The Mini Rex is not just a small version of the Rex, although the fur is the same. Like any of the breeds of purebred rabbits the Mini Rex must fit a particular body type, coloring and standard. The colors accepted are not all the same as the bigger Rex, with the only thing in common besides the name being that stunning fur.
The Mini Rex comes in several colors including black, blue, castor, chocolate, chinchilla, opal, tortoise, lynx, seal, lilac, red, otter, white, Himalayan, broken, blue eyed white and sable point. There are also several varieties working through official channels to be accepted. The castor, opal, lynx and chinchilla are “ring” colors and when you blow lightly on the fur you should see distinct bands of color. By contrast blowing on the fur of a solid rabbit such as a blue should be a solid blue color all the way down the coat. The broken does not refer to a defective rabbit but rather a broken, or spotted, color pattern.
The mini Rex is a relatively new breed, recognized in 1988, that is among the most popular in entries at most shows. They have a maximum weight of 4-1/2 pounds, far below the minimum of the big Rex and making them truly a different breed. Additionally the Mini Rex has a shorter body type that is slightly more “cobby” than the meat type of the larger breed.
The smaller size means they need less space and breeders can house more small rabbits in the same space. Due to the competitive numbers and the volume of entries of Mini Rex it takes a top quality rabbit to win. Their small size, beautiful Rex coat and availability make the Mini Rex common as a pet rabbit. Like most small breeds they are not efficient to use for meat although some prefer to prekill and sell to feed snakes or dogs rather than see them mistreated or turned loose to fend for themselves.
The beautiful coat is fairly easy to maintain but difficult to get right. Good nutrition with fiber makes fur and although it’s a challenge when the Rex coat is right they are stunning. They are extremely soft and plush, with the coat being a recessive characteristic. Some colors ride a fine balance between getting the soft and color without getting TOO soft and losing the texture needed for a great coat.
The Mini Rex is a good breed for youth that need a smaller rabbit to handle safely. The large numbers mean it can take dedication for the youth who wants to show but it is a challenge that can be good. It is also a breed that is good for those who don’t have a great deal of room, as they can get by in smaller areas than the large breeds require. Have a plan for the unshowable offspring if you are dedicated to showing this breed! Get feedback from experienced breeders before purchasing your foundation animals, choose wisely and most of all enjoy your rabbits!