Rabbit Breed Profile Jersey Wooly
The Jersey Wooly rabbit is a small sized rabbit usually weighing in at 4 pounds or less. The National Jersey Wooly Rabbit Club describes this breed as “The Fluff of the Fancy”, simply put, the Jersey Wooly has a lot of hair. This beautiful rabbit breed can be found in a variety of colors including:
*Pointed white with black
*Pointed white with blue
*Shaded blue tortoiseshell
*Shaded sable point
*Shaded Siamese sable
*Shaded smoke pearl
*Tan pattern black otter
*Tan pattern blue otter
*Tan pattern sable marten
*Tan pattern silver marten (black, blue chocolate, lilac)
*Tan pattern smoke pearl marten
This unique rabbit breed was developed by breeder Bonnie Seeley of New Jersey during the 1970’s. Ms. Seeley introduced the breed at an American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc. (ARBA) convention held in Orlando Florida in 1984. It wasn’t until four years later in 1988 that the Jersey Wooly became a recognized breed by the Association (ARBA). The broken Jersey Wooly later became a recognized breed in 2004.
Ms. Seeley’s intentions were to produce a rabbit breed that had beautiful wool but also was easy to maintain. The Jersey Wooly has those characteristics and has become one of the most popular rabbit breeds seen at shows and conventions worldwide.
The wool of the Jersey Wooly has a high proportion of guard hairs over a crimped under-wool. Because this breed goes through a molting stage, the length of the hairs can vary. Another factor of the length is the color of the rabbit. The Agoutis tend to have a shorter coat and the texture may feel rougher than that of their counterparts.
As the Jersey Wooly ages, the coat will go through these molting stages. You will know when this process begins as the hair will begin to molt around the nose, eyes and around the bottom of the ears. The new wool coat will emerge fairly quickly which is appreciated by owners since a rabbit going through this molting process may appear a bit strange. As the Jersey Wooly goes through their molting cycles, their coat may change color tones. Each rabbit will go through their own molting process, losing some wool over a period of time or losing all of their wool all at once, leaving owners with a bald rabbit.
The ideal length for the Jersey Wooly is two to three inches. Closer to three inches for showing purposes is desired. The ears are small, standing erect and are well-covered with their wooly coat. A “wool cap” of short hair will be located from the ears forward. Grooming can take less than ten minutes and should be done weekly or as needed. If you are not showing your rabbit, grooming can be done less frequently. Grooming can be done with a slicker brush and blow dryer by blowing the wool from the rear forward, opening up the hairs and removing any loose hairs and dirt. The slicker brush is used to brush the coat and remove any mats that may have formed.
The Jersey Wooly will resemble a big ball of fluff when their coat is full and groomed properly. Because of this, the rabbit may appear bigger than it actually is. These small rabbits do make idea pets but are not recommended for young children or for outdoor living. This breed has been described as very docile and less likely to bite compared to other rabbit breeds. Whether you are wanting a show breed or a house companion, the Jersey Wooly rabbit is highly recommended.
THE RABBIT HANDBOOK by Karen Gendron, copyright 2000