Table of Contents
The American Rabbit is a large sized rabbit with soft silky fur that was once prized by furriers as were breeding does.
They are great pets and can be used commercially. They were once in abundance and quite a popular breed much sought after as pets and for the fine fur and good quality meat.
Today due to a drop in the popularity around the 1950s the breed is quite rare to come by and has various association fighting for the breeds come back.
BREED PROFILE OVERVIEW
|Breed Name:||American Rabbit|
|Country of Origin:||America|
|Breed Purpose:||Pet, show, meat, and fur|
Female/Doe: 10 to 12 lbs.
Male/Buck: 9 to 11 lbs.
|Breed Color(s):||Blue and white color varieties|
There are two varieties of the breed
The Blue variety is known for its deep blue uniform slate blue coat that covers its entire body. They are reputed to have the darkest blue coats of all the blue varieties in America. The Blue variety generally has a dark blue to black colored eyes.
The white variety is solid snowy white with red eyes.
They both have a semi-arch body with a coat that is ideal for fur. They have a normal size and shape head with ears that stand up straight that are narrow and proportionate tapering to a point.
They are said to have a long loin with a common commercial shape that is typical of the Californian breed of rabbit. If shown the rabbits have a certain way of being posed to best show off the length of their bodies.
Their coats have a dense, silky and fine texture free from stray colored hairs and molt. With a typical cotton wool type tail.
|Temperament:||They are a docile breed known to be quite friendly and tame.|
- The American Rabbit breed is considered a large breed that is quite a hardy breed that is docile and easy to manage.
- They tend to have large litters with the fryers growing quickly reaching marketable weights relatively fast.
- They does make excellent mothers and have very good maternal instincts.
- Although the average lifespan of the American Rabbit is said to be around 5 to 8 years of age, they have been known to live quite a bit longer than that especially if they are well taken care of.
|Good Pets?||They do make wonderful pets with their docile nature|
|Child Friendly?||Children should be supervised around animals and properly taught how to look after them and handle them. Rabbits can bite and scratch|
|Ideal Climate:||All climates|
|Conservation Status:||Listed by the *ALC
Status/Rarity: Rare / Threatened
|Recognized by the ARBA?||Yes – The blue variety was accepted in 1918 and the white variety in 1925|
|Rabbit Associations/Clubs:||Breeders of the American Rabbit, N.S.C.|
|Where to buy them?||The American rabbit is quite a rare breed of rabbit today it is best to check with the Breeders of the American Rabbit, N.S.C. for more information on clubs and suppliers of the breed in or around the required area.|
|Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy|
The American Rabbit is quite a rare breed of rabbit these days and listed by the American Livestock Conservancy.
Passionate rabbit fanciers are making a concerted effort to get the breeds numbers up, raise awareness of the plight and promote the breed.
Known for the friendly disposition and low maintenance they are very easy to care for and maintain even a novice with no prior rabbit breeding or caring experience will have no problems with this wonderful rabbit breed.
If breeding the rabbit there may be one or two challenges. As with any cross-breeds there are going to be some recessive genes that will cause various breeding challenges. Such as some of the recessive genes in the White variety will sometimes cause for unrecognizable color variations. Novice breeders should always seek advice when breeding these rabbit for the best results.
The American Rabbit breed was first known as the German Blue Vienna rabbits and was known as such right up until just after World War I. It was around this time and because of the war that the rabbit’s name was quickly changed to American Blue Rabbit. The second variety of American rabbit was added to the breed in 1925 and was white – the American White Rabbit.
The German Blue was developed in America by Lewis H. Salisbury of Pasadena California who never really divulged which breeds he crossed to get the German Blue. But it is believed that a few European blue rabbits were used such as the Beveren, Blue Imperial, Vienna, and the Flemish Giant.
The White American was developed but the selection of white sports or mutants with the addition of red-eyed whites or albino Flemish Giants. Some cross breeds of the rabbit were referred to a ‘mutts’ due to their lineage.
The rabbit’s popularity quickly spread and by 1920 the furriers were paying top dollar for a good pelt and even more for a breeding doe. Both varieties of the American rabbit had a very popular following right through the 1920s up to the 1950s.
The American Rabbit belongs the family European wild rabbits – the family Oryctolaguscuniculus.
After World War II fanciers were more interested in developing more interesting rabbits with different types of markings that were smaller and cuter. Breeders who sold their rabbits for commercial purposes were seeking breeds that grew fasters and offered more value for money.
With a result, there was a decline in the interest for the American Rabbit breeds which had a drop in the breed’s population. Thus, they are now one of the rarest breeds in the USA with only about 200 rabbits still in existence.
In 2005 the American Livestock conservancy took action and discovered that two ladies in Alberta Canada posses 40 White American Rabbits that ancestry traced back to the 1920s. This was a time when the American Rabbits popularity was at a peak, Thus the interest in the America Rabbit breed was once again sparked and a concerted effort has been launched to save the breed.
The American Rabbit breed, the Blue variety, was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1918. The White variety of the American Rabbit breed was recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association in 1925.
- American Rabbit Breeders Association
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Society of Animal Science
- United States Department of Agriculture
- United States Department of Agriculture – Rabbit Meat