(c) Gryph- if you repost this article, please post with a link back to my website.
Here in the pacific northwest, there are a lot of Rex rabbits. I mean, a LOT. At a recent show, there were nearly 90 Rex rabbits entered in one class. We have plenty of backyard breeders, and also breeders who take advantage of this breed's sometimes hard-to-find status. And yet, in spite of the high numbers, it can sometimes be difficult to find Rex rabbits, unless you know someone who knows someone who knows a breeder... Many of the Rex in our area are very small. Ideally, a mature (aka senior, over 6 months old) Rex buck should weigh between 7.5 and 9.5 lbs, but ideally weigh 8 lbs. A mature (aka senior, over 6 months old) Rex doe should weigh between 8 and 10.5 lbs, but ideally weigh 9 lbs. Unfortunately, there were breeders in the past, many of who are now out of business, who bred Mini Rex into their Rex bloodlines, thereby affecting future offspring for many generations.
Mini Rex and Rex (sometimes incorrectly called "Standard" Rex to differentiate) are two completely different breeds that share a fur type. Just as a New Zealand is different from a Flemish Giant, a Rex and a Mini Rex are very different from each other. To start with, Mini Rex are much, much smaller than Rex. Senior Mini Rex bucks weigh in between 3 and 4.5 lbs, while senior Mini Rex does weigh in between 3.25 and 4.5 lbs. That's a pretty significant difference. The body style of a Rex is more meaty, while Mini Rex are more compact. The Rex body style is designed to be a meat breed, and the Mini Rex body style is not. The head shape is different, and they tend to have different sized eyes and ears. They can also have different personalities. As a general rule (there are always exceptions) Rex tend to be more laid back than Mini Rex. While some Mini Rex make fantastic pets, especially due to their small size, many of them are more prone to being startled or scared and biting or scratching. Essentially, Mini Rex are not just miniature Rex.
Many breeders will not take seriously a breeder who raises both Rex and Mini Rex, because of the problems which have occurred in the past with Mini Rex being crossed into Rex. It's a good idea not to raise both breeds to avoid any problems. Do not make the mistake of crossing Mini Rex with Rex. There is no purpose to it.
Some breeders will have a fit if you use the word "Standard" to differentiate between Rex and Mini Rex. There is no breed called Standard Rex. The breed is simply, Rex.