The Brown Dutch rabbit is one of the oldest breeds in existence, tracing back to before the 16th century. Unlike many other rabbit breeds, there are no records as to how or where it was developed.
It isn’t even known if it is a true breed or merely an albino mutation of another larger breed. However, this much is known: the Dutch have been perfecting this breed for over 500 years.
A deep, rich brown color is one of the hallmarks of the Brown Dutch breed. The ideal depth of this color is stated in the standard as being a “deep mahogany” but most rabbits achieve a nice shade of orange-brown.
The fur itself is dense and plush, lying close to the body. The stomach may have a slightly lighter shade of brown than the rest of the rabbit.
Brown Dutch Rabbit Characteristics
The Brown Dutch is rather short and compact. The ideal height at the withers (the highest point of the shoulders) for do is 9-1/2 inches; stags (males) must be 10 inches or more. They weigh between 6 lbs, 12 ozs to 9 lbs, 5 ozs.
A strong back and shoulders are paired with somewhat short legs. The hind legs of the Brown Dutch are noticeably shorter than the front, giving the rabbit its compact build. The ears are short and wide, approximately 4 inches long.
There is a medium-sized head with a slightly dished profile. It should be noted that standard Brown Dutch have shorter faces than their American counterparts; this is especially apparent upon a comparison of the skulls. The eyes are large and round, never protruding beyond the fur line.
Origins of Brown Dutch Rabbit
The origins of the Brown Dutch rabbit are unknown, as is its development. It seems likely that it was developed from a larger breed (perhaps an English or French) and then selectively bred down to a smaller size.
As such, they aren’t fully domesticated and will tend to be skittish around people they don’t know, especially if they think they might be in danger.
Uses of Brown Dutch Rabbit
The Brown Dutch is a rabbit intended to be used as food. Not only does its meat taste delicious, but it is also considered to be one of the most well-marbled rabbits among those appropriate for eating, making for some truly succulent and tender meat.
Brown Dutch Rabbit Housing and Feeding & care
Your Brown Dutch rabbits are in a two-story cage, as they need to be able to jump from level to level. Any wire cage is suitable, but a rabbit hutch is best for use outside of the barn or basement where it will spend most of its time.
The bottom of the hutch should be lined with straw and/or hay, with fresh hay changed daily. A nesting box should be provided for does that are expected to raise young; it must be large enough for the rabbit to turn around in, but not much larger than this.
Your Brown Dutch rabbits have good quality pellets every day. Supplement their diet with hay and vegetables high in fiber, such as carrots or greens. Water must always be available to them, either by orienting the cage so that they have easy access to it or by placing a dish within the hutch.
If you are raising your fawns on bottle and plan on keeping the does, make sure their diet is supplemented with good quality pellets.
Health &care tips for Brown Dutch Rabbit
1. Give your rabbits a health check each month. Checking for sores, cuts, and signs of illness will help you to identify and treat problems as soon as possible.
2. Are there any new rabbits in your group? Be on the lookout for strange faces, as this could mean that an additional rabbit has been introduced without your knowledge. This can lead to illness and even death for the new bunny.
3. Maintain an appropriate diet for your rabbits! Keep their feed fresh, clean, and full of nutrients that they need to be healthy. Also, make sure they have access to grass or hay (the latter is especially important if you are raising them for meat).
4. Check with the breeder to make sure you are aware of any additional care requirements for your specific breed.
5. Clean the hutch regularly. Make this part of your monthly routine, as it will keep your rabbits healthy and comfortable!
6. Plan on having your rabbit’s cage checked by a veterinarian at least once per year (and more often if needed).
8. If you are purchasing a pet, make sure you are ready for this responsibility. Do some research about the needs of rabbits before buying one so that you know what to expect.
9. Newborn rabbits are blind and unable to move around, so the mother will keep them in a spot that she feels is safe.
10. When cleaning out the hutch, do not throw away the droppings from the nest box or the hay and straw used for bedding. These materials can be composted or used as fertilizer for your garden!
11. When you are ready to cook your meat, make sure it is marinated overnight (preferably in a mixture of olive oil, water, lemon juice, and salt). This will ensure the most tender and tasty meat.
The Brown Dutch rabbit is an excellent pet for families with children. This breed of rabbit is affectionate and gentle, making it a great choice if your family wants to introduce rabbits into their home.
If you are looking for the perfect bunny companion to share your living space, consider adopting a Brown Dutch Rabbit!