Rabbit Breeds

Rabbit breeds in Australia - a revised article by Christine Carter

All rabbit breeds come under four classes. Fur, Fancy, Rex and Lop. If you want to see what the breed looks like just google for a picture.

Unfortunately due to Australia's import ban we're unable to offer as many breed varieties and colour variations as other countries. However to the best of our ability we endeavour to maintain the traits of our breeds according to British Rabbit Council standards, or if applicable American Rabbit Breeders Association.

It might seem as if there are plenty of breeds to choose from, or you could perhaps assume they are easily attainable – unfortunately this is not the case!

In actual fact, many of our unique breeds would be classified as rare and endangered. Due to a limited gene pool and an ongoing import ban, rabbit fanciers appreciate and treasure our exotic rabbits. Not only are rabbit breeders widely distributed in our vast country, but compared to other fanciers in the world (UK, Europe and US), the majority of us here only keep a small number of stock.

Breeds are at risk whenever for instance fanciers give up the hobby (for various reasons) or are devastated by loss of stock due to myxomatosis, Calicivirus, rabbit syphilis, theft and so on. As a result we are well aware of the long-term consequences of our breeds disappearing and know that the limited number we have are irreplaceable.

Breeds at risk (and therefore rare/endangered) are: English Angora, German Angora, Dutch, Smoke Pearl Marten, Miniature Cashmere Lop, standard Cashmere Lop, English, Satin, Polish, Agente, Marten Sable, Californian, British Giant, Silver Fox, Jersey Woolly, Smoke Pearl, Siamese Sable, Harlequin, New Zealand White, Swiss Fox and Tan. Plus also in this category we can include 'breeds in development' such as: Plush Lop, Chinchilla, French Lop, Astrex, Mini Satin, Chinchilla Giganta, Flemish Giant, Rhinelander and Giganta Cashmere Lop.
It is obvious for all to see the huge discrepancy between the handful of popular breeds compared to the ones at risk. This is something anti-breeder/breeding campaigners ought to seriously consider! What a sad and tragic day it would be if our country ended up with only cross-bred and feral bunnies! Food for thought I should hope . . . .

View Our Breeds (in alphabetical order)

Agente Bleu – fur breed

Type: compact body, short neck, broad rounded loins and well developed hindquarter.
Bold eyes and ears short and rounded.
Coat: very dense (thick), silky and glossy, lying close to the body, ideal length 1.9 to 2.54 cms (¾ to 1 inch).
Colour: bluish white top colour with evenly dispersed longer dark blue hairs, lavender blue under colour. Blue eye colour.
Adult weight: 2.72 kgs (6lb)

British Giant — fur breed
Type: large size, long broad body, solid and firm condition, broad head, erect ears and bold eyes.
Coat: 1.9 to 2.54cms (¾ to 1 inch) in length, thick and very dense, medium texture (not harsh or soft).
Colour: in OZ - brown grey (agouti) & opal – overseas white, dark steel grey & blue.
Minimum Adult weight: bucks 5.670 kgs (12 ½ lbs). Does 6.123 kgs (13 ½ lbs).

Californian – fur breed
Type: firm and meaty, solid body with broad shoulders and well-developed hindquarters. Well-shaped head on a short neck, which is set close to the body. Eyes are bright, bold and pink coloured.
Coat: undercoat as dense as possible, interspersed very thickly with coarser guard hair. The coat is so thick the fur should immediately resume its position when stroked in any direction.
Colour: markings of chocolate, blue or lilac (as dark as possible) on nose, ears, feet and tail and rest of body should be pure white.
Adult weight: ideal 4.082 (9 lb), minimum and maximum weights: Bucks 3.402 to 4.43 kg (7 ½ to 10 lb) and does 3.402 to 4.762 (7 ½ to 10 ½ lbs).

Cashmere Lop – lop breed

Type: compact, well-muscled, short body, broad shoulders, full chest, broad head with well developed cheeks, no visible neck, bold eyes, prominent crown. Ears are broad, thick, rounded and lopped.
Coat: dense and silky with a thick undercoat, evenly overlayed with longer thicker guard hairs. Length 3.81 to 5.08 cms (1½ - 2 inches)
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: ideal 2.15 kgs (4 ¾ lbs) maximum 2.381 kgs (5 ¼ lbs), minimum 1.81 kgs (4 lbs)

Chinchilla Giganta – fur breed
Type: finely boned, long, graceful body. Adult bucks heavier boned with bolder heads. Dewlap permissible in adult does.
Coat: fur uniformly dense and silky in texture but with resilience and length not less than 3.175cm (1 1/4 inches).
Colour: Under-colour a deep blue slate as dark as possible from the skin to at least half the length of fur then followed by a clear band of pearl (off white) not exceeding a quarter of the length of fur. The peal band to be followed by a distinct black line, finishing the surface in alternating blue/grey and silver/white tippings, which are heavily intermixed with longer black tipped guard hairs. The colour must be carried well down the sides of the belly. Eye colours blue, grey or brown and ears to have black lacing.
Adult weight: Maximum 5.44kg (12lb), Minimum weight - does 4.07kg (9lb), bucks 3.855kg (8 1/2lb)

Dutch – fancy breed
Type: compact, cobby and in firm condition. Ears are strong and short, fairly broad at the base and not pointed (i.e. to have rounded ends).
Coat: short, glossy and healthy.
Colour: various colours in the standard Dutch pattern contrasting with white. The coloured pattern (blaze, saddle, stops, cheeks etc) to comply with standard guidelines.
Adult weight: 2.041 to 2.26 kgs (4 ½ to 5 lbs)

Dwarf Lop – lop breed
Type: body compact (short) thickset and firm with wide shoulders, full chest, broad head, prominent crown and no visible neck. Ears are fully lopped, broad, thick, well furred with rounded ends.
Coat: roll back, dense with abundant guard hair.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: ideal 2.041 kgs (4 ½ lb), minimum 1.93 kgs (4 ¼ lb) up to maximum 2.381 kgs (5 ¼ lb)

English - fancy breed
Type: moderate body length, gradually extending to a broader rounded rump, overall firm condition. Ears are erect and ideally 10.16 cms (4 inches) long.
Coat: short, tight and healthy.
Colours: black, blue, tortoiseshell, chocolate and grey colouring on a white base. Specific markings are: perfect butterfly smut, eye circles, cheek spots (not touching eye circles), fully coloured ears, herring bone from base of ears to tip of tail, chain spots equally balanced on both sides of the body, one distinct spot on each leg and six teat spots.
Adult weight: between 2.721 to 3.628 kgs (6 to 8 lbs)

English Angora – fancy breed
Type: broad, short head, arched back, deep chest and broad shoulders. Ears are erect, short, tapered and generously furnished with wool/fur.
Coat: long, thick and silky giving the effect of a rounded snowball shape. Needs to be well groomed and have an open coat (no tangles, webbing or matting) and/or clipped several times a year.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: minimum 2.494 kgs (5 ½ lb) Maximum 3.402 kgs (7.5 lb)

Fox (silver) — fur breed

Type: moderate length of body inclined to cobbiness, slightly arched back, medium sized broad head on a short neck. Well-furred, broad ears of medium length that are in proportion to the head.
Coat: dense with an exquisitely silky texture and length of about 3.175 cm (1¼ inch)
Colours: black, blue, chocolate or lilac. Chest, flanks and feet are generously and evenly ticked with silver tipped guard hairs. There is a small white triangle behind the ears and eye circles, inside of the ears, jaw line, underside of tail, feet and belly are all white.
Adult weight: 2.494 to 3.17 kgs (5 ½ to 7 lb) (7.5 lb)

French Lop – Lop breed
Type: massively large, thickset and solid. Body compact, broad shouldered and overall well muscled with a well-rounded rump. Broad head, full cheeks and good width between the eyes. Fully lopped ears, which are thick, broad, well furred and rounded ends.
Coat: dense, rollback with abundant guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: as large as possible. minimum 4.535 kgs (10 lbs)

German Angora – fancy breed
Type: body should be of good width and depth that tapers slightly from hindquarters to shoulders and in firm condition. Oval shaped head set close to the body (with cheek furnishings), which is broad across the forehead though slightly narrower at the muzzle. Ears are erect, in proportion to head and body, carried in a close v-shape, lightly fringed and well tassled.
Coat: as dense as possible, length (ideal 4 inches) evenly balanced over the body, free from matting or webbing. Coat contains three types of wool: medium fine, soft underwool, awn fluff (stronger wool with a guard hair tip) and guard hair – otherwise as known as awn hair.
Colour: no other colour but red eyed white.
Adult weight: ideal adult bucks 40309 (9 1/2 lbs), adult does 4.535 (10 lbs)

Jersey Woolly – fancy breed
Type: short, compact body, shoulders slightly narrower than the hips. The head is bold, well rounded and set close to the body. Ears are erect and short (63 mm, 2 ½ inches), well furred (without furnishings or tassels) with slightly rounded tips.
Coat: evenly dense under coat with a generous overlay of thicker, heavier and longer guard hairs. Should display a healthy lustre and be full of life, ideally 50 to 76 mm (2 to 3 inches) long (minimum accepted 1 ½ inches)
Colours: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: ideal 1.360 kg (3lbs) maximum 1.587 kg (3½ lbs)

Harlequin – fancy breed
Type: a muscular, firm, well-proportioned body. The head is longish with width between the eyes. Ears are upright and 10.16 to 12.7 (4 to 5 inches) in length.
Coat: very dense and silky about 2.54 cm (1 inch) in length. The coat should not fly back (when stroked in the opposite direction or too harsh in texture.
Harlequin colours: black (dense black and golden orange), blue (lavender blue and golden fawn), brown (rich dark brown and golden orange), lilac (dove grey and golden fawn).
Magpie colours: black (dense black and white), blue (lavender blue and white), brown (rich dark brown and white), lilac (dove grey and white).
Pattern: priority of points (60) is delegated to the importance of markings. The head is equally divided between two colours (see harlequin and magpie colours) and the ears to have opposite, contrasting colour to the head. Front legs should be a different colour and back legs to have the reverse colouring to the front legs. Body colour and pattern is clearly defined with banding. Five points are deducted for each white mark or patch in any coloured areas.
Adult weight: not less than 2.72 kg (6 lbs) and not more than 3.62 (8lbs)

Mini Cashmere Lop

Type: exactly as for Cashmere Lop - the only difference between these two breeds is a modification to their weight. Body is compact and cobby, solid and firm, broad shouldered, full chest and overall well muscled with a well-rounded rump. Ears are thick, broad, well furred with rounded ends and fully lopped. The head is broad with a prominent crown, deep broad chest and no visible neck.
Coat: dense and silky with a thick undercoat, evenly overlayed with longer thicker guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: maximum 1.60 kg (3 ½ lbs)

Miniature Lop – Lop breed
Type: Compact body (short) thickset and firm, wide shoulders, broad head, full chest, no visible neck and a prominent crown. Ears are fully lopped, broad, thick, well furred with rounded ends.
Coat: roll back, dense with abundant guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: ideal 1.5 kgs (3 ¼ lbs) to maximum 1.6 kgs (3 ½ lbs)

Mini Rex – Rex breed
Type: exactly as for the standard Rex - the only difference between these two breeds is their weight. Medium boned, body gradually slopes to a well-rounded rump. Head is bold and broad with erect ears that are in proportion to the body.
Coat: the shortest coat of all breeds being approximately 1.27 cms (½ an inch) in length. Extremely dense, plush-like coat with a fine texture and a lustrous sheen that is devoid of harsh or projecting guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: between 1.7 to 2.041kgs (3 ¾ lbs to 4 ½ lbs

Netherland Dwarf – fancy breed
Type: short, compact and cobby body, broad head and shoulders with a full chest. Ears are distinctly short 50mm (2 inches) in length, well furred and slightly rounded tips. Eyes are round and bold.
Coat: short, dense and rollback.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: the smallest of all breeds with the ideal weight of 0.907 kg (2 lbs)

Plush Lop (breed in development)

Proposed standard: The ideal Plush Lop is a slightly heavier, rex furred version of the Dwarf Lop rabbit. It should have the compact cobby type of the Dwarf Lop and the density and appeal of the plush-like rex coat. To be judges as a Lop breed not a Rex breed.
Type: Body short, firm and well muscled, deep broad chest, wide shoulders, well-rounded loins creating a compact, cobby appearance. Head set well on shoulders with little visible neck. Ears broad, thick, well furred, rounded at the ends and carried close to the cheeks hanging straight behind the eyes.
Coat: Ideally as close as possible to the Rex breed coat.
Colour: Any colour or pattern accepted by the BRC.
Adult weight: Ideally 2.150 kg (4lb 12oz), Maximum 1.193 (5lb 6oz)

Polish – fancy breed
Type: fine boned, small breed with narrow shoulders and well-rounded head. Erect ears are positioned close together, well covered with fur and rounded. Eyes are very bold and positioned on upper side of head.
Coat: short and fine with a healthy gloss that when stroked in reverse should quickly fly back to original position.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: maximum 1.134 kgs (2 ½ lbs)
Rex (standard) – Rex breed
Type: medium boned, body gradually slopes to a well-rounded rump. Head is bold and broad, ears are erect and in proportion to the body.
Coat: the shortest coat of all breeds being approximately 1.27 cms (½ an inch) in length. The plush-like coat is extremely dense with a fine texture and a lustrous sheen as well as devoid of harsh or projecting guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: between 2.72 to 3.62 kgs (6 to 8 lbs) however there is no weight disqualification in the standard.

Satin – fur breed
Type: moderate length of body inclined to cobbiness, slightly arched back, medium sized broad head carried on a short neck. Erect, medium length of ears, rather broad and well furred with rounded tips.
Coat: dense with an exquisite satin like texture and sheen, rolls back when stroked in the opposite direction, length 2.54 to 3.175 cms (1 to 1 ¼ inches)
Colour: various colours/patterns accepted.
Adult weight: 2.72 to 3.62 kgs (6 to 8 lbs)

Swiss Fox – fur breed
Type: strong well rounded body, bold head with well-developed muzzle, no visible neck, wide chest, broad shoulders. Ears are strong and erect, measuring between 10.5 to 11 cms (4.1 to 4.3 inches) in length.
Coat: ideally 5 to 6 cm long (2½ inches), thick undercoat and generous guard hairs.
Colour: various colours and patterns accepted.
Adult weight: 2.5 to 4 kgs (5 ½ to 8 ¾ lbs)

Tan – fancy breed

Type: short and cobby body, gracefully arched from nape of neck to base of tail, short erect ears positioned close together, which are well covered with fur and insides of the ears are laced with tan colouring.
Coat: fairly short, silky and fly back with a lustrous healthy sheen.
Colour: black & tan, blue & tan, chocolate & tan and lilac & tan.
Adult weight: 2.041 kgs (4 ½ lbs)

 

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