The Different Breeds of Rabbits

The following are the different available breeds of rabbits;

1. California breed

This is the second most popular breed for meat production. The colour is all white but with black tipping on the nose, ears, feet and tail. The weight range for the mature Californian is 3-4.5 kg.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: California breed

2. New Zealand white

This breed is the one used most widely throughout the world for meat production. It is all white in colour and usually weighs 3-5 kg when mature.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: New Zealand white breed

3. American chinchilla

This breed is blue-grey in colour with a white belly. It has a characteristic ruff or dewlap.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: American chinchilla

This is a thick fold of skin around the front of the chest which is very obvious when the rabbit is in good condition and sitting in a resting position. The weight range for the mature Chinchilla is 3-4.5 kg.

4. Dutch

The Dutch are a small breed with a mature live weight of 2.5-3.5 kg. It has a wide white band of fur around its body at the shoulders as well as a white stripe down the middle of its face. Its front feet fall within the white and the tips of its back feet are also white.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: Dutch

5. Flemish giant

This is a giant breed which at maturity can weigh well over 6 kg. It is usually light grey in colour but may also be sandy blue or white. This is not a suitable breed for the beginner.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: Flemish giant

6. New Zealand red

This breed is essentially a red New Zealand white type which has not been as intensively selected for growth rate. Mature live weight is lower than the white type, at 3-4.5 kg.

The Different Breeds of Rabbits
Fig: New Zealand red

Read Also: Principles of Reproduction in Rabbits

Other Breeds of Rabbits

There are over 40 recognized breeds of domesticated rabbits in the world. Other common breeds include Champagne d’ argent, English spot, Simon ire, Lop etc.

Comparison between some popular breeds of medium and heavy-weight rabbits

Table: Comparison between some popular breeds of medium and heavy-weight rabbits

BreedsWeight at maturity (kg)Litters/doe/yearBody colour
California3.5-5.048The colour is all white but with black tipping on the nose, ears, feet and tail.
New Zealand White4.1-5.450It is all white in colour
American- chinchilla4.1-5.538This breed is blue-grey in colour with a  white belly. It has a characteristic ruff or dewlap.
Dutch2.5-3.545-48It has a wide white band of fur around its body at the shoulders, face, front feet and tips of its back.
Flemish giant5.9-7.336It is usually light grey in colour but may also be sandy blue or white.

In conclusion, rabbits grow quickly and are a cheap source of protein, they have many advantages, and several breeds of them are available and can be reared for consumption or commercial undertaking.

Rabbits are used for meat, vocational projects, as laboratory animals, as a teaching tool, animal research model and for pets.

Advantages of keeping rabbits include relatively small body size, meat is of high-quality animal protein, efficient feed converters to high-quality protein, can be used to minimize the protein intake in-balance in certain parts of the world, excellent product acceptance, useful by-product, suitable animal for learning basic skills for animal husbandry etc.

The few disadvantages are vulnerability to prey, and Rabbit production is not easy it takes a great deal of skill, a lot of hard work and a lot of food.

Constraints of rabbit production include the needed demand for daily care and attention, lack of awareness of the skills needed in rabbit production, Unavailability of improved parent stock etc.

Guidelines on promoting rabbit production are the formation of rabbit clubs or groups and organizing competitions.

Common international breeds of rabbits include California breed, New Zealand white and red, American chin chilla, Dutch breed, Flemish giant, Champagne d’ argent, English spot, Simon ire, and lop.

Read Also: Advantages and Disadvantages of Rabbit Production

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Writer (With over 12 years of professional experience in the agricultural industry) - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education... Visit My Websites On: Agric4profits.com - It's All About Agriculture, The Way Forward! Agric4profit.com - The Most Reliable Global Agricultural Forum! Agric4profit.com.ng - The Most Reliable Nigeria's Agricultural Job Board! TheAgriPedia.com - For Everything Premium Agriculture! WealthinWastes.com - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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