Some History- Bonnie Seeley originally developed the breed to produce a small pet rabbit with an easy-care wool coat. Today, it has become one of the most popular rabbit breeds in the country. The Jersey Wooly was first introduced at the 1984 ARBA Convention by Bonnie Seeley of New Jersey. It became a recognized breed at the 1988 ARBA Convention. Broken colored Jersey Woolies were recognized at the 2004 Convention.
General Characteristics- Jersey Woolies are a small, compact rabbit which weigh around 2.5-3.5 pounds as adults. They are a very docile breed that make great pets. Although they are a "wooled" breed, they have an easy-care coat because of the excess guard hairs found throughout the coat which provide a coarse texture. This coat should be between 3-4 inches in length and extremely dense. The body is to be short and compact with well-filled shoulders and slightly wider hindquarters with a good rise over the topline. The head should be well filled and balance with the ears and body.
Agouti Group- Chestnut, Chinchilla, Opal, and Squirrel.
AOV- Black Pointed White and Blue Pointed White.
Broken- Any of the recognized colors wixed with white. Only 10%-50% color allowed.
Self- Black, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, REW(Ruby Eyed White), and BEW(Blue Eyed White)
Shaded- Black Tortoise Shell, Blue Tortoise Shell, Sable Point, Seal, Siamese Sable, and Smoke Pearl.
Tan Pattern- Black Otter, Blue Otter, Black Silver Marten, Blue Silver Marten, Chocolate Silver Marten, Lilac Silver Marten, Sable Marten, and Smoke Pearl Marten.
To see pictures of the accepted colors, go to http://www.njwrc.net/varietypics.htm
Although they have a wool coat, I find that I only need to groom about once every 2-4 weeks to keep everyone mat-free. Some of the adults only need to be groomed once every couple of months. I use a vacuum set on "blow", but a hairdryer on "cool" will do the trick as well, to blow out any loose dirt or wool and seperate the hairs without removing the crucial density that a brush can remove. A professional small animal blower is your best bet though if you can get your hands on one. Juniors and young Seniors that haven't gotten their "Senior Coat" in, require much more grooming. They need to be blown out and brushed about 1-2 times a week, sometimes more as needed. Check above the tail and on the legs, as these are the most common places for mats to form.
After the rabbit is blown out, I take a slicker brush and go over the rabbit gently to pull out any mats that the blower brought to the surface and to arrange the wool into the proper position. The brush is also used to pull out mats and webbing. Always be sure to groom the day before a show, or you may find that you don't have enough time to groom AND get everything else ready for the show. At the show, you should only have last-minute touch-ups to do.
Don't forget to clip the nails as well. Keep some styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut the "quick." If you can't get a hold of styptic powder, pressing the bleeding nail onto a damp bar of soap or into some flour works just as well.
Wool Block- Because Jersey Woolies have so much wool, there is a danger of "Wool Block," which is basically a hairball, especially during molting. The problem is that rabbits can't throw up, so it gets larger and larger until it blocks the intestinal tract completely. Feeding hay is the best way to prevent this. Syptoms include listlessness, loss of appetite, and poops strung together with hair and, if left untreated, death. If you catch it early enough, feeding 1/4 of a banana with the peel is one way of treating it. Pineapples or papaya pills are other good options as well.
More to come!
The head should be wide and short and should have a wool cap(dense, short wool from the base of the ears forward) and side trimmings(longer wool on the jawline). The head should be set high and close to the shoulders and still balance with the body.
The body of a Jersey Wooly is to be short and compact. The depth, or height of the animal, should be equal to the width. When properly posed, there should be a nice rise over the back to form a gradual, smooth curve to the base of the tail. This topline should peak right over the loin. The hindquarters should be very wide and well-filled, and the shoulders should be nearly as wide.
Feet and Legs
More to come soon!!
Disqualifications specific to Jersey Woolies:
-Tassles: this is a judge's decision on what is or is not considered a tassle. Many Jersey Woolies can and do slide by with small tassles, and most judges will only DQ heavy or prominent tassles. Both rabbits pictured above had about the same amount of tassling, but the rabbit on the left was DQ'd several times, while the rabbit on the right never was.
-Wool below the ankle: When the wool extends past the ankle joint, a Jersey Wooly should be disqualified. My finger shows where the ankle joint is, and it's obvious(especially on the colored rabbit), that the wool continues past the ankle.
-Exceptionally long, narrow, rangy body type: Again, this is a judge's opinion.
-Ears Over 3 Inches
-Wool Less Than 1 1/2 inches in length. The rabbit pictured above is in a molt.
Disqualifications Specific to Jersey Wooly Color Varieties:
Chestnut/Chinchilla/Opal- Lack of Slate Undercolor
Chestnut/Chinchilla/Squirrel- Lack of Ear Lacing
Chestnut/Chinchilla- Ear Lacing other than Black
Squirrel- Ear Lacing Other Than Blue
Pointed White Black/Blue- Tan Pattern Markings
Pointed White Black/Blue- White Spot in Any Marking
Pointed White Black/Blue- Smut on the Usable Portion of the Pelt(eye stain permitted)
Pointed White Black/Blue- Definite White Nail(s)
Pointed White(Blue/Black)- Unmatched toenails on the same foot or corresponding foot
Broken- Lack of Color Around the Nose(nose marking is considered color anywhere where a butterfly would occur), Either Eye, or Either Ear.
Broken- Wrong Eye Color
Broken- Excessive White Hairs in Colored Sections(Judge's Opinion)
Broken- Color Less Than 10% or More Than 50%(Judge's Opinion)
Blue Eyed White- Any Color Anywhere on the Coat
Blue Eyed White- Marbled or Grayish Cast to the Eyes
Blue Tortoise Shell/Tortoise Shell- White Belly or Underside of Tail
Sable Point- Pure White Body Wool
Sable Point- White on the Underside of the Tail
Seal- No Discernable Shading(Judge's Opinion)
Tan Pattern Group- Lack of Eye Circles or Nostril Markings
General All-Breed Disqualifications:
-Abnormal Eye Discharge: Judge's Opinion. Only if noticeable and pronounced.
-Colds: Judge's Opinion. Only if there is white purulent nasal discharge.
-Slobbers: Judge's Opinion
-Potbelly: Judge's Opinion
-Infestation by Mites, Fleas, or Lice
-Rupture or Hernia
-Tumor or Abnormal Swelling
-Abnormalities: Judge's Opinion. Any deviation from the normally accepted condition of the body structure. Indications of ill health, or other departures from generally accepted healthy condition.
-Illegible tattoo: Judge's Opinion
-Tattoo not in the Left Ear
-Undescended Testicles: All male animals must show two normally descended testicles at the time of judging. Juniors and Pre-Juniors are exemtped, but they must show both or neither testicle. Those showing only one at a time will be disqualified.
-Wrong Sex, Breed, Group, or Variety
-Blindness in One or Both Eyes: Judge's Opinion. Indicated by filming of the cornea, and obstruction of the pupil.
-Conjunctivitis: inflamed eylid, matted fur around eye, crusting
-Crooked Legs: Judge's Opinion. Bent, bowed, or deformed legs. Cow Hocks.
-Deviated or Hooked Spine
-Ears Carried Below Horizontal in Erect-eared Breeds: Judge's Opinion
-Malocclusion: mild case on the left, severe on the right
-Marbling: mottling of eye color. Varieties allowing blue-gray eyes are exempt.
-Wrong Eye Color
-Sore Hocks: Judge's Opinion. Must show infection or bleeding, not merely bare.
-Specks on Eye
-Tail Permanently Set to Either Side: Judge's Opinion
-ScrewTail or Bob Tail: Judge's Opinion
-Portion of the Tail Missing: Judge's Opinion
-Missing or Broken Teeth: Judge's Opinion
-Missing Toenail(s): Judge's Opinion
-Toenail too short to determine coloration: Judge's Opinion
-Unmatched toenails on the same or corresponding foot: Judge's Opinion
-White Toenail in colored varieties: Judge's Opinion
-Torn Ear: Judge's Opinion
-Excessive white hairs in a colored section: Judge's Opinion. Above picture is a Netherland Dwarf.