Besides our breeding of angora rabbits we have developed a strong affection for another rabbit breed with a very special coat: the Castor Rex rabbit. On December 17, our group consisting of one male and two female Castor Rex rabbits, gave birth to 7 sweet babies. In this article we would like to introduce the breed briefly.
History of the Castor Rex rabbit
As the original breed of all Rex rabbits, the Castor-Rexes are named in the breeding history of the Rex rabbits. Castor Rex means as much as “beaver king”. The main characteristic of all Rex rabbits is their short, velvety soft fur. Like many breeds, the Rex rabbits have been bred in France. Around 1920 the first Rex rabbits were created by a mutation. The breed originated rather unintentionally with a small farmer in France, who discovered the first Rex rabbits in a litter of slaughter rabbits. The fur of the rabbits was too short and felt different. Abbè Gillet, a priest became aware of the strange abnormality of the coat and tried to breed this characteristic mutation by crossbreeding. In the middle of the 1920s the Rex rabbits reached Germany and received many followers because of their fur. In the course of this the different colour variations developed bit by bit.
Breeding goals of Castor Rex rabbits
The breeding goal is to breed a medium sized rabbit with a velvety soft, short coat and to further improve the coat quality in terms of density and structure.
- Weight: minimum weight 2.5 kg, normal weight over 3.5 kg, maximum weight 4.5 kg
- Body shape: The body is slightly stretched. The front and rear parts should be evenly broad and balanced. The back line should be even and the rear part of the Castor Rex rabbit should be well rounded. The neck and nape of the neck are only slightly visible. The legs are straight, strong and of medium length. The flower is carried close fitting and upright. The doe is daintier than the buck, a small dewlap is permissible with the doe.
- Coat hair: Rexes have a very short coat. It is velvety soft and very dense. The hair is almost vertical and reaches a length on the middle of the back from 17- 20 mm. The coat has a slight tan, which is hardly noticed. The ears are well coated. The coat should remain curl free in the neck area.
- Head: The head appears only slightly elongated, the forehead and snouts are broad, the cheeks are very prominent.
- Ears: The ears are carried tautly erect. They should be fitted to the body, the ideal length is 11-12 cm.
- Top colour: The top is reddish chestnut brown and medium to dark tinted. It should be as even as possible over the whole body and reach far down at the sides. A slight dark veil should be visible. Head, ears, chest, forelegs, flanks and thighs are naturally less brightly tinted. The ears have dark edges, but the eyes and chin-jaw borders are lighter. The inner side of the legs, the belly colour and the underside of the flower are white or cream. The neck wedge should be as small as possible, it has a light brown tint. The eyes and claws are dark brown.
- Intermediate colour: The bright rusty brown intermediate colour starts under the covering colour. It should be about 1/3 of the hair length wide and sharply separated from the under color.
- Under color: The under color is an intense blue and covers about half of the total hair length. Blue is also the under color of the belly. It must be present, although slightly lightened, even in older bitches. The under colour on the underside of the flower is not taken into account.