Harlequin Rabbit-appearance, character, care

In Petlifey you will find an infinity of articles that will help you discover new species and breeds of rabbits. On this occasion, we will talk about a very special bunny, the harlequin rabbit.

The harlequin rabbit owes its name to a very particular characteristic, do you know which one?

Physical characteristics of the Harlequin rabbit

The harlequin rabbit usually weighs between 2.7 and 3.6 kg once they reach adulthood. It should be noted that males are normally smaller than females.

It is a compact rabbit, with muscular legs that provide it with great physical power.

The coat is soft and short, its main color is white accompanied by spots of colors such as black, chocolate or even blue, from which its name comes. The harlequin rabbit has a  short coat, of great shine and silkiness. This hair is straight and covers the entire body evenly.

Character of this type of rabbit

If the harlequin rabbits became popular for something, apart from their peculiar appearance, it is because of their benevolent and collaborative character. They are very nice bunnies who exude affection and pacifism.

These little animals are very peaceful and calm so they can be easily tamed. However, it is not a good idea to keep them in a home where there are dogs or cats, as they are easily scared. In case you want to give them a companion, ideally it is another rabbit of the same breed.

They are highly intelligent and curious lagomorphs, so if you dedicate enough time and attention to them, you can teach them tricks, and you can even train them to come to you when you call them by name. Like a cat, the harlequin can learn to use its corner or litter box, so if you teach it they will be very neat animals.

Harlequin rabbit feeding

What do rabbits eat?  Despite the image that we are used to seeing in cartoons, the key to feeding rabbits is hay. In addition, you must always have water at your disposal to stay properly hydrated.

Care to give to this breed of rabbits

Harlequin rabbit care does not differ from the general care that any rabbit should receive. For example, regular brushing of their fur is recommended, while bathing them is not recommended .

On the other hand, the harlequin rabbit must have a suitable house. If we opt for a cage, it must be wide, allowing the mobility of the animal. This cage must have a bed, have inside access to the trough and feeder and have toys for rabbits. Harlequin rabbits need a large cage, at least 60 cm wide, 90 cm long and 50 cm high, but the bigger the better.

The harlequin rabbit’s care also includes being able to enjoy freedom of movement. Therefore, a large cage is not enough, the animal needs to get out of it to exercise, play, run and jump. Therefore, whenever possible and safe, it is advisable to allow the rabbit to move freely around the home. Likewise, enabling a room just for them is more than recommended.

Harlequin rabbit health

The harlequin rabbit, like any other domestic rabbit, can suffer from a number of diseases that cause discomfort and / or pain. One of them are the aforementioned alterations due to the continuous growth of your teeth.

In addition to their teeth, we must keep their eyes, nails and ears in good condition and under supervision. We will have to regularly clean its ears, make nail cuts and watch that its eyes are not red, swollen or watery.

If the harlequin rabbit receives all the care it needs, its life expectancy ranges between 6 and 8 years.

It is important that you take them to your exotics vet at least 2 times a year for the purpose of a general health check in addition to the corresponding vaccinations and deworming.

Harlequin rabbit reproduction

No breed of rabbit requires as much attention to breeding as the harlequin.

Do not force them to reproduce, female harlequin rabbits can get nervous and run away from the male or even injure him.

It is also not advisable to force the male harlequin as an unsatisfactory sexual act could cause the rabbit to become what breeders call a “shy rabbit” and never want to try to reproduce again.

Origin of this breed of rabbits

The origin of the harlequin rabbit is in France  and, although the year of its appearance is not exactly known, it is suspected that it was during the 1880s. This breed of rabbit arose as a result of the crossing between wild rabbits and semi-wild Dutch rabbits. Already in 1887 the first official exhibition of the breed was held in France, specifically in Paris, becoming popular until it reached England and, in 1920, the United States.

As a curious fact regarding the history of the harlequin rabbit, we can say that before the First World War it was called the Japanese rabbit, but its name changed to the harlequin rabbit after the Second World War.

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