There are many different pet rabbit breeds to consider owning – as you will have likely have realized by now! But have you ever considered that breeds can grow to different sizes or have different spacial needs and requirements? I took a look at the standard and data for the Dutch rabbit, otherwise known as the Hollander or Brabander, to find out precisely what to expect for this breed.
So, how big do Dutch rabbits get? Dutch rabbits are considered a small to medium breed, typically weighing between 3.5 to 5.5 pounds. They tend to have a body length of 11 to 14 inches and are around 7.5 to 9 inches tall at the shoulders. They generally reach their full size at between 6 and 7 months of age.
Dutch rabbits are entirely cute.
Well, at least they are to me.
They have a striking color pattern across the face and the body, which was likely a reason behind their popularity!
They are commonly mistaken for being dwarf-sized, and while this is not the case, they do not tend to grow as large as many other medium-sized breeds, such as the Rex.
With that said, there is always the chance that a Dutch rabbit will grow larger than the breed average, as is the case in any rabbit.
It’s all down to genetics. Just as is the case for you and I.
And just as is the case in humans – a Dutch that’s large or small for its breed will naturally pass this on to its offspring.
If it is to have any, that is!
Nature will take its course, and your Dutch rabbit will be the size that they were destined to be.
However, you must care for them properly.
While it kind of goes without saying, your pet’s growth could very well be stunted if he does not receive proper nutrition and the right care from a young age.
For rabbits, you really need to ensure they receive lots of alfalfa hay and high-quality and nutritious pellets early in life to support healthy development.
Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at the size of this interesting breed, along with their typical growth patterns, and the amount of space you will need to keep them happy and healthy!
How Big Do Dutch Rabbits Grow?
Dutch rabbits typically weigh between 3.5 to 5.5 pounds; which makes them one of the smallest breeds to own as a pet. It is only really the Mini Rex, Holland Lop and Netherland Dwarf that come up any smaller.
There are generally three factors that all will impact their final size: genetics, nutrition and afforded space.
Nutrition is absolutely something in the control of an owner.
Like any breed of rabbit, it is essential that they obtain a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of good-quality hay, pellets, and fresh greens to support their growth.
Fiber is very important too; a bunny needs adequate roughage to digest their food correctly extract the maximum amount of nutrition from what they eat.
It worth noting that you should also give your Dutch rabbit around 100-200 mls fresh clean drinking water a day, as hydration is also essential to health and the growth process.
Nothing new here, but important nonetheless.
Aside from nutrition to help your rabbit reach its full potential, housing is a noteworthy topic.
The Dutch breed is suited to either indoor or outdoor living; however, they are generally safer indoors, away from predators and weather extremes.
They can live relatively happily in either apartments or houses as free-roaming pets.
If you choose to house your rabbit outdoors, make sure their cage is in a well-shaded area during the warm summer months and shielded from the wind, rain, and snow during the winter.
The enclosure should be at least three feet off the ground to make access harder for predators.
Routine visits to the vet are a must to keep your rabbit healthy; however, your rabbit will not need any vaccinations.
You can go the extra mile to keep your Dutch rabbit safe and healthy by keeping electrical cords, household objects, and ornaments out of their reach.
The best way to avoid emergencies is to keep your rabbit busy with toys to nibble on at all times.
How Long Do Dutch Rabbits Get?
Dutch rabbits are between 11 to 14 inches in body length. Male and female rabbits are virtually similar in size, although young rabbits are naturally shorter until they grow into their size.
Rabbits are famous for hopping around, and they are built for energetic bursts of speed.
But nothing could be more true than in this breed.
They are quite simply, built for it!
The Dutch breed has a long body, short front legs, and large powerful back legs which they use to support impressive acrobatic jumps.
Of course, there will always be better jumpers within the breed, but they are known for being more than capable in this department.
Dutch rabbits certainly enjoy jumping too, and when they are happy, they run and jump high into the air – particularly if they are outdoors above soft grass.
In fact, you may even see your Dutch bunny suddenly leap into the air – this behavior is often the result of a rabbit who feels safe and comfortable in its environment.
This type of leaping is a sign that you are taking good care of your rabbit.
So, its actually something to look out for!
What Age Do Dutch Rabbits Stop Growing?
Dutch rabbits tend to stop growing between the ages of six and seven months.
Although, the rate of growth, before they stop growing, is reliant on many factors, so can differ outside of this normal range.
Let us now take a closer look at what some of these are, and how they influence growth:
Litter Size and Birth Weight
Research shows that growth rates of domestic breeds are impacted by litter size and birth weight.
Dutch rabbits that are born heavier tend to grow faster than their lighter siblings.
Kits can be competitive even at such a young age, and some are better at getting their mother’s milk than others!
Those whom get the most milk, tend to put on the most weight. Its simple energy balance in that respect.
And this milk is very nutrient dense. Its energy rich, being very high in fat and protein!
Rabbits born in higher temperatures are also known to grow faster than those in lower temperatures.
Colder environments mean that the babies have to devote more of their energy to keep warm rather than grow.
Kitts in larger litters, will naturally huddle together, and keep one another warm. Babies born in this environment need less energy for thermoregulation and as such, can put more towards growing.
Even though Dutch rabbits cease growing by six or seven months, they are not considered adults until they are at least 12 months old.
You will need to adjust their diet as they age, because they will naturally expend less energy. A young rabbit for instance is far more active than one in their more senior years.
In regards to diet, they need a mixture of fiber/protein/fat/vitamins/minerals – all in the right quantities for their age and size.
While a vet can help you here, it’s also important to purchase age-appropriate pellets and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Either way, hay must always be a staple and mainstay in the diet.
Again, you’ll need to ensure its age appropriate.
Alfalfa hay for instance is much higher in energy, protein and calcium – so its much more suitable for young rabbits needing to put on weight.
Not so much in those already fully grown.
Along similar lines, when rabbits reach adulthood they naturally slow down and actually tend to get pretty lazy.
So, its vital to encourage your bunny to exercise and give them as many opportunities to explore, run, and you guessed it – jump!
Exercise is important not just for your rabbit to stretch their legs but also to feed their natural curiosity to explore; mental enrichment to starve off boredom!
Equally, Rabbits can actually become fatigued with the same environment every day, so try rearranging their living space every so often.
Provide your Dutch bunny with new hides and chew toys to lift their mood and make their life more exciting and fun.
What Size Cage Is Best For A Dutch Rabbit?
Due to their size, dutch rabbits do not require too large a cage. One that is 24 by 24 inches will suffice, assuming that they are provided with adequate time outside of the cage.
And getting your Dutch rabbit out is crucial; this breed is highly energetic and needs time and space in which to run around.
Aside from the exact dimensions of the cage, you must also consider the environment in which your rabbit will live.
It should be as comfortable as possible.
These rabbits like a soft floor in their cage and a comfortable spot for sleeping and snuggling.
Straw is ideal as bedding – it will help to hold heat and will be soft and springy on their feet. It can also be safely chewed which is an added bonus!
A layer of 5 to 6 inches of bedding is perfect for small rabbits, like the Dutch breed.
If you have more than one bunny, you must create a place where they can be alone.
They enjoy the company of people and other rabbits, but they are introverts and need time alone to be truly happy and content.
Don’t we all!
Some rabbit owners provide a run in addition to the cage, which can work well to provide some additional roaming space.
Just consider that while a run can offer extra space in relation to their size, you can actually afford them more space in your house if you rabbit-proof it first!
As mentioned previously, this is a breed that you can house both indoors and outdoors.
Although, indoors will always be preferable due to the weather, temperature and of any animals.
Remember, rabbits can suffer in either extreme weather that is hot or cold; so be mindful of outdoor conditions before you let your rabbit outside. Even if it is for just a short stint of time.
Lastly, its imperative to practice good hygiene with your bunny – for their health and the general conditions of your home.
Believe me, it is worth your time and effort.
You will need to spot-clean the cage daily, by scooping out old soiled bedding and replacing it with something new, fresh and clean.
Once a week, you should do a deep clean – this will keep their living conditions sanitary and lead to much better health outcomes. Besides, it’s generally nicer for us all.
Dutch rabbits are a great breed of rabbit to own, and they make truly excellent pets for a single person, couple, first-time rabbit owner, or even a family.
In fact, due to their very gentle and loving temperament, they are great for young children – so long as adequate supervision is in place of course!
What’s more, they are known for their intelligence, high engagement, and even their ability to be trained!
Being small to medium in size, and with a small and compact body, they are also relatively easy to accommodate and suited to many different living environments.
With the right care, you can expect this bunny to live for up to 8 eventful years.
And this is quite the playful rabbit.
They undoubtedly love time outside of their cages.
They enjoy running and jumping and although not being a high-maintenance pet, they do need a lot of love, care, good food, hydration, and time to play to truly thrive and for any owner to get the best out of them.
So, providing this bunny with a lot of social interaction and affection will do this rabbit a lot of good and making owning one, a much more enjoyable experience for all involved.