Rabbits/bunny growth

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Question
At 5 weeks
At 5 weeks  

At 9 or 10 weeks
At 9 or 10 weeks  
Hi. My bunny is about 9 or 10 weeks old (born May 14th) and she is a lionhead. I was told that she is a small breed bunny but it seems like she's growing pretty quickly considering I received her when she was only a little older than a month (I took good care to give her a good diet because I found out after I got her that she was too young). I'm not sure if her growth is a result of me getting her so young or if she may be mixed with something else though I did get her from a breeder and I have her papers. I'm still kind of questionable. I was told she will stop growing around 6 months or so and that's daunting considering her growth so far. She's getting really long when she stretches out or lays down. So should she be growing this fast at 2 months for her breed just because she's still young and will her growth rate slow down as she approaches her stopping point or is this growth irregular for her breed? I've attached pictures so you can see how much she's grown in the last 4 or 5 weeks.

Answer
Hi there Kirby,

Your bunny does appear to be a lionhead junior, although judging from the ear shape, color, transitional wool and size not show quality. Lioneads are still a new breed, having only been accepted by ARBA last year, and they are extremely popular as pets. Because of this, there are a lot of people who indiscriminately breed and may not be breeding for the best type. A pedigree does not make the rabbit. I would suggest, if looking for a rabbit that closely meets the standard of perfection, to find a breeder that competes in sanctioned ARBA shows with their lionheads, as even their pet quality rabbits should remain in the 3.5 lbs range that ARBA requires.

It does appear that your lionhead is larger than typical lionheads of this age. I could not tell you without a closer look if this makes your lionhead an abnormaly large specimen, of if it is perhaps mixed with angora. There is nothing thay can be done to ethically alter your pets growth, please continue feeding a proper pelleted diet. I cant tell based upon these pictures how much this rabbit weighs or exactly how large it is, but I would be comfortable stating it will mature as a senior over standard.

Dont worry, a bigger rabbit is just more to love :)

I hope this helps.

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Shawn Evans

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding ARBA, showing rabbits, genetic diseases and faults, medical care, raising meat rabbits, questions regarding different breeds, questions regarding diet, questions regarding color and color hereditary traits (breeding for color and pattern) and general questions about rabbits.

Experience

I am currently a breeder and exhibitor of English Lops and Tans in ARBA and have raised several breeds. I have both indoor rabbits and an outdoor rabbitry. I have raised rabbits for meat, and I have raised rabbits for top show competitions. I am especially well versed in color genetics and have written several articles regarding color and hereditary traits.

Organizations
American Rabbit Breeders Association American Tan Association Lop Rabbit Club of America North Carolina Rabbit Breeders Association

Publications
www.lilypatchfarm.com

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Animal Sciences/Husbandry with a strong focus in genetics.

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