Everyone familiar with the world of rabbits has heard of Lionheads and Rex rabbits, but certain breeds that you never knew existed may exist. Many breeds are unusual and endangered, so they are not as much in the limelight.
It’s good to know what breeds, particularly if you’re passionate about rabbits, are out there. There are distinctive characteristics of each rare breed, and some even make great pets too. This list includes, in no particular order, 10 rare rabbit breeds.
Grey Rabbit Americans
They were first referred to as the German Blue Vienna, but it was changed to the American Blue Rabbit due to World War I. It is native to North America and has become the United States’ rareest rabbit breed. By breeding the Blue Flemish Giants, the Blue Beveren, and the now extinct Blue Viennas and Blue Imperials, a man in California produced the American Blue.
They are bred for meat and fur, although they are shown to be rabbits by many breeders. They are a docile and hardy breed, which also makes them good pets, and you’ll see deep blue or albino colour variants with red eyes.
Monkey Rabbit Swiss
This breed was created by crossing Angoras and Havanas in Switzerland in the 1920s. They tried to reproduce a fox’s fur, but the resulting fur was different and not the most common. They are still mostly used in Switzerland for shows and are still rare even in Europe.
They are a medium-sized rabbit that comes in various shades of blue, orange, Havana, and white with a fluffy coat. Since they are a friendly breed, Swiss Fox rabbits can make great pets, but they are more demanding because of the care needed to maintain their coats.
The Blanc de Hotot Rabbit
The black rings of these rabbits cover their stunning dark eyes and their fur is white. They originated in France and were originally popular in the 1920s throughout Europe and the States. Their popularity started to decline after World War II.
Because of the limited numbers in the world, they are recognised as globally endangered. For meat, fur, displays, and family pets, The Blanc de Hotot has been bred. Even if they’re a friendly rabbit, they’re lively, and they prefer to be active.
This breed is considered one of the world’s most endangered mammals, and near Karoo, Africa, it is an indigenous rabbit. They are burrowing rabbits, living along the seasonal rivers within the riverine bush. They were discovered in 1902, and habitat loss, predation by domestic dogs, being run over by road vehicles, and a lack of knowledge about the species are their biggest threat to survival.
To help ensure the survival of these rabbits, a programme has been established by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. If you live near the habitat of this rabbit, you will not see the Riverines often because they are solitary and nocturnal.
Hare Rabbit Belgian
The name is misleading because it is not a hare, but a rabbit breed that is supposed to look hare-like. With a muscular body and an arched back, they have long, strong legs. This rabbit originated in Belgium and, around 1856, was introduced to England. They are ideally suited for show animals, since they are a nervous rabbit, and they are an aggressive breed that thrives in external environments.
They will leap high into the air and become anxious by noisy or unexpected noises, so they do not do well locked in a small cage. The Belgian Hare is endangered and conserved by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy on the threatened species list.
Fox Rabbit Silver
In the United States, this breed was developed and approved in 1925 as a standard breed. The Silver Fox rabbit started to decline in the 1970s, and its status is now classified as critical because of a worldwide population of less than 2,000 rabbits. It is named for its coarse coat and Arctic Silver Fox resemblance.
The Silver Fox is a large breed and, as an adult, can weigh up to 12 pounds. They are traditionally bred for meat and fur, but they can be used in shows and turned into pets. If socialised from a young age, they are a low-maintenance rabbit with a gentle temperament and will tolerate handling.
Rhine Rabbit Rhinelander
This breed was established in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century by crossing a Harlequin with a common-gray rabbit and then pairing a Harlequin with a Checkered Giant Doe. The breed arrived in the States in 1923, but before it was re-established in the 1970s, it did not gain popularity.
Since there are less than 2,000 rabbits worldwide, they are grouped with rabbits of other rare breeds. They are known for their distinctive orange and black butterfly markings on their faces. The Rhinelanders have a laid-back, docile temperament, but an aggressive rabbit. As a show rabbit, their main use has been.
Pointed Rabbit Beveren
There are various types of Beveren rabbits, and the very unusual is the Pointed Beveren, which is the same colour as a typical Beveren, but has white on the tips of their fur. They have been bred for their fur and meat, but because of their friendly disposition, they can make great pets. They are a big long fur rabbit that can grow to around 1.5 inches in length and needs to be managed by daily grooming.
They were founded in the town of Beveren in the 1800s and have never been very famous in the United States, although you might see them from other nations in the show ring.
Chinchilla Rabbit Americans
This breed was created from the rabbit Chinchilla and introduced in the 1920s from Europe. They bred the rabbit in America to be bigger so that with a larger pelt it would yield more meat; they called this the American Chinchilla.
They are not recognised outside the United States, and they have become scarce due to the decline in the trade-in meat and fur and are listed with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as important. The American Chinchilla has a gentle and docile disposition even though they are big, and is good-natured, although you won’t see them as household pets.
American Rabbit of the Sable
The American Sable Rabbit, though they are not at any risk, is considered rare. Since they are an off-shoot of the pure-bred Chinchilla Rabbit, they mimic a Chinchilla. They are medium-sized rabbits and have a rounded, compact body.
They are kept as pets by some people, but they are shy and easily nervous, so they are not recommended for young children. They are considered to be lazy as well, but they like to play with noisy toys and enjoy their owners’ attention. They grow rapidly and have outstanding meat quality, which is why they are used for the production of commercial meat.