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Rabbit - Harlequin Breed Profile

Rabbit - Harlequin

General
Other Names
Japanese or Magpie 
Lifespan
On average the Harlequin rabbit can live to 5 years or more. 
Breeding
The ideal age for the female Harlequin rabbit to start breeding is between 5 to 6 months of age. The first litter must be born before the female is one year old. The reason for this is that after this age the pelvic bones fuse and she would not be able to give birth naturally. They should have no more litters after the age of three years. 
Average Litter Size
The Harlequin rabbit has on average litters between 3-5, they have been known to produce up to 9. 
Gestation Period
The gestation period is between 28-31 days. On average they give birth at 30-32 days. 
General Physical Description
The Harlequin rabbit is a small rabbit with a long broad head. They are seen two varieties. The Japanese variety is very striking in its markings. The ears are of opposite colours, the markings on the head are divided, down the middle of the face, and the colours reversed. If the ear is one colour then the face on the other side is the same colour. The feet also alternate in colour. The Magpie variety is black and white. 
Size
The average weight of the Harlequin rabbit is 2.7 to 3.6kgs.  
The mainstay of a rabbit’s diet should be large unlimited amounts of fresh hay, fresh fruit and vegetables, a well-balanced dry rabbit mix and plenty of clean water. Rabbits have quite delicate stomachs so when feeding fresh fruits and vegetables make sure they are added to the diet one vegetable at a time and eliminate specific varieties if they cause diarrhoea. An earthenware bowl is the best type of feeding dish to use, as they are harder to knock over than the plastic ones, also they not chewable. A water bottle fixed to the outside of the cage, with the water tube going into the cage, ensures a fresh water supply is available. 
For an outdoor rabbit the ideal home is a wooden hutch made of a heavy wood with a waterproof roof, and raised off the ground. If the rabbit is going to live indoors then a wooden hutch can also be used or a cage. The cage would have a plastic or wire base with a wire lid fixed to the base. All rabbits must have an adequate exercise area, whether it is an outside run or an enclosed area in the house. Wood shavings should be used for the floor of the hutch or cage. Fine sawdust can cause eye irritations so this should be avoided. Bedding material should be provided especially in cold and wet weather for the outdoor rabbit. The best thing to use is straw on top of a layer of the wood shavings in the sleeping compartment. The rabbit home should be cleaned out weekly and any old food removed. If it is necessary to wash the home then only use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning rabbit hutches. An earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle will also be required to feed and water the rabbit. 
Characteristics
Suitability For Children
The Harlequin rabbit is suitable for both children and adults. They are best suited for children over 10 years of age, for younger children an adult should supervise the care and handling of the rabbit. The Harlequin is generally good natured and quiet to handle, they make good pets. < 
Character & Temperament
The Harlequin rabbit is a relatively good-natured rabbit. 
Sleeping Habits
Rabbits are most active in the morning and at night; they generally sleep during the day. 
Toys & Exercise
Rabbits need things to climb on, crawl through, dig and chew. It is possible to provide plenty to entertain this rabbit with using household items, such as toilet roll tubes and boxes. Several boxes can be put together with holes in them so the rabbit can go from box to box, just like being in a warren. Ramps can also be put against the boxes so the rabbit can climb up; they like to have a lookout post. 
Grooming
Types of Coat
Short haired. The coat is very soft and dense. 
Colour
The Harlequin rabbit is usually black and orange in colour. They can also be lilac, blue, brown, black, chocolate and black magpie. The eyes are normally hazel in colour. 
Other
Intelligence
Rabbits can become trained to learn their name. They are more intelligent than guinea pigs and hamsters. They can even be trained to go to the toilet in one specific area, which makes cleaning up after them much easier. 
Show Characteristics
The Harlequin rabbit comes in two varieties; the Japanese and the Magpie. Both varieties are of medium size with a roundish shaped head. The ears are of medium length and stand erect. The Japanese variety is very striking in its markings. The ears are of opposite colours, the markings on the head are divided, down the middle of the face, and the colours reversed. If the ear is one colour then the face on the other side is the same colour. The feet also alternate in colour. 
Country of Origin
France 

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