Rabbits are infamous for their fluffy cotton tails, floppy ears, and fantastic hop. However, the diversity of rabbit breeds is not as well-known. The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recognizes 49 rabbit breeds. This article will attempt to expand that knowledge of rabbits by diving into five different rabbit breeds, some more familiar than others: Holland Lop, Alaskan, Blanc de Hotot, Californian, and Havana Rabbits.
Holland Lop Rabbits: This breed is commonly recognized for its lop-ears. They were originally bred by Adrian de Cock in the Netherlands. Adult Holland Lop Rabbits weigh between 2-4 pounds, making them quite small. These rabbits were officially recognized by the Netherlands Governing Rabbit Council in 1964. And it wasn’t until 1979 that the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) formally recognized Holland Lop Rabbits.
Alaskan Rabbits: This lesser-known breed is native to Germany and was
created by the rabbit judge Max Gotha. Alaskans are a jet-black breed that typically weigh around 6 to 8.5 pounds. Initially, the goal of Gotha and his colleagues was to form a rabbit breed that had white guard hairs on their dark coats. Despite this, they ended up being satisfied with the beautiful black guard hairs that the Alaskan rabbits displayed. At one point, Alaskan rabbits were recognized by American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), but they’re currently not. However, the breed is still acknowledged by the British Rabbit Council in the United Kingdom.
Blanc de Hotot Rabbits: These stunning creatures are known for their black “eyeliner” around their eyes. They were developed in Normandy by Eugenie Bernhard and were first presented at the 1920 Exposition Internationale d’Aviculture in Paris. The Blanc de Hotots were recognized by the French Rabbit Governing Body in 1922. They were recognized as a breed by ARBA in 1979. Bucks typically weigh around 8 to 10 pounds, while matured Blanc de Hotots are 9 to 11 pounds.
Californian Rabbit: This breed of rabbits was developed in California in 1923 by breeder George West. He planned to create the perfect breed that would have a thick coat and perfect meat. They weigh around 8 to 11 pounds and are characterized by their dark or black markings. These markings are usually on their ears, nose, feet, and tail. Californian rabbits were recognized by ARBA in 1939.
Havana Rabbit: This soft-furred, petite breed of rabbits typically weigh around 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. Despite the name, these rabbits were originally bred in the Netherlands during the late 1800s. Their name comes from the fact that their chocolate brown fur matches the color of Cuban cigars in Havana. The Havana rabbits were brought to the United States in 1916 and were acknowledged by ARBA shortly after.
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