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Common Name:
Jersey Wooly
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Common Name:  Jersey Wooly

Other Common Names:  Wooly

Scientific Name:  Oryctologus cuniculus  (Full Taxonomy)

Group:  

Origin or Range:  New Jersey, United States

Relative Size:  Much Smaller Than Average  
    (as compared to other rabbits)

Average Lifespan:  ??? year(s)

Compatibility:  Non-Aggressive   
    (as compared to other rabbits)

Category:  Mammals » Rabbits
Animal Description: Breed Standard

Since its introduction in 1984 the Jersey Wooly, has become a popular rabbit to have as a pet and a show animal as well.

In 1984, a woman named Bonnie Seeley introduced the first Jersey Wooly at a show hosted by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Since then, it has become quite popular as both a pet and as a show rabbit. After some initial struggle to get this rabbit recognized by the ARBA, it is now an extremely popular breed, one with over 700 people breeding and showing them all over the United States. It is a small rabbit, one that is exceptionally easy to care for, and also one with a calm, docile temperament that will make it a pleasure to have in your home. They generally require four ounces of pellet food a day, although a supplement to help keep its fur clean might be a good idea as well. The great thing about the Jersey Wooly is that it's such a calm little rabbit - it is perfect for children interested in rabbits, and possible beginners in the show circuit - it is an easy rabbit to maintain so it is a great breed to start out with. The only difficulty you may have is that their coats require regular grooming. Though their coats are relatively easy to care for. It is important to keep them brushed enough to prevent tangling and matting. Young rabbits will usually need to be groomed more often than older rabbits. As they get older, their coat will fill out more and be far easier to maintain. Mature adults generally only require grooming once a month.

The Jersey Wooly is a small rabbit and should never exceed more than three pounds. They remain diminutive in size for their whole lives. They have compact little bodies with a thick wool coat that will grow out to be more than two inches thick. They have short little ears. They are accepted in a wide range of colors and patterns including tan, agouti, self, shaded, and white with black or blue nose and have wooly, short fur. Though other colors are available, these are the only ones recognized by the ARBA.

The Jersey Wooly, interestingly enough, was brought to a rabbit show as a joke. It took years for the American Rabbit Breeders Association to recognize this rabbit as a breed, and it has since surged in popularity, having over 700 members breeding it now worldwide. It was finally recognized in 1988.

Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Relatively Difficult

Your Jersey Wooly will require a minimum of care to keep happy. Make sure you feed it at least four ounces of pellet food a day, with some supplements to help keep its fur healthy. Babies and their mothers need to be kept in large cages, measuring around 24 by 30. After that, they can be kept in 24-inch square cages, and that should be enough room for them.

Grooming is, of course, the hard part. You'll want to use a variety of tools to keep your rabbit's coat healthy. Use a blow dryer to get any dirt or debris off the rabbit, then comb it down using a slicker brush. This should keep the rabbit's coat healthy and acceptable for show purposes. This process should only take about 10 minutes or so, and as the rabbit becomes an adult, you should only need to do it once a month. If you are grooming for show purposes, you may wish to consult an expert before attempting to enter the rabbit into a show.

Breeding and Propagation: Relative Breeding Ease: Relatively Difficult

Breeding ease of the Jersey Wooly is relatively difficult. It is best to clip the fur away from the genital area before breeding to insure that contact is made. They tend to have small litters (two to four babies), but they are usually good mothers. This breed relies on the dwarfing gene to stay small, but if a baby inherits two dwarfing genes it is lethal. If it inherits two non-dwarfing genes, it will be too big to show and is called a "Big Ugly." Big Ugly Does (BUDs) are excellent for breeding as they usually have larger litters and make great mothers. Big Ugly Bucks (BUBs) make excellent pets but shouldn't be used for breeding or show. If a baby inherits one dwarfing gene and one non-dwarfing gene, it will be the proper size for showing. When breeding Jersey Wooly Rabbits, it is best to stay with colors within the color group in order to ensure that you can reasonably predict the colors of the offspring.

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Friday, 31 October 2014