Category Archives: Mini Rex

Astrex Update – Who Wants One?!

We’ve had three litters of Astrex born around here! They’re pretty cute. I wouldn’t say they’re healthier or sicker than the average litter – so my non-scientific understanding of how the Astrex gene works and whether it’s an indicator of any healthy issues in inconclusive.

 

Two of the litters have had kits with eye issues, however. My current theory is the eye is irritated by a curly hair hitting the lens. Again, can’t prove it so I don’t know whether to believe this or not without more litters to research.

 

They are very cute, however! Here are the most recent pictures:

 

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The Originals (Inca x Bushy DOB 4/29/13)
Left to Right: Grommet (B), KickFlip (B), Zulu (D)

 

Butterscotch x Bushy DOB 6/13/13 Left to Right: Who (B), What (B), Where (D), Why (D), When (D)

Butterscotch x Bushy DOB 6/13/13
Left to Right: Who (B), What (B), Where (D), Why (D), When (D)

 

 

Inca x Bushy DOB 6/26/13 Left to Right: Narabeen (D), Crankin' (B), Gidget (D), Boogie (B)

Inca x Bushy DOB 6/26/13
Left to Right: Narabeen (D), Crankin’ (B), Gidget (D), Boogie (B)

 

I’m hoping to get these guys out to other people who want to raise Astrex. There’s a wonderful family that will be doing a driving vacation of the US in August. I’m hoping interested people will be able to utilize his services to transport some bunnies their direction!

 

Escapee!

This is Grommet, one of our Astrex mini Rex:

Grommet, our Astrex mini Rex baby buck.

Grommet, our Astrex mini Rex baby buck.

And this morning when I went outside to take care of the rabbits I saw a black and white blur that scared the *ahem* out of me.

 

Grommet was loose.

 

It’s unclear how Grommet got out of his cage but my gut instinct points to our number 2 child who is just tall enough to unlatch the cage… and not quite tall enough to be certain it’s securely locked again. But regardless of who was to blame, there was no doubt we had a problem and that problem was small, speedy, and nimble.

 

Our rabbitry is set up outside in hutches that look like lean-to’s. There are three sides that go down to the ground. We’re also fortunate to have several pine trees the hutches nestle against. We keep our carrying cages in the rabbitry area, which is enclosed by chain link fencing that keeps the dogs out and the rabbit fairly undisturbed.

 

What all this adds up to is a rabbit on the loose with several places to hide.

 

The girls and I tracked that rabbit across the rabbitry for the better part of an hour, with no luck. We ended up laughing quite a bit because all of us would jump and scream whenever the rabbit made a break for it.

 

It was a mighty battle, ended when the poor, tiny rabbit high centered itself on one of the concrete blocks supporting the hutches. Quick like a bunny (ha!) i was able to snatch it up, brush it off, and return it to its mother, no worse for the wear.

 

Lesson learned from this whole debacle? DON’T LET THEM OUT! And, if you do… drink about six Mountain Dews so you can speed your reflexes up. You’ll still be too slow for the loose rabbit, but sometimes the secret’s in the surprise!

 

Wishing you the best in all your rabbit-catching endeavors…

 

Astrex

I am probably getting in way over my head here, but it looks like we may have a new pet project.

Astrex mini Rex, 19 days old

Astrex mini Rex, 19 days old

Astrex Mini Rex, 19 Days Old

Astrex Mini Rex, 19 Days Old

Our very first litter of mini Rex was born 19 days ago to a first-time mom, Inca and first-time dad, Bushy. They’re both broken, so the resulting litter is 100% broken coloring with many charlies as well. As they’ve developed they’ve caught my attention because their hair seemed to be… peculiar. But it’s our first purebred Rex litter so I wasn’t sure what I was seeing wasn’t… normal.

Astrex mini Rex litter, 10 days old

Astrex mini Rex litter, 10 days old

10 Days Old

Astrex Mini Rex litter, 19 Days Old

Astrex Mini Rex litter, 19 Days Old

19 Days Old

It appears this litter has gotten a full helping of the very rare Astrex gene. This fur type is not recognized by ARBA, so breeders of show rabbits who find it in their nest boxes typically cull. Also, the curl may not stick around through the baby fur and will molt out to normal… the parents of this litter are completely normal in their mini Rex fur, not a curl to be seen!

I’ve been scouring the internet for information and have discovered a few people who are breeding specifically for this trait. It can be found in several breeds besides Rex and mini Rex, also in Harlequin and New Zealand. I’m trying to learn more, so if you, or anyone you know, has found curly coated rabbits in their nestboxes, please let me know! I’ve also created a Facebook page to further discussion on this topic.

 

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Links to the other pages I’ve discovered talking about Astrex:

Astrex, Curly Coated Rabbits on Facebook

Duman’s Ark (Great Photos!)

Astrex Rabbits Curly Wavy Bunnies

Astrex Rabbits

American Astrex Rabbit Breed Club

Add. Definitely.

The last question was “To Add or Not To Add?” and the answer for us today is: “Add. Definitely.”

 

We’ve just brought Dexter and Kenya home with us and I can’t deny it, I love these mini Rex! As an added bonus, Kenya is pregnant, so we should have some more little Rex monsters running around here in about two weeks!

 

So, meet our new rabbits:

Dexter, chocolate otter buck

Dexter, chocolate otter buck

Kenya, chocolate doe.

Kenya, chocolate doe.

 

Dexter has an amazing red sheen to his coat, so I’m looking forward to what he creates with Butterscotch.

 

If all goes well around here, we should have a number of new rabbits available for the spring!

To Add or Not To Add

Durango, buck, chocolate otter.

Durango, buck, chocolate otter.

The big question around here the last few days is whether we will be adding to our mini Rex herd.

 

A few months ago I fell head over heels in love with a chocolate otter buck named Dexter. The sight of him literally stopped me in my tracks! I hadn’t realized I loved chocolate otters until then, and once I saw it the first time, I was hooked.

 

Otters are distinctive because they have a lighter color on the inside of the ears, on nose, around the eyes and running along each side of the tummy.

 

After falling in love with Dexter we decided to pursue standard Rex’s with the hope of getting chocolate otters, and right now we have Durango growing up so when we breed him we will have our own standard Rex chocolate otters running around here!

 

Yesterday, however, Dexter’s owner contacted me and asked if we’d like to have him hang out with us. (She’s narrowing her focus to different colors.)

 

We need another mini Rex about as much as a punch to the gut, but this is Dexter we’re talking about! We’ve been going back and forth over cage space, long term plans, and such… and right now we’re leaning toward bringing Dexter home with us.

 

Oh! The rabbit madness!

 

Preparing Your Hutch for Winter

Now that winter is upon us, we take a few different precautions winterizing our rabbits. Rabbits thrive in cold weather, but it still makes sense to make sure you don’t wake up one morning after a frigid night and discover your livestock frozen solid!

Our hutch is a double-decker, lean-to style. The sides are made of T11 insulating material with corrugated fiberglass interiors. We’ve attached a heavy tarp to the front of the hutch that can be dropped down in driving rain, super snow, or during our terribly windy spring days.

We also give each of our rabbits a box stuffed with hay for the below-freezing weather.

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Meet the Mini Rex!

Well, we went a’rabbit huntin’ this weekend. We intended to come home with a Silver Marten buck but due to several circumstances, including our very spoiled daughters, we ended up with Min Rex rabbits!

 

We now have two does, two bucks who were born in August 2012. Almost got all of them in one picture, but Snowy was too quick for my camera!

 

Butterscotch, Bushy, and Maverick one their first day at Mad Hatter Rabbits.