Belier rabbit-appearance, character, care

Small, affectionate and intelligent… The belier rabbit is also characterized by its drooping ears and its beauty. 

One of the main virtues of the belier rabbit is its tranquillity. It is a very affectionate and friendly animal, which is why it is increasingly chosen as a pet.  He loves being around people who pamper them; it is meek, tender and sweet. It is usually quite scary.

Characteristics of the Belier rabbit

When talking about the  characteristics of the belier rabbit we  have to clarify that there are variants of the breed. We can distinguish between the English belier, the German belier, the French belier and the Dutch belier or lop and within this last variety we find the dwarf belier  (2-3 kg of weight) and the  miniature belier  (maximum 1.5 kg).

We will talk about the characteristics of lop-eared rabbits, differentiating the particularities of the main varieties of belier rabbits that exist. According to its morphological characteristics we can distinguish between:

  • French Belier Rabbit: The French Belier is, of course, originally from France. This is a breed of great weight, varying between 4.5 and 6.5 kg. Their ears are large, with a wingspan of between 38 and 45 cm, although generally this is 42 cm. These rabbits were initially wild, but little by little they were domesticated by humans. The French Belier rabbit is a broad-bodied, robust rabbit with firm muscles and strong bones. Its characteristic  drooping ears reach the level of the cheeks, although in size they are smaller than that of the English Belier.
  • Belier English Rabbit: It is originally from England. It is a medium-sized breed that is characterized by its excessively large ears compared to the size of the body. Their ears are around 55-64 cm while their weight varies between 3.5 and 5.5 kg. They have long ears, so they must be scrupulously cared for. It must also have short nails to avoid scratching its ears.
  • Dutch Belier Rabbit: it is a mutation between the Dutch Dwarf rabbit, the French Belier and the English Belier. This rabbit has a short neck and thick but short legs. It has a thick and soft coat. Its weight ranges between 1.5 and 2 kilos. It is the smallest Belier rabbit.
  • German Belier Rabbit: This little rabbit is originally from Germany. Its weight varies between 2.6 and 3.5 kg. The German Belier rabbit has a broad, flattened head. In addition to the drooping ears, it has another characteristic that makes it unique among Belier rabbits, and that is that it has a kind of crown on its head just where its two ears meet. It has a long coat.

How to know if your rabbit is Belier?

One of the characteristics common to all varieties of the Belier breed are  long, drooping ears. In addition, its body is covered in soft fur that you will love to caress. The color of the same varies, being able to find cinnamon, white, grey and brown specimens, or with a mixture of them.

The Belier rabbit has a voluminous and wide head that stands out for its long ears that descend on both sides, these at the beginning of its life are erect and little by little they fall as it grows.

The females, in addition to being slightly smaller, have a non-existent dewlap in the case of the males.

Care and feeding of rabbits

Before we said that Belier rabbits are very delicate animals, so we must pay special attention to them, mainly to their diet. Their diet up to four months should be only hay and small special supplements advised by the veterinarian.

Little by little (and in a controlled way) we will introduce new foods into your diet, mainly vegetables. Be very careful with industrial food, which although it is a complement, should not be used in excess.

The water of course is essential, always fresh and clean, it must be available at all hours of the day. The ideal are the bottle-type drinkers, so that it does not come into contact with the water more than necessary.

You also have to pay attention to their cage. They are very restless animals, so they need large cages to be able to move freely.

To finish talking about the care of a belier rabbit, we want to influence the care of its ears and ears, because as we have already indicated, they are very delicate.

If you detect that your rabbit scratches one or both ears a lot, that it shakes its head more than normal or always to one side and if you see that his wax darkens or there is a lot of accumulation, then you will be observing several of the symptoms of otitis in rabbits.

If you detect it, you will have to take your bunny to the vet to confirm the diagnosis and offer you the best treatment.

How long does a Belier rabbit live?

The Belier rabbit usually lives an average of between 8 or 10 years although the life expectancy of a  rabbit is an issue that will depend on some factors such as diet, care or the absence of diseases.

How many offspring can a Belier breed rabbit have?

The reproduction of this type of rabbits is very simple. A doe can give birth to up to 25 young a year in several deliveries, each birth being multiple. It is not recommended that females mate after 4 years, and better if it is after 6 months

Historical Aspects

There are two theories regarding the emergence of this breed. One indicates that they are descendants of rabbits from the Flanders area; the other affirms that they are of French origin. In any case, it seems that the first crosses occurred in England and then moved to Holland.

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