension of the diet.
Frequently asked questions
How much does a marten rabbit cost?
You should calculate with up to 50 dollars for the acquisition of the quite rare rabbit breed.
In addition, there are costs for the rabbit home, the equipment, bedding, food and veterinarian.
So you should consider that the purchase is the smallest part of the financial burden.
Where should you buy a marten rabbit?
Due to the rarity of the breed, you will hardly find raccoon rabbits in pet stores or shelters.
The better places to go are breeders who have their animals examined extensively before breeding and are reputable.
Here the animals are usually already trusting and tame, are used to controls and you can not only get young animals.
If a specimen is no longer bred due to age or lineage, it may also be available for sale.
But make sure that it is a marten rabbit or a small marten. Because there is also a larger variant of this breed.
What does the lifespan of the marten rabbit depend on?
As with all animals, it depends on various factors.
Among these are:
- Type of husbandry
- veterinary checks and care
Of course, you cannot change the genetic predisposition.
However, you have the greatest influence on all other points. Therefore, inform yourself comprehensively about the attitude, care and nutrition as well as the occupation of rabbits.
For whom are rabbits suitable?
For beginners as well as for advanced or even breeders.
Even children can be involved in the care, as long as they are supported and taught the proper way to handle the rabbits.
When do marten rabbits become sexually mature?
Like many other dwarf and small rabbits, marten rabbits often enter puberty at three to four months of age and are then capable of reproducing.
As they enter this new phase, their behavior often changes significantly.
The otherwise calm and balanced animals can become aggressive and fight among themselves. This in turn can lead to sometimes serious injuries.
Are raccoon rabbits also available in other sizes?
Yes, there is another variant, which is called large marten.
These animals are significantly larger and therefore heavier. So they need more space, but have the same character traits and coat colors.
How big are the litters of marten rabbits?
You have to count with three to twelve kittens per litter.
Therefore, have your rabbits neutered before there are unwanted offspring that you cannot place. Otherwise, a pair of rabbits can become a double-digit number of rabbits in a short time.
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