rabbit boarding

Rabbit Boarding

Rabbit Boarding Birmingham

The following should be considered when finding a pet boarding for your rabbit :

Rabbit Boarding Advice

– Somewhere for the rabbit to frequently run and play, has toys, be loved and not be bored or frustrated. Spending some time in a rabbit run would be ideal.  Hutches are at an acceptable size for the rabbit where your pet can move around comfortably and cleaned regularly. A rabbit hutch should be long enough for a rabbit to hop three times, tall enough so a rabbit can stand on their back legs without their ears touching the top and can comfortably lie down stretch out. Rabbits need to move around without too many toys, bowls and toilet trays cluttering their space. Better still the hutches are rabbit welfare association  (RWAF approved) with it’s 6ft x 2ft x 2ft recommendation. Basically it’s good accommodation with exercise. A good company will display a large amount of pictures on-line. The BVA compiled a report about how concerned vets were with pet rabbits that were left frustrated in cages without interaction and the need to run around. A good question to ask is “How long will my rabbit be on it’s own?”

– Is clean, is weatherproof and safe from foxes, cats and dogs. Basically it’s healthy and hygienic for your rabbit(s).

– A place that only accepts certificate of up to date vaccinations and has been vaccinated more than two weeks prior to staying at the boarding (for more on vaccinations contact www.rspca.org.uk)

– Offers the correct rabbit food (endless supply of hay, correct amount of greens and nuggets). Even better if they grow their own greens on-site,:

Growing mint for rabbits

– Requests details of your bunnies food requirements. Suddenly changing the eating habits of pets can make them poorly and therefore a matching food pattern is important.

– Has an emergency procedure and emergency kits in place if your pet becomes poorly.

– Has a full pet boarding insurance in place and emergency arrangements in place in case something happens to your rabbit including a first aid kit and recovery foods.

– Has good online recommendations from pet forums and service feedbacks from company listings.

– Log all your details on boards against the cage together with all activities (food and exercise) recorded.

– Has experience in dealing with rabbits (a specialised rabbit boarding is usually better than one that offers numerous pets). A good question to as is “Do you have your own rabbits?”

– Can offer special arrangements (larger rabbits, grooming rabbits, indoor rabbits)

– The luxury of logging onto a webcam facility to view the live boarding of pets


Above all, make sure you are confident and happy with your boarding. Any concerns need to be overcome or seek an alternative business.


Rabbit Boarding Birmingham

All Paws Birmingham –  boarding for rabbits and other animals

Bunning Boarding Great Barr in Birmingham – Offering Wendy houses and hutches for rabbits


Rabbit Boarding Coventry

Barn Farm in Coventry


Rabbit Boarding Solihull / Shirley / Sheldon

binky and squeaks in Solihull

bunny haven in Shirley


Rabbit Boarding Worcestershire



Finding a rabbit boarding in the west midlands




rabbit boarding for Birmingham


Forum on starting your own pet boarding business :


The following website has assistance in offering insurance planes for pet boarding companies.


Further advise on choosing the correct boarding is available from:




For rabbit breeders and boarding,  stackable rabbit  cages are available from :

the happy hutch

the rabbit hutch warehouse


The Rabbit Boarding Business

In 2014 we decided to look at the opportunity of running a rabbit boarding and services business in Birmingham and the West Midlands. With a few ideas and some research from the pet-sit website and viewing similar services, we set about a business plan.  First of all we decided to get a website, facebook and twitter established. This was not to promote any services at this stage, but act as a means of building interest and offering advise to rabbit owners for Birmingham and the surrounding area. The Rabbit Boarding website page was to offer advise in finding a good boarding service in the West midlands but will eventually include our services. After looking for website names on the website “expired domains” that were rabbit or pet related we came across www.whatapet.net (buying older established websites usually perform better than new ones). This was previously used to sell personalised pet products online but was now no longer in use. We added links onto a number of websites including find pet boarding. After a couple of months, the website was performing well within googles’ search engines. Looking again for further expired domains, we came across www.petrabbits.co.uk, www.rabbithotel.co.ukwww.rabbit-food.co.uk and  www.rabbitguardianangels.co.uk. All domains were originally registered over 10 years ago. These were UK based websites that we could bring back to life. We purchased all of them. www.petrabbits.co.uk and www.rabbit-food.co.uk were previously used as a rabbit information websites www.rabbithotel.co.uk was used for a number of years as a rabbit boarding business in Birmingham (Exactly the same service and location area that we are attempting to achieve)  and  www.rabbitguardianangels.co.uk  was a bunny boarding and assurance services company in Worcestershire. This was a nice find as hundreds of rabbit companies link to this website.  Our aim was to bring these websites back to life and to include large coverage of our sister websites and expanding rabbit business. After getting the websites registered, we started to build them up to gain popularity within search engines. Two months later we merged the information created on these websites onto our main website and redirected these sites to the relevant webpages. Rabbit information can now be found on the all about rabbitsrabbit breeds, rabbit guardian angels and rabbit food webpages. The website was also designed to include an online booking system.  I have never seen the ability to book a boarding service online and we wanted to change that. In January 2015 a rabbit shop facility was added so purchasing products and services can be included. A rabbit boarding online booking option is available and can be viewed but nothing can be paid for at this stage (January 2015). Directory listings started to include the boarding details in 2015 including :


Find Pet Boarding




The Rabbit Hutch

We looked at a number of websites to buy hutches to home rabbits in Birmingham. We found wood buildings on ebay who make an amazing triple rabbit hutch. The happy hutch company make a cheaper version of this product. (The difference in hinge sizes shows why there is a difference in price). Many of the products on eBay and local pet shops have come from the Bunny business supplier. They make a number of double rabbit cages that are cheaper purchased direct. Home and roost are another supplier of quality 4ft hutches. Germany has always been renowned for their quality products. That’s exactly what we found when finding Wiltec in Königsbenden, Germany. The 2 story quality rabbit hutches costs just £60 when converting from 79. They also have placed them on ebay with free postage for £79.52. As well as a the rabbit hutch we looked to buy a new rabbit run. We found a company a company in Germany called deuba selling rabbit runs on their UK eBay page for £10 plus postage.



First of all however, a shed has to moved to house the hutches into the back garden in Birmingham.

The Rabbit Shed

The Shed was removed and repaired in December 2014. A couple areas of dampness were rectified and a damaged piece of wood replaced. The Shed was repositioned to allow more light. Once cleared new hutches can be added and a run around area build whilst hutches can be cleaned. In February 2015 the first stages of a converted shed were completed. Windows were made secure, easy to clean tile floors were added and wall paneling started. An run around area is created in the shed for Birminghams rabbits to hop around whilst their cages are cleaned. The tile flooring provides a surface thats easy to clean. The tiles cover the floor and part of the side walls. A toughened glass panel sections of the area.


rabbit boarding shed conversion 1 rabbit boarding shed conversion

Food and chews.

Rabbit food was growing in out Birmingham garden last year. Once the cold weather passes, the mint, dill and dandelion areas will start to grow again. I’ve also been looking at some willow trees to plant. This is to provide chew sticks for the rabbits to prevent boredom. Just found a great weeping willow on ebay that seems to have a heavy growth of branches and is ideal for the small garden. Some websites suggest baking willow twigs to shed the bacteria. A great websites for growing willow for rabbits is west Wales willow. They have a page dedicated to bunny toys. Willow is safe tree for rabbits as is : Apple, Ash, Berry Brambles, Birch, Hawthorn, Hazel, Juniper, Maple, Pear, Poplar, Spruce and Willow. Details of safe trees can be found at kanin.org and on  the medirabbit feeding fact sheet.



The Rabbit Hotel Birmingham

The Rabbit Hotel website (www.rabbithotel.co.uk) was a company that offered boarding and services for rabbits in Birmingham. It was featured in an article in the local Birimingham mail newspaper in 2005. Now defunct, the website is now re-directed to this webpage as an information only resource. This website has no links to this company and only acts as an information resource. The website contained four pages of information about the Birmingham rabbit hotel service :

The Rabbit Hotel

where our guests always come first.

Our goal is to combine doing something we love and making a living which is caring for animals in one. We have not had a holiday for over 4 years because of not having anywhere to leave our rabbits, and being fussy pet owners we knew we couldn’t leave them anywhere that we weren’t happy with. It would indeed need to be somewhere special for us to feel comfortable enough to leave them. We knew we could provide a service that was much needed and offer a standard we would be happy with if we left our own little one’s there. You can go on a short or long break knowing your furry family members will be very well taken care of. We offer a totally professional service where what you see is what you get, no hidden costs and a genuine care for your pets. We like to think the difference between ourselves and others is the love and care we will give your pets. Our staff will be available almost all of the time, so your pets will have company for almost all of every day of their stay. The Rabbit Hotel believes by taking the greatest of pleasure in caring for your pets, also takes care of our business.

The Rabbit Hotel

where our guests always come first.

We provide a grooming service if you require it. All our guests are allocated their own dishes and get their dry food changed twice a day and fresh food once a day. We can supply a special diet for your pets if told when booking and treats if you allow. All our enclosures are cleaned daily with a special detergent which destroys bacteria and is safe for our guests. All our furry guests have their own matching numbered runs to reduce the risk of cross infection. It would be preferable if our guests are vaccinated against VHD and Mixamatosis, with certificates of inoculations supplied.

The Rabbit Hotel

where our guests always come first.

We own house rabbits ourselves and completely understand how nervous and distressed rabbits can become, that is why we are in a perfect position to cope with it. We can give them all the love and care we give our own. we are a family run business and will only employ family, as we know we can entrust our guests in their hands instead of outsiders. One or more of us will be with them for 24 hours per day and they will never be left unsupervised as we live on site. We don’t have young children so your pets will be in peace and quiet at all times.

The Rabbit Hotel

Contact Page.

Content details followed.

Rabbit Abcesses – large lumps that can suddenly appear

Sudden lumps (abscesses) are common within rabbits. A build up of pus that becomes incased within a protective wall. Unlike other humans, they are very protective and the pus is thick commonly referred to as "toothpaste-like".  They are frequent after bite wounds, dental wounds and sore hocks.

Vets usually prescribe a course of antibiotics such as baytril. If this fails then surgery maybe recommended. Some abscesses cannot be treated and are left usually not causing the rabbit any problems. Others can be flushed with disinfectants with sugary solutions or string manuka honey recommended.

Cleaning out a rabbit abcess

rabbit abscess rabbit abscessrabbit pus from burst abcess

Our rabbit had an abscess on the side of his face following surgery on his face. The lump got quite large after one week and we anticipated it bursting. At this point we kept the outer part clean with lukewarm water and salt mix that had been cooled and applied with a cotton bud. When the abscess burst the pus was assisted out with cooled water and salt solution. When the abscess was clean we applied manuka honey +24 every few hours. The sugar honey solution has a great repairing effect.

If you have any concerns please consult a vet especially when the abscess is near the eye. Before taking a rabbit to rabbit boarding sites please advise them of any abscesses or problems that exist. 


For more information on rabbit abscesses visit the following websites :

Hrs chicago.org 

The rabbit network

The Original whatapet.net website

The original www.whatapet.net website was setup in America selling products for pet lovers including pet scoops and jars. The website became defunct in 2013 and we snapped up the domain name for our rabbit boarding services and pet businsess in the UK. We have no link to the original website.

Here is how the original website looked :

These items are no longer available for sale from this website :

 This is for reference purposes only. 




<br />

Fax: (248) 723-2277



Other related sites:

HockeyAmerica.com Hockey America

whatapuck.com Hockey Puck



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Chocolate Rabbits for Easter

Easter time always provides a flurry of rabbit shaped choclates in supermarkets and sweet shops across the UK. So why is the rabbit synonymous with Easter? The discovery channel links it back to the 13th Century when people worshipped several Gods. The Godess of Spring had a Rabbit as her symbol. Newsround however claim its a symbol of news life first linked in the 19th Century. Everyone agrees however it's a cute identity for Easter time. 

Easter Rabbit Chocolate

Again this year  (2015) for the second time Cadburys have released the hoppy Bunny Dairy Milk Bar. 

Scoring over 8/10 on treat blogs, the bar is unkown by many as marketing is little compared to the creme eggs.

The Lindt chocolate bunny pride their Gold wrapped chocolate bunny as one of their most iconic products. Complete with red ribbon and bells, this product has become as well known at Easter time as the chocolate egg. The product is copied by many products including the budget supermarket Aldi but in a taste test in 2014 by a local newspaper in Stoke-on-Trent, the Lindt product came out as the leader in rabbit chocolate and the serious eats website gave the lindt and See's Candies top marks.

chocolate rabbit taste test


With a play on the Maltesers and Easter words, the mars brand have continued with the successful rabbit shaped chocolate Malteaster.

rabbit shaped maltesers

The jumping rabbit symbol has marketed themselves well at cute bunny lovers, maltesers likers and luch box treaters for the run up to Easter. 

Enjoy the chocolate rabbits over the Easter period and if your away on holiday keep any small pets looked after at the rabbit boarding outlets.




Rabbit and Animal home study Courses

Want to learn more about rabbits and aninals, then maybe consider an Animal Behaviour course. A number of educational establishments offer a range of Behavious courses including the Warwickshire College group. Their Animal Behaviour course is a home study 100 hour course with assesment. An animal care and behaviour home study course is also available from the open study course. Great courses if your wanting to work with animals or setup your own rabbit boarding business.



Rabbit Guardian Angels

Rabbit Guardian Angels was setup in 1998 in Worcestershire UK. The website was live until 2013 and then ceased for unknown reasons. This website / company has no affiliations or links to rabbit guardian angels and simply acts as a form of information.


The original website content was as follows :


Rabbit Guardian Angels

The guardian angel scheme provides peace of mind that your bunny will be cared for in the exact way that you desire should the 'unavoidable' or 'unthinkable' happen to you. Rabbits are offered a home in our peaceful Sanctuary, guaranteeing luxury spacious accommodation, built to your design if requested. We at Guardian Angels Organisation UK and our care providers have years of rabbit care experience and first class rabbit husbandry. We carry out all your requests for your rabbits daily routine, grooming and make your little darling(s) a big part of our family. Rabbit accommodation is kept immaculate and we take great pride in carrying out all those rabbit tasks. We are highly recommended by our clients and have many testimonial letters available to view from our satisfied customers. 



Charter of the 
" Guardian Angels Organisation UK/America/ International"

Pet Assurance Provide Providing Pet Placement and Sanctuary In the Event of Your ILL Health, Hospitalisation.

Holiday Boarding – use our 5* Bunny Hotel

and help raise Funds for Rabbit Rescue Pet Bequests

1 Pet Assurance Providers 
To provide pet assurance for all pet types 

To Provide a Holiday Home for your Pet either in our Sanctuaries, or with one of our Angels in their homes, who are all Professional and Experienced Pet carers 

  To hold a database of Pet Angels, Experienced and Professional Pet Care Providers 
3 To provide a Permanent Home for your Pet with one of our Angels, who are all approved and endorsed by the Guardian Angels Pet Care standard, in the Event of Your Hospitalisation or Death 
4 To hold a TRUST FUND to which Legacies and Donations can be made, in order to establish a permanent sanctuary headquarters for the "Guardian Angels Organisation UK", in which to house Pets bequest through wills or those requiring long-term care. 
5 To Provide and Promote "Pet Experience Days" to people interested in buying a certain type of Pet, so that they have the opportunity to experience firsthand the individual needs and responsibilities in keeping a Pet. 
6 To Provide and Promote "Pet-Care" Workshops for people who already have Pets, to give the opportunity for the exchanging of ideas to enable Pets to have the best quality of care possible. 
7 To promote Pets as Therapy, and provide Pets that will be trained to visit people in Hospitals, Care Homes and Other Institutions. 
8 To promote the proper keeping Pets to Children, and to provide trained Pets for "Workshops for Children". 
9 To encourage the more Mature person to keep a Pet, with the knowledge and Assurance that "Guardian Angels Organisation UK" will be on hand to help care for the Pet, should the Pet keeper become Ill, or Die. 
10 To work in conjunction with Veterinary Surgeons, and also explore the benefits of 'Complimentary Treatments' in Pets. Forming Links with Pet Healers, Pet Chiropractors, Pet Homoepaths and Other Practitioners. 
11 To promote that Pets are either kept as a 'bonded pair', or in a Group, rather than living the 'Solo Life'. To provide an environment where potential animal "Soul Mates" can meet, and and be Introduced safely and successfully, under the supervision of an Animal Behavioral Therapist or someone experienced in this field. 
12 To support the work of Animal Rescue Centres and assist in finding Quality and Experienced Homes for Pets needing help, by setting up a database of folk looking for a Pet and those Pets seeking a New Home. 
13 To Revolutionalise and promote the approach to Pet Care, based upon the modern understanding of Pets needs.  
14 To Promote a New, Modern Approach to Pet Care , based on Current Understanding of Pets Needs.   
15 To Encourage the Bringing together of People and Their Pets from across the UK and to the wider World Community, to give people an opportunity to present their own Vision for the future "Pet Society". "Guardian Angels Organisation UK" welcomes your ideas and suggestions for the development of the scheme.   



Guardian Angels Organisation UK/America/ International
– Links.

To view any of the websites supported by Guardian Angels Organisation UK, simply select the area you are interested in and the scroll through the sites shown, clicking on the image of their site to open them in a new browser window. We currently have four veterinary practices providing affordable veterinary care and advice for pet owners throughout the Midlands and plan to eventually expand throughout the UK.


Bequesting Pets
" Guardian Angels Organisation UK/America/ International"

Clients wishing to Bequest Pet(s) may do so without being a Formal Member of the S.O.S. Scheme, but please note you MUST Please complete the relevant Application Forms so we can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate your rabbit(s) if required to do so.

The Client is responsible for ensuring that Adequate provision is made in your Legally written Will to cover the costs involved for the Organisation looking after your pet(s). 

You are welcome to donate as much or as little as you wish. We are using Paypal to make the donation. If you already have a Paypal account then you will be familiar with the process. If you do not have a Paypal account it is simple, easy and secure to use. Simply click the following link, opening a new browser window, and follow the instructions. It is a quick and simple process and Paypal is very safe.
Thank you in advance


We STRONGLY recommend that you contact us for advice BEFORE writing your Will, especially if you have more than 3 pets.

There is an opportunity for Clients to have part of a Sanctuary named after themselves, a Family Member or friend. In the Event of a Donation or bequest exceeding £200,000 being made to Guardian Angels Organisation UK, then an entire Sanctuary can be Dedicated in someone’s Honour or Memory.

Q1 How Do I Join The Pet S.O.S Scheme or Contact the Organisation about Be questing my pet(s) in a Will?
A1 Please request an INFORMATION SHEET for your completion either by phoning, emailing or writing to our Organisation Address. 
Q2 Do Guardian Angels Organisation Cover the entire UK? 
A2 Yes! We can collect rabbits from any part of the Country, or elect trusted Friends and Associates yourself to bring your pet(s).
Q3 What information do I need to send to Guardian Angels Organisation UK? 


a) We require details of the following so we can accept Your pet(s) onto our Scheme: 

  • Pet Keepers Name
  • Address
  • Post Code
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Next Of Kin
  • Next Of kin Phone number
  • Next Of Kin Address
  • Name of Key Holder
  • Key holders Phone Number
  • Key holders Address

(Please note it is advisable to elect TWO key holders if possible. Guardian Angels Organisation UK can be one of the Key Holders to speed things up for your pet should you require our urgent help.) 

b) For Each Pet Please supply the following information.

  • Name
  • Age
  • Breed
  • Address where kept and location at address:
  • Dietary requirements
  • Daily Routine
  • Any Medical note
  • Vaccination records and notes
  • Vets Name
  • Vets address
  • Vets Phone number.
  • Other Information as necessary.
  • Location of any equipment.
  • Any Equipment You wish Guardian Angels to take for your Pets use, whilst he/she is in our care.

c) Do you require Guardian Angels Organisation UK to collect your pets(s) from your home address if necessary, or are you electing someone else to bring the pets(s) to our Sanctuary?

If electing another person to deliver your pet(s) to us, please give contact details

  • name
  • address
  • phone number.

Please ensure your Donation covers the extra expenses involved in our providing a collection and delivery service for your pet(s). Thank you.


Q4 I am a little concerned about the idea of leaving my door keys with anyone can you reassure me about this issue. 

Yes! We keep all our Clients door keys in a sealed envelope inside the Organisation Metal security Box. 

We request that Clients place all the information as above And a Key in a sealed envelope with the following written clearly across the front. 

“I, (name) give this my Front Door key to Guardian Angels Organisation Uk for Safe-Keeping on the understanding that it is only ever used in a genuine emergency, and that the Key will be returned to me the Client at any time should I request it.
Further, I the Client give Guardian Angels Organisation permission to enter my home to collect my pet(s) and any equipment that I have given permission to be removed from my home for my pet, in an emergence only.”

Signed :
Dated :
Witnessed By :
Address :

This letter MUST be signed and WITNESSED as otherwise we will be unable to access your home in an emergency 

Q5 How Do I make Sure My Door Key Stays Safe at Another Key Holders Address? 
A5 Do exactly as above for a second Key Holder, and make sure they know it is left with you for EMERGENCY use.
It is advisable to give your Additional Key Holder the Contact Details for Guardian Angels Organisation UK, or write them clearly across the front of the envelope. 
Q6 I am Not a member of the Scheme, I have an emergency can you please help care for my Pet.   
A6 Yes! We will do our utmost to help, but please note that we cannot guarantee accommodation in our Sanctuary, as we have to give priority to our Scheme Members. 



The New York Bunny Ban


Bunnies cannot be purchased from pet shops in New York soon. Christmas see's an upturn in unwanted rabbits and New York has decided to prevent further un-wanted Christmas presents by banning the sale of cute rabbits from pet stores. The Rabbit shelters and boarding organisations have seen a doubling of the amount of rabbits in recent years and consumers will be forced to buy a pet from a rescue home rather than a pet shop.

The story was featured in much of the New York Papers today.






and also was featured on fox news new york.


New York News



All about Rabbits


Getting Started with Rabbits

Rabbit are a fabulous hobby and enormously rewarding. There's nothing like a friendly twitch of the nose to remind you that rabbits make the best of friends. There's also so much fun to be had! As Britain's third favourite domestic animal, you won't be alone as there are hundreds of rabbit shows throughout the country where you can see other rabbits, ask questions or even compete yourself!

A male rabbit is called a 'buck', a female is a 'doe' and babies are called 'kittens'. In the wild, rabbits are social animals and live in groups. However, domestic rabbits do like their own space so great care must be taken if you decide that "two's company". Litter-mates are possibly the best option although they may have to be neutered when they reach maturity. There is also mixed opinion about the benefit of a rabbit and a guinea pig sharing the same hutch. A solitary rabbit will enjoy his run being turned into an adventure playground with, say, a carrot swinging from a rope, empty yoghurt pots and cardboard tubes. If there is any discharge from the nose, eyes, anus or vulva, you should always seek veterinary attention. If the rabbit is not eating and cannot be tempted with favourite treats, check its teeth. Rabbits' teeth are constantly growing and, if they get knocked or are not properly aligned, they can grow into the rabbit's mouth. The vet can usually clip them if this happens. If a rabbit stops drinking or has diarrhoea make sure it does not become dehydrated and, if necessary, syringe or drop a small amount of water into its mouth until veterinary assistance can be sought. Rabbits moult (change coat) twice yearly so will need more grooming to help remove dead fur. This can be achieved in most breeds by using a fine-toothed comb. If scurf appears in large amounts in the coat or bald patches start to appear, then seek veterinary assistance as rabbits, like most animals, can catch mites and fleas. As mentioned there are many rabbit shows held all over the country, usually at the weekend, and as well as classes for the Fanciers some shows have pet sections. These classes are normally judged on the friendliness and the overall condition of the rabbit and are a good opportunity to find out more about your breed and meet like-minded people. If you bring your rabbit into your home, remember that they enjoy chewing and that any paper or electrical cables are prime targets! Rabbits can now be insured against illness, like cats and dogs, with Petplan who have worked with The British Rabbit Council to produce the Rabbit List. For advice on insuring your rabbit. call freephone 0800 282 009.

Rabbits make good pets. they are clean, docile and intelligent. Rabbits can be kept as pets where it is impractical to keep other animals such as dogs and cats. A rabbit can be housed in the simplest of pens, it makes little or no noise and, if properly looked after, it does not smell. Only the basic are needed to maintain a rabbit in good condition; a warm, dry pen or hutch; clean, wholesome food; and fresh water to drink. It is unfortunate that many pet rabbits are maltreated by their well-meaning owner because owners because of the owners 'ignorance or complacency. Rabbit are often bought as pets for young children. Once the child loses interest in the pet, the poor animal is neglected, and the responsibility for caring for it often falls on the parents. The young rabbits grow so fast that it can treble its size and weight in a few weeks. It is necessary to emphasize this harsh reality to the prospective pet rabbit owner. The decision to buy a child a pet rabbit should not be taken lightly. It should be given much thought and consideration. The first point to consider is what kind of rabbit are suitable as a child's pet. Fortunately, most breed of rabbit are medium-sized and can be handled by children without much difficulty. However, some grow to comparatively huge size and can be a great frustration to own a cuddly little baby rabbit that matures into a 10-pound adult. The prospective pet rabbit owner should visit a good local pet store and talk to the proprietor about suitable-size rabbits. Also, take a good look at the hutches and notice how clean and healthy the stock is.


Buying a rabbit

Before buying a rabbit there are many points to consider. Like all animals, a Rabbit will make demands upon your time. It will need daily food and fresh water, regular grooming and company. And of course, its hutch and pen will need regular cleaning in all weathers. Rabbits can live to between 8 and 10 years so commitment is top of the list. Though inexpensive compared to some pets, financial expenses should be taken into consideration. These include the initial cost of the hutch and run and the ongoing costs of feed, bedding and vet bills. What if you go on holiday? It can be difficult to find someone to look after the rabbit so ask around or talk to your local breeder. We're biased but we think that owning a rabbit is a hugely rewarding pastime. They are intelligent, friendly and make great companions to both young and old. Like us, they can become grumpy or irritable if they are uncomfortable or unhappy so prepare to put your rabbit first.


Which Breed of Rabbit

There are over 50 breeds of rabbit and over 500 varieties. They vary greatly in size, colour and coat and can weigh anything from 2 pounds to 16 lb-plus like the Vlaamse reus on the right. You need to think about who the rabbit is for and what they will expect from it. For example, long coated breeds such as the Angora, Cashmere or Swiss Fox may look like 'fluffy bunnies' but they need regular grooming which young children can find a chore after the first few months. If the rabbit is for a child, give consideration to the size of rabbit they can easily handle. If the rabbit is for a very young child, we recommend that you do not buy a small rabbit which the child could pick up a inadvertently squeeze or drop. A larger rabbit which they can pet and make a fuss of which will be less stressful for child and rabbit. A good place to see a variety of breeds is a local rabbit show. These are held by British Rabbit Council's local clubs all o the country and are a good way of see breeds and meeting breeders who may be to help you find the right rabbit for you. BRC star shows are published in the BRC's official journal Fur & Feather. Tel: 01652789/354 for subscription details.)


What to look for when buying a rabbit


How to handle a rabbit

When taking a rabbit out of a hutch it should always feel safe. Approach it from the front placing one hand under its stomach and the other supporting its hind quarters – to stop it reversing – and take most of the weight. Gently lift it and bring it forward into your body so it cannot wriggle and will feel secure. Never pick up a rabbit by its ears! (However, if you visit a show and watch a judge turning a rabbit over, it looks like they are pulling its ears. Don't worry, the rabbit's weight is actually supported in the other hand underneath. This is a good way of controlling a rabbit but should only be used when you have been shown how to do it properly.)

Good management is essential if the rabbitry is to be run in an efficient manner. The main ingredient of good management is regularity-it is threaded through a whole multitude of jobs that must be performed to keep the rabbitry clean and in good order. Good livestock management is not acquired overnight. It comes with practice and experience. Trial and error play an important role in learning how to look after a rabbitry. An old saying-"one man's meat is another man's poison''-is somewhat applicable to livestock management. What suits one breeder and his rabbits may be detrimental to another breeder and his rabbits. Everyone has his own method for doing things, even the simplest tasks such as feeding and cleaning. The right way to do things is the way that suits you; other fanciers can be imitated to a certain extent, but not in all instances. Although experience is the best teacher, there are certain rules that every manager should observe. The fancier who takes time and trouble with his stock will generally be more successful than the fancier who rarely has the time to make sure his stock is well cared for. Cutting corners is useless. There is no shortcut on the long and sometimes frustrating road to success. Even when the fancier attains success, he cannot allow himself to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. He must be forever on the alert in order to keep his stock fit and at their best. One of the rabbit fancier's greatest management assets is his instinct that tells him when everything is going right and when something is amiss. Handling the stock regularly sharpens this instinct. The breeder will learn to recognize when a rabbit is losing flesh, whether it is putting on too much weight or whether it needs a little more conditioning. Simply by looking over his stock, 250 an experienced fancier can tell whether a particular rabbit is fit and well or about to succumb to a minor illness. The best advice for a breeder is to keep the eyes and ears open and the mouth shut!


Great Rabbit Advice

Most reputable pet shops sell good quality hutches ideal for the pet rabbit in the garden. As rabbits can have a long life span, make sure you buy one which is sturdy, secure (from animals trying to get in as well as the rabbit trying to escape) and waterproof. There are many different styles of hutch, the best is probably a free standing hutch which opens at waist height and is easily accessible for getting the rabbit in and out. At this height the rabbit can watch what is happening and is out of the view of cats, dogs and foxes which may pass through the garden. Never stand a hutch directly on the ground as it will quickly become damp and cold so short hutch legs of 220 mm at least are a necessity. Remember that the hutch needs to be solid and water proof and should stand seven metres away from your house. The exact size will depend upon the breed, but remember the rabbit will need room to stretch out and to stand up on its back legs should it feel the urge. The British Rabbit Council recommends a hutch size of at least 75Omm x 60Omm x 450 mm for a Netherland Dwarf. When making decisions about your hutch, bear in mind the following: • make sure it is out of any draughts • make sure the rain can't blow in • make sure it is out of direct sunlight • never paint the inside of your hutch with a lead-based paint. Most hutches have a sleeping compartment so that the rabbit can get in, out of the cold and wet. However, a polythene cover suspended from the roof is advisable if the hutch is in the garden as this can be pulled down over the front in bad weather. This allows air to circulate but at the same time stops the bedding getting wet. It is important that there should be air circulating freely in the hutch at all times to stop the build up of bacteria so make sure that the polythene 'hangs' rather than 'clings'. If you are buying a second hand hutch – be careful. Always ask why the hutch is being sold. If the previous occupant passed away, bacteria can still be present despite thorough cleaning. If the previous occupant died of VHD, do not buy it as no cleaning substances can kill the dormant stages of this virus. If you put a baby rabbit in the hutch, it is likely to catch this virus and die. Many people often like to have a run for the rabbit as well and similar rules apply. However, here the question of security is paramount as rabbits will dig and, if left unattended in a run, your rabbit will quickly escape. Have a permanent run which is sunk into the earth or to have a run which a mesh or wooden base so that the rabbit cannot dig its way out. Also, make sure with a run that cats and dogs cannot knock it over to get at the rabbit. Only let a rabbit roam in the garden if you are 100% positive there is no chance of escape remember, rabbits can squeeze through small holes and gnaw them bigger as well as dig under fences – and you can't stay with it the entire time, just in case!

Think very carefully before you breed from your rabbit. The gestation (pregnancy) period for a rabbit is 32 days and a litter can be any size between 2 and 9 so make sure you have good homes for all the possible babies. You will usually need a larger hutch and more food for the rabbit; also consider the added cost of feeding the babies for 8 weeks until they can be homed. Also, during this time, an otherwise quiet rabbit may become very possessive of her babies and her hutch and may not want to be handled. Bringing new life into the animal kingdom needs careful and responsible consideration. If you seriously want to breed from your rabbit we advise you to get in touch with a breeder and discuss in depth what is involved. Never just mate a doe and hope for the best as complications can arise.


Rabbit Bedding

Your rabbit's hutch will be its home so make sure it is really comfortable. for bedding, wood shaving are ideal as they are clean and absorbent. Sometimes straw and hay on the top of the shaving help with insulation. If shavings are difficult to obtain, shredded paper is an option if used not on its own but as a base layer with straw or hay. (Owners of rabbits with white paws beware as the newspaper print will turn them dark grey.) Sawdust is not recommended as the dust can often get into the eyes and nose and cause irritation. Dusty or old hay or straw can also cause the same problem so check it before you buy. (Good hay should always smell sweet, not musty.) When bedded with hay or straw the rabbit will probably eat some with its food but don't worry, this is a natural 'roughage". • Roll up your sleeves! • Rabbit chores explained Rabbit should have their bedding changed completely once a week. Rabbits like to use one or more corners as a toilet area so you will need to clean corners out more frequently, perhaps every third day. Also the hutch should be scrubbed thoroughly with disinfectant once a month but make sure your rabbit has somewhere else to go whilst it dries.


Feeding a rabbit

Whether you feed once or twice a day, it is important to refill your rabbit's pot at the same time every day. Rabbits are creatures of habit and they know when it is breakfast or dinner time! Most pet shops sell a number of complete foods, but remember that hay and water should also be provided. When you collect your rabbit find out which food it is fed on and continue it for the first few days as this will help it settle into its new environment. If you wish to change it on to a different food, do so by gradually mixing the old food with the new food over the course of a week. This causes least stress to the rabbit and reduces the chances of it having diarrhoea. It is important to remember that if the mix is going to be the rabbit's main diet that every single item of the mix is fed before the bowl is replenished. If your rabbit eats only the food that it fancies and the rest is thrown away, then the diet will not be properly balanced and can result in digestive upsets. Vegetables should be introduced in small quantities as part of a rabbit's natural diet. Rabbits normally eat well-washed vegetables such as carrots (including tops), cabbage, spring greens and broccoli. Lettuce should only be given in tiny amounts, and soft fruit as an occasional treat. If you are thinking of gathering greens be very careful where you pick as pesticides, animal urine and exhaust fumes may be present – all harmful and unpleasant. If your rabbit has access to the garden remember that some plants such as buttercups, bulbous plants and others are poisonous. If in doubt keep the rabbit away! Remember that your rabbit should have clean fresh water at all times. A bowl is fine but a bottle keeps the water cleaner. Some rabbits, depending on their size and the season, can drink up to a pint of water a day so check supplies at least twice daily. The amount you feed your rabbit will depend on its breed and the type of food so again check with the breeder or the recommendations on the packaging. A solid feeding bowl is a must as most rabbits will try and move their bowls by one method or another! Glazed earthenware pot is best as plastic will be chewed.


Rabbit Vaccinations

All rabbits should have annual vaccinations against myxomatosis and VHD. The first injection can be given at 10 weeks, the second 3 – 4 weeks later. Ask your vet not to do both injections together as this can cause side effects. Both diseases are highly contagious and do not need 'rabbit-to-rabbit' contact to spread; they can be spread by other animals including us! Both cause a very painful death for the rabbit so vaccination is essential. Most breeders vaccinate their stock, so check if the rabbit has had any injections before you collect it. Most rabbit boarding orgasiations will not accept rabbits without the vaccination cards now.


Rabbits Place

For a long time, rabbits were taxonomically classed within the order Rodentia, a large (about 40070 of the total) body of mammals that are commonly called rodents. The order Rodentia includes not only the common mouse and rat but also gerbils, hamsters, lemmings, porcupines and beavers, to name only a few others. Today zoologists consider rabbits, hares and some closely related animals to form an order of their own, the order Lagomorpha. Blood tests show that there is a lesser relationship between rodents and rabbits than previously had been thought to exist. Rodents are characterized by having teeth that grow throughout life. The teeth of rabbits, unlike man's and like rodents', are permanent and do not grow continuously. Another distinction is the presence of a bone called the bacullum in the sheath of the penis in males; it is present in rodents but not in lagomorphs. The order Lagomorpha contains two families, the family Ochotonidae and the family Leporidae. Ochotonidae contains one genus and 13 species; Leporidae contains 9 genera and approximately 50 species. Members of the family Ochotonidae are small burrowing animals that don't look too much like rabbits. They are commonly known as pikas. They are furry, with short ears and no tail, and are found mostly in Asia, though two species are found in North America. They are also known as whistling hares because of the sharp bark or whistle that they make. The differences between rabbits and bares are slight, and there is much confusion by way of common names, the one being the name for the other, and vice versa. The only generally recognizable difference is that hares are larger than rabbits, but this is very basic.


Food and Feeding

There is some truth to the myth that rabbits will eat just about anything and that they can be fed on any old scraps from the kitchen It is true that the domestic rabbit will eat as much greenfood as is placed before it, but that does not mean that the rabbit will be in perfect condition or that what it eats is the correct diet. If the rabbit fancier wants to succeed in breeding good, strong, healthy stock, he must feed his animals properly. Good feeding is the foundation upon which the fancier must build; without it, there is less chance for success. The fanciers of bygone days had to be content with the foodstuff available. They fed whole grains, roots, hay and as much leafy greenfood as they could gather. Mashes were sometimes made of vegetable scraps, grassmeal and bran. Although this method of feeding was wholesome, it was a tedious and time-consuming business. The greatest revolution in the rabbit world came with the production of the rabbit pellet. This was the answer to the fancier's prayer-a complete rabbit diet rolled into a tiny hard pellet. The early rabbit pellet was basically grassmeal with added vitamins and minerals. After years of constant research, the modern rabbit pellet contains all of the above plus some roughage, animal proteins, milk fat and trace elements. The nutritional requirements of the rabbit cannot be reduced to a formula, because the rabbit requires different amounts of each factor at different stages of its life. For example, does that are not breeding require less protein than does that are suckling young, and a doe that has a litter in the nest requires more protein, because she has to provide enough to feed her young and maintain her own body in good condition.

Rabbits are famous for their ability to reproduce in large numbers. In the wild state, the does have been known to produce as many as four or five litters a year. The number of litters born in a year depends upon the rabbit's environment. The survival of the young is also largely dependent on the amount of food available during their first year. Young rabbits fall prey to foxes, weasels, birds and other animals; therefore, the numbers born must be in excess of those required to maintain the rabbit population. The rabbit fancier does not have to confront these problems. He restricts his does in the numbers of litters they will be allowed to rear in one year. The domestic rabbit doe may be reluctant to breed satisfactorily, which can cause problems for the newcomer to rabbit raising. Rabbits will not breed unless they are in tip-top condition. Does that are mated in poor condition will rarely carry their litters full term; if they do, the young will probably be weak and undeveloped. A common misconception about breeding is the idea that all that is necessary is to put the buck and doe together and, presto, they will mate. If it were really that easy, the rabbit fancier would have no problems at all. The buck must be in perfect condition if the best results are to be obtained. As a general rule, the doe should always be placed into the buck's hutch. Some does will not tolerate the presence of another rabbit in their hutch. Even though the doe is willing to mate, she may attack a buck who invades her privacy. The very sight of a doe will excite a buck, and he will jump around his hutch in anticipation. Once the doe has been placed into his hutch, she will usually cower in a corner because she is unsure of herself in strange territory.


Ailment and Disease

Rabbit make good pets. they are clean, docile and intelligent. Rabbit can be kept as pets as pets where it is impractical to keep other animals such as dogs and cats. A rabbit can be housed in the simplest of pens, it makes little or no noise and, if properly looked after, it does not smell. Only the basic are needed to maintain a rabbit in good condition; a warm, dry pen or hutch; clean, wholesome food and fresh water to drink. It is unfortunate that many pet rabbits are maltreated by their well-meaning owner because owners because of the owners 'ignorance or complacency. Rabbit are often bought as pets for young children. Once the child loses interest in the pet, the poor animal is neglected, and the responsibility for caring for it often falls on the parents. The young rabbits grow so fast that it can treble its size and weight in a few weeks. It is necessary to emphasize this harsh reality to the prospective pet rabbit owner.

Rabbit Organisations

The American Rabbit Breeders Association or the A.R.B.A., as it is commonly called, was created as the governing body of a handful of rabbit breeders in Illinois about 1915. The initial idea behind the A.R.B.A. was to organize a group that would safeguard the interests of the ordinary rabbit breeder who kept and reared rabbits chiefly as a hobby. Standards were drawn up by the founding members of the association to maintain a high level of quality within the types of rabbit bred by the members. The standards were intended to provide all fanciers with an ideal and also to ensure that all nominated judges used the same standards. Today the A.R.B.A. has a membership of over 10,000 fanciers from all walks of life who live throughout the United States. The association caters to all aspects of rabbit-raising, including exhibition rabbits, commercial rabbits, pelt-producing rabbits and, of course, the ever-popular pet rabbit. Incorporated within the A.R.B.A. are the breed specialist clubs that cater exclusively to one breed. These clubs hold stock shows within the pen shows organized by regional clubs and offer special prizes for the best specimens of that particular breed. The American youth program is an important aspect of the A.R.B.A. It is, in fact, a junior A.R.B.A. run along lines similar to those of parent organization. All young fanciers should consider taking part in the activities of the youth section. Many hundreds of local or regional clubs are affiliated with the A.R.B.A. Each has its own A.R.B.A. representative. The states are also grouped together into districts for which there are provincial A.R.B.A. representatives.



Commercial production of rabbits

Man has been raising rabbits for meat production for hundreds of years. All rabbit meat is edible. It is rich in protein and very easily digested. The meat obtained from the domestic rabbit is different from that of the wild rabbit. Domestic rabbit meat is more tender and carries more fat than that of the wild rabbit, which is inclined to be coarser and have very little fat. There is no single breed of rabbit that is bred for its meat alone, because meat-producing rabbits are usually large and therefore provide very attractive pelts that can be utilized in some way. The rabbits used for their meat are not restricted to the fur breeds alone. Indeed, some of the fancy breeds make very good carcasses with very little dressing-out waste. Among the fur breeds, we can include the New Zealand, the ever-popular Californian and the chinchilla. The fancy breeds include the harlequin, the English and the Flemish, English and American giants. Neither listing is exclusive. Correct management is extremely important in commercial rabbit raising. Because the profit margin is so thin, the accent must be on as little waste as possible in both time and money. Among the breeds most frequently raised, growth rate is the prime factor in their selection. Time is precious to the rabbit raiser; therefore, the maximum use of the does should always be a prime consideration. The hutches or pens should be designed so that cleaning is not as laborious or as time-consuming as it would be for other rabbit breeders. The hutches normally used for commercial rabbit production are the wire pen type. These pens require very little maintenance, and bedding is not necessary. The fecal pellets from the rabbits fall through the wire floors and onto the floor underneath the pens, where they can be disposed of (or put to good use) without the usual rigors of cleaning.


Rabbit Genetics

Genetics is the study of heredity. According to the dictionary, genetics is "the tendency of like to beget like." Genetics explains the factors that enable the rabbit to pass on the familiar characteristics of its species. For rabbit breeders, the purpose of studying genetics is to produce better rabbits. This is achieved by selecting the best rabbits for breeding and discarding the worst and sometimes by crossing different breeds to produce the best features of both. Some of the basic methods of breeding that employ a knowledge of genetics are inbreeding, where close relatives are mated; linebreeding, where all progeny can be traced back to a common ancestor; and selective outcrossing, where rabbits that are not related are mated. The basic hereditary characteristics of the rabbit are evident; they include ear length, coat quality and the rabbit's general appearance and body type. In addition to the characteristics that are visible in each rabbit are the hidden characteristics. For example, a black rabbit is obviously black. However, he also carries unseen traits that may show up in his offspring. Some hidden factors appear only rarely in the offspring. If the rabbit fancier familiarizes himself with the fundamentals of genetics, he will be able to determine to a great extent the way his stock progresses. Improvement within a particular breed will be easier to attain, and time and money will be saved. Please note that the study of genetics is very complicated, and here we are covering only the barest of fundamentals. A young rabbit receives its external characteristics from both its parents. The egg of the female and the sperm of the male each carries a nucleus. Within the nucleus there are tiny bodies called chromosomes. The chromosomes, which in rabbits number 22, are elongated in appearance.




















Rabbit Breeds

There are over 50 breeds of rabbit and over 500 varieties. They vary greatly in size, colour and coat. The various breeds of rabbit are split into two main groups, the fancy type and the fur types. The fancy group includes the breeds that are kept for exhibition purposes. They are bred for their appearance, including body shape or type, size, colour and pattern or coat markings. Both fur and fancy rabbit breeds are included in the group called commercial rabbits, which are raised for their meat.


This breed originated from Germany from Himalayan and argente rabbits. It is a medium-size breed; A registration weight of six and a half to eight and half pounds is required. There is no visible neck in this cobby or dumpy breed. The fur is intensely black and shiny on the surface, even the belly is black but it is matt and not as lustrous. The fur when parted should be at least one fourth of an inch colored black at the tips and the rest of dark slate blue. However, some isolated but evenly distributed white hair are permissible. The eyes are dark brown and the toenails dark coloured. Any lightness in these parts is considered a fault.


The American is one of the many breeds of rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. It comes in either blue or white coat. Their eyes should be pink in the white variety and blue in the blue variety. This is a medium size rabbit; ideal weight for a buck is pounds and 11 pounds for does.


It is fitting that the Angora be listed among the first breeds because it begins with the first letter of the alphabet but also because it is one of the oldest breeds of rabbit and the forerunner of the fancy rabbit. The Angora is believed to have originated in Turkey hundreds of years ago. There is no definite proof of this, but it is worthwhile to note that other long-haired species of 154 animal such as goats, sheep and cats are also said to have originated in Turkey. The general appearance of the Angora should be as round as a ball. Many specimens, however, are too narrow-shouldered, making them look pear-shaped. This problem is sometimes caused by too much grooming. The English Angora is adorned with what are called "furnishings." These are growths of wool on the extreme tips of the ears and front feet. The ears should be well covered with a ball-like tuft of wool, but they should also have a fur covering all over the outside of the ear from the base of the ear right up to the tufts. The front feet are similarly adorned and have foot pads of wool, which unfortunately cannot be seen when the Angora sits in a crouched position. The eye color is rich ruby red. Since the introduction of the usual white or albino Angora, some very beautiful colored Angoras have been bred. The most popular of these is the smoke, but there are also blue, black and chinchillated varieties. Another breed of Angora which is not often seen is the French Angora. This breed is slightly larger than the English; it is heavier in bone and weighs eight pounds and over. The ears and forefeet lack the furnishings of its English cousin.

Angente Brun

This breed is exactly the same as the blue except the color is brown. It is not a well-known color and is rarely seen now. It was brought into England around the 1920's from France. Its unpopularity made it very rare indeed. In 1941 it was recreated by H.D. Dowie. Dowie did this by crossing cremes with blues, which produced silvered agoutis. The agoutis were mated to Havanas and produced silvered blacks. When these were mated amongst themselves, they produced the argente brun. Brown Beverens have since been used to improve the coat qualities of the contemporary brun.

Belgian Hare

The Belgian hare at one time was the most popular fancy rabbit. It was responsible for bringing the domestic rabbit to the attention of thousands of people both in the United Kingdom and the United States. Although called a hare, it is in fact a rabbit. It was once believed that the Belgian could be successfully crossed with a true wild hare, but this is not true. The Belgian originated in Flanders and there is evidence to indicate it was bred down from a now-extinct breed known as the Patagonian. The Patagonian, incidentally, was the forerunner of the Flemish giant. The early Belgians were nothing like they are today. They were much more heavily built and much less graceful. The Belgian was imported to England where it was selectively bred until the present-day form was produced. The Belgian generated much interest; during its boom period, the Belgian was bred for both its exhibition properties and its meat-producing qualities. The genetic color of the Belgian is agouti, but the deep chestnut hue of the fur was produced by crossing the Belgian with brown Beverens. The deep chestnut color is very attractive. It is bordered by black ticking along the entire length of the body and also around the ears. A common failing is the appearance of gray hairs along the flanks. If the Belgian hare is not fit, it does not look as it should. Fitness is very important. The coat must shine as though it were polished mahogany, the flesh must be firm and the eyes bright and gleaming. A Belgian in such condition is a work of art. It requires much practice and perseverance. The typical Belgian pose must, of course, be quite natural. If the animal is flat-footed, it does not look right; if it has to be held in the posed position, it lacks style. The pose should be graceful with an arched back and fine delicate bone. The ears should be about five inches long and slope backwards slightly. The Belgian's eyes are a very attractive deep hazel color that blend with the coat's color. They should be bold and bright with a general look of alertness. The Belgian hare is a very distinctive rabbit and often takes top honors at rabbit shows.


The blue Beveren should be a lavender shade right down to the skin; the white should be pure white with no hint of yellow stain or colored hairs; the black should be deep, jet black with a dark blue undercolor and the brown should be an even shade of nutria brown with a beige undercolor. The Beveren is one of the oldest and largest of the fur rabbits. It was first bred in Beveren, a small town near Antwerp in Belgium. About 1915, during World War I, the Beveren became very popular in England because meat was very scarce. The flesh of the Beveren was more important than the fur at the time. The first Beverens were blue; later blacks, browns and whites were produced. The color must be deep and solid. The presence of white hairs in coloreds and silvering are common faults that must be avoided if the rabbit is to produce good colored youngster. Silvering was a common fault in the early blues. Because it was initially believed that they were too dark, the blues were crossed with light colored rabbits of other breeds and the silvering became prevalent. The texture of the coat is intensely dense and thick. The fur should feel exquisitely silky and soft. Any harshness or woolliness is a fault. The desired length of fur is about one inch to one and a half inches. An interesting feature of the white Beveren is its clear blue eyes, distinguishing it from many of the other white fur breeds. The Beveren is the largest of the fur breeds, weighing seven to 10 pounds. The body is long but broad, with a distinct mandolin shape. The head is broad with a distinct curve from the forehead to the tip of the nose. The ears are long and broad with good substance or thickness, held in a "V" shape. The ear color should match that of the body perfectly. The ears of some Beverens tend to be a shade darker, throwing off the color balance.

Black fox

In this breed the silver-tripped guard hairs on the side of the body are considered beautiful, and the entrant is not penalised.

Blanc de bouscat

The blanc de Bouscat, almost unknown in the United States, is also quite rare in England, although it does enjoy a small group of followers. As its name suggests, the Bouscat is of French origin. It was produced by Mssr. Paul Dulon of Gironde in 1910. The Bouscat is very popular on the European continent both as an exhibition fur rabbit and as a meat rabbit. The Bouscat is believed to have been produced from the Angora, argente Champagne and albino Flemish giant. With this ancestry, it should be evident that the Bouscat is a fairly large rabbit, weighing about 12 pounds for the buck and up to 14 pounds for the doe. White is the only color and the fur is like the Beveren, dense and silky. The head is strong and broad, very rounded and well-set on the shoulders. Although it is a large rabbit, the fineness of bone is impressive like all meat-producing rabbits. The body is long and the back has a slight curve, starting behind the head and ending just in front of the haunches. The ears are long, well-rounded at the tips and held in a V-shaped position similar to the Beveren.

Blanc de Hotot

The type of the Hotot is much more thickset than the Bouscat, giving the rabbit a squarish look. It is also a little smaller, measuring between eight and 10 inches in length. The blanc de Hotot also originated in France, but it is much less well known than the Bouscat. In general, the texture and quality of the fur are very similar to the Bouscat with the exception that the Hotot has black eyelashes and a very fine black line around the eyes in the form of spectacles. Little is known of how the breed was produced, but it is almost certainly an old breed that was used for its meat qualities.

Blue Vienna

A good specimen could also be exhibited with other fur breeds.

British Giant

The coat is judged for its density and thickness (three-quarters to an inch long). The accepted colors are white (true white, not cream, with blue or pink eyes), black (black to blue, with blue or brown eyes), dark steel gray (evenly ticked, with brown eyes), brown gray (evenly ticked, with blue, gray or brown eyes) and blue (with blue gray or brown eyes). According to the standards of the British Rabbit Council the British giant rabbit is a large breed weighing not less than 12'/z pounds for does and 111/z pounds for bucks. An entrant that weighs more than 15 pounds gets extra points, while another one weighing less than the minimum weight requirements is penalized. This rabbit has a large, long and flat body. The front and hind quarters are also broad. The head must likewise be broad (narrow heads are faulted) and the ears must be erect. Size must not be on account of excessive fat or bagginess.


The entire body color is pure white with the black point markings of the Himalayan although the nose blaze is not as pronounced. The body is medium long, the back slightly rounded but full on the sides and shoulders. Notice the strong resemblance of the head markings of this Californian is a large rabbit, about twice the weight of the Himalayan. The Californian is one of the more contemporary breeds of rabbit. It was produced in the United States in 1923. The creation of this breed was not an accident. It was painstakingly raised by George West, who wanted a better commercial rabbit than those available at the time. He began by crossing a Himalayan with a chinchilla. The progeny from this mating were mated to New Zealand whites. The end product was a large, meaty, well-proportioned rabbit with Himalayan markings. It took quite some time before the Californian was recognized. In 1939 the breed was officially registered by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. It is now reared the world over as a good meat-producing animal on par with any other commercial rabbit.


The Angora has been used successfully in the make up of the chinchilla, giving the coat its full density. It has also produced some bad faults, the most common of which is the appearance of woolly coats. Light-colored cheeks are also a direct result of the Angora introduction, as is a too large white area at the nape of the neck. Having barred feet is faulted. The chinchilla was one of the very first really important fur breeds. Like many other fur breeds, it came from France. The French rabbit breeder Mssr. M.J. Dybowski is credited with producing this beautiful rabbit. The actual production claims of this man have always been in some doubt. One theory is that the chin, as it is more often called, came from Serbia and that Mssr. Dybowski merely improved on it and popularized the breed. However, the popular theory is that Mssr. Dybowski crossed a wild rabbit with a blue Beveren and a Himalayan. The litters from the Himalayan doe and the Beveren doe were interbred and by a process of selection the early chin was produced. These early chins were very heavy-boned, similar to the giant breeds. The color of these rabbits was generally very poor. A black tan was used to try to improve the ticking and as a result other breeds were produced including the Siamese and marten sables. In April, 1913, the chinchilla was exhibited for the first time and later that year it was given the "prize of honor" at the big show in Paris. When the first chinchillas came to England, they caused quite a sensation. A silver cup was offered for the best chin at an English show. The price for good quality furs went sky high. The chin appeared in America in 1919, where it caused just as much of a sensation. The main attribute of this popular breed is, of course, the color and pattern of the pelt, which closely resembles that of the much prized pelt of the true wild chinchilla. The undercolor of the fur should be slate blue at the base, the middle portion pearl gray merging into white and tipped with black. It should be noted that the slate blue base should be wider than the pearl portion. The whole of the pelt should be ticked with long black guard hairs that may be wavy or even. Generally the flanks and chest are slightly lighter colored than the back; the neck is just a shade lighter than the chest and flanks. The triangle at the nape of the neck is light pearl gray as are the eye circles. The ears are laced with black. The belly and underside of the tail are white with a slate blue undercolor. There are many arguments as to the correct chinchilla color. Some are obviously much too dark and some much too light. These arguments, along with those regarding pearling, are very complicated. The texture of the fur is of prime importance. Without good texture, the color and pearling will be of inferior quality. The fur should be soft and dense; by no means should it be flyback nor should it be too long. Although adult chinchilla rabbits can weigh 5'/z to 63/4 lbs., the standard calls for fine bone. In this respect, many rabbits fail.


The Cinnamon is a breed recognised in the United States. Complete absence of markings (butterfly smut, dark extremities, eye circles) is a disqualification in the Cinnamon.


The blaze is the strip of white flanked on either side by the cheeks of the predominant color of the predominant color of the rabbit. If the cheeks are too wide, it gives the impression that the blaze is too narrow, the blaze is too wide. The cheeks actually begin between the ears, go just over the eye and down the sides of the face to just below the jaws. The tortoiseshell Dutch is a yellow ground with shadings of black on the haunches, ears and cheeks. The main fault is that the shadings often become smudgy and spoil the appearance of the rabbit. The yellow Dutch is somewhat of a backward relation toiseshell. Yellows are also frequently light colored on the extremities and also tend to show some tortoiseshell shadings. The yellow's markings are usually not as eye-catching as the other colors, but occasionally a really outstanding yellow turns up and steals the major honors at a top show. Both the English and American standards are very precise and only those specimens close to the ideal ever win any major honors. The Dutch pattern or markings are the result of a generic factor and they appear in the others forms of small livestock such as rats, mice, cavies, etc. The faults in the pattern are numerous. Perhaps this is why the perfect Dutch rabbit has yet to be bred. The Dutch rabbit is bred in black, which is by far the most popular color, and also in blue, steel gray, tortoiseshell, yellow and chocolate. The rabbit's head shows the faults perhaps more than any other part of the body because the fur is shorter and the markings more clear-cut.


The entire length of the spine is marked with a herring-bone pattern. The saddle, as this line is called, should run from the base of the ears, along the full length of the rabbit and onto the top side of the tail. Faults here include blotchy marking, thin and undefined herring-bone, broken saddle, and a mixture of white hairs contained within the saddle color. The English, like the Dutch, is very popular. It is also one of the oldest fancy breeds, In 1849 a description was published of a rabbit that would seem to be an early English. The description was contained in A complete directory for the proper treatment, breeding, feeding and management of all kinds of domestic poultry, pigeons, rabbits, etc. The most interesting feature of this description referred to the "butterfly smut and chain spots," although the breed was not actually termed the English at the time. As its name, implies the English is purely an English breed. For some time the English was kept by the majority of British fanciers because of its novelty. After a boom from 1855 to 1860, nothing was heard of the breed until about 1880. At that time only the black color was known; a few years later tortoiseshells appeared followed by blues, grays and chocolates. Today all these colors are seen at almost every big show. The English is basically a white rabbit with black markings. The black ears are held erect, about four inches in length. Any white hairs or patches are a fault. The eyes are encircled with black, giving the rabbit a spectacled look. A common fault in the eye circle is that it is too heavy and ragged in appearance. To complete the head markings, there is a butterfly smut covering the whole nose. This should be solid black in color and shaped to resemble the outline of a butterfly. Any white markings here are a fault. Just below the eye, on either side of the face, there should be a small black spot. Unfortunately this spot often runs into the eye circle or is so lightly marked as to be almost unnoticeable. An English spot rabbit. The eye circles must not touch any other spot on the cheek. The most elusive characteristic of the English rabbit is the chain of spots running along each side of the flanks. The chain begins in small spots at either side of the neck and runs in a curve down to the sides of the belly where the spots gradually increase in size and continue over the haunches. The greatest number of faults occur in the spots forming the chain; too heavy is as bad as too light, too many is as bad as too few, often the chain is completely broken. Although each limb should also carry a distinct spot, those on the front limbs are more highly prized. The sweep of the chain gives the English a very graceful look. But if the type is bad, the pleasing qualities of the markings are lost. The belly of the English rabbit has teat spots. These should consist of six clear and distinct spots. The rabbit should almost lie on the table, just keeping the belly clear of the surface, the back arched and the loins well rounded. The English is one of the more difficult breeds to rear to perfection. In an average litter there are about 50 percent marked young, 25 percent self blacks and 25 percent charlies. The charlie English is really an incompletely marked rabbit. Instead of a full butterfly smut, there is only a small moustache, the ears are colored but the rest of the markings are either completely missing or so light as to be indiscernible. The genetics of the English rabbit is fascinating as it is heterozygous. Thus it cannot breed true to type. When breeding the English, if the well-marked rabbit is mated to a charlie the chances of producing well-marked youngsters increases. In some cases 100 percent success has been achieved. If charlies are mated together, only charlies are produced. Two self English will only produce selfs if mated together. The attractive pattern of the English rabbit's coat has been used for fur craft. Usually the product is only a novelty, but the quality of the fur is excellent. Because of its size, the English can also be used for meat production. The meat has a low offal content and the young English grows very fast and makes a presentable carcass for frying purposes. In the United States this breed is known as the English Spot.

Flemish giant

Color is of the utmost importance. The first color was steel gray. The gray must be very dark over the entire rabbit's body. A darker face is allowed. Rustiness is a common failing with this color, perhaps due to the mixing of the colors, especially with sandy colored rabbits. The belly and underside of the Flemish is white with a dark under color. The legs should be strong in bone and carried firmly. Any tendency to light bone lends a baggy appearance to the Flemish. The Flemish giant is the largest rabbit exhibited in England. The Flemish originated in the area of Flanders and is included in the list of early fancy rabbits. The Flemish was known by the name Patagonian for many years. The early Flemish were prized for their great size; as the standard was revised, color took first preference in the allocation of points. The weight is of secondary importance to size. The larger the better, no matter how much the rabbit weighs. The main feature of the Flemish type is squareness and good width of body. Without this feature, the Flemish looks racy and does not display the huge proportions of good type. The forefront should be large and square, the hindquarters rounded and full. Between the head and rump, the body should be perfectly flat but yet large and wide. Does are allowed to carry a large dewlap, but it must be rounded and evenly spread. The head is full and bold, sloping to well-developed shoulders. The bone is fine; very few specimens have the fineness of bone of the ideal Havana. One of the most attractive features of the Havana is the rich, ruby-eyed glow of the eye. Although the eyes should be the same color as the body, they glow ruby red in a darkened room. The main faults concerning type are that many rabbits appear too long in barrel and flat along the spine. This type of Havana should be avoided because type is allotted almost as many points as the coat. Compact does not indicate a very short rabbit, but rather one that is well-proportioned and well-balanced. An important feature of the type is the shape of the head and ears. The head is relatively short and broad, especially in the buck. Pinched noses and long ears are often related to long bodies. A rabbit that has one of these faults has bad type. The ears should be held erect, broad at the base, tapering gently to pointed tips and carried closely together. The rich color of the Havana should be even all over the body with no light patches or odd white hairs. Ginger patches were a common failing in the early Havanas, but these patches are now more rare. Yet the Havana should never be shown while it is molting as the different colored parts of the rabbit are evident. New, darker fur contrasts with the old, lighter fur. Although the color and coat quality are closely coupled, the coat is slightly more important. Without good coat quality, the color cannot look its best. The ideal coat is one inch long, very dense and glossy, fine in texture and lying close to the body. Strangely, thin-coated Havanas excel in color. But because color is of secondary importance, these specimens should probably be disregarded in favor of the better coated rabbits. Although the fur is soft, it should lie very close to the body, which makes it extremely attractive. Any woolliness renders the coat open and staring, losing the deep, glossy sheen that adds the final finish to the perfect Havana.

Florida White

The ideal weight for bucks and does is five pounds and the registration weight for both sexes is between four and six pounds. The Florida white is another breed that was created by fanciers with a specific need in mind. The breed originated in Florida to satisfy the demand for a medium-sized rabbit with good meat qualities that could also be used in research stations. The Dutch and Polish were used in the initial cross and the New Zealand white was added at a later stage. The type is a rather cobby, compact rabbit, the hips and hindquarters well rounded, gently sloping down to well-proportioned shoulders. The head is small and the ears short, well-rounded at the tips, well-set on the head. The fur is pure white, short and dense, with roll-back properties.


The flesh should be firm and not soft, a feature that made the harlequin popular as a meat rabbit during the war years. The limbs are of medium bone, strong and well-muscled. The general eye color is hazel, but brown or blue eyes are also seen occasionally. This breed of fancy rabbit is the mystery of the rabbit world. The harlequin is bred in black, the most popular color, and in blue, brown and lilac, as well as three different coat types: normal coated, rex and astrex. The latter is very rarely seen. In addition to the orange-patterned harlequin there is the magpie harlequin. Identical to the normal harlequin in pattern, the orange is replaced by white in the magpie. Originally produced in France, the harlequin was a very popular breed in Normandy and the Montmartre suburbs of Paris. Like the Dutch, the harlequin is of Barbancon ancestry. The first harlequin appeared at a show in Paris in 1887, but it was not until 1891 that the breed was described in the journal L'Aviculteur. Describing the harlequin is very complicated, as the pattern is one of alternating contrasts. The ears are opposite colors. In the black harlequin, one ear is black and the other orange. The head is also divided and the colors are reversed. On the side of the orange ear, the face is black; on the side of the black ear, the face is orange. The dividing line between the face colors should start well between the ears and progress in a straight line down the face and under the chin. In some specimens, the chest is also divided in the same way, but it is not required in the standard and should be disregarded. The whole body is alternately striped with orange and black from just behind the shoulders to the rump. These rings of alternating color need not be complete and encircle the body, as long as they are complete around the back. The harlequin's feet also alternate in color: the forefeet should be black on the orange side of the face and orange on the black side of the face. Thus, the hind feet are also opposite the forefeet. A truly checkered rabbit if there ever was one! Blacks should be deep, lustrous black with no hint of rust or shading. The orange, described in the standard as golden orange, should be as bright as possible. Occasionally white feet appear; they should be regarded as a fault rather than a disqualification. Although the type of the harlequin is representative of the meat and fur rabbit, it is classified as a fancy rabbit. The head is long and broad between the eyes. The ears should be four to five inches long, carried erect and slightly open at the tops. The body is muscular, well-developed and mandolin-shaped-resembling the shape of an upside-down mandolin. The appearance of brindling spoils the markings of many harlequins. Brindling is a result of the chinchillating factor in the genetic make-up of the harlequin. The coat is fine in texture, very soft and dense, about an inch in length.


The ideal coat is one inch long, very dense and glossy, fine in texture and lying close to the body. Strangely, thin-coated Havanas excel in color. But because color is of secondary importance, these specimens should probably be disregarded in favor of the better coated rabbits. Although the fur is soft, it should lie very close to the body, which makes it extremely attractive. Any woolliness renders the coat open and staring, losing the deep, glossy sheen that adds the final finish to the perfect Havana. The Havana is a very well-known fur breed of European origin. Although its ancestry is uncertain, it is known that the first Havana appeared in a litter bred from a Dutch doe that was stabled with other breeds. The sire of the Havana was never established. Bred in a stable near Utrecht, Holland, the Havana was first exhibited at Utrecht in 1899. Known at that time as the beaver, it was known under that name in France several years later. The popularity of the breed spread quickly; it was shown in Switzerland in 1905 and in Germany in 1907. One year later it was imported into England by a Miss Illingworth who exhibited the first Havana at a show in Cambridge in 1909. The Havana rapidly became popular all over England. In 1920 the National Havana Club was formed. In 1916, the Havana was introduced into the United States, where the blue Havana was produced by Owen Stamm several years later. The Havana is exclusively a fur breed. Its deep, rich, chocolate brown pelt has been compared to the Havana cigar. As the Florida white, the Havana type is inclined to be short and cobby. The head is small, the neck very short. The rump and hindquarters are rounded and full, sloping to well-developed shoulders. The bone is fine; very few specimens have the fineness of bone of the ideal Havana. One of the most attractive features of the Havana is the rich, ruby-eyed glow of the eye. Although the eyes should be the same color as the body, they glow ruby red in a darkened room. The main faults concerning type are that many rabbits appear too long in barrel and flat along the spine. This type of Havana should be avoided because type is allotted almost as many points as the coat. Compact does not indicate a very short rabbit, but rather one that is well-proportioned and well-balanced. An important feature of the type is the shape of the head and ears. The head is relatively short and broad, especially in the buck. Pinched noses and long ears are often related to long bodies. A rabbit that has one of these faults has bad type. The ears should be held erect, broad at the base, tapering gently to pointed tips and carried closely together. The rich color of the Havana should be even all over the body with no light patches or odd white hairs. Ginger patches were a common failing in the early Havanas, but these patches are now more rare. Yet the Havana should never be shown while it is molting as the different colored parts of the rabbit are evident. New, darker fur contrasts with the old, lighter fur. Although the color and coat quality are closely coupled, the coat is slightly more important. Without good coat quality, the color cannot look its best.


The ears should be as short as possible, but well-coloured without any presence of rusty shade or white hairs. Good-coloured ears are usually well-covered with fur; bad-coloured ears seem to have a bare edge along the entire length of the ear. The Himalayan's tail is carried well tucked in; it should be coloured underneath as well as on top. The Himalayan's eye is a sparkling pink colour. Any paleness in the eye detracts from the bright appearance and makes the rabbit look sullen. The pelt should be smooth in texture, short and as pure white as possible without any yellow tinge or cast The Himalayan has been known by a number of other names. In eastern Europe it was called the "Russian" and later was known as the "Egyptian Smut." The Himalayan's origin is rather obscure; it probably originated in China, where there were once thousands of this breed. The Himalayan first came to the West as a zoological oddity known as "the black-nosed rabbit from China." It is truly an international breed that can now be found in almost every country in the world. The Himalayan is a white rabbit with coloured extremities: the ears, nose, feet and tail are coloured. The colours recognised in the standards are black, chocolate, blue and lilac. The Himalayan gene is dominant to true albino, but it is recessive to all other genes. The young are born with a greyish cast all over the body that gradually decreases until they are pure white. The appearance of coloured extremities occurs at the age of three to four weeks. The colour is initially very pale; as the rabbit molts it becomes more definable. Extremes of temperature have a drastic effect on the amount of colour present on the young Himalayan. The colder the air temperature, the more colour. In really cold conditions, many youngsters develop body and eye stains-patches of colour appearing around the eyes and any part of the rabbit's body. These stains are considered a fault when the rabbit is judged at a show. The Himalayan type is one of sleek gracefulness, sometimes described as snaky. The head is long and pointed, the ears held erect and pointed at the tips, the body is long and slender with fine bone. The handset are also fine in bone and carried well tucked under the haunches. The markings are more important than type in judging the Himalayan. The nose smut should be carried well up the face to a point between the eyes. A good sound colour without a brownish tinge, putty nose or any other white hairs is essential. The leg markings are known as stockings and should be carried well up to the elbow joint on the forefeet and beyond this on the hind feet. A common failing is that the limbs are usually less well-coloured than any other coloured part of the Himalayan. Docile by nature, the Himalayan makes an ideal rabbit for the novice. It can even be kept as a child's pet without fear of the animal biting its young handler.


The pinkish dove shade is much more uniform over the entire rabbit; the blue cast is much less common. A good lilac is pleasing to the eye; the coat should be deep and soft to the touch. There should also be a warm glow to the rabbit resulting from the pinkish dove shade of the fur, which should have a lustrous look. The lilac is believed by many authorities to have originated as a sport in a litter of Havanas. Others say that it was bred by crossing a blue Beveren with a Havana. The second method, first accomplished by Professor R.C. Punnet in 1922, has been described in detail. The litter from this cross, which was all black, carried the factor for dilution and, when bred among themselves, produced blue, black, brown, and lilac. The lilac is a dilute brown. The lilac was originally known as the Cambridge blue. The Gouda, a lilac-colored Dutch rabbit, wasproduced two years earlier than the English lilac. The lilac bears an unmistakable resemblance to its Havana forebears in type. The body is short and cobby with well-developed hind quarters. The head is short; the short ears are held upright. Many of the earlier lilacs were much heavier boned with thinner, harsher coats that were inclined to be flyback. Another common failing with the early lilacs was the abundance of white hairs under the armpits. It is very rare indeed to find a lilac today with these faults. Contemporary coats are much denser, giving the lilac a pelt of exceptional softness.


The head is wide and bold, held on a short, thick-set neck. The ears, which are 12 to 15 inches long, are much shorter than on the English lop. The ears form a ridge on the crown of the head adding to the boldness and distinctive head shape. "King of the Fancy" is a phrase used exclusively to describe the lop for two reasons. It is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated rabbit known to man-records indicate it was well-known over a century ago. Secondly, the lop reached such a high standard of excellence in the 1920s that many breeders of fancy rabbits refused to compete against it in the A.O.V. (any other variety) class. The situation became so acute that a decision was made to give the lop a class of its own. Of the three lops that are bred and exhibited, the English lop is the most popular. It would seem that ear length is of primary importance, but this is not quite true. In fact, ear width and shape are slightly more important. A good length ear in the English lop exceeds 25 inches. 27 inches in length is exceptional. Coupled with length, the ears should have plenty of width and substance, giving them a thick, leathery feeling. Good length is meaningless if the ears are very narrow and paper-like in substance. The ears should be well rounded at the tips and carried well. The carriage of the ears refers to the way they trail from either side of the head; they should not be carried erect. When measuring the ears at shows, a wooden rule is always used, which reaches from ear tip to ear tip. A metal rule could cut the ears, possibly ruining a superb specimen. The ears must never be stretched, as the blood vessels lie close to the surface and any rupture would bruise the delicate tissue. There is a controversy about the use of heat to increase the ear length in young stock. There has never been any definite proof, yet an excess of heat would certainly make the lop very uncomfortable. The English lop is bred in a limited variety of colors: the most popular is sooty fawn. Others are black, fawn and marked varieties of these colors. The marked varieties must conform to a set pattern. The white patches on the head and nose must leave a butterfly smut of the color other than white. The white extends from under the chin and runs along the belly as in the tan and other varieties. The lop type has massive proportions; the body is very mandolin-shaped, heavy and thick-set. The head is broad and bold and set well onto the shoulders. To complete the bold look, the eyes must also be bold and bright and as large as possible. The lop should be firm in flesh-not baggy or skinny. Well known in Europe, the French lop was reportedly produced by crossing the English lop with an unknown breed. The French lop is a massive, thick-set breed with a wide, deep body. The flesh is firm and well-muscled, the bone heavy and strong. It is a short and cobby breed with a distinct curve from the nape of the neck to well-rounded loins and hindquarters. The third type of lop is the dwarf. This is a rather new breed that originated by crossing the French lop with a dwarf. Although the dwarf breed has never been ascertained, it is probably the Netherland dwarf because the dwarf lop was produced in Holland, the home of the Netherland dwarf. The dwarf lop is almost a miniature of the French lop, except that the dwarf weighs three and a half to four pounds when adult. The type required is exactly the same as for the French lop. The usual color of the dwarf lop is agouti, but it can be bred in self black, white and sooty fawn. There are also two shoulder spots on either side of the body, but there must be no other white markings on the back and sides. Drooping from the crown, the ears lie close to the cheeks in a horse-shoe fashion. Ear width and shape are also important in the French lop soft, with no inclination to harshness or fly-back. The most popular color of the French lop is agouti, but any color is permissible including the marked pattern of the English lop.

Marten Sable

The medium-sized marten should be neat and cobby. The backs very slightly arched with well rounded rump and hind quarters. According to the English standard, the ears should be small, neat and carried erect. Many marten sables fail on the ears, which are Often much too long and wide with spoon-shaped tips that give the ears too much weight, causing them to hang on either side of the head similar to lop fashion. This rabbit is a fur breed that owes its name to its resemblance to the coloring of the wild marten. The marten sable appeared in litters of chinchillas just after the chin was first imported into England. Regarded as wasters, they were disregarded by the early fanciers. It was not until about 1919 that the sable was recognized as a distinct variety. Tom Leaver, of opposum rex fame, and David Irvine, the Southport fancier, were among the first to breed marten sables. The Sable Rabbit Club was not formed until 1927. Since then, the sable has made a tremendous impact on the popularity of the fur breeds in general. Like the early chins, the first sables were of very poor quality both in color and density of fur. The coats of these sables were thin and often had a tendency to be slightly flyback. The color was very poor; often the flanks were so pale as to be sandy, a far cry from the beautiful sables of today. The marten sable is tan patterned; the tan is replaced by white in the marten. The American Rabbit Breeders Association calls the marten sable the silver marten sable and places the English marten sable in the same class as the English silver fox. The American silver fox is an entirely different variety. The marten sable was bred from the early chins and the Siamese sable was, in turn, bred from the marten. The general color of both varieties is the same. The body has a saddle of dark sepia brown extending from the shoulders to the rump. The saddle shades to light sepia on the flanks. The head, except for the ears, and the feet are also dark sepia. The white markings of the marten are on the inside-of the ears, the eye circles, belly, underside of the tail and under the jowl or jaw line. The chest is ticked with white as are the flanks, the rump and all four feet and legs. There is also a small triangle of white at the nape of the neck-this marking should be as small as possible, and is not really noticeable until the rabbit stretches its neck forward. There is also a border of white hairs around the nostrils. This is where the marten is most likely to be faulted; often these markings are smudged, which is termed "frosty nose." Sometimes the white hairs extend a little way up the nose. Very soft and silky in texture, the marten's fur is also thick and dense, about one to one and a half inches long.

Netherland dwarf lop

This red-eyed white Netherland dwarf mother rabbit is rather long in the body, but when mated with the right of buck it produced typical Netherland dwarf bunnies. The Netherland dwarf breed has contributed to the formation of the dwarf breed has contributed to the formation of the dwarf lop. The dwarf lop rabbit resembles a cuddly puppy and it is a very manageable pet. Agouti is the most common color in the dwarf lops. The Netherland dwarf is the miniature of the rabbit fancy. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in popularity. It makes an ideal pet for small children. Although the breed is noted for its bad temper, especially among the bucks, the adult dwarf doe is a most docile animal and usually makes a grand pet. The advantages of rearing such a small breed are obvious: the amount of space needed to house a good-sized stud is minimal; feeding costs can be kept in proportion; and handling is a much easier task for the novice. A dwarf must never be handled by the ears, which are not large enough to get a good grip on when lifting the animal unless the weight is supported by the free hand. Here, too, It was welcomed with open arms and soon became one of the most popular fancy rabbits. The ideal shape of the dwarf is that of a round ball. A long body detracts considerably from the short, cobby type called for in the standards; therefore the most points are allotted to type. The head should be as round as possible and as wide as it is long. Many very good specimens appear almost flat-faced because they excel in broadness of the skull. The ears should not be more than two inches in length. They should be carried erect, though they need not touch all the way up as they do in the Polish. They should, however, be rounded at the tips and well-furred. Any crossing of the ears is a serious fault and is called scissor-cared, The eyes are perhaps the most appealing feature of the dwarf They should be as round as possible, big and bright. The body should be short and cobby, with no inclination to be racy or long in barrel. On the exhibition table, the dwarf should pose similar to the Polish rabbit. The dwarf should not sit bolt upright, but should certainly keep its head and shoulders clear of the table to show off these points to the best advantage. Some schools of thought believe that the dwarf should not pose at all. But posing comes naturally to the dwarf and it should not be discouraged if it adds to the attractiveness of the breed. Young dwarfs can be taught nto pose, but they should never be bullied during training or they will become nervous on the judging table and be difficult for the judge to handle. The dwarf bone is fine. The straight, short front legs make the controversy over posing more complicated. With short front legs, it may be difficult for the dwarf to sit well. Yet, if the legs are in proportion to the size of the body, there should be no problem. Another attractive feature of the dwarf is the beautiful quality and texture of the coat. In this regard it is comparable with the best fur rabbits. The fur should roll gently back when stroked against the lie of the coat, returning to its natural position slowly and deliberately. Thin-coated dwarfs have a harsh coat which is inclined to be flyback. The novice who desires a rabbit that is bred in a wide spectrum of colors can not do better than the dwarf. It is bred in almost every color and pattern known in the domestic rabbit. The most popular perhaps, is the red-eyed white. The color of the red-eyed white should be white as driven snow. Any yellow cast or stains should be avoided. Only regular cleaning of the hutch will keep the red-eyed white dwarf in a good condition for showing. Although the blue-eyed white is much less popular than its redeyed counterpart, it is seen occasionally. The next most popular color is the sable in either Siamese or marten pattern. The Siamese sable is a shaded self as is the smoke pearl Siamese, its recessive counterpart. The marten is a patterned sable that carries the tan pattern replaced by white. White hairs in the Siamese sable are a fault. They occur mostly on the undersides of all four feet, under the arm pits, on the chest and occasionally on the body and on the underside of the tail. It is allegedly the use of red-eyed whites in the sable breeding pen that causes these white hairs. The most common fault in the sable is lack of length and depth of the saddle. A good saddle should begin at the nape of the neck or just behind it. In poorly marked specimens the saddle does not begin until half way down the back; instead of gradually shading to the flanks, it stands out in contrast to the sides of the animal. In marten sables, the circle of white around the nose is often frosted, which indicates the presence of white hairs around the edge of the circle, giving the nose marking a smudged look. In all other colors the dwarf compares favorably with similarly marked rabbits of other breeds. The Himalayan, which is the newest of these colors, is constantly being developed with regard to nose markings, stockings and density of color in the points. Early specimens were badly colored on the points and often had bad dwarf type. Although it would be impossible to detail all the known colors of dwarf, those mentioned are the most popular and those most often seen at exhibitions. Early dwarfs were somewhat hard to breed; this was perhaps largely due to the small size of the doe which resulted in difficulty in passing her young at birth. The problem has been overcome and the dwarf is now usually a free breeder. Another fault in the earliest dwarfs was malocclusion of the front teeth which caused the teeth to cross (misaligned) and in some cases grow out from the front of the mouth. Although it has nearly been eliminated, it does appear occasionally in specimens that excel in head shape and broadness of the newly-weaned youngsters, which makes them very popular as a commercial meat rabbit as well as a good laboratory rabbit. Many large white rabbits are mistaken for New Zealand whites because of their size. All the New Zealand breeds have a rather harsh coat that resembles flyback features when stroked.

A New Zealand Black

The latest color to be produced, the black, has the same meat and fur qualities as its earlier counterparts and is also rapidly becoming popular as an exhibition rabbit. The color should be jet black right down the fur, with no rusty or brown tinge. The toenails should be dark blue. White toenails are a total disqualification. The origin of the New Zealand black is unclear as little has been written about it. The New Zealand was produced in the United States as a utility animal. The meat qualities of this breed surpass all others. In addition, the fur is of such high quality that it can be used by furriers.


The palomino lynx is bright orange with a pure white under-color. The whole coat is evenly ticked with lilac-colored hairs, giving the coat an attractive two-toned look. The ticking is one of the biggest failings in palominos; it should be evenly distributed, neither too light nor too heavy. If the ticking is too light, the two-toned effect is completely lost. If it is too dark, the coat tends to have a blue cast, which is a fault. The effect required is a silvering. White patches on any part of the body are a total disqualification. As in the golden palomino, the eye color should be brown or hazel and the toenails dark. Any other eye color or white toenails are also a disqualification. The ideal weight is nine pounds in bucks and ten pounds in does. The registration weight is eight to ten pounds in bucks and nine to eleven pounds in does. The palomino is exclusively an American-bred utility rabbit. It was produced by Mark Youngs of Washington from a mixture of other breeds with the object of rearing a distinctly colored rabbit that would breed true genetically. The palomino is bred in two colors-lynx and golden. The golden is a brilliant gold with a white to creamy undercoat. The coat has evenly dispersed light gold guard hairs. The belly, eye circles and underside of the tail are also creamy white. The top color and belly color should meet in a gradual shading on the flanks. This shading should be minimal and should not extend too much up the sides of the body. The eye color required by the standard is brown or hazel; any other eye color is a disqualifying fault. The toenails should be dark; white toenails are also a disqualification.


The blue-eyed Polish was one of the first coloreds to be seen on the show bench, quickly followed by sables and smokes. Later came the self colors of black and blue, then the Himalayan or Himpole as it is often called. The silver Polish is not often seen, but it does exist in some studs in England. The Polish rabbit is referred to as "the kingpin" of the rabbit world. It is one of the most popular of the smaller breeds of rabbit both in England and the United States. The origin of the "Pole" is unclear, but it is known that it was first bred in Holland. Initially, it was probably a Dutch albino weighing about four to five pounds. The modern Pole should weigh two and one half pounds. Likewise, the origin of the name has never been established. It may not relate at all to the country of Poland, as the Polish rabbit is rarely seen there. Perhaps, instead, the name was derived from polish as "to clean or shine," for this more aptly describes the rabbit. In the early years of its development, the Polish was considered a utility rabbit and was regarded as something of a luxury at the restaurant table. During the war years many Polish were bred in backyard hutches as a meat source. The first Polish to be exhibited were albino. Records indicate that a class of 17 was shown at Hull in England about 1884. The albino or red-eyed white has been extensively bred in England. The present Polish bears little resemblance to its early cousins in regard to weight. The Polish is smart, fine and nimble, compact in body and neat in appearance. Short and fine in texture, the coat lies close to the body. The flyback feature is very important in a good-coated Pole. Too much length in the coat gives a rollback appearance. The coat should not be unduly harsh, nor should it be too soft. The English Polish rabbit has only recently been introduced into the United States. It now enjoys a seperate classification and is called the "Britannia petite" so that it will not be confused with the American Polish rabbit. The American Polish has a short, fine, dense coat, but it does not lie as close to the body as its English counterpart does. Type is very important. The body of the American Pole is shaped similar to the Netherland dwarf. The head is somewhat rounded and the body is full with well-rounded hindquarters. The English Pole is much finer in every respect. The body is sleek and compact, sprightly in appearance. When posing, the Pole should sit bolt upright with its head high, ears upright and close together. The head is bold with a brilliant ruby-red eye. The eye is also bold and should be as large as possible, with the rich red color adding the final touch. The standard for the English Pole states that the ears should not be longer than two and one half inches, fine and well rounded. Common faults in the ears are pointed tips, bare edges and an inability to hold them together. Bent ears and oversized ears are also common failings. An essential part of the Polish rabbit's general appearance is good sound condition. The red-eyed white Polish must be clean and pure white in color. A Pole that is stained under or has a yellow cast to the coat has very little chance of success on the show bench. Coat stains are the fault of the exhibitor. If the rabbit is not kept in a clean hutch, it quickly becomes stained and dirty. In addition to cleanliness, the coat should have a definite sheen to add that little bit of sparkle. The Polish should feel firm in flesh, not fat or too thin. The eyes should be bright, not sullen or pale. A Polish rabbit can have all of these attributes, yet if it is not fine in bone, it will not have the typical Polish look essential to the rabbit's makeup. In recent years there has been so much interest in the colored Polish that good coloreds can compare favorably with the very best red-eyed whites. The pioneer breeders of the colored Polish confronted numerous problems. The coats of the early coloreds were much too soft and long, lacking a good flyback texture. The ears were much too long at first; they were often bent and they lacked fineness. Nearly all of the early colored Polish were too strong in bone, making them look stumpy and awkward compared to the established red-eyed white. The Polish rabbit has much to offer the newcomer to the rabbit fancy. It is easy to house and does not take up as much space as many other breeds of rabbit. Because of its small size, the Polish is cheap to feed and fairly easy to handle. However, due to its sprightliness, it can be quite a handful for the inexperienced.


Perhaps the most popular of all the rex types is the ermine rex. This variety quickly came to the fore when it was first introduced into the rex standards. The ermine is well known for the density of its coat. It is very rare indeed to find one that is thin-coated like that of other colors. However, some ermines tend to be harsh in texture, which holds them back on the show bench. The color, of course, is pure white. Here again the ermine faces a handicap: if the color is tinted with a yellow cast, it does not stand a chance in good competition. A good, clean, healthy ermine rex is a really beautiful rabbit that is often at the top of the table when the awards are handed out.The rex rabbit is an entirely different variety from the normalfurred rabbits such as the chinchilla and the Beveren. The rex coated rabbits have a distinctive velvety fur achieved by guard hairs that are the same length as the undercoat hairs. The fur length required in the standard is little more than half an inch. The vibrissae or whiskers are curly and much shorter than normal. The rex is a utility rabbit; its meat properties are the same as the normal-furred breeds reared exclusively for meat. The rex, however, is bred mostly for its exquisitely soft fur that is much sought after by furriers. Rex rabbits cropped up in litters many, many years ago, but they were considered runts rather than sports or mutations and were killed off as soon as they appeared. The introduction of the rex to the world of exhibition rabbits is usually credited to Mssr. M. Gillet, a Frenchman who first exhibited this new mutation. However, in 1919 D. Callion, another Frenchman, experimented with the rex and found that the rabbits bred true. Mssr. Gillet continued with his experiments and bred the first castor rex to be exhibited anywhere in the world. All the rex varieties are of the same type-a rather graceful rabbit gently sloping up to well-rounded hindquarters. The bone is medium strong, the head is broad and bold with the ears held erect. A small dewlap is permissible, but it must be in proportion to the body size and well-rounded. Between six and eight pounds is the acceptable weight. Heavier rabbits tend to look awkward and do not conform to the standard. Another popular color is the black, which is very much sought after by furriers. It has been found that pelts from this color match well. Unlike the ermine, the black formerly suffered considerably from lack of density in the coat. This has now largely been eliminated, but occasionally a thin-coated specimen does turn up. One of the most important aspects of the black rex is that it must be absolutely sound in color. It must be kept on clean bedding to avoid a stained and dirty underside. There must never be the slightest trace of a white hair in the body. In the early black rex, white armpits were prevalent in many exhibits and they were tolerated because the variety was in its infancy. Today the standard of excellence is very high and such faulty exhibits would never be tolerated. While the blue rex never suffered from lack of density in the coat, it has been a difficult task to maintain a level color. The head and limbs suffered badly, generally appearing much too dark. Due mainly to the perseverance of breeders, a much more satisfactory color level is being maintained. White toenails were once occasionally evident, but have been almost eliminated in the contemporary blues. Although the lilac rex suffered from bad color in its early days, it is now very popular in England. Too many early specimens had a muddy appearance, with a few white hairs in the coat. A good lilac rex is very pleasing to the eye. The color was reportedly produced by crossing Havana rex with blue rex; lilac is a dilute brown. The nutria rex has become relatively rare. It used to be very popular as the pelt is one of the best types for fur work. The color is a self golden brown with a pearl-gray undercolor. A common fault is a rusty tinge in the coat color. Nutria rex have occasionally turned up in litters of Havana rex. The Siamese sable rex is the rexed version of the normal-furred Siamese sable. It is a beautiful rabbit, but one that is not as popular as its attractiveness merits. The Siamese sable is, of course, a shaded self with a rich sepia-colored saddle over the back, shading down to a rich chestnut color on the sides and flanks. The dark sepia face, ears and limbs make a very attractive rabbit. A common fault in the sable rex is the occurrence of white hairs in the saddle and in the ears. There was quite a controversy over whether the dark Siamese sable rex was a distinct color from the normal Siamese sable rex. Its distinction has now been generally accepted and the dark Siamese sable rex has been named the seal rex. While the former all over the body except for the face, ear and feet. The astrex, formerly bred in most self colors including blue, black, and the most popular-lilac-is rarely seen now. In its heyday, more than one astrex was presented to the judge after being prepared with such devices as curling tongs! The other rex that is distinct from the majority bearing that name is the opposum rex. Produced by Mr. T. Leaver of Kent, England in 1924, it was bred from chifox rex, which are chinchillated fox rex rabbits. Woolly argentes were added to produce a unique silvering effect over the whole of the opposum rex pelt. The opposum rex has a coat that is about one and a half inches long. The base (about an inch long) is the main color of the rabbit. Although black was most popular, any color is permissible. This bottom inch forms a base for the top half inch, which is white. The whole coat stands upright at right angles to the skin-a very peculiar characteristic. The face, ears and feet are the color of the rabbit, not silvered. While the opposum rex is not as popular as it once was, it is still extensively bred.


The ground color is white with a full butterfly marking of black on the nostrils. The eye circles are also black and completely encircle the eye. On the sides of the face there are distinct spots of black and yellow that should not run into the eye circles. The short, strong ears are colored yellow and black. Along the entire length of the back there is a saddle of colored spots somewhat similar to the English spot herring bone marking. Along the haunches and flanks are six to eight rounded spots of both colors-yellow and black. The fur is extremely dense and silky, about one inch in length. The Rhinelander hails from Germany, as its name suggests. It is a well-known breed on the European continent and some specimens have found their way into the hands of English fanciers. The Rhinelander is a dual-purpose rabbit with good pelt qualities and useful meat-producing assets. It was bred by crossing the butterfly breeds and the harlequin; little or nothing is known about its early development. The general type is a meat rabbit with a solid, thick-set body and well-proportioned rump. The bone is medium strong with hind legs that are well muscled.

Siamese Sables

The shadings of the Siamese sable are much more distinct than those of the marten sable. The Siamese is bred in three shades-light, medium and dark sepia. The light variety has better shading. The saddle, face and ears should be dark sepia, shading down to very light sepia on the flanks and belly. The medium variety is slightly darker sepia but the shadings are less marked. The dark Siamese sable is almost self colored. The points are still noticeable, but to a lesser degree than either the light or medium shades. The Siamese sable is nearly the same as the marten sable except for the color and pattern. The type is exactly the same as the marten, with medium length of body and slightly arched back. The fur of the Siamese sable is also silky and dense. The Siamese sable is often considered the better fur rabbit of the two, but this is debatable. However, it is true that the Siamese is more popular.. The Siamese carries markings similar to the Siamese cat. In the United States, the dark sable is known as the "sable" and the medium and light Siamese are known as the Siamese sable. The American sable is a few pounds heavier than the American Siamese sable. This may be due to the fact that the sable has been crossed with other breeds to obtain an even darker color. The Havana has been used very successfully for this purpose.


The satin bone is strong and powerful with front legs carried straight. The most important feature is the coat, which should be exceedingly dense, about one and a quarter inches in length. Although the satin pelt has been used in fur work, it is not as successful as was initially expected. The satin is an all-American mutation of fur rabbit. It was first bred by Walter Huey of Indiana from a white doe and an English imported Havana buck. The resulting litter contained satin Havanas that were instantly recognizable because of the shiny appearance of their coats. The satin has a high gloss sheen over its entire fur, resulting from the flattened scales of each strand of hair and the absence of the central hollow cells of the normal fur. From every angle, the fur of the satin displays the unique satin-like sheen that is so attractive. Discovered in 1930, the satin mutation was not exported to England until about 1947. The most popular color of the satin is ivory, which is the white or albino. The actual color of the ivory is more creamy than white. Many other colors of satin are really the normal colors and normal markings of the fur breeds that have been satinised. The American satin varieties include the black, blue, Californian, red, chinchilla, chocolate, copper, Siamese and, of course, the ivory. The copper and the Siamese are slightly different from those of the normal fur breed. The copper is similar to the Belgian hare in color, including the black ticking. The Siamese has a white base at each hair so the shadings are much lighter than in the normal fur Siamese sables. The satin is a medium-sized rabbit weighing from six to eight pounds, with a cobby body and slightly arched back. The head is broad and carried on a short neck; the ears are in proportion to the body, wide and well-covered.

Siamese Sables

The shadings of the Siamese sable are much more distinct than those of the marten sable. The Siamese is bred in three shades-light, medium and dark sepia. The light variety has better shading. The saddle, face and ears should be dark sepia, shading down to very light sepia on the flanks and belly. The medium variety is slightly darker sepia but the shadings are less marked. The dark Siamese sable is almost self colored. The points are still noticeable, but to a lesser degree than either the light or medium shades. The Siamese sable is nearly the same as the marten sable except for the color and pattern. The type is exactly the same as the marten, with medium length of body and slightly arched back. The fur of the Siamese sable is also silky and dense. The Siamese sable is often considered the better fur rabbit of the two, but this is debatable. However, it is true that the Siamese is more popular.. The Siamese carries markings similar to the Siamese cat. In the United States, the dark sable is known as the "sable" and the medium and light Siamese are known as the Siamese sable. The American sable is a few pounds heavier than the American Siamese sable. This may be due to the fact that the sable has been crossed with other breeds to obtain an even darker color. The Havana has been used very successfully for this purpose.


The Siberian was produced in England about 1930. Although its ancestry is unclear, it probably owes much to the self-colored English and the English spot. The motivation behind the production of the Siberian was the the desire for rabbits that would provide matching pelts. Although the pelt of the Siberian was the desire for rabbits that would provide matching pelts. Although the pelt of the Siberian is attractive, it is not used much in the fur trade today. Many years prior to the introduction of the contemporary Siberian, Himalayan-pointed Angora carried the name Siberian. This breed is certainly extinct now. The present-day Siberian, fur breed, is slowly making a comeback in England after years of obscurity. The fur is rollback and extremely dense. It is described in the English standard as "blanket", which indicates that the undercoat completely covers all the guard hairs when the fur is pulled toward the head. The fur is approximately one inch in length and very soft in texture.


The original color of the silver was silver gray. While controversy surrounds its origin, the silver was probably brought to the Western world by the early Portuguese sailors from Siam or India. A conflicting report indicates that silver grays appeared in litters of wild rabbits in Lincolnshire, England. These rabbits were known by a variety of names including Lincolnshire spriggs, millers, or Lincolnshire silver grays. The first silver grays were used extensively for their meat and fur and a thriving industry sprang up in England in the early 1840's. The silver gray is different from other breeds of rabbit in both texture and color of coat. The coat is black with a blue-black undercolor, evenly interspersed with silver-white guard hairs. The silvering results from the loss of pigmentation in the secondary guard hairs. The silvering provides a beautiful, sparkling appearance that makes a very attractive rabbit. Following the silver gray, the silver fawn made its appearance in England. The silver fawn was originally a foreign breed belonging to the same family as the argente creme. It was known in France for some time before English fanciers became aware of it. The first silver fawns came from a litter of silver gray. After much experimentation, the color was perfected and became very popular as a fancy rabbit. The third color of the silver is silver brown, produced by crossing the silver gray with the Belgian hare. This was reportedly accomplished by a fancier from Kettering in Northampton, England. The significance of the discovery was immediately recognized and the silver brown was nursed until it reached a satisfactory depth of color and even silvering. In England and the United States, the most popular silver is silver gray, followed by silver fawn and silver brown. A silver blue has become extinct from lack of interest by breeders. The silver is a cobby rabbit, well-proportioned and very firm in flesh. The head is short, the ears short and well set on. The under color is very important if the top color is to be level and even. In fawn, the undercolor should be deep, bright orange; in browns a deep, rich chestnut color with a blue-black base. The silvering should be bright and even over the whole body including the legs, feet, ears and chest. The majority of silvers fail in color in these areas. The amount of silvering determines whether the rabbit is dark, medium or light in color. The medium color is generally accepted as the breeder's main objective. Sharpness of silvering is also very important. The hairs should resemble new silver rather than white and should be a complete contrast to the ground color of the rabbit. The silvering should neither appear as patches nor should it be so sparse as to be unnoticeable. Young silvers do not have silvered coats until they reach the age of two to three months. The silvering is first noticed on the feet, head and ears and gradually works its way over the entire body by the time the young silver is five months of age. The quality and texture of the coat are very important; it should be short and fully flyback. It is sometimes said that if you listen very carefully you can hear the coat of a good silver as its springs back into position when stroked against the lie of the fur. Although this description may seem exaggerated, it gives some idea of the requirement.

Smoke Pearl

The smoke pearl, a dilute sable, was bred from sables about 1920. Originally known as smoke beige, the name was changed to smoke pearl in 1932. The colour is an attractive light pearl gray and beige. As with the sable, the smoke is bred in Siamese and marten patterns. In both these types, the saddle of smoke colour covers the whole of the back, from the nape of the neck to the base of the trail, shading off to a pearl gray beige on the flanks.

The Tan

The body is broad, with a slightly arched back on well-filled hindquarters. The body is of medium length, carried on legs that are straight and of medium bone. The head, which is bold and well-set on a short neck, bears a resemblance to the silver. The ears are short and carried erect. The fur is dense and about one inch in length. In both black and blue, the whole body is covered with silver guard hairs asin the silver. The tan rabbit was bred by chance in a warren containing a mixture of wild and domesticated rabbits by the Rev. Cox in the grounds of Culland Hall Brailsford, Derbyshire, England. It was stated that the dam was a Dutch and the sire a wild agouti, but this has never been verified. Since the appearance of the first tans about 1880 the breed has become very popular. The early tans were of very poor quality; it was not until many years later that progress could be detected in the depth of top color and tanning. These early tans were also rather bulky in shape and noted for their bad tempers-a total contrast to the tans of today, which are inclined to cobbiness and very docile by nature. Gradually the breed began to take shape, keeping pace with color improvement. Much later, the blue tan was produced by Mr. A. Atkinson of Huddersfield, England. Atkinson reportedly crossed a black tan with a sooty fawn and then mated the resulting litter together, producing a mixture of black tans and blue tans. The blue became almost as popular as the black and rapidly made progress with the knowledge that was gleaned from the development of the blacks. Following the blues came the chocolates, and then the lilacs. The tan standard states that the top color be dense and sound without any white or foreign color. This applies to all four colors. The tanning should be rich tan, deep and bright, extending from the underside of the jaw to the triangle at the nape of the neck, right down to the underside of the tail. The inside of the nostrils are also tan colored, but the color should not invade the face. The tan chest should join the underside of the chin and continue in a line along the jaw to the triangle behind the head. The belly is also tan colored; the color extends down the inside of the front legs, but not onto the front of the feet or the foot pads, which are usual.

The Thuringer

The color of the Thuringer is very similar to the sooty fawn or tortoiseshell. The ground color is, perhaps, a shade darker than the former and is described in the English standard as buff. The entire coat is evenly covered with dark-colored guard hairs, giving an appearance of chamois leather when blended with the dark top coat. The points, which include the face, eye, circles, ears, feet, and tail are all bluish black colored. The haunches are also covered with a bluish black shading which should blend into the yellow very gradually. The whole coat is very dense and silky. This also is a rabbit that is very popular in parts of Europe but not often seen elsewhere. Consistent with many of the breeds from this part of the world, it can be classed as a dual-purpose rabbit. It is extensively exhibited on the European continent and also makes ? very useful meat rabbit. The Thuringer reportedly originated in Germany where it was bred from crosses of the Himalayan, Angente and possibly the Flemish giant. The type is a medium- to large-sized rabbit, thick-set and rounded in shape. The back is strong with well-rounded haunches. The head is wide and well set on to the short neck, the ears are wide, but the length is in keeping with the size of the body and head.