The Deilenaar is a breed of rabbit from the Netherlands. It’s a medium sized rabbit, weighing between 5-7 lb (2.5-3.5 kg) with chestnut red fur. It is a rare variety (Fur Section) in the UK.
This unusual rabbit is a Dutch breed that’s renowned for its warm red-brown fur that’s a striking colour due to the bright agouti colour it displays, along with distinctive black ticking that takes on a ‘wavy’ appearance. This unique pattern, which is known as ‘mackereling’ is certainly the most memorable thing about the Deilenaar, should be slightly wavy and never even. The body is compact, meaty, and muscular and could be referred to as ‘cobby’.
The Deilenaar Rabbit was first developed in a Dutch town called Deli in the 1930s. The breeder, Mr. Ridderhof, never revealed which rabbits he used to create this new and unique breed, but experts believe that the breeds involved were probably the New Zealand Red Rabbit, the Belgian Hare, and the Chinchilla Rabbit. They also believe that the Belgian Hare is the breed responsible for giving the Deilenaar Rabbit its lovely color. Other experts believe that the Tan Rabbit and the Flemish Giant Rabbit were also involved in the creation of the Deilanaar Rabbit.
Deilenaars are a strong and healthy breed who have an even temperament. They would make good pets but are rarely kept by anyone other than rabbit breeders and fanciers.
The European rabbit constructs the most extensive burrow systems, called warrens. Warren tunnels can be 1 – 2 metres long. The nest at the end of the tunnel is lined with grass, moss and belly fur. They use regular trails, which they scent mark with faecal pellets.
The European rabbit is the most social rabbit, sometimes forming groups in warrens of up to 20 individuals. Most rabbits are relatively solitary and sometimes territorial, coming together only to breed or occasionally to forage in small groups.
Rabbits are ground dwellers that live in environments ranging from desert to tropical forest and wetland. The European rabbit occupies open landscapes such as fields, parks and gardens. Rabbits are abundant in grassland areas where the soil allows them to make extensive, well-drained burrows, but also where there are hedges or patches of woodland to give shelter and cover.
Overall, the Deilenaar Rabbit is a healthy and strong breed, especially since it is a hybrid breed. Nevertheless, you should make it a point to ensure your rabbit’s teeth do not become overgrown. You can do this by providing your pet with gnaw toys and a diet that is high in fiber. Check your rabbit’s teeth regularly to ensure that they are always the appropriate length.
The Deilenaar reflects the personality of its foundation breeds. It’s a lively, friendly, affectionate little animal and as such can make a good pet. Because they are lively though, care must be taken to make sure that anywhere they are allowed to roam and live is secure.
Their liveliness may also add to a rabbit’s natural skittishness so they should be handled carefully and only by experienced people. If a rabbit is allowed to become fearful or uncomfortable they can struggle to get free and they are much stronger than they look. Trying to hold on to a panicking rabbit can cause injury to both the handler and the animal.
The Deilenaar is a reasonably intelligent breed and if he’s going to be kept indoors he should be taught to use a litter tray. Simply place a tray where he chooses to go to the toilet and he will quickly get the idea! He should also be provided with gnaw toys to keep his teeth in check, and cat toys to play with to keep him occupied. Toys with rattles and bells are particularly popular.