After caring for a rex rabbit for several months, I developed a love and fascination for the breed. I learned that a local pet store was seeking breeders for red-eyed white, or REW, rabbits. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to enter the fascinating world of rabbit breeding. Like any form of breeding, rabbit breeding is both a science and an art. It involves close, direct interaction with living, breathing animals– and it requires a degree of research, space, financial investment and emotional attachment.
I consulted an experienced breeder at length before breeding mini-rex rabbits, and I purchased three pedigreed, red-eyed white mini-rex bunnies to begin my journey. Here are some expert tips from the experienced rabbit breeder about choosing a breeding pair of REW mini-rex rabbits.
If you want to breed red-eyed white, or albino, rabbits, you need to start by choosing two to three pedigreed rabbits. Most breeders recommend that you buy two red-eyed white does and one unrelated buck. Check the rabbits’ pedigrees; make sure that they have only REW mini-rex rabbits in their ancestry for the past three generations.
Although experienced breeders can cross REW mini-rex rabbits with other colors, this is not recommended for first-timers. Two REW parents will always have albino kits. If you cross parents of different colors, your kits may turn out with unpredictable and undesirable patterns.
Select parents who are young– preferably about 9 weeks old. This is the perfect age to begin bonding with a rabbit who you will have for a long time, but the kit is at this point old enough to leave his mother and siblings without complication. Note that it will be a few more months before the breeding pair will be old enough to mate.
Understand that you are adopting a pet, not just a “breeder.” Your first breeding pair is likely to stay with you for several years. Choose rabbits who are loving, affectionate, human-friendly and not prone to aggressive behavior. They should be healthy and vivacious, not sulky or unfriendly.
Choose a breeding pair that exemplifies the traits associated with the breed. Mini-rex rabbits should be small and compact, with a plush, velvet-like fur coat. A REW or albino rabbit should have no pigment on its fur; its eyes should be pink to deep red in color. A show-quality mini-rx has has a square body of equal height, length and shoulder width.
Look at a parents of your soon-to-be breeding pair. The parents should have both weighed less than 4.5 pounds as adults, and they should also exemplify the breed standard. Neither of the parents should have a history of destructive, anxious or neurotic behavior. Make sure that the mother was a “good” rabbit mom; bad parenting behavior can be inherited in rabbits.
After selecting your first breeding pair of REW mini-rex rabbits, it’s time to take your new pets home. Be sure that you have the proper time, space and money necessary to accommodate the pair. When all of the ideal conditions are met, it’s time to start breeding them.