[TOP 20+] Rabbit Breeds for Pets – PART 1 (With Pictures)

Rabbit Breeds for pets

Rabbit breeds for pets fall into four categories by size: giant, medium, small, and dwarf. Fur types are also four: normal, rex, satin, and angora. What follows is a brief description of several breeds, along with a few comments that should help you as you consider your options.

Fundamentally, the best breed to raise is one that somebody else will buy, unless you truly wish to be a rabbit keeper. In addition, it’s best to stick to just one or two breeds in order to make the best use of your time, to become really good at breeding, to streamline your record-keeping chores, and to use hutches and equipment efficiently.

The New Zealand White is doubtless the most popular breed because that’s the one that most people buy, although many of the smaller breeds are better represented at most rabbit shows. Recall that most meat rabbits are New Zealand Whites; many others are Californians.

4 Types of Rabbit Fur

Rabbit Breeds for pets

Rabbit Size

TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets
The silhouettes above indicate proportionally the size categories of rabbits, ranging from 20-pound giants down to 2-pound dwarfs. At left are two does, a Californian and a Champagne d’Argent.

PART 1 : TOP Rabbit Breeds for Pets

Each year the show at the American Rabbit Breeders Association National Convention draws thousands of entries.
The most recent show included more than 23,000 rabbits! To give you a sense of Rabbit Breeds for pets that are popular among raisers in the United States, here’s a list of the most numerous and popular breeds at the show. The rankings and the numbers of rabbits entered really don’t vary much from year to year, although a few breeds enjoy short-lived popularity.

A total of 4,325 shows were sanctioned by the ARBA in 2016. Entries for the year numbered 938,360. As the list indicates, small and dwarf breeds were favored over the medium breeds and, certainly, the giants.

If you’re considering adopting a bunny, we have everything you need to know to help find the perfect companion.

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1) Checkered Giant

IDEAL WEIGHT12 pounds (5.4 kg)
MARKETLess desirable than the other giants
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

Among the giant breeds, the Checkered Giant, usually called just the “Checker” by those who raise them, weighs less than the others in the category. Some in the medium-weight group is almost as heavy, including New Zealand, and the French Lop often weighs as much or more. The breed requires a big hutch.
White with black or blue markings, Checkers are bony and rangy. They are known for almost perpetual motion that burns pounds of feed, while not producing as much meat per pound as several breeds in the medium-weight group. Some raisers, however, cross Checkers with New Zealands to produce a long loin, the most prized cut in the carcass.

2) Flemish Giant

IDEAL WEIGHTBuck, 13 pounds (5.9 kg); doe, 14 pounds (6.4 kg)
VARIETIESBlack, Blue, Fawn, Light Gray, Sandy, Steel Gray, White
MARKETPractically none, although it is considered a meat rabbit
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

If you like your rabbits big, the Flemish Giant is the breed for you. Many individuals of both sexes weigh up to 5 pounds (2.5 kg) more than the weights listed above. These big rabbits are big eaters, have heavy bones, and require big hutches to provide room for their extremely long bodies and big ears. While not an efficient meat breed, the Flemish is desirable to those who want a big roaster and a large pelt of normal fur.

3) Giant Chinchilla

IDEAL WEIGHT13–14 pounds (5.9–6.4 kg)
VARIETIESChinchilla only
MARKETSimilar to that of the Flemish Giant
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

Like the Flemish Giant, this big, bony eater needs a huge hutch. A better choice for a meat rabbit with chinchilla fur would be the American Chinchilla (10–11 pounds [4.5–5.0 kg]) or the Standard Chinchilla (6 pounds [2.7 kg]).
The breed standard requires that the coat resemble the small but valuable chinchilla itself. If you blow on the fur you will see that the under color of the hair shafts is a dark slate blue, the intermediate portion a light pearl, and the top edge a narrow black band; a wavy ticking tops it all.

4) Californian

IDEAL WEIGHT9 pounds (4.0 kg)
FUR TYPENormal; all white except for the black nose, ears, and feet
MARKETNumber-two meat rabbit; often crossed with New Zealand White
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Despite its black nose, ears, and feet, for all practical purposes, this is a white-pelted, pink-eyed, normal-furred
breed with an excellent reputation as a meat producer. Its fine bones make for an efficient meat breed, and its meat is second only to the New Zealand White in popularity on the table. The depth of the body should equal its width, and the ideal specimen is plump with well-developed shoulders. The hindquarters are deep, round, and smooth, the loin is broad and deep, and the overall picture is one of roundness.

5) Champagne d’Argent

IDEAL WEIGHTBuck, 10 pounds (4.5 kg); doe, 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg)
VARIETIESOne; the French word argent means “silver,” and that is the only color.
FUR TYPENormal. The adult body color is a bluish-white, interspersed with long jet-black hairs, from a distance giving the effect of old silver.
MARKETA superb meat rabbit
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

The French word argent means silver, but if you see a preweaned litter of Champagnes you might wonder because they are adorned with jet-black normal fur. They gradually change to the champagne color over the first months of life, with only their muzzles remaining black. A superb meat rabbit, this breed has a better dress out than New Zealands and Californians because of its extremely fine bone.

6) New Zealand

IDEAL WEIGHT10–11 pounds (4.5–5.0 kg)
VARIETIESWhite, Black, Red, Broken
MARKETNumber-one meat and laboratory rabbit (White); with fine bones efficiently converts feed to meat; produces most consistently of all breeds. Widely available: a great first choice; a great only choice
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

Almost every big white rabbit you encounter will be a New Zealand, or at least one with New Zealand breeding behind it. But New Zealands also come in Black, Red, and the relatively new Broken. The White is the number-one meat and laboratory rabbit; the Red is the original; the Black has been around for years. The Broken variety is largely white with blotches of either red or black.

7) Palomino

IDEAL WEIGHT9 pounds (4.1 kg)
MARKETExcellent meat rabbit but not nearly as common as New Zealands or Californians, partly because of the colors: many raisers find the colors attractive, but processors do not, preferring white
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

An excellent meat rabbit, the Palomino has normal fur and comes in two colors. The Golden has a bright,
glossy gold top color over a cream–white under color at the base of the hair shaft. The Lynx surface color is a
medium pearl gray, blending to a dilute orange–beige intermediate color over a cream–white under color at the base of the hair shaft. The intermediate color shows through the medium pearl gray, giving the animal a dusty gold appearance. The overall body type is similar to that of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Red is said to be one of its ancestors.

8) Rex

IDEAL WEIGHT8–9 pounds (3.6–4.1 kg)
VARIETIESAmber, Black, Black Otter, Blue, Californian, Castor, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Red, Sable, Seal, White, Broken
FUR TYPERex, or short and plushlike; like velour or velvet.
MARKETMeat, primarily; fur, secondarily, if raised to maturity when pelt is prime
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An excellent meat rabbit, the plushlike Rex comes in 16 varieties, representing almost all recognized
colors of domestic rabbits. Velour or velvet comes to mind when stroking the fur. The pelt, with hair, 5⁄8 inch long when prime, can bring attractive prices at certain times. The Rex has the build of a meat rabbit, but poorly furred footpads make it prone to sore hocks when raised on wire floors; look for well-furred footpads.

9) Satin

IDEAL WEIGHTBuck, 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg); doe, 10 pounds (4.5 kg)
VARIETIESBlack, Blue, Californian, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Copper, Opal, Otter, Red, Siamese, White, Broken
FUR TYPESatin; has hollow, luminous hair shafts that give this breed’s fur a great deal of sheen
MARKETAn excellent meat rabbit, with pelt potential; an extremely popular rabbit at shows
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

A pair of these rabbits will produce 4-pound (1.8-kg) fryer/broilers at 8 weeks that are the equal of almost every other breed in the weight class. The added appeal, of course, is the satin fur, appearing in 12 colors, and the same coat can now also be found on the much smaller Mini Satins, a recent introduction. A great number of normal-fur rabbits have been sanitized, so you can obtain Satins in just about any color you like.

10) Dutch

IDEAL WEIGHT4.5 pounds (2 kg)
VARIETIESWhite, Black, Blue, Chocolate, Gray, Steel, Tortoise
MARKETBasically, a fancier’s a rabbit, bred for exhibition, but also an excellent small meat rabbit that dresses out well
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

If you seek a strong challenge on the show table the Dutch is for you, although the breed also dresses out very well because of its plump, compact carcass. Does are excellent foster mothers, and some raisers keep a few
just for that reason. Sometimes called Dutch Belted, this is the “panda bear” rabbit, its markings distinguishing it from every other breed — although those markings are largely a matter of luck.

11) English Angora

IDEAL WEIGHT5.5–6.5 pounds (2.5–3.0 kg)
VARIETIESAgouti, Pointed White, Self (All White), Shaded, Ticked, Wide Band
FUR TYPEAngora, or rabbit “wool,” used primarily for spinning into yarn for luxurious garments
MARKETSmaller than the other Angora breeds, and less popular as a commercial animal; tufted ears give it a distinctive look admired by many
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

If you are at a rabbit show and spot a round ball of fluff, it’s bound to be an English Angora. As an adult it looks heavy, but it is the smallest of the Angora breeds, the largest being the Giant Angora, weighing 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or more. Intermediate-weight Angoras are the Satin and French breeds. An easy way to distinguish the English from the other Angoras is to look at its ears, which are abundantly fringed and tasseled, much more so than those of its cousins.

12) English Spot

IDEAL WEIGHT6–7 pounds (2.7–3.2 kg)
VARIETIESBlack, Blue, Chocolate, Gold, Gray, Lilac, Tortoise
MARKETAnother fancier’s breed, and a big challenge, much like the Dutch
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

A strictly fancy breed, the English Spot exhibits a trail of colored spots along its white flanks that must conform to a specified pattern, a challenge for breeders. The breed sits at an erect posture, made possible by a full-arch body type. As a meat rabbit, it is poor, having a racy, arched shape and not carrying much meat because of its ranginess. The fur is short, dense, fine, and of high luster.

13) Florida White

IDEAL WEIGHT5 pounds (2.3 kg)
MARKETA meat rabbit of small size that dresses out better than any other breed
TOP Rabbit Breeds for pets Complete Guide

Though small, these whites deliver a solid block of meat even at a young age. At 12 weeks you can get as much dressed, edible meat from a Florida White as you can in 8 weeks from a breed that matures at twice the weight, partly because of its small head and ears, feet, and bones. For its size, it produces large litters. Does are often crossed with larger-breed bucks to produce hefty fryer/broilers in a small hutch.

So this the top first Rabbit Breeds for pets with detail and pics, leave in a comment which one did like or you already had, see you in PART 2 of rabbits breeds, and share it with your friends if you like it.