Rabbits are beautiful little critters. They are fun to look at and play with. They are also probably the best choice of animal to incorporate into our Easter holiday. A rabbit’s size, weight, face, coat, and attitude can vary greatly depending upon the breed of a rabbit. Feeding a rabbit is generally the same for all breeds with a few exceptions.
A rabbit is a rabbit, however. Every rabbit, does have a few things in common with another rabbit. They both have two ears (unless they are deformed or mutated), for instance. A more serious fact is that rabbits like locations that have a moderate climate. Rabbits, do however, live all around the world. Those are a few of the similarities that rabbits share amongst each-other. The differences that rabbits yield between each other, is downplayed and underestimated. Not all rabbits are cute. Not all rabbit like to be touched, and eat carrots. Rabbits are usually classified by size, weight and pelt type. A pelt is the fur on the rabbit’s skin. I will describe some of the more popular breeds of rabbits, in detail, and show you just how greatly rabbits can vary from each-other.
Rabbits usually weigh 3-16 pounds. For instance, a small rabbit may weigh 4 pounds, whereas a large rabbit may weigh 16 pounds. That’s generally speaking, there are always some exceptions. Rabbits are sought-after for pets purposes, for meat and/or consumption, and for decorative fur. The rabbit breeds I will be discussing and relating to are Californian, Dutch, Netherland Dwarf, New Zealand, and the Silver breed. According to Domestic Rabbits, magazine of the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association, Volume 33, Number 6, Nov./Dec. 2005, The rabbits I have picked to define are very popular. Rabbits, of course, can be crossbred. Not all rabbits are pure-breaded bunnies!
The Californian rabbit is your stereotypical rabbit. It is a white rabbit with black points. If you see a rabbit outside and it is white, there is a good chance it is a Californian rabbit. This type of rabbit’s weight can vary greatly- usually ranging from 8-10 pounds. These rabbits usually have dark brown/blue colored paws, ears, feet, and/or noses. The Easter symbol itself, is a Californian rabbit.
The New Zealand, oddly enough, are 100% American rabbits. Rabbit is slightly larger than a Californian rabbit, weighing 9-13 pounds. New Zealand rabbits are generally pure white, brown, or deep black. When the rabbit is red, the coat is slightly harsher than the other colors. White obviously, is the most common.
A Dutch rabbit generally has colorings with a white strike below the neck, gray, brown, or black eyes and ears, and a white nose. The markings across the face generally resemble a colored mask. The Dutch rabbit ranges in size from 3 ½ to 5 ½ pounds. These types of rabbits have a fully rounded head.
A Silver rabbit, ironically enough, has silver specs all over it’s body. The Silver rabbit ranges in size from 4 to 8 pounds. These rabbits are athletic and active. They like a lot of space, and some like to play with toys. These are generally not the best rabbits as pets, and are very difficult to breed. The color of the rabbit includes black, blue, fawn, and brown. All of these color rabbits have silver hairs.
A Netherland Dwarf rabbit is one of the smallest types of rabbits. It is considered extremely “cute”, and comes in many colors, patterns, and sizes. It is a very energetic breed of rabbit, and looks more like a rodent! This rabbit may range from 1-6 pounds (usually at the smaller end o the scale).
This is a breakdown on how rabbits differ from each-other. Rabbits are pretty little things. Next time you spot one try to figure out which kind of rabbit it is and observe its behavior and appearance. If you watch close enough, maybe you can identify its breed on sight.
Author: Randy Sell, Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural Economics, http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/alt-ag/rabbit.htm NDSU
Animals in Science. http://www.ahc.umn.edu/rar/MNAALAS/Rabbits.html
Group of 4th graders that collected rabbit information. http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC063384/index.htm