Mini rex are one of the most popular rabbit breeds, and it’s not hard to see why. These small, compact rabbits have thick fur coats that come in a rainbow of rich colors. The best feature of these little rabbits is their super-soft rex fur, which is composed almost entirely of plushy undercoat.
History, Temperament, and Common Uses:
The gene that causes the rex fur type was first discovered in France around 1900. Soon rex rabbits were being bred all over the world. In 1929 the ARBA recognized the rex breed, which is about 9 pounds. Soon people were breeding for smaller rabbits with the wonderful rex fur. European breeders used Netherland dwarfs to create a dwarf rex. In 1984 dwarf rex were brought to the United States. A breeder by the name of Monna Berryhill acquired a pair of these dwarf rex and began working on developing the mini rex we have today. Mini rex were officially recognized by the ARBA in 1988, and have rapidly become one of the most popular rabbits.
Mini rex are usually calm, friendly, and curious. This, along with their small size, makes them ideal for those just starting out in rabbits. Some lines have better temperaments than others, so it is a good idea to research a breeder’s rabbits before buying them.
Mini rex are great show rabbits. They come in almost every color variety, and are competitive in anything from 4-H to the ARBA Convention. They are quite numerous at local shows, and finding good show stock shouldn’t be too hard.
Mini rex are also wonderful pets. They have great personalities, are usually “people rabbits,” and are small enough for most houses or hutches. They enjoy daily interaction with their owners.
Grooming, Care, and Additional Notes:
Mini rex should not be brushed too much, as this damages the texture of their coat. You can give them a quick grooming by going over their body with slightly damp hands or soft cloth. This will remove static and any loose hairs in their fur. When mini rex are molting they will need more grooming to help remove the shedding fur. Gently use a slicker brush to pick up the old, dead fur.
Mini rex have curly whiskers around their mouth and nose, and on their cheeks and eyebrows. These should be checked regularly to make sure the whiskers are not growing into the rabbit’s eyes or nose. Trim any that are getting too long.
Mini rex often have less fur on their feet than breeds with normal fur. It is okay if your rabbit gets callused feet, but make sure the paws do not get sores on them. Many mini rex breeders give their rabbits plastic resting mats made for rabbit cages. The rabbits can sit on these if they want to, and it helps prevent the feet from developing sores.
Mini Rex At A Glance…
Black, blue, blue-eyed white, broken group (broken and tri-color shown together), castor, chinchilla, chocolate, Himalayan (black, blue), lilac, lynx, opal, otter (black, blue, chocolate, lilac), red, sable point, seal, silver marten (black, blue, chocolate, lilac), smoke pearl, tortoise, and white (red-eyed white).
ARBA Body Type:
3 to 4 1/2 pounds
Important Things to Look for When Buying Show Stock:
For showing, the most important part of a mini rex is type, which has 45 out of 100 points in the standard. Next comes fur, with 35 points. After fur comes color and condition. All are important aspects of these little rabbits.
Mini rex should look compact and rounded. The ideal shape of a posed mini rex is a half-sphere. There should be good width through the shoulders, midsection, and hindquarters. From above there should be a slight taper from the hindquarters to the shoulders, with the widest part being the hindquarters. In balance with the width of body there should be good depth, with the topline rising in a smooth curve from just behind the ears to the highest point over the hips. From the high point the topline should curve down smoothly over the hindquarters to the tail. Mini rex should be smooth and firm, with no protruding bones or excessive fat.
Look for shoulders that are firm and wide. They should blend smoothly into the midsection when viewed from the side or above.
The midsection should be firm and with good width. It should not be too long, ruining the half-sphere shape of a good mini rex. The midsection should be slightly wider and deeper than the shoulders, blending smoothly into the hindquarters.
Mini rex should have nice firm hindquarters that are well-filled and rounded. They should be wide, deep, and full over the hips and into the lower hindquarters. The hindquarters should be the widest and deepest part of the mini rex, and should be in balance with the rest of the rabbit.
Look for a head that is balanced with the rest of the rabbit, with full cheeks and muzzle. The head may be slightly trimmer in does. The ears should be in balance with the rest of the body, and should be thick and short. Mini rex should hold their ears erect and close together. The eyes should be round, bold, and bright. Does may have a small dewlap.
Mini rex should have straight, short legs with medium or fine bone.
Look for a straight tail that is in balance with the rest of the rabbit.
Mini rex are known for their wonderful fur! It should be short, thick, and springy, with good luster. It should stand upright, and be very smooth and even in appearance. When touched there should be good, plushy resistance. The fur should be composed of undercoat and guard hairs. The guard hairs should not protrude out of the coat, and should be plentiful enough to give the coat good texture.
Things to Avoid:
A long, narrow looking mini rex. Rabbits lacking balance of width and depth of body. Rabbits that feel rough over the spine or hip bones. Low, narrow, or flat shoulders. Shoulders or midsection that is too wide. Midsection that is too long or narrow. Hindquarters with hollows at the hips, or undercut hindquarters. Very low shoulders and extremely long, racy type are a disqualification. Topline that has flat spots, topline that peaks before or after the hips. Mini rex that lack a slight taper from the shoulders to slightly wider hindquarters.
Mini rex shouldn’t have a head so broad that they look like Netherland dwarfs. The head should not be long or narrow. Ears with thin fur or flesh are a fault. Ears over 3 1/2 inches is a disqualification.
Long legs and feet lacking a covering of fur are faults.
Thin fur, uneven fur, coat that is too soft, harsh, cottony, or silky. Fur that looks dull. Fur lacking a springy feel when touched. Many protruding guard hairs. Fur longer than 7/8 inch or shorter than 1/2 is a disqualification. Coat lacking typical look of mini rex fur is a disqualification.