If you are looking for a small, calm, soft, and colorful rabbit, the Mini Rex rabbit breed might be right for you.
Mini Rex Rabbit – Is it the right breed for you?
Monna Berryhill developed the Mini Rex Rabbit in the early 1980s by breeding two undersized Rex Rabbits.
Mini Rex Characteristics
Mini Rex rabbits are small and compact, with rounded bodies. They have soft, velvet-like fur due to shortened hair shafts that are much denser than other breeds.
The Mini Rex rabbit is known for some of its unique characteristics. These characteristics make it a special and well-known breed.
Mini Rex Characteristics include:
- A wide variety of very interesting and beautiful colors and patterns
- Soft, velvet-like fur that is said to be hypoallergenic
- Average weight range is about 3 to 4.5 pounds
- Females tend to be a little more timid than males, while males tend to be more stubborn than females.
- They are small-bodied and compact, making them a good fit for children.
What is the Temperament of the Mini Rex?
The temperament of the Mini Rex rabbit is usually calm and friendly. However, in my experience, temperament does not depend on the breed as much as on the personality of the rabbit and the way the rabbit is handled.
Some Common Temperament Characteristics include:
- A well-handled Mini Rex is usually calm, and willing to be held and carried around by a trusted person.
- The personality of the Mini Rex can vary widely. Some are docile, some are timid, but calm and others are stubborn. However, open friendliness and curiosity are common, and make up for other faults.
- The noise levels of a rabbit in general are very low. Rabbits are not loud vocally. They usually communicate through low grunts and body posture. They also thump their back feet, which can be quite loud, to communicate frustration, fear, or during mating. Different types of housing can contribute to the noise the rabbit makes, especially if the rabbit is bored or in need of attention.
- Rabbits are loners by nature. Some people are under the misconception that rabbits are herd animals and need a full-time companion. In nature, however, rabbits generally live alone and only encounter other rabbits to mate and raise young. Therefore, you don’t need to keep more than one.
- Rabbits are also prey animals. In nature, they are at the bottom of the food chain. Therefore, it is in a rabbit’s instincts to fear anything bigger than itself. We need to be aware of this and take it into consideration when introducing ourselves and any other, larger pets to the rabbit. The rabbit has to learn that you aren’t going to eat them before it can trust you.
Caring for Mini Rex Rabbits
Minimal time is needed to care for the Mini Rex rabbit. It only takes a few minutes to provide them with fresh water and feed daily. Grooming, too, only requires a short amount of time.
It is advised to keep water available at all times. For food, about a cup or so a day of 16% protein rabbit pellets can be fed. If you would like to feed a more natural diet, a 10% fresh fruits and greens, 10% pellets, and 80% hay diet is recommended.
Mini Rex Rabbits do not require a lot of space. The minimum space required to keep a Mini Rex is a 24” by 24” enclosure. However, it is recommended that you allow for some roaming space to promote exercise. Mini Rex rabbits are very prone to obesity and need exercise to maintain a healthy body weight. Giving some exercise in a new area will also help prevent boredom that may lead to behavioral problems.
Predators are very real to rabbits. Rabbits are at the bottom of the food chain. Almost everything else eats them. Because of this, you need to make sure that whatever housing you use is secure against predators, especially if the rabbit is housed outdoors.
Extra care should be taken to ensure that no predator can enter the rabbit’s housing, and to prevent the rabbit from escaping. Rabbits can squeeze into very small spaces. Therefore, ensuring the rabbit can’t get out on its own is just as important as ensuring a predator can’t get in.
Various health issues can be a concern for your rabbit. Common issues such as sore hocks and ear mites are easy to treat and are not typically fatal.
The more fatal illnesses, such as coccidiosis and RHDV, are very hard to treat, and usually do not have high recovery rates.
Every rabbit owner should read up on all the common and not-so-common illnesses that can affect rabbits and how to treat each. Rabbits are more of a specialty animal, and it may be hard to find a vet in your area that will treat rabbits. Therefore, you need to be prepared to become your own vet in the case of an emergency.
How long do Mini Rex rabbits live?
The average lifespan of a Mini Rex rabbit is 5-10 years. This is based on how well the animal is cared for, and may also depend on whether the animal is housed indoors or outdoors.
The grooming needs of the Mini Rex are minimal. All that is needed is brushing and nail trimming every couple of weeks or as needed. To prevent damage to their fur, use a soft brush or use your hands, rubbing up and down along their backs. During the shedding season, a fan or hair dryer – set on cold – can be used to help blow away loose fur.
Selling Products from Mini Rex Rabbits
Mini Rex products that can be created and sold include:
- Dung droppings
Not much can be sold from the Mini Rex rabbit. Bred to be a pet or show animal, the only high-value product that they produce is their offspring. They could also produce soft pelts, but this industry is best suited to their parent breed, the Rex rabbit. This leaves us with the prospect of a third option: collecting and selling their dung.
Rabbit droppings can be sold in a couple of different ways. The first way is to simply collect the droppings, dry them, and then package them for selling to gardeners. Rabbit droppings are hard and round marble-like spheres. This makes them easy to deal with and doesn’t involve the same unpleasant mess as most other manures do.
It also breaks down rather quickly and is a cold fertilizer, meaning that it can be put down fresh in gardens and flower beds without burning the plants.
The second method of selling rabbit manure is by composting it before selling. Composted rabbit manure is easy to produce in a short amount of time. It also is packed with nutrients and has been known to fix poor soil in as little time as a year.
However, if you don’t have enough manure to sell, you can still use it around your own property and in your own garden and flower beds.
Buying and Selling Pet or Breeding Stock
The most valuable product that can be produced from the Mini Rex is offspring. Due to the breed’s small size and even temperament, they make good pets. They are especially well suited to children, since they are more easily handled and cared for. There is also a big show industry for the Mini Rex. The breed currently ranks as one of the most common show breeds.
Prices for the Mini Rex vary widely, depending on location. A more populated or well-known area may 1) have more demand and more availability and 2) may charge a higher price.
The use, color, and bloodline also determine the price. A pet quality rabbit that does not meet the show standard may be sold from as little as $15 to as much as $50.
A show rabbit, on the other hand, may go for $30 to well over $100, depending on the degree of quality and the bloodline. A rare or odd coloring, like the Tri-color or the Magpie, may also make the price of the rabbit go up.
In summary, it really depends on how much value each breeder puts on the rabbit(s) they are selling, and what the demand is for the Mini Rex in the area.
Pros and Cons of Raising or Owning Mini Rex Rabbits
To sum up, let’s go over the pros and cons of owning and/or raising Mini Rex rabbits.
- Mini Rexes are small and compact, making handling easy for children
- Mini Rexes generally have calm, laid-back temperaments, making them easy to work with
- Mini Rexes have soft, hypoallergenic coats that need little attention
- Mini Rexes come in a variety of colors
- Mini Rexes are small and don’t need as much room as a larger breed would
- Mini Rexes are relatively inexpensive and easy to find
- Good temperaments are not guaranteed
- Their small bodies are delicate, and they require gentle handling
- They love to chew – on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING
- Behavioral problems can appear if they become bored
- They have a tendency to overeat
- It can be difficult to obtain veterinary care for them
- They can be expensive in certain areas, especially if you want show quality
Mini Rex Rabbit FAQs
Below are some common questions about the Mini Rex breed.
What is the Mini Rex rabbit size?
They reach about 4.5 lbs. as adults.
What colors are Mini Rex rabbits?
The Mini Rex comes in so many different colors and patterns that it’s hard to imagine you would not be able to find a color or pattern that you love. From a beautiful solid black, blue, lilac, and opal to unusual patterns like cinnamon, magpie, and himalayan, this breed has some of the greatest variety in the rabbit world. If you decide to start breeding Mini Rex, definitely do your homework on the genetics of the colors to be sure that you’ll be breeding for what you really want.
What temperament does the Mini Rex have?
They are generally sweet, calm, and friendly, although some may exhibit a stubborn nature.
How much does the Mini Rex cost?
Anywhere from $15 to over $100, depending on your location and on the quality of the rabbit.
What grooming needs does the Mini Rex have?
Trim their nails every couple of weeks or as needed. Brush their fur every month or as needed.
Do you have to keep more than one rabbit for them to be happy?
No. Rabbits are loners by nature. You will provide enough company for your rabbit by spending time with them yourself.
Which gender tends to be friendlier?
Males tend to be the most friendly, but they also tend to be more stubborn. Females tend to be more timid and laid-back. However, there is no “one-fits-all.” Each rabbit will have a different temperament based on their personality.
Is the Mini Rex rabbit right for you?
With their soft fur, friendly personalities, and relatively calm natures, there is a lot to love about the Mini Rex rabbit.
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