The dwarf Polish rabbit as known as Britannia Petite (in the US) is one of the cutest rabbits you will ever see. However, this is probably not going to be all that surprising. This is a bunny breed that has been specially created for show purposes. These rabbits have literally been designed to look good.
Let’s take a little look at this breed in a bit more depth, shall we?
Is Polish Rabbit and Britannia Petite the Same Breed?
Before we go any further, we have one point of note.
If you live in the United States, you will not see this breed referred to as a Polish Rabbit. Instead, it goes by the name Britannia Petite. You will see why in a short while.
We are going to be using both names interchangeably on this page, but mostly referring to it as the Polish Rabbit because this is the name that is used in most of the world!
The History of the dwarf Polish Rabbit
To be honest, very little is known about the history of the Polish bunny. In fact, the only thing that we really do know about this breed is that it probably didn’t come from Poland.
There are two places where the breed was likely developed; Belgium or the United Kingdom. Most people believe it was the latter, but because detailed records haven’t been kept, it is hard to know for certain.
We do not know how it came to be known as the Polish rabbit.
The belief that this rabbit originates in the United Kingdom is how it came to be called Britannia Petite in the US (i.e. “British Small”), which essentially describes this breed down to a tee!
This rabbit has only ever been raised for show purposes. It has no other practical use outside of being a pet.
Appearance of the Dwarf Polish Rabbit
This is a compact breed of rabbit. It is very rare to find one over 3.5 lbs, with most of them sitting between 2 lbs and 3 lbs in weight. They cannot get much heavier than this because they have a ‘dwarf gene’.
This is a genetic deformity that has been bred into the rabbit. Although don’t worry, this gene does not pose any health issues. It just ensures that the rabbit is kept small. Actually, this is one of the smallest rabbits breeds out there.
They have large eyes. Their ears are quite short, and they have what we would describe as ‘chubby cheeks’. This is why they are often confused with the Netherland Dwarf rabbit.
If this rabbit wasn’t so small, we reckon it would be perfect for those that love to breed rabbits for their fur. Despite being quite short, the fur feels great to the touch. The Polish rabbit fur can come in several colors including:
- Blue-Eyed White
- Ruby-Eyed White
The Polish Rabbit as a Show Rabbit
The dwarf Polish Rabbit was bred as a show rabbit, and this is still the main purpose of this rabbit to this day. In fact, the Polish Rabbit is probably the most commonly shown rabbit breed.
An interesting point to note about this breed is that most of the people that show off their rabbits will be professional breeders. While hobbyists could easily enter a competition for many other rabbit breeds, they would struggle when it comes to the Polish Rabbit.
The competition is just too high. This means that if you do head to a rabbit show, you can be sure that the person showing off their Polish Rabbit is likely making money from their breeding. It is also likely that they are doing it as a full-time job.
Of course, if you have an award-winning Polish Rabbit, it shouldn’t be that difficult to make money from it. People pay a lot of money for the offspring of award-winning rabbits, after all.
As we said; there are no other practical uses outside of being used as a pet or as a show rabbit. This rabbit is far too small to be viable as a meat rabbit breed or for fur.
We suppose that there are some people that may try to breed it as a smaller meat rabbit, but we really do not see that much benefit to that.
The Polish Rabbit as a Pet
This is a rabbit breed that works exceedingly well as a pet, and there are several reasons for this.
Firstly; this is a small rabbit breed. This means that it will not take up a whole lot of space. In fact, it only needs a small hutch. Even a large rat cage should be fine for this, assuming that you give it time to run about daily. This means that it would be great for those that have limited space in their homes.
Do bear in mind that you will probably want to be raising this rabbit indoors. While the fur is probably long enough for it to be fine outdoors, the small size of this rabbit means that it does look like a tasty and easy-to-obtain snack for all sorts of predators.
The small size means that it will also be eating a lot less food than your typical rabbit. In fact, they eat about a 1/4 cup of rabbit feed every couple of days. This is barely anything.
It is worth noting that this is a very active breed of rabbit. It will probably run around for hours and hours each day. This, again, is another reason why they should be raised indoors. It means that they can do their exercise risk-free.
This is a friendly breed of rabbit, and it is probably one of the calmer breeds out there. However, due to the small size of this breed, we would not recommend it to families with very young children.
This is because even the smallest of drops could kill this rabbit. If you do have small children and want to own this breed, then you should never let them hold the rabbit. It is dangerous for your bunny.
The fur on the Polish bunny should be fairly easy to maintain. Make sure that you brush the rabbit at least once per week, and you should find it tremendously easy to keep matted fur at bay.