Fee de Marbourg Rabbit Care Sheet

Fee de Marbourg Rabbit Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common Name: Fee de Marbourg
Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Life Span:
Size: 4 to 7 lbs.
Habitat: Domesticated
Country of Origin: Europe

Fee de Marbourg Information and History

The Fee de Marbourg is a medium-sized species of domesticated rabbits. This pet rabbit can trace its origins back to Germany, where it was specifically bred or created for the purpose of making an entirely new breed of rabbits for its aesthetics. Its history can be traced to the time when a certain Marie Sandermann bred her silver Havana male with an unusually colored rabbit she received from a friend.

The result of the mating was a litter that was entirely black. But because the black mother died just 10 days after the litter was born, Sandermann had to select a new female from the litter and raised it to adulthood. After that, she had the black female breed with another Havana once again. The result was a litter that was dominantly black and silvery in color. She repeated the process until she was able to produce a male that had the desired color of light black but with a sort of lilac or pinkish kind of hue. She called these rabbits “fairies,” which is how they eventually got their name.

In 1915, Sandermann exhibited here lilac rabbits in an exhibition. The unusual color of these rabbits was able to attract a lot of interest from different judges. To such an end, Judge Kemp, who was one of the judges who were impressed by the rabbit, pledged his support for the new rabbits to be recognized by the Federation of Rabbit Breeders. In 1924,  it finally got its recognition and was given the name Fee de Marbourg, which literally translates to Fairy from the Marbourg.

Over time, the Fee de Marbourg developed into its own type of rabbit and may have undergone a slight transformation from the fairies that were predominantly lilac in terms of color in the past to a more bluish kind of bunny. That is why they are often mistaken for the Lilac breed due to their similar colors. However, the Fee de Marbourgh, which is called the Marburger Fee in the UK, is darker and has a shade of blue.

Physical Description

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The Fee de Marbourg can be classified as a rabbit that is medium in terms of its overall size. Its length varies, but it is most likely somewhere between 4 and 7 pounds in terms of weight. Similar to its length, the weight varies depending on where you get your rabbit, and on the type of diet it is used to.

Similar to the Havana, the species from which the Fee de Marbourg can trace its roots, this bunny is expected to have a large head that is plump and round instead of long compared to the other species of rabbits. The Fee de Marbourg also has ears that are not too long and are generally shorter than the length of its head.

Meanwhile, you can expect the Fee de Marbourg to have a rather stout appearance. These chubby rabbits will more than likely be round and plump regardless of whether they are quite active or not. So, if you want to manage your Fee de Marbourg’s weight, you better keep it on a strict and healthy diet that is still as nutritious as it can be.

What gives the Fee de Marbourg its distinctive appearance and its popularity is its color. It may have the same kind of appearance as some other types of rabbits like Havana or the Lilac, but its color is actually quite unique. It does not feature the jet black color that Havanas have or the pinkish hue that dominates the Lilac. Instead, the Fee de Marbourg is more than likely going to have a color scheme that may still be pinkish or close to lilac but is more than likely nearer a light shade of blue. While many would mistake the Fee de Marbourg for the Lilac because of how they are almost the same in terms of color, the latter does not have the bluish color that makes the former such a sight to enjoy.


Fee de Marbourgs, due to how used they are to a lifestyle under in captive care, are domesticated rabbits that are actually really great as pets. They were specifically bred to be pet rabbits instead of having them live in the wild. As such, it only follows that they are already used to having personalities that fit the type of pet rabbit that most households would want to have.

In terms of its overall personality and behavior, the Fee de Marbourg is actually quite friendly and approachable. They are almost never too shy whenever you try to handle them or socialize with them because their species are so used to interacting with humans due to their nature as domesticated pets. In that sense, they are not like rabbits that were caught in the wild or are used to the wild as such rabbits usually have a shy and defensive nature due to how they try to live a kind of life that is more or less discreet to avoid getting detected by predators.

The Fee de Marbourg rabbits, because of how closely related they are to the Havana, are very sweet when it comes to bonding with their humans. They will most likely show their extra sweet side when they are given a chance to properly socialize with the people around them.

Another thing that should be noted about the Fee de Marbourg’s personality is that this rabbit is quite lively. It might not be very active in terms of how it moves physically, but you can expect this rabbit to be quite cheerful overall in terms of how it approaches every single day instead of having the defensive, docile, and submissive kind of personality and demeanor that other rabbit species have.

Life Span

There are not a lot of information about how long the Fee de Marbourg gets to live. However, you can actually draw out a general conclusion regarding its lifespan due to its close genetic resemblance to the Havana and because of its identity as a rabbit that is meant to live a domesticated lifestyle.

Fee de Marbourgs are more than likely going to live longer than rabbits that are used to the wild because they have adapted themselves to life under captive care. Moreover, they are not as exposed to life-threatening conditions and factors such as parasites, diseases, deforestation, and predators as those who live in the wild. And like the Havana, you can expect the Fee de Marbourg to be able to live for about 5 to 8 years depending on how well it is taken care of and how healthy its diet is. It can even be reasonable for you to expect to live for about 10 years.


The Fee de Marbourg’s behavior during reproduction is more or less the same as other domesticated types of rabbits that are native to the European continent. They are receptive to mating during a certain period every 14 to 16 days. Medium-sized rabbits tend to be sexually mature at around 4 to 5 months. They can get pregnant and give birth multiple times in a single calendar year.


Fee de Marbourgs tend to have a sense of liveliness in the way they behave. While they are generally well-behaved pet rabbits, they are fond of roaming around indoors when you let them out of their cage. Their friendly nature and their general tendency to stay quiet behaved prevents them from doing anything that is close to a raucous behavior, but they do love playing and roaming around their environment when given the chance to do so. They will run around the room and may even do a few hops here and there to let some team out.

You may actually engage in some playtime moments with the Fee de Marbourg because of how friendly and playful these rabbits are. One of the best ways to play with them is to give them a good scratching behind their ears or on the head. But, even during playtime, they will not exhibit too much energy and will most likely match yours. This makes them a good type of pet for an entire family, especially for one that has a senior citizen who can no longer keep up with high-energy household pets.

Fee de Marbourgs also enjoy playing with toys from time to time. This rabbit is most probably going to have an entertaining time playing with a few toys here and there, but the number of toys they need to stay entertained usually depends on its personality. The same can be said about the type of toy you should give it. So long as the toy is safe to use for your rabbit, the Fee de Marbourg will be able to use it well enough to stay entertained for a while.

Eating Habits

The Fee de Marbourg is similar to almost any other domesticated pet rabbit in the sense that it should be given a diet that is mainly based on hay or on the grass. Its diet should not be too different from its Havana cousin in the sense that they basically eat the same things and need the same kind of nutritional requirements.

Fee de Marbourgs should thrive well in a diet that is about 60 to 70% hay or grass. If you can get your hands on hay with good quality, then your rabbit will have most of its nutritional needs covered. The rest of your Fee de Marbourg’s calorie intake should be made up of other nutritious food. Always remember that the Fee de Marbourg is strictly a herbivore and will only feed on anything that is leaf-based or on fruits and vegetables. In that regard, it is best to make sure that the rest of the rabbit’s daily calorie intake should be made up of healthy leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables.

When feeding your Fee de Marbourgh with vegetables and leafy greens, be extra careful with the type of green that you feed it because there are some vegetables such as lettuce, which can eventually be harmful to your rabbit when given in quantities that are more than enough. Beans, potatoes, and cabbage can also be harmful to your Fee de Marbourg. Also, giving them too many fruits can also be harmful in the long run because of how sugary they are. In that regard, always keep yourself educated with the type of fruits and vegetables that are safe for your rabbit to consume. But, to make sure that you are on the safe side, see to it that the rabbit’s diet focuses more on hay than on fruits and vegetables. Fruits can be an occasional treat, while leafy greens should be given more focus than conventional vegetables.


The Fee de Marbourg is similar to any type of pet in the sense that it will always require a fresh batch of clean water in its regular habitat. The best way to make sure that the water stays fresh is to make use of a fountain-like hydration system that keeps the water away from outside exposure. However, if you cannot get your hands on one, a regular water dish should do just fine but always keep an eye on the water in case it gets dirty. When cleaning the water dish, always make sure that you also sanitize it thoroughly to minimize the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms.


When it comes to your Fee de Marbourg’s habitat, you do not necessarily have to be extra picky. A normal or regular rabbit cage that is made out of a combination of wood as its base and metal for the screens can be good enough for your pet. The cage should have some sort of translucent screen opening to allow for more air to flow in and out of the habitat. You may opt for a cage that has a screen in at least two sides to make sure that airflow is really good.

The size of the Fee de Marburg’s cage can be something that is quite interesting to look at depending on how lively and active your rabbit is. As some of these rabbits do have the tendency to become quite playful, you may opt for a cage that has enough space to promote playfulness. The Fee de Marburg can thrive well in a habitat that is at least 3 feet long and perhaps a foot and a half wide.

In some cases, an outdoor enclosure might be a good idea as these rabbits can also do well outdoors. An outdoor enclosure is best made out of wood and wire and should be high enough to prevent the rabbit from hopping out of its cage so easily. The good thing about an outdoor enclosure is that the Fee de Marbourg will have enough sunlight and natural air to enjoy and will also most likely have enough space to roam around. However, it can also be more susceptible to the elements if kept in an outdoor enclosure.

Availability – Where to Get one?

Fee de Marbourgs are not as common as their Havana counterparts when it comes to their availability in the open market. They are most likely more abundant in Europe than they are in America, but you may be able to find them in some dedicated rabbit breeder’s store. If not, you can easily ask for references from other rabbit breeders in case they have an idea as to where you might be able to procure yourself a Fee de Marbourg.

How to Care for a Fee de Marbourg

The good thing about the Fee de Marbourg is that it is quite easy to care for because of how it was specifically bred to become a household pet for almost any kind of family. Its demeanor is suitable for a pet that is domesticated as it can easily stay friendly towards its owner and its family. This rabbit is also quite playful but not too active or energetic. As such, as long as you give it the right kind of attention and so long as you socialize with it properly, it will stay happy and will have a friendly demeanor.

In terms of the food you should give it, the Fee de Marbourg will thrive well on a diet that is composed mainly of hay but should also be supplemented with fruits and vegetables that are safe for it to consume. It really is similar to any kind of rabbit in terms of its overall care and diet. There almost is nothing that sets it apart from the Havana and its other closely-related domesticated rabbit in terms of the minimum care it needs.

Meanwhile, this medium-sized rabbit also requires a cage that is suitable enough for its size and weight. It is almost just about the same size as Havana and will thrive well in either indoor and outdoor environments depending on where you live and on the conditions of the region you live in.


Is the Fee de Marbourg a good pet to have?

Actually, this rabbit was bred to become a household pet. That means that the Fee de Marbourg is the ideal pet rabbit for many different families to have.

Can the Fee de Marbourg eat meat?

Fee de Marbourgs are herbivores and will only thrive when given a diet that is based primarily on hay and on leafy greens and vegetables.

What are the common health problems that Fee de Marbourgs face?

The Fee de Marbourg is generally considered a hardy rabbit due to how it is used to living a domesticated life. However, that does not mean that you should not keep an eye on its health as well as on the type of food and living conditions you give it.

Do Fee de Marbourgs love to play?

Fee de Marbourg is actually quite playful rabbits because they generally have a rather playful demeanor. But these rabbits are not overly playful to the point that they can sap your energy in a heartbeat.

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