The Warwickz Farm Rabbitry is a tour highlight from the gentle Flemish Giants to the tiny Netherland Dwarfs and the rare Enderby Island rabbit. The day we brought Xavier the Enderby Island buck rabbit home to join our menagerie of rare breed beasties we had no idea that within a year we would be running a Bunny Hotel for over 20 rabbits across 5 breeds.
Managing a rabbitry of this size takes a sizeable investment of time, let alone expense but the rewards are well worth it. To have a tiny bundle of fur snuggle against you and then to watch it and your relationship with it mature into a loving trusting partnership is something to cherish.
Our rabbits range from the worlds smallest, the Netherland Dwarf, to the largest, the Flemish Giant, to one of the worlds rarest, the Enderby Island rabbit, to the Rex the most velvety and the Mini Lop with the cutest floppiest ears.
The origin of the Netherland Dwarf is reputed to be the result of an accidental mating between a Polish rabbit with a small wild rabbit in the Netherlands.
These small light weight rabbits with their tiny ears come in 25 different colours and are cheeky and inquisitive and though cute and cuddly are more highly strung than their larger cousins.
Having said that Bonnie our beautiful doe has been trained to be very calm and easy to handle.
These gentle giants originated in Flanders hundreds of years ago (Flanders was a region overlapping modern Belgium, France and the Netherlands) and generally between weigh 13 to 21 pounds. Compare that to the little guys above who weigh between 1 to 3 pounds.
Flemish Giants are quite calm, very affectionate and enjoy attention, making them wonderful house and yard pets and great with children.
Rex and Mini Rex
The term Rex is associated with Kings and it was King Albert of Belgium who propagated this species of velvety rabbit that is a favourite of the fur trade. Weighing 8 to 9 pound this short furred rabbit has a good nature and enjoys a cuddle.
The Mini version is a result of crossing a standard Rex with a Netherland Dwarf and makes an excellent pet due to its smaller size (4 to 4.5 pounds) and its sweet nature.
Our Mini Rex Cadbury has luxurious chocolate velvet fur that changes colour tones depending in the direction it is stroked.
A miniature version of the lop eared rabbit the Mini Lop weighs 3.5 pounds and is a total delight. One of the easiest rabbits to handle they have personality plus and just want to please, craving attention and cuddles.
With their wide faces, big floppy ears and compact bodies they make ideal companions and come in a large variety of colours, many exhibiting butterfly noses.
Our Mini Lops are so laid back they happily lay prostrate on their backs in our open palms to the delight of our visitors.
These astonishing rabbits survived in sub Antarctic conditions on Enderby Island where they were released to provide food for shipwrecked sailors lost in the deep southern ocean.
After nearly 100 years of adaption to this most harsh of habitats they were deemed to be having a detrimental affect on the fragile ecosystems of Enderby Island and the Department of Conservation earmarked this most unusual breed for eradication in 1992
Fortunately the Rare Breeds people were alerted to the situation and mounted a rescue operation in association with the New Zealand Dept of Conservation and managed to capture 49 Enderbys from four different locations and have since been slowly but surely saving these beautiful creatures from extinction.
There are close to 300 Enderby rabbits now in the world with concerted breeding programmes continuing predominantly in New Zealand but in recent years also in the USA.
Warwickz Farm has decided to get involved and we adopted Xavier, a buck who we hope to have a mate for in the not too distant future. This finely featured fellow has now grown a full cover of the characteristic silver fur and is a Farm favourite.
For more information on this wonderful breed see www.rarebreeds.co.nz
Interesting Rabbit Facts
If it was possible for one single rabbit to breed as often as it was able and give birth to the maximum number of young and to have each of them do the same thing and all survive, in approximately 3 years that one rabbit would have been responsible for 33 million offspring
Rabbits are not rodents, they are lagomorphs.
The gestation period for a rabbit averages 31 days.
A rabbits teeth never stop growing.
Rabbits can be litter trained
A pet rabbit can live as long as 10 years
Domesticated rabbits are born without fur
Rabbits cannot vomit
A 4 pound rabbit will drink as much water as a 20 pound dog
Rabbits can jump 36″ and higher
Predators can literally scare a rabbit to death
The only place a rabbit sweats is through the pads on its feet.